Bijdrage onderzoekscommissie over diertransporten tijdens gedachtewisseling met Claire Bury (Deputy Director-General for Food Safety of the European Commission)
Thank you chair. And welcome Ms Bury at our first meeting.
It’s been fifteen years since the Animal Transport Regulation was introduced. Fifteen years in which we’ve seen incident after incident. Fifteen years to NOT be very proud of.
Hundreds of detailed reports of animal welfare violations, by animal welfare NGOs, were put on your desk at the European Commission. And they have, together with many worried citizens in Europe, high expectations of this Inquiry Committee, of this Parliament, of the Member States, but especially of you, the European Commission.
And I have a lot of questions to you:
- Do you agree that we need more specific EU-rules on animal transport, for instance when it comes to temperature requirements, loading conditions and weaning age, to avoid vague interpretations and differences between Member States?
- Do you agree that long-distance transport is very stressful to animals, but especially to unweaned animals, babies, and that this should not be allowed at all, as it is impossible to put this in practice without violating the provisions of the animal transport legislation?
- Does it make any sense to you that pigs are transported from the EU to China, or for instance calves, all the way from Ireland through France to the Netherlands?
- Does it make any sense to you that one day old chicks or pregnant heifers, are sent all over the world?
Last week, thousands of these chicks died at the Barajas airport in Madrid, after being left alone and forgotten without any food or water. In the cold. Every day, animals are put on long-distance transport by plane.
- Could you tell us how many animals are transported by airplanes from, in and out of the EU on a yearly basis? Who supervises these transports, and how often incidents are reported?
Every day, animals are put on long-distance transport on vessels.
- Could you inform us when you intend to publish a red list of all transporters with repeated and serious breaches of the regulation, as requested by this Parliament?
- ·Does the Commission still consider trade of live animals as “integral part of agricultural activity”, and if so, how does she then intend to comply with The European Court of Justice ruling in 2015, that the EU is still responsible for animals once they leave EU-ground?
- Do you agree that it is unavoidable to put an EU-wide ban on export to third countries in place?
Every day, we have examples of what goes wrong with the enforcement and implementation of rules we put in place to protect animals during transport.
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to address all these stories today.
But I hope that you agree that we don’t want to hear these stories again during the next fifteen years.
I am looking forward to your answers to my questions. Thank you.