On 2016, two NGOs have given to our Law Firm a mandate to submit a formal complaint to the European Union Institutions about the violation of the EC Regulation No. 1/2005 on the transport of live animals from the European Union to Turkey by road.
The NGOs carried out investigations along the route to Turkey to document, expose and make official complaints about the extreme animal suffering on this route. The findings of these investigations were alarming. Indeed, animals are transported under horrible conditions which lead to serious dehydration, heat stress, injury and, often, even death.
Eurostat data shows that from 2010 until 2014, more than 850,000 sheep and 4,500 goats were exported from the EU to Turkey. In addition, over 650,000 cattle were exported from the EU to Turkey in the same period. It is an indisputable fact that long-distance transports of live animals cannot be carried out without the high risk of causing severe stress and suffering to the animals.
Consequently, the complaint was submitted to the Commission and to the EU Parliament on May 16th 2016 against 13 Member States which were clearly not in compliance with the Regulation during loading of the animals on the trucks, approving the trucks, or due to a lack of verification of route plans, etc. Therefore, we have asked the Commission to open infringement procedures against them.
Furthermore, on November 13th 2016 we have submitted an integration of the complaint in which we have reported the terrible situation at the EU/Turkish border during the summer and the continuous and serious violations of the Regulation No. 1/2005 by some Member States.
Another integration was submitted to the European Institutions at the beginning of the 2018, and we are waiting for a decision by the Commission.
Additionally, the same NGOs have given us a new dossier about their investigations between 2014 and 2017 on the sea transports of animals from EU to the Third Countries, which clearly shows that such transportations are in violation of the EC Regulation No. 1/2005 and of the international Conventions on safety during navigation.
Therefore, on December 2017 we have submitted to the Commission and to the European Maritime Safety Agency a complaint against a few Member States that during the transport by the sea of animals from their ports to the Third Countries are violating the provisions of the Regulation No 1/2005 and of the Directive No. 2009/16/EC on the port State control. They are also breaching the International Conventions, SOLAS and MARPOL, on safety during navigation and on the protection of the marine environment.
In fact, these States have failed to monitor the correct application of the provisions of the Regulation and, furthermore, they could not be in compliance with all the standards of the Directive and of the International Conventions about safety during navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
Here again, we are waiting for a decision of the Commission about the possibility to open infringement procedures against such Member States.
Finally, considering the experience gained by our Law Firm on disputes relating to the protection of animal rights in Europe, at the beginning of April 2018, thanks to the invite of the Deputy Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at the Monash University of Law in Melbourne, Professor Joanna Kyriakakis, one of our Lawyers, Manuela Giacomini, had the opportunity to give a lecture to several Professors of such University about “The evolution of the animals’ rights under the European Law”.
Avv. Giuseppe M. Giacomini