Document type: answer from the European Commission to question E-002217/2023
Authors: question: Maria Spyraki (PPE). Answer: Protection of Equidae
Question: Protection of Equidae
According to the Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation, the mistreatment of equidae, which are used by their owners to transport people and luggage or to pull often overloaded carriages in high temperatures without giving them enough to drink or sufficient rest, constitutes abuse and leads to serious injury, disability or death.
Given that Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations lays down rules for the protection of equidae, can the Commission answer the following:
1. What information does it have concerning the abuse of equidae and working animals in the Member States and in Greece in particular and how effective does it consider the current EU legal framework to be?
2. Does it intend to propose new cross-cutting measures to increase their protection and stop them from being abused?
Answer: Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 lays down rules for the protection of animals during transport and related operations. Equine animals that are themselves used as a means of transport for persons and luggage or for pulling carriages, are not covered by this regulation.
There is currently no EU specific legislation on minimum standards for the protection of equine animals. The Council Directive 98/58/EC currently lays down minimum protection standards for animals kept for farming purposes, including equines, therefore not for the transport activities mentioned.
There is no obligation for Member States to report to the Commission incidents of mistreatment or abuse of animals in the existing EU legislation mentioned above.
As announced in the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Commission intends to put forward legislative proposals to revise the animal welfare legislation. The Inception Impact Assessment presented an option to establish new species-specific welfare requirements including for Equidae.
An indicative roadmap for developing scientific opinions on welfare for different species was agreed with the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and it includes the welfare of Equidae to allow the adoption of further specific requirements in the future.