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The UK Government’s badger cull infringes the Bern Convention

Wildlife
Policy Briefing

The UK is home to over half of the European Badger (Meles meles) population. A 2017 survey estimated the population in England and Wales to be 485,000. Since 2013, more than 140,000 badgers, a species listed on Annex III of the Bern Convention, have been killed under licence in England as part of the UK Government’s attempts to control bovine TB in cattle. In 2019, The Born Free Foundation, Badger Trust, and Eurogroup for Animals jointly submitted a Complaint to the Bern Convention, citing clear breaches of Articles 7, 8 and 9 of the Convention in relation to UK Government policy on badger culling in England.

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Wild Animals in EU Circuses: Problems, Risks and Solutions

Wildlife
Report

Today’s growing concerns about the ethics of using wild animals for public entertainment have led to increasing calls from the public to end this practice. In Europe, this is reflected in the national legislation of 24 Member States, as well as the UK’s England, Wales and Scotland, who have adopted restrictions on the use of either all, or exclusively wild, animals in circuses. This report provides an overview of the current legislation and restrictions on the use of animals in circuses in all EU Member States, with a particular focus on the process of enforcement of total bans on the use of wild animals in the respective countries. The goal of this analysis is to recommend solutions that can be adopted when phasing out the use of wild animals in circuses.

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Briefnote: Why the time is right for Europe and China to act for animals

Trade & Animal Welfare
Brochure

Over the past years, China’s political leadership has shown more openness to discussing animal welfare issues. The creation in 2013 of the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW), a government backed non-profit organisation dedicated to ‘promoting animal welfare concepts, implementing animal welfare friendly farming systems and improving the quality and safety of livestock products’, was a first important step.

Magazine July 2021

Political Advocacy
Magazine

Themed around the final countdown of our No Animal Left Behind campaign, this edition of our Magazine features an interview with MEP Jytte Guteland, an update on End the Cage Age, and more.

EU Action Plan to phase out the use of animals in testing, research and education

Animals in Science
Policy Briefing

The five animal protection groups – Cruelty Free Europe, Eurogroup for Animals, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments, Humane Society International/Europe and PETA – which together represent over 100 member organisations from 26 EU member states, strongly support the introduction of an oral question with motion for resolution calling for an EU Action Plan to phase out animal testing. Opinion polling carried out in June 2020 shows that nearly three quarters (72%) of adults in EU member states agree that the EU should set binding targets and deadlines to phase out testing on animals.

Summary of the “Accountability Report: the Karim Allah and Elbeik’s crises. Animal welfare during sea transport”, by Joaquín Ortega Abogados, S.L law firm

Farm Animals
Report

On 18th December 2020, the livestock vessels Karim Allah (1) and Elbeik (2) departed from the ports of Cartagena and Tarragona (Spain), bound for Iskenderun (Turkey). Originally foreseen as a 10-day journey from a European (EU) to a non-EU country, the 2,600 bovines onboard underwent a three-month odyssey with a fatal outcome. Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) and Eurogroup for Animals, deeply concerned about the suffering the 2,600 bovines had to endure over a three months period, commissioned the law firm Joaquín Ortega Abogados, S.L. an in depth analysis of these two cases. The aim was to identify the roles and responsibilities of the actors involved in these transport operations. Evidence collected and reported by the law firm indicates that the welfare of the animals on board of these livestock vessels was seriously compromised.

Including Animal Welfare in EU Due Diligence

Trade & Animal Welfare
Policy Briefing

Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the forthcoming EU initiative aiming at further embedding sustainability into corporate governance, which may lead to the adoption of legislation establishing an EU-wide due diligence mechanism. In that context, Eurogroup for Animals strongly believes that the concept of due diligence currently developed at the EU level should encompass animal welfare.

Cultivated meat: An important piece in the puzzle of a sustainable food system

Farm Animals
Position Paper

As an alternative to industrial animal agriculture, cellular agriculture can offer thousands of kilos of meat grown in a controlled environment using cellular biology and tissue engineering. The production process is based on “cell culture technology” that has been used in Europe for decades, for example for growing yeasts for bread baking. Cultivated meat can provide one more important piece in a puzzle of multiple approaches to the necessary transition to a sustainable food system

Welfare of calves kept for white and rosé veal production

Farm Animals
Position Paper

In the European Union (EU), veal is defined as meat from calves up to 12 months of age. Calves farmed for white and rosé veal production, are likely to experience various health and welfare issues, due to early separation, transport from the farm of origin to a fattening one, housing and malnutrition.

