Those working in the pet shop sector in Europe are currently faced with a very serious risk to their business. Council Regulation No 1/2005 of 22 December 2004 lays down conditions of transport for animals which are incompatible with the transport of invertebrates. In fact the Commission has already recognised the limitations of this regulation, as it explained as far back as 2009 that the ‘present provisions in the “animal transport Regulation” … are not suitable to aquatic animals’ (COM(2009)0162).
However, since then the Commission has not brought about any improvement in the situation, and UPS, the main transport firm used by pet shop wholesalers, has recently stopped transporting ornamental fish.
The French pet shop workers' union Prodaf has already drawn the attention of DG SANCO to this issue in December 2014 and January 2015. At a meeting on 9 January2015 in Brussels between UPS and Unit G.3, reference was made to the forthcoming publication of new guidelines. I can hardly stress too much the urgency of the situation for many people working in this sector.
1. Has the Commission yet identified any possible approaches to this issue?
2. Could the Commission please state when it expects to publish these new guidelines?
As follow-up to several requests, on 3 February a meeting was organised with some Member States and other stakeholders on the issue of transport of ornamental fish in the Union.
In order to find a practical solution which will ensure a smooth functioning of the internal market whilst preserving the welfare of ornamental fish, a further discussion is foreseen in the context of the March meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.