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Italy 12.12.2023

Copa-Cogeca advocates for balanced reforms in animal transport rules

Source: The DairyNews
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The European Commission's release of the long-awaited revised rules for animal transport has sparked concerns within Copa and Cogeca, representing EU farmers and agri-cooperatives.
Copa-Cogeca advocates for balanced reforms in animal transport rules
While acknowledging some technical improvements, the organizations emphasize the need for a balanced approach that considers practicality, animal welfare, and the diverse conditions across Member States.

Key Concerns Raised by Copa and Cogeca:

  • Minimum Age for Young Animals: The proposal to increase the minimum age for transporting calves to five weeks (from 14 days) and three weeks for piglets, lambs, and goat kids is viewed as potentially crippling for many farms. The associated costs, including structural changes and additional resources, pose challenges, especially for dairy farms.
  • Journey Time Cap for Slaughter: Imposing a 9-hour cap on journey time to slaughterhouses raises concerns about limiting farmers' access to available facilities. This, combined with the ongoing concentration of slaughterhouses in the EU, could expedite the depopulation of rural areas.
  • Cap on Journey Time by Road: The proposed caps on journey time for purposes other than slaughtering could disrupt established supply chains, particularly in Member States with longer distances, inadequate infrastructure, or mountainous regions.
  • Temperature Limits: Concerns are expressed about the potential discriminatory nature of temperature-related restrictions. Requiring night drives in temperatures exceeding 30ºC is seen as disruptive to both animal welfare and the social aspect of transportation, particularly in the summer, especially in southern regions.
  • Space Allowance and Vertical Height: New rules on space allowance and minimum vertical height may decrease the number of animals per truck, leading to safety issues and increased carbon emissions. The adjustment period proposed is deemed excessively short, posing challenges for effective implementation.

Copa and Cogeca urge the European Parliament and the Council to address these issues, emphasizing the importance of making adjustments to ensure that the revised rules are implementable, non-discriminatory, and based on scientific considerations. The organizations stress the need for a harmonized approach that considers the practical experiences of operators and promotes animal welfare without disproportionately burdening farmers and transporters.
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