Animal welfare at the time of killing and slaughter

Farm Animals
Position Paper

With almost 10 billion farmed animals slaughtered every year in the European Union, and the increased number of culling operations due to disease control, welfare at the time of slaughter and killing is a major concern. In May 2020 the European Commission announced the revision of the Slaughter Regulation to address major shortcomings. Eurogroup for Animals advocates to: align the legislative text with the latest scientific knowledge by, also, broadening its scope particularly to fish; address the major shortcomings and potential threats of the present rules; and enhance animal welfare by regulating mobile slaughter and favour on-farm killing of end-of-production animals.

uk

Animal Welfare in the implementation of the EU-Ukraine DCFTA

Trade & Animal Welfare
Policy Briefing

This briefing presents the evolution of the trade in animal products between both partners since the entry into force of the DCFTA, as well as the state of play in terms of animal welfare in Ukraine. It then explains why the EU should immediately address the impact the DCFTA has had on animal welfare, thus making the case for the EU to reject any additional market access for Ukrainian animal products until Ukraine implements EU-equivalent animal welfare standards.

Briefing: India. Animal Protection in EU Trade Negotiations

Trade & Animal Welfare
Report

The EU and India have been discussing a comprehensive trade agreement for almost 15 years and one of the main stumbling blocks remains the inclusion of provisions on Trade and Sustainable Development. While these trade negotiations are on hold, the political context is rapidly changing. The EU has launched its European Green Deal and a new Trade Strategy – which will have to “unequivocally support the Green Deal in all its dimensions”. In addition, the world is facing an increasing number of challenges that can only be resolved through international cooperation – climate change, biodiversity loss, antimicrobial resistance, spread of zoonoses – and at the heart of these challenges often lies the food system, and animal welfare.

Slaughter without stunning

Farm Animals
Position Paper

According to the Slaughter Regulation on the protection of animals at the time of killing, in the European Union (EU) animals shall be killed only after having been stunned, with a derogation to this rule for “animals subject to particular methods of slaughter prescribed by religious rites”. Due to the serious animal welfare concerns associated with slaughter without stunning, Eurogroup for Animals calls for repealing the derogation to mandatory stunning as set forth by Article 4.4 of the Council Regulation 1099/2009 (Slaughter Regulation). Resources should be urgently allocated to validating humane reversible stunning methods for all relevant species.

How can the Digital Services Act help to curb the illegal animal trade online?

Cats & Dogs
Policy Briefing

Until now, any focus on the criminal pet trade has concentrated on the animal welfare and consumer
fraud aspects, but it has become clear that illegal trade is structured and organised by criminal elements. Both EU and the Member States recognize the need to join forces to tackle this increasingly pressing problem and point to long-term solutions for the sake of protecting the European citizens and the Single Market. Similar to the fight of central and local governments against drug trade and human trafficking, combatting pet trade controlled by criminal gangs must be assisted by mechanisms of support at the EU level.

The European Commission’s evaluation on the EU Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals (2012 - 2015)

Political Advocacy
Policy Briefing

The Animal Welfare Strategy 2012-2015 aimed to lay the foundation for improving animal welfare standards and to ensure that they were properly applied and enforced across the EU. Eurogroup for Animals congratulates the Commission on conducting a thorough and comprehensive evaluation process drawing lessons from the previous decade activities in the area of animal welfare. The evaluation shows that the Strategy’s implementation process clearly faced serious issues and did not deliver against its objectives or generate significant impact for animals. Given the evidence provided by the evaluation, Eurogroup for Animals appreciates the current Commission’s fresh approach: reviewing the animal welfare acquis among other actions as foreseen under the Farm to Fork strategy.

