A parliamentary committee of inquiry should be established in order to investigate and put an end to the distressing situations associated with animal transport leaving the European Union. This was announced by MEP Anja Hazekamp at a press conference of Eurogroup for Animals and Animals International in Brussels last Monday.
During the press conference, horrendous footage of animal transport from the EU was shown. The involved animals are transported from the EU to countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, a trip that can take up to 17 days. Many animals suffer from overheating, dehydration or are crushed on the way.
Even pregnant animals are transported and give birth during transport inside trucks or on board ships. Animals International showed footage of animals that, after having had a Caesarean section without pre-stunning, aftercare or sutures, are simply put back on the road. Footage of the slaughters shows incompetent butchers who hang the animals from their legs and slit their throats while the animals are fully conscious.
Animals International stresses that these are not isolated incidents, but rather a structural problem: in 2016 alone, over 3 million animals were shipped from Europe to the Middle East and became the subject of this cruel form of animal abuse.
“This study confirms that the current EU regulations do not protect the welfare of transported animals. A problem that is age-old and the situation is only getting worse,” says Hazekamp.
“Various debates, calls from Parliament and millions of citizens’ signatures are subsequently ignored by policy makers in Brussels. Even a decision of the European Court of Justice in 2015, stating that the responsibility for animal welfare does not stop at the external borders of the European Union, has not given rise to any further action.”
If Anja Hazekamp has her way, a formal parliamentary committee of inquiry will have the task of investigating the failing European legislation and the lack of enforcement of the rules regarding the horrible live animal transport. “Policy makers who fail to carry out their tasks should be identified and it should be further explored how the export of live animals to countries outside the EU can be stopped as soon as possible,” according to Hazekamp.
“In order to set up a European parliamentary committee of inquiry, the support of at least 188 members of European Parliament is required. During the press conference, some MEPs of the Socialist Group and the Liberal Group in the European Parliament directly expressed their support for the committee of inquiry.