Motion for a European Parliament resolution on introducing a European animal welfare and public health label

Introduced by MEP Rikke Karlsson 

Motion for a European Parliament resolution on introducing a European animal welfare and public health label

The European Parliament,

– having regard to Rule 133 of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas at any one time 65 billion animals are being kept worldwide to produce food for people, and whereas in Europe 80% of such animals are reared intensively with more regard for profit than for animal welfare and public health;

B. having regard to the suffering caused by genetic selection, mutilation, the premature separation of mother and offspring, the use of GMO feedingstuffs, battery farming and transport and the industrial slaughter of terrified livestock without effective stunning;

C. whereas repeated scandals in the agrifood industry have revealed the existence of mafia-like networks and methods which take advantage of the abolition of border controls and our decision to forgo food sovereignty;

D. whereas 70 % of meat is still sold without a label specifying its origin;

E. whereas the labelling of eggs as free range has proved a great success;

1. Calls on the Commission to:

– propose measures to consolidate and improve the existing labelling specifications;

– introduce an ‘animal welfare and public health’ label which certifies the ethical nature, the nutritional quality and the traceability of agri-food products and that the welfare of the animals concerned was guaranteed from birth to slaughter;


2. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council and the national parliaments.


The EU Parliament promotes healthy food in schools

The agriculture committee at the European Parliament agreed on promoting the healthy eating habits is schools, as a result of boosting trend of eating processed food and decreasing level of the consumption of fruit and vegetables among youth.

The main goal to achieve is not only introducing the tightest legal standards of food served to children and teenagers at schools (e. g. artificial flavour enhancers and added sweeteners will be completely banned now), but foremost increasing the agriculture awareness and good eating habits among children. Organising farm visits with tasting the organic food and local specialities are just a few possibilities offered to the Member States to encourage the youth to start eating consciously.

Presently, the agreed text concerning getting the special EU funding for this aim is waiting for the Parliament’s approval in March or April 2016. It is worth highlighting that the amount of donation is 150 million euro per year, which will be divided fairly between the EU member states.

You can read more about the MEPs initiative on the healthy eating here:


VIER PFOTEN is also glad to inform you that the new EU policy about the promotion of the healthy eating is completely coherent with one of the VIER PFOTEN’s projects. You can read more about our initiative “Friendly food”, which stands for the good for health, animals and climate, here:



Austrian Ministry of Finance Links Animal Welfare and Investment Policy

Humane Society International applauds move, urges other EU Member States to follow suit

The Austrian Ministry of Finance has committed to safeguarding and enhancing animal welfare when granting investment capital through international finance institutions. This commitment is referenced within the Austrian government’s updated policy strategy relating to international finance institutions, released this week, and reflects the growing importance of animal welfare in agricultural development and food policy.

Joanna Swabe, EU executive director Humane Society International, said: “We applaud the Austrian Ministry of Finance for taking this first step towards ending financial support for poor animal welfare housing systems in emerging and developing economies. Similar policies by other Member States will be critical to raising farm animal welfare standards worldwide.”

The World Bank is revising its Safeguard Policies that define criteria for future investments. HSI has created an online tool for people to write to the World Bank executive directors, calling for the inclusion of meaningful animal welfare standards that would preclude the most extreme confinement practices in animal agriculture.

Call on the World Bank to update its animal welfare policies.



  • The European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy states that the concern for animal welfare extends beyond the EU’s borders.
  • Across the globe, an overwhelming number of egg-laying hens, breeding pigs and veal calves are confined in battery cages, individual sow stalls and veal crates, respectively. The intensive confinement of these production systems severely impairs animal welfare, given that the animals are unable to exercise or engage in many important natural behaviours. Extensive scientific evidence has demonstrated that intensively confined farm animals experience boredom, distress and suffering.
  • Conventional battery cages for egg-laying hens, the continual confinement of pregnant sows in individual sow stalls, and veal crates for calves have already been banned and phased out throughout the EU.
  • In May 2014, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development revised its Environmental and Social Policy to include animal welfare, requiring clients to implement relevant EU farm animal welfare standards or good international practice, whichever is most stringent, when investment capital is provided. HSI believes that the EBRD’s policy should serve as a model for other international finance institutions, including the World Bank Group.


Further information:

A report by HSI highlighted the use of public funds by international financial institutions and export credit agencies to support facilities using extreme confinement systems to raise animals for food in third countries. The report brought the issue to the attention of Member State governments and the European Parliament.


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France: The 1,000 cows farm been given notice to reduce the number of cows kept

Unexpected bund in the fight of French NGOs against this farm

On 10 June 2015, the “1,000 cows farm” (having in reality 794 cows) has been given notice by the Prefecture of Somme (the French department where the farm is located) to reduce the number of cows kept in the farm.

Everything started from a mail sent by an employee of the farm to a French NGO showing horrible pictures of exhausted amorphous cows looking almost dead. The employee explained that most of the cows are so much exhausted that they regularly have to be lift up by a pulley system to be able to stand on their legs. Most of the cows have injured legs due to the concrete floor. Moreover, the food given to the cows is rotten and the water provider are dirty. According to the employee, about 2 cows die each week in the farm. The welfare of the employees is also not respected: most of them are not qualified, and labour laws are not respected.

The interview and the pictures of the employee have been published by the NGO, and one day later, the farm received from the prefecture asked to the Inspection services to control the farm. The control services remarked some abnormalities, but estimated that overall, the animals are in good condition. But they noticed that the farm had authorization only for 500 animals although 794 animals were kept in reality. This is a clear infringement of the license conditions, and therefore a letter of formal notice was sent to the farm to reduce the number of cows to 500.

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26 persons arrested for horse meat trafic

After two years of investigation in 7 European Countries, Eurojust and the state of France have succeeded to arrest all the persons involved in the 2013 criminal horse meat trafic, including the leader of the criminal network. The arrested persons were originated mainly from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. The inquiry has been started 5 years ago in Belgiumn but most of the trafic was located in south of France, where the horses have been slaughtered.

According to Eurojust, between 2010 and 2013, 4 700 horses have been illegally slaughtered and introduced in the food chain. Some prohibited medication were found in this meat.

Since the horse meat scandal has raised in 2003, genetic tests have been done randomly everywhere in Europe. According to the EU Commission, 5% of the meat labelled "beef" is in reality horse meat.

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The European Commission has launched an online consultation on how science and innovation can help the EU ensuring safe, nutritious, sufficient and sustainable food globally.

The discussion is linked to the theme of this year's Universal Exhibition (Expo Milano 2015) "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life", which aims to go beyond cultural activities and open a real political debate on global food security and sustainability.

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Willy Selten, the boss of two companies involved in the 2013 Horse Meat Scandal was judged for allegedly selling 300 tonnes of horse meat labelled as beef.

The wholesaler has been recognised guilty of forging invoices, labels and written declarations and using these forged documents to trade meat. 33 examples of false accounts, including at least one statement where meat was processed as "100 percent beef" were found.

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