Procedure : 2012/2031(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0331/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0331/2012

Debates :

PV 11/12/2012 - 15
CRE 11/12/2012 - 15

Votes :

PV 12/12/2012 - 7.17
CRE 12/12/2012 - 7.17
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0499

REPORT     
PDF 247kWORD 161k
16 October 2012
PE 480.640v02-00 A7-0331/2012

on the protection of animals during transport

(2012/2031(INI))

Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

Rapporteur: Janusz Wojciechowski

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 JUSTIFICATION
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the protection of animals during transport

(2012/2031(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 10 November 2011 on the impact of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport (COM(2011)0700),

–   having regard to the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee of 15 February 2012 on the European Union Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012-2015 (COM(2012)0006),

–   having regard to Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which stipulates that in formulating and implementing the EU’s policies, the EU and its Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, always pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals,

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 October 2006 on a Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 22 May 2008 on a new animal health strategy for the European Union 2007-2013(2),

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 May 2010 on the evaluation and assessment of the Community Animal Welfare Action Plan 2006-2010(3),

–   having regard to its Resolution of 15 November 1996 on the implementation of Council Directive 95/29/EC amending Directive 91/628/EEC concerning the protection of animals during transport(4),

   having regard to its resolution of 30 March 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, which suggested a maximum journey time of 9 hours or 500 km for animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered(5),

–   having regard to 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(6),

–   having regard to Written Declaration No 54/2009 of the European Parliament of 25 February 2010 on the transportation of horses to slaughter in the European Union,

–   having regard to Written Declaration No 49/2011 of the European Parliament of 30 November 2010 on the establishment of a maximum 8-hour journey limit for animals transported in the European Union for the purpose of being slaughtered,

–   having regard to the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concerning the welfare of animals during transport, published in January 2011(7),

–   having regard to the 8hours.eu petition signed by over one million EU citizens calling for the maximum transport time for animals destined for slaughter to be limited to eight hours,

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the opinions of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A7-0331/2012),

A. whereas the protection of animals in the 21st century is an expression of humanity and a challenge facing European civilisation and culture; whereas all action designed to ensure the protection and welfare of animals should be based on scientific findings, as well as on the principle that animals are sentient beings whose specific needs should be taken into account, as laid down in Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

B.  whereas the transport of animals is a result of economic and logistical factors, while at the same time it can give rise to additional social and environmental costs (increased road traffic, additional CO2 emissions);

C. whereas the transport of animals needs to be dealt with from both within and outside the EU, and animals coming from third countries must be thoroughly controlled and monitored, thus ensuring both a more balanced competitive situation for European producers and an incentive for improving standards of animal transport in third countries;

D. whereas EU rules on animal welfare must not give rise to distortions in free trade in goods or result in disproportionate financial costs, and it is necessary to bear in mind the particular disadvantageous geographical situation of the peripheral and outermost regions;

E.  whereas the transport of meat and other animal products is technically easier and ethically more rational than the transport of live animals for the sole purpose of being slaughtered;

F.  whereas the transport of animals over significant distances in unhygienic and unfavourable conditions may increase the risk of transmission and spread of diseases;

G. whereas maintaining the principles of animal welfare can influence the quality of animal products;

H. whereas animal slaughter and meat processing at the closest possible proximity to the breeding location can help stimulate rural areas and their sustainable development; whereas it should be recognised that there is not always a variety of appropriate slaughterhouses available in sufficient proximity and there are serious economic challenges involved in sustaining small local slaughterhouses; whereas high standards of hygiene and other requirements under EU legislation on this type of installation have brought about a restructuring of slaughterhouses and a decline in their numbers; whereas, therefore, it is necessary to investigate ways of making local slaughterhouses economically viable;

I.   whereas limitations on transport time and overly restrictive conditions may compromise regular market supply in certain countries and peripheral regions in EU territory, resulting in some companies ceasing to be economically viable, with all the consequences associated with that loss of competitiveness,

J.   whereas the conditions under which animals are transported are a matter of interest to all;

Overall assessment of the Commission report

1.  Takes note of the Commission report presenting the state of implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, which contains the conclusion that the Regulation has had a positive impact on the welfare of animals during transport, but notes that severe problems during animal transport persist, due mainly to poor compliance and implementation in the Member States;

2.  Calls on the Commission to ensure an effective and uniform enforcement of existing EU legislation on animal transport across all Member States; considers that better enforcement is central to ensuring the effectiveness and workability of the existing legislation in order to improve transport conditions and avoid distortion of competition across EU Member States;

3.  Strongly condemns the weak scientific basis and data on which the Commission report is based, such as a study from an external contractor based mainly on a survey to be completed by parties directly involved in or having a direct interest in the transport of animals;

