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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.

The Welfare of Broiler Chickens in the EU: From Science to Action

Farm Animals
Report

Meat chickens (broilers) are the most numerous terrestrial farmed animals in the European Union (EU).
They are predominantly reared indoors in intensive farming systems. The main aims of this document are to summarise scientific findings on the welfare challenges that broiler chickens face during all stages of their life, including those not currently addressed by minimum legal requirements, and to highlight the potential solutions, with an emphasis on the role that higher welfare broiler chicken production can play in addressing the most pressing issues.

A Vision for the Future of Broiler Farming

Farm Animals
Brochure

What should "ideal" broiler rearer systems look like in 10-20 years, if all welfare requirements of the animals are taken into account? We asked five international experts. Here are their answers.

Briefing: China. What could the European Union and China achieve for animals?

Trade & Animal Welfare
Report

Relations between the European Union and China have reached an unprecedented level since they were first
established in 1975, and sustainability has become a key topic for both partners. How we produce and consume food has an impact not only on animals but also on public health, the environment, people and climate. An increased focus on animal welfare can play a key role in finding solutions to many of the current global challenges we are facing – including climate change and antimicrobial resistance, as well as pandemics. Considering the pressing nature of these crises and recent political developments for both partners, there has never been a better time to call on the European Union and China to cooperate on this topic.

From Stable to Fork: EU Horse Meat Imports

Equines
Report

Just under 66.1 million horses are recorded as livestock worldwide, with 6.3 million being slaughtered every year. Equine welfare and the traceability and identification of horses has been a topic of heated discussions in the last few years. In 2013, the European Union was shaken by its own horse meat scandal, when supposed beef products sold at retailers turned out to contain horse meat. It led many consumers to question the content of their food. Longer supply chains and more operators are involved in the equine meat industry compared to other categories of meat, which increases risks for consumers and animals.

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Animal Welfare and Food Labeling: Initiating the Transition Through High Quality Consumer Information

Farm Animals
Report

In the past ten years, labeling initiatives informing consumers on farm animal welfare in food production
have emerged in the EU Member States. Today, there are a dozen labeling schemes pertaining to farm animal welfare in at least six Member States. Eurogroup for Animals supports the adoption of a “Method-of-Production + label,” which is a label that would combine method-of-production marking with simple information on animal welfare, based on a core set of animal welfare indicators. To ensure full transparency to consumers, the scope of an animal welfare-related label should further cover the entire supply chain: breeding, fattening, transport, and slaughter.

Kangaroo: From Australian Icon to Meat and Luxury Leather for the EU

Wildlife
Report

Although kangaroos and wallabies are Australia’s national symbol, almost 90 million of them have been hunted for their skin or meat over the last 30 years. All commercially hunted kangaroos are wild animals, not farmed for meat production purposes, and the EU currently is Australia’s main market for kangaroo exports, both for skins and hides and for meat products. This report provides explains why Eurogroup for Animals believes it is high time that the EU introduces an import ban on all goods derived from the hunting of kangaroos.

Magazine October 2020

Political Advocacy
Magazine

Themed around our Stop Pandemics, Start Here campaign, this edition of our Magazine features an interview with Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, and more.

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Handle with Care: Lessen the Suffering of the Fish in EU Wild capture Fisheries

Fish Welfare
Policy Briefing

Wild capture fisheries are the last major food sector and last animal producing sector to be based on wild harvest. Fishing activities take place far out of sight of most citizens, and wild capture fisheries have operated and developed without considering their impact on the fish they catch. This can change. Commercial fishers should become the stewards of the sea. Fish are their livelihood: any improvement to the way fish are captured, handled and slaughtered, i.e. an improved approach to animal welfare in wild
capture fisheries, is an improvement to their harvest. A concerted effort is required from the fishery sector and from regulators to implement meaningful improvements.

The Benefits of Addressing Animal Welfare in Trade Policy

Trade & Animal Welfare
Opinion

The COVID-19 crisis has painfully put the spotlight on the detrimental impact of economic and trade policies that prioritise profits above all. Now is our chance to profoundly rethink EU trade policy. Eurogroup for Animals believes the EU has the tools to develop - and implement - a trade policy fir for the 21st century, adapted to face all the challenges of our times, such as the spread of zoonoses, climate change and antimicrobial resistance. As animal welfare is closely linked to these challenges, part of the solution is to better address the impact of EU trade policy on animal welfare, as one dimension of sustainable development.

Analysis of national legislation related to the keeping and sale of exotic pets in Europe

Wildlife
Report

The lack of proper regulations on the keeping of exotic pet animals and insufficient knowledge of private keepers undermine the welfare and health of both humans and animals and poses a threat to biodiversity. This report provides an analysis of national legislation related to the keeping and sale of exotic pets in Europe as well as recommendations for national governments.

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Briefing: Mercosur. Animal Protection in EU Trade Negotiations

Trade & Animal Welfare
Position Paper

Eurogroup for Animals believes that the EU-Mercosur agreement, as it stands now, is a bad deal for animals,
nature and people. The negative impact it could have will be concrete and immediate, while the
possibilities for cooperation that could be opened by the text are uncertain and may only deliver in the long run, if at all. In addition, such cooperation could take place outside a trade agreement.

The Illegal Pet Trade: Game Over

Cats & Dogs
Report

The large majority of pets from illegal sources are sold online, and their lucrative trade across the EU is often disguised as the noncommercial movement of pets. These cats and dogs often do not comply with the health requirements established in the Regulation (EU) No 576/2013, are too young to have been vaccinated, and are accompanied by fraudulent passports which provide false information on their origin. The illegal Europe-wide trade in pets, which is facilitated by digital tools, threatens not just the welfare of the animals involved, but also animal health, public health and consumers. There is therefore an urgency to improve control mechanisms and revise the broken supply chain. A legal framework must also be provided to ensure this trade can happen in a sustainable, humane way.

Magazine May 2020

Political Advocacy
Magazine

Themed around the COVID-19 pandemic, this edition of our Magazine features an interview with MEP Hilde Vautmans, our efforts to enshrine animal welfare in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and more.

COVID-19 and the Wildlife Trade

Wildlife
Policy Briefing

The EU must take the responsibility in taking action on trade in wildlife and show that the painful lesson of COVID-19 has been learned. The European Commission is presently drafting the Biodiversity Strategy to 2030, a crucial component of the EU Green Deal and a great opportunity to take action. This document, if ambitious enough, can initiate a decisive change of direction for the EU policies on wildlife trade.