The current EU legislation on the welfare of animals during transport is Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005, which applies to all vertebrate animals that are transported in connection with an economic activity. The requirements of this legislation have been retained in UK legislation and continue to apply after EU exit. Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 is administered and enforced in Scotland through the Welfare of Animals (Transport) (Scotland) Regulations 2006.
Call for Evidence and Systematic Review
As a first step in reviewing the current welfare in transport regulation, Defra, the Scottish Government and Welsh Government launched a call for evidence in 2018 to seek views and gather further evidence on controlling live exports for slaughter and other improvements to animal welfare during transport.
The call for evidence sought factual information about the transport of live animals, views on how well current regulatory requirements protect animal welfare in transport and what reforms could be justified in terms of animal welfare.
In parallel to the call for evidence, a systematic review on the welfare of animals during transport was commissioned by Defra on behalf of Defra, the Scottish Government and Welsh Government.
This research was conducted by Scotland’s Rural University College (SRUC) and University of Edinburgh (UoE). Evidence and information from the call for evidence and the systematic review fed into FAWC’s Opinion. The systematic review presented scientific literature which indicated which welfare improvements could be made for animals during transport.
Proposals Consulted Upon
The FAWC Opinion was commissioned by Defra in 2018 with the support of the Scottish and Welsh Governments. Animal welfare policy is generally devolved but ideally we would wish to have consistent legislation as far as possible to aid understanding and enforcement as there are many routine movements of animals for various purposes to and from all parts of GB.
The Scottish Government, although it wishes as a minimum to keep pace with future EU transport legislation, believes that there is an opportunity to strengthen the welfare of animals during transport regime to reflect the latest scientific and veterinary evidence.