4.  Expresses concern that there is a risk that in some instances the data from the Member States contained in the report, without any possibility of exact verification, may not fully reflect the actual state of affairs with regard to the transport of animals because of the differing methods and control mechanisms used in individual Member States;

5.  Is concerned that the degree of implementation of the rules governing the transport of animals varies significantly between individual Member States, and therefore calls on the Commission to adopt measures to secure full and uniform monitoring of adherence to the transport conditions;

6.  Urges the Commission to take measures to increase cooperation and communication between the competent authorities in different Member States;

7.  Points out that the Commission report does not contain a full evaluation of all the costs of animal transport, limiting itself to the impact on intra-EU trade, regional and socioeconomic implications, effects on animal welfare, scientific underpinning and control, and compliance with and enforcement of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005; therefore calls on the Commission to present a full evaluation of all the economic, environmental and social costs and benefits incurred by the transport of animals, including a comparison between the transport of animals for slaughter and the transport of carcasses and food products, as well as the effect of transport on the price of meat products, paying particular attention to the outermost regions and involving all stakeholders;

8.  Calls on the Commission to implement an extensive consumer information campaign on the subject of the European regulations on animal welfare, providing continuous information on the changes being required of European producers for the purposes of raising the profile of their work and improving the added value of their production;

9.  Points out that during the 2005-2009 reporting period the number of animals transported increased significantly: cattle by 8 %, pigs by 70 % and sheep by 3 %, and that only for horses was there a decrease of 17 %; stresses that two- thirds of consignments concern transport periods of less than 8 hours, while 4 % of transports are longer than the maximum journey time and thus require offloading and resting before continuing the journey; regrets that for nearly 2 % of consignments journey times were not available, which represents a more than fivefold increase compared to 2005;

10. Believes that animals should as a principle be slaughtered as close to their place of rearing as possible; notes in this connection that consumers are in favour of shorter transport times for animals destined for slaughter, but at the same time prefer to buy fresh meat; calls on the Commission, therefore, to explain what consequences are to be drawn from this; acknowledges that owing to lack of enforcement the Regulation has not fulfilled the aim of limiting the transport of live animals for slaughter, but that it has made a contribution to improving animal welfare during transport; calls on the Member States to properly implement the existing legislation on animal transport, and calls on the Commission to promote, where possible, local processing; believes that EU policy should aim at helping create short and transparent supply chains, while safeguarding market supply in all Member States and in the outermost regions; stresses that EU hygiene legislation, while ensuring the highest level of protection for consumers, should not unnecessarily hamper the development of mobile or small-scale regional slaughter and processing facilities;

11. Calls on the Commission to come up with a clear definition of what local slaughterhouses are;

12. Recalls that Article 32 of the aforementioned regulation states that the Commission report must take into account ‘scientific evidence on welfare needs of animals’, and may be accompanied if necessary by appropriate legislative proposals concerning long journeys;

13. Acknowledges Written Declaration No 49/2011 of the European Parliament supporting an eight-hour journey limit for animals to be slaughtered, but recognises that such a demand alone has no scientific basis; considers that animal welfare during transport in some instances depends more on proper vehicle facilities and on the proper handling of animals, as documented in the EFSA opinion of December 2010; nevertheless, asks the Commission and the Member States to lay down guidelines for best practice with a view to improving the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, and to reinforce control mechanisms in order to guarantee animal welfare;

14. Insists on a reconsideration of the issue of limiting the transport time of animals destined for slaughter to eight hours taking account of loading time, irrespective of whether this takes place on land or at sea, with some exceptions taking into account geographic conditions in the outermost regions, sparse road networks, remote location or the option of longer transport of some animal species confirmed by scientific research results, provided that the rules on animal welfare are complied with; points out that it should be possible to extend transport times in the event of unforeseeable transport delays (traffic jams, breakdowns, accidents, diversions, force majeure, etc), while complying with animal welfare principles and after taking account of all the possibilities available;

15. Highlights the fact that the Commission’s report stresses in particular in its conclusions, in agreement with the opinion of EFSA, that ‘it appears that parts of the Regulation are not fully in line with the current knowledge’; believes that for this reason it is important to underline the need to consider the latest scientific knowledge in preparing regulations on animal welfare; highlights the fact that the EFSA opinion(8) stresses that other aspects come into play in the welfare of animals aside from the duration of the journey, such as proper loading and unloading, as well as the design of the vehicles;

Economic, social and environmental costs of transport and the level playing field

16. Is aware of the considerable investments made by many transporters under difficult economic conditions and, welcomes the improvements in terms of the training of drivers, enhanced vehicle specifications and the quality of animal transport noted in the Commission's report; regrets, however, that the Commission's findings lack sufficient reliable data; takes note that owing to the considerable investments required, many producers and slaughterhouses, most of them small ones, have ceased activity, especially in isolated and peripheral areas of Europe;

