EU must use trade agreement negotiations as an opportunity to improve animal welfare in Vietnam
Posted on 07/06/2012
Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the decision made at the recent Foreign Affairs Council to allow the European Commission to start negotiations on a free trade agreement with Vietnam. This will allow the issue of animal welfare and trade to be discussed and ensure that standards are raised in Vietnam with the support of the European Union.
Eurogroup has written to the European Commissioner for Trade, Commissioner De Gucht, urging him to ensure that the Commission maintains political coherency by ensuring that the EU’s animal welfare rules are included in all EU trade agreements with third countries.
“We believe that improving the welfare of working, production, companion, wild and captive animals contributes to the wellbeing of human populations, particularly in developing countries and it can also be a ‘driver of prosperity’. This is certainly the case in agriculture and biodiversity management, where there is a direct benefit for people living in rural areas of developing countries,” stated Cédric Cabanne, Policy Officer International Trade at Eurogroup for Animals.
“We also believe that animal welfare standards can significantly improve the access to EU markets for producers from developing countries, in response to the increasing demand by EU consumers for sustainable and high animal welfare products. This is a win-win situation for animals and trade,” he concluded.
As the trade negotiations with Vietnam commence, Eurogroup for Animals urges the EU to help Vietnam to reinforce its administrative and trade capacities, with the objective to increase animal welfare standards in Vietnam to a level equivalent with European standards.