REPORT on the investigation of alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to the protection of animals during transport within and outside the Union

14.12.2021 - (2020/2269(INI))

Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport
Rapporteurs: Daniel Buda, Isabel Carvalhais

Procedure : 2020/2269(INI)
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on the investigation of alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to the protection of animals during transport within and outside the Union


The Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport within and outside the Union,

 having regard to Article 226 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

 having regard to Decision 95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 19 April 1995 on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament’s right of inquiry[1],

 having regard to its Decision (EU) 2020/1089 of 19 June 2020 on setting up a committee of inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to the protection of animals during transport within and outside the Union, and defining its responsibilities, numerical strength and term of office[2],

 having regard to Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which stipulates that ‘pursuant to the principle of sincere cooperation, the Union and the Member States shall, in full mutual respect, assist each other in carrying out tasks which flow from the Treaties’,

 having regard to Article 17(1) TEU, which stipulates that the Commission ‘shall oversee the application of Union law under the control of the Court of Justice of the European Union’,

 having regard to Article 13 TFEU, which stipulates that in formulating and implementing the Union’s policies, ‘the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals’,

 having regard to Article 258 TFEU,

 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[3],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products[4],

 having regard to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific opinion[5] of 2 December 2010 concerning the welfare of animals during transport,

 having regard to the EFSA scientific opinion of 29 January 2009 entitled ‘General approach to fish welfare and to the concept of sentience in fish’[6],

 having regard to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Aquatic Animal Health Code,

 having regard to the Commission study entitled ‘Welfare of farmed fish: Common practices during transport and at slaughter’ of September 2017,

 having regard to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 23 April 2015 in Case C-424/13[7],

 having regard to the European Court of Auditors Special Report No 31/2018 on animal welfare in the EU[8],

 having regard to its resolution of 14 February 2019 on the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport within and outside the EU[9],

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 16 December 2019 on animal welfare[10],

 having regard to the Council report[11] of 22 April 2021 with the outcome of the questionnaire to contribute to the planned evaluation and revision of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport as regards long distance transport to third countries,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 28 June 2021 on animal welfare during maritime long distances transport to third countries[12],

 having regard to the Commission overview report on welfare of animals exported by road[13],

 having regard to the Commission overview report on welfare of animals exported by sea[14],

 having regard to the Commission overview report on systems to prevent the transport of unfit animals in the EU[15],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 18 February 2021 entitled ‘Trade Policy Review – An Open, Sustainable and Assertive Trade Policy’ (COM(2021)0066),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ‘A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system’ (COM(2020)0381),

 having regard to the Commission report of 26 January 2018 on the impact of animal welfare international activities on the competitiveness of European livestock producers in a globalized world (COM(2018)0042),

 having regard to the EU trade strategy ‘Trade4All’ of 14 October 2015 and the Union’s trade values contained therein,

 having regard to the in-depth analysis entitled ‘Patterns of livestock transport in the EU and to third countries’, published by its Directorate-General for Internal Policies on 5 July 2021[16],

 having regard to the OIE Aquatic Animal Health Strategy 2021-2025[17],

 having regard to Rule 208 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Article 226 TFEU provides a legal basis for the establishment by Parliament of a temporary Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions or maladministration in the implementation of Union law, without prejudice to the jurisdiction of national or Union courts, and whereas this constitutes an important element of Parliament’s supervisory powers;

B. whereas, on the basis of a proposal by the Conference of Presidents, Parliament decided on 19 June 2020 to set up a Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to the protection of animals during transport within and outside the Union;

C. whereas a contravention implies the existence of illegal conduct, namely an action or omission in breach of the law, on the part of Union institutions or bodies or Member States when implementing Union law;

D. whereas maladministration means poor or failed administration that occurs, for example, if an institution fails to respect the principles of good administration, and whereas examples of maladministration include administrative irregularities and omissions, abuse of power, unfairness, malfunction or incompetence, discrimination, avoidable delays, refusal to provide information, negligence, and other shortcomings that reflect a malfunctioning in the application of Union law in any area covered by such law;

E. whereas the Committee of Inquiry started work on 23 September 2020, setting out the methodology for its work consisting of public hearings, missions, consultations of experts, requests for data, evidence and research;

F. whereas Article 13 TFEU states that ‘in formulating and implementing the Union’s agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage’;

G. whereas Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 clearly states that ‘no person shall transport animals or cause animals to be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering to them’ and its recital 5 states that ‘for reasons of animal welfare the transport of animals over long journeys ... should be limited as far as possible’;

H. whereas the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 23 April 2015 ruled that in order for a transport operation in the framework of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 to be authorised by the competent authority of the place of departure, the organiser of the journey must submit a realistic journey log which indicates that the provisions of the regulation will be complied with, including for the stages of the journey taking place outside the EU;

I. whereas the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 19 October 2017 in Case C-383/16[18] ruled that Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 fully applies from departure in the EU until the place of destination, even if the destination is in a third country;

J. whereas the Member States are not enforcing Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 stringently and strictly enough within the EU and are not enforcing it at all outside the EU;

K. whereas transporting unweaned animals is particularly problematic;

L. whereas journey logs are often incomplete and provide an estimated journey time which is unrealistically short;

M. whereas the internal height of transport vehicles often fails to meet minimum standards and transport vehicles often have insufficient litter; whereas the partitions in transport vehicles are often inadequate;

N. whereas the phenomenon of ‘assembly centre hopping’ also exists, with animals being shifted from one assembly centre to the next in order to disguise the duration of transport;

O. whereas a number of reasons exist for the movement of live animals, including marketing, fattening, slaughter, rearing and breeding, as well as competitions and exhibitions;

P. whereas it is often possible, technically easier and sometimes more rational for animal welfare reasons to transport meat and genetic material, and other animal products instead of transporting live animals for the purpose of slaughter and breeding;

Q. whereas according to EFSA’s scientific opinion from January 2011, the transport of animals is considered a major risk factor in the spread of infectious animal diseases in the EU[19];

R. whereas every year millions of animals are transported over both short and long distances within and between Member States and to third countries; whereas this can be substituted conveniently by the transport of meat, animal products and genetic material;

S. whereas in 2019 approximately 1.4 billion cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats and horses were traded across the Member States and 4.3 million cattle, 3.3 million sheep and goats, 36.9 million pigs, 1 300 million poultry and 55 692 horses were traded between the Member States, with poultry being the most traded group of animals, representing at least 57 % of the total number of traded live animals for all Member States[20];

T. whereas a number of countries or regions in the EU and globally have banned the transport of live animals over long distances to third countries and overseas, and others are considering the measure as it is impossible for the transport to be carried out in line with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, as well as being impossible to assess the real conditions during long-distance journeys to third countries;

U. whereas EU citizens are increasingly keen to see compliance with animal welfare standards, especially in live animal transports;

V. whereas extensive studies prove that animal welfare has an impact on meat quality;

W. whereas 2.8 million sheep and cattle were transported by sea to Croatia, France, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain in 2018[21];

X. whereas around 700 000 cattle and sheep are exported annually from the EU to Turkey, a high number of cattle (70 000) is also transported to Lebanon, mainly departing from France and Spain, and France further exports cattle to Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco[22];

Y. whereas in 2018 around 239 000 breeding cattle, 78 000 cattle for slaughter, 416 000 pigs, 2.4 million sheep and 14 000 goats were exported from the EU to third countries for breeding or slaughter, and in 2019 around 230 million cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep were exported from the EU to third countries, with poultry being the most traded farmed livestock, accounting for 98 % of the exports[23];

Z. whereas over 600 000 pigs are sent each year from the EU to Russia, as well as to Ukraine and Moldova, and pigs often undergo long-distance transports from Germany to Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Serbia[24];

AA. whereas the EU’s main trade partners depend on animal species, with Ukraine being a major trade partner in 2019, when it imported 84.6 million terrestrial farmed animals, most of them poultry, and Belarus, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco and Albania being other important destinations of EU poultry exports in 2019, mainly coming from Poland, with about 61.9 million animals, followed by Hungary with 35.6 million animals, the Netherlands with 29.8 million animals and France with roughly 25.4 million animals[25];

AB. whereas the value of the intra-EU trade in live animals was EUR 8.6 billion in 2018, with bovine animals, pigs and poultry having the highest values; whereas the export of live animals represents around EUR 1.6 billion[26];

AC. whereas the Commission must ensure that all Member States correctly apply EU legislation on animal transport, not only to ensure animal welfare but also to avoid unfair competition;

AD. whereas European livestock farms employ around 4 million people (waged and non-waged), 80 % of whom reside in the more recent EU Member States[27];

AE. whereas geographical location should not act as a barrier to the free movement of goods, people and services, as guaranteed under the EU Treaties;

AF. whereas livestock farming is the main beneficiary of second pillar aid to farms in disadvantaged areas, which make up 50 % of the European utilised agricultural area, and of Agro-Environmental Measures, which compensate for the additional costs linked to unfavourable location or the obligations of having to respect specific legislation[28];

AG. whereas fitness for transport is defined differently in the Member States, and whereas there is often confusion among those responsible about what needs to be done if animals are declared unfit for transport;

AH. whereas intra-EU trade in fish plays an essential role within the EU fishery trade as a whole and whereas in 2014 it accounted for 86 % of total trade within and outside the EU, with the volumes sold within the EU reaching 5.74 million tonnes with a value of EUR 20.6 billion, the highest registered since 2006[29];

has adopted the following conclusions:

General findings

1. Emphasises that transport is stressful for animals, regardless of the means of transport, and often has a negative impact on their health and welfare and on consumer health, especially when transport is poorly planned or reliant on outdated technology and equipment, or otherwise not properly conducted;

2. Notes that it is particularly difficult to enforce Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 where a transport passes through a number of Member States and where various Member States have approved the journey log and have issued the transporter with the authorisation and the registration certificate for the vehicle, and the certificate of competence for the driver; notes further that where Member States identify violations of the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, they must notify such violations to all other Member States, in accordance with Article 26;

3. Takes note of the fact that, although factors such as extreme temperatures, lack of food, water and rest, loading and unloading[30] are catalysed by the length of the journey, it is not the duration of the journey per se that causes welfare issues for live animals during transport; further notes that, provided conditions are optimal, healthy and fit farm animals could potentially be exposed to long transport durations without necessarily compromising their welfare[31];

4. Emphasises that the transport regulation was adopted more than 15 years ago and that it does not set the conditions in line with the most recent scientific research and knowledge about the physiology and needs of animals;

5. Emphasises that live animal transport is the result of the specialisation of farmers in one or more stages of the animal’s life, of the management of environmental issues and of the various production systems across the EU, which arise from different geographical, climatic, environmental and traditional factors, and that it supports the economic strength and social vibrancy of territories across the EU, which contain main production areas located in depopulating areas or in areas with natural constraints across the EU;

6. Recalls that in the Council conclusions of 16 December 2019 on animal welfare, all Member States recognised the challenges that long-distance transport implies for animal welfare, the shortcomings and inconsistencies in enforcing the rules and the need for better rule enforcement, as well as the need to review and update the current legislation, in the light of the latest scientific knowledge;

