MEP plegdes for animal welfare for the next term

25 Apr 2024
Today, the Animal Welfare Intergroup held its final session of this term focusing on the upcoming European elections and the Vote for Animals 2024 pledge, as well as highlighting the accomplishments and drawbacks of this term.

The Animal Welfare Intergroup has decisively contributed to initiate many of the EP’s animal welfare related activities during this term. Among those are:

  • The set-up of a Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT), which pushed for the revision of the outdated Regulation on animal transport.
  • The resolution on actions to accelerate a transition to non-animal science.
  • Its working group on the ECI End the Cage Age, which contributed to get  a resolution and commitments by the European Commission.
  • The resolution on improving Regulations on wild and exotic animals to be kept as pets in the EU, through a positive list.
  • The support for a campaign calling for an EU commissioner on animal welfare.
  • very active working group on companion animals.

During her intervention, the President Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA, LU) said that throughout the term the Intergroup managed make animal welfare visible in the Parliamentary work, through various reports and resolutions, working groups, and parliamentary questions. She expressed her disappointment at the EC’s failure to put forward a full package of proposals to update the EU animal welfare legislation, despite continuous pressure by members of the Intergroup and animal protection NGOs.

In the run-up to the European elections in June, candidate MEPs are taking a pledge stating a clear commitment to strive to improve animal welfare if they are elected, through the Vote for Animals campaign, run by Eurogroup for Animals and its members. The pledge, composed of ten asks, addresses live animal transport, imports of animal-based products, welfare of aquatic species, non-animal science and the conservation of wild animals, among others.

“These were five intense years of fighting for better animal welfare. We have seen overwhelming civil mobilisation, which shows the willingness of EU citizens to better protect animals at an EU level. We need legislation that protects all animals, including aquatic ones, which are currently unprotected. We have yet to see a ban on cages, on fur farms, and fur products in the EU market,” commented MEP Caroline Roose (Greens/EFA, FR), Vice President of the Intergroup.

“Without the civil society - the ECIs, campaigns and other initiatives - we wouldn’t have been so strong. We require species-specific legislation, for animals which aren’t so farprotected by EU law. We must continue to bring animal welfare on the table in important discussions,” said MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, (EPP, FI) Honorary President of the Intergroup.

“As 300 million animals continue to suffer in cages, we need the European Commission to deliver on the End the Cage Age ECI. We need to push for a roadmap for a transition to non-animal science, and a ban on the transport of vulnerable animals,” added Rasmus Beim who spoke on behalf of MEP Niels Fuglsang (S&D, DK), Vice-President of the Intergroup.