Result Report of the First Working Group is available




In June 2013, the first Working Group of the European Enforcement Network has been established. The first report of this working group is now available.



The Goal is to provide the EU Commission for the Animal Health Law Regulation with a suggestion to improve the coherence of definitions of all species of animals as a key element for better enforcement. This can be a benefit also for the planned EU Animal Welfare Framework Law. 

Out of the results of the first Working Group, a report has been done and will be used as a basis to submit the above mentioned suggestion.


The report

A questionnaire has been sent to the participants of this first working groups. Then, the results have been completed with the answers received in the frame of the call for participation published on the website.

The questionnaire was structures as following:

  • Part A: Coherence of the translation of the term “sentient being” (Article 13) 
  • Part B: EU Level:: "Animal", Companion Animal, Farm Animal, Wild Animal
  • Part  C: National Level


The report shows the following results: 
•    Article 13 TFEU:     
Lack of definition in the Treaty of Lisbon TFEU and diverse inadequate translations in some Member States. The most precise description in a legislation has been found outside Europe Australia.

•    Animals: 
No consistency at the EU level, and if, related to the respective purposes. At the national level, the preferred solution by the members is a list of species or at least biological criteria.

•    Categories of Animals: no consistency on both EU and National Level
o    Pet / Companion Animals 
While at the EU level, pet animals means mostly traditionally kept animals such as dogs, cats and ferrets, on the national level, the definition is based of the companionship keeping purpose of the animal, including the animals intended to be kept (Estonia, France, Italy).
o    Farm Animals
At both national and EU level, farm animals are defined on the purpose to be breed, kept and used by Humans. All members stated that it is just fair not to hide the fate of these animals. However, the definition should consider animal welfare.
o    Wild Animals
Surprisingly, there is almost no definition at the EU level. The effects of the non biological based definition has already  its effects on wild animals in circuses, as well as on animals in shelters and abandoned animals and their offspring. In the legal systematic, this leads to a two class system of animals, defined as domesticated animals on a biological basis, but not kept. These animals would have less protection than kept animals in this categorization. So, there are doubts if this is compatible with the basic principle of Article 13 TFEU covering all animals without distinction.


Animals in experiments: a reasoned opinion was sent to Hungary today

Today, EU Commission has announced that a reasoned opinion (second step of the infringement procedure) has been sent to Hungary regarding the transposition of the Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

The deadline for transposition of this Directive was planned for 10 November 2012.

Continue reading Animals in experiments: a reasoned opinion was sent to Hungary today


TRAFFIC (WWF) Proceedings of Worshops



Laying Hens – Cage-eggs ban: EU Commission steps up in the on-going infringement procedures against 10 non compliant Member States

Brussels, June 22 2012 

Yesterday, on Thursday June 21, EU Commission has sent a “reasoned opinion” to ten Member States, regarding the infringement of requirements of the laying hen caged eggs ban.
On January 1 2012, after a twelve years transitional period, the Directive 1999/74/EC came into force and since this date, use of un-enriched barren cages for laying hens is strictly prohibited in all EU Member States. Continue reading Laying Hens – Cage-eggs ban: EU Commission steps up in the on-going infringement procedures against 10 non compliant Member States


Foie gras imports

19 June 2012
Struan Stevenson (ECR)

Foie gras, which is made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fed and fattened, raises many animal welfare concerns. The mortality rate in force-fed birds varies from 2 % to 4 % in the two-week force-feeding period, compared with around 0.2 % in comparable ducks during normal rearing.

Since 1997, the number of European countries producing foie gras has halved. Only five countries still produce foie gras: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Hungary and Spain. Some countries, including Denmark, Germany, Norway and Poland, have legislation that specifically prohibits the force-feeding of animals. Others, including Switzerland and the United Kingdom, interpret this practice to be prohibited under general animal protection legislation that provides for animals to be kept in conditions which meet their physiological and ethological needs.

Yet despite the production of foie gras being banned in many European countries, the sale of foie gras is not prohibited. This makes a mockery of existing animal welfare legislation in countries such as the UK, by allowing a product to be sold that is illegal to produce.

In line with Articles 34 and 35 of the TFEU, quantitative restrictions on imports and exports are prohibited between Member States. However, Article 36 states that ‘(t)he provisions of Articles 34 and 35 shall not preclude prohibitions or restrictions on imports, exports or goods in transit justified on grounds of public morality, public policy or public security; the protection of health and life of humans, animals or plants; the protection of national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value; or the protection of industrial and commercial property. Such prohibitions or restrictions shall not, however, constitute a means of arbitrary discrimination or a disguised restriction on trade between Member States.’

Could the Commission advise whether Article 36 could be taken into consideration with regard to imports of foie gras?

3 August 2012
Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission

The Commission would refer the Honourable Member to its answer to Written Question E‑3959/2009(1) regarding the current legal framework which covers the production of foie gras in the EU.

Council Directive 98/58/EC(2) on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes allows Member States to apply within their territories stricter provisions for the protection of animals, provided they are in compliance with the general rules of the EU Treaties. The Commission considers that not allowing trade of foie gras between Member States, on animal welfare grounds, would be in breach of Article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union(3) (TFEU). Such quantitative restrictions are prohibited between Member States. The Commission considers that in the case of foie gras the grounds invoked in Article 36 of TFEU to prohibit or restrict the marketing between Member States cannot be applied, since foie gras production is covered by Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes(4). The European Court of Justice has held in its judgment in the case Hedley Lomas (Case C‑5/94) that recourse to Article 36 is no longer possible where [Union] law has already provided for harmonisation (par.18).

(2) OJ L 221, 8.8.1998, p. 23.
(3) OJ C 83, 30.3.2010, p. 47.
(4) This directive aims at giving effect within Union legislation to the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes of 1976 (‘the Convention’). The recommendation concerning domestic geese and their crossbreeds (‘the recommendation’) covers the production of foie gras from these animals; it was adopted in 1999 with the support of the then Community.