Luxembourg bans live animal transport to third countries for slaughter

Spanish calves on board of Karim Allah, photo: Tallia Shipping Line/Reuters
Spanish calves on board of Karim Allah, photo: Tallia Shipping Line/Reuters

Luxembourg will ban the export of live animals to slaughterhouses in third countries from the beginning of March, agriculture minister Claude Haagen announced on Tuesday.

“The high-quality sustainable agriculture that we are aiming for must aim for the highest standards of animal protection,” Haagen said, adding that citizens are increasingly concerned about decent living conditions for all animals.

Luxembourg is the first EU country to make this decision and hopes to stimulate other European countries to do the same.

“This is in the sense of a more ambitious animal welfare system, to set an example in Europe for restricting long-distance animal transport,” agriculture minister Claude Haagen said on Twitter.

Animal welfare organization Four Paws welcomed the decision but added that the ban should be extended to all live animal transport.

“We need more than just a ban of exports for slaughter. We now urge (EU) Member States to go further and ban export of animals for breeding, fattening and slaughter,” Pierre Sultana, director of the European Policy Office at Four Paws, said.

“These exports must be replaced with transport of carcasses, finished products and genetic material rather than live, sentient beings,” he added.

Hundreds of thousands of animals get exported from the EU to third countries every year, Four Paws said. Animals spend days and sometimes even weeks stuck in transport trucks and livestock vessels.

Numerous incidents in recent years have shown that governments cannot guarantee the animals’ welfare during these transports.

“The suffering that animals endure during those transports, be it by sea or via road, is unimaginable and these transports are unpredictable,” Sultana said.

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