Tag Archives: animal welfare

MEPs urge to abandon live animal transport

Brussels 06.12.2021 After 18 months of fact-finding, Parliament’s committee of inquiry into the protection of animals during transport adopted its conclusions and recommendations.

Parliament‘s inquiry into the protection of animals during transport (the ANIT committee), set up in June 2020 to investigate alleged violations of EU rules, wrapped up its work on Thursday. It concluded that EU provisions in this area are not always complied with in member states and do not fully take into account the different transport needs of animals.

MEPs gathered information from citizens and NGOs on animal welfare violations during transport. These violations included a lack of headroom, water or food supply, the shipping of animals being unfit for transport, overcrowding, the use of inappropriate vehicles, transport during extreme temperatures and extended journey times.

The report, elaborating the main findings of the investigation, was adopted by 30 votes in favour and one abstention.

Based on the findings, MEPs on ANIT committee approved a set of draft recommendations by 24 votes to 1, with 5 abstentions. These include a call on the Commission and EU countries to step up their efforts to respect animal welfare during transport and update EU rules.

CCTV cameras, proper temperature and a ban on transporting very young animals: MEPs want CCTV cameras on transport vehicles, especially for loading and unloading operations, to safeguard operators who comply with the rules. They also ask national authorities to approve animal travel plans only if the forecasted temperature is between 5ºC and 30ºC. New rules should introduce temperature, humidity and ammonia recording devices in vehicles.

MEPs also urge the Commission to establish journey time limits covering all animal species and ages, and a ban on the transport of very young animals below the age of 35 days. The transport of unweaned animals over the age of 35 days should be avoided and allowed only in cases where the journey is under two hours.

MEPs advocate a transition to a more efficient and ethical system, that favours the transport of semen or embryos over breeding stock, and carcasses and meat over animals being moved for slaughter. They call on the Commission to urgently present, no later than 2023, an action plan to support this transition, including a proposal on a specific fund to minimise the socio-economic impacts of the changes that need to be made.

There is no control system in place, MEPs say, for the transport of animals to non-EU countries. They demand member states inspect all consignments to non-EU countries, with a special focus on the access of animals to feed and water, the functioning of drinking devices, and the space and headroom for the animals. Live animal export should be approved only if it complies with European animal welfare standards.

EP rapporteur Daniel Buda (EPP, RO) said: “Proper animal welfare during transport is in the shared interest of farmers, consumers and the whole supply chain. Decisions taken in the European Parliament must take into account of the realities around us.”

“The transport of live animals is an important branch of the EU’s economy, and important for the financial survival of our farmers. The transport of live animals both within the European Union and in third countries must continue while, of course, respecting legislation and improving welfare standards.”

Co-rapporteur Isabel Carvalhais (S&D, PT) added: “We want this committee to make a real difference in defending the welfare of animals during live transport. This is an ambition built on the respect of the different geographical realities in the EU, for our rural communities, and for the continued differences in infrastructure development across the continent.”

The full House is to discuss both documents and vote on the draft recommendations at the Strasbourg plenary session in January 2022.
The animal sentience Protocol is upgraded to an Article in the Lisbon Treaty: December 1st 2009 – The Lisbon Treaty came into force. It is incumbent upon the EU policymakers to entrench the recognition that animals are sentient beings in more rigorous enforcement of current animal protection legislation, and to strengthen future provisions for the protection and welfare of animals.

MEPs historic decision to end animal tests

Strasbourg 16.09.2021 Parliament urges the EU to accelerate the transition to a research system that does not use animals.

MEPs request an EU-wide action plan with ambitious and achievable objectives as well as timelines for phasing-out the use of animals in research and testing. They see this happening by reducing, refining and replacing procedures on live animals for scientific purposes, as soon as it is scientifically possible and without lowering the level of protection for human health and the environment.

They want sufficient medium- and long-term funding to be made available to ensure the fast development, validation and introduction of alternative testing methods including through increased funding under Horizon Europe. MEPs also say that scientists, researchers and technicians must be trained in using advanced non-animal models and in sharing best practices.

Parliament recognises that previous animal testing has contributed to research and medical advances, as well as safe vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines. MEPs understand that there are cases where animal experiments are still needed to gain scientific insights for certain diseases due to the current unavailability of non-animal methods. They underline however that these testing regimes must only take place where conditions are optimised to minimise pain, distress and suffering and protect the welfare of the animals concerned.

The resolution “on plans and actions to accelerate the transition to innovation without the use of animals in research, regulatory testing and education” was adopted with 667 votes to 4.

Poland Animal Welfare crisis

Brussels 18.09.2020 Poland’s governing alliance appeared to be in disarray on September 18, as a dispute over animal rights measures highlighted divisions in the ruling camp, raising the possibility of early elections if differences cannot be resolved.

