Vote for Animals 2019
Vote4Animals in figures:
The campaign also aimed at informing and motivating Europeans to vote in favour of animal-friendly candidates. Animal welfare matters to EU citizens, ranking highly alongside and with an impact on pressing societal concerns such as climate change and biodiversity loss, organised crime, and animal and public health.
Eurobarometer studies show that 94% of EU citizens believe that the welfare of farm animals is important and 86% consider that EU legislation should ensure proper care and welfare for animals used for commercial purposes. More recently, the interim report of the consultation on the future of Europe highlighted that Citizens’ Dialogues raised many questions on biodiversity and animal welfare, including the impact of intensive farming, as well as animal cruelty and testing. Many said that decisive actions for animal welfare at the EU level would make them prouder to belong to the EU.
Eurogroup for Animals, through its Vote4Animals campaign, asked every European Parliamentary candidate to sign a pledge in support of animal-friendly initiatives during the next legislative term. As such, Parliamentarians were offered an opportunity to respond to citizens’ expectations for more European animal welfare actions.
With this campaign, we shined a spotlight on the European parties’ campaigns and the commitments of their candidates. Ultimately, our aim was to ensure that strong support for animal welfare among newly elected European parliamentarians translated into a political priority for the next European Commission. “If no one represents animals’ interests in the European Parliament, no law will take them into account,” said Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikainen when asked for a comment on the campaign’s launch.
The dedicated website (voteforanimals2019.eu), invited candidate MEPs to sign up to 21 specific pledges stating clear commitments to improve animal welfare. By doing so, prospective MEPs promised to address such issues as long distance live transport, fish welfare, the trade in wildlife, the phasing out of animal testing, or the inclusion of animal welfare standards in international trade agreements.
By making the commitments of candidates public and available in all EU languages, VoteForAnimals2019 was able to inform and encourage citizens to select those candidates and parties that have promised to make a difference for the millions of animals in need of protection.