14.09.2017 – ENDING PIG PAIN – The Commission’s work programme on pig welfare

The Intergroup on the Welfare & Conservation of Animals is meeting on Thursday 14 September 2017 from 10:00 – 11:00 hrs, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg (Room LOW N 3.), regarding the Commission's work programme on pig welfare – Will the EU manage to phase out the surgical castration of pigs by 2018?

Please follow the link to access the agenda.

Share

06.06.2017 – Kick-off meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare by the EU Commission

The European Animal Welfare Platform

FOUR PAWS is looking forward to exchange of shared best practices and the work to come, but reminds the EU Commission that they should take action too.

Brussels 06.06.2017 – The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS welcomes the first meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare, which gathered 75 representatives from NGOs, farmers’ organisations, scientists, EU Member States and other European countries (Switzerland, Iceland), international organisations such as FAO, OIE, and World Bank, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

During this first meeting, the participants were offered the opportunity to discuss relevant areas of work of common interest, and to propose priorities for the work of the Platform. The aim was to share information and experience on better implementation of EU animal welfare legislation, the promotion of EU animal welfare standards globally, and the promotion on the market of animal welfare friendly products. The participants have emphasised the need for new legislation, especially for species that are not covered by existing EU law yet, despite the Commission being reluctance to work on legislation.

Pierre SULTANA, Director of the European Policy Office of FOUR PAWS, underlines that “the platform should not substitute the work of the Commission regarding the parts of animal welfare legislation, which need to be either revised or introduced. It is necessary to deal with existing problems hindering progress, such as issues related to cruel practices, such as the killing of day-old chicks and non-therapeutic mutilations and to companion animals.”

Adolfo SANSOLINI, FOUR PAWS’ Expert in the Platform explains that “common EU values and animal welfare issues bring together Europeans, therefore concrete actions are necessary. FOUR PAWS values the cooperation with the Commission and other stakeholders, in order to improve the way animals are treated in Europe and beyond. In particular, FOUR PAWS is in favour of the creation of sub-groups in order to get something out of this work. We will make everything in our power to make it happen”.

The EU Commission will prioritise, map out and analyse the list of topics, to reach concrete and measurable results. The next meeting is scheduled for November 10th 2017.

 

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

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

EU Platform on Animal Welfare https://ec.europa.eu/food/animals/welfare/eu-platform-animal-welfare_en

More information on the platform: http://www.lawyersforanimalprotection.eu/enforcement-support/the-eu-platform-on-animal-welfare/

 

Share

Commission calls on GREECE to tackle the illegal poisoning of birds

The European Commission is requesting Greece to establish a general system of protection for wild birds, prohibiting, in particular, their deliberate killing through poison baits. The use of poison baits is widespread in Greece, and no serious action has been taken so far, contrary to what is required under the Birds (Directive 2009/147/EC) and Habitats (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) Directives. In the Natura 2000 site of Nestos river, for example, the use of this illegal practice in 2012 led to the destruction of an entire vulture species colony, but the Greek authorities have so far done little to prevent such incidents from happening again. The Commission opened an infringement procedure against Greece in September 2013, urging the Greek authorities to better control this phenomenon in the entire country and to adopt the necessary measures to restore the damages that have occurred in Nestos in 2012. As the measures to ensure full compliance with EU law have not yet been taken, the Commission is sending a reasoned opinion. If the Greek authorities fail to act within two months, the case may be referred to the Court of Justice of the EU.

Share

Commission refers the United Kingdom to the Court over its failure to protect marine species

UK in Court over failure to protect harbour porpoise in UK waters.

The European Commission is taking the United Kingdom to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to propose sites for the protection of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), a marine mammal regularly found in UK waters.

EU legislation on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive, Council Directive 92/43/EEC) requires Member States to propose a list of sites for a number of species and habitat types, ensuring their protection from threats which could seriously harm them and to maintain and restore them in a favourable status in the whole of the EU by taking the conservation measures needed.

Due to the unfavourable status of the harbour porpoises in the EU, 13 Member States, other than the UK, have designated sites for its protection in about 200 Natura 2000 sites. The UK has so far formally proposed only one small site in Northern Ireland (the Skerries and Causeway Special Area of Conservation) and one site in Scotland (the Inner Hebrides and Minches Special Area of Conservation).

As the UK has an extensive marine area, it has a particular responsibility for the protection of this species. The Commission has repeatedly urged the British authorities to fulfil their key obligations for the conservation of the species, as other Member States have done already.

Today's action follows a letter of formal notice sent to the UK government in June 2013 and a reasoned opinion sent in October 2014. While the UK has recently conducted a public consultation on a number of potential sites in English and Welsh waters and this month formally proposed one site in Scottish waters, more needs to be done. The continued failure to propose and designate sufficient sites leaves the areas where the species occurs in greatest densities without the protection required. This refers in particular to the requirement to carry out adequate assessments of potentially damaging developments or activities, such as from offshore wind farm construction, oil and gas exploration and fishing.

Read the full press release in here.

Share

European Commission takes steps towards tackling invasive alien species 

The European Commission has published its first list of invasive alien species (IAS) which identifies 37 non-native plants and animals that are of a significant threat to the environment in the European Union. Invasive Alien Species are animals and plants that are introduced accidently or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found.

Continue reading European Commission takes steps towards tackling invasive alien species 

Share

Commission refers Bulgaria to Court of Justice over failure to sufficiently protect endangered bird species

In Europe, many species of wild birds are in decline, which disturbs the biological balance and is a serious threat to the natural environment. Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds aims to protect all species of wild birds that occur naturally in the Union. The Directive bans activities that directly threaten birds, such as the deliberate killing or capture, destruction of nests, removal of eggs, trading live or dead birds. It also places great emphasis on the protection of habitats for endangered and migratory species, by establishing the network of Special Protection Areas.


The European Commission is taking Bulgaria to the Court of Justice of the EU over its failure to protect unique habitats and important bird species in the Rila Mountains. The Bulgarian authorities have failed to widen the zone classified as a special protection area in order to provide adequate protection to 17 endangered bird listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive, thus putting at risk the conservation of species such as Tengmalm's [Boreal’s] owl (Aegolius funereus) and the Eurasian pygmy owl (Glaucidium passerinum), as well as the white-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), the three-toed woodpecker (Picoudes tridactilus), the hazel grouse (Bonasa bonasia) and the black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius).


Despite the Commission's reasoned opinion sent in October 2014 about the need to extend protection areas in the Rila Mountains, Bulgaria has not complied with this obligation. The Commission is, therefore, referring this case to the Court of Justice of the EU.


In January 2016, the Court ruled against Bulgaria (case C-141/14) in a similar case concerning the designation and protection of Kaliakra, another important area for protection of birds in the Southern Dobruja region of the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.


Original article on EC website. 
 

Share