New European Parliament Animal Transport Committee to investigate whether EU has failed to properly implement welfare rules

Inquiry Committee chair Tilly Metz says goal is to deliver better implementation and stricter controls between Member States.
Animal transport

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

25 Sep 2020

The chair of the European Parliament’s new Animal Transport Inquiry Committee has pledged that it will probe claims that EU Member States have failed to enforce rules on animal welfare.

Tilly Metz told this site it will also investigate alleged “contraventions and maladministration” in animal transport.

The committee, which has a one-year term and is made up of 30 members, is one of several that have been set up by Parliament.

Its aim is to investigate alleged violations in the application of EU law on the protection of animals during transit within, and outside, the EU. It will also focus on how EU rules are being implemented by Member States and whether the European Commission is enforcing them properly.

The Committee met for the first time on Wednesday where Metz, a Luxembourg Greens/EFA group deputy, was elected its chair.

Afterwards, she told this website, “I am very happy and honoured to have been elected chair”.

“The inquiry will not be starting from zero. Thanks to the Parliament's implementation report from 2019, it has already been established that there are issues.”

She added, “The Inquiry Committee’s mission will be to inquire how systematic these issues are and to establish whether the European Commission and Member States have failed in their mission to ensure proper implementation of existing EU-rules.”

“The Inquiry Committee’s mission will be to inquire how systematic these issues are and to establish whether the European Commission and Member States have failed in their mission to ensure proper implementation of existing EU-rules" Chair of the European Parliament’s new Animal Transport Inquiry Committee, Tilly Metz

The MEP said, “We will conduct a fair and extensive investigation and issue our conclusions and recommendations at the end of the Committee’s mandate. Our goal is to get to better implementation and cross-border cooperation between Member States, with stricter controls on the ground and sanctions for those who do not ensure animal welfare.”

Metz added “The Inquiry Committee’s recommendations can contribute to the revision and improvement of regulations on the protection of animals during transport.”

The Committee will seek to ensure compliance with rules on long distance journeys, preventing delays and transport of unfit animals and animals that have not yet been weaned.

Its deputy chairs are German EPP group member Marlene Mortler, Dutch GUE member Anja Hazekamp, Dutch Socialist Mohamed Chahim and Slovak Renew Europe member Martin Hojsik. The Committee next meets in mid-October.

Parliament has also set up a Subcommittee on Tax and Special Committees on Cancer and Artificial Intelligence.

The Beating Cancer Committee will be chaired by Polish EPP member Bartosz Arlukowicz and has four deputy chairs: Joanna Kopcinska (ECR, PL), Sara Cerdas (S&D, PT), Nathalie Colin-Oesterle (EPP, FR) and Ivars Ijabs (Renew Europe, LV).

Its task is to identify legislation and other measures that can help prevent and fight cancer and look into the best ways to support research.

The AI Committee is chaired by Romanian RE member Dragoş Tudorache and its deputy chairs are Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D/FI), Geoffroy Didier (EPP/FR), Edina Toth (EPP/HU) and Birgit Sippel (S&D/DE).

Its mandate is to analyse the future impact of AI on the EU economy, in particular on skills, employment, fintech, education, health, transport, tourism and agriculture.

Speaking to this website, German Greens MEP Alexandra Geese, a member of the Committee, said she has some reservations saying, “I am interested to see the additional value as there will be overlaps with legislative AI committees. This may lead to confusion. The real work will continue to take place in the specialised committees.

"But it is good to have an additional stage for this topic - which is very broad and important, so I will concentrate on the content and push forward environmental and social content at all levels.”

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