Animal cruelty

20 February 2014


Roberta Metsola (PPE) 

Recent cases of animal cruelty in Malta have raised a debate as to whether new legislation with more effective deterrents should be introduced to fight animal cruelty.

Is the Commission aware of the enforcement systems adopted by any of the other Member States as deterrents to fight animal cruelty?

2 April 2014


Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission

EU competences related to animal welfare are limited to issues that aim at achieving specific EU objectives limited to those listed in Article 13 of the Treaty for the Functioning of the European Union such as agriculture or the internal market.

The Commission in 2012 adopted an Animal Welfare Strategy which set out a number of actions for which it has competence and already performed such as: the development of tools, including where relevant implementing plans, to strengthen Member States' compliance; supporting international cooperation; providing consumers and the public with appropriate information; optimizing synergistic effects from current Common Agriculture Policy, and investigating the welfare of farmed fish..

It also set out a number of actions which it proposed to consider during the period covered by the strategy 2012-2015: such as the use of science-based animal welfare indicators as a possible means to simplify the legal framework and allow flexibility to improve competitiveness of livestock producers, a new EU framework to increase transparency and adequacy of information to consumers on animal welfare for their purchase choice, the establishment of a European network of reference centres, the creation of common requirements for competence of personnel handling animals.

However the Commission, does not request information on the means and method of enforcement of laws prohibiting animal cruelty in general in the Member States which remains the competence of the Member States.