MEP Anja Hazekamp calls on the European Commission to launch an infringement procedure against Romania, after the country authorises mass transport of 70.000 sheep from the Port of Midia to the Persian Gulf while temperatures rise above 45 °C. This is in breach with European rules on the protection of animals during transport, which state that inside the vehicle or vessel, temperatures must be maintained below 30 °C during the entire journey.
Over the past couple of days, MEP Hazekamp – as well as European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis – urged the Romanian authorities not to authorise this particular transport. As Romania ignored their calls, the Kuwaiti vessel ‘Al Shuwaikh’ left the port on Sunday night, carrying tens of thousands of exhausted and mistreated sheep. “This is totally unacceptable! Despite the many warnings, Romania keeps on violating EU rules, allowing all these animals to suffer and perish aboard this monster boat,” says Hazekamp.
Hazekamp visited the Port of Midia last weekend, where she observed horrendous animal abuse during loading. “Sheep were kicked, beaten and attacked with electric poles, but Romanian authorities refused to intervene. Europe can no longer look the other way. Animal welfare rules are being violated systematically. The Commission must act now.”
Total ban on live exports
In addition to the infringement procedure, Hazekamp has been advocating a total ban on live animal exports to non-EU countries.
Last February, the European Parliament supported her proposal (in its Implementation Report on Animal Transport). However, as live exports are still continued and as animal suffering during transport has not been stopped yet, Hazekamp called on the newly installed MEPs, to establish a Committee of Inquiry to investigate breaches of EU rules and put an end to the suffering.