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EC REPORT ON ANIMAL TRANSPORT: THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION FAILS TO PROTECT ANIMALS TRANSPORTED FOR SLAUGHTER IN EUROPE. 86 EUROPEAN NGOS CALL FOR AN END TO LONG-DISTANCE ANIMAL TRANSPORT . OVER 900,000 EUROPEANS AND 75 MEPS JOIN THE 8HOURS CAMPAIGN.

Date

10 Nov 2011

Sections

Transport

- NEW VIDEO ON LONG-DISTANCE LIVE TRANSPORT RELEASED TODAY -

Today the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) of the European Commission has released its report on the impact of Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals being transported

and on the trade flows of live animals within the enlarged Community. The report is available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/transport/index_en.htm . In today’s meat trade, the vast majority of animals are slaughtered close to their place of rearing and then transported as carcasses. Nevertheless, huge numbers of farmed animals are still transported alive under unacceptable conditions on European roads, only to be slaughtered on arrival.

The report, expected to be published earlier this year, analyses and recognises many of the shortcomings of the existing Regulation and confirms that 'severe animal welfare problems during transport persist'. It also includes some of the information provided by animal welfare organisations such as Animals' Angels, which over many years have carried out regular checks of lorries, markets and operations related to long-distance transport. 

Nevertheless, the Commission's report falls short of producing the key proposal that would provide a concrete response to the suffering still endured by millions of animals transported on European roads every year: a maximum overall 8-hour limit for all journeys of animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered.

Around 900,000 Europeans have already signed the online petition at www.8hours.eu, calling for an end to long-distance journeys for animals sent for slaughter in the European Union. One million signatures are expected to be presented to the European Commission early next year.

Also, 75 MEPs from 19 Member States and all political groups have already expressed their support to the campaign. The updated list is online at http://www.8hours.eu/supporters/ .

This initiative was launched jointly by Animals’ Angels - an international organisation which has documented hundreds of cases of severe suffering endured by transported animals - together with Danish MEP Dan Jørgensen. The aim of the initiative is to bring an end to this additional and totally unnecessary suffering.

Today Animals' Angels and Deutscher Tierschutzbund have released the footage of an investigation on live animal transports recently carried out between some EU states and Turkey. The images show how after years of attempts by the European institutions to improve the transport conditions for the animals, journeys over long distances still produce terrible consequences.

The video can be watched here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNiXxN2Kj3s . Copies are available for media purposes.

'We welcome the Commission's report, because it confirms and highlights the limits and insufficiencies of Regulation 1/2005' said Christa Blanke, Founder and Director of Animals' Angels. ' Nevertheless, the report is omitting to propose the key necessary reform to avoid the never-ending repetition of case of intense suffering for the animals: an overall 8-hour limit for all journeys of animals transported for the purpose of being slaughtered'.

The long duration of such journeys often causes the animals intense suffering, as has been consistently reported over the years by Animals’ Angels investigators. Current EU legislation makes it possible for animals to be transported for several days. 

'For over 20 years the European Parliament, and millions of Europeans, have repeatedly asked to establish an 8-hour journey limit from farm to slaughterhouse' said Danish MEP Dan Jørgensen, co-promoter of the 8hours campaign. 'With the renewed support of nearly a million citizens and of dozens of colleagues elected in 19 Member States, in the coming weeks we will do our best to ensure a reform of the Regulation and to put an end to the intense suffering of millions of animals in long-distance transports'.

The collection of signatures on the 8hours petition on the www.8hours.eu website continues until 5 January 2012. In the coming days, a series of initiatives will be launched in the European Parliament.

Further information about this campaign is available on the www.8hours.eu website.

________________________________________________________________ 

Notes:

The main piece of European legislation currently regulating live animal transport is EC Regulation 1/2005. This allows horses, other equines and pigs to be transported for 24 hours, then have a 24-hour rest period and then start again; cattle, sheep and goats can be transported for 14 hours, then a 1-hour rest, then transported for a further 14 hours, then a 24-hour rest and then start again; unweaned calves, lambs, foals and piglets can be transported for 9 hours, then a 1-hour rest, then transported for 9 hours, then a 24-hour rest and then start again. These cycles can be repeated indefinitely.

The European Parliament demanded a limitation of transport time already in 2001: “The duration of transportation should be limited to a maximum of 8 hours or a distance of 500 km in the case of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs that are not intended for special breeding or sporting purposes.” (Resolution of the European Parliament, adopted on 13 January 2001 in Strasbourg)

8hours website: www.8hours.eu 

Animals’ Angels website: www.animals-angels.org  

List of supporting organisations available at: http://www.8hours.eu/support .

Photos and videos are available on request.

Interviews with Christa Blanke, Founder and Director of Animals’ Angels, and Dan Jørgensen MEP can be arranged on request.

For further information, please contact:

Adolfo Sansolini, Coordinator of the 8hours campaign: +44 7983 586 295

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