Disappointment after the 2nd meeting of the EU Animal Welfare Platform

The European Animal Welfare Platform

The EU Commission should take animal welfare more seriously

13.11.2017 – Brussels. On Friday 10th November, the second meeting of the EU Animal Welfare Platform took place in Brussels. As announced during the last meeting, the EU Commission confirmed that two sub-groups will be created: one on transport should be finalised by the end of this year, and a second one on pig welfare should be established after the next Platform meeting in June 2018.

Many Member States and other stakeholders requested the establishment of more sub-groups, in order to tackle important animal welfare issues, in particular on illegal trade in dogs and cats, and on equine welfare. Sadly, the EU Commission made clear that it is not intentioned to establish other official working groups, and repeated that it is not intentioned to produce or amend EU legislation on animal welfare – even when it is much needed, as in the case of live animal transport.

Pierre Sultana, FOUR PAWS EU Director, “We welcome the idea to create sub-groups on transport and pigs to improve the enforcement of these pieces of EU legislation. However, we regret that the EU Commission is not willing to create some others, in particular regarding the issue of pet trade, ignoring once again the demands of EU citizens, confirmed by the last Eurobarometer on animal welfare”. Five Member States, who recently produced a joint proposal on pet trade, demanded the establishment of a subgroup on dogs and cat trade, and were supported by other Member States and stakeholders. This demand is in line with the aims of the CARO (“Companion Animal Responsible Ownership”) project, supported by the EU Commission itself.

FOUR PAWS also welcomes the highly needed discussion on equine welfare that took place in the afternoon session, in particular on the topic of population management. FOUR PAWS would however like to recall that the main reason why some horses are “unwanted” is because of some amateur – and unfortunately also professional – breeders, who are breeding many more horses than the market absorbs, thus generating dreadful consequences for such unfortunate animals. FOUR PAWS would therefore support the establishment of a sub-group on this topic, as requested by several Member States. It is indeed much needed that the EU Commission, Member States and other stakeholders work together in this direction. Pierre Sultana added: “The EU should make sure that any legislative change of animal welfare legislation is truly in favour of the animals, and not of detriment to them”.

Facing the repeated call to create more sub-groups, the EU Commission finally let a small door open for members of the Platform, , who will be able to organise informal sub-groups on other topics, and report back to other participants during the general meetings, in order to improve collaboration on specific topics.  “We would like to invite the EU Commission and the Platform to consider the call of the EU Member States and other stakeholders and to take courageous decisions where needed”.

 

To review the web stream of the meeting: https://webcast.ec.europa.eu/second-meeting-of-the-platform-on-animal-welfare

Click here to access the minutes of the second meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare.

Contact information:
VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS, European Policy Office
Avenue de la Renaissance 19/11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Email: office@vier-pfoten.eu; communication@four-paws.eu                                         
Phone: 0032-2-7400888
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11.11.2017 – Improvement of Animal Welfare standards monitoring in UK Slaughterhouses

© VIER PFOTEN International Environment Secretary Michael Gove has confirmed that CCTV will be mandatory in all slaughterhouses in England early 2018 and will come into force next spring. Official vets, working for the Food Standards Agency, will have unrestricted access to the last 90 days of footage.  (Read more here).

This news comes a year after the French parliament voted to install mandatory video surveillance in slaughterhouses from 1 January 2018.

Read the full ‘Mandatory Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) recording in slaughterhouses: Summary of responses and Government response’

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No subsidies for animal transport cruelty outside of the EU

FOUR PAWS

FOUR PAWS welcomes the judgement of the European Court of Justice that could affect 170 million live animals transported per year

Brussels, 19 October 2017, The European Court of Justice confirmed that European animal welfare regulation on live animal transport apply to the entire journey, including outside the European Union. In order to get export refunds on livestock, exporters are required to follow Regulation No 1/2005, guaranteeing the protection of animals during transport and to minimize suffering and cruelty, until the first place of unloading in the third country of final destination. The court ruling was linked to an excruciating journey of animals from the Netherlands to Beirut and is not the first time the European Court issues a ruling which calls for implementation of European law for live animal transport for animals sent beyond European borders.