7. Recalls, in this respect, that Article 1(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 allows Member States to adopt stricter national measures aimed at improving the welfare of animals during transport taking place entirely within their territory or during sea transport departing from their territory;

8. Recalls that the Commission, in its 2011 report on the impact of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, identified a gap between the requirements of the legislation and the available scientific evidence; recalls, furthermore, that the Commission identified the enforcement of the regulation as a major challenge, partly because of differences in the interpretation of the requirements and partly because of the lack of controls by the Member States;

9. Regrets the fact that the Commission did not adequately follow-up on Parliament’s resolutions of 12 December 2012 on the protection of animals during transport and of 14 February 2019 on the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport within and outside the EU, which, among other things, contained clear calls for shorter transport times for animals and better checks on compliance with EU rules in order to protect animals during transport;

10. Regrets the lack of cooperation by several Member States on filling in the questionnaire sent by the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport within and outside the Union, which led to missing data on possible infringements happening on the ground;

11. Emphasises the call by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) that animals should be reared as close as possible to the premises on which they are born and that they should be slaughtered as close as possible to the point of production[32];

12. Stresses that Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 is not always complied with within Member States, and does not fully take into account the different transport needs of animals according to species, age, size and physical condition, or specific physiological and ethological aspects, feeding and watering requirements, or temperature, humidity and handling;

13. Recalls the need to revise the transport regulation in order to ensure that drivers do not need to choose between following the rules and the welfare of the animals;

14. Concludes that many of the problems in animal transport originate from unclear legislative provisions, misleading requirements and the lack of clear definitions, which leave room for interpretation; stresses that all of this is often the source of systematic violations and unharmonised and uneven application of the rules, increasing the risks for animals and for their well-being; further stresses that this undermines the level playing field between operators in the sector, leaving the companies and Member States which abide by the rules facing unfair competition from those which do not, which in turn can lead to a ‘race to the bottom’ regarding animal welfare standards during transport; considers, therefore, that undertakings, whether they are responsible for breeding, fattening, transport or imports or exports, must fulfil their responsibilities entirely;

15. Welcomes the Commission’s fitness check of the EU legislation on the welfare of farmed animals proposed within the Farm to Fork Strategy, especially of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005;

16. Notes that wherever Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 is implemented appropriately by each Member State, it has a positive impact on the welfare of animals during transport;

17. Notes that certain Member States adhere to and, in many cases, surpass the requirements deemed necessary under Regulation (EC) No 1/2005;

18. Welcomes the fact that the Commission has mandated EFSA to assess the most recent scientific information available on the welfare of the main terrestrial farm species during transport and on risks to their well-being, and highlights the urgent need to assess the most recent scientific information on the welfare of fish and companion animals during transport;

19. Emphasises that EFSA has recognised that scientific publications on animal welfare are scarce[33] and that this may represent a limitation in complying with the Commission’s mandate to update the legislation to take account of the latest scientific evidence;

20. Stresses the need to guarantee the equal treatment of animals regardless of their commercial value, and to ensure the best transport conditions at all times;

21. Welcomes the fact that a number of national competent authorities are carrying out scientific research into the impact of transport on live animals;

22. Points out that the suffering of animals causes great concern and indignation in society, which, among other things, resulted in the Commission receiving one million signatures on 21 September 2017 for the #StopTheTrucks campaign, in which European citizens called for an end to the long-distance transport of animals;

Enforcement of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005

23. Calls attention to the recurring audit reports and to information from citizens, NGOs and public authorities on animal welfare problems during transport and non-compliance with the regulation, in particular concerning long journeys and transport to third countries, compromising the European Union’s capacity to meet its obligation to ensure the protection of animal welfare during transport from loading until final destination, both within the EU and in third countries;

24. Recalls the information provided by NGOs over previous decades and the complaints lodged with the Commission on the alleged failure to comply with Regulation (EC) No 1/2005; takes note of their conclusions of systematic breaches of the regulation; expresses concern about the information provided by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety in its official Audit Report regarding the failures of the Member States audited in implementing Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, as well as the risk of animals suffering during transport;

25. Acknowledges the letters sent by the Commission, in the framework of the Farm to Fork strategy, asking Member States to ensure immediate and full compliance with EU requirements, including on animal welfare during transport, and expressing its determination to take legal action in the event of systemic or repeated non-compliance; notes the lack of follow-up investigations resulting from the information provided by citizens and NGOs; regrets that, unfortunately, no infringement proceedings, which should be launched in the event of non-compliance, have been opened by the Commission against any Member State, despite repeated violations of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 by some Member States;

26. Welcomes the provisions of the new common agricultural policy, which contribute significantly to farm animal welfare through the cross-compliance mechanism and by encouraging livestock farmers to apply higher standards through the financial support granted under rural development policy;

27. Notes that the most frequently documented violations during transports are linked to the lack of headroom, animals being unfit for transport, overcrowding, inappropriate watering devices or the lack of water supply and food causing animals to dehydrate, transport during extreme temperatures and inadequate ventilation inside the means of transport, considerably prolonged journey duration and the failure to observe resting times; also takes note of other common violations such as disregard for the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-424/13, non-realistic journey logs and non-feasible contingency plans; notes further that the most frequently documented violations for transport by sea are the lack of trained personnel handling the animals and of contingency plans for transporters;

28. Notes the need to improve the checking of journey logs; the application and proportionality of sanctions; the training of drivers and companies; and the certification process for means of transport by road and livestock vessels, so that means of transport that cannot offer good transport conditions are refused certification;

29. Points out that animal welfare during transport could be better ensured by recording and checking data in real time via GPS, video surveillance and other technologies;

30. Points out that the space allowances as defined in the regulation create room for different interpretations by the competent authorities and transporters, in particular when adaptations are needed to take account of meteorological conditions and journey times; stresses that overcrowding is particularly harmful for animals when combined with inadequate ventilation;

31. Recognises that unclear requirements for headroom may often lead to situations where animals are not able to stand in their natural position, undermining the objective of protecting animals during transport and insists that more scientific evidence is needed to provide accurate recommendations;

32. Recognises that negligent practices have been reported in the loading of animals without observing the requirements for their separation in accordance with age, namely by mixing weaned and unweaned animals, different species and sizes, whether they have horns and whether they are pregnant heifers, while acknowledging the exceptions provided for in point 1.13 of Chapter III of Annex I of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005;

33. Takes note of several reports of incorrect handling during animal loading and unloading, causing unnecessary stress, suffering, injuries and increased mortality, including among particularly fragile species such as poultry or rabbits; stresses that proper animal handling results in better welfare for animals, potentially shorter loading and unloading times, reduced weight loss, fewer injuries and wounds, reduced instances of disease and health risk, and, ultimately, a better meat quality and reduced risk of antimicrobial resistance, which goes up when animals are transported in close and stressful spaces; recognises the existence of unsuitable loading facilities and the improper handling of animals during loading of vessels, such as by using sticks and electric prods;

34. Finds that inadequate partitions in road vehicles constitute a common violation of  Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 and have the potential to cause injuries to animals;

35. Stresses that according to Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, the farmer, the driver and transport companies share responsibility for assessing whether animals are fit for transport but, although having different responsibilities in reality, the division is ill-defined in the regulation and should be better addressed, namely regarding liability issues; points out that this shared responsibility risks giving each party involved responsibility for breaches of animal welfare over which they have no control, and have no possibility to detect, as the farmers are the ones who know the history and status of the animals prior to transport; notes further that the transporter generally has limited previous information about the animals (in particular concerning pregnant females) and only a short period before the loading phase to check it;

36. Notes that the most common breaches in this respect concern the transport of pregnant animals, animals more than 90 % of the way through gestation, which sometimes give birth on board, downers (with physiological weakness and/or wounds or a pathological condition), and animals with wounds or prolapses;

37. Notes with concern that journey logs are often submitted and approved with unrealistic or missing information, or providing no information on the journey at all;

38. Regrets the significant economic challenges faced by small local slaughterhouses; regrets, in particular, that slaughterhouses are being restructured and their number reduced;

39. Deems it necessary to support the development of on-farm slaughter, using mobile slaughterhouses, in order to remove the need to transport live animals wherever possible;

Authorisation procedures and approval of means of transport

40. Is very concerned about the number of reports of inappropriate vehicles being used to transport live animals, whether by land or by sea, and recognises the major differences between the Member States in interpreting and enforcing the regulation, as far as the approval of the means of transport is concerned, especially with reference to the legislative requirements for road vehicles regarding the watering system, with particular attention to the needs of unweaned animals;

41. Calls for the adoption of harmonised and binding standards for the authorisation of vehicles and vessels transporting live animals, including for the condition and satellite navigation system of the vehicles;

42. Recalls that the vessels transporting live animals have generally not been built for livestock transport, are very old, often not appropriately converted, and therefore do not meet animals’ behavioural and species-specific needs in these cases, and present a risk for the well-being of humans and animals alike; highlights that there are a total of 80 vessels with a European license, of which 54 % are licensed in countries blacklisted for poor performance under the Paris Memorandum of Understanding;

43. Points out with concern that the inspection and certification procedures for livestock vessels are not harmonised and lack mandatory inspection criteria in some Member States, which is aggravated by the fact that the results of these procedures are not communicated between Member States, leading to situations where a vessel that has been rejected in one Member State is approved in another, while it also appears that vessels could suddenly operate under a different name and in this way request a new license; notes and is deeply concerned that in some cases there is evidence that the authorities in some Member States have approved and/or permitted the use of vessels which do not comply with the EU rules on animal welfare, noting that a vessel may operate from every Member State once approved by a single Member State;

44. Takes note of the Commission’s findings that, with some exceptions, the systems in place for livestock vessel approval are insufficient to minimise the risks, mainly because the majority of the competent authorities inspecting livestock vessels do not have adequate procedures, or access to specific technical expertise (for example the services of a veterinarian or a marine surveyor), to verify vessels’ emergency systems, systems for water pumps and feeding, ventilation and drainage, all of which are critical for animal welfare during a journey on a livestock vessel and require sufficient controls; regrets the fact that veterinary and maritime authorities usually work in an isolated way, while their knowledge and work are complementary to carrying out proper checks of vessels;

45. Acknowledges the Commission’s intention to develop, together with the European Maritime Safety Agency, a European Union database of inspections of sea vessels, aimed at establishing a common register of checks to allow all Member States to see all the previous checks performed on a vessel and their results;

46. Acknowledges the existence, in general, of national guidelines for the approval of livestock vehicles for road transport, but regrets the lack of harmonisation of these guidelines and that they are not always followed during the approval procedures, which keeps them from being coherent and efficient; further regrets the lack of guidelines for the approval of vessels;

47. Highlights that relying solely on the voluntary uptake of guidelines[34] on the protection of animals during transport, rather than updating legal provisions in order to fully implement those guidelines’ standards, has proven insufficient to effectively protect animals during transport and has increased the discrepancies between Member States and between companies; recalls that the guidelines published by the Commission must be in line with, and updated according to, EFSA research and recommendations on animal welfare, as well as in line with Regulation (EC) No 1/2005;

