The protection of animals during transport


7 December 2012      

Marc Tarabella (S&D)



The Commission has drawn up a report on the state of play with regard to the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005. In its conclusion, the Commission expresses the view that the regulation has had a positive impact on the welfare of animals during transport, but notes that there are still serious problems when it comes to animal transport, principally as a result of compliance and implementation failures by the Member States.

1. Is the Commission intending to take steps to ensure that compliance with transport rules is monitored fully and uniformly, bearing in mind in particular the fact that the extent to which the legislation on animal transport is implemented varies significantly from one Member State to another?

2. What steps does the Commission intend to take to step up cooperation and communication between the authorities in the various Member States?

3. Does the Commission share Parliament’s wish to mount an extensive consumer information campaign on the subject of European animal welfare legislation, providing continuous information on the changes required of European producers for the purposes of raising the profile of their work and improving the added value of their products?

4. When does the Commission intend to update the rules on animal transport in relation to the gaps between the legislation and the latest scientific evidence presented by the European Food Safety Authority?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

13 February 2013    

1. It is the responsibility of Member States to ensure that regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport(1) is enforced. However, as enforcement of the legislation is poor, the Commission is taking steps to improve the situation. This is done through a number of actions as described in the Commission Report on animal welfare during transport(2). Some of these actions are already initiated. One example is the harmonised reporting structure of the Member States' controls of the rules on animal transport for which the Commission is currently finalising an implementing decision, planned for adoption in the beginning of 2013.

2. The Commission organises regular meetings with the Member States to increase cooperation between competent authorities. In 2013, and in parallel with its normal audits, the Commission will organise a series of study visits, where experts from Member States would study best practices in relation to controls on animal welfare.

3. In the framework of the EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals (2012-2015)(3), a study on animal welfare education and on information activities directed at the general public and consumers should be launched. In the light of the outcomes of the study, the Commission will consider whether further action at EU level is appropriate.

4. As concluded in the Commission report on animal transport, the gap between the requirements of the legislation and available scientific evidence is for the time being best addressed by the adoption of guides to good practices, and not by amendments to Regulation (EC) No 1/2005.

(1)    OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1.
(2)    Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the impact of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport. COM(2011) 700 final.
(3)    COM(2012)6 final.