Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the EU Platform on Animal Welfare, inaugurated yesterday by EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis in Brussels. The Platform takes into account the concerns of EU citizens to advance animal welfare. In 2015, a Eurobarometer survey on ‘European citizens’ attitudes towards animal welfare’, revealed that over 90 percent of those interviewed believed it was important to protect the welfare of animals.
Eurogroup for Animals, who worked closely with the Dutch Presidency of the EU and other member states Germany, Denmark, Sweden who called for its establishment back in 2015, believes this Platform can join up institutions and differing levels of governance, to ensure that animal welfare is a responsibility that is truly shared by all.
Following the inaugural meeting, 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 welcome this new 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.’’
“However, although 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.”
One of the key priorities of the Commission is to promote an enhanced dialogue on animal welfare issues that are relevant at EU level. To achieve these priorities, the Platform will collaborate with the Commission with the development and exchange of coordinated actions on animal welfare.
Eurogroup for Animals will work to ensure that many of the issues that its member organisations see on the ground are addressed where possible. These range from the live transportation of animals, to the routine castration of piglets, the trade in animals kept as companions, the responsible ownership and care of equines, to food labelling, and new standards for rabbits.
To echo the words of EU Commissioner Andriukaitis, ‘we should not take our foot off the pedal, and slow down activities in the field of animal welfare’. There are still many issues to be solved and we need to continue to have a proactive EU policy on animal welfare, using the Platform as an instrument to achieve positive results for the welfare of animals.
Eurogroup for Animals sits on the Platform together with member organisations Vier Pfoten, CIWF, World Animal Protection, RSPCA International, ORCA and World Horse Welfare.
For further information, please contact:
Joe Moran, Political Affairs Adviser, Eurogroup for Animals
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +32 27400826