48. Underlines that the inadequate definition of ‘place of destination’ creates significant loopholes, as, in practice, it is difficult to distinguish between a real destination and a mere place of transfer, and given that some journeys are sometimes approved with an obviously false final destination, such as a harbour;

49. Agrees that the weaknesses related to the approval of road transport vehicles can be linked to certificate templates being too general and not designed on a species and age-specific basis, thereby affecting the quality of inspection procedures by not providing enough detailed information;

50. Acknowledges that some road transport vehicles, particularly if carrying animals for which they were not authorised, are not structurally appropriate and do not guarantee appropriate drinking facilities, safety and comfort to the transported animals and can create unfair competition; regrets that appropriate new and innovative solutions for watering and feeding systems, as well as solutions to better accommodate live animals during all journeys covered by Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, are still lacking or have not yet been introduced by all operators; stresses that stability and predictability are needed for those companies which are working correctly to promote investments in their infrastructures;

51. Notes that in a high number of vehicles, drinking facilities are not adapted to the specific drinking behaviour or size of the transported animals: are out of reach for the animals or are not available in sufficient number or with adequate distribution; regrets the fact that the current Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 does not give precise species- and category-specific indications about the type or required number of watering devices inside the transport vehicle; regrets the fact that repeated incidents of animal suffering occur during transport due to the lack of water; recalls that EU authorisations protocols for vehicles are needed;

52. Notes that the vehicles used for transporting animals inside and outside the Union are often not equipped with air cooling systems; highlights that despite ventilation systems moving air through the animal compartment, the internal vehicle temperature will nevertheless generally be higher than the external temperature, as a result of the animals’ own body heat, in particular when the vehicle is stationary, and this is not sufficiently reflected in the regulation; recognises that new and innovative solutions for temperature regulation on vehicles have not been implemented in most cases;

53. Recalls that, while under the current legislation, the submission of contingency plans in the event of emergencies is a legal requirement to obtain transporter authorisations for long journeys, this is not implemented for each journey and the possible specific needs thereof; observes with concern that few competent authorities, road transporters and transport organisers have feasible contingency plans to respond to emergency situations and, when available, they do not always cover a broad enough range of scenarios; notes that this can have huge consequences, especially for animals transported at sea if emergencies arise; notes that the crew’s and the driver’s knowledge of contingency plans is not always verified;

54. Stresses that the contingency plans required under Article 11(1)(b)(iv) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 for long journeys, which enable the transporter to limit the impact on the animals of any delay or accident, must be effective, realistic and extended to all journeys;

55. Regrets the fact that, under the current framework, the certificate of competence for the drivers and attendants of the means of transport in some Member States can be valid for life, without any mandatory requirement set at European level for refresher courses and skills updates;

56. Recognises that training and education are essential to safeguarding the welfare of animals during transport, to guaranteeing that transport operators are well-prepared for activating contingency planning and ensuring that species-specific requirements are properly met; recognises that the workers responsible for the handling of animals in the ports, in particular, do not always receive appropriate training and the welfare of the animals is not always guaranteed and is often violated; notes the fact that the training of the staff involved in the transport of animals, as well as their loading and unloading, varies in quality in different Member States and the minimum requirements for driver training are insufficient, and transporters have to organise staff training by themselves;

57. Requests the competent authorities, and in particular veterinarians, not to issue a transport authorisation when it is already apparent that the transport scheduling and/or the temperature forecast are not such that it can be assumed that the transport will be able to take place in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005;

58. Notes that, where companies infringe the rules on the transport of live animals, this results in unfair competition; calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop a procedure to quickly withdraw the licences of such companies;

59. Recalls also, in this context, the directive to strengthen the protection of whistleblowers, in particular in the context of veterinary checks;

60. Stresses the need to develop harmonised procedures for approving transport and to take steps to prevent the spread of infectious animal diseases during transport, both within the Union and from third countries;

Controls and data collection and exchange

61. Recalls that the Official Controls Regulation (EU) No 2017/625 will replace, as of 15 December 2022, several provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, namely on checks on long journeys, training of the competent authorities’ staff, checks at exit points, emergency measures in the case of non-compliance, mutual assistance and exchange of information, infringements and on-the-spot checks by the Commission, and emphasises the need for frequent and thorough inspections; calls on the Commission to make sure that the content of Article 14 of the current Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 remains compulsory after 15 December 2022;

62. Recalls that according to the Court of Auditors report from 2018, most of the national authorities did not use the information available in the Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES) to target their inspections and/or audits, in part due to existing user access restrictions; recognises that a better use of the TRACES system for the performance of retrospective checks should be ensured; stresses the importance of training operators to use the TRACES system;

63. Takes note of the modifications to TRACES in place since January 2020, allowing Member States to see all journeys of the transports they have authorised and all journeys stopping at control posts located in their country;

64. Notes that further improvements to data collection systems and to TRACES can and should be made in the current legislative framework, to help harmonise procedures between Member States’ competent authorities; recalls that the development of software to handle long and cross-border journeys is still ongoing, but could, if applied EU-wide, largely harmonise clearance and the underlying plausibility check to verify route planning and weather conditions; recalls that any of the aspects to be monitored for the plausibility check can be digitalised or are already available in digitalised form;


65. Expresses concern that the Member States are not required to record data on the transport of animals directly exported from their territories to outside the EU in TRACES; regrets the absence of an EU-wide collection of transport data, which leads to a lack of comprehensive data in the Member States, as well as the Commission: points out that the data collected in the Member States and in the TRACES system has not yet been centralised, making it impossible to follow up on systemic breaches of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, and likewise regrets the continuing lack of data collection and reporting from third countries;

66. Calls on the Commission to provide better guidance to Member States on how TRACES can help them to better target their inspections;

67. Is aware that, despite the high level of non-compliance during animal transport, reporting of infringements between the Member States is poor, which makes the monitoring of intra-EU cross-border transport very difficult; points out that effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions against those who breach the regulation are still lacking; recalls that no EU-wide standard exists for the control and monitoring of long and cross-border animal transport by the competent authorities, especially outside EU borders;

68. Recalls that Member State authorities frequently delegate the responsibility for carrying out the risk analyses for transport inspections to local or regional authorities; highlights the complexity, ineffectiveness and poor digitalisation of the reporting systems, involving several entities at local and national level in each Member State; is aware that this results in communication difficulties between central, regional and local authorities, and among Member States; observes that insufficient exchange of information between authorities leads to inadequate enforcement of Community legislation for the protection of animals during transport;

69. Points out that Member States are solely responsible for creating sanction systems, which ultimately leaves each of them to define their own administrative and sanctioning procedures, as well as the level of penalties for infringements in the event of animal welfare violations during transport, thereby resulting in very different systems, sanctions that are inefficient and not dissuasive enough, as well as unfair competition between operators all across the EU, and the avoidance of some routes, leading, in some cases, to longer transport distances and times; highlights the challenges involved in sanctioning drivers coming from other Member States in the event of animal welfare violations; underlines the importance of a harmonised system of sanctions and regrets that no progress has been made in this direction;

70. Expresses concerns over the fact that checks are insufficient and of varying quality in the majority of the Member States, in particular road checks and retrospective checks, which often results in bypassing the territory of some Member States and unnecessary prolongations of the journey;

71. Points out that the level of police training and the number of police officers trained to inspect animal transport varies greatly between Member States and is insufficient in several countries, with proper control often being the result of individual efforts; highlights further that the number of official veterinarians and other authorised personnel qualified to carry out inspections of vehicles and vessels transporting animals is also insufficient; notes that this situation, to which the lack of equipment and infrastructure is added, results in insufficient regular and proper checks on animal welfare during transport; stresses that the total number of checks carried out by national competent authorities pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 has fallen, despite the number of consignments in the EU containing live animals having increased;

72. Recognises the difficulties for competent authorities in performing checks and in collecting data, particularly on end-of-the journey log information and satellite navigation system data, which create difficulties when assessing journeys and performing retrospective checks, as well as for imposing sanctions on transporters from other Member States; recognises that this is due in part to the current system of paper journey logs and the lack of agreed standards for satellite navigation systems;

73. Welcomes the Commission’s view that new technological advances in geolocation, electronic journey logs and tracing can allow for more data collection and analysis, thereby helping to improve risk analysis, targeted controls and inspections; insists nevertheless that road-side inspections of animal transport vehicles randomly picked out from the flow of traffic are essential and complementary;

74. Recalls the 2015 judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-424/13, which states that, in order for transport involving a long journey which commences on the territory of the European Union and continues outside that territory to be authorised, the transporter must submit a journey log which is realistic and accurate, so that compliance with Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 can be verified;

75. Emphasises the need for a harmonised EU sanctions system in order to ensure that sanctions are effective, proportionate and dissuasive, and that they take account of repeat offences, even where committed in different Member States;

Journey times and resting periods

76. Points out that the welfare of live animals during transport must be assured at all times, from loading to destination, regardless of the length of the journey; recalls that, according to Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, all necessary arrangements shall be made in advance to minimise the length of the journey and meet the animals’ needs during the journey, but notes that there have been recurrent breaches of the regulation in this regard; recalls that the length of a journey is one of the factors that increases the stress and suffering of animals during transport, and considers that many of the severe problems are related to the length of journey; recalls that, according to Annex I, Chapter V, point 1.2 of the regulation, journey times should not exceed eight hours but may be extended if the additional requirements of Chapter VI are met; recalls that expert opinions from the OIE, EFSA and the FVE state that journeys should be as short as possible; takes note of the increase in the number of long and very long journeys from 2005 to 2015;

77. Regrets the fact that, in spite of the mandatory use of control post facilities for unloading, watering, feeding and resting of animals during long journeys, their availability and quality is not always sufficient to house the animals properly or the vehicles’ drivers do not always stop or unload the animals as required by the regulation, as has been reported on various occasions; regrets that the evaluation of the suitability of control posts has not been harmonised, and calls for improved availability and quality of resting posts;

78. Regrets the fact that control post facilities for unloading, watering, feeding and resting of animals during long journeys are not always identified on journey logs, as required, or do not comply with EU standards; notes that certain Member States and regions have attempted to verify the suitability of control posts outside of the EU, but this effort is not harmonised and gives rise to a non-level playing field;

79. Recalls that the current Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 does not give precise indications about the amount and the type of bedding to be made available for livestock; stresses that dirty or insufficient bedding exposes animals to the risk of injuries, cold and lack of physical comfort when lying down, and contributes to negative health conditions and unnecessary suffering;

80. Takes note of the indications that many competent authorities often approve and stamp journey logs with unrealistically short estimated journey times, as well as with other missing information, in clear contravention of the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005; considers that the calculation of journey times must be as accurate as possible, including in the TRACES system; regrets that the GPS tracking data are not shared on a mandatory and automatic basis for the purpose of retrospective and real-time monitoring and for assessing information on the journey and journey times;

Loading and unloading

81. Stresses that loading and unloading operations are particularly problematic in terms of animal welfare; calls on the Member States to carry out systematic and effective inspections before animals are loaded, particularly when loading onto ships;

82. Stresses the need for official veterinarians to be present during the loading of animals, particularly when loading onto ships; emphasises that inspections are particularly necessary for preventing the transport of unfit animals and any mistreatment during loading;

