ICFAW signed a cooperation agreement with the OIE

ICFAW was formed in 2001 to represent non-governmental animal welfare organisations from all over the world at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). On May 2018, the two organisations signed an agreement which will strenghten their partnership to help improve animal welfare globally through the effective implementation of OIE animal welfare standards and guidelines.

FOUR PAWS is member of the ICFAW

Please find here below the ICFAW Press Release


Continue reading ICFAW signed a cooperation agreement with the OIE

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EU Court of Justice: Slaughter without stunning on temporary sites was and will remain illegal in Belgium

Today, in the C-426/16 case, the Court of Justice of the EU ruled that Regulation 1099/2009 is valid and is respecting freedom of belief. In this case, the flemish Court of Brussels was asked to decide if the Brussels law prohibiting ritual slaughters (slaughter without prior stunning) in temporary slaughterhouses (but not in "official" slaughterhouses) was valid. The plaintif, an organisation representing muslims organisations, has estimated that this duty to use only "official" slaughterhouses was in practice infringing the freedom of beliefs of muslims in Brussels. The flemish Court of Brussels decided to hold on the litigation and refer the question to the EU Court of Justice, whose finally stated in favour of the validity of the legislation.

Today's decision is a big step for animals slaughtered every year without stunning, and will probably help the Belgian Constitutional Court to validate the similar legislation adopted by other Belgian regions (wallonia and flanders) that are currently challenged. 

Read more on: https://www.gaia.be/fr/actualite/cour-europeenne-justice-linterdiction-labattage-sans-etourdissement-sur-les-sites

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Animals should be better protected during disasters

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Update of 31th May: The final report has been voted in plenary

FOUR PAWS welcomes today's European Parliament's ENVI vote recognizing the key role of animals during disasters

The EP Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety has overwhelmingly supported today the consideration of animals in a EU disaster related political text. The adopted report on the Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism, rightly points out the importance to take animals into consideration when planning disaster risk prevention, by suggesting their inclusion in two different parts of the text.

Until now, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism, which aims at enabling a coordinated response to disasters, points out the importance of people, environment and property, including cultural heritage, but fails to include animals as potential victims during disasters, which is essential for the community to recover more quickly and to avoid poverty.

"Disasters demonstrate how much animals are an important part of our society: not only farm animals are crucial for many agricultural businesses and in the European economy, but also companion animals are important, as they are considered as members of the family. Finally, wildlife is a complete part of the identity of a country. For this reason, FOUR PAWS has been supporting for years, local communities that are victims of natural or man-made disasters, by helping animals", says Pierre SULTANA, Director of the European Policy Office of FOUR PAWS in BRUSSELS, and a trained First Animal Responder. Last year, FOUR PAWS assisted animals during humanitarian and rescue missions, such as in PUERTO RICO after hurricane Maria, or in GAZA, MOSUL and ALEPPO.

According to the European Commission's DG ECHO, for every euro spent in disaster prevention, 4 to 7 euros are saved in disaster response. "Given the importance of animals for the economy and the communities, we are pleased that the Parliamentarians encourage countries and the Commission to adopt a medium- to long-term and sustainable approach, to mitigate the impact of disasters on animals and to help develop awareness. The next step, shall be to ensure the planning, the implementation and the enforcement in the EU and national legislation thereof", warns SULTANA.

The report should now be voted during the plenary sessions of May or June 2018, before the launch of the trilogue negotiations.

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27.04.2018 – Draft decree on Walloon Code of Animal Welfare adopted by Minister Carlo Di Antonio (cdH)

Thirty years after the adoption of the law on the protection and the welfare of animals, the Walloon government adopted on 25 April 2018, the animal welfare code, still to be submitted to the Council of State.

Fourteen measures have been decided based on the principle that animals are sensitive beings, capable of feeling emotions and hold a certain level of consciousness.


the Code aims at ensuring the protection and welfare of animals:

  • the keeping of animals
  • prohibited practices and authorized interventions on animals
  • animal trade
  • the transport and entry of animals in the Walloon territory
  • the killing of animals
  • animal testing
  • inspecting, investigating, identifying, prosecuting, punishing and taking restorative measures regarding animal offenses.