17. Points to the considerable differences existing between Member States as regards the costs of upgrading vehicles (for example a range of € 250 to € 6000 for the installation of satellite navigation), which seriously affect the level playing field within the Internal Market, and criticises the Commission for not having investigated the reasons for these differences;

18. Calls on the Commission, in view of the situation described above, to present a full evaluation of all the economic, environmental and social costs incurred by the transport of animals;

19. Believes that animal welfare legislation, as a matter of principle, should be based on science; calls on the Commission, therefore, to update the rules on animal transport in relation to the gaps existing between the legislation and the latest scientific evidence as identified by EFSA;

20. Welcomes the fact that in its report the Commission used the scientific research presented by EFSA, which highlights the need to significantly reduce the length of transport time for horses and correlates with the suggestions advanced in Parliament’s Written Declaration of 25 February 2010;

21. Regrets that despite the new scientific evidence on horse transportation times submitted by EFSA, no recommendations for legislative changes were included in the Commission's report; requests that the Commission propose a considerably shortened maximum journey limit for all movements of horses for slaughter, in accordance with Council Directive 2009/156/EC; insists furthermore on a thorough, science-based review of welfare standards for horses, if necessary accompanied by legislative proposals, including a reconsideration of vehicle design standards, space allowances and water provision;

22. Points out that Recital 9 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 requires that suitable provisions should be proposed for poultry as soon as the relevant EFSA assessments are available; regrets, therefore, that the Commission's report does not take the transport of poultry into account, despite the fact that poultry constitute the main category of animals transported in Europe; calls on the Commission, accordingly, to review the existing EU legislation on the transport of poultry on the basis of the latest scientific evidence;

23. Calls on the Commission and Council to review Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 in the light of the latest scientific evidence published by EFSA, and to introduce improvements relating in particular to space allowances, such as using a kg/m2 calculation for horses and an algometric equation relating size to body weight for cattle and sheep, and linking the maximum stocking density of broilers in containers to thermal conditions;

24. Requests the Commission, in its bilateral trade negotiations with third countries, to demand implementation of the EU’s animal welfare rules and to defend the internationalisation, within the framework of the World Trade Organisation, of the Community provisions on the subject;

Control and implementation

25. Welcomes the information on the introduction of a navigation system for monitoring the transport of animals, but is disappointed that large differences in implementation exist between Member States and that overall this system is being used only to a limited extent for the purposes of monitoring the transport of animals; requests that the Commission make legislative proposals before 1 January 2014, aimed at creating an EU-wide common framework for data collection and control through satellite navigation, based on the uploading of data in real time;

26. Expresses disappointment that better use has not been made of emerging technologies which would assist in this area and reduce costs in the long run;27.  Calls for a transition to electronic technologies so that Member States can make things easier for companies by facilitating the storage and communication of data requested by the various administrative offices;

28. Calls on the Commission to undertake research into how new and existing technology can be applied in livestock vehicles to regulate, monitor and register temperature and humidity, which are essential elements for controlling and protecting the welfare of specific categories of animals during transport, in line with the EFSA recommendations;

29. Stresses that inspections must be carried out uniformly throughout the Union and on an adequate proportion of the animals transported each year within each Member State, in order to guarantee and maintain the proper functioning of the internal market and avoid distortions of competition within the EU; calls, in addition, on the Commission to increase the number of unannounced FVO spot inspections focused on animal welfare and the transport of animals; believes that differing methods of data collection and control mechanisms make it difficult to establish an accurate picture of compliance in individual Member States; calls therefore on the Commission to adopt a more harmonised reporting structure and to undertake further analysis of the data generated by FVO inspection reports and from Member States’ returns relating to their Multiannual National Control Plan (MANCP);

30. Urges the Commission to ensure that veterinary controls on animals to be transported take place at the end of their transport.

31. Is concerned that significant differences have arisen in individual Member States' interpretation of the rules, since this threatens the aims of the Regulation and distorts competition; calls on the Commission, therefore, to publish appropriate clarification and guidance documents for the Regulation so as to eliminate the possibility of it being interpreted arbitrarily;

32. Notes that any deficiencies in implementation are frequently the result of legal requirements which cannot be implemented in practice or which are incompatible with national law; calls on the Commission to check the current Regulation for such incompatibilities;

33. Is concerned that certain Member States are prepared to tolerate blatant infringement of the provisions of the Regulation, such as the acceptance of transport schedules which are impossible to fulfil, overstocked vehicles and inadequate space allowances;

34.  Calls also on the border authorities of each Member State to collaborate and share information regarding the crossborder transportation of animals;

