EU laws that protect live animals during transport should apply to journeys taking place outside the EU, according to a judgement today by the European Court of Justice.
Under EU legislation, animals must not be transported in a way likely to cause injury or undue suffering. Journeys must also allow for regular resting periods and feeding intervals.
Responding to a case referred to it by a German regional court in Bavaria, the European Court of Justice today confirmed that these standards should apply to all stages of a journey if the point of departure is within the EU.
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented:
"Animals are sentient beings, and just like us they suffer from long journeys without enough food, water or rest.
"The EU has played an important role in improving animal welfare standards and reducing unnecessary suffering during live transport.
"However, too often these rules are callously ignored, including when animals are shipped further afield. Today's ruling should encourage us to ensure EU laws on animal transport are properly enforced, both at home and abroad."