Common Agricultural Policy
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has regulated farming and livestock production over 50 years. The original CAP aimed at guaranteeing sufficient food supply and decent living for farmers. Subsidising production has led to intensification with numerous animal welfare problems from breeding to unsuitable barren housing conditions to transport and slaughter.
ABOUT THE ISSUE
The 2003 reform was due to turn the focus from quantity to better quality production with increased attention to sustainable agriculture and citizens’ concerns, including animal welfare. To date the largest part of CAP subsidies is however still going to large industrial agro-business and very little financial support is provided for animal welfare.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION
Farmers receiving direct subsidies from the CAP can see this aid reduced or withdrawn if they do not respect animal welfare legislation. Farmers can be supported by rural development measures to improve animal welfare but there is no obligation for Member States to offer this support and only 21 rural development programmes out of 90 currently in place include animal welfare payments. Legislative proposals for a reformed CAP were published on 12 October 2011.
WHAT ARE WE CALLING FOR
- A basic payment to reward farmers respecting legal animal welfare requirements
- Subsidies for producers applying higher animal welfare standards
- Current animal welfare measures under rural development to continue; the animal welfare payment to be made compulsory
- A specific budget to be allocated to animal welfare measures in rural development
- Payments to be conditional to compliance with all EU farm animal welfare legal standards, for all farmers receiving subsidies
- European Commission Communication: The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future
- DG Agriculture: the CAP after 2013
- Rural development policy 2007-2013
- Eurogroup's briefing on a Commission Proposal for a Regulation establishing a common market organisation (CMO) for agricultural products (April 2012)
- Eurogroup's briefing on the horizontal aspects of the future CAP (March 2012)
- Eurogroup's briefing on Rural development and animal welfare (March 2012)
- Eurogroup's briefing: Reform of the CAP: Direct Payments (March 2012)
- Eurogroup briefing: Export Refunds for Live Cattle (December 2011)
- Eurogroup's briefing on the Commission proposals (October 2011)
- Press release: Revised Common Agriculture Policy proposals fail to consider Animal Welfare (October 2011)
- Comments on the Communication “The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resources and territorial challenges of the future” (December 2010)
- Eurogroup discussion paper on the CAP after 2013 (October 2010)
- Overview of the animal welfare payment measure in Member States' rural development programmes 2007-2013 (August 2010)
- Eurogroup contribution to the CAP after 2013 consultation (May 2010)
- Eurogroup briefing: Expectations for a future sustainable EU Agriculture Policy (January 2010)
- Targeted help: Improving farm animal welfare in Scotland under the rural development programmes (2008)
- Report: "Into the fold: Creating incentives for improved animal welfare under the Rural Development Regulation" (March 2005)
- Summary of the report "Into the fold"