Revision of regulation on animal transport with regard to combined sea and land journeys

22 May 2013    
David Martin (S&D)


In its answer to Parliamentary Question E-002709/13 the Commission stated that substituting a part of road transport by sea transport is not contrary to the scope of the regulation, as long as ‘the journey and resting times for the species concerned are met’.

Furthermore the Commission stated that the derogation from the maximum transport time as laid down in point 1.7(a) of Chapter V of Annex I to Regulation 1/2005 was in its view necessary as otherwise certain regions (i.e. remote regions) of the EU would not be able to transport animals to other regions, including mainland Europe.

Against this background, I would like to give the following example of a combined road-sea-transport of animals: in June 2012 Animals’ Angels observed a transport of pigs from Spain to Italy. After a transport time of nearly 24 hours on the road the truck embarked a roll-on/roll-off ferry from Salerno (Italy) to Messina (Italy). The ferry’s journey time was eight hours. After arrival in Messina a short road transport to the slaughterhouse of destination followed. The total journey time. including the waiting time at Salerno harbour on board the ferry, was around 37 hours. The animals were not unloaded for rest during the entire transport.

If this transport had been carried out entirely by road, the carriers would, after a maximum transport time of 24 hours, have been required, under Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, to unload and rest the pigs for at least 24 hours before continuing transport.

1. Does the Commission consider it contrary to the intention of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport that the regulation allows transporters to exceed 24 hours’ transport time for pigs without rest, simply because road transport has been substituted by sea transport?

2. Does the Commission not take the view that regulation (EC) No 1/2005 should be revised in order to remedy this unsatisfactory situation?

1 July 2013    
Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

1. The Commission wants to re-emphasise what it stated in its reply to E-002709/2013(1) — using sea transport to substitute for road transport is not contrary to the scope of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005(2), as long as the requirements concerning journey and resting times for the species concerned are met.

In the case as described in this question, it seems that these requirements were not met. It appears that, by using a ferry for part of the journey, the transporter did not allow for the animals to be properly rested. In addition, the total time animals spent travelling appears to be longer than necessary.

2. The Commission therefore remains convinced that focus must remain on improving enforcement of the regulation, and does not plan to revise it.

(2)    Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations; OJ L 3, 5.1.2005, p. 1. According to Point 1.4.(b) of Chapter V of Annex I to the regulation the maximum allowed journey time for pigs is 24 hours. After this time animals must be unloaded, fed and watered and be rested for at least 24 hours.