FOUR PAWS welcomes the European Council’s support to the idea of creating an EU Animal Welfare Platform
During its Council Agriculture and Fisheries session held on 15th February 2016, the European Council has welcomed the idea to create an EU animal welfare platform, suggested by the German, Swedish, Danish and Dutch delegations.
In December 2014, the ministers in charge of Animal Welfare of Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands wrote a Joint Declaration calling on the EU Commission and in particular EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Mr. Andriukaitis to establish an EU Platform for Animal Welfare. In April 2015, during a conference on Pig Welfare organized in Copenhagen, the minister for Rural Affairs of Sweden joined the ministers of Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands in the call for the establishment of an EU Platform for Animal Welfare, and all together they wrote a position paper on the necessity to establish such a platform, and the possible ways to do it. Today, the position paper was discussed in the Agriculture and Fisheries Council and gained support from the Council.
The aim of this platform would be to create a place for discussion and exchange of knowledge, experience and best practices on animal welfare between the diverse stakeholders and the EU Institutions. The overall goal would be to strengthen animal welfare at both the national and EU level.
Pierre Sultana, Director of the European Policy office of VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS says: “We welcome this initiative that could help to improve the consistency in the approach of the EU institutions toward animal welfare, as well as better enforcement at national level. There is a desperate need to exchange best practices between all stakeholders and where needed to get the chance to translate them into an EU legislation. Today we also face the problem that animal welfare is dispersed among many Directorate Generals in the EU Commission that prevents a sustainable and consistent animal welfare approach in the EU. For this reason, the EU platform could also integrate the idea of a “one-stop-shop for animal welfare”. Already in 2015, together with 41 other animal welfare organisations, FOUR PAWS signed an open letter aiming to support both the Joint Declaration on the creation of an EU Animal Welfare Platform, and the Written Declaration n° 22/2015 of 27 May 2015 on a one-stop-shop for animal welfare.
Following today’s support of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, EU Commissioner Andriukaitis announced that meetings will be organised with stakeholders and Member States regarding the establishment of the platform. FOUR PAWS will monitor closely the situation.
The Joint Declaration on Animal Welfare of December 2014