Open letter to the EC President Ursula von der Leyen: Call to present the expected proposals on animal welfare

6 Sep 2023
The EP Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals has sent an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen regarding the announced Commission proposals for the revision of the animal welfare legislation. The Intergroup is firmly committed to the delivery of a revised EU animal welfare legislation within this term and therefore strongly encourages the European Commission to present the expected four legislative proposals as planned.

Presentation of the four planned animal welfare revision proposals 

Dear President von der Leyen, 

On behalf of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals,  I am writing to you with the urgent request to express a firm commitment to the delivery of the  revised animal welfare legislation within this term, which implies the presentation of the four  planned animal welfare revision proposals as scheduled (Q3 2023)

In 2020, the European Commission presented its Farm to Fork Strategy, which included the announcement of a general overhaul of the EU legislation on animal welfare, within this term. 

In several resolutions and reports before and since this announcement, the European  Parliament has highlighted the need to revise the current animal welfare legislation to  reflect the latest scientific knowledge and provide for higher animal welfare standards and better enforcement. The recommendations elaborated by the Parliament’s Inquiry Committee  on the Protection of Animals during Transport is but one prominent example of such Parliament initiatives. The European Parliament takes animal welfare very seriously and would like to start working on legislative improvements as soon as possible.

The vast majority of European citizens deeply care about animal welfare, as reflected in several  opinion polls and, to my knowledge, also in the last special Eurobarometer on animal welfare which was due to be published already before the summer break. Indeed, the majority of  successful European Citizens Initiatives address animal-related issues, including the ECI “End  the Cage Age”, which led the European Commission to promise a proposed ban on cage  farming in the context of the previously announced animal welfare revision. Millions of citizens are waiting for the European Commission to deliver on these promises and it is in the interest  of the credibility of our European institutions not to let them down. 

Moreover, back in 2019, the Council too asked for a revision of the animal welfare legislation, which subsequently led to several position papers calling to improve EU animal welfare  standards, such as the 2022 position on live animal transport, which gained support from a qualified majority of Member States. 

With this context in mind, the European Parliament Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation  of Animals, which convenes more than 100 MEPs from all political groups, calls on the  Commission to present the proposals on animal welfare as scheduled this year and to subsequently include the four proposals in the Commission’s work programme for 2024,  as pending priority proposals. 

We are of course looking forward to hearing your State of the Union address, during which we hope the revision of the animal welfare legislation will be mentioned. 

We thank you in advance for your consideration and send you our respects. 

Yours sincerely,

Tilly Metz MEP 

President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup

To view all members of the Intergroup on the Welfare & Conservation of Animals, you may access this webpage. 

 Billions of Animals