Alleged breaches in EU animal welfare rules during transport are to be investigated by MEPs, following a comprehensive vote in the EU Parliament.
MEPs voted by 605 votes to 53, with 31 abstentions, to establish the new committee, which will investigate alleged violations in covering animal transport and related operations within and outside the EU, including by air, road, rail and sea.
The committee of 30 MEPs will focus on how EU rules are being implemented by member states and whether the EU Commission is enforcing them properly. It will also look into the EU Commission’s ‘alleged failure to act on the evidence that EU rules on moving live animals across the EU and to third countries are being seriously and systematically infringed’.
Among the specific areas of investigation be 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.”
The committee, which was established following pressure from animal welfare campaigners, will submit a final report within 12 months of being established.
The MEPs will have the scope to 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 will also be able to 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.