35. Calls on the Member States to introduce effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for infringements of the Regulation, pursuant to Article 25 thereof; draws attention to the differing levels of penalties and sanctions for the same infringement in different Member States, and calls for a greater harmonisation of sanctions across the EU to ensure better enforcement of the Regulation; requests that the Commission present, before 1 July 2013, a report analysing the penalties for serious infringements relating to animal welfare in road transport in all Member States, comparable to its report on penalties in the area of social rules in road transport(9);

36. Draws attention to the rules on responsibility, in which responsibility for the transport of unfit animals is not sufficiently clearly defined to ensure that animals unfit for transport are not transported, while the persons sanctioned are not necessarily in a position to prevent the transport;

37. Calls on the Commission to pursue legal action against, and impose sanctions on, those Member States which fail to apply the Regulation correctly;

38. Calls on the Member States to strengthen controls across the entire production chain in order to halt practices that infringe the Regulation and worsen the conditions for the transport of animals, such as allowing overstocked vehicles to continue their journeys, or permitting control posts with inadequate facilities for resting, feeding and watering the animals to continue in use;

39. Is of the opinion that the appropriate education and training of freight carriers and transporters is indispensable for the proper treatment of animals, thus forming a basis for their protection and wellbeing; calls on all Member States to improve or extend their education and training programmes, as obligatory under Regulation (EC) No 1/2005; notes that the duration and standard of training courses vary greatly between Member States; demands, therefore, the preparation of clear EU guidelines with a view to developing better and more uniform training courses for drivers and animal handlers;

40. Stresses the key role to be played by retailers, food service companies and food manufacturers in ensuring that in their private standards meat originates from animals which have been reared and slaughtered locally and have been transported in conditions that respect their welfare;

41. Expresses concern at the number of reports of inappropriate vehicles being used to transport live animals both on land and at sea, and calls for the monitoring of such practices to be stepped up;

42. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and to the Commission.

(1)

OJ C 308E, 16.12.2006, p. 170.

(2)

OJ C 279E, 19.11.2009, p. 89.

(3)

OJ C 81E, 15.3.2011, p. 25.

(4)

OJ C 362/05, 2.12.1996, p. 331.

(5)

OJ C 103E, 29.4.2004, p.36.

(6)

OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p.1.

(7)

Official Journal of EFSA 2011:9(1):1966 (125 pp.)

(8)

Official Journal of EFSA 2011:9(1):1966 (125 pp.)

(9)

COM(2009)225


JUSTIFICATION

Since 1997 the European Union has had in place rules regulating the issue of animal welfare during transport. These rules aim to eliminate technical barriers to trade whilst simultaneously providing a high level of animal welfare. EU legislation on the welfare of animals during transport was updated by Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations, which came into force on 5 January 2007.

Article 32 of the Regulation requires the Commission to submit, within a period of four years following the date of this Regulation coming into force (by 5 January 2011), a report to the European Parliament on ‘the impact of this Regulation on the welfare of animals being transported and on the trade flows of live animals within the enlarged Community. In particular, the report shall take into account scientific evidence on the welfare needs of animals, and the report on the implementation of the navigation system, as well as the socio-economic implications of this Regulation, including regional aspects. This report may be accompanied, if necessary, by appropriate legislative proposals concerning long journeys, in particular on journey times, resting periods and space allowances’. The Commission submitted this report on 10 November 2011.

The rapporteur’s assessment of the Commission’s Report on the impact of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport is positive, though he believes that the report does not contain a full assessment of all the economic, social and environmental costs of animal transport. Moreover, the rapporteur is concerned about the fact that the data from the Member States contained in the report, without the possibility of their verification, may not fully reflect the actual state of affairs, particularly due to fact that different methods and control mechanisms are in use in individual Member States.

The report states that during the 2005-2009 reporting period there was a significant increase in the number of animals transported: the number of cattle transported increased by 8 %, the number of pigs by 70 %, the number of sheep by 3 %, and only with horses was a decrease of 17% recorded. The aim set out in Recital 5 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, namely that ‘for reasons of animal welfare, the transport of animals over long journeys, including animals for slaughter, should be limited to the greatest extent possible’ has therefore not been achieved. Thus, the aim of the Regulation has not been achieved regarding limiting animal transport. EU policy in this respect should therefore be reviewed.

The rapporteur believes that the transport of meat and other animal products is a technically easier and economically more reasonable solution when compared to the transport of live animals. Resources should therefore be made available to support local sales and shorten the food delivery chain. EU policy in this regard should be reviewed and should be directed at supporting local processing, small local slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, based on the supply of animals for slaughter from the immediate vicinity.

In particular, the rapporteur believes that the petition signed by over one million EU citizens calling for the maximum transport time for animals destined for slaughter to be restricted to eight hours should be taken into consideration.

