The exportation of live EU animals to the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey is an all-too-often occurrence. Statistics from Compassion in World Farming reveal that annually, over three million animals are exported from the European Union to non-EU countries. Aside from these journeys being unnecessarily long and arduous and thus breaking EC Regulation 1/2005, animals also leave behind all legal protections they had once been entitled to.
This is all the more concerning as the exportation of live EU animals appears to be a growing industry. The European Commission has revealed in its publication ‘Short-Term Outlook for EU arable crops, dairy and meat markets’ that in the first eight months of 2015, there was a 59% increase in cattle exports to the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. The report also predicted a further increase in the live trade of these animals in 2016.
This is completely unacceptable, and I have written to the relevant Commissioner to challenge the breaches of Regulation 1/2005 when transporting livestock to the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey. I will continue to campaign against the inhumane live transport of animals, whether from the EU to third countries or within the EU, not least given the appalling examples of maltreatment that exist even within my own constituency.