Animal welfare should be at the core of the European Commission’s next legislative agenda, and priority should be given to publishing the long-due animal welfare legislation, a number of Member States highlighted in the AGRIFISH council meeting today.

The information note was submitted by Slovenia, Bulgaria, France, Portugal and Sweden.

The delegations noted the work that has been done so far on animal welfare, in particular the publication of the transport regulation proposal, and the regulation on the welfare of cats and dogs, currently being discussed by the working parties in the Council.

On the regulation on cats and dogs, the delegation stressed the need of public-facing awareness campaigns, to enable consumers to make informed choices and recognise unregistered establishments and illegal pet trade operations, particularly with the increase in online trade. They noted the need for the European Commission to support Member States in these efforts.

The delegation called on the European Commission to come forward with the revised proposal to protect animals at farm level and at the time of killing: the Kept Animals and Slaughter Regulations, respectively. These proposals were promised to be published by the end of last year, however they have yet to see the light of day.  This call was reinforced by a number of member states during the session, specifically Luxemburg, Denmark and Netherlands, with the latter highlighting that animal welfare is critical for sustainable food production, public health and consumers’ trust.

On the European Citizens Initiatives, “End the Cage Age” and “Fur Free Europe”, the delegation emphasised that it expected further work on the EC’s side a proper assessment of the economic and social impacts of any proposed legislation in this area.

On transport, Luxembourg called for immediate work on the legislative proposal, while it called for a ban on exports to non-EU countries, saying this should be replaced by meat and carcasses.

The revised animal welfare legislation should be a priority for the next Commission. Citizens have asked for better protection of animals, and it is high time it was delivered. In the run-up to the European elections, it is great to see Member States speak up. Over 700 candidate MEPs have so far taken a pledge for the animals, and we hope that the next legislature will bring the changes that are long overdue.


Stephanie Ghislain, Political Affairs Manager, Eurogroup for Animals.


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