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Parliamentary questions
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2 July 2020
E-002668/2020(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002668/2020

The Commission does not have conclusive evidence that the Romanian authorities have failed to implement EU rules on the protection of animals during transport in the two cases involving the vessels ‘Al Shuwaikh’ and ‘Queen Hind’.

The report of the audit carried out by the Commission in Romania(1) concludes that the official checks that the Romanian authorities carry out on livestock vessels are not efficient to systematically detect and correct non-compliances. As with other Member States(2), the Commission has issued recommendations to Romania to address these shortcomings.

At this stage, the Commission will follow up on the audit’s recommendations and will evaluate Romania’s progress in addressing them. Depending on the progress, the Commission will consider the most appropriate action among the possible options.

In case of persistent failure to apply EC law correctly, the Commission may consider initiating an infringement procedure in line with the enforcement priorities set in the Commission Communication ‘EC law: Better Results through Better Application’(3).

The Commission is working on the evaluation of the EU animal welfare strategy 2012-2015(4) and, in the context of the Farm to Fork strategy(5), it indicated that it will evaluate and revise the existing animal welfare legislation, including on animal transport(6).

In May 2020, the Commission sent a letter to all Member States to remind them of the risk of exporting animals during the summer period. Last year, most Member States refrained to export animals during summer.

The Commission is exploring the possibility to analyse data in the Trade Control and Expert system (TRACES)(7) to compile a list of operators with serious and repeated offences and share it with the national authorities in charge of animal welfare during transport.

(1)Audit  DG(SANTE)2019-6898 carried out in Romania from 30 September 2019 to 2 October 2019 in order to evaluate animal welfare during transport by livestock vessel to non-EU countries
(2)Audits DG(SANTE)2018-6449, 2018-6447 and 2018-6446 to Slovenia, Croatia and Spain respectively
(3) C/2016/8600, OJ C 18, 19.1.2017, p. 10.
(4) COM/2012/6 final
(5) COM/2020/381 final
(6) https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12400-Fitness-Check-of-the-EU-legislation-on-animal-welfare-
(7) https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/traces_en
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