Summary of the 10th meeting of the Platform on Animal Welfare
The aim of the platform is to promote dialogue among competent authorities, business, civil society organisations and scientists on animal welfare issues that are relevant for the Union. The dialogue intends to build mutual understanding, foster trust and encourage voluntary commitments between platform members to achieve concrete results in improving the welfare of animals. Eurogroup for Animals is a member of the platform along with our member organisations World Animal Protection, Green REV Institute, Welfarm, Compassion in World Farming, Four Paws and our Equine Working Group Chair Joe Collins. It was a lively meeting, however it left many people with more questions than answers, particularly concerning the balance between business and NGO stakeholders in the platform.
The meeting kicked off with a video message from Commissioner Kyriakides, who couldn’t be in attendance, but gave her strong commitment to continue to improve the welfare of animals at European Union level. The platform received a presentation on the Sustainability Food Systems Framework, the public consultation on the sustainability food systems initiative will open in early 2022. The recent roadmap received a lot of feedback, with NGOs particularly stressing the need for policy option 4 as the only option with the capacity to deliver the change needed.
The Commission then presented the Inception Impact Assessment on the revision of Animal Welfare Legislation with follow up presentations from the Vught Alliance Member States (NL, SE, DK, DE and BE), Eurogroup for Animals, and Copa Cogeca, representing the position of the farming industry, each outlining their vision for the new legislation. Eurogroup for Animals presented the No Animal Left Behind white paper which is calling for a new Kept Animals Regulation, that would provide protection for all animals kept for commercial purposes. This regulation would ensure all animals are afforded proper protection relevant to their species specific needs.
In the afternoon the platform discussed the creation of new subgroups and ongoing and new voluntary initiatives. The Commission proposed the creation of six new subgroups, which will contribute to the analysis of the different options developed in the context of the preparation of the revision of the animal welfare legislation. These subgroups are pigs, poultry, calves/dairy cows, transport, animal welfare labelling, slaughter/killing. There was a strong call to link these subgroups with voluntary initiatives to maximise the usage of expertise in these specific areas. The voluntary initiatives are currently on the responsible ownership and care of equidea, on the health and welfare of pets (dogs) in trade, on the welfare of fish and on the welfare of pullets. Members of the platform are invited to apply for different subgroups - Eurogroup for Animals will collaborate with our member organisations on the platform to ensure we are represented across all subgroups.
The final presentation of the day was by PPILOW, who presented a Multiactor approach for improving animal welfare in poultry and pig low-input outdoor and organic production systems. Andrea Gavinelli, DG SANTE closed the meeting. The next Platform on Animal Welfare meeting will be held in June next year.