European Commission refutes animal welfare critics

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The EC stressed individual member states were responsible for animal welfare
The EC stressed individual member states were responsible for animal welfare

Related tags: European union, Beef, Lamb, Livestock, Pork, Poultry

The European Commission (EC) has defended itself against accusations that it has been turning a ‘blind eye’ to bad animal transport standards in member states. 

The European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Conservation and Welfare of Animals claimed the consistent failure of states to enforce animal welfare transport regulations needed more action from the EC. It was particularly concerned about the export of live animals to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Intergroup president Janusz Wojciechowski MEP said: “The Commission has a duty to pursue member states that continually flout this legislation and cause immense suffering as a consequence.”

Live animal transport

Meanwhile Dr Alexander Rabitsch presented the findings of his latest report, which claimed the EC is turning a “blind eye”​ to the issue of live animal transport.

However, the EC has refuted the claims.

In a statement to Global Meat News, the Commission said it took the matter “very seriously” ​and was continuing to monitor the situation.


But it issued a note of caution and said: “It should be remembered that the daily implementation of the EU welfare legislation is primarily under the responsibility of the member states.”

The Commission said it had brought this issue to the attention of member states on several occasions, including a few days ago at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.

It has also taken action presenting information and shared experiences in best practice for slaughter with participants from Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Algeria.

It said: “We are currently evaluating possible long-term follow-up initiatives and we continue, within the remit of our competence, to constantly monitor the situation.”

Related topics: Meat

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