NLA, BGL, and FNTR: Good signs of introducing a clearer division of responsibility between farmer and transporter

On 7 December, the European Commission presented its proposal for a revised Regulation 1/2005 on animal transport. For years, the Common Road Transport Office of NLA, BGL and FNTR has consistently called for a harmonised implementation and enforcement across the EU to ensure improved animal welfare. One of our key recommendations is to introduce a clear division of responsibility between farmer and transporter.

It is therefore positive to see that the Commission has listened to the sector and suggests changes to the legislation that introduces a clearer division of responsibility between farmer and transporter. This is needed to ensure that the keeper and transporter are only responsible for checking elements that they are fully in control of. And it is also perfectly in line with the recommendation made by the European Parliament’s ANIT Committee. 

This way the farmer who knows the history of the animals and has a real opportunity to observe them, will have the responsibility of ensuring that only animals that are fit for transport are loaded onto a truck. While the transporter in turn bears full responsibility for the loading and the unloading of the animals, in addition to the condition and legality of the vehicle, the correct training and instruction of the driver and the quality of driving.

However, we are deeply concerned that the proposal also introduces new far-reaching obligations as regards temperature and space allowance, which will put pressure on the industry. It is now important to analyse these closely to see if there is a balance between these measures and the intention to improve animal welfare. Moreover, this should be checked by competent authorities and representatives of various stakeholders.

Finally, we welcome the fact that there are no plans for a general ban on transporting live animals to third countries. The burden of proof that transport to third countries complies with all the provisions of the regulation should not rest solely on the organiser.

The Common Road Transport Office will remain very committed to provide expertise and information on good practices during the legislative process.

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