Temperature during transport

83. Points out that exposure to temperatures outside the legal range allowed by Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, of between +5 ºC and +30 ºC degrees, occurs often and is one of the main causes of animal welfare problems, in particular exposure to high temperatures, which leads to heat stress, including shortness of breath, exhaustion, suffering and, in extreme cases, even death during transport; recalls that exposure to very low temperatures can cause hypothermia, including shivering, stiff muscles and freezing; acknowledges the existence of a +/- 5 ºC tolerance granted by the regulation for the temperature inside the vehicle, which should not be interpreted as the legal range; calls on the Member States to require the use of new temperature technology inside vehicles to ensure optimal temperature during transport, regardless of the time of year;

84. Regrets that Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 only contains a general provision on temperature, lacking indications about the temperature-humidity index, given the influence of humidity in heat stress in animals at various temperatures, even below 30 ºC, or about species-, category- and age-specific optimal temperature ranges which take into account factors such as shearing or body condition, among others; regrets that new and innovative solutions for temperature regulation on vehicles are still lacking;

85. Recalls that Annex I, Chapter II, point 1.2 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 states that animals’ compartments must provide sufficient space to ensure adequate ventilation inside vehicles and not hinder the natural movement of animals;

86. Recalls that, according to Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, the means of transport by road for long journeys must be fitted with a temperature monitoring and recording system, as well as with a means of recording such data to be provided to competent authorities on a compulsory basis; regrets the lack of mandatory requirements for such systems in livestock vessels, a situation which has to change; regrets the lack of mandatory requirements in the regulation for short-distance journeys;

Fitness for transport and categories of vulnerable animals: unweaned, gestating and end-of-career animals

87. Regrets the fact that in spite of provisions in the current regulation prohibiting the transport of animals considered not fit for transport, and despite the fact the Commission itself has stated that this is still a common occurrence in the EU, infringement proceedings against the Member States concerned have not been initiated[35];

88. Regrets that although, according to the regulation, watering devices must function properly and be appropriately designed and positioned for the different categories of animals (size and species) to be watered on board the vehicle, water is often reported as not available to animals because the devices are inappropriate for the species transported or for unweaned animals incapable of using them, unhygienic, or the water supply has not been switched on; notes that new and innovative solutions for watering and feeding systems are still lacking, and that unweaned calves are often not fed with the mandatory milk or milk substitutes needed, during the resting period;

89. Recalls that fitness for transportation is a major factor in ensuring animal welfare during journeys, as risks during transport are greater for vulnerable animals; stresses that unweaned, pregnant, as well as end-of-career animals are particularly vulnerable animal categories and that the provisions in Regulation (EC) 1/2005 do not reflect species-, age- and status-specific needs according to the latest scientific knowledge and recommendations;

90. Expresses its concern over the fact that male goat kids are transported from different farms to the slaughterhouse at 7-10 days old, while they are not able to stand firmly on their legs yet and are deprived of milk, even though they solely depend on it for their nutrition, causing them to arrive at the slaughterhouse in very bad and weak condition;

91. Stresses the vulnerability of unweaned animals and that the current minimum age for the transport of calves is too low and should be reviewed, supported by scientific evidence; recalls that in 2004 EFSA concluded that the transport of very young terrestrial animals should be avoided;

92. Points out that unweaned calves younger than 35 days more often experience physiological weakness, vulnerability to disease and immature immune systems, and it is not always possible to give them the required care and feeding; notes that the condition and quality of care of animals before transport can be improved to promote their immunity and that the assessment of fitness for transport is a critical point; highlights that, according to the presentations made by various experts during meetings of the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport within and outside the Union and to the former sub-group of the EU Animal Platform on Animal Welfare, more scientific evidence is needed to support good practice in the transport of young animals, and highlights that the current provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 are not adapted to the needs of these animals or to guaranteeing their welfare;

93. Recalls the Commission’s recommendations from 2009 to the competent authorities to ensure that unweaned animals are offered electrolytes or milk substitutes during the resting period; and points out that metal nipples are not suitable for unweaned calves; stresses that veterinary experts indicate that unweaned animals need a resting period after feeding for digestion before transport; notes, therefore, that feeding unweaned animals during transport in lorries is not currently possible, given that rubber teat systems and other drinking devices to deliver water on trucks do not meet these animals’ feeding needs, and that other innovative solutions are needed;

94. Stresses the vulnerability of gestating animals and highlights that, according to veterinarians, the maximum stage of gestation allowed for transport should be reconsidered; recalls that, according to the European Implementation Assessment of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, ascertaining the state of pregnancy of live animals is still problematic[36], and those responsible for the transports are often uncertain how far the pregnancy has progressed;

95. Points out that animals at the end of their productive life are a vulnerable category due to their age and often deteriorated health or the presence of injuries and the difficulty in assessing their fitness, as well as their ability to cope with transport; notes that these animals are also of lesser value to transporters, and may therefore be at higher risk of neglect; recalls that Member States must find solutions to improve animal welfare for animals at the end of their lives and production cycles;

Species not adequately covered by Regulation (EC) 1/2005

96. Highlights the need for EFSA to assess the most recent scientific information on the welfare of fish during transport, as there are currently no provisions in the regulation for the welfare of fish which are transported in large numbers and have immune systems especially vulnerable to stress; stresses in particular the requirements regarding oxygen levels, pH, salinity and temperature during transport; recalls, furthermore, the Commission’s identification of shortfalls in the regulation with regard to fish, together with divergent and non-comprehensive guidelines across Europe; considers also that the provisions of the regulation fall short in key areas, including the allocation of responsibilities, elements of journey planning, ensuring fitness to travel, monitoring and maintaining water quality, the design of vehicles and fittings and post-transport monitoring; recalls that inappropriate transport conditions cause fish suffering and health issues;

97. Emphasises that due to the complex relationships between the various needs and requirements of farmed fish and their behavioural and physiological consequences, as is the case for all animals, it is impossible to find one single measurement or welfare indicator that will cover all possible husbandry systems, farmed species and situations;

98. Stresses the need to ensure, during the transport of fish and shellfish:

 water quality and respect for the fasting period essential to that quality;

 the absence of diseases in the fish and shellfish; and

 the absence of injuries to the fish and shellfish;

99. Notes that recital 9 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 provides for the adoption of specific provisions for poultry, following the relevant opinions of EFSA; highlights, however, that the Commission has not made any proposal for legislation on the protection of poultry during transport; notes, furthermore, the transport of over a million poultry between Member States each year, and over 200 000 000 to third countries, and that the current provisions of the regulation neither protect them as it should, nor are they properly enforced, particularly with regard to the lifting and handling of animals prior to transport; notes, furthermore, that the regulation does not provide species‑specific protection for rabbits;

100. Notes that recital 9 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 foresees the adoption of specific provisions for cats and dogs, following the relevant opinions of EFSA; recalls, however, that since the regulation entered into force no relevant EFSA opinions have been published, and no specific provisions for cats and dogs have been introduced; highlights the need for increased efforts to collect data on commercial transport of companion animals;

101. Stresses that the provisions on the transport of Equidae are vague and lacking in detail, such as in the case of the requirements on partitions, and are insufficient to ensure the fitness of these animals for transport, leading to frequent breaches of the regulation and serious animal welfare problems; underlines that registered horses are exempt from a variety of provisions, which can put their welfare at risk; points out, moreover, that many of the technical requirements set out in the regulation are incompatible with the needs of Equidae, and sometimes contradict scientific recommendations;

102. Stresses that a vast body of scientific evidence points to the incompatibility of the derogation for long and very long journeys with the needs of Equidae;

Specific provisions on transport by sea

103. Highlights that, where proper infrastructure is lacking, the high number of animals moving quickly and simultaneously from trucks to vessels hinders the adequate inspection of individual animals and increases the risk of injury to those animals; stresses that many ports of export are not equipped with facilities such as housing facilities where animals can be unloaded, inspected, fed, watered and allowed to rest, particularly in the event of delays, and that where facilities exist they are not always used, and lack the means to euthanise animals when injured; points out that loading ramps in some cases are steeper than the maximum slope permitted by the regulation, and the entry to vessels at the end of the loading ramp is often unlit; considers that journey logs do not always reflect the reality of animals’ sea journeys; recalls that journeys by sea are not limited in time; stresses that overloading may lead to suffering of animals and can also be one of the causes leading to accidents;

104. Notes the current absence of EU-wide data collection on the number of livestock which die during transport; is concerned that animals which die on board are often thrown into the sea, despite the need to observe the Marpol Convention on marine litter, which includes animal carcasses; considers the existence of adequate facilities on board to deal with dead animals to be fundamentally important;

105. Stresses the lack of clarity of the provisions in Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the identification not only of the organiser and the transporter on the sea journey leg, particularly when the operation involves several consignments with different origins, but also of the person responsible for animals on board; regrets the lack of an authorised transporter for the sea leg of the journey in some cases; notes that the Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety audits found that a majority of approved journey logs did not identify the authorised transporter and livestock vessel, causing legal uncertainty concerning accountability for animal welfare; notes the limited number of inspections after the loading of a vessel, contrary to the recommendations of the Network document on the approval and inspection of livestock vessels[37];

106. Considers that the presence of a veterinarian for the leg of the journey at sea to provide support for sick or injured animals on vessels constitutes good practice;

107. Notes that, according to the questionnaire sent by the Portuguese Presidency, crew training and competence on sea vessels is identified by a majority of Member States as difficult to enforce; notes in particular that, in the last two years, most EU-approved vessels were found to have deficiencies under the Maritime Labour Convention of 2006, mostly concerning life-saving appliances or working and living conditions;

108. Emphasises the need to promote mobile slaughterhouses, particularly in island and mountain areas, to reduce considerably the transport of live animals, particularly injured or end-of-career animals, and to encourage direct sales;

109. Stresses the urgent need to strengthen the monitoring of compliance with maritime safety standards by livestock vessels, in particular by enforcing the requirements laid down in Articles 20 and 21 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005;

Transport of live animals to third countries

110. Welcomes the Commission’s efforts to promote EU standards internationally, in the framework of the OIE; considers that the rules on the well-being of animals in third countries provide a lower level of protection than the EU standards and regrets the fact that OIE standards are not sufficiently applied in third countries;

111. Stresses that once livestock consignments cross the EU border, respect for animal welfare standards cannot always be guaranteed both en route and on arrival, due to the lack of control and authority of the EU[38] in third countries that are not bound by EU legislation; recalls the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which states that EU welfare rules are binding until the final place of destination in third countries; recalls that Member States may suspend exports where they see that animal welfare standards are not or cannot be complied with; considers that more effort is needed to promote best practice in third countries;

112. Highlights the outcome of the 2021 Council questionnaire on the long-distance transport of animals to third countries, pointing out that extreme temperatures, the lack of information on resting points, delays at borders and the lack of communication between Member States and third countries represent the more challenging aspects in terms of enforcing the rules;

113. Points out that transport planning documents often specify only place names and fail to provide precise addresses of control, supply and assembly points, which makes controls significantly more difficult;

