There are strict requirements laid down in the relevant regulation that drivers must first complete a training course before they can be tested to establish whether they are suitable to transport animals. It is not possible to test whether a person is a suitable driver to transport animals before they are sent on the training course. There are no requirements for two-stage training or for drivers to gain experience before they start to drive large, multi-decker trailers.
1. What does the Commission think about amending the regulation so that tests can be carried out to establish whether a person is a suitable animal transport driver before they are sent on a training course?
2. What does the Commission think about amending the regulation to bring in a requirement for two-stage training, or for experience, before drivers can start driving large, multi-decker trailers?
Article 6(5) and Article 17 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport(1) establishes the obligation for persons driving a road vehicle transporting animals to hold a certificate of competence.
This certificate of competence confirms that the road drivers and attendants have completed a training on the technical and administrative aspects of this regulation, caring for the animals during transport and the impact of driving behaviour on the animals(2).
Therefore, under the current Regulation, training is a prerequisite for anyone intending to transport animals.
This training does not include road safety aspects when driving certain vehicles. To drive such vehicles, persons must undergo an additional separate training required by the directive on the training of professional drivers(3).
The Commission will evaluate and revise the EU animal welfare legislation by 2023 under the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. The objective is to align it with the latest scientific evidence, broaden its scope, make it easier to enforce and ultimately ensure a higher level of animal welfare. In this regard, a fitness check(4) of current rules will be performed, including Regulation (EC) No 1/2005.
For this purpose, the Commission has asked the European Food Safety Authority to provide new advice that reflects the most up-to-date scientific research and data, among others, on welfare of animals during transport(5).
In light of this exercise, and the results of the actions described above, the Commission will further specify the steps needed in addressing animal welfare during transport.