European Commission urged to publish revised animal welfare legislation
The open letter, addressed to European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen, is signed by academics, researchers, veterinarians, scientists, entrepreneurs, farmers, and other stakeholders from several countries.
The signatories, which include renowned conservationist Dr Jane Goodall and philosopher Peter Singer, reiterated that the current animal welfare legislation is heavily outdated and in need of an urgent update in line with scientific evidence and societal expectations. They called for a swift publication of a future-focused, comprehensive and fit for purpose proposal.
The EC committed to publish four proposals to revise the animal welfare legislation as part of its Farm to Fork Strategy. As the political term reaches its end in the upcoming months, the signatories are asking President von der Leyen to uphold this promise.
A revised animal welfare legislation does not only provide for better protection of animals, but also for a level playing field for businesses across Europe, with support for farmers transitioning to systems with improved standards, while benefiting from fair competition when placing their product on the market.
Finally, the revision is a crucial component to make the European food system fair, healthy and more sustainable.
European citizens have highlighted the need for a uniform and adequate protection of animals, as made evident in the consultation run by the EC and in the five successful European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs) related to animal welfare, among which a call to transition to cage-free systems, and to ban fur farming in Europe.
With such clear science that highlights the inadequacy of current EU standards, this proposal can no longer be delayed. The EC must quickly reveal its proposals for a harmonised legislation that is fit for purpose, one that protects animals and is in line with public health and environmental goals.Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals