Next two weeks are crucial in campaign to allow transport and live export of animals continue - MEP Kelleher

Published on: 18 January 2022

- MEP signatures needed to ensure debate and vote on original, sensible compromises -

“The next two weeks are crucial in the campaign to protect the ability of Irish agriculture to transport and export live animals,” says Fianna Fáil MEP and member of the Committee on Animal Transport, Billy Kelleher.

Kelleher was speaking ahead of a crucial European Parliament debate and vote that is expected to take place in Strasbourg between January 17th and 20th where the Report and Recommendations from the ANIT Committee’s work in 2021 will go before MEPs for adoption.

“Last month’s decision to adopt excessive and highly restrictive alternative proposals from the Left and Greens would, if implemented by the European Commission, sound a death knell for animal transport.“A ban on the transport of pregnant animals in the last third of gestation plus a maximum journey time of two hours for unweaned animals over 35 days, and a complete ban for unweaned animals under 35 days would simply make it next to impossible to export live animals from Ireland.“I had to vote against these proposals, and indeed was the only MEP to vote against the final set of recommendations. This month, I will table the original compromise proposals that are forward-looking, pro-animal welfare yet realistic, and would allow the transport of animals, with stronger animal welfare standards, to continue.“Next week, I will start the process of gathering enough signatures to allow me to table my amendments. This will be a tough task but I believe it is possible.“During plenary week, I will seek to build a majority in Parliament that is both pro-animal welfare but also pro rural communities. From the very beginning of this debate, I have repeatedly said that both positions can exist at the same time,” concluded Kelleher.