Doc. 8971
5 February 2001

International transport of animals

Motion for a recommendation

presented by Mrs Mikaelsson and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only

the members who have signed it

1.       European countries and citizens have for a long time shown considerable interest in animal welfare and living conditions for a variety of reasons (historical, ethical, public health, consumer-related etc).

2.       The Council of Europe has for many years also been concerned about animal protection (transport, breeding, slaughter). In particular, in 1968 it adopted the European Convention for the Protection of Animals during International Transport.

3.       The Assembly itself adopted recommendation 1286 (1996) on animal welfare and livestock transport in Europe, showing concern for the ill-treatment inflicted on animals during international transport and for the failure to comply with the relevant legislation. In that text, it recommended that the Committee of Ministers call on states parties to the Convention to improve, as a matter of urgency, international livestock transport conditions.

4.       For its part, the European Community adopted Directives 95/29/EC and 91/628 EEC on the protection of animals during transport.

5.       Both the Community Directive and the Council of Europe’s Convention are currently being revised in order to strengthen their operative parts.

6.       However, the Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Food has recently noted once again failures to comply with national and European legislation in the field of animal transport; it has also noted animal transport conditions and treatment inflicted on living beings which are totally unacceptable: unnecessary violence and suffering, excessive transport distances and duration, poorly ventilated modes of transport, animals not given food or water, sick or wounded animals, etc.

7.       The Assembly would like to see an end to this intolerable trafficking and would like all the necessary measures to be taken to ensure that the trade in and transport of animals takes place in conditions compatible with their welfare, particularly in the countries which are signatories to the European Convention, and that the regulations in force are strengthened if necessary in order to protect the animals.

8.       Furthermore, following the enlargement of the Council of Europe, it is also appropriate for the abovementioned convention to be implemented in the countries of central and eastern Europe with which livestock trade and transport has developed. To date, only three of these countries have ratified the convention.

9.       The Assembly would like to see a strengthening and an improvement of the measures and controls in the field of animal transport, with the transport of live animals restricted to the bare minimum. It would also like to put forward a number of proposals on this matter, as part of the process of revising the European Convention for the Protection of Animals during International Transport.

Signed : 1

Mikaelsson, Sweden, UEL

Agudo, Spain, SOC

Angelovicova, Slovakia, SOC

Behrendt, Germany, SOC

Chapman, United Kingdom, EDG

Etherington, United Kingdom, SOC

Fehr, Switzerland, LDR

Hoeffel, France, EPP/CD

Hornung, Germany, EPP/CD

Kjaer, Denmark, EDG

Mocioi, Romania, NR

Robol, Italy, EPP/CD

Skopal, Czech Republic, SOC

Staehelin, Switzerland, EPP/CD

Taylor J.D., United Kingdom, EPP/CD

von der Esch, Sweden, EPP/CD


1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group