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Outgoing European Commission fails to protect animals from live exports

News Section Icon Published 27/11/2019

Two days after the live transport tragedy where over 14,000 sheep perished, we received a response to a complaint, sent in August this year. The letter of complaint to the outgoing European Commission was regarding an Irish livestock vessel, the Express 1.

A clear breach of legislation

At the time of the complaint, the vessel did not have a valid certificate of approval and had higher than average mortality rates. Our letter included details stating that the Express 1 had been used as a livestock vessel three times between 7th March and 9th May 2018 – while it had an expired certificate of approval. The animals on board were being transported from Ireland to Turkey. 

Despite this clear breach of legislation, the letter of response stated: “the allegations as presented in your complaint do not appear to show indications of a general practice, a problem of compliance of national legislation with EU law or a systemic failure of the Irish authorities to correctly comply with provisions of the EU legislation in relation to the implementation of the protection of animals during transport.”

Peter Stevenson, our Chief Policy Advisor, says: “The outgoing Commission’s letter is extraordinary in its crass insensitivity – it comes just two days after thousands of sheep died in a disaster at sea and appears to imply that using a livestock vessel without a certificate of approval is not a matter of any real importance.”

The time for duplicity is over

Philip Lymbery, our CEO says, “This is clear evidence that the outgoing Commission is failing in its duty of care for animal welfare; that the Commission is tearing up its own words about animal welfare being a ‘priority’. The time for duplicity is over. The new Commission needs to deliver on the aspirations of EU citizens and put an end to the cruel and senseless long distance trade in live animals for slaughter or fattening.”

The European Commission remains complicit in the cruelty of live animal exports. Call for an end to live exports.


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