Tensions within the alliance led by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party came into the open after some members did not support the measures, which passed in parliament with opposition support.

The dispute over changes to animal rights laws, which are seen as an appeal to younger voters, halted talks on overhauling ministries and raised risks of problems for the coalition.

The new rules, which would ban fur farming and curb the slaughter of animals, were opposed by all lawmakers from the ultra-conservative United Poland party, some other lawmakers in doubt have abstained.The legislation aligns situation with the Lisbon Treaty of EU, stating that animals are “sentient beings” and animal welfare is a European value.

PiS lawmaker and Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, who had openly criticized the bill, voted against it.

Opponents of the bill within the ruling alliance said it would alienate voters in PiS’s rural heartlands and hurt farmers.

Poland produces millions of furs a year, and the sector employs about 50,000 people. The country is also one of Europe’s biggest exporters of halal and kosher meat, with 2017 shipments of more than 70,000 tons.

“Negotiations … have been suspended due to the situation we have in the Sejm,” or parliament, PiS lawmaker and Deputy Parliament Speaker Ryszard Terlecki said before the vote.

Asked about ruling as a minority government, Terlecki said this would not be possible.

“If that happens, we’ll go to elections. Alone, of course.”

In 2007, PiS decided to go for early elections and lost power, making the party well aware of the risks of such a move.

Back in 1991, Compassion in World Farming NGO submitted a petition to the European Parliament, calling for animals to be recognised as sentient beings, capable of suffering. This was accepted as a ‘Treaty declaration’ which is not legally binding, but nonetheless a significant first step. Then, in 1997 with the Treaty of Amsterdam, it became a Protocol, with legal status. The new Lisbon Treaty, in force from December 1st 2009, includes animal sentience as an Article, meaning that recognition of animal sentience is now in the main body of the Treaty and carries considerably more weight.

COVID19: threat of animal transport

With over 35 animal welfare NGOs, we sent a letter to EU leaders, asking them to adapt their response to COVID-19, since long border delays are resulting in animal suffering. We called on the EU to ban the transport of farm animals to non-EU countries, as well as journeys that last over 8 hours.

Due to the increased border control delays resulting from COVID-19, in many cases the transport of farm animals cannot be carried out in a way that is compliant with EU law. The EU Transport Regulation requires that animals are moved without delay to the place of destination, and that animals’ needs are met during the journey.Insisting on continued transport of animals in such conditions is irresponsible and inhumane and disregards the EU treaty, which stipulates that EU law and policies must pay full regard to animal welfare” said Peter Stevenson Compassion in World Farming’s Chief Policy Advisor.

We are concerned that in the new EU guidelines for border management, published this week, the EU Commission insists that the transport of live animals between EU countries must continue. These guidelines disregard the severe problems imposed on the health and welfare of farm animals being transported, especially those transported between EU and non-EU countries.

Vehicles with farm animals are being refused entry to Croatia. There are traffic queues of 40 km at the border between Lithuania and Poland and queues on the German side of the border with Poland of 65 km leading to waiting times of 18 hours. Vehicles with farm animals are also getting caught up in very long queues at the exit point between Bulgaria and Turkey – drivers transporting farm animals reported to Animals’ Angels that they needed three hours to move 300 m inside the border.

Queues at borders are stopping medical supplies and health professionals from getting through. It is even less likely that it will be possible to attend to the welfare of animals caught up in these queues.

Moreover, there is a real risk that countries close their borders without having any infrastructure in place to cater to the needs of the transported animals, and provide what is required by EU law, such as food, water and places to rest.

“The trade in live animals threatens not only the health and well-being of the animals, but it also threatens our health”, – said Olga Kikou, Compassion in World Farming’s Head of EU Office. “The drivers, animal handlers, vets, civil servants and their families can easily get infected. Unlike others who enter and exit the EU, they are not required to be in quarantine. We are putting them and ourselves at risk. We are faced with never-before seen measures to contain the spread of the virus as an increasing number of European countries enter lockdowns. Nonetheless, we allow live animals to be transported everywhere, while the health authorities advise people to stay at home. This a double standard! The trade in live animals cannot be considered a crucial sector providing essential services to society. This absurdity needs to stop!”

MEPs oppose cats and dogs illegal trade

MEPs want action to tackle the illegal trade in pets in order to better protect animals and punish rule breakers.(Image: social media)
Many pets are traded illegally across the EU generating high profit at a low risk, often providing a profitable source of income for criminal networks.

To clamp down on the illegal trade in pets, the environment and public health committee called for an EU-wide action plan, tougher sanctions and mandatory registration in a resolution adopted on 21 January.

Dogs and cats are the most popular companion animals in the EU and many of us consider them as part of the family. Most EU citizens care about the well-being of their furry friends: 74% believe that companion animals should be better protected.