The report recognises that transport enterprises incurred most of the significantly increased costs of ensuring compliance with the regulations on animal welfare, especially due to the necessary upgrading of vehicles by equipping them with insulated roofs, animal watering devices, drinking water heating systems, satellite navigation systems and artificial ventilation devices, as well as greater labour and fuel costs. These costs have not been reflected in the market prices for live animal transport, which have remained at the same level or have decreased. The rapporteur believes that these costs should also be borne by other entities involved in animal production.

The harmonised implementation and enforcement of the rules on animal welfare is crucial for maintaining high animal welfare standards and preventing market distortions in the EU. The report considers that there are significant deficiencies in the implementation of the legislation by some Member States. The rapporteur therefore believes that further action is required to ensure that the implementation and enforcement of EU rules is better harmonised across the EU. In particular, the rapporteur believes that implementing measures detailing the control measures to be applied would be useful, along with harmonised sanctions.

The rapporteur wishes to addresses several important conclusions to the Commission. These concern, in particular:

-    full assessment of all the economic, social and environmental costs of animal transport, as well as an examination of their influence on meat product prices in the EU,

-    development of an objective and reliable system for evaluating the welfare of animals during transport,

-    consideration of a legislative initiative aimed at limiting the transport time of animals destined for slaughter to eight hours, with some exceptions based on geographic conditions, and the option of longer transport of some animal species confirmed by scientific research results, provided that the rules on animal welfare are complied with,

-    taking action in relation to Member States with a view to ensuring full and uniform control of compliance with animal control requirements.

In relation to Member States, the rapporteur advocates considering the creation of specialised monitoring institutes to monitor compliance with the rules on animal protection and welfare, including the conditions for the transport of animals, and calls for an end to practices which infringe the Regulation and worsen the conditions for animal transport.


OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (9.5.2012)

for the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

on the protection of animals during transport

(2012/2031(INI))

Rapporteur: Kartika Tamara Liotard

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety calls on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Welcomes the Commission’s report on the impact of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, which concludes that the regulation has had beneficial effects as regards the welfare of animals during transport, but that severe animal welfare problems persist(1); regrets that the Commission does not intend to propose any changes to the EU’s legislation on animal transport; regrets that this report ignores recital 5 of the regulation, which states that ‘for reasons of animal welfare the transport of animals over long journeys should be limited as far as possible’;

2.  Regrets the fact that the report ignores the EFSA recommendation on developing strategies to reduce the volume of transport and the long-distance transport of animals for slaughter and cut journey times, in order to diminish the risk of transport-associated disease outbreaks(2);

3.  Regrets that there is no mention in the Commission’s report of one of the recommendations of the EFSA scientific opinion, i.e. that priority should be given to direct transport, without stopovers (e.g. livestock markets) entailing the risk of direct or indirect contact with animals from other holdings(3);

4.  Calls on the Commission to examine under which criteria reducing the volume of transport by transporting carcasses and meat instead of live animals would have a positive impact on the environment, by reducing pollution, improving the carbon footprint of the transport sector, and encouraging the development of local production and consumption; also points out that the transport of carcasses or meat is more sustainable than that of live animals; takes the view, therefore, that only carcasses or meat should be transported over long distances;

5.  Calls on the Council and Commission to develop a strategy for moving towards a more regional model of livestock production in which, wherever practicable, animals are born, fattened and slaughtered in the same region instead of being transported over extremely long distances;

6.  Considers that, also with regard to diminishing the risk of transport-associated disease outbreaks, food quality and food safety, it would make sense to create incentives for the regional breeding, marketing and slaughter of animals in order to reduce unnecessarily long animal transport times;

7.  Calls on the Commission to abolish export refunds for livestock, in order to prevent or reduce unnecessarily long animal transport times;

8.  Notes that the provisions of the regulation concerning transport time, resting time and space allowance are not based on a scientific opinion of SCAHAW or EFSA, but have been taken from the previous directive(4); notes with regret that, despite the existence of clear conclusions from EFSA, parts of the regulation are not in line with current scientific knowledge, especially as regards transport of horses, transport of poultry and rabbits, space allowance, temperature requirements, and internal height of compartments, and that the report is not accompanied by any proposal;

9.  Points out that Recital 9 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 requires that suitable special provisions should be proposed for poultry as soon as the relevant EFSA assessments are available; regrets, therefore, that despite the existence of new scientific evidence and the EFSA recommendations(5), the Commission’s report has not been accompanied by any legislative proposals in relation to the transport of poultry, even though poultry constitute the most commonly transported animal type in Europe;

10. Calls for horses to be reclassified separately from other farm animals, with a view to reflecting their specific physical, physiological and behavioural characteristics as described in the EFSA report(6); calls for the introduction of a specific journey limit for horses (to slaughter), with immediate effect.

