Cows in a transporter

FOUR PAWS welcomes the Annex to the Council Conclusions asking for a ban on live animal exports

The German, Dutch and Luxemburg Governments have submitted an annex that calls for a ban on all live animal transports to third countries


“This annex is exceptional”, says Pierre Sultana, Director of the European Policy Office. “It shows that certain EU countries are waking up to the horrific truth of long distance transports of live animal transport to third countries and are willing to finally act. Millions of animals are transported to countries outside the EU every year. They suffer through hours, or even days or weeks of transports on trucks and vessels with insufficient access to food and water. This statement is a clear sign that the European Union is ready to move in the right direction and we urge the Commission to consider this during the upcoming revision of Regulation 1/2005 and hope that other Member States will join this initiative. ”

Live animal transport poses a big animal welfare concern. In 2019 alone, over 1.6 billion animals were transported across the EU and from the EU to third countries. Between December 2020 and March 2021, two vessels with a total of over 2000 animals were stuck at sea for almost three months and only weeks later several vessels transporting livestock got held up when the Suez Canal was blocked. “These incidents underline the importance of a total ban”, says Sultana. “They show that these transports are unpredictable and animal welfare cannot be guaranteed. A ban is the only way forward.”

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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