The EU campaigns to promote meat, eggs and dairy

Farm Animals
Report

Since 2014, the European Commission has subsidised numerous campaigns promoting the consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products in the EU and globally. The European Commission’s contribution to these campaigns is vast, with millions spent each year. These financial contributions are inconsistent with the EU’s commitment to promoting sustainable, healthy diets and reducing meat consumption in the EU as laid out in the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork strategy.

Communication on an EU Strategy to tackle organised crime (2021-2025): the need to include illegal animal trade

Cats & Dogs
Policy Briefing

As the illegal pet and wildlife trade carries low risks and high profits, it serves either as a diversification of income sources for organised crime groups, or as a main activity. Largely controlled by highly organised criminal structures, this multimillion euro industry clearly falls under the definition of organised crime, and must be addressed accordingly. Estimates of the value of wildlife trafficking alone reach up to EUR 8 billion to EUR 20 billion annually. To effectively fight this criminal activity, competent authorities must prioritise resources across all the illegal trade activities.

Magazine March 2021

Political Advocacy
Magazine

Themed around mink farming and its associated risks to human and animal health, this edition of our Magazine features an interview with MEP Anja Hazekamp, an update on our Stop Circus Suffering campaign, and more.

Scientific statement on public health risks from SARS-CoV-2 and the intensive rearing of mink

Wildlife
Scientific Statement

The evidence that mink in fur farms can efficiently transmit and serve as intermediate hosts for the virus poses a considerable threat to public health and has potential implications at European level for COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment and vaccine development. Mink farms, where thousands of mink are housed together in high density, constitute potential reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2 as well as for associated mutations. It points to the risks associated with the intensive rearing of mink also with regard to future epidemics.

Annual Report 2020

Political Advocacy
Annual Report

2020 marked a sea change in our lives. For decades we have been confronted with zoonotic disease outbreaks such as Bird Flu and animal infectious diseases as Swine Fever but nothin has hit our societies so hard as Covid-19.

Live Animal Transport: Time to Change the Rules

Farm Animals
White Paper

In the European Union, Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2005 applies to the transport of animals that takes place within and from the EU in connection with an economic activity. A vast range of animal species are transported within the EU and beyond for commercial activities, but the Transport Regulation does not guarantee effective protection to all of them. The majority of its provisions refer only to the welfare of certain terrestrial farmed animal species: the requirements for the transport of fish, companion animals and equines are less developed; and measures to ensure the welfare of a large group of species transported for scientific purposes are completely absent.

This White Paper is Eurogroup for Animals’ response to the European Commission’s stated aims in revising the Transport Regulation: “to align it with the latest scientific evidence, broaden its scope, make it easier to enforce and ultimately ensure a higher level of animal welfare”. As a general principle, the revised Transport Regulation should adhere to the basic principles of reducing, refining and replacing live transport, whenever applicable.

Catching Up: Fish Welfare in Wild Capture Fisheries

Fish Welfare
Report

Every year, somewhere around one trillion (1,000,000,000,000) wild fish are captured, with a significant majority being killed for food. Even with this conservative estimate, this far outnumbers any animal farmed for food, and yet despite scientific evidence that fish are sentient – public concern and consumer awareness about fish and their welfare is far behind that of other farmed animals. This report looks at the various hazards faced by wild fish throughout the process of capture, through to handling and death, and proposes measures and strategies to reduce unnecessary suffering.

Eliminating a potential reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 virus on EU fur farms

Wildlife
Position Paper

The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to high mortality, sickness and unprecedented damage to our economy. Our healthcare system is overburdened, levels of unemployment are rising and people’s everyday lives have been extraordinarily disrupted by this emerging, deadly zoonotic disease. This paper outlines the key issues at stake with respect to COVID-19 and fur farming and makes various recommendations to ensure that the production of fur does not impede efforts to eradicate this disease by preserving a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, or undermining the efficacy of future vaccines.

The Welfare of Cattle Finished on Feedlots

Trade & Animal Welfare
Policy Briefing

Following these developments and the increasing use of feedlots to produce beef, even in Europe, it
has become essential to clarify the very detrimental impact of this method of production on cattle welfare.
This briefing illustrates the harmful effects on animal health and welfare of common industry practices when
finishing cattle on feedlots.