Second Eurobarometer on Animal Welfare


FOUR PAWS urges the Commission to listen to the European citizens concerns on Animal Welfare

A new Eurobarometer[1] on the Attitudes of EU citizens towards Animal Welfare (Eurobarometer 442) has been published by the EU Commission. This is the second special EU survey on this matter of particular importance for the European citizens since March 2007. The main goal of the Eurobarometer is to assess among European citizens how much Animal Welfare matters in their daily life. 

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Eurobarometer 440

The special Eurobarometer 440 concerning Europeans, Agriculture, and the CAP (the Common Agricultural Policy) has already been published by the EU Commission, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development and co-ordinated by the Directorate-General for Communication.

One of the main objectives was to check the awareness of the EU citizens of agricultural issues, such as: the main responsibilities and the role of farmers in the society, the assessment of the EU financial aid provided to farmers, the recognition of quality labels, the benefits provided by the forests – just briefly mentioned about the most prominent areas of the EU survey, which were copied with the animal welfare standards and best practices.

According to the report of the Eurobarometer 440, the animal welfare has become one of the key fundamental issues and best practices among the farmers, which is being currently meticulously scrutinized and assessed by the EU citizens. What is definitely good news for the all farmed animal lovers is the fact that “ensuring the welfare of farmed animals is the leading responsibility in six Member States with more than half of respondents in most of these countries considering this to be the main responsibility of farmers in their society”. When it comes to the specific results of the survey, it is relevant to pinpoint that the more farm animal welfare supporters are from Sweden (58% of respondents), the Netherlands (56% of respondents), and Luxembourg (56% of respondents), whereas the Bulgarians (9% of respondents) and Latvians (12% of respondents) are definitely opponents on this aforementioned issue. In the report of the Eurobarometer 440 has also been specified that the welfare of farmed animals has increased in the EU Members States with 8% in the comparison with the last survey, which were conducted in November 2013.

Currently, the animal welfare is being considered as the second most vital responsibilities of farmers in our society by 35% of respondents (just after a reply: supplying the population with a diversity of quality products, which was pointed out by 42% of respondents) and it is worth highlighting that this answer was ranked fourth in the last survey from 2013. What is even more surprising, the largest increase has been noticed in Luxembourg (+24%) as well as Malta (+18%), Portugal (+17%), France (+14%), Romania (+11%).  

Another key question has been concerned a matter of the justified reduction of the farmers’ EU subsidies if they are not complying with rules for the environment, food safety and animal welfare. According to the respondents’ opinion, it is absolutely justified to reduce farmers’ EU donations if they do not respect the animal welfare rules (87% of respondents). Italy (78% of respondents) and Romania (74% of respondents) are the only exceptions of the EU countries, which were against this EU policy. The most avid supporters of the animal welfare standards are from Sweden (88% of respondents), Denmark (79% of respondents), the Netherlands (77% of respondents). It has also been revealed that “the largest increases in respondents who are of the view it is justified to reduce subsidies if farmers do not respect  the rules are observed in Bulgaria – animal welfare standards (80%, +13pp) and in Ireland (89%, +11pp). In Belgium, the level of support for the EU to reduce payments for non-compliance is very high, almost it has declined since 2007 (87%, -7pp)” . 

When it comes to the socio demographic analysis, women were more about ensuring the welfare of farmed animals (38% of respondents) than men (31% of respondents). Moreover, the younger people (15-24 years old) were also more animal supporters (39% of respondents) than older people, who are aged 55 or over, (32% of respondents).

VIER PFOTEN encourages you to read more about our own private label on some meat products "Tierschutz-kontrolliert". You can find an article written in German here:

Read the whole report and summary of the Eurobarometer 440 here: