NFUS Animal Transport Proposal in Brussels

17 March 2010
Alyn Smith has today (Wednesday) welcomed a vote in the European Parliament's influential Agriculture Committee which saw a compromise amendment passed that calls on the European Commission to ensure that existing animal transport legislation is properly implemented before any new rules are put in place.

Smith has also taken the opportunity to pass on to the Health Commissioner John Dalli (whose brief includes animal transport) a copy of NFUS's proposal on animal transport which outlines a workable plan for a pilot project to trial new ways of using satellite surveillance to ensure the rest of the EU abides by the rules already in force.

The Agriculture Committee report, drafted by Swedish MEP Marit Paulsen, is an evaluation and assessment of the Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006 - 2010. Some key points from today's vote were:

  • the creation of a new European centre for animal welfare;
  • the requirement to enforce the existing legislation; and that proposed new legislation should be compared to enforcing existing legislation;
  • the requirements for imports to meet EU standards;
  • the promise of compensation to farmers for higher animal welfare costs;
  • a call for implementation of animal transport rules and the setting up of a satellite monitoring system.

Speaking after the vote, Smith said:

"Today's vote is a pretty big step in the right direction in the ongoing battle against the creation of new animal transport regulations for the EU.

"That we now have the backing of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee in our calls for the existing legislation to be properly implemented is excellent and adds even greater weight to the NFUS proposal on this topic which I have today passed on to Commissioner Dalli.

"There are only so many times you can say the same thing - it is not the existing legislation that is the problem, it is the lack of implementation or enforcement in some member states. I refuse to see Scotland's farmers penalised for the lack of enforcement in other countries.

"The NFUS proposal is an objective and well thought out strategy to address the problems of inadequate enforcement in some parts of the EU and, as such, I am delighted to pass it to the Commissioner and hope that he will give it his full attention."

The text of the compromise amendment regarding animal transport is below:

Recognises that there is a need to follow up and ensure proper implementation of the existing rules on animal transport in the EU Member States, in particular the issue of developing a satellite system to monitor such transport, and urges the Commission, in the time still remaining before the action plan expires, to carry out its responsibilities in this field and to present the study requested by Parliament and referred to in Article 32 of Regulation 1/2005; requests an economic impact analysis on livestock farming to be conducted before any new rules, which should be based on scientifically proven objective indicators, are implemented;