The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) provides an opportunity to discuss contentious issues such as whaling or the use of animals in cosmetic testing, and to adopt strong commitments to improve animal welfare standards in general. The mention of animal welfare in the title of a chapter seems to confirm the increasing attention paid by the Commission to the issue. This would be a clear step in the right direction.
The list of provisional chapters published yesterday by the Commission confirms that the provisions on animal welfare are likely to be coupled with principles relating to Transparency, Good Regulatory Practices and Regulatory Cooperation. This would indicate a change in the practice of the EU, which was to include the provisions on animal welfare in the chapter on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, touching mostly on plant and animal health.
As the chapter on animal welfare is indicated as still being under negotiations, Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals, encourages the Commission to conclude strong commitments in the field:
‘‘We look forward to the release of the JEEPA chapter addressing animal welfare. As the chapter is still being negotiated, we do hope that the language adopted will be sufficiently strong, so that it pushes both partners to improve their own animal welfare standards and to tackle more specific issues, such as animal testing for cosmetic purposes in Japan. While we regret the decision of the Commission not to include any provision in relation to whaling – or to the refusal by Japan to comply with the 2014 ruling of the International Court of Justice condemning their whaling activities, we hope that the additional platform provided by the chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development will also be used as an additional channel to discuss Japan’s whaling practices.“
Stephanie Ghislain, Trade & Animal Welfare Project leader, Eurogroup for Animals, Tel: +32 (0)2 740 08 96, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eurogroup for Animals represents 55 animal advocacy organisations in 24 EU member states, the USA, Australia, Serbia and Norway. Since its inception in 1980, the organisation has succeeded in encouraging the EU to adopt higher legal standards for animal protection. Eurogroup for Animals reflects public opinion through its membership organisations’ affiliations across the Union, and has both the scientific and technical expertise to provide authoritative advice on issues relating to animal welfare. For more information, please visit www.eurogroupforanimals.org. Follow us on Twitter @Act4AnimalsEU, @TradeEG4A #Trade_AW and like us o