The Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) has said that common sense has prevailed with the defeat of “unworkable” animal transport proposals.

The European Parliament held a series of votes for MEPs earlier today (Thursday, January 20) on proposed changes to the legislation for the movement of animals.

The suggestions arose from the work of the EU Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT).

MEPs rejected the strictest regulations which were put before them in Strasbourg this morning.

This included proposals to ban the transportation of unweaned animals under 35 days; to limit the journey time of weaned animals over 35 days to two hours; and to ban the movement of pregnant animals in the third trimester.

Two amendments to those proposals that were backed by several Irish MEPs were adopted, which will result in less severe and more flexible alternatives being put in place.


ICSA president Dermot Kelleher has welcomed the decision of MEPs today:

“ICSA has lobbied hard on this issue; we have engaged with all Irish MEPs as well as our partners in Farm Europe to ensure the original proposals put forward by the ANIT committee were dismissed.

“While the highest standards of animal welfare must always be maintained, the transport of animals is integral to the vast majority of livestock enterprises,” Kelleher outlined.

“Not only were these proposals completely unworkable in a practical farming sense, they were also extremely detrimental to animal welfare. It is certainly a day when common sense has rightly prevailed,” he concluded.

The ICSA acknowledged the support of all of the Irish MEPs that met with the organisation and worked with it over recent weeks in the lead up to today’s vote.