Animal welfare deserves better from investment policy

International finance institutions and member state export credit agencies continue to invest in projects outside the EU involving cruel farm animal confinement systems banned in the EU. Better joined-up thinking is needed with regard to investment policy and animal welfare, writes Joanna Swabe.

Dr Joanna Swabe is executive director for Humane Society International/Europe.

Over the past couple of decades, the European Union has adopted and implemented legislation that has eliminated the most extreme confinement systems for farm animals, such as barren battery cages for laying hens, cages for broiler chickens and individual sow stalls for pigs.

The European Commission asserts that animal welfare is a priority for the EU. Indeed, the majority of EU citizens across all member states share this view of the importance of animal welfare, as the results of a recent Eurobarometer has revealed. Yet something seems to be getting lost in translation when it comes to safeguarding animal welfare through EU and member state investment policy.

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