06.04.2017 – EP Intergroup on Animal Welfare meeting

The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals is meeting on April 6, in the European Parliament in Strasbourg (Room LOW N 3.2, from 10:00 – 11:00 hrs).

The following topics will be discussed:

  • Regulating the sale of dogs and cats in the EU – Joe Moran Political Affairs, Adviser at Eurogroup for Animals
  • "The pet deception "- a FOUR PAWS campaign on poorly regulated trading of pets on classified ad sites – Daniela Pichler International Head of Campaigns FOUR PAWS
  • The need for an EU action plan to tackle the illegal trade in dogs and cats – Simona Lipstaite European Policy Advisor, EU Dog & Cat Alliance

Further information regarding the agenda is available here

Information on the outcome of the conference is available here



PETI Committee, “Animal welfare in the European Union” (Pr. Donald M. Broom)

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.

Access to the report is available at here


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.


27.02.2017 Conference on the Positive List on Animal Welfare

EPO attended to the EU conference on 27th of February aiming at the promotion of the Positive List to regulate the sale and keeping of exotic animals as pets in EU, in order to ensure that Animal welfare, human and animal health and biodiversity are respected.

Emphasis was set on the need for adequate legal provisions on exotic pet trade to tackle the introduction of invasive alien species in Europe. Raising awareness and enforce more restrictive legislation or complementing existing EU legislation on invasive alien species, represents a better option than updating negative lists considered as being inefficient.

Further information is available here.


European Platform on Animal Welfare

The European Animal Welfare Platform

On 24 January 2017, the Commission decided to establish the Commission Expert Group “Platform on animal Welfare” to promote animal welfare issues at EU level. An Intergroup meeting regarding the establishment of the Platform on animal Welfare Platform took place on Tuesday 14 February 2017. The Platform was presented by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Further information on the Platform on Animal Welfare on a dedicated page here


Gaia wants animal rights written into constitution

Belgium’s animal rights organisation is following in the footsteps of its European neighbours and asking that a number of freedoms for animals be written into Belgium’s constitution.

Gaia pointed out that animals form a very vulnerable category of living creatures with certain welfare needs. “The respect for their dignity and guaranteeing their welfare should be included in the constitution as a fundamental duty of the state,” it said in a statement.

Gaia was inspired by initiatives in neighbouring countries Germany and Luxembourg, where animal rights were included in the constitution in 2002 and 2007, respectively. “So this should not be an insurmountable problem in Belgium either,” said Gaia president Michel Vandenbosch.

Full article and a petition to sign are available in here.


EU agriculture ministers discuss harmonisation between animal welfare standards and international investment policy

EU agriculture ministers discuss harmonisation between animal welfare standards and international investment policy : Humane Society International

The European Union’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council, composed of agriculture ministers from all 28 EU Member States, debated the issue of international finance institutions and animal welfare this week. The Austrian delegation’s request to make animal welfare standards a mandatory investment criterion for international financial institutions and to incorporate binding EU animal welfare standards in the IFIs' policies for investment capital grants received wide-spread support. 

International financial institutions where EU Member States are major shareholders continue to support agricultural companies outside the EU irrespective of whether or not these companies meet the EU’s own farm animal welfare standards. Furthermore, government backed export credit agencies are providing insurance to companies that are exporting abusive farm animal housing systems to third countries, such as barren battery cages, even though the use of such housing systems has been prohibited within the EU. 

Joanna Swabe, executive director for Humane Society International/Europe, applauded the Austrian government for raising this important issue in the Council. “We encourage Agriculture Ministers to take a strong stance against EU financial support being given to fund cruel and outdated animal housing systems elsewhere in the world. Humane Society International/Europe urges Member State governments to ensure that taxpayers money is no longer used through international finance institutions or export credit agencies to subsidise the extreme confinement of farm animals in production systems that the EU has long prohibited on the grounds of animal welfare. It is vital for governments to engage in more joined-up thinking to make sure that their international investment policy is consistent with the animal welfare policy that has been agreed and implemented throughout the entire Union.”

HSI/Europe has called on all Member States to:

  • Adhere to EU farm animal welfare standards when voting on financial support measures granted to agribusiness companies through international finance institutions,
  • Apply EU animal welfare standards when granting insurance through export credit agencies, and
  • Actively advocate for the adoption of binding animal welfare standards, which meet or exceed EU standards, by all relevant international finance institutions.

HSI has set up a website, hsi.org/finance, with in-depth information on international finance and animal welfare, as well as up-to-date lists and descriptions of animal agriculture projects being supported by international finance institutions.

Full article available in here.