The Portuguese Party for Humans, Animals and Nature (PAN) recently put forward a motion in the Portuguese Parliament, which is to end government subsidies for long distance transportation of animals. According to PAN, animals are treated as trade products during livestock transportation and not as creatures with feelings, which is in conflict with national and European legislation.
Long distance transportations of animals are transports that take longer than eight hours and harm animal welfare as a result. Long transportation times are very hard on most animals. Thousands of farmed animals are transported over long distances through Europe and to countries outside the European Union. Cramped together and in overcrowded livestock trailers and vessels. Livestock transportations can spread animal diseases and form a risk to public health.
Carriers often ignore the minimum European regulations and many countries, including Portugal, fail to enforce regulations. The transportation of animals from Portugal to the port of a third country takes 12 days on average. Once arrived at their destination, many animals are exhausted, dehydrated or dead.Frequently occurring violations during livestock transportation include providing insufficient food and water to the animals, systematically violating hygiene regulations, and not observing driving and rest times.
Despite the above problems, current Portuguese regulations make it possible that such cruel animal transportations are subsidised by the Portuguese government. This needs to stop as soon as possible, according to PAN. In its motion, PAN wishes to amend the law in such a way that cattle farms which cooperate in animal transportation to third countries can no longer receive government subsidies. Additionally, PAN demands full inspection of all animal transportations, enforcing regulations upon each violation.