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Parliamentary questions
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18 February 2020
E-004206/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004206/2019

Primary responsibility to enforce the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport(1) lies with the Member States. The Commission carried out an audit to Romania on this sector in 2019(2). While infringement actions remain the measures of last resort, the Commission is exploring the best means to improve compliance with the relevant EU rules in light of the outcome of this audit and of analysis of additional information.

As the Commission pointed out in its reply to Written Question E-007197/2017, ‘animal welfare during transport is a complex multidimensional issue which cannot be solved by simply banning it or by imposing a limit on transport time.’ The main problem in this field is the enforcement of existing legislation. The Commission therefore does not intend to ban long distance transport and is instead engaged in assisting — through different activities — the Member States in the implementation and enforcement of the legislation.

For example, the Commission will continue to provide financial support to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and in particular for the implementation of its targeted activities on animal transport and slaughter foreseen under the OIE Platform on Animal Welfare for Europe and the Animal Welfare Action Plan for Middle East countries. The Commission is also working with Member States and the European Maritime Safety Agency to improve the checks on livestock vessels.

The Commission will continue to follow closely the issue of animal transport, including implementation of the recommendations following from it audits.

(1)Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations and amending Directives 64/432/EEC and 93/119/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1255/97, OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1‐44.
(2)Audit DG(SANTE) 2019-6898 carried out in Romania from 29 September to 3 October 2019 in order to evaluate animal welfare during transport by livestock vessel to non-EU countries — report not yet finalised.
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