European Commission's Proposed Animal Transport Laws

In June, the European Commission released a draft law intended to regulate animal transportation within the European Union.

The proposed law would increase the amount of space that has to be devoted to each animal and would limit transportation to a maximum of 9 hours which would then have to be followed by an 11 hour rest period. That did not please animal activists who want a strict limit of 8 hours maximum total travel time for animals.

Sonja Van Tichelen of Eurogroup for Animal Welfare told Reuters,

They are not thinking of a transport limit but some intermediate solution of nine hours and then 11 hours rest on the vehicle, then another nine hours and so on. It will make every journey a lot longer. It’s unbelievable they can even consider it. It would almost double the transport time from the Netherlands to Greece.

Farmers in some EU countries, such as Ireland, also were displeased, saying the new restrictions would essentially end their livestock export businesses.

The proposed new regulations also ban the transportation of pigs younger than four weeks, lambs younger than one week and calves younger than two weeks would be banned altogether.


Brussels draws up tough new animal transport law. The Financial Times (London), June 11, 2003.

Byrne puts livestock trade at risk accusation. Sean MacConnell, The Irish Times, June 20, 2003.

EU drafts new rules on transporting live animals. Jeremy Smith, Reuters, June 16, 2003.

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