11. Calls on the Commission to review the maximum height (currently 4 metres) for heavy goods vehicles, and to increase it where appropriate in the case of vehicles used in the transport of animals, so as to prevent animal welfare problems that arise as a result of inadequate head height in cargo holds;

12. Recalls that Article 32 of the regulation states that the Commission report shall take into account ‘scientific evidence on the welfare needs of animals’, and may be accompanied if necessary by appropriate legislative proposals concerning long journeys; recalls the EP’s Written Declaration 49/2011, signed by a majority of Members, which calls for the limiting of the transport of animals for slaughter to a maximum of 8 hours, as well as the 8-hour initiative supported by more than one million European citizens; calls on the Commission and Council, therefore, to review Regulation 1/2005 in order to establish a total 8-hour maximum limit for the journeys of animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered; calls on the Commission and Council, therefore, to review Regulation 1/2005 in order to establish a time limit of significantly less than 8 hours for the journeys of animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered;

13. Calls on the Commission and Council to review Council Regulation (EC) N° 1/2005, and to introduce improvements relating to the following aspects:

-    vehicle specifications;

-    conditions during transport, such as compartments, provision of drinking water, temperature and humidity;

-    special driver training, appropriate speed and careful loading and unloading, to enable drivers to cope with the animals they transport;

-    increasing minimum space allowances and tightening the rules on the transport of pregnant and/or wounded animals;

     also calls on the Commission to take the appropriate steps to encourage mobile abattoirs and promote the re-establishment of local abattoirs in order to encourage slaughter close to production and marketing;

14. Considers that the reports submitted yearly by the Member States are essential for understanding the impact of the legislation and taking appropriate corrective action; calls on the Commission to make better enforcement of the regulation a high priority; calls on the Commission to adopt measures on controls and a more harmonised reporting structure by 1 January 2013, and to draw up a report on the progress made in the Member States;

15. Believes that some of the provisions of the regulation are leaving too much room for interpretation by competent authorities of Member States, thus giving rise to inconsistencies in enforcement; calls on the Commission to propose technical amendments to the current legislation where needed;

16. Calls on the Commission to ensure the effective and uniform application of existing EU legislation on the transport of animals in all Member States; together with sufficient inspections conducted at national level, this should ensure and preserve the proper functioning of the internal market, avoiding distortions of competition between Member States;

17. Calls on the Member States to take all necessary steps to ensure that the legislation is enforced, in particular by checking that the journey logs submitted are realistic and compliant with the legislation;

18. Urges the Commission to take measures to increase cooperation and communication between the competent authorities in different Member States; calls on the Commission to increase the number of FVO inspections focused on animal welfare and the transport of animals; stresses that inspections must be carried out on an adequate proportion of the animals transported each year within each Member State;

19. Calls on the Member States to actively enforce a system of inspections that checks animal welfare conditions before, during and after transport and is backed up by a robust system of effective and dissuasive sanctions;

20. Points out that there are insufficient inspection stations in some Member States, and that it is therefore impossible to carry out adequate controls on animal transport or the unloading of animals in emergency situations; welcomes, therefore, the fact that the Commission’s report announces more controls on animal transport; also calls for greater efficiency in those controls;

21. Urges the Commission to ensure that veterinary controls on animals to be transported take place at the end of their transport.

22. Calls on the Commission to research how new and existing technology can be applied to livestock vehicles in order to regulate, monitor and register temperature and humidity, which are essential elements for controlling and protecting the welfare of specific categories of animals during transport, in line with the EFSA recommendations; stresses that the use of new technology must not lead to longer animal transport times;

23. Urges the Commission to consider introducing a legal basis for requiring on-board navigation systems to able to transmit positioning data and other animal welfare indicators in real time to the competent authorities;

24. Welcomes the Commission’s recognition that navigation systems have failed so far to achieve their potential in terms of delivering the anticipated beneficial impact on enforcement of the regulation; calls on the Commission to require those systems to have the capacity to transmit data in real time to an EU database;

25. Stresses that a better use of Satellite Navigation Systems would help reduce the administrative burden on transport companies and aid the competent authorities in each Member State in improving the quality of controls, especially those on travelling times and resting periods; considers that new and more effective control systems, such as monitoring transport with the help of satellite positioning systems, would help improve the situation and enable a more transparent implementation of the rules; takes the view that use of these new technologies would also ease the burden on crossborder authorities and organisations;

26. Requests the Commission, in its bilateral trade negotiations with third countries, to demand implementation of the EU’s animal welfare rules and to defend the internationalisation, within the framework of the World Trade Organisation, of the Community provisions on the subject.

