3rd Meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare

The European Animal Welfare Platform

FOUR PAWS welcomes the creation of the voluntary initiative subgroup on improving health and welfare of pets (dogs) in trade, and of other new subgroups

Brussels, 21.06.2018 – The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS is one of the members of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare launched by the EU Commission last year. Yesterday the third meeting of the Platform took place in Brussels.

FOUR PAWS welcomes the activities of the Platform as an additional forum for stakeholders to exchange views about animal welfare.

In particular, FOUR PAWS welcomes the initiative of the Dutch government to establish a new voluntary initiative subgroup on improving the health and welfare of pets (dogs) in trade, to tackle issues related to the trade in pets in Europe. Representatives of FOUR PAWS, other NGOs, independent experts, and Member State representatives had their first meeting on this topic on 19th June, and yesterday their plans were presented at the Platform meeting.

Yesterday’s meeting of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare also offered the opportunity to present the activities of the subgroup established by the Commission on the transport of live animals.

Furthermore, a new subgroup on tail docking of pigs was launched by the Commission, while various Member States announced their intention to launch own-initiative subgroups on pig castration and fish welfare, in addition to the existing one on equidae.

FOUR PAWS is confident that the new subgroup dedicated to improving the health and welfare of pets will produce concrete proposals to improve the enforcement of EU pet legislation, and identify together with Member States effective actions to control more efficiently pet movements. “Already in 2016, through a report and a European conference[1], we highlighted the enforcement issues met in practice by the competent authorities, in particular in relation to the identification of dogs, and the Pet Passport and TRACES schemes”, explains Sophie Duthoit, EU Companion Animal Policy and Legal Coordinator at FOUR PAWS Europe, who is the organisation’s representative in the subgroup. “The subgroup will also be the right place to promote the enforcement of mandatory breeder registration under the upcoming Animal Health Law”, she continues.

 

FOUR PAWS also welcomes the progress made within the working group on extreme temperatures of the subgroup on transport. “All stakeholders have shown a very constructive attitude by sharing information on existing problems and ideas to solve them” says Adolfo Sansolini, FOUR PAWS’ representative in the subgroup on transport and in the Platform. “We also agreed that it would not be sufficient to prepare new factsheets for drivers and other recipients, therefore we will work on a parallel document too, through which we will propose a communication strategy for their effective diffusion. We will also highlight parts of the existing legislation whose enforcement is difficult, or that need changing altogether. It is our hope that the EU Commission will act on our suggestions in order to ensure that animal welfare during transport is improved through all necessary means.”

 

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To review the web stream of the meeting: https://webcast.ec.europa.eu/3rd-meeting-of-the-platform-on-animal-welfare

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Disappointment after the 2nd meeting of the EU Animal Welfare Platform

The European Animal Welfare Platform

The EU Commission should take animal welfare more seriously

13.11.2017 – Brussels. On Friday 10th November, the second meeting of the EU Animal Welfare Platform took place in Brussels. As announced during the last meeting, the EU Commission confirmed that two sub-groups will be created: one on transport should be finalised by the end of this year, and a second one on pig welfare should be established after the next Platform meeting in June 2018.

Many Member States and other stakeholders requested the establishment of more sub-groups, in order to tackle important animal welfare issues, in particular on illegal trade in dogs and cats, and on equine welfare. Sadly, the EU Commission made clear that it is not intentioned to establish other official working groups, and repeated that it is not intentioned to produce or amend EU legislation on animal welfare – even when it is much needed, as in the case of live animal transport.

Pierre Sultana, FOUR PAWS EU Director, “We welcome the idea to create sub-groups on transport and pigs to improve the enforcement of these pieces of EU legislation. However, we regret that the EU Commission is not willing to create some others, in particular regarding the issue of pet trade, ignoring once again the demands of EU citizens, confirmed by the last Eurobarometer on animal welfare”. Five Member States, who recently produced a joint proposal on pet trade, demanded the establishment of a subgroup on dogs and cat trade, and were supported by other Member States and stakeholders. This demand is in line with the aims of the CARO (“Companion Animal Responsible Ownership”) project, supported by the EU Commission itself.

FOUR PAWS also welcomes the highly needed discussion on equine welfare that took place in the afternoon session, in particular on the topic of population management. FOUR PAWS would however like to recall that the main reason why some horses are “unwanted” is because of some amateur – and unfortunately also professional – breeders, who are breeding many more horses than the market absorbs, thus generating dreadful consequences for such unfortunate animals. FOUR PAWS would therefore support the establishment of a sub-group on this topic, as requested by several Member States. It is indeed much needed that the EU Commission, Member States and other stakeholders work together in this direction. Pierre Sultana added: “The EU should make sure that any legislative change of animal welfare legislation is truly in favour of the animals, and not of detriment to them”.

Facing the repeated call to create more sub-groups, the EU Commission finally let a small door open for members of the Platform, , who will be able to organise informal sub-groups on other topics, and report back to other participants during the general meetings, in order to improve collaboration on specific topics.  “We would like to invite the EU Commission and the Platform to consider the call of the EU Member States and other stakeholders and to take courageous decisions where needed”.

 

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

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

Contact information:
VIER PFOTEN/ FOUR PAWS, European Policy Office
Avenue de la Renaissance 19/11, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Email: office@vier-pfoten.eu; communication@four-paws.eu                                         
Phone: 0032-2-7400888
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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/

 

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6.06.2017 – FOUR PAWS first meeting at the EU Platform on Animal Welfare

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.

 

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15.05.2017 – FOUR PAWS selected for membership of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare.

The European Animal Welfare Platform

Brussels 15.05.2017 – The international animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS is pleased to announce that it has been selected for membership of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare. The aim of the “Platform on Animal Welfare”, launched by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, is to “promote an enhanced dialogue on animal welfare issues at EU level among competent authorities, businesses, civil society and scientists.”

The Platform is composed of 40 members, in representation of business and professional organisations, NGOs, and independent scientific experts. Animal welfare organisations will be represented by, FOUR PAWS International, Eurogroup for Animals, Animals’ Angels e.V., Compassion in World Farming, European Forum for Animal Welfare Councils (EuroFAWC), Humane Society International, Organisation for Respect and Care of Animals (ORCA), RSPCA International, World Animal Protection and World Horse Welfare. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 6 June 2017, in Brussels.

Our full Press Release is available here 

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European Platform on Animal Welfare

The European Animal Welfare Platform

On 24 January 2017, the Commission decided to establish the Commission Expert Group “Platform on animal Welfare” to promote animal welfare issues at EU level. An Intergroup meeting regarding the establishment of the Platform on animal Welfare Platform took place on Tuesday 14 February 2017. The Platform was presented by Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis.

Further information on the Platform on Animal Welfare on a dedicated page here

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