European Vegetarian Union

written/translated by: Georgia Blackwell

Press Releases from the EVU


EU Animal Transport Consultation:

Comments by the European Vegetarian Union and Farmed Animal Action

The European Vegetarian Union and Farmed Animal Action's position is that as
sentient beings, no animal should be killed for its body to be consumed as
meat. In addition, numerous doctors, scientists and environmentalists have
highlighted the detrimental effects of a flesh-based diet. However, the mass
consumption of animal flesh has resulted in a situation whereby animals are
routinely transported for thousands of miles to satisfy various states'
consumption preferences and to perpetuate the `free trade' myth throughout
the European Union and indeed the World.

In view of this, the recent EU wide public consultation regarding the
transportation of live animals has to be welcomed in terms of alleviating
the suffering of so many farmed animals which is impounded by the
transportation process.

As a contribution to this process, Farmed Animal Action submits the
following recommendations;

- A maximum journey time of 8 hours for all animals destined to be
slaughtered and fattening and to include animals destined to be bred for

- Animals originating from a state where animal welfare laws are stricter
and more progressive should expect at least the same standards from the
destined state. For example; animals destined for sow stalls or veal crates.

- Strict monitoring of journey times should be implemented by numerous spot
checks en route, (at each loading and unloading point) and should include
monitoring of journey times via automatic controls on board vehicles.

- Infringement of any regulations should result in animmediate withdrawal of
transportation licences and attract severe penalties.

- Vehicle inspections should be thorough and undertaken on a regular basis
to ensure that animals are comfortable, fed and provided with water.

- Due consideration should be shown that any animal welfare `improvements'
implemented should be seen as a first step in the process of a complete and
total ban on the exportation of live animals from one state to another. In
addition, it has been shown that animals suffer extreme stress by the very
process of transportation, particularly loading and unloading ('The Welfare
of Animals During Transport' - Report of the Scientific Committee on Animal
Health and Animal Welfare 2002) and obviously the slaughter process and
therefore, due consideration should be given to removing EU and Member State
subsidies to exporters and instead encourage at least a system whereby
animals are killed at their farm of origin and at best, invest the funds
into providing subsidies to producers of organic arable farming and adequate
information to public consumers regarding a plant based diet in line with
the European Vegetarian Union's contribution to the European Convention:

Meat consumption: The advantages of a plant-based diet (see also
recommendations WHO 2003) are becoming increasingly apparent and the
warnings about excessive meat consumption are getting more frequent and
explicit. However, in spite of the concerns of doctors, scientists,
environmentalists, and organisations working in the interest of animals, the
support of the meat market remains a prime target in all national and EU
economic contexts.

However, alternatives are available to this traditional diet and they are
even more advantageous from a health, economic, ecological and ethical point
of view. So the European Vegetarian Union calls upon European decision
makers to...

*Accept vegetarianism officially as a valid and beneficial diet.
*Accept a vegetarian diet as a human rights principle.
*Grant human health and animal well-being priority over economic interests.
*Negotiate ways to stop subsidising production over demand.
*Refrain from "exporting" factory-farming schemes to joining countries.

Herma Caelen
HonSecretary General
European Vegetarian Union


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