The future CAP should include Animal Welfare in the decision-making processes of the EU Commission

FOUR PAWS calls for Animal Welfare friendly production to be taken into account

On 7th July 2017, during the conference ‘The CAP: Have your say’ in Brussels, members of civil society, industries and decision-makers gathered to discuss the needs of the future of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). FOUR PAWS and Eurogroup for Animals, represented the voice of animal welfare advocates, underlining the need to ensure that animal welfare was included in the discussions.

Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, presented the results of the public consultation based on over 322,000 contributions, from all EU Member States. The views of the EU citizens and stakeholders were gathered to identify the challenges and the priorities for the future CAP at the EU level. According to the results, Animal Welfare constitutes a major challenge. Although Commissioner Hogan expressed the need for “fresh money for fresh initiatives”, animal welfare was not mentioned throughout the conference.

Pierre Sultana, Director of the FOUR PAWS’ European Policy Office took this opportunity to underline that “the results of the public consultation clearly reveal that citizens are highly concerned with animal welfare and the EU Commission should therefore include this element in their decision-making. The intensive husbandry system should be adapted and include more sustainability and animal welfare standards.”

Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals comments, ‘’Today’s CAP has been successful in sustaining European agriculture, but has, along with global trends and competition within the agricultural market, encouraged the intensification of animal production, at the expense of animal welfare. With this recent public consultation, citizens and organisations across Europe have expressed the need for a future CAP to deliver its objective of promoting animal welfare. The Commission should take stock of public opinion to re-think the current CAP system that significantly improves animal welfare.’’ 

FOUR PAWS, insists on the urgent necessity and the importance of having good husbandry. Animal Welfare practices need to benefit both animals and farmers. In this respect, the EU Commission needs to recognize this and include improved animal welfare standards within the CAP, as this concern has clearly been displayed throughout the results of the public consultation.