Proposal for an Animal Health Law: full of potential, but also uncertainty
Posted on 08/05/2013
The long awaited proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Animal Health was published this week, on 6 May 2013. The proposal is aimed at reducing the complexity of the current legislation on animal health, by streamlining roughly 400 legal acts of relevance into a single law.
The proposed law, which is focused on the prevention and control of transmissible diseases, addresses issues such as disease detection and eradication, information obligations, the identification and traceability of animals, and the registration and approval of establishments. Related requirements will be based on the categorization and prioritization of listed diseases.
Eurogroup for Animals welcomes Article 2(b)(i) of the proposal which ensures that animal welfare should be taken into account in the context of the rules for prevention and control of diseases addressed by the regulation. We are also happy that the proposal has the potential to address all relevant groups of animals, including farmed animals, companion animals, and wild animals where appropriate. However we are concerned that the proposed rules might lead to many derogations and that the detailed rules, which still need to be adopted for specific groups of animals, might result in weak provisions without sufficient safeguards for the animals’ welfare.
The new proposal, which is part of a package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain, can be found at the following website (see below).