Member States welcome EU Animal Welfare Strategy but encourage Commission to take more action
Posted on 18/06/2012
Meeting in Luxembourg today European Agriculture Ministers, under the chairmanship of Denmark, adopted Council Conclusions relating to the EU Animal Welfare Strategy and the protection of animals during transport.
This is a positive step forward as the strategy lays down the EU policy activities for future years ensuring that animal welfare in Europe corresponds to the views of Europeans with regard to the way animals are treated.
The Conclusions cover various aspects of the strategy but in particular highlight:
- The important link between animal health and welfare
- The need to promote high welfare products so that they become the basic commodities in the future
- The need for more legislative and non-legislative measures as the power of consumers will not meet all of the challenges
- The importance of integrating animal welfare in other policy areas such as the Common Agricultural Policy and environmental protection
- The need to consider the welfare of cats and dogs in future legislation
- That any international trade must ensure equivalence of standards for any imported products
Sonja Van Tichelen, Director of Eurogroup for Animals congratulates the Danish presidency for leading this important debate and said:“The Council by adopting these Conclusions is sending a strong message to the Commission that the European Union needs work hard and to continue improving animal welfare. It is clear that the Member States and their citizens expect more to be done than what the Commission is currently proposing in its draft strategy!”
“We share the views of some member states, such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Denmark and United Kingdom, who stated their disappointment that the Council was unable to agree on requesting a revision of the live animal transport legislation even though a Commission report confirmed that it is no longer in line with the latest scientific evidence. We also welcome the call of the Dutch Minister who urged the Commission to consider introducing legislation for animals which are currently not protected by law such as cattle kept for milk and we will continue to put pressure on the Commission to act,” she added.