Farm Animals

Farming is a sector involving enormous numbers of animals, and accordingly, the work on farmed animals is Eurogroup for Animals’ largest programme.

Staggering numbers of animals still kept in close confinement. Long-distance live exports for certain species is increasing, including particularly vulnerable animals such as unweaned calves. The international trade of meat products is stalling progress on animal welfare legislation at EU-level, because animal welfare standards are lower in countries with which we have trade agreements.

On top of this, there is a widespread lack of enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation within the EU, with patent examples being the Pig Directive and the Transport Regulation, but with serious problems also identified in enforcing the Broiler Directive and in protecting animals at the time of slaughter.

Recently we have also put fish welfare firmly on the EU policy agenda.Our work on food systems transformation and overarching issues such as the Common Agricultural Policy, alternatives to meat within our work on food policy will also become increasingly important in the coming years.

What do we want to achieve?

  • That targets are set to reduce animal-based production and consumption by 70% by 2030 in the EU/UK, in line with the scientific evidence.

  • Support for plant-based food and other alternatives, such as cultivated meat.
  • That the EU turns the Common Agricultural Policy into a Common Food Policy which has high animal welfare as a core principle
  • Live animal transport is replaced by a meat and carcasses-only trade
  • Cage systems for farm animals are banned
  • Mutilations are phased out
  • Broiler Directive is revised
  • Mandatory method of production labelling agreed
  • The Slaughter Directive is improved, with CCTV in all slaughterhouses
  • EC guidelines on higher welfare aquaculture; fish transport and slaughter regulated
  • Chick culling banned
  • Live plucking and force feeding for foie gras banned
  • EU stops breeding programmes that overstrain animals’ physiology
  • Species specific legislation pursued

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