The Conference of President has recommended to extend the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport’s (ANIT) for a second time, granting the committee and extra three months until December 19th 2021. This extension is expected to be confirmed by the European parliament in this week’s plenary. FOUR PAWS welcomes this decision, as the additional time is urgently needed to adequately address current issues with the enforcement and implementation of the transport Regulation 1/2005.
“Extending the Committee until December provides the opportunity to use the summer months to investigate particularly critical infringements, such as transports with outside temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius,” says Pierre Sultana, Director of the European Policy Office at FOUR PAWS. “By continuing their work through summer, MEPs will be able to focus on violations of maximum transport temperatures, which cause immense animal suffering, and can include their findings in the final ANIT report. This second extension also shows, that the members of the ANIT are taking their work seriously and see the need to further investigate the situation.”
Since its constituting session in September of 2020, the Committee has held different expert hearings taking a closer look at the enforcement of and infringements against the EU transport regulation 1/2005: the administrative procedures for approvals and controls of journey logs, vehicles, vessels, data collection, the issues regarding long distance live animal transport within the EU and also the export to third counties as well as the responsibilities of transport operators and private stakeholders. ANIT decided to hold hearings on further topics, including the transport of vulnerable animals and transport by sea.
Last week’s exchange on the findings of the hearings held with representatives of the European Commission led to clear accusations of inaction of the Commission in recent years. Enforcement and implementation of the measures had been severely neglected for over a decade since EU transport regulation 1/2005 first came into force, according to the committee members. The current Commission must now fulfil its clear obligation and address the problems highlighted by the committee. FOUR PAWS fully supports the ANIT members’ call on the Commission to urgently take action and actively ensure compliance with the Regulation through the all available legal means. This needs to be accompanied by addressing the animal welfare problems during transport highlighted by the committee during the upcoming revision of the Transport Regulation. “This has to include a concrete ban on third-country exports and long-distance transports of live animals, as animal welfare standards cannot be complied with in these transports. Instead, we need to move towards the transport of carcasses and genetic material.” concludes Pierre Sultana.
FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org