The ‘Animal Transport Guides’(1) is a 3-year project aimed at identifying the best practices for the transport of live animals within Europe and to third countries for the purposes of slaughter, fattening and breeding.
The goal of the project, which is structured in four phases (collection, development, dissemination and verification), with the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including the national authorities of nine Member States, is to deliver a practical tool for improving the welfare of cattle, pigs, horses, sheep and poultry during transport.
From the inception of the project, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has issued important rulings. In Case C-424/13 the Court established that the protection for animals under EC law does not stop at the outer borders of the EU. In Case C-469/14 the Court maintained that, in the context of road transport, resting periods may be longer than those laid down in Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 if this does not constitute a risk of injury/suffering and is done in the interest of the animals.
Considering the above, can the Commission explain how the future guidelines will assist all Member States in enforcing Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, taking also into account the aforementioned CJEU rulings? Moreover, given that around 330 million rabbits are slaughtered and transported across the EU annually, why is this species not covered by the project?