It's high time for an EU Commissioner for Animal Welfare (Please sign the petition!)
One of the ideas that diverse stakeholders seem to agree on is that European citizens care for animals and would like to see their welfare taken into account, even when these animals are used for food production or other commercial activities. Today, it goes without saying that animals can feel pleasure and pain and can enjoy their lives or suffer through them.
However, up until 22 years ago, when it came to EU legislation and in most Member States, animals were not considered to be much different than carrots or tomatoes – mere agricultural products with no feelings or needs. Legislation regarding their treatment was mostly aimed at maximizing profit, reducing expenses, and increasing outputs at the lowest possible cost while still preserving food safety.