Main dispositions laid down in the Code:

  1. Regarding the detention of animals:
  • A license will now be required to hold an animal. A database to identify people who are prohibited from holding an animal will be implemented.
  • Abandonment, neglect and mistreatment of an animal are prohibited in Wallonia and are severely repressed.
  • The identification and registration of dogs and cats is obligatory, under certain conditions.
  • It is forbidden to hold a cetacean in Wallonia as well as animals for exclusive or main purposes of fur production.
  • It is forbidden to organize animal fights or animal shooting exercises.
  • As of 1 January 2023, horses will no longer be considered as an attraction at fairs. Circuses will no longer be able to hold animals other than domestic animals.
  • Battery cages for laying hens will be prohibited by 2028 (egg code number 3) and will affect 9 farms in Wallonia.
  1. Regarding the animal trade
  • It is prohibited, for the purpose of facilitating the sale or donation of an animal, to falsify information relating to its age, origin or state of health. It is also prohibited to market or give an animal to a minor or to canvassing.
  • An animal that has not been identified or registered cannot be marketed, that is, donated or sold.
  • Limit the advertisment of the commercialization and donation of animals to combat impulsive acquisitions.
  1. Regarding prohibited practices and permitted animal interventions

It is prohibited:

  • To excite the ferocity of an animal.
  • To impose on an animal work beyond his natural abilities.
  • To improve the vocal abilities of a bird by blinding it.
  • To ship an animal by post, to dye or colour an animal.
  • To award animals as prizes, awards or donations in competitions, lotteries, raffles or betting.
  • Collect hairs or feathers from live animals.
  • To perform a painful procedure without anesthesia.
  1. Measures Regarding the transport and introduction of animals in Walloon territory
  •  It is forbidden to transport or to arrange a transport of animals in such a way that they are likely to be injured or suffer.
  • The duration of the transport must not exceed the duration of 8 hours when moved to a slaughterhouse.
  • The Government may prohibit or restrict the introduction or transit through the Walloon territory of certain species if there are risks of endangering the welfare of the animal. It may also lay down the conditions to be complied with for the introduction or transit through the Walloon territory of certain species.
  1. Regarding the killing of animals
  • An animal can only be killed by a person who holds the required knowledge and skills, and following the most selective, fastest and least painful method for the animal.
  • An animal is killed only after anesthesia or dizziness, with exceptions.
  • For special slaughter methods prescribed by religious rites, the stunning process must be reversible.
  • The Government may allow the slaughter of animals on the farm.
  • Surveillance Cameras will be installed in slaughterhouses intended to verify that the welfare of the animal is respected.
  1. Regarding animal experiments
  • Experiments that have no purpose related to human or animal health are prohibited, particularly those relating to cutaneous corrosivity, phototoxicity, cosmetics, biocides, detergents or aimed at developing tobacco products.
  1. Regarding animal welfare offenses
  • Animal abuse is severely punished in Wallonia. The criminal nature of the facts can now be retained for the most serious cases of abuse. Sanctions can be followed such a prison sentence or a fine of up to 100.000 to 10 million euros.

 

Further information available on wallonie.be

GAIA has welcomed the announcement of the Animal Welfare code in Wallonia (read more here).

 

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25.04.2018 – EU Commissioner for Health, Vytenis Andriukaitis: “We need to re-recognize that animals are sentient beings.”

© Adrian Almasan - www.adrianalmasan.com

FOUR PAWS hosted the first International Animal Welfare Summit in Vienna, Austria

Brussels, 25th April 2018 – International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS hosted the first International Animal Welfare Summit in Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna on 24th April. The theme of the event: “Animal welfare – question of the future or luxury problem?”. More than 300 guests were in attendance to hear speeches and discussions from experts from the fields of science, nutrition, economics and arts.

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen took over the patronage for this first of its kind event. In his humorous speech, he spoke of animal welfare "as a matter of the heart". Animal welfare was "thank goodness no longer a luxury topic". Rather, it is "an existential question that concerns us all." The summit is a step in the right direction: "Today we will ask ourselves questions and try to find solutions for them together."