114. Recalls also, in this regard, that the only list of animal housing on the routes in third countries dates from 2009, frequently without precise address details, which makes the necessary inspections under EU law significantly more difficult;

115. Stresses that inadequate and unrealistic journey planning in terms of administrative procedures, timing, and lack of coordination with border posts can create a cascade of delays at borders and ports, particularly when a large number of trucks arrive at the port and all animals have to wait to be loaded on board a single vessel;

116. Takes note of the lack of communication and cooperation between Member States’ competent authorities and those of third countries, in particular on mutual assistance and information sharing, which resulted in increased waiting times, cases of non-compliance and unnecessary animal suffering; notes that there is no systematic and evidenced-based communication system between competent authorities from third countries and Member States; recalls the external independent audits which took place outside the EU until 2013 on monitoring, checking and enforcing Regulation 1/2005 during the stages of the journey taking place outside the EU;

117. Agrees with the Commission that the presence of a qualified veterinarian during loading for long journeys to non-EU countries constitutes good practice[39]; recalls that the presence of a veterinarian with no conflict of interest, such as an official veterinarian, can help to ensure compliance;

118. Agrees with the Commission that it is a good practice for competent authorities to inspect all consignments destined for non-EU countries at loading; believes that intra-EU consignments should also be inspected at loading and notes that at loading, competent authorities can check that the regulation’s requirements on floor space and headroom are being observed, that the ventilation and water systems are operating properly, that the drinking devices are working properly and are appropriate for the species being carried, that no unfit animals are being loaded, and that sufficient feed and bedding are being carried;

119. Warns that, in the event of traffic jams, especially when crossing the EU border, no specific priority lane is available for livestock transport, contributing to delays at the border and longer transport times for animals, with a negative impact on their well-being;

120. Notes with concern that control posts are largely not available outside the EU; points out the lack of an EU-level system to verify and ensure the existence of control posts in third countries and that these control posts comply with the rules, as well as the lack of an official EU list of resting posts outside the EU complying with EU standards and which would provide competent authorities with the information necessary for journey log approvals;

121. Notes that the competent authorities do not receive regular feedback from transport companies regarding the data recorded by livestock vehicle devices when they are outside the EU, which makes it impossible to verify whether these transports meet the requirements of the legislation, and is aware of, and concerned about, the fact that many transporters do not comply with the applicable EU rules after leaving the Union;

122. Recognises that currently third countries’ authorities, transporters or ships’ masters do not provide routine feedback on the condition of animals during the sea and road leg of their journey, or on the condition in which they arrive at destination, which makes it impossible, in these cases, to verify whether these transports meet the requirements of the legislation; highlights that there are no EU-wide official statistics about the number of animals arriving dead in third countries, or regarding their health status;

123. Takes note of the best available legislative environments, such as the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System[40], through which the Australian Government legally monitors, audits and holds accountable all actors involved in the supply chain, ensuring traceability throughout the transport of live animals and their welfare at all stages of the journey, from loading until slaughtering in a third country;

124. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to report to Parliament annually on their actions to improve the protection and welfare of animals during transport.


Date adopted





Result of final vote







Members present for the final vote

Asim Ademov, Carmen Avram, Sergio Berlato, Annika Bruna, Daniel Buda, Isabel Carvalhais, Mohammed Chahim, Asger Christensen, Paolo De Castro, Tamás Deutsch, Herbert Dorfmann, Pascal Durand, Eleonora Evi, Emmanouil Fragkos, Jytte Guteland, Anja Hazekamp, Martin Hojsík, Billy Kelleher, Sylvia Limmer, Peter Lundgren, Marisa Matias, Tilly Metz, Marlene Mortler, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Maria Noichl, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Caroline Roose, Harald Vilimsky, Thomas Waitz, Michal Wiezik

Substitutes present for the final vote

Peter Jahr






Asim Ademov, Daniel Buda, Herbert Dorfmann, Peter Jahr, Marlene Mortler, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Michal Wiezik


Carmen Avram, Isabel Carvalhais, Mohammed Chahim, Paolo De Castro, Jytte Guteland, Maria Noichl


Emmanouil Fragkos, Peter Lundgren


Asger Christensen, Pascal Durand, Martin Hojsík, Billy Kelleher


Annika Bruna, Sylvia Limmer, Harald Vilimsky


Tamás Deutsch

The Left

Anja Hazekamp, Marisa Matias


Eleonora Evi, Tilly Metz, Caroline Roose, Thomas Waitz














Sergio Berlato


Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

- : against

0 : abstention





September 2020 - December 2021


* * *



1. Bureau

Tilly Metz



Marlene Mortler

1st Vice-Chair


Anja Hazekamp

2nd Vice-Chair

The Left

Mohammed Chahim

3rd Vice-Chair


Martin Hojsik

4th Vice-Chair




2. Coordinators

Daniel Buda


Marlene Mortler


Michal Wiezik


Carmen Avram


Mohammed Chahim


Asger Christensen


Martin Hojsik


Tilly Metz


Caroline Roose


Sylvia Limmer


Mazaly Aguilar


Peter Lundgren


Anja Hazekamp

The Left


3. Co-Rapporteurs

Daniel Buda


Isabel Carvalhais



4. Shadow-Rapporteurs

Billy Kelleher


Rosanna Conte


Thomas Waitz


Peter Lundgren


Anja Hazekamp

The Left


5. Members


The committee is composed of  Members distributed by political groups as follows:














The Left







List of Members as of 09 December 2021


FULL Members


















M. BUDA Daniel




M. JAHR Peter










Ms MORTLER Marlene (1st VC)




M. MATO Gabriel












M. WIEZIK Michal




Ms SCHNEIDER Christine
























Ms AVRAM Carmen














M. CHAHIM Mohammed (3st VC)


















M. OLEKAS Juozas




















M. BOTOŞ Vlad-Marius



M. DURAND Pascal







M. HOJSIK Martin (4st VC)




















Mme EVI Eleonora







Mme METZ Tilly (Chair)







Mme ROOSE Caroline







M. WAITZ Thomas














Mme BRUNA Annika







Mme LIMMER Sylvia




Ms CONTE Rosanna
























M. FRAGKOS Emmanouil




Mme KRUC Elżbieta










The Left




The Left



Ms HAZEKAMP Anja (2nd VC)







Ms MATIAS Marisa




Ms MODIG Sylvia



















The constitutive meeting took place on 23 September 2021.


The ANIT Committee held 20 ordinary meetings, 8 Coordinators’ meetings and 7 shadow Rapporteurs meetings from September 2020 until December 2021.


ANIT meetings

 20 committee meetings in Brussels/Remote

1 workshop

 on ‘Animal welfare during transport’, in Brussels/Remote, on 25 May 2021


Coordinators’ meetings


 08 October 2020 in Brussels/Remote

 29 October 2020 in Brussels/Remote

 2 December 2020 in Brussels/Remote

 01 February 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 18 March 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 25 May 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 16 June 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 14 July 2021 in Brussels/Remote


Shadow-Rapporteurs meetings


 30 September 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 12 October 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 11 November 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 16 November 2021 in Brussels/Remote

 22 November 2021 in Strasbourg/Remote

 23 November 2021 in Strasbourg/Remote

 24 November 2021 in Strasbourg/Remote

* * *


The ANIT Committee held 3 fact-findings missions, right after being authorized again, from September 2021 until November 2021:


 20-22 September - Mission to Bulgaria - Sofia and border with Turkey

 14 October - Mission to the Netherlands to Schiphol airport (Amsterdam)

 3-5 November - Mission to Denmark - Copenhagen and Billund



All the activities of the ANIT committee were made public in its website: meetings documents (agendas, programme of hearings, written questions and answers by experts), verbatim of meetings (from February 2021), minutes, studies, coordinators decisions, newsletters, results of vote. 

The exhaustive list of documents produced by and for ANIT committee works can be found in EP Public register of documents, through advanced research: they include questionnaires sent to Member States, press releases as well as letters received and sent by the ANIT Committee.

1. Programme of meetings, hearings and missions

The ANIT Committee during its committee meetings held 10 Public hearings, hosting 51 speakers:


 15 representatives from industry

 11 representatives from NGOs

 6 officials from Member States (Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Romania, Germany)

 5 representatives from veterinary associations

 3 authors

 3 representatives from research institutes

 2 auditors

 1 representative from OIE (World Animal Health organisation)

 1 representative from the European Commission


Each speaker invited for a public hearing was asked questions to reply in written ahead of it, and then distributed to Members, becoming a basis to structure the oral debate during the hearing. For sanitary reasons due to COVID 19, all hearings took place on remote, but were all webstreamed and all documents made public in ANIT website.


In addition, The ANIT Committee individually heard during its committee meetings, in separate events:


 4 representatives from Member States (Italy, France, Lithuania, Hungary)

 3 representatives from the European Commission, including the Deputy Director General of DG SANTE, Ms Claire Bury

 2 directors from EFSA, in two different events

 3 presidencies of the Council (Germany, Portugal, Slovenia)

 The AGRI Commissioner, Mr Janusz Wojciechowski

 1 representative from the Court of Auditors






Topic / objective

Wednesday 23 September 2020

9.00 – 12.15

Constitutive meeting

Election of the Chair and the Four Vice-Chairs

press release, webstream

Friday 16 October 2020, 9.00 –11.00

Exchange of views

Exchange of views with Claire Bury, Deputy Director-General for Food Safety of the European Commission


Thursday 29 October 2020, 13.45 – 15.00

and 16.45 – 18.45

Exchange of views

Council Presidency of the European Union: remote visit by Julia Klöckner, German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture

press release, webstream


Remote presentation of the special report 31/18 on Animal welfare in the EU by the European Court of Auditors



Friday 20 November 2020, 10.00 – 12.00

Exchange of views

Presentation by Nikolaus Križ (European Food Safety Authority webstream


Wednesday 2 December 2020, 16.45 – 18.45
Exchange of views

Exchange of views with Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner on Agriculture

press release, webstream

Thursday 10 December 2020, 16.45 – 18.45

Public hearing

Public hearing on Enforcement of Regulation 01/2005 by the Member States and the Commission

ANIT Webpage,press release, webstream

Monday 1 February 2021, 13.45 –16.15

Public hearing

Public hearing on Approval, controls and data

ANIT Webpage,press release, webstream, written verbatim

Thursday 25 February 2021, 9.00 – 12.00 and 16.45 – 18.45

Public hearing and

Exchange of views


Public hearing on Long distance transports of live animals within the European Union

ANIT Webpage, webstream, written verbatim


Exchange of views with Ms Maria do Céu Antunes, Minister of Agriculture, on the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency in the field of animal welfare during transport

ANIT Webpage, webstream, written verbatim


Monday 1 March 2021, 13.45 – 16.15

and 16.45 – 18.45

Public hearing in two parts


Public hearing on Transport of live animals to third countries

ANIT webpage, written verbatim


1st part: Checks and issues when leaving the EU: webstream

2nd part: Checks and issues in the Third countries: webstream


Wednesday 17 March 2021, 9.00 – 12.00

Public hearing


Public hearing on Responsibilities of transport operators and other private stakeholders

