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Eight hour transport limit needed to stop animal suffering

December 15, 2011 3:50 PM

London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford has backed a call by the European Parliament for an 8 hour maximum limit on the journey time of animals transported across Europe to abattoirs. Signatures are being collected for a 'written declaration, the MEP version of a Westminster Early Day motion.

MEPs are calling on the European Commission to impose such a limit through a tightening up of the current 2005 regulation governing animal transport. Under this regulation it is still legal for animals to travel long distances for a long period of time as long as certain rules on rest and refreshment are observed.

Sarah Ludford commented:

"Nearly a million Europeans have signed an online petition, which shows the strength of support for this important animal welfare reform. It is unacceptable to inflict the degree of suffering or even discomfort that journeys longer than 8 hours impose."

"We need half of MEPs to sign - 369 - for this to become the official position of the European Parliament to which the European Commission has an obligation to respond. It is important that the EU does its utmost to safeguard animal welfare in a reasonable way."

"It is generally preferable for animals to be slaughtered at home - giving business to British abattoirs - and exported as British meat. Any loopholes in EU agricultural or food labelling legislation which allow animals to be labelled as 'produced' where they are simply slaughtered should be closed, to remove any incentive to live exports"

Notes to Editors

The Written Declaration can be read here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fNONSGML%2bWDECL%2bP7-DCL-2011-0049%2b0%2bDOC%2bPDF%2bV0%2f%2fEN

More details about the 8 hours.eu campaign and petition can be read at: http://www.8hours.eu/declaration