Animal protection agency slams Dalli for failing to propose changes to animal transportation rules

Animals’ Angels – an international animal protection agency – claims Commissioner John Dalli failed to keep promise on "eight- hour journey limitation" involving animals to be slaughtered on arrival.

According to the agency, animals die or are injured in transit due to lack of proper amounts of food and water or due to heat stress.
According to the agency, animals die or are injured in transit due to lack of proper amounts of food and water or due to heat stress.

On June 7 2012, the European Commissioner for Health and Consumers John Dalli announced in front of TV cameras and in the presence of Animals' Angels representatives, an international protection agency responsible for the 8-hours campaign, that by 2014 the Commission would publish a legislative proposal on the time limit involving animals  transported and slaughtered on arrival.

After less than a week, according to the animal organisation, based in Germany with active members in Italy, Commissioner Dalli denied ever making the commitment, further adding that he has no intention to propose changes to the legislation on animal transport.

A written declaration, 49/2011, calls on EU institutions to establish a maximum eight-hour limit on the journey of animals transported for slaughter purposes. Dalli's declaration followed the presentation of a petition the same day comprising 103,248 signatures, some of which were signatures of MEPs, including Maltese EU representatives Simon Busuttil, David Casa, Joseph Cuchcieri, John Attard-Montalto, Louis Grech and Edward Scicluna, and animal welfare NGO's.

Millions of animals are being transported over long distances on European roads, sometimes for several days, only to be slaughtered on arrival and after the agency documented hundreds of cases of severe suffering endured by animals during long-distance journeys, the agency decided to launch an 8-hour campaign to limit the transport of animals for the purpose of slaughter to no longer than eight hours.

The agency is calling on the Commissioner to propose changes to the current rules like establishing a time limit involving animals in long-distance journeys.

Agency representative Christine Hafer said:"We are noting that animals are being transported for hours on end without being given sufficient amounts of food and water and at times even being deprived of it. In the process, some animals sustain injuries due to the amount of animals placed in one truck and most of the time are left to suffer throughout the journey.

"Heat stress is another concern. Most trucks don't have a proper ventilator  fitted to keep the temperature low, at times using a fan to replace a ventilator, which is normally not enough to keep the amount of animals being transported cool," a highly concerned Hafer said.

According to Adolfo Sansolini, consultant, Animal Welfare and Trade, UK, "this huge amount of suffering could easily be avoided by killing the animals in the nearest slaughterhouse, followed with the transportation of the meat and carcasses.

"John Dalli's staff had affirmed with us that the current enforcement of the present rules concerning animal transportation was enough, and this following Dalli's statement acknowledging certain animals required a much lower duration than that of eight hours as being proposed," Sansolini said.

Sansolini questioned what kind of holistic approach the EU was taking with regard to animals following Dalli's holistic approach statement.

"Holistic sounds like some animal is going to be given some foot massage or herbal tea. Can we know what kind of holistic approach the Commissioner is on about?" Sansolini joked.

The 8hours campaign was launched jointly by Animals' Angels together with Danish MEP Dan Jorgensen.

For the original recording of Comissioner Dalli's statment visit www.8hours.eu.

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