What we do
Prioritising animal welfare
European farmers and agri-cooperatives consider animal welfare to be a basic pillar of the European livestock sector. Every day, millions of farmers ensure the welfare of their animals, keeping them healthy and free from suffering or pain and providing them with adequate living conditions. European farmers have invested billions in adapting their farms so that they are in line with high animal welfare standards. Hence why, today, one case of non-compliance is one case too many, as it impacts the reputation of the whole sector.
What we believe
Enforcing existing legislation
We believe that the main focus should continue to be the enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation in all Member States along with sufficient controls carried out by official authorities. We fully support common basic regulation at European level, including the use of common guidelines and other non-legislative instruments. This ensures harmonisation and a level playing field.
What we call for
Effective animal welfare legislation
European animal welfare legislation is becoming so complex that common interpretation at Member State level is difficult, even for experts. This situation results in ineffective legislation, making it hard to improve animal welfare in a practical and efficient way. It is essential that harmonised implementation of animal welfare measures and legislation is assured among Member States.
The possibility of developing voluntary market agreements with other food chain partners should be further explored. We believe it is important to continue to focus on international initiatives such as bilateral and multilateral negotiations and cooperation with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Indeed, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure mutual understanding on animal welfare issues.
The European Commission should also raise awareness of the existing high animal welfare standards and requirements met by European farmers on a daily basis, whether in extensive or intensive production systems.