Bijdrage plenaire vergadering over diertransporten
Anja Hazekamp (PvdD):
Thank you chair.
First of all, I would like to thank the petitioners for their petition on animal transport. This is the topic that my party, The Dutch Party for the Animals has been advocating for years to keep this issue high on the political agenda. For citizens like the petitioners, who want to stop these endless transports. But ofcourse also for the animals.
Because it is simply unacceptable that the European rules for animal transport have been violated for years. And that animals fall victim to this failing European policy every single day.
I have witnessed the horrific violations of the animal transport directive as well many times in almost all exit ports of the European external borders. I was in the port of Cartagena, in Spain, when the animals on the Elbeik were killed, one of the cases that this petitioner was mentioning. These animals have been, were at sea for over three months and they were killed in an incredible speed. I hear the Commission say that they have learned lessons from the cases of Karimala and the Elbeik. I am wondering what lessons exactly, because just a few weeks ago, we had a very similar case with Nadera, which left France with 780 bulls on board going to Algeria. And again, the papers were not oke, so they had to return to France where the animals had to be killed. What lessons has the Commission learned exactly from the case of the Elbeik and Karimala?
My colleagues already mentioned the Committee of Inquiry of the European Parliament investigating animal transport for a year and a half and presented a clear and devastating conclusion. The rules that are supposed to protect animals during transport are systematically violated, subjecting animals to violation, maltreatment with extreme heat or cold, not enough water, food or rest.
It is a shame that Europe does not fulfill its duty to protect animals for the whole duration of this transport, from point of departure till place of destination.
And it is good news that the European Commission will present a proposal to revise the animal welfare legislation - including the legislation on animal transport.
But this will take at least another year. During that year, around 1.5 billion animals will be transported over long distances across Europe - or to countries outside the European Union. An average of four million animals per day.
I therefore think it is very important that we hear from the European Commission what steps are already taken this year. Because every day in which the law is broken and animals suffer during transport on road and at sea or in airplanes, is one day too many.
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