▷ Hand over 900,000 signatures against animal exports to MEPs

14.01.2022 – 11:09

FOUR PAWS – Foundation for Animal Welfare

A document

900,000 signatures against animal exports handed over to MEPs

Petition submission from FOUR PAWS and other animal welfare organizations

Zurich / Brussels, January 14, 2022 – The global animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), WeMove and Animals International submitted a petition with 900,000 signatures to the European Parliament yesterday, calling for a ban on the export of live farm animals to third countries. The joint petition also calls on MEPs to amend the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry into Animal Transport (ANIT) in the forthcoming vote in the EU Parliament on January 20th. In detail, the animal protection organizations expect, in addition to the transport ban for unweaned animals, a maximum transport time of eight hours for cattle, pigs and sheep and four hours for poultry and rabbits.

The demand comes just days before a crucial parliamentary vote that will decide recommendations to protect animals during transport inside and outside the EU. This could be a strong message from the European Parliament to the European Commission to limit transport times and prevent the untold suffering this causes millions of farm animals inside and outside Europe every year.

In December, ANIT members voted in favor of recommendations that focus solely on enforcing existing regulations, rather than calling for stricter measures that would ultimately ban exports to third countries. This would continue to allow for cruel and unnecessary long-distance transport of live animals to countries where the EU has no way of ensuring compliance with animal welfare standards. In Switzerland, the total duration of the transport may not exceed 8 hours and includes the travel time and breaks in the journey. The actual travel time from the loading area may not exceed 6 hours.

“Member of the European Parliament must listen to their constituents and should vote according to the 0-4-8 principle: zero hours travel time for sensitive animals such as weaner calves, four hours for poultry and rabbits and eight hours for adult cattle , sheep and pigs as the maximum transport time. Longer transports, exports of live animals and transport by sea must be banned entirely,” says Pierre Sultana, Director of FOUR PAWS’ European Policy Office (EPO).

There are no stricter regulations

Under current regulations, pigs can be transported for 24 hours without a break and sheep and cattle for 29 hours, with only a one-hour “rest”. A 24-hour break is mandatory at the end of such transports. After this pause, however, the cycle can be repeated as many times as needed until the animals arrive at their final destination, allowing them to be on the road for several days or even weeks.

“With our petition, 900,000 European citizens are sending a clear message to the EU: These long and unnecessary journeys are cruel to farm animals and should be banned,” says Olga Kikou, EU director of Compassion in World Farming. “We urge MEPs to heed this call from citizens and show ambition by going beyond the recommendations of the ANIT committee to improve the lives of millions of farm animals. Stricter rules with absolute travel time limits and specific measures for vulnerable animals should be put in place to prevent suffering and distress during these journeys.”

«In fulfilling their responsibilities as representatives of European citizens, MEPs should also consider the mass mobilizations and actions as the voice of their constituency. Europeans are sending a clear message to Parliament from all corners of the EU. We will see if their demands are heard,” says Virginia López Calvo, Senior Campaigner at WeMove.

“There has already been a lot of talk about live animal exports. While traveling in third countries, I found that the way animals are treated in Europe hasn’t changed at all. This trade cannot be improved. He can’t be human. It must be stopped forever,” says Gabriel Paun, director of Animals International.

On January 17th, supporters of a ban will take part in a twitterstorm across Europe to spread this message ahead of the plenary vote, which will take place between January 7th and 21st.


Every year millions of animals are transported thousands of kilometers by air, sea or land to be slaughtered or fattened for slaughter. During these transports, they suffer tremendously due to stress, exhaustion, overheating and injuries. Even unweaned calves are transported over long distances from the age of 14 days and suffer from hunger, thirst and heat stress, which further impairs their already weak immune system. Also, no special attention is paid to pregnant animals, which sometimes give birth in appalling conditions on board vehicles or ships.

VIER PFOTEN ist die globale Tierschutzorganisation für Tiere unter direktem menschlichem Einfluss, die Missstände erkennt, Tiere in Not rettet und sie beschützt. Die 1988 von Heli Dungler und Freunden in Wien gegründete Organisation tritt für eine Welt ein, in der Menschen Tieren mit Respekt, Mitgefühl und Verständnis begegnen. Im Fokus ihrer nachhaltigen Kampagnen und Projekte stehen Streunerhunde und -katzen sowie Heim-, Nutz- und Wildtiere – wie Bären, Grosskatzen und Orang-Utans – aus nicht artgemässer Haltung sowie aus Katastrophen- und Konfliktzonen. Mit Büros in Australien, Belgien, Bulgarien, Deutschland, Grossbritannien, Kosovo, den Niederlanden, Österreich, der Schweiz, Südafrika, Thailand, der Ukraine, den USA und Vietnam sowie Schutzzentren für notleidende Tiere in elf Ländern sorgt VIER PFOTEN für rasche Hilfe und langfristige Lösungen. In der Schweiz ist die Tierschutzstiftung ein Kooperationspartner vom Arosa Bärenland, dem ersten Bärenschutzzentrum, welches geretteten Bären aus schlechten Haltungsbedingungen ein artgemässes Zuhause gibt. www.vier-pfoten.ch 


photos and footage

High resolution images are here downloadable.

footage is here to find.

Photos and film material may be used free of charge. They may only be used for reporting on this media release. A non-exclusive (non-exclusive, non-transferable) and non-assignable license is granted for such reporting. Future reuse of the photos and film material is only permitted with the prior written consent of FOUR PAWS.

Footage: The broadcaster is obliged to use the FOUR PAWS copyright when broadcasting. The copyright notice can be provided either by displaying the original logo, by displaying the writing “FOUR PAWS – global animal welfare organization” or by verbal information that the owner of the material is “FOUR PAWS – global animal welfare organization”.

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Austrian law applies without its reference standards, place of jurisdiction is Vienna.

Chantal Häberling, Kommunikation Schweiz
Enzianweg 4
8048 Zürich
Tel. +41 43 311 80 90
[email protected]


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