ANIT Webpage, press release, webstream, written verbatim

Monday 19 April 2021, 16.45 – 18.45

Exchange of views

Exchange of views with the Commission (DG SANTE)

press release, webstream, written verbatim

Thursday 22 April 2021, 16.45 – 18.45

Exchange of views


Exchange of views with the Commission (DG SANTE) on ANIT hearings (2nd debate)

webstream, written verbatim


Tuesday 25 May 2021,

9.00 – 12.00


Workshop on animal welfare during transport

ANIT Webpage, webstream, written verbatim

Monday 31 May 2021,

13.45 – 16.15

Public hearing

Hearing on Transport of species remaining vulnerable categories of animals

ANIT Webpage, webstream


Wednesday 16 June2021, 9.00 – 12.00

Consideration of draft report

Consideration of draft report and draft recommendation

webstream, written verbatim


Wednesday 14 July 2021, 9.00 – 12.00 and 13.45 – 16.15

Exchange of views


Exchange of views with Dr Vidmantas Paulauskas, Deputy Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service, Lithuania

webstream, written verbatim


Exchange of views with Dr Pierdavide Lecchini, Director General of Animal Health and Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Chief Veterinary Officer, Italy

webstream, written verbatim


Exchange of views with Mr Jože Podgoršek, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, on the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency

webstream, written verbatim


Thursday 15 July 2021,

9.00 – 12.00

Public hearing


Public hearing on Experiences of strengthening and changing legislation, within and outside of Europe


ANIT Webpage, webstream, written verbatim


Thursday 15 July 2021,

13.45 – 15.15

and 16.45 – 18.15

Exchange of views


Exchange of views with Dr Lajos Bognár, Chief Veterinary Officer and Deputy State Secretary for Food Chain Control, Hungary

webstream, written verbatim


Exchange of views with Dr Emmanuelle Soubeyran, Deputy Director of Food and Chief Veterinary Officer, France

webstream, written verbatim


Monday 6 September2021, 13.45 – 16.15

and 16.45 – 18.45
Public hearing


Consideration of amendments



Public Hearing on Alternatives to long-distance live animal transport and alternatives

ANIT Webpage, webstream, written verbatim


Consideration of amendments: webstream, written verbatim

20-22 September


Mission to Bulgaria - Sofia and border with Turkey : press release, report

14 October


Mission to the Netherlands to Schiphol airport (Amsterdam) report

Monday 25 October 2021,

13.45 – 16.15 and 16.45 – 18.45

Consideration of amendments

Exchange of views

Consideration of amendments (2nd discussion): webstream


Exchange of views with European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on ongoing work: webstream

Tuesday 26 October 2021,

9.00 – 12.00

Public Hearing


Public Hearing on Recommendations for the Future:


ANIT Webpage, webstream


3-5 November 2021


Mission to Denmark - Copenhague and Billund :

press release, report

Wednesday 1 December 2021, 16.45 – 18.45

Committee meeting


Thursday 2 December 2021,

9.00 – 9.30 and 16.45 – 17.00



Last debate in committee: webstream



Vote on draft report and draft recommendation:


press release, webstream


Friday 3 December


Co- Rapporteurs’ Press conference: press release, webstream



3. Questionnaire to Member States and questionnaire from the Portuguese Presidency


During their 01 February meeting, ANIT Coordinators agreed to send a questionnaire to Member States, asking them for written replies. As a next step, Member States were invited to oral hearings when ANIT Committee needed some follow up clarifications on replies received.


The content of the questionnaire endorsed by Coordinators at end February was sent by official to the Permanent Representatives to the EU of each Member State on 04 March 2021, asking for a reply before Friday 23rd April 2021: link to the letter sent.



The ANIT Committee has received replies from 9 Member States:  Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Sweden.



In the framework of ANIT collaboration with Member States, the Portuguese presidency accepted to share the outcomes of the questionnaire it launched on long distance transport to third countries (by letter of 04 May 2021).


4. ANIT Committee Mission report to Bulgaria - Sofia and border with Turkey (20-22 September)


Link to the full report

Mission report following the ANIT delegation to Bulgaria 20-22 September 2021

Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport


Members of the mission:

Tilly Metz

(Verts/ALE) (Leader of the mission)

Anja Hazekamp

(The Left)

Martin Hojsík


Daniel Buda


Isabel Carvalhais


Asger Christensen


Caroline Roose


Michal Wiezik

Local member:


Atidzhe Alieva-Veli





A delegation of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport visited Bulgaria from 20 to 22 September 2021.

This mission is the first one that the committee could have due to COVID 19 restrictions. The purpose of the mission was to enable to make additional findings regarding the conditions of the animals exported in trucks by observing them on the spot. The experts invited for the hearings reported the border between Bulgaria and Turkey as one of the critical points where the compliance with Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on protection of animals during transport is low, with severe impact on the welfare of the animals.

While Bulgaria’s exports of live animals is also limited, the country is a major route of the EU’s

live animal trade with third countries, as it borders Turkey, one of the key destination (together with Libya, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia) of live ovines and bovines exported from the EU to third countries. The importance of the Bulgarian-Turkish border for EU exports of live animals explains the high number of consignments checked at the Bulgarian Kapitan Andreevo border post.

Summary account of meetings

Due to COVID 19 restrictions, no introductory briefing or other meetings could take place at the EP information office in Sofia, Bulgaria.

 Meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry

The Chair Tilly Metz introduced the ANIT delegation and warmly thanked Bulgarian Authorities for being the first Member State to send their answers to its questionnaire. The Deputy Ministers of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Georgi Sabev and Krum Nedelkov, welcomed the ANIT mission through an introductory speech and then gave the floor to representatives of the Bulgarian Food Safety Authority (BFSA).


Ms Marina IVANOVA, chief expert at the BFSA Directorate in charge of animal welfare, made a detailed presentation on the compliance with the requirements of Regulation (EC) N° 1/2005 in Bulgaria. According to data from the mission carried out (ref. № 2017-6109), the export of farm animals by road from the EU to Turkey through Bulgaria presented over 45% of the total EU exports in 2017. They years after 2017 showed a significant decrease in the number of shipments of live animals from the EU to Turkey and passing through Bulgaria.


The Main Road Routes from Western Europe to Turkey all end up at Svilengrad, where the motorway crosses the border and where Kapitan Andreevo border point is located.  In 2019, 3006 live animals consignments crossed the Border Inspection Point at Kapitan Andreevo (including 236 977 animals), for which 34 Notifications of reported infringements were made. Due to COVID 19 crisis, these data were down for year 2020 with 2051 consignements and 6 notifications of infringements.

Ms IVANOVA then gave a detailed overview of the most Frequently Reported Infringements During Official Controls, explaining that all infringements have been notified to the Member State of origin.


Ms IVANOVA also informed Members that Bulgarian Authorities developed standing operational procedures for official controls, highlighting that they are publicly available in BFSA website. Corrective actions and sanctions are also foreseen (for instance the confiscation of the animals in favour of the state). She concluded her presentation insisting on the importance of temperature limit.


During the questions and answers session, which followed, Members addressed their questions mainly on the following issues and the Bulgarian Authorities answered as follows:

- the obligation for Veterinarians to be present during transport at sea until final destination when transport to Third countries take place, as Romania already introduced this additional requirement in its legislation, but that Bulgaria did not.

- during the road transport, the presence official veterinarian is systematically present at the point of departure of the animal, but not until its final destination, especially as most of them are directed to Third Countries.

- the sanctions : administrative procedures needs to be fine tuned and also to be complemented by administrative penalties.

- the use of resting points in Bulgaria : BG authorities regularly meet transporters, for which they have created a booking system of resting points. There is only one resting point in Bulgaria for live animals, located in Svilengrad (which MEPs were allowed to visit the next day, as initially not foreseen in the programme). Some vehicles do not use these resting points, because of journey plans.  If the drivers stop in the resting point, a veterinarian is checking but if they don’t’ stop, they can not check.

- the training of Bulgarian police to control animals is effective and enables them to perform ad hoc controls and to stop consignments to check them.

- the gps follow up of vehicles exist but still faces the difficulty that different providers give different info levels. Bulgarian Authorities would like to have a full access to these IT tools.

- the role of the NGOs, their alert in every cases triggering an inspection.

- the regional and/or national temporary bans : if a ban decision is taken, they forward the information to all Member States through the network of national contact points for animal welfare, organized by the European Commission, who regularly meet in Grange. In that regard, they suggested that the list of competent authorities should be extended to OIE partners. When an infringement takes place in Kapitan Andreevo, they also send a report to the Member State concerned.

The debate concluded with suggestions Bulgarian Authorities made to improve 1/2005 regulation. They first confirmed that it is too vague, (for instance the word “sufficient” leading

to very different interpretations) and made a very practical proposal regarding the export to Third Countries, demanding to have access to the information on the resting points outside the EU, not available for the moment. Deputy Minister concluded in that direction that Third Countries should be helped to follow and apply EU 1/2005 Regulation.


 Meeting with veterinary experts at Kapitan Andreevo Border Inspection Point

An extensive delegation of veterinarians in charge of the Border inspection Point at Kapitan Andreevo welcomed ANIT Members to show them in details the controls and checks they perform on the spot.


Deputy Minister Krum Nedelkov already met in Sofia was also present to welcome our Members and in his introductory speech he reiterated the need to adopt a reciprocity approach with Third Countries so that they can increase compliance as well with 1/2005 Regulation.

Three Veterinarians first began with an overview of facilities available in Kapitan Andreevo : priority lanes for live animals trucks, TIR parkings, police taking care of traffic to avoid jams, in order to minimize delays so that animals can leave the EU territory as soon as possible (in average taking 30mn when no controls are needed). They then gave a detailed overview of the control they perform : check of documents, of the exact time of departure of the consignement, of the vehicles and loading, check of the whole duration of the journey and ending by a physical examination of the truck. Temperature and water are the first things checked, ensuring that water tanks are full. Transports in summer are down from 30% in 2020 to 27% in 2021. They explain this trend thanks to meetings of national contact points, the involvement of stakeholders and  NGOs as well as the guidelines and best practices spread out and increasingly used by all Member States.


A questions and answers session followed, where Bulgarian Authorities showed detailed documents they use to perform their controls and to give concrete answers to our Members.

They mainly highlighted the following points of interest for ANIT final report :

- at the exit point from the EU, compliance with animal welfare legislation is checked while the health conditions are checked by the Turkish Authorities on the exports from EU, which take longer (6 hours in average);

- they confirmed their interest to have a register of transporters, which would be very useful, but feasible only by using TRACES system;

- they confirmed they can technically check the bans here, as they’ve seen such cases in the past;

- they were cautious about suggesting changes to the regulation 1/2005, except  :

1) to provide a narrower band for loading density, which should be more precise.

2) sufficient quantity of water should be replaced by full water tank;

3) on the contrary, sufficient feed is excessive in the regulation when distances are very short : compliance should be better ensured from the point of departure with two options : a) to feed aval in the truck b) through a written procedure where they can stock food during the journey

- they haven’t seen any properly equipped truck for unweaned animals

- they confirmed the downward trend of exporting by road live animals (primarily by sea, only 25/% by road)

- regarding the resting points, as many questions were raised, they proposed Members to make them visit the resting points in Svilengrad

 Visit of the Resting point near Svilengrad

At the resting point near Svilengrad, Members had opportunity to visit facilities where animals can rest; due to sanitary restrictions, only 4 Members were allowed to inspect the place and reported that the installations for food, water and bedding fit for purpose.


