On May 10th, the Scottish Government introduced a bill, based on ethical grounds, prohibiting the use of wild animals in traveling shows. A public consultation in 2014, revealed that a prevalent majority of 98% supported the idea of excluding wild animals in travelling circuses.
You can follow the bill’s progress here.
Read more here
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
On 31 March an agreement has been reached by the government majority in Flanders to ban the slaughter of animals without stunning, starting from 2019.
Access to the GAIAs' Press release is available here
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
The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialist & Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D), the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals and Eurogroup for Animals, are organizing the “Conference on the use of wild animals in circuses: time for a change”. The event will take place on 28 march 217, at the European Parliament in Brussels (room ASP A1E201), from 15:00-17:00.
Access to the agenda is available here
Conlusions of the conference are available here
On February 15 2017, the European Commission sent a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement process) to Italy for not having transposed properly the EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes (Directive 2010/63/EU). Already in April 2016, a letter of formal notice was sent to Italy by the EU Commission. If the Italian authorities fail to act within two months, the case may be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU.
This Directive, which should have been enacted into national law by 10 November 2012, ensures a high level of animal welfare while safeguarding the proper functioning of the internal market. It also aims to minimise the number of animals used in experiments and requires alternatives to be used where possible. Italy had enacted the Directive in March 2014; however, a number of points of non-conformity need to be addressed. On certain aspects, the Italian law remains below the animal welfare standards set out by the Directive, while Italy invokes its allegedly higher standards on other issues, which can disturb the proper functioning of the internal market.
The Italian ministry of environment promised
to end degrading shows with wild animals and to scrutinize the licences
A big step forward seems to be done for wild animals in Italian zoos and aquaria: after two years of activities by the Animal Welfare organisations LAV and Born Free the Italian government reacted with a formal letter. The confirmed to scrutinize the compliance of the zoos and aquaria with national and EU legislation. This means that the discovered shows and performances with animals will be stopped and the issued licenses will be proved and institutions infringing national or/and EU legislation will be closed.
This is the result of the campaign for wild animals initiated by LAV and Born Free Foundation. Since 2014 these Animal Welfare Organisations tabled five reports based on intensive research about their inquiries of zoos and aquaria in Italy, including photos and video documentation, to the Italian Minister of Environment. Not only the conditions of keeping the animals were mostly extraordinary poor and against the EU standards, they discovered and documented wild animals required to perform unnatural behaviors in unnatural settings such as parrots made to ride bicycles, chimpanzees to entertain the public dressed in clothes and delphins made jumping through hoops for food reward. Now finally the government has officially reacted. The ministry for environment stated that these shows in particular are an infringement of national legislation (Decreto no 73 of 2005) but also against the EU Directive for Zoos (1999/22/EC) and the Minister promised to stop the degrading shows with wild animals and to prove the issued licences and to withdraw them when necessary.
Since 1999 the EU Zoo Directive is valid – even it is an extraordinary short Directive it provides the Member States with clear obligations regarding zoos and comparable institutions and to implement adequate national legislation. And, more than this, in 2015 the EU Commission published the result of a study, a ‘good practices document’ to help the EU Member States to improve compliance with the EU Directive by concrete practical advice and giving species specific examples.
Again this situation confirms the important role of Animal Welfare Organisations in the field of enforcement of legislation on national and EU level. And of course LAV and Born Free will continue to improve the announced measures for compliance by the Italian Competent Authority.
The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) is concerned about serious animal welfare issues related to the long-distance transport and export of livestock. With reference to its long-standing position on the welfare of animals during transportii, FVE emphasizes the urgent need to really implement and to respect agreed standards for the welfare of animals during transport.
For a number of reasons waiting periods for trucks arriving at the Bulgarian-Turkish border can become very long. This cannot go on and action is urgently needed.
Animals should be reared as close as possible to the premises on which they are born and slaughtered as close as possible to the point of production.
Read the full position paper in here.
Article 5(2) of Directive 98/58/EC requires the Commission to submit a report to the Council based on the experience gained by Member States since its implementation.
Commission Decision 2006/778/EC lays down provisions concerning minimum requirements for collecting information during inspections of production sites on which certain animals are kept for farming purposes. Its annexes contain tables of the requirements to be checked with regard to non-compliance. Under this Decision, Member States have been obliged to send the Commission annual reports since June 2009. Also, recital (9) of this Decision indicates that "the collection of data on animal welfare inspections is essential for the Community to evaluate the impact of its policy in this field".
The EU Animal Welfare Strategy 2012-2015 identifies lack of enforcement of EU legislation as one of the main problems affecting the welfare of animals. In addition the report to the Council on the implementation of Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes provides valuable insight into areas of enforcement.
Whole report can be found in here.
In this EU Petition, the Animals’ Angels seeks revision of Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations. According to the petitioner, every year millions of live animals are transported to abattoirs under unacceptable conditions in the EU and many animals die during transport. The petitioner asks the European Parliament to arrange for rules to be adopted imposing a limit of 8 hours’ transport for animals being taken to abattoirs.
More in here.