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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18.01.2018 – Animal Welfare Intergroup meeting

The next Animal Welfare Intergroup meeting will take place on Thursday 18 January, from 9.30 to 11.00 hrs, in room LOW N 3.2, EP Strasbourg. The topic discussed will be on the set-up of the EP Committee of Inquiry on Animal Transport and the animal welfare related work programme of the Bulgarian Presidency (agenda).

Web-streaming: http://www.animalwelfareintergroup.eu/meetings/livestream/ 

 

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24.04.2018 – International Animal Welfare Summit 2018

International Animal Welfare Summit 2018

The 1st International Animal Welfare Summit will take place on April 24th 2018, at Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna.

The IAWS will welcome renowned national and international experts in animal welfare and research, along with representatives from the political and commercial arenas, civil society initiatives and NGOs.

For more details and registration (from mid-October) visit www.iaws2018.com

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01.01.2018 – The Bulgarian Presidency (First Half 2018)

BU Precidency logo

The Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, part of the Presidency Trio Programme  with Estonia and Austria, is taking over the Estonian Presidency for the first time ever and will run from 1 January until 30 June 2018.

Its slogan "United We Stand Strong” reflects its country history and the will to work towards a united and solidary Europe.

With the European elections scheduled for June 2019, Bulgaria will focus its program on the EU policy cycle, which is gradually coming to its end, based on four key areas: the future of Europe and young people, with a focus on economic growth and social cohesion; the European Perspective and Connectivity of the Western Balkans; Security and Stability and Digital Economy and Skills for the future. 

The Bulgarian Presidency will focus on three main principles:

–         Consensus with regards to sensitive political issues such as security, migration, justice, the future of the Western Balkans in the EU, and a sustainable integrated approach to the Danube and Black Sea regions;

–         Competitiveness with the aim to develop a more competitive single market;

–         Cohesion focusing on the future EU cohesion policy, the reformed Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and cultural heritage.

As FOUR PAWS plays a major role in Bulgaria in the field of Animal Welfare, our European Policy Office wishes Bulgaria all the best for its Presidency and welcomes any future initiatives regarding Animal Welfare. Indeed, the country holds a significant position in terms of live transport, due to its geographical situation. Bulgaria has much to promote in Europe, in particular with its legislation on the keeping of wild animals. We hope that Bulgaria will use the Presidency to promote its best examples in Europe.

 

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