27. Recalls that two former Commissioners responsible for animal welfare, Mr Kyprianou and Mr Vassiliou, both promised in the European Parliament to pursue a legislative initiative with the purpose of introducing a time-limit on the transportation of animals; regrets deeply that so far the Commission has failed to live up to these promises to Parliament;

28. Calls on the Commission to revise the legislation concerning the authorisation of transporters; urges it to suggest that where a competent authority establishes that a transporter has not respected the transport regulation, that transporter’s authorisation could be suspended or withdrawn in all Member States, and not only in the Member State concerned;

29. Calls on the Commission to revise the legislation concerning the certificate of approval of means of transport; urges it to suggest that where a competent authority establishes that a means of transport does not comply with the transport regulation, its certificate of approval could be revoked or withdrawn in all Member States, and not only in the Member State concerned;

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

8.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

51

1

2

Members present for the final vote

Kriton Arsenis, Sophie Auconie, Pilar Ayuso, Paolo Bartolozzi, Lajos Bokros, Martin Callanan, Nessa Childers, Chris Davies, Esther de Lange, Anne Delvaux, Bas Eickhout, Edite Estrela, Karl-Heinz Florenz, Elisabetta Gardini, Matthias Groote, Françoise Grossetête, Cristina Gutiérrez-Cortines, Satu Hassi, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Holger Krahmer, Jo Leinen, Peter Liese, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Linda McAvan, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Antonyia Parvanova, Mario Pirillo, Pavel Poc, Frédérique Ries, Anna Rosbach, Oreste Rossi, Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, Horst Schnellhardt, Richard Seeber, Bogusław Sonik, Åsa Westlund, Glenis Willmott, Sabine Wils, Marina Yannakoudakis

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Nikos Chrysogelos, João Ferreira, Filip Kaczmarek, Judith A. Merkies, James Nicholson, Alojz Peterle, Michèle Rivasi, Marita Ulvskog, Vladimir Urutchev, Andrea Zanoni

(1)

   Report from the Commission to Parliament and the Council on the impact of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport, COM(2011)700, p.9

(2)

   EFSA Scientific Opinion Concerning the Welfare of Animals during Transport, EFSA Journal 2011, 9(1), 1966, p. 86

(3)

    EFSA Scientific Opinion Concerning the Welfare of Animals during Transport, EFSA Journal 2011, 9(1), 1966, p. 86

(4)

   Council Directive 91/628/EEC of 19 November 1991 on the protection of animals during transport and amending Directives 90/425/EEC and 91/496/EEC; OJ L 340, 11.12.1991, p. 17.

(5)

   EFSA Journal 2011, 9(1):1966

(6)

   EFSA Report on the Welfare of Animals during Transport (2011) p. 86


OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (10.5.2012)

for the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development

on the protection of animals during transport

(2012/2031(INI))

Rapporteur: Luis de Grandes Pascual

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Supports the objectives of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations(1), and observes that its implementation has led to increased costs for transport companies, mainly owing to the new requirements as regards vehicle facilities; expresses disappointment that better use has not been made of emerging technologies which would assist in this area and reduce costs in the long run;

2.  Emphasises that EU legislation must guarantee animal welfare in transport and stresses that it is important to take the economic costs into account while also avoiding harm or stress to animals; emphasises that, if full compliance is achieved across the Union, this should not lead to any distortion or loss of competition in the free trade of goods, or unfairly disadvantage the EU’s outermost regions, peripheral areas and islands; calls on the Commission to monitor the situation to ensure that this continues to be the case;

3.  Stresses that all activities relating to the protection and welfare of animals must be based on the principle that animals are sentient creatures, whose specific needs must be considered in the drafting of EU legislation; notes that animal welfare problems persist and recalls that Recital 5 of the aforementioned regulation states that ‘for reasons of animal welfare the transport of animals over long journeys [...] should be limited as far as possible’; asks the Commission to assess whether reducing the volume of transport of live animals by increasing the transport of carcasses would have a positive impact on the environment, improving the carbon footprint of the transport sector, and on regional development;

4.  Notes that the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe recommends that animals should be reared as close as possible to the premises on which they are born, and slaughtered as close as possible to the point of production;

5.  Recalls that Article 32 of the aforementioned regulation states that the Commission report must take into account ‘scientific evidence on welfare needs of animals’, and may be accompanied if necessary by appropriate legislative proposals concerning long journeys; calls on the Commission and the Council, therefore, to revise Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 in order to establish a maximum eight-hour journey limit for animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered, as also requested in Written Declaration 49/2011, adopted by Parliament on 15 March 2012; suggests that this maximum eight-hour limit could be enforced effectively by, inter alia, incorporating it into the digital tachograph instrument;

6.  Calls on the Commission to examine the economic impact of adapting road infrastructure (animal loading and unloading areas, rest areas, availability of drinking troughs, etc.) before adopting new legislation on resting time for animals;

