Sunday, 6 May 2012
Sandys goes to Brussels to push for the banning of Live Animal Exports with European Commission
Laura Sandys MP, and Peter Stevenson from Compassion in World Farming met with Dr Harry Vassallo, the European Commission Cabinet Member responsible for animal welfare, to urge the Commission to reduce live animal transportion to an 8 hour maximum.
Laura said: “Yesterday I put our case to the Commission and detailed the enormous depth of feeling about this issue in our local community. Dr Vassallo was extremely concerned about the impact that this was having on the animals and also impressed by the strength of feeling in the community. While there are no easy solutions we discussed some important issues around the increased enforcement of the Regulation on the welfare of animals during transport required across Europe, the need for more welfare analysis to be undertaken for different animals and that we must focus on the costs of the trade.
“I have committed to discussing with DEFRA their costs of licensing, we need to get some greater understanding of why this trade is actually financially viable and I will be asking the Commission to undertake this work with the support ofthe 395 MEPs from across Europe who signed the Declaration calling for a maximum limit of 8 hours to be placed on journeys to slaughter. What became crystal clear is that we must still maintain the public pressure on governments across Europe to get our ultimate aim – 8 hour maximum journey times.
Peter Stevenson said “Compassion in World Farming is delighted that Ramsgate MP Laura Sandys is leading opposition to the export of calves and sheep through the port of Ramsgate. Many of the sheep are being sent for slaughter in France and yet investigations show that EU animal welfare rules are often flouted in French abattoirs. Indeed sheep are often slaughtered without first being stunned in France. We have recently trailed young calves being sent all the way from Devon on a 59 hour journey to Spain. We believe that this inhumane trade must be brought to an end. Live animal exports have no legitimate part to play in today’s farming.”
“The European Parliament adopted a new formal position on live transport in March when it called on the Commission to establish a maximum 8 hour journey limit for animals transported in the EU for the purpose of being slaughtered. Over half of the total Members of European Parliament put their name to this position and over a million EU citizens have signed a petition in support. It is frankly astonishing that we are still exporting and transporting animals to slaughter over such long distances. We now look to the Commission to instigate new legislation to better protect the animals being transported.”