Victory for animals! The European Parliament adopted ambitious Report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy


Victory for animals! The European Parliament adopted ambitious Report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy

9 June 2021
Press Release
The European Parliament’s report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy, adopted yesterday, demonstrates the clear commitment of the Parliament to ensure the effective implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 by securing adequate financial resources, binding objectives and adopting new legislation. The Parliament is urging European Commission and Member States to turn the present crisis into an opportunity and move away from “economic growth at any cost”, ensuring a real green recovery.

Back in May 2020 Eurogroup for Animals welcomed the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 as a key delivery of the EU Green Deal, and then wholeheartedly welcomed MEP César Luena’s (S&D) INI Own Initiative Report , which was adopted by the ENVI Committee at the end of May 2021.

Thanks also to our Stop Pandemics? Start here campaign, the joined efforts of our members, and the support of many MEPs, most of our recommendations to block amendments on the ENVI report were taken into account, and yesterday the vote in Plenary clearly demonstrated the European Parliament’s support to ensure the effective implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030

The strategy has the potential to bring the necessary change to protect our planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and environment, and to prevent future pandemics and spread of zoonotic diseases, ensuring that the tools and resources are made available to make that ambition a reality, with important effects on animal protection:

  • Acknowledging that both the illegal and legal trade in, and use of, wildlife significantly contribute to biodiversity decline, calling on the European Commission (EC) to jointly address legal and illegal trade in the review of the EU Wildlife Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.
  • Highlighting that the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking should receive adequate funding, including assistance to wildlife rescue centres and sanctuaries.
  • Calling on the EC to propose EU-wide wide positive lists of species permitted for import, keeping, breeding and trade as pets as soon as possible, also to prevent the introduction of new invasive alien species.
  • Calling on the EC and the Member States (MS) to lead efforts to end the commercial trade in endangered species and their parts.
  • Recognising ecocide as an international crime. 
  • Highlighting that EU agriculture should be transformed to make it sustainable and ensure high animal welfare standards, setting the benchmark in terms of standards for sustainable food systems
  • Acknowledging that fur production can significantly compromise animal welfare and increases their susceptibility to infectious diseases including zoonoses, as has occurred with COVID-19 in mink.
  • Calling on the EC and the MS to take adequate measures to facilitate the coexistence with large predators, such as preventive and compensation measures, ensuring their protection.
  • Recognising the importance of cetacean protection, and the need for the EU to take action with regard to whaling.
  • Recognising that catching fish to feed carnivorous farmed fish is a driver of marine biodiversity loss.

We applaud the Parliament for their commitment to animals which comes after a year-long campaign to prevent future pandemics and improve animal protection at the same time. We trust the Commission will listen to the Parliament’s calls and use the Biodiversity Strategy to introduce EU wide Positive Lists for exotic pets which would be a total gamechanger for the animals but also for human health.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals


Roadmap for EU biodiversity strategy
The unregulated exotic pet trade in the EU: a threat to health and biodiversity
Analysis of national legislation related to the keeping and sale of exotic pets in Europe 
COVID-19 and the wildlife trade
Think positive - why Europe needs ‘positive lists’ to regulate the sale and keeping of exotic animals as pets
Exotic pet trade: analysis of the problems and identification of solutions
Stop pandemics? Start here.
Scientific statement on public health risks from SARS-CoV-2 and the intensive rearing of mink 

Press contact
Agnese Marcon, Interim Communications Manager, Eurogroup for Animals
+32 (0) 456 078 038

Eurogroup for Animals represents 77 animal protection organisations in 27 EU Member States, Switzerland, Serbia, Norway, Australia and the USA. Since its inception in 1980, the organisation has succeeded in encouraging the EU to adopt higher legal standards for animal protection. Eurogroup for Animals reflects public opinion through its membership organisations’ affiliations across the Union, and has both the scientific and technical expertise to provide authoritative advice on issues relating to animal welfare.