In parallel, the other Members held a lively debate with a truck driver parked there who openly shared his view on compliance with Regulation 1/2005. The driver, among others, called for more inspections as lack of enforcement leads to unfair competition in favour of non-compliant transport operators. The driver also informed Members that sometimes trucks are stranded in the area between Bulgaria and Turkey for many days and called for improved cross-border cooperation.


 Unofficial meeting with representative of the NGO Four Paws (which participated to an ANIT hearing)

In addition, an unofficial dinner meeting was set up by some Members to meet the Romanian representative of Four Paws, an NGO who communicated the findings of their last investigation made at Kapitan Andreevo in July during a heat wave (temperature above 30°C)

Overall conclusion of the mission

The EP ANIT committee mission met high level representatives of Bulgarian Ministry from the Agriculture and Food Safety Agency as well as veterinarians in the field, and discussed major issues and challenges related to transport of live animals. The Members received first-hand information on the current state of play of enforcement of EU Regulation 1/2005 on animal transport by Bulgarian authorities. Members were also informed about shortcomings in the existing EU legislation and suggestions for improvements, including better definitions, more uniform application and enforcement, and digitalisation of data exchange. This would help the ANIT committee to formulate recommendations for a revision of Regulation 1/2005. Therefore, the mission achieved its main objectives.

*  *  *

ANNEX I - Final programme

ANIT mission to Bulgaria,

20-22 September 2021

Monday 20 September: Individual arrivals in Sofia (Bulgaria)



Meeting point at Hotel Intercontinental lobby


4 Narodno Sabranie Sq, Sofia


Departure by bus from Hotel Intercontinental


4 Narodno Sabranie Sq, Sofia


Meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry


55 Hristo Botev bld, Sofia


Transfer by bus from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to

Hotel Intercontinental Sofia

Tuesday 21 September



Pick-up at hotel Intercontinental Sofia

Transfer by bus from Sofia to Kapitan Andreevo


Lunch offered by Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry for the ANIT delegation (Hotel “Europe Park Hotel” Restaurant)


Hotel accommodation


Transfer to Kapitan Andreevo


Meeting with veterinary experts


Transfer by bus to hotel “Europe Park Hotel”


park “Kenana”, 6300 Haskovo


Wednesday 22 September:


 08:30 Check out and Transfer by bus from Haskovo to Sofia.

 14.00 End of the programme.



ANNEX II - Participants list


Full List of participants ANIT Delegation to Bulgaria 20-22 September 2021



Ms. Tilly METZ, Chair – Greens/EFA (FR)

Ms. Anja HAZEKAMP – The Left (NL)

Mr. Martin HOJSÍK – Renew (SK)

Ms. Isabel CARVALHAIS – S&D (PT)

Mr Daniel BUDA – EPP (RO)

Mr Michal WIEZIK – EPP (SK)

Mr. Juozas OLEKAS – S&D (LT)

Ms Caroline ROOSE – Greens/EFA (FR)

Mr Asger CHRISTENSEN – Renew (DA)

Ms Atidzhe ALIEVA-VELI – Renew (local MEP, out of quota) (BG) (tbc)

IPOL Staff:

Mr Radek PILAR, Head of Secretariat

Mr Franck RICAUD, Administrator

EP Office in Bulgaria: Mr Teodor STOYCHEV, Head of Office

Pol group advisors:


Mr. Javier Poza LLORENTE - Renew

Mr. Dominic ZGANEC - The Left


Ms. BRUCE Elanga Joleen


Ms. BILLON Chloé Suzette Denise


Ms. IVANOVA Ivanka Georgieva


Ms ORIAM Yasmine (technician)






5. Mission report to the Netherlands - Amsterdam-Schiphol airport (14 October)


Link to the full report

Members of the mission:

Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE) (Leader of the mission)

Michal Wiezik (PPE)



Thomas WAITZ Greens/EFA

Local member:

Anja Hazekamp (The Left)



A delegation of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport visited Schiphol Airport (NL) on 14 October 2021.

The purpose of the mission was:

 to enable the Members to observe facts on the transport of animals by airplane

 to meet and discuss with representatives of the relevant Dutch authorities about the implementation of the EU Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during the transport by airplane, including possible suggestions to improve the EU legislation in this area.

Summary account of meetings

In the first meeting, the delegation met with representatives of the The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), who made a presentation on the enforcement of the Regulation (EC) 1/2005 in the Netherlands, the administrative steps concerning exports and imports of animals, and the main difficulties faced.

After this first meeting, the group split into smaller groups to visit the airport facilities for animals (Dierenhotel), accompanied by the Duty Cargo Manager responsible for animals passing through the facility by KLM or its partner airlines. The group had the chance to observe a consignment of day-old chicks being prepared to be shipped to Ghana, and several dogs and cats that had soon arrived or were about to depart by airplane. The representative from KLM explained the main procedures and answered to the questions posed by the Members.

In parallel to the visits to the KLM facility, a Q&A session took place, where the Members could ask specific questions related to the visit, and also on aspects of the transport of horses and pigs.  Dutch authorities called for improved clarity of Regulation 1/2005, including on inspection at exit points and expressed strong support for the creation of a list of transporters who have repeatedly infringed the rules on transporting animals.

Overall conclusion of the mission

The EP ANIT committee mission met representatives of NVWA, and discussed major issues and challenges related to transport of live animals. The authorities gave first-hand information on the current state of play of enforcement of Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on animal transport in the Netherlands, and informed about the controls performed and the measures taken towards offenders. They pointed out the difficulties they face regarding third countries, and presented a plan to address this question in the future (contact points in third countries, list of bad conduct transporters). The authorities also mentioned the guidelines on the transport of animals from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as being well developed and clear. Furthermore, the authorities joined the voices calling for clarifications in interpretation of Regulation 1/2005, including on inspection at exit points.

The information gathered in the mission was very relevant and will help the ANIT committee to formulate recommendations for a revision of Regulation 1/2005. Therefore, the mission had a positive outcome and achieved its main objectives.


ANNEX I - Final programme


ANIT mission to Schiphol Airport (NL) – 14 October 2021



10:25 Individual arrivals to Schiphol airport (NL)

10:35 Catch up at Meeting point of Schiphol airport to be escorted by Mrs Gabriella Harris (The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)) to the NVWA office;

11:00-12:00 Meeting in de NVWA boardroom with airport authorities/veterinary services responsible for the transport of animals;

12:00-13:00 Visit to the KLM area, 1st group (6 pers. max)

 13:00-14:30 Lunch break

14:30-15:30 Visit to the KLM area, 2nd group (6 pers. max)

15:30 End of mission programme.


ANNEX II - Participants list



Full List of participants


ANIT mission to Schiphol Airport (NL)


14 October 2021





Ms. Tilly METZ, Chair – Greens/EFA (FR)

Mr. Michal WIEZIK – EPP

Mr. Juozas OLEKAS – S&D (LT)

Ms. Annika BRUNA – ID (FR)

Mr. Thomas WAITZ – Greens/EFA (DE)

Ms. Anja HAZEKAMP – The Left (NL) (local member - out of quota)

IPOL Staff:


Mr. Radek PILAR – Head of Secretariat

Ms. Carla AIRES – Administrator

Political groups advisors:

Ms Margaret COULTHARD (S&D)

Ms. Soraya LEMAIRE (ID)

Ms. Harriet CLAYTON (Greens/EFA)

Mr Dominik ZGANEC (The Left)

6. ANIT Committee Mission report to Denmark - Copenhagen and Billund (3-5 November) 

 Link to the full report



Members of the mission:


Tilly Metz - leader (Greens)

Francisco Guerreiro (Greens)



Local members:


Asger Christensen (Renew)

Niels Fuglsang (SD)






A delegation of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport visited Denmark from 3 to 5 November 2021. This was the third mission of this Committee.


The purpose of this mission was to make additional findings regarding the practices and the conditions for transporting animals by truck, by observing them on the spot. The visit to Denmark was suggested because of the high standards of animal welfare during transport, and high levels of compliance with Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport.


The EP delegation met with representatives from the livestock industry and transports, observed a loading of animals at a centre for assembly of piglets and a dairy farm, and met with the Danish Chief Veterinary Officer and the Organisation Animal Protection Denmark.


The main topics for discussion were the state of the implementation of the Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport, including possible suggestions to improve the EU legislation in this area, and the difficulties in Denmark in implementing the Regulation, including on the cross-border trade of animals.


The conclusions will contribute for the recommendations on possible modifications of the Regulation by the EP to the European Commission.





Summary account of meetings


Day 1 (3 November 2021)


Meeting at the facilities of SPF-Danmark




The ANIT delegation met with the representatives of three companies:




This farmers’ association focuses on the genetic improvement, breeding and reproduction of high quality dairy cattle.


The CEO, Mr Lars Kloster, made a presentation on the organisation and main business core. VikingDanmark currently trades dairy cattle’s semen, and cows, open heifers and pregnant heifers to around 25 countries, both within and outside the EU.


The transport of live cattle is done mainly by truck. The transport by airplane has been done in the past to Uganda, but proved to be very expensive. The organisation does not transport livestock by vessels. Mr Lars gave a recent example of cows being transported to Russia in a journey of about 3000km. The animals are transported from the farm to a quarantine centre in the north of Germany, and stay there for 28 days. The journey then proceeds for 24 hours, followed by a 24 hour break at a resting point, and again a 24 hours journey until the final destination.




This company is specialised in the genetic improvement and breeding of pigs.


The Technical Director, Mr Jens Aage Hviid, presented the company, highlighted their focus in the research and development of high genetic and high value pigs, and gave examples on the transport of these animals by airplane to China, and by truck to other countries.






This company is the world’s largest transporter of pigs. The primary activities are trade and transport of live breeding stock and weaner piglets.


The CEO, Mr Jens Kongenshold, described the company and presented some figures on the transport of slaughter pigs and sows, piglets and breeding pigs.


Regarding the drivers and companies that do not comply with the regulation, Mr Kongenshold referred that the fines issued when infringements are found are very heavy. He called for a clearer division of responsibility and harmonized enforcement of sanctions across Member States.


The representatives of the three organisations stated that Denmark has very high standards in animal transport, and regret that other Member States do not implement the regulation likewise. They were unanimous in calling for a clearer share of responsibilities in regards to the transport of animals, clearer requirements of space, and a uniformed system of sanctions.


The Members questioned about the transport of semen and/or meat as an alternative to the transport of live animals. The representatives stated that currently the transport of semen is a reality, but there is a need to renew the heard at destination after 2 or 3 years, therefore, the transport of live animals needs to continue.


When asked by the Members for an opinion regarding the creation of a “Black list” of non-compliant companies, the participants answered that the authorities have already identified such companies, and that currently they cannot find the most appropriate model for officialising this list.