Trafficking can lead to poor breeding conditions, puppies and kittens being separated from their mothers too early and long journeys under stressful conditions, often without food and water.

It can also pose risks to public health as illegally bred pets are often not vaccinated and can spread rabies, parasites and infectious diseases to humans and livestock. Consumers attracted by low prices often buy companion animals online without being aware of the risks associated.

Parliament called for a compatible EU system of pet registration in a resolution adopted in 2016. The resolution adopted on 21 January call on the European Commission to come up with a proposal for an EU-wide mandatory system for the identification and registration of cats and dogs, more controls and tougher sanctions against those supplying false pet passports. It also calls for a common EU definition of puppy and kitten farms , as differences in animal welfare standards lead to price differences that can be exploited by illegal breeders.

In addition EU breeding rules for pets are needed while EU countries should be encouraged to put in place registers of authorised breeders and sellers. People should be encourage to adopt, rather than buy, companion animals.

Romania promises bear protection

The Ministry of the Environment in Romania promised to keep the brown bear under strict protection by carrying out a national strategy that deals with the threats affecting them: habitat destruction, climate change and human conflict.

Four bears were hit by car recently, with the last such an incident occurring on November 21 in the evening, on the E60 road in the Gaiesti village in Mures county.

On November 16 another bear was hit by a car, and then shot dead after a day of agony on the road. His injures did not allow him to move, and local authorities were unwilling to transport him to veterinarians.

The cruelty caused public outrage.

However the huntering lobby strated to ciruclate the information insisting there is overpopulation of bears in Romania. Claiming that three people were killed by bears in separate accidents. The scientific community has not stepped forward with their opinion so far.

Romania’s road safety performance improved by 4% between 2017 and 2018. However, Romania is still at the bottom of the EU performance list, with 96 deaths per million inhabitants last year.
In year 2017 1951 persons lost life in car accisents in Romania, among them 733 pedastrians.
Is the population of pedastirans in Romania also “overcrowded”?

Queen Elisabeth switch to fake fur

Queen Elizabeth abandons real fur garments, from now onwards all the outfits will be decorated with fake fur only, the Buckingham Palace announced.

As new outfits are designed for the Queen, any fur used will be fake fur“, the royal spokesperson said.

However, the palace acknowledged “the Queen will continue to re-wear existing outfits in her wardrobe,” alluding that the decision does not mean the long-reigning monarch will dispose of real fur items she already owns, the Associated Press  It also means that the animal rights activists were overly enthusiastic when they presumed the monarch will go “fur-free”, nevertheless it is a huge step forward, a milestone in evolution, indicating the direction of development of cruelty free fashion industry.

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Need for EU legislationon exotic pet trade

Anna van Densky from Strasbourg At monthly hearing of the European Parliament Animal welfare intergroup David van Gennep, CEO AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection foundation (AAP), explained the profound need in regulating exotic animal trade, limiting the list to 42 allowed spices in the European Union, thus creating the ‘positive list’. The exotic animals as pets fashion is a rise, so is the trade in the species, however the overwhelming majority of them can not be adapted to life in captivity, suffering in misery,  being moved from cage to cage, changing owners and caretakers. Many of the exotic pets are tormented by various diseases, related to the unsuitable conditions, lacking space, proper diets and even sunshine. Some of them are transmitting bacteria and viruses, representing danger to humans. Public health and security remain the compromised issues, victim to whims of some individuals, eager to compensate their own mediocrity with the exotic pets colorful identities.

Unfortunately barbaric tradition to keep exotic animals as pets in captivity is booming in Europe nowadays due to the e-commerce, facilitating the purchase. High popularity of pictures with exotic species  is also a lucrative business for their  owners, careless, and often negligent to the particular spices needs,  exploiting the animal to maximum profit along the dramatically shortened lifespan.

‘With the growing popularity of exotic pets we can not help all the suffering and abandoned animals, the only way out is to address the root causes of the problem, and put in place the legislation, establishing the positive list of allowed exotic pets across the EUDavid van Gennep said, calling the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure  the proper legal framework for resolving the issue of exotic pets. Dutch APP foundation, led by Mr.Gennep, aims at long-term solutions for improving the welfare of these exotic, non-domesticated animals, and in this regard the proper European legislation is the relevant solution for the animals and communities in Europe and beyond.

Some of the exotic pet trade is legal, selling spices bred in the EU, but increasingly the animals are captured from the wild illegally (often in Africa) to supply for the European demand for exotic pets, fueling the multi-billion global black market. Some owners discover themselves unable to provide for the pets, when they rapidly grow, and intentional releases of exotic pets are increasingly common in Europe, exposing animal to long agony and painful death. Not less catastrophic  is the other outcome of the irresponsible behavior, when the abandoned animal does not die from starvation or exposure to harsh conditions, but finds a mate to proliferate producing invasive species to detriment of the ecosystems.

