Revised Common Agriculture Policy proposals fail to consider Animal Welfare
Posted on 12/10/2011
Eurogroup for Animals is extremely disappointed that the Commission in the proposals published today has missed the opportunity to address the animal welfare problems caused by very intensive systems of agricultural production. These systems cause distress to millions of farm animals and go against the concerns of Europe’s citizens who expect their food to be produced without animal suffering.
The legislative proposals despite repeated calls by both stakeholders and the general public do not recognise in their objectives animal welfare as a public good. Instead the objectives are limited to delivering viable food production, sustainable management of natural resources and climate action, and balanced territorial development. The improvement of animal welfare could well be promoted through these broader objectives, but it remains to be seen how in practice this will be taken into account as well as other public goods such as biodiversity conservation.
“No basic payment is foreseen to be given to farmers to improve animal welfare and in fact animal welfare is no longer stated clearly as an objective of the Common Agriculture Policy as it was previously in 2003. This is disappointing as the reform doesn’t include any instruments to reward farmers who correctly apply animal welfare related directives and provides no sanction that is sufficiently dissuasive to those who fail to respect the European law,,”said Véronique Schmit, Executive Officer Policy of Eurogroup for Animals.
“The European Commission is failing to adopt measures according to Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which states that agriculture legislation must pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals. The majority of the CAP budget will also still be spent on intensive production and this is totally unacceptable,” she added.
“The future CAP will also continue to subsidise the export of live cattle to third countries, with the associated problems caused by long distance transport. The European Commission has missed the opportunity of standing firm and leading the way in ending export refunds,”she concluded.
Eurogroup for Animals will work with the European Parliament and the Council to ensure animal welfare is incorporated more robustly in the CAP and the proposals are debated over the coming months. We hope that policy makers will recognise animal welfare as a public good and support the demands of Europe’s citizens.