The EU’s primary network of animal protection organisations, Eurogroup for Animals*, has today welcomed the European Commission’s decision to establish an Animal Welfare Platform. Eurogroup for Animals worked closely with those Member States who called for its establishment, namely Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands in 2015, and believes that the final decision will help to join up institutions and differing levels of governance, to ensure that animal welfare is a responsibility that is truly shared by all.
Furthermore, Eurogroup for Animals is pleased with the final shape of the platform, which will enable public institutions and agencies to work in a bespoke manner on those animal welfare issues that can be resolved either through better implementation or enforcement, or through non-legislative means.
Commenting today, Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals, said:
“The Commission has long stated that animal welfare is a responsibility that is shared by governmental and non-governmental organisations alike, by civil society and public institutions. However, too often responsibilities have been shirked, blame passed and animal welfare has fallen between the gaps. We believe that this platform will go a long way to addressing many of these shortcomings and will break down walls between institutional silos, providing that the welfare interests of the animals are put first, and that this is reflected in its composition.
“Eurogroup for Animals will now work to ensure that many of the issues that our Member Organisations see on the ground, each and every day, are addressed where possible: From the live transportation of animals and their international trade, to the routine mutilation of farm animals, the trade in animals kept as companions, the responsible ownership and care of equines, to the labelling of food, and new standards for the likes of dairy cattle and rabbits.
“However, we are also very clear that the platform is a useful tool, it is not a silver bullet that will solve all of the welfare issues facing animals across Europe overnight. Some problems can only be sufficiently addressed by new EU legislation, and we will continue to work to this end, with this Commission, and the next.”