European Parliament allocates 2022 budget to animal welfare projects
On Wednesday 20th October the European Parliament adopted the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2022 - all sections.
With this vote the European Parliament also included the preparatory action (PA)— Developing a system for the automated measuring of tail length and tail lesions of pigs at the slaughter line and the pilot project (PP)— Development of an automated database to collect and structure non-animal methods (NAMs) for use in biomedical research.
Pilot projects and preparatory actions (PP/PAs) are tools introduced in the European Union (EU) budget that aim at testing new policy initiatives and/or preparing the ground for the adoption of future measures.
The PA - developing a system for the automated measuring of tail length and tail lesions of pigs at the slaughter line, was proposed by MEP Petri Sarvamaa (EPP, FI) with a budget allocation of one and a half million Euros. The PA will consist of a joint effort between researchers, governments, industry partners and NGOs across Member States, to achieve a validated, harmonised and fair system of tail length and lesion assessment by automatically measuring lesions at the slaughterhouse. Council Directive 2008/120/EC laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs prohibits the routine tail docking of pigs. Farmers must provide pigs with adequate environmental enrichment and implement other measures to prevent tail biting. However, 25 Member States are currently non-compliant with this and 24 presented inadequate action plans. As a result, the vast majority of pigs in the EU are still being unlawfully tail-docked. Tail length and tail damage are very important indicators of compliance with the Pigs Directive and should be systematically monitored in all Member States. Automatic monitoring is a cost-effective tool for this purpose.
The pilot project (PP)— Development of an automated database to collect and structure non-animal methods (NAMs) for use in biomedical research was tabled by the MEPs Eleonora Evi, Maria Spyraki, Sylwia Spurek, Tilly Metz, Anja Hazekamp, Younous Omarjee and Martin Buschmann. It has a budget allocation of half a million Euros. The overall objective of this pilot project is to create the first EU public database of human biology- based models and non-animal methods, providing open access to the scientific community, project evaluators and ethical review committees among others.