Last night, 42 MEPs sent a letter to the European Commission to suspend the transport of animals. As a result of border closures to combat the COVID-19 crisis, vehicles transporting animals are being forced to wait for hours to pass from one country to another. These delays also pose a threat to public health. On the one hand, animals suffer increased stress. They are more susceptible to disease, and, on the other, the condition is created which are conducive to the spread of the COVID-19 virus across borders, carried by drivers, animal carers and border staff.
To halt this animal suffering, we call on the Commission to take the following immediate steps:
- suspension of all exports of live farm animals by land and sea to non-EU countries
- suspension of all consignments of live farm animals between the Member States which involve journeys of more than 8 hours
- Guarantee rapid communication between chief veterinary officers and national contact points to help organisers of livestock events, and ensure that long queues do not form at border crossings or that certain countries do not refuse entry to animals