There will be a European parliamentary inquiry into animal transport. An overwhelming majority of the European Parliament voted in favor of the Party for the Animals proposal to investigate abuses in animal transports in depth.
It is the first time that a European parliamentary inquiry has been launched into animal protection and animal welfare. The new Commission of Inquiry, established today in Brussels with 605 votes in favor and 53 against, with 31 abstentions, is to investigate alleged violations of EU legislation on the protection of animals during transport.
The investigation will focus on how EU rules are implemented by Member States and whether the EU Commission enforces them properly, according to the adopted decision. The investigation focuses on how some EU countries grant permits for such shipments but subsequently fail to monitor them.
Dutch MEP Anja Hazekamp (Party for the Animals) asked for such a committee of inquiry after persistent reports about horrific situations on board livestock transport ships. Hazekamp also visited several European ports. “Animals were transported there in extreme heat, abused and loaded onto horror ships that were completely unsuitable for transport.
This parliamentary committee of inquiry is going to investigate in depth how it is possible that permits are repeatedly granted for animal transports that take place under illegal circumstances. We want to ensure that all EU countries abide by the rules and no longer give permission for animal transports in extreme weather and for weeks-long transports to countries outside Europe, ”said Hazekamp.
European committees of inquiry are empowered to call witnesses and experts and request documents from national and European public administrations. EU countries that refuse to cooperate risk criminal proceedings. Parliamentary surveys are not commonplace in Brussels. They can be used 'in cases of breaches or maladministration in the application of Union law'. The European Parliament has historically used committees of inquiry to investigate the Panama Papers (2016), Dieselgate (2015) and the BSE crisis (1996).