Animal transport – unloading facilities and control posts

15 May 2013    
Karin Kadenbach (S&D)


1. Can the Commission guarantee that the Member States will invest substantial financial and human resources into setting up control posts/emergency unloading facilities available at a reasonable distance in order to be able to enforce Regulation (EC) No 1/2005?

2. If the Commission cannot guarantee this, does it consider that the chronic problems regarding control posts/emergency unloading facilities can be solved without a review of the regulation aimed at ending long-distance animal transport and replacing it with the transport of meat and carcasses?

3. Does the Commission not think that the establishment of a maximum eight-hour journey limit for animals for slaughter, as already requested by Parliament and by over one million European citizens, could prevent the most extreme cases, as this would mean that, in the event of an emergency, animals would not have to travel for more than four hours to either arrive at their destination or return to their place of departure?


24 June 2013    
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

Ensuring the availability of facilities for emergency unloading of animals during transport is indeed one way for Member States to be prepared for ensuring the welfare of the animals. Article 23 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport(1), does however foresee a number of other emergency measures, such as a change of driver or a repair of the truck, to be taken in the event of non-compliance with the regulation.

It is for the competent authorities to, on a case-by-case basis, decide which action is in the best interest of the animals. The Commission does therefore not see, in general, that the setting up of facilities for emergency unloading of animals is always the best option for a Member State to ensure the proper enforcement of Regulation 1/2005.

While under some circumstances it could be in the interest of the animals to be transported for another four hours, there are situations when this would be detrimental to their welfare. In such cases, other actions foreseen in Article 23, including the humane killing of the animals may be preferred.

In the view of the Commission, a change of the maximum transport time would therefore not necessarily solve problems that may arise due to non-compliance with Regulation 1/2005.

(1)    Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations; OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1.