AgriMin Oros seeks MEPs' support for continuation of properly regulated livestock exports

Romania has large stocks of sheep for export, a potential it needs to capitalize upon, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Adrian Oros said during a meeting with Romanian MEPs, members of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. "Minister Adrian Oros addressed the Romanian MEPs, members of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, about support for Romanian animal breeders. Live animal exports should not be banned, but their continuation must be linked to compliance with animal welfare requirements. The Minister's approach takes place in the context of the creation in the European Parliament of the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT) and of the motion for an EP resolution banning the transport of live animals and ritual slaughter. Debates are taking place in the EP Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development during this period on changes in the conditions of transport of live animals to ensure high standards of welfare," reads a release from the relevant Ministry. In this context, Minister Adrian Oros underlined a series of aspects of interest to be supported by the Romanian MEPs. The official pointed out that Romania has large stocks of sheep for export, a potential that must be exploited. Romania exports annually two million sheep mainly to the Arab states, which generally prefer live sheep due to the specific slaughter ritual and, last but not least, to the special taste of Romanian mutton. "Middle East and North African markets are very important outlets which should not be lost, otherwise, the European supply would be replaced by producers from other parts of the world, increasing their production and livestock transport that do not meet the high European standards. The export of live animals should be properly regulated and monitored as well as possible, given the economic interest of the Romanian and EU animal breeders; banning it would cause significant harm to European farmers. Therefore, there is need for the strict observance and monitoring of the transport conditions (endowment of the transport means with the necessary equipment, constant supervision thereof, regular breaks, proper feeding and watering of the animals) and funds for their modernization," Oros underlined. According to official data, in the last three years Romania exported on average over 1.6 million sheep annually to third countries such as: Saudi Arabia, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Kuwait State, Israel. At the same time, Romania had an active intra-community trade, with an annual average of over one million animal heads in member states such as Spain, Italy, France or Hungary. Agriculture Minister Adrian Oros sent the Romanian MEPs the request to take the necessary steps for livestock exports to be regulated by a clear legislation that ensures the strict observance of animal welfare requirements during transport, and does not prohibit such exports. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Badea, editor: Andreea Marinescu; EN - editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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