Seven global food firms have joined forces to create the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW). Nestlé, Unilever, Ikea Food Services, Aramark, Compass Group, Elior Group, and Sodexois form one of the world’s first global food industry-led groups focused on accelerating the development of animal welfare standards.
The coalition will implement 3 strategies: provide a platform where food companies and farm animal welfare experts can work closely; prioritize welfare issues and develop roadmaps for industry change; and advance knowledge through industry insights, research, and partnerships for action.
The conference will be organised by the European Horse Network, FEEVA, UECBV and World Horse Welfare. it will be hosted by Jean Arthuis MEP and Julie Girling MEP in the European Parliament on the 16 of October, from 16.30 to 19.00pm.
The event will gather professionals from across diverse sectors of the equine industry, to discuss topics on responsible breeding, securing the value of equidae and the sensitive issue of end of life.
Prague, 18.07.2018 – Recent police raids in the Czech Republic as well as research by the international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS show that tiger trade is not only an issue in Asia: The lucrative commercial trade with a highly protected species and their parts is happening right in the centre of Europe as well. On Monday 15th July the Czech police along with custom officers raided properties in Prague and in central and northern Bohemia in suspicion of illegal killing of tigers and possession of tiger products. Today on the 18th July the Czech authorities announced that they seized a recently killed tiger at one of the properties and that one of the suspects was processing tiger bones and other tiger products. The suspects were shooting the tigers in the eyes to not damage the skins and that the tigers were killed and used to make tiger broth. Furthermore, the Czech authorities also raided the Vietnamese market, Sapa in Prague and discovered tiger meat and products on sale.
One of the target facilities raided this week belonged to well-known circus leader, Mr. Ludvik Berousek. FOUR PAWS research conducted in June show a meeting with Mr. Berousek where he proudly showed his tiger breeding facility near Prague and discussed the sale of tigers to Asia. Mr Berousek offered to sell the tigers to Asian buyers and to help facilitate the documents and transfer and boasted that he had already sold tigers to China in the last three months.
Kieran Harkin, Head of Wildlife Campaigns at FOUR PAWS, states “It is shocking how the EU does so much to combat the trade in wildlife in other parts of the world, but we have turned a blind eye to protecting an endangered species on our own doorstep. FOUR PAWS is calling on the European Commission to protect all tigers and to ban the commercial trade in live captive bred tigers. The EU should take a leading role in protecting these endangered species and ban all commercial trade ensuring tiger traders and businesses have no place in the EU”.
Tigers: A highly endangered species
In the 20th century the world already lost over 90 per cent of its tigers with current estimates indicating that there are only about 3,900 tigers left in the wild.The relentless demand for tigers to be displayed commercially and traded for their body parts to be used in traditional Asian medicines significantly contributes to this decline. Shockingly, tigers born in captivity in Europe can still be traded for commercial purposes such as circuses or for private keeping or for photo opportunities. In some European countries it is not only possible to buy tigers but to also rent tigers for private parties.
How can this happen in an EU-country?
The European Union does not only lack effective regulation concerning the trade of tigers or their parts, there is also no clear overview of the actual number of captive tigers and trade of these animals. No authority, organisation or country knows how many tigers are currently kept in Europe, where they are moved during their lifetime or how they are used for entertainment purposes, where they die and finally whether in worst cases these animals are being turned into tiger bone wine or traditional medicines. Only by ensuring there is no market for tigers and their parts in Europe the European Commission can be serious about contributing to protecting wild living tigers in Asia and playing a positive role in fighting the illegal trade of all wildlife. FOUR PAWS has launched a petition today through which all supporters can call on the European Commission to ban the commercial trade in tigers: https://help.four-paws.org/en/ban-tiger-trade
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.
A charter negotiated between the Walloon government and the Febev, the Belgian Federation of Meat, is being finalized according to the Minister Carlo Di Antonio (cdH). It should be signed before the end of the year, with the intent to become law.
The flagship measure of the charter is the commitment of the slaughterhouses that are affiliated to the Febev (which represents nearly 90% of the companies concerned), to place cameras in their premises. The behavior of the employees towards the animals and the reactions of the animals, from the unloading to the bleeding and the stunning will be filmed. The images stored in the premises for fourteen days, can be consulted on site and at any time by the inspection authorities.
The charter also provides for slaughter companies to put in place an indicator of their performance with respect to animal welfare, as well as regular training on animal behavior for certain employees.
‘The French association for the protection of farm animals “l’Œuvre d’assistance aux bêtes d’abattoir” (OABA) seized the Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles, who tipped in favor of the association and questioned the slaughter without stunning in organic farming. The Court of Justice of the European Union will rule and answer the following question: "Should the applicable rules of European Union law be interpreted as authorizing or prohibiting the granting of the European organic label to meat derived from Animals, which have been slaughtered without prior stunning?’ (source: La France Agricole 10.07.201)
The European Food and Safety Authority and The Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) are organizing a meeting on animal welfare and workshop on “Animal consciousness and implications for animal welfare scientific advice” on 11 & 12 of May in Parma.
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.