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Health and Consumer Protection

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Brussels, 16 October 2000

EC Animal Transport Rules to be applied in Slovenia

David Byrne, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, today welcomed the implementation in the Republic of Slovenia, of Community rules on the welfare of animals during transport. The Slovenian government will, as of 16 October, start to carry out inspections and controls on cross border transport of animals to verify compliance with the relevant EC legislation on transport conditions and travel times, as incorporated into national Slovenian law. The initiative of the Slovenian government comes in response to the action plan for short term improvements concerning the protection of animals during long-distance transport, presented by David Byrne in May this year to all candidate countries.

"I am very pleased with this swift action by the Slovenian authorities" Commissioner Byrne commented today. "I hope this will set the scene for an equally fast implementation of these rules throughout the Accession countries. In doing so, the Eastern European authorities can bring major improvements to the conditions of animals during international transport. Such improvements are badly needed, especially in the conditions for transporting horses. The progress made in Slovenia strengthens my belief that the most effective way to achieve better welfare standards is to work towards an international consensus on animal transport."

The action plan for short term improvements for the protection of animals during long distance transport was discussed with the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the Candidate countries at the TAIEX (Technical Assistance Information Exchange Office) meeting in Lisbon in April this year. It foresees enforcement in the short term of key requirements of EU legislation on animal transport, notably for the transport of horses. Such requirements include controls on the vehicles used for animal transport, checks on adequate loading of animals, health checks of animals before and during transport and an obligation to take remedial action in case animals are found to be suffering.

The quick follow-up to the action plan was first announced by the Slovenian veterinary authorities at a seminar on the protection of animals during transport, organised within the framework of the Commission's TAIEX programme for the candidate countries recently in Bratislava. The TAIEX Office (Technical Assistance Information Exchange Office) has developed programs, i.e. training, to raise awareness on animal health and welfare issues, including the transport of animals, for the general public and in particular to official veterinarians in the candidate countries.

The animal welfare legislation concerned is notably Council Directive 91/628/EC on the protection of animals during transport and Council Regulation 411/98/EC concerning additional standards applicable to road vehicles travelling for more than 8 hours.

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Released on 17/10/2000


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