Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is indeed aware of the problems of unfit animals arriving to slaughterhouses in Italy, in particular through the audits carried out by the Commission inspection service of Directorate General for Health and Consumers (FVO, Food and Veterinary Office), located in Grange, Ireland.
The FVO audited Italy in March 2010. It was then concluded that even though the system to check the fitness of animals upon arrival to slaughterhouses had improved since 2008, problems remained and the Italian authorities were recommended to take appropriate actions to correct the situation(1). The issue was raised again during the FVO mission to Italy in November 2011. The report from this audit has not yet been finalised(2).
From January 2012 the FVO will have five full time inspectors dedicated to check on compliance with the requirements of EU animal welfare legislation within the EU and in third countries exporting to the EU.
The Commission recently adopted a report on animal welfare during transport(3). The report concludes that regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport(4) is not properly enforced, and considers a number of actions aimed to improve the situation. The actions include implementing measures concerning the use of navigation systems and increased cooperation with the Member States.
Final report of a specific audit carried out in Italy from 15 to 26 March 2010 in order to evaluate the implementation of controls for animal welfare on farms and during transport, 2010-8388 — MR FINAL.