Did you know that hundreds of millions of animals in the EU are still kept in cages, either for their entire lives or prolonged periods of time? That more than 11 million animals are used in research every year with no guarantee that the experiments translate to better healthcare? That huge numbers of animals – 4 million cows and 28 million pigs in 2019 alone – are transported on journeys of more than eight hours, often without food or water?
All this and more will be at “What’s on the Horizon for Animals?”, an exhibition co-hosted by Eurogroup for Animals and the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, which will be on display at the European Parliament from 8th-10th October.
The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the situation for animals in Europe today, which isn’t a happy one. The problems hampering the welfare of farm animals, equines, cats and dogs, wildlife, animals in science and traded animals as diverse as animals are themselves.
While the Treaty of Lisbon acknowledges the sentience of animals, current legislation is inefficient and ineffective in ensuring their welfare. The last Commission failed to adopt any new legislation, despite repeated calls from civil society and MEPs. Major negative effects for animals weren’t the only result of this stagnation; it also affected citizens’ confidence in the functioning of the EU. In surveys and the Future of Europe consultation, the people of Europe have stated time and time again that they want better welfare for animals.
With a parliamentary term, though, the future could look brighter – but only with the help of our new MEPs. The exhibition will invite MEPs to take the Act4Animals commitment: fourteen realistic, measurable solutions to achieve better welfare. We’re looking forward to seeing the 117 elected MEPs who earlier this year signed our VoteforAnimals2019 pledge return and deliver on their promise and turn words into action, and to welcome other new MEPs who also want to make a change for animals, perhaps by even joining the Intergroup.
The exhibition will launch on 8th October with an event co-hosted by MEPs Pascal Durand (Renew, FR), Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA, LU), Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL, NL), Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, FI), Maria Noichl (S&D, DE), Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR, PL), Emil Radev MEP (EPP, BG), and Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL, FR) which will feature talks and round table discussions.
“The aim of today’s event is to show a groundswell of support towards the new European Commission to reverse the tide and deliver positive change for animals,” says Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals. “Solutions exist for animals, and with political will from the Commission and the support of MEPs in the Intergroup, we could be in a much more positive situation in five years than we are now.”