Regarding the question about the creation of animal welfare labelling, the representatives found the idea acceptable and desirable, and would like to see it at European level, ensuring that the single market takes account of animal welfare.


In response to one question on the transport by rail, the participants expressed the preference for road over rail transport. The reason is that trucks are more stable and there is less risk of disease transmission from animals being mixed together. They also stated that the spread use of age and species-specific vehicles, as in Denmark, is also desirable.


Day 2 (4 November 2021)


Visit to the centre for transportation of pigs H&S Westergaard A/S


The CEO, Mr Søren Westergaard, hosted this visit and presented the daily work in this centre.


The main activity of this company is to collect sows and piglets from the farms in the region and transport them for slaughterhouses (sows) and for fattening (piglets), from Denmark to other EU countries.


The group had the opportunity to watch the preparation of a transport of 620 piglets (26kg/10 weeks) to Romania: the piglets were unloaded in one of the ends of the assembly facilities, then submitted to a short veterinary inspection, and loaded right after to the transport truck at the other end of the facilities. For welfare reasons, the animals are loaded in groups of 10 to 15 at the time, and each piglet is allowed 20% more space inside the lorries, than in other countries. Mr Westergaard explained that this means a 20% less profit for the companies in each transport. Nevertheless, the major concern is that the animals arrive in good health and that the Danish piglets meet the already high quality standards towards the clients.



Mr Westergaard showed the four-deck truck where the piglets were being loaded in, and explained some of the features that make this a high-quality vehicle for long-distance transport: mechanic ventilation, filtered air, drinking devices, easy-to-clean surfaces, and navigation and monitoring systems. The trucks use two drivers for long distance transport to allow travel to be uninterrupted by the mandatory rest times for drivers. Nevertheless, the rest time for the animals still has to be respected. Doubling up the drivers makes the journeys to be completed more quickly, with benefits for the animals being transported.



The delegation had also the opportunity to see the detailed workings of the top-class DanBred transport truck, used for long distance transport of high-value breeding pigs (for example to Spain). This vehicle had been in use just over a year and was equipped with temperature and CO2 monitoring equipment, air conditioning, ventilation and heating, UV air filtering systems to ensures a biosecure atmosphere, as well as watering and feeding systems for the animals. The use of this kind of vehicle doubles the transport cost, and Members commented that the livestock/meat sector in other countries was not in a position to invest so heavily in transport technology.


Working lunch


The organisations Danish Hauliers, ITD – Association for the Danish road transport of goods, and  SamMark organised a working lunch, in order to allow more detailed exchanges about the issues arising from implementation of the current regulation. One of the big concerns is the lack of clarity over responsibility for ensuring fitness for transport of the animals to be moved. It was clear that the farmer is responsible for the health of animals on farm, and has the major responsibility for ensuring that animals are fit for transport. The driver is also responsible for checking animals as they board, and to identify any unfit ones.

There was a strong feeling that better enforcement and sanctions are key to better animal welfare. Legislation needs to be more dynamic to take account of technological and even genetic developments (e.g. more vehicles now have drinking systems, and piglet size by age is now different than when the legislation was finalised in 2005). There was also a wish to see more scientific assessment of transport and animal behaviour, where good conditions can be guaranteed, to permit longer journeys with good welfare. The emphasis was on high quality vehicles for high quality animals, especially for export, and it was made clear that the only exports from Denmark to third countries are of breeding animals.


Visit of cattle transport operations at “Farm Nørupgaard”


The group visited Norupgaard dairy farm, owned by MEP Asger Christensen from Renew. This farm has over 600 cattle, with more than 200 milk cows. Milking is done three times a day for higher yield. Animals are being kept for milking longer than in the past. Some of the surplus cattle are going to slaughter, others are exported to Poland and Russia (this year more than 70 - selected for genetic excellence), and others are sold to neighbouring farms (e.g. young calves to be raised for meat).

Cows are all electronically tagged, allowing detailed info to be recorded, including veterinary information, breeding and calving.


The group had the opportunity to watch the loading of four cows into a double-deck lorry from the company Viking, with the maximum capacity of 35 cows.

This company purchases the best surplus animals for export and they are taken to a quarantine centre before export, where they stay for 28 days. In this case, the animals were being transported to Russia, in a journey of 2 x 24 hours, with a 24 hour break.


The official inspectors/veterinarians present explained that for animals being transported, milking cows have to be milked every 12 hours and young animals could be transported for a maximum of 14 hours before a stop. During the pre-loading checks, no animal is loaded if it is not fit.


Regarding the controls, the inspectors ask for the driver’s documents and do vehicle checks (GPS, and alarm system for extreme temperature). The transport company receives these data from the driver’s phone. The inspectors go inside the vehicle and check whether the water systems are working and if there is nothing that can injure animals. The water and ventilation systems are also checked. In case the vehicle has water heaters to prevent freezing during cold weather journeys, these are also checked.


The Chair thanked Asger Christensen for opening up his farm to the delegation and for taking the lead in setting up a wide range of meetings.


Day 3 (5 November 2021)

Meeting with the Danish Chief Veterinary Officer, Mrs Hanne Larsen


The CVO started the presentation by showing some data on the number of animal movements within Denmark and for exports. The number of inspections has been increased in recent years and now 30% of journey logs are checked retrospectively to compare with the planned journey, 10% of lorry journeys are randomly inspected and there are seasonal checks for temperature infringements.


Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands are working on a common approach to revision of the legislation. Specific issues arisen in Denmark in relation to the legislation are the lack of clarity on animals being taken to shows (hobby rather than commercial activity), the need for more precision on deck heights for different animals, and on water and feed requirements.


There is the concern that the training of drivers (especially in animal handling) is not effective in other countries (for example, online training and no practical experience).


To make sure that breeding animals are genuinely being exported for breeding, the authorities make a judgement about the destination.


The following discussion focused on the maximum journey times, gestating animals and unweaned calves.

The CVO pointed 50% of pregnancy as a cut off for transport.

Regarding unweaned calves, the CVO shared a clear view that two weeks was not old enough for a calf to be transported more than eight hours.


Meeting with Animal Protection Denmark


The representatives of this organisation (Mrs Ditte Erichsen and Mrs Lena Rohn) presented the details of the transport of a consignment of 225 calves under four weeks old (194 of them between 21 and 24 days old), that took place in July this year, and which had been followed by a member of the NGO. The collection from the nine scattered farms by four trucks, started very early in the morning, and the collection from the assembly centre did not take place until 15:30h, when the transport to the Netherlands started.

Only one driver was used in this transport, meaning a mandatory stop for him, and the arrival time at the destination in the Netherlands was approximately 4:30h, around 24 hours after the first pick up. The animals were not unloaded nor fed for almost 24 hours.


Although only 8% of Danish calves are exported (43 000 to the Netherlands and Belgium in 2020), the NGO said that this example showed that the legislation governing transport of calves is not being respected in terms of feeding/watering during the journey (eight hour maximum).


Regarding a definition of unweaned animals, the representatives stated that this category should include the animals that are unable to feed without the assistance of humans.

The NGO showed concerns about the transport of pregnant heifers to Iran and Azerbaijan, via Russia, as well as to remote areas of Russia itself.



Figures for 2019 indicated that 15 million animals, mainly piglets, were transported out of Denmark. 11 million were on trucks registered in other Member States and mostly on long journeys over 8 hours.



Regarding proposals for legislative change, the representatives of this organisation pointed a maximum 8 hours journey time, a ban on transport of unweaned animals, and no export to third countries where enforcement cannot be guaranteed. They showed scepticism about journey logs being returned and also commented that in Russia it was illegal to unload animals from third countries on unapproved premises, calling into question the existence of resting stations, and that Germany and the Netherlands had banned the transport via Russia because of such doubts.


Press conference


The press conference at the end of the visit was attended by journalists of the Danish transport and agriculture, and from the GEO magazine:


Marlene Goering + photographer (GEO Magazine)

Claus Djørup (Fagpressebureauet)

Lasse Ege Pedersen (Effektivt Landbrug)

Lars M. Lassen (Transporttidende)


GEO was is due to do an extended feature on the work of the committee some time after the visit.

The members present, Tilly Metz (Chair), Niels Fuglsang (S&D), Asger Christensen (RE) outlined the reason for the visit and the work of the committee. The journalists asked questions about the impact that a change in journey times could have on the Danish animal transport/export, and the fact that there is limited capacity for more meat consumption in Denmark if export had to be curtailed.



The journalists asked the Members for three key priorities for legislative change.

Tilly Metz highlighted the protection of vulnerable animals, end to exports outside the EU for slaughter, limit on journey time.

Niels Fuglsang considered a priority the 8 hour journey limit, restrict exports to third countries, and the transport of unweaned animals.

For Asger Christensen the priority is the correct implementation of the Regulation (EC) 1/2005, the protection of pregnant animals, and to limit the exports to third country exports (especially on vessels).

All three also referred to better controls and on-vehicle monitoring, and more clarity on responsibility.




The ANIT committee mission to Denmark met and discussed with several representatives of the industry, representatives of the Danish authorities (veterinary inspectors and the CVO), and representatives of one NGO.


The Members received first-hand information on the current practices on the transport of animals in Denmark, the state of play of enforcement of the Regulation (EC) 1/2005 on animal transport, and suggestions for improving the Regulation.


The Danish participants suggested a clear division in the responsibilities of the different players in the sector, a better system of sanctions across the EU, and the definition of transport requirements more adequate to the current reality (e.g. requirements of space in transport).


The findings of this mission were very pertinent and will help the ANIT committee to formulate recommendations for the revision of Regulation (EC) 1/2005. Therefore, the mission achieved its main objectives.




1. Studies provided by the European Parliamentary
Research Service (EPRS)

September 2020

Background research for ANIT Commitee


30 June 2021

Briefing on Protection of animals during transport: Sanctions for infringements


30 June 2021

Briefing on Protection of animals during transport: Guidelines and research


30 June 2021

Briefing on Protection of animals during transport: Training of personnel and enforcement agents


30 June 2021

Protection of animals during transport: Data on live animal transport



10 November 2021

The European Parliament's investigative powers: Committees of inquiry in context



2. Studies provided by the Policy Department ‘B’ for  Structural and  Cohesion Policies

27 October 2020

Information Package for the Committee of Inquiry on the protection of animals during transport (ANIT)



The following four publications were produced for and debated in committee meeting during the 25 May 2021 workshop :


20 May 2021

1) Research for ANIT Committee: Animal welfare on sea vessels and criteria for approval of livestock authorisation

Link to the Executive summary


Link to the Study


20 May 2021

2) Research for ANIT Committee: Particular welfare needs in animal transport: aquatic animals

Link to the Executive summary

Link to the Study

20 May 2021

3) Research for ANIT Committee: Particular welfare needs in animal transport: unweaned animals and pregnant females

Link to the Executive summary


Link to the Study

31 May 2021

4) Research for ANIT Committee: The practices of animal welfare during transport in third countries: an overview

Link to the Executive summary


Link to the Study

05 July  2021

Research for ANIT Committee - Patterns of livestock transport in the EU and to third countries

Link to the summary


Link to the Study



Last updated: 29 April 2022
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