MEPs all opt to harmonize animal welfare laws

MEPs all opt to harmonize animal welfare laws

EU animal welfare legislation needs updating and uniform application in all Member States, say Agriculture MEPs (AGRI).

At the end of October, the European Parliament’s agriculture committee adopted a motion for a resolution on a report on the implementation of livestock welfare legislation. MEPs pointed out that the current EU legislation on the welfare of food-producing animals is not consistently implemented in all Member States. It was pointed out that EU regulations in this area lag behind scientific advances and set specific minimum welfare standards for only a few species.

Current regulations supporting farmers

The draft resolution calls for the development of future EU animal welfare legislation to be uniformly implemented in all Member States. ‘They should be based on scientific data, impact assessments and species approach,’ stated the adopted document.

It also pointed out that farmers need to be given sufficient time, support and funding to enable them to invest in better animal welfare.

According to MEPs, the update should also take into account the incomes of EU farmers and the competitiveness of the global agricultural market.


“End of the cage age”

AGRI MEPs welcomed the European Citizens’ Initiative “End of the cage age” and called for a ban on the use of the so-called battery henhouses. MEPs favored a genre-based approach using clear cage definitions. In turn, breeders who will be covered by the new standards should receive special financial support for the transition to an alternative animal husbandry system.

Animal product welfare labeling

The current voluntary and mostly private livestock welfare labeling systems in the EU vary considerably. To provide consumers with reliable labeling of livestock products with regard to the welfare aspects of their entire production cycle, MEPs from the Agriculture Committee opted for a voluntary EU animal labeling system covering all livestock farms. MEPs also did not rule out examining the possibility of compulsory EU labeling.

The resolution on the report on the implementation of livestock welfare legislation now needs to be voted by the full Parliament. It may already take place during the December session.

The resolution concerns the implementation of EU legislation on the welfare of food-producing animals, namely the directives on the protection of farm animals, the protection of laying hens, chickens raised for meat, calves and pigs.

Last Updated on November 2, 2021 by Redakcja