Saturday, July 9, 2011

Essay on transport of animals

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The Transport of Animals for Slaughter


Every day, more than one million animals for slaughter are transported all over Europe. These pigs, sheep, bullocks or horses endure long trips of three, or even five days, in overloaded, badly ventilated lorries, without food or water. On arrival, many of them have died of suffocation or through being trampled on.


At the present time, European legislature does not fix any time limit for the transport of animals for slaughter but imposes 4 hour intervals of rest after 4 hours on the road (even hours according to the species). The animals must then be unloaded at a stopping point for feeding, drink and rest, after which the trip can continue, sometimes for several days from Holland to Greece or from Germany to the Middle East.


A DIRECTIVE, FEW CONTROLS


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These regulations are not respected by the transport companies (lorries which do not meet existing standards, overloaded vehicles, the transport of sick or wounded animals, etc.) as has been noted by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation on many occasions which particularly asks for the end of lengthy transport of living animals, to be replaced by the transport of carcasses and meat in refrigerated lorries, and a strict limitation of 8 hours for the transport of living animals (from the livestock farming area to the place of slaughter or of fattening).


THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY IN THE FRONT LINE


The Brigitte Bardot Foundation also attacks the CAP, which encourages long transport and penalises local production, with its human dimension. It must be pointed out that certain countries, including France, export very young animals (from to 10 weeks old only according to the species) to other countries where they will be fattened, before being once again transported over long distances to the slaughterhouse….


However, the countries that are members of the Union do not lack space in which to develop an extensive agriculture which would respect the conditions of livestock farming, but also the producers’ working conditions and the expectations of the consumers. This is no longer simply a case of animal “well being” but also a will to revitalize the rural environment, somewhat deserted by the intensification and the breaking up of the production. The exchanges between countries of the Community would no longer concern the transport of live animals but the sale of the finished product. For those who defend animals, this measure is all the more justified by the fact that that since the adhesion of new member countries the frontiers of the union are being pushed even further away.


BRIGITTE BARDOT RECEIVED BY THE FRENCH MINISTER


After having contacted all the European Union Agriculture ministers and the French Euro parliament members, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation was received on February 4th last by Herv� Gaymard, the French agriculture minister.


However, it seems that France will not support a strengthening of the presnt directive on transport, which did not unduly surprise the President of the foundation who considers her country as “eternally bringing up the rear in the European Union in the domain of animal protection;”


HOPE COMES FROM EUROPE


Whilst having received the support of about a hundred French members of Parliament, The Brigitte Bardot Foundation, a member of Eurogroup for Animal Welfare, now looks to the European institutions that should very shortly be amending the “Transport” Directive.


The Commission’s proposals are expected in the next few weeks, after which the European Parliament will have to make out a report to be presented to the Council. Whereas France, even before knowing the content of this report, declares that it is already opposed to limiting the transport times that is not the case for Denmark, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Belgium and the United Kingdom.


United we stand….and the strength of the Union is to be able to raise the standards of animal “well being” which will become a reference, an example, for the world (that is the meaning of the protocol annexed to the Amsterdam Treaty).


We can all remember the pictures of animals being transported to the slaughterhouse. Who can, decently, close their eyes in front of so much cruelty, and the suffering of animals?


We shall have the reply during the coming debates within the European Institutions.





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