The meeting started with the appointment of the new Board. Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL, NL) was elected by acclamation as President of the Intergroup. She has been an active Member of the Intergroup since her first election and is committed to keep animal welfare as her key priority in the new legislative term. She stressed how important it is that the Intergroup remains a cross-parties and cross-countries group in order to deliver successes for animal welfare.
Sirpa Pietikainen (EPP, FI) thanked the Members for their support during her presidency. She expressed her hopes that the Intergroup Members will continue to be highly motivated and active. In due regard to her achievements as President of the Intergroup and her commitment to animal welfare, she was appointed as the Honorary President of the Intergroup by acclamation.
The reelected Vice-Presidents Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR, PL), Petras Auštrevičius (RE, LT), Pascal Durand (RE, FR), and Fredrick Federley (RE, SE) were reappointed in their position. Highlighting their priorities for the new legislative term, they mentioned various topics including a positive list for exotic pets, an animal welfare framework law, new live transport standards, revised rules for pig welfare, the identification and registration of pets and the dissemination of best practices.
Klaus Buchner (Greens/EFA, DE), Martin Buschmann (GUE/NGL, DE), Eleonora Evi (NA, IT), Niels Fuglsang (S&D, DK), Francisco Guerreiro (Greens/EFA, PT), Martin Hojsik (Renew, SK), Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA, LU), Maria Noichl (S&D, DE), and Emil Radev (EPP, BG) were appointed as new Vice-Presidents They mentioned, among others, live transport, stray animals, phasing out the use of animal testing, fur farming, cage-free farming and the CAP as topics they would like to work on.
Reineke Hameleers, as a representative of the Intergroup Secretariat, presented the draft strategy of the Intergroup for the new legislative term. She stressed that no new legislation was adopted under the last Commission and that many animals are at the moment left without specific rules ensuring their welfare. During the last term, the Intergroup came up with numerous reports and resolutions but they were ignored by the Commission. Reineke Hameleers expressed her hopes that the new Commission will be more active on animal welfare. She mentioned the General Farming Directive, the Pig Directive, the Broilers Directive, and the Transport Regulation to illustrate how outdated and insufficient the current EU legislation is to ensure proper animal welfare. She also stressed the shortcomings in the current legislation on animals in science, wildlife, pets, and in trade agreements.
The next preparatory meeting of the Intergroup will be held on 24th October and will focus on the need to introduce an EU positive list for exotic pet trade. Pascal Durand MEP will also host and exhibition and conference on the 8th of October to showcase the main challenges for the current legislative term and possible solutions.