Furthermore the exotic pet trade is the contempt to the EU Lisbon Treaty, enshrining animal welfare as “European value“. The Lisbon Treaty, in force from December 1st 2009, includes animal sentience as an Article. It means that recognition of animals as creatures having ability to feel is now in the main body of the Treaty, establishing responsibility of the governments of the EU member-states towards the animals, and requesting the humane treatment of them.

The hearing of the Intergroup chaired by Anja Hazekamp  MEP (GUE/NGL) took place on October 24 in Strasbourg during Plenary week #EPlenary of the European Parliament.

Russian circus bears permanent torture

After three days of the whine and howl coming from the bus in a the parking lot in Chelyabinsk, Russia, the pedestrians called the police to discover jammed in cages fox, raccoons, ferrets and pigeons. And in a cramped cage, the bear was beating his head against the bars. Prisoners shouted and whined, writes KP newspaper.

The most monstrous were the conditions of a bear. A large brown young bear in a crooked position sat in a cage with a meter and a half. Paws stuck out: they had no place to stay. Inside the crate is covered with a layer of manure. The curve of the aluminum drinking bowl, made from an old dipper, was empty. The other animals also had dried out bowls with no traces of water KP continues.

The owner of the bus, Pavel Radaykin, explained to the police that his troupe, Soyuz-Concert LLC, was registered in Penza and they were traveling from Orenburg on tour. In Chelyabinsk we stopped in transit. But Chelyabinsk is not on this route at all. Most likely, they were looking for a place to perform here, ”said veterinarian and animal rights activist Caren Dallakyan (Карен Даллакян).

But if there was at least one corpse in the ill-starred bus, a criminal case would have been initiated immediately. In the meantime, even the federal law “On Responsible Treatment of Animals” is powerless. We need bylaws, which impose a ban on the improper maintenance of animals”, – explained Dallakyan.

The bus with caged dehydrated animals left the city with all the tortured prisoners intact, while local animal rights activists admitted absence of detailed legislation to save zoo animals from apparent torture. Russian frame legislation concerning animal welfare protection was endorsed by Duma in December 2018, however in reality it offers too little or no tools to change ongoing horrendous abuses of wild animals in zoos and circuses across Russia.

Apparently the director of the travelling zoo Pavel Radaykin, a member of the General Directors Rating, ranks # 3 in the Art and Culture industry in the Penza Region as of April 30, 2019.

Thanks to the professionalism of Pavel Nikolaevich (Radaykin), the high-quality and responsible performance of official duties, dedication and leadership qualities, SOYUZ-CONCERT LLC has achieved significant success and has taken a worthy position in the art and culture market“,  according to the site of Art and Culture Industry. 

The endemic corruption in Russia makes possible the advertisement of  Radaykin’s and alike circuses with at most perverse animal torture as “cultural” establishments, receiving subsidies of the Ministry of Culture, thus tax-payers support.

04/05/2019 AMENDED:

Fragments of video from Chelyabinsk in News programme below:

“Wild animals without water and food locked in a bus”

 

 

 

Easter transport massive lamb abuse

Yet again, lambs have been transported across the EU for days with no water, food, room to rest or veterinary care. An investigation by Animal Welfare Foundation sheds light on the systematic cruelties and violations behind the transport of lambs from Eastern Europe to Italy during Easter.

Every year during Easter, Italy imports tens of thousands of lambs for slaughter, mostly from Romania and Hungary. In 2018 Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF|TSB) and Animal Equality Italy released an investigation exposing the terrible conditions in which 800 lambs of only four weeks old were transported for at least 30 hours from Eastern Europe. At that time, AWF|TSB called the police, who fined the transporter 20,000 euros.

This year AWF|TSB teams investigated eleven trucks on 14-17 April, three of them in collaboration with the Italian police. Alarmingly, this latest investigation confirms that nothing has changed, and the story repeats itself.

This year, the three trucks inspected by the police and transporting about 2,400 lambs were fined about 15,000 euros for infringing the EU Transport Regulation (Ref. leg. 1/2005). Violations detected included overcrowding that impeded animals from moving and standing in a natural position, insufficient ceiling height, inappropriate drinking systems that cause dehydration, and incorrectly filled-in papers.

One of the drivers stopped did not even have the authorization to transport live animals, and another of the three trucks was from Hungary and had already been checked by AWF|TSB in 2018, 2017 and 2016, with the same violations recorded by the investigators in 2019. In a truck from Romania, AWF|TSB spotted a lamb that was laying on the ground, unable to stand and breath normally. Since the vehicle was lacking of emergency doors, the team of investigators was not able to help him and it was left on the truck, without any veterinary care, for transport to the slaughterhouse.

AWF|TSB will continue working with its lawyer to put pressure on the transporters, the veterinarians involved and the slaughterhouses.

A video of the investigation is available here.

 

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