EU updates recommendations for transport of farm animals

Recommendations consider space, temperature and time
calendar icon 10 October 2022
clock icon 1 minute read

In September, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a set of updated animal welfare recommendations for the transport of various farm animals. Separate recommendations were published for cattle, small ruminants, equidae, pigs, and farm birds and rabbits. The five new scientific opinions are intended to support the European Union’s (EU) ongoing review of animal welfare legislation as part of the EU’s Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy.

The new EFSA recommendations suggest new standards for space, maximum temperatures, and maximum journey times to improve the welfare of farmed animals during transport. These recommendations will likely serve as the basis for reviewing existing animal welfare directives, most of which have been implemented over a decade ago, in coming months, the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service said in a recent GAIN report.

As the new legislation will likely include regulations, which are directly applicable in all member states, an important European Commission goal will be to enforce a more harmonised application of the new standards across member states. The uneven implementation of existing animal welfare legislation, including poor enforcement at the member state level, has long been the source of animal transport challenges, mainly of transport by boat, irritation about competition distortion between member states, and animal welfare abuse reports from the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors.

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