“FOUR PAWS welcomes today’s Court decision, improving the welfare of millions of animals exported outside EU borders every year during their transport. This gives full effect to the previous case and it is absolutely normal that, in return for a reimbursement, the exporters should guarantee the highest welfare to the animals during their transport,”  says Pierre SULTANA, Director of the European Policy Office of FOUR PAWS in Brussels.

The livestock export company did not complete the journey log for the 13 days of transport to Beirut of 36 live bovines, of which 5 died. The journey log was only completed until the exit point of the EU. Nevertheless, the veterinarian in Beirut stated that the welfare of the bovines was good and the transport was carried out according to European rules for animal welfare during transport.

Because of the incomplete journey log, the Dutch competent authority rejected the veterinarian’s statement and requested the reimbursement of the export refund with an additional 10% penalty.

The court was asked whether the transporter must keep the journey log up to date until the first place of unloading in the third country of final destination or whether it is sufficient that the journey log be handed over to the official veterinarian at the exit point of the Union. Without having access to such, a veterinarian in the third country cannot attest that the route plan records are in compliance with European rules on animal transport and export refunds. The route plan records hold information on the duration of the journey and the resting times of the animals. The judgement states that the original journey log has to be completed until the exit point of the EU. A copy of the journey log has to be kept and completed until the first unloading point of the country of final destination. The Court based its decision on the effectiveness of animal welfare.

“Once again, the serious inconsistencies of regulation No 1/2005 have been pointed out and we hope that the EU Commission will finally consider a revision, as required by the “stop the trucks” campaign”, as quoted by Pierre SULTANA.

 

Continue reading No subsidies for animal transport cruelty outside of the EU

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04.10.2017 – EU Auditors to examine animal welfare measures

The European Court of Auditors will verify in five Member States (Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Romania), whether payments for animal welfare have been well used and effective. The audit will cover breeding, transport and slaughter.

The goal by 2020, is to go beyond the minimum requirements set at national and EU level.

The audit report is expected to be published end of 2018, before the European Parliament elections of 2019.

The press release is available here.

 

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02.08.2017 – Nicolas Hulot wants to create a think tank on animal welfare

France's Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announced on Wednesday 2 August, that he wants to "create a think tank on animal welfare" under the authority of "a philosopher and a parliamentarian". "This is a societal matter, we should not be afraid to raise it," said Nicolas Hulot, wishing to set up a future group capable to draw conclusions concerning animal welfare.

Read more here

  
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18.07.2017 – FOUR PAWS joins new animal welfare group BelgPAAG to fight online illegal pet trade

Belgium, 18.07.2017 – The international animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS is now part of the new animal welfare group BelPAAG (Belgian Pet Advertising Advisory Group) and will work jointly with the group to promote responsible pet advertising. Unscrupulous trading of puppies and other animals online is a growing concern across and outside Europe, due to the fact that no EU legal framework regarding online selling of pets exists, which makes this trend difficult to control.

Continue reading 18.07.2017 – FOUR PAWS joins new animal welfare group BelgPAAG to fight online illegal pet trade

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28.08.2017 Food integrity in the food chain: How can the animal production sector contribute? EAAP Annual Meeting in Tallinn

The ATF-EAAP annual meeting will take place on August 28th in Tallinn, Estonia, to discuss ‘Food integrity in the food chain:  How can the animal production sector contribute?’. The programme is now available online.

It will gather animal science with practice of animal production and connect researchers, policy-makers, industry representatives and societal organisations.

The Animal Task Force (ATF) promotes a sustainable and competitive animal production in Europe. They are a private partnership of experts from knowledge institutes and industry representative organisations from across Europe. They work closely together with EAAP on setting the European agenda for research and innovation in the animal domain.

The European Federation for Animal Science or EAAP is an international non-governmental organization which aims to improve the knowledge and the dissemination of research results of domestic animals farming. Membership is open to scientists, animal breeders and administrators.  

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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.

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

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14.07.2017 Spain: open day webinar to present the Master “Animal, Law and Society”

On 14th of July, from 12:00 to 14:00 hours (eastern time), an OPEN DAY webinar will be held in order to announce the Master "Animal, Law and Society" and its program.
 
The contents of the course and the academic funtioning will be developed in the conference. Master students, alumni and professors will also make an introduction of the Master.
 
The contact email to apply is formacion@derechoanimal.info
 

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