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, also emphasized the importance of animal welfare: "We need to re-recognize that animals are sentient beings." Andriukaitis spoke of the EU's recent achievements in animal welfare, but also on the huge challenges yet to come.

Host Heli Dungler, founder and president of FOUR PAWS, addressed a bitter truth in his welcoming speech: Over the next 30-40 years, the number of farm animals on earth will double. The emergent countries in particular will greatly increase their meat consumption. Dungler warned against the effects of this development not only on animal welfare, but also on the environment.

In his eagerly awaited interview on stage, Ai Weiwei, Chinese conceptual artist and human rights activist, talked about his personal connection with FOUR PAWS. When he did a research piece on refugees in Gaza a few years ago, he came across a tiger rescued by FOUR PAWS. The animal was trapped in an abandoned zoo in Gaza. Animals, according to Ai Weiwei, have always been part of human life – and have been victims of humans for far too long. It's time to reflect on human values ​​and show more responsibility to all living creatures, he added.

Renowned author, activist and scientist Raj Patel took over with his keynote on the topic "A Planet for All?". In his lively and entertaining talk, he focused on cheap mass production with all its devastating effects on humans, animals and the environment.

The present Jordanian Princess Alia, founder of the "Princess Alia Foundation" and long-time companion of FOUR PAWS, was appointed to a special ambassador of the Animal Welfare Summit.

More information about the IAWS 2018 can be found here: http://www.iaws2018.org.

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21.03.2018 – International coalition to fight online trafficking of wild animals

©VIER PFOTEN

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), TRAFFIC, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare launch ‘The Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online. The goal is to reduce by wildlife trafficking online 80% by 2020! Giant tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft join in partnership to work together.

Read more on https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/wildlife-watch-tech-companies-online-wildlife-crime-coalition/.

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5.03.2018 – First EU Reference Centre for Animal Welfare

The EU Commission has designated the first EU Reference Centre for Animal Welfare made up of a consortium formed by the Wageningen Livestock Research (The Netherlands), the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (Germany) and the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University (Denmark). It will focus on pig welfare and its designation will be reviewed every five years.

The Centre will provide technical support and coordinated assistance to the Member States to carry out official controls on animal welfare and contribute to the dissemination of good practices, carry out scientific studies, training courses and disseminating research and information on technical innovations.

The link to the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/329 of 5 March 2018 designating a European Union Reference Centre for Animal Welfare is available here.

 

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23.01.2018 – Exhibition Make Fur History

MinkThe European Conservatives and Reformists Group with Fur Free Alliance, Otwarte Klatki, and Eurogroup for Animals will organize the Exhibition Make Fur History (23-25 January) at Altiero Spinelli building, 3rd floor, European Parliament Brussels.

The Official Opening will take place on Tuesday 23 January (EXHIBITION SPACE) from 14.00-14.30.

More information here

Register here

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10.01.2018 – Switzerland forbids boiling live lobsters

lobster-964413_640Lobsters will from now on be stunned before being put to death. Switzerland has banned the practice on Wednesday 10 January, and will take effect by March 1st.

Scientific evidence shows that lobsters, and other invertebrates, such as crayfish and crabs, feel pain. Other countries such as Norway, New Zealand and Switzerland, some Australian territories, and some parts of Germany and Italy have included the decapod crustaceans in their animal welfare legislation.

Read more here.

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19.01.2018 – OIE, Cornerstones for the future of globally diversified livestock production

On 19 January from 2-4 pm CET, during the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) 2018 in Berlin, the OIE will host a high-level panel on the future of animal health and welfare, cornerstones for the future of globally diversified livestock production.

Questions which will be used in direct during the high-level panel, can be sent via twitter to the panelists by sending a private message to @OIEAnimalHealth. Comments and highlights can be sent on Twitter using the combined hashtags #OIE #GFFA.

More information on the OIE website

More information about the GFFA 2018 here

The programme of the GFFA 2018 is available here

 

 

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