Vote for Animals: placing animal welfare at the heart of the EU Elections
Candidate MEPs are being encouraged to sign a pledge stating a clear commitment to work to improve animal welfare if they are elected to the European Parliament (EP). The pledge, composed of ten asks, addresses live animal transport, imports of animal-based products, welfare of aquatic species, non-animal science and the conservation of wild animals, among others.
By taking the pledge, candidates commit to represent EU citizens’ demands for better animal welfare legislation. European citizens have been very vocal in demanding the EU to do better for animals. Six of ten successful European Citizens Initiatives are related to animal welfare, of which 1.5 million citizens have asked for a Fur Free Europe, and 1.4 million asked for a transition to cage-free systems. The last Eurobarometer, showed that over nine in ten Europeans believe that it is important to protect the welfare of farmed animals, while an overwhelming majority expressed the importance of better protection of kept animals during their entire lifetime.
Elected MEPs have the competence to drive animal welfare issues forward, by working to ensure it remains a priority on the EU agenda, being vocal on issues that need addressing, and voting in the interest of animals. During the current term, a significant number of MEPs have brought to light critical issues including the delay in the publication of the animal welfare legislation, the horrific nature of live animal transport and fur farming.
Elected representatives also have the opportunity to join the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, which provides a cross-party platform for MEPs to discuss and exchange views on animal welfare issues and to initiate and promote related initiatives in the EP.
The Vote for Animals campaign page is translated in all official EU languages, and citizens are encouraged to send a message to their representatives, asking them to sign the pledge.
MEPs can serve as catalysts to push for better animal welfare legislation. The Vote for Animals pledge is our commitment to do our utmost to make sure the European Commission comes forward with ambitious legislation on critical issues that need much attention. If I am given the trust by the public, I promise to continue to place these issues at the core of my work, representing the demands of citizens to do more in this aspect. I encourage other candidate MEPs to take the pledge.Niels Fuglsang, MEP (S&D, DK)
With so many EU citizens asking for more action on animal welfare, the European Parliament must be representative of these interests, to drive forward much-needed progress. This campaign provides both citizens and MEPs the opportunity to shape an institution that keeps animals at the core of their work.Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals