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.
The Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, part of the Presidency Trio Programme with Estonia and Austria, is taking over the Estonian Presidency for the first time ever and will run from 1 January until 30 June 2018.
Its slogan "United We Stand Strong” reflects its country history and the will to work towards a united and solidary Europe.
With the European elections scheduled for June 2019, Bulgaria will focus its program on the EU policy cycle, which is gradually coming to its end, based on four key areas: the future of Europe and young people, with a focus on economic growth and social cohesion; the European Perspective and Connectivity of the Western Balkans; Security and Stability and Digital Economy and Skills for the future.
The Bulgarian Presidency will focus on three main principles:
– Consensus with regards to sensitive political issues such as security, migration, justice, the future of the Western Balkans in the EU, and a sustainable integrated approach to the Danube and Black Sea regions;
– Competitiveness with the aim to develop a more competitive single market;
– Cohesion focusing on the future EU cohesion policy, the reformed Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), and the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and cultural heritage.
As FOUR PAWS plays a major role in Bulgaria in the field of Animal Welfare, our European Policy Office wishes Bulgaria all the best for its Presidency and welcomes any future initiatives regarding Animal Welfare. Indeed, the country holds a significant position in terms of live transport, due to its geographical situation. Bulgaria has much to promote in Europe, in particular with its legislation on the keeping of wild animals. We hope that Bulgaria will use the Presidency to promote its best examples in Europe.
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On May 24, 2017, 180 members of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) adopted the first global strategy for animal welfare. It was endorsed at the Fourth World Conference on Animal Welfare in Guadalajara, Mexico, in December 2016 and aims to achieve "A world where animal welfare is respected, promoted and strengthened, a growing improvement in animal health, human well-being, socio-economic development and environmental sustainability ".1
The strategy is based on the following four pillars:
Development of international animal welfare standards
Enhancement of capacity building and training of Veterinary Services
Communication with governments, national and international organisations, and the public to raise awareness on animal welfare
Progressive implementation of OIE standards on animal welfare and their corresponding policies
Read more here
The OIE Global Animal Welfare Strategy is available here
On 6 June 2017, the EU Platform on Animal Welfare Inaugural Meeting will take place in Brussels.
The Platform brings together 75 member organisations both from the public and private sector and relevant international intergovernmental organisations and has selected a total of 40 members from academia, industry and NGOs, among which FOUR PAWS is part of and will be represented by our expert Adolfo Sansolini.
The discussions will focus on the priorities set by the Commission on animal welfare and will be based on shared views by the members on the prospect of future EU actions related to animal welfare.
The following points will be discussed:
‘How can the Platform contribute to better application and understanding of EU legislation on animal welfare?’ (Enforcement)
‘How the Platform can contribute to promote EU animal welfare standards globally?’ (animal welfare and trade).
‘Examples on how the Platform can facilitate the use of voluntary commitments and promote market value of animal welfare friendly products.’ (including animal welfare labelling).
The draft agenda is available here
The meeting can be followed live.