6.04.2017 Regulating the sale of companion animals in the European Union

The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals met on Thursday 6 April 2017, to discuss the need to regulate the sale of companion animals in the European Union.

The President of Eurogroup has referenced and endorsed FOUR PAWS international “The Pet Deception campaign” and the strategic objectives regarding breeder and seller registration and public accessible database.

Eurogroup’s Press Release is available here


FVE calls for improved and more effective controls in slaughterhouses

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), has published a press release, expressing its concern about animal welfare in slaughterhouses throughout Europe, emphasizing on the promotion of good practices, setting standards and raising awareness.

Access to their press release is available here


29.03.2017 EU wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses is needed

An EU wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses is needed. That’s the conclusion of the conference "Use of Wild Animals in Circuses : Time for a Change", held on 28 march 2017, co-hosted at the European Parliament by Marlène Mizzi MEP (Malta, S&D), the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals and organised by Eurogroup for Animals. More than half of EU states and in more that 50 States worldwide already adopted National legislations aiming at banning animals in circuses.

Throughout the presentations the following points have been raised:

  • The general public preferences’ are changing, supporting the idea of circuses without animals. New alternatives for contemporary circus art exist without animals.
  • Circuses are not suited for wild animals as their needs are not fulfilled. They need a suitable environment and transport ensuring their welfare.
  • The use of wild animals in circuses brings a misguided public perception and educational message of wild animals.
  • Public security and safety
  • The need to have best practices in circus entertainment

23.03.2017 The Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament reviews the new study “Animal Welfare in the European Union” by Professor Donald M. Broom

Brussels, Thursday 23 March 2017 – In response to a growing number of petitions received, the Committee on Petitions of the European Parliament reviewed a new study by Professor Donald M. Broom, department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, entitled “Animal Welfare in the European Union” and discussed possible violations of applicable EU law.

The study reveals that 35% of EU animals are unprotected. The Eurobarometer indicates that there is an increase of animal welfare concern and demands, leading to new welfare-friendly markets within and outside the EU.

A vast majority of EU citizens believe that both enforcement of existing animal protection legislation and the development of new Animal Welfare policy and legislation are needed, as there are still species that are not protected by law. This has an impact on the EU’s reputation an image on the rest of the world.

The study also emphasises on the serious animal welfare problems that are not covered by law in the EU. The report recommends the elaboration of a general animal welfare law or species specific legislation and the mention of animal sentience & welfare.

The animal user industries, animal protection groups and policymakers share the view that animal welfare legislation and policy should be based on science, on research on animal welfare and on the exchange of information.

Access to the report is available at here


23.03.2017 Animal rights association reveals pigs’ mistreatment in Flanders slaughterhouse

The West Flanders Tielt slaughterhouse has closed after a graphic footage was released by the animal welfare organisation, Animal Rights, depicting the mistreatment of its pigs. All activities have been suspended, further to Ben Weyts (Flemish Minister of Animal Welfare N-VA) decision to revoke the slaughterhouse license. The supermarket chain Delhaize has ended all collaboration with the slaughterhouse.

Further information is available here


16.03.2017: Breakthrough for the Animal welfare party (PvdD) of Marianne Thieme at Dutch national elections

It is a notable breakthrough for the Animal welfare party of Marianne Thieme (‘PartijvdDieren, PvdD) who gets 5 seats instead of 2 during the previous election.

Prime Minister Mark Ruttes’ center-right VVD party wins elections with 33 of parliament’s seats out of 150. It is Mr Rutters third successive term as a Prime minister. In second place follows Mr Geert Wilders Freedom Party (PVV) with 20 seats, while the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Liberal D66 party close behind with 19 seats each. The GreenLeft wing party led by Jesse Klaver, has shown a breakthrough, 16 seats against 4 in 2012.
The participation rate compared to previous elections shows that the Dutch have voted in large numbers, as the participation rate was 82 %, one of the highest rates over the last thirty years.

More information is available here.


14.03.2017 European parliament adopts Resolution to improve equine welfare

The International animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS congratulates Julie GIRLING, MEP, on today’s adoption of the Resolution by the European Parliament, in favour of the Initiative report on responsible ownership and care of equines aiming at enforcing legislative measures to ensure equine husbandry and welfare throughout Europe. The report includes the recommendations laid out in the study published by World Horse Welfare and Eurogroup for Animals, ‘Removing the Blinkers: the health and welfare of European Equidae in 2015’, which outlined the scope, scale and welfare challenges of the equine sector in Europe.

Access to the full Press release is available here


14.03.2017 Historical event: approved MEP Stefan Eck’s own initiative Report on minimum standards for the protection of farm rabbits, initiative launched by MEP Stefan Eck

On 14 March the EU parliament voted in favour of MEP Stefan Eck’s own initiative Report on minimum standards for the protection of farm rabbits in Europe.  

The European Commission has to propose, within an appropriate time frame, a legislative proposal on minimum standards for the protection of farmed rabbits.

There are over 340 million rabbits farmed in the EU and no specific EU legislation on minimum standards for the protection of rabbits so far existed. This is a step forward not only regarding to the rabbits welfare, protecting and improving the living and slaughter conditions. It will also have a positive impact on farm management and practices, in respect to their biological and behavioural needs.

Access to the report is available here .