Have you met Welfarm?

Have you met Welfarm?

11 May 2022
Every month, we interview one of our member organisations about their work, main battles and achievements for animals. This month we have the pleasure to interview Adrienne Bonnet, Head of Campaign, Advocacy & Legal department at Welfarm.

Tell us about your organisation?

Founded in 1994, Welfarm - World Protection for Farm Animals is an organisation based in Metz, France, whose mission has been recognised as being of public utility. With more than 28,000 members and donors, the organisation's purpose is to improve the welfare of farm animals at all stages of their lives (breeding, transport, slaughter). In this context, we pursue four main missions:

  • Raise public awareness about farm animal welfare and encourage responsible consumption of animal products,
  • Support the food industry, farmers and distributors in taking animal welfare more into account in their practices,
  • Ensure compliance with applicable legislation and advocate for its evolution in favour of farm animals. In this respect, we exchange with institutional actors, whether at European, national or local level.
  • Sheltering farm animals that have been abused at our sanctuary farm, La Hardonnerie (Vauquois, France).

In addition to being a member of Eurogroup for Animals, we are also members of several organisations and coalitions in France: France Nature Environnement, la plateforme Pour une autre PAC and Engagement Animaux 2022. We are also part of various working groups led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in France (working groups on the transport of live animals, commission dedicated to animal welfare [CNOPSAV], etc.) and at the European Union level (EU Platform on Animal Welfare of the European Commission).

In which countries do you work?

Welfarm is located in France. It is therefore quite naturally that it carries out most of its activities on the French territory; this does not of course prevent us from working also at the European level and developing our activities on an international scale.

Tell us more about you and your role?

At Welfarm, I am in charge of the Campaigns, Advocacy and Legal Department. With my team (Judith DEI ROSSI, Gwendoline FARIAS RANITO and Marie WANIOWSKI), we run campaigns to raise public awareness or challenge professionals about the conditions in which animals are raised, transported and slaughtered. In this context, we recruit, mobilise and coordinate the actions of Welfarm volunteers in France. We are in contact with institutional and national players in order to work towards the correct implementation of legislation and, above all, its development in a way that is favourable to farm animals. In particular, I represent Welfarm within the EU Platform on Animal Welfare organised by the European Commission. Finally, we support the association's legal affairs.

Adrienne Bonnet from Welfarm
Adrienne Bonnet from Welfarm

I joined Welfarm primarily because I have always been outraged by the way animals are treated all too often. The impartiality and the constructive and militant approach of Welfarm immediately appealed to me. As I hold a doctorate in private and European law, it was natural that I wanted to go beyond the lessons I had taught at university and the academic work I had published on animal law. I wanted to act on the ground with Welfarm. Our activities, the valuable skills of all the organisation's team and our findings on animal suffering never cease to motivate me every day.

When and why did you join Eurogroup for Animals?

Welfarm joined Eurogroup for Animals in 2001. When Welfarm was founded in 1994, the EU had only 12 Member States. Half of its Member States (the Northern countries) were advocating that the EU should raise its animal protection standards. The other half of the Member States (the southern countries, including France) were holding back the adoption of new texts in this area. It was therefore necessary to join forces with other European NGOs in order to coordinate our actions and have more weight in the debate. Eurogroup for Animals not only plays a valuable coordinating role, but also provides us with expertise on the functioning of the European institutions, which allows us to act appropriately throughout the legislative process.

What are your organisations main achievements?

Welfarm's actions and the progress to which it has contributed are difficult to list, as they are so numerous. However, we can mention:

  • The awareness-raising and advocacy actions we carried out as part of our Ne Les Oublions Pas campaign, which was based on the Eurogroup for Animals No Animal Left Behind campaign; 
  • The relaunch of our TruckAlert application, which enables anyone to report the live animals transport in hot weather; 
  • The launch of our #StopCastration campaign
  • The fact that we took over the dissemination in France of the AWF/TSB's investigations on blood farms in Iceland and our partnership with journalist and influencer Hugo Clément, which resulted in the production of a video seen more than a million times on social networks; 
  • Our unceasing efforts to orient the French version of the Common Agricultural Policy in a way that is favourable to farm animals; 
  • Our repeated hearings and exchanges with French and European institutional actors on legislation; 
  • The stands that we managed to run in France, with the help of our volunteers, despite a difficult sanitary situation; 
  • Our entry into the EU Platform on Animal Welfare led by the European Commission;
  • And much more.

How can people support you?

Because independence is at the heart of our actions, our organisation depends solely on the generosity of the public. Anyone can therefore support us with donations, bequests, and legacies to Welfarm, name the organisation as the beneficiary of their life insurance, or sponsor the animals we care about in our rescue farm, La Hardonnerie.

It is also possible to support our current campaigns:

  • By signing our petition against the physical castration of piglets and/or by ordering our activist kit on stopcastration.fr (which has already collected over 200,000 signatures!),
  • By promoting the Engagement Animaux 2022 campaign where we assess the candidates for the 2022 French elections alongside several other NGOs,
  • By learning about the conditions under which animal welfare could be integrated into public procurement as part of our ETICA approach,
  • By signing our petition within the campaign EU for Animals, in which we call, alongside with other NGO, for the insertion of animal welfare in the title of the european Commissioner in charge of this thematic,
  • By reading and sharing our articles on our website,
  • And by following us on our social networks to learn about and share all our actions (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn).
  • Finally, it is also possible to join our network of volunteers by writing to benevoles@welfarm.fr and thus join all our actions depending on the availability of each one, join our private group on Facebook, benefit from our wide range of files and studies on the well-being of farm animals, receive our beautiful newsletter Ça caquette every month, etc.

Words to live by?

The awareness of animal suffering throws the individual into a world apart, which is at first a kind of nightmare. The important thing is to go through this suffering, to live it without fleeing its discomfort, but without remaining indignant, nor standing up against those who do not see it, by insulting them and being dogmatic."

Corine PELLUCHON, Manifeste animaliste - Politiser la cause animale, éditions Alma, Paris, 2017, p. 27