7.  Notes that Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 requires vehicles transporting animals on long journeys to use a satellite navigation system to aid enforcement; believes that such systems would do more to improve enforcement if they transmitted data regarding travelling times and rest periods to the competent authorities in real time;

8.  Expresses disappointment that existing satellite navigation devices are not used widely enough in the Member States owing to a lack of harmonisation of the technical specifications for their use; calls for these systems to be used equally in all Member States in order to provide effective monitoring and supervision of the transport of animals;

9.  Calls on the Commission to research how new and existing technology can be applied in livestock vehicles in order to regulate, monitor and register temperature and humidity, which are essential elements for controlling and protecting the welfare of specific categories of animals during transport, in line with European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommendations;

10. Calls for a transition to electronic technologies so that Member States can make things easier for companies by facilitating the storage and communication of data requested by the various administrative offices;

11. Calls on the Commission to consider harmonising monitoring tools so as to enable data collection to be standardised, while reducing administrative tasks and the unnecessary use of multiple instruments on board; expresses concern at the number of reports of inappropriate vehicles being used to transport live animals on both land and sea, and calls for the monitoring of such practices to be stepped up;

12. Considers that good training for transporters and people accompanying animals in transit, in particular education of drivers, is the basis for animal protection and welfare, as it is essential for the proper handling of animals, and therefore calls on the Member States to step up training and education programmes where necessary;

13. Agrees with the Commission’s approach based on the introduction of measures to improve compliance with this legislation in the Member States, including the publication of general guidelines to ensure proper interpretation of the regulation and the drawing-up of codes of good practice, but emphasises that guidelines and codes of good practice alone will not ensure compliance, and therefore stresses the need for frequent and thorough inspections to be carried out routinely at both land and sea borders;

14. Expresses disappointment that the regulations are often inadequately enforced in the Member States and that their uniform application leaves much to be desired; calls on the Commission to take every available step to promote and monitor the standardised application of these regulations;

15. Calls on the Member States to ensure the implementation of the minimum standards which are in force in relation to the inspection of the transport of animals, and to impose sanctions that are effective and proportionate and act as a deterrent; highlights the fact that particular attention must be paid to checking journey time and rest periods, feeding and watering intervals, space allowances for animals in vehicles, vehicle ventilation and the effective functioning of animal watering systems; also calls on the border authorities of each Member State to collaborate and share information regarding the cross-border transportation of animals;

16. Calls on the Commission to assess the need to standardise sanctions in the various Member States in relation to the transport of animals;

17. Considers that the reports submitted annually by the Member States are essential to understanding the impact of the legislation and taking appropriate corrective action; calls on the Commission to adopt measures on controls and a more harmonised reporting structure by 1 January 2013;

18. Calls on the Commission to pursue legal action against, and impose sanctions on, those Member States which fail to apply the regulation correctly.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

8.5.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

38

1

3

Members present for the final vote

Magdi Cristiano Allam, Inés Ayala Sender, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Philip Bradbourn, Antonio Cancian, Philippe De Backer, Christine De Veyrac, Saïd El Khadraoui, Ismail Ertug, Carlo Fidanza, Knut Fleckenstein, Jacqueline Foster, Mathieu Grosch, Jim Higgins, Juozas Imbrasas, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Georgios Koumoutsakos, Werner Kuhn, Jörg Leichtfried, Bogusław Liberadzki, Eva Lichtenberger, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Gesine Meissner, Hubert Pirker, Dominique Riquet, Petri Sarvamaa, Vilja Savisaar-Toomast, Olga Sehnalová, Brian Simpson, Keith Taylor, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău, Giommaria Uggias, Thomas Ulmer, Peter van Dalen, Artur Zasada

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Spyros Danellis, Michel Dantin, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Sabine Wils, Janusz Władysław Zemke

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Janusz Wojciechowski

(1)

OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

11.10.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

31

4

3

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Eric Andrieu, José Bové, Luis Manuel Capoulas Santos, Vasilica Viorica Dăncilă, Michel Dantin, Paolo De Castro, Albert Deß, Diane Dodds, Herbert Dorfmann, Robert Dušek, Mariya Gabriel, Iratxe García Pérez, Julie Girling, Béla Glattfelder, Martin Häusling, Esther Herranz García, Peter Jahr, Elisabeth Jeggle, Jarosław Kalinowski, Elisabeth Köstinger, Agnès Le Brun, George Lyon, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Mairead McGuinness, James Nicholson, Rareş-Lucian Niculescu, Wojciech Michał Olejniczak, Georgios Papastamkos, Marit Paulsen, Britta Reimers, Alfreds Rubiks, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Alyn Smith, Janusz Wojciechowski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Alejandro Cercas, Ismail Ertug, Petri Sarvamaa

Last updated: 8 November 2012Legal notice