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Parliamentary questions
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27 November 2018
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-005366/2018

As the Commission pointed out in its reply to Written Question P-004562/2018, the EU recognises that it is legitimate to protect animals during transport to the extent possible.

As the Commission already pointed out in its reply to Written Question E-002716/2018, Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport(1) lays down several additional provisions that must be adhered to for live animal transport that exceeds eight hours.

These provisions have been laid down to protect the transported animals from unnecessary suffering from the place of departure until the place of destination. In accordance with the case law of the Court these provisions fully apply on the extra-Union leg of the transport to a third country.

However, beyond the protection that applies to transport of EU animals to a third country, the setting of animal welfare rules in non-EU countries and their enforcement is under the competence of the respective third country competent authorities.

A total export ban on live animal transport to non-EU countries would also need very careful examination under the World Trade Organisation rules, which are binding upon the EU and its Member States.

Moreover, as the Commission pointed out in its reply to written question E-002716/2018, it cannot be ignored that the trade of live animals is an integral part of agricultural activity(2).

The Commission therefore does not intend to introduce a ban on live animal exports.

(1)Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and amending Directives 64/432/EEC and 93/119/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1255/97, OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1.
(2)Exports of live bovines, for instance, represent 31% of the total amount of EU exports — carcass weight equivalent — in the beef and veal sector and 44% of the total value.

Last updated: 27 November 2018Legal notice