Stop Cruel Live Animal Transport

Every year, over one billion poultry and 49 million live cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and horses are transported across borders within the EU and to third countries. The EU-wide legislation regarding the transport of live animals is finally going to be revised in the coming years, and the EU Commission has finally published the suggestions for its revision.

Sign our petition to ensure the revision will be a strong one and animals will no longer suffer unnecessarily. 

We demand a ban on the export of live animals outside the EU, a ban on long-distance transports over eight hours and a ban on the transport of live animals on ships. 

Under current rules, pigs can be transported for 24 hours without a break and cattle for 29 hours, including a one-hour break. This cycle can be repeated as often as it takes until the animals arrive at their final destination, to the extent that they are on the move for several days or weeks. Inadequate transport often results in sickness, injury, or death.

Exports for building up a breeding population in third countries are also highly problematic and are not leading, over time, to a decrease in live animal transport. Pregnant cows, sold as breeding animals, are transported for days over thousands of kilometres, with premature births likely to occur during transport. After giving birth and being milked for a short period of time, the cows are then slaughtered in cruel conditions that comply neither with EU nor OIE standards.

Aside from this systemic suffering, accidents continue to happen. Between December 2020 and March 2021, 2,500 young bulls were stranded at sea in torturous conditions before eventually being killed in the port of Cartagena, Spain. But instead of stopping such exports, Cartagena port started exporting animals shortly after the first round of killing.

FOUR PAWS demands a system reform on a European level. The European institutions should finally put an end to the cruel long-distance transports and replace it with the transport of meat and carcasses.

Immediate measures and a change in the law are necessary to protect the animals! 

The lack of controls and penalties is a systematic violation of the already lax EU regulation on live animal transport (Regulation 1/2005) on the protection of animals during transport. The few breaks and the stocking density of the vehicles are continuously disregarded.

In December 2023, the European Commission finally published the long-awaited proposal for the revision of the EU Transport Regulation. This proposal severely lacks the bold ambition needed to address the significant pitfalls in animal welfare. The proposal will now undergo amendments by the EU Parliament, Council of the EU and the Member States. FOUR PAWS calls for a strong revision of the transport regulation and immediate action to address the worst animal welfare issues. 

Our demands concerning live animal transports:

  • A ban on long-distance transport of live animals to third countries
  • A ban on transport by sea 
  • The dissolution (termination) of all existing agreements on the export of live animals to third countries) 
  • A limitation of the transport duration of live animals to a maximum of 8 hours (4 hours for poultry and rabbits)
  • A ban on transporting unweaned animals that are dependent on a milk diet
  • Slaughter of animals at the nearest appropriate slaughterhouse
  • More unannounced checks and tougher sanctions for infringements
  • A prohibition of transport if expected external temperatures are below 5 or above 25 degrees
  • Transport of meat instead of live animals
  • Transport of semen instead of breeding animals
  • AT Sarah H 13.04.2024 09:40
  • AT Sandra M 13.04.2024 09:24
  • AT Johanna H 13.04.2024 08:57