16.07.207 – Dismantling of a vast traffic of horsemeat in Europe

Sunday July 16, Europol announces the dismantling of a vast traffic of horsemeat unfit for human consumption in Europe. The network had ramifications across eight European countries: France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, including Belgium where the leader of the criminal organization was arrested with the collaboration of the Federal Police, the Federal Food Agency in Belgium and Guardia Civil. In total 66 individuals were arrested or investigated.

Read more here


26.04.2017 Conference on ‘Stray Dog and Feral Cat Population in Europe: from culling to care’

The Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals is meeting on April 26, in the European Parliament in Brussels (Room ASP3G3, from 9:00 – 13:00 hrs) to discuss ‘Stray Dog and Feral Cat Population in Europe.

Further information on the draft agenda is available here


Europe raises horse welfare concerns in new EU horsemeat import rules

EU to tighten up import rules following traceability issues with Canadian horsemeat

The European Commission is set to adopt long-awaited requirements to more strictly regulate the import of horsemeat from non-EU countries following the latest audit finding that Canadian horsemeat may not meet EU food safety standards. Humane Society International/Europe says that whilst tackling the issue of traceability of horsemeat is important, the new rules risk compromising horse welfare by potentially keeping large numbers of horses on feedlots for long periods of time. HSI wants to see an EU import moratorium on meat from these horses instead.

The European Commission identified traceability issues with the horses during its audits of Canadian horse slaughter plants. HSI has repeatedly highlighted risks to EU consumer safety from the fact that the majority of horses slaughtered in Canada originate from the U.S., where the use of veterinary drugs banned for use in food-producing animals is rife and there is no mandatory veterinary record-keeping. The new EU rules mean that from 31 March 2017, horses destined for slaughter in non-EU countries but for export to the EU, must undergo a minimum six-month residency requirement. This decision is likely to impact the horse slaughter industry in Canada and several South American countries, where horses for slaughter may be sourced from neighbouring countries.

Original article in here.


21-22.06, Brussels, Conference on Identification, vaccination and movement of dogs and cats in the EU

Identification, vaccination and movement of dogs and cats in the EU​. How to improve the Pet Passport and TRACES systems?

The CEO of VIER PFOTEN Helmut Dungler and the Representation of the State of Hesse are glad to inform you that the conference on “Identification, vaccination and movement of dogs and cats in the EU: How to improve the Pet Passport and TRACES systems?” will take place at the Representation of the State of Hessen to the EU, Rue Montoyer 21, B-1000 Brussels  on June 21st and 22nd 2016. Continue reading 21-22.06, Brussels, Conference on Identification, vaccination and movement of dogs and cats in the EU


Written Declaration on trophy hunting

By Neena Gill (S&D), Catherine Bearder (ALDE), Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE), Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D), Eva Kaili (S&D), Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL), Miriam Dalli (S&D), Seb Dance (S&D) Jonás Fernández (S&D), Victor Negrescu (S&D), Bart Staes (Verts/ALE), James Nicholson (ECR), Igor Šoltes (Verts/ALE)


Written declaration, under Rule 136 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, on trophy hunting

1. Earth has entered its sixth mass extinction phase, with animals now dying out at 100 times the normal rate. Estimates of the current rate of extinction range from 500 to 36 000 species per year.

2. This extinction crisis is caused primarily by human activities. Trophy hunting contributes to the loss of iconic species, and claims that proceeds from trophy hunting benefit conservation and local communities have been debunked by scientists.

3. The EU is a major source of trophy hunters, and a frequent destination for trophies. Between 2004 and 2013, over 27 000 trophies originating from Africa and America were imported into Europe. Clearly the current rules are insufficient and inadequately applied.

4. For permits to be issued, the authorities have to determine that the hunt was not detrimental to populations of any of the species listed in Annex B to the EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, and that it benefited the conservation of Annex A species. This is rarely adequately determined.

5. The Council and the Commission are called upon to examine the possibility of restricting all trophy imports, to ensure proper implementation of the rules by Member States, and to persuade countries that are issuing permits to trophy hunters without due consideration for the impacts of trophy hunting on conservation and animal welfare to discontinue this practice.

6. This declaration, together with the names of the signatories, is forwarded to the Council and the Commission. 


Bullfighting removed from the French list of cultural heritage

Thanks to a law complaint of the two French NGOs Droits des Animaux and CRAC (comité radicalement anto corrida), a French Court estimated that the decision to add bullfighting on the French list of cultural heritage was unvalidated because of a previous decision of the French Ministry of Agriculture.

The registration of bullfighting on such a list is the mandatory first step to consider its registration in the UNESCO list.


More on http://www.parismatch.com/Actu/Societe/Victoire-historique-contre-la-cruaute-777838 and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11655767/French-court-removes-bullfighting-from-countrys-cultural-heritage-list.html


A EU study on Honeybee colony losses

A pan-EU epidemiological study, co-financed by the Commission, on honeybee colony losses, reveals a noticeable decrease in colony mortality rates over the winters of 2013 and 2014. While promising, these results should be interpreted with caution and will be subject to further analysis.

These results come from the final report of the recently concluded EPILOBEE 2012-2014 study on honeybee colony losses, carried out by the EU reference laboratory for bee health. The two-year study aimed to give a harmonized state-of-play of honeybee colony losses in each of the 17 participating Member States. The study also investigated the main honeybee diseases prevalent in Europe.

Full Report here:



Pig Welfare: Ministers from Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands request a revision of the EU Directive

Brussels/Copenhagen. 29 April 2015

FOUR PAWS welcomes this strong political common will to improve pig welfare in the EU

Yesterday, during the International Conference on Pig Welfare taking place in Copenhagen, a joint position paper requesting the revision of Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs has been signed by Ministers from Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark.

Already in December 2014, the agricultural ministers of Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have committed themselves into a joint declaration to improve animal welfare in Europe, and to update the EU legislation with the last scientific improvements. The yesterday’s declaration on pig welfare, is a first step in reaching the goals fixed in 2014.

In particular, the three ministers, joined by the Sweden Minister, are asking for : the reduction of the number of tail docked pigs, no castration without anesthesia, mandatory group housing systems for all pregnant sows and further developments of loose-housing for sows in the farrowing pen.

The agricultural Danish Minister Dan Jørgensen, also former MEP, declared: “A pig is an intelligent sentient being, and should be treated as such”. 

Following this joint declaration, the Commission is encouraged to initiate further studies on this subject, and subsequently draw up guidelines.


Please find the position paper here: Pig position paper 29.04.2015

More on the 2014 Animal Welfare Declaration here: http://lawyersforanimalprotection.eu/joint-declaration-on-animal-welfare/

Website of the IPW Event: http://www.ipwc2015.dk/