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European Parliament starts animal transport inquiry after reported welfare breaches

The European Parliament will establish a 12-month inquiry committee investigating enforcement failures in animal transport.

by Megan Howell
26 June 2020, at 8:57am

MEPs decided to set up an inquiry committee to look into alleged breaches in the application of EU animal welfare rules during transport within and outside the EU, on Friday 26 June.

The new inquiry committee, established by 605 votes in favour to 53 against, with 31 abstentions, should investigate alleged violations in the application of European Union law on the protection of animals during transport and related operations within and outside the EU, including by air, road, rail and sea. It will focus on how EU rules are being implemented by member states and whether the EU Commission is enforcing them properly, says the adopted decision.

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The committee will look into the EU Commission’s alleged failure to act upon the evidence that EU rules on moving live animals across the EU and to third countries are being seriously and systematically infringed. It will investigate a suspected lack of implementation and enforcement of EU provisions on space allowance and headroom for transported animals, on their watering, feeding and bedding, and on temperature and ventilation system during transport.

Future members of the committee could examine how the Commission and member states ensure compliance with EU rules on handling of transported animals, on long distance journeys, on preventing delays, and on transport of unfit animals and animals that have not yet been weaned. They can also inquire into the alleged failure of the EU’s executive and national authorities to enforce EU rules on welfare of transported animals also outside the Union, when moving live animals from EU to non-EU countries.

Composition and duration

The inquiry committee should consist of 30 MEPs. Their names will be communicated by political groups at a later stage and announced in plenary.

The committee must submit its final report within 12 months from the moment of being established.


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Background

The new inquiry committee was established upon request presented by 183 MEPs to the Conference of Presidents (EP President and leaders of political groups in the House). The aim was to look into alleged violations in the application of European Union law governing live animal transport both within and outside the Union.