Strengthening EU Policy Making on Animal Welfare: No Animal Left Behind and #EUforAnimals Campaigns

18 Mar 2021
Today’s session of the Animal Welfare Intergroup was dedicated to the presentation of the two campaigns: No Animal Left Behind and #EUforAnimals. Both campaigns aim at strengthening EU policy making on animal welfare.

No Animal left behind calls on the Commission to ambitiously review all EU legislation related to the welfare of farmed animals, as part of the ongoing Fitness Check process.

#EUforAnimals demands to explicitly mention “Animal Welfare” in the job title of the relevant EU Commissioner. In the present context, the Commissioner’s responsibility would become for “Health, Food Safety and Animal Welfare”.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals presented the ‘No Animal left behind’ campaign which was launched on Monday 15 March and will see its closure at the beginning of September.

The campaign No Animal left behind will raise public awareness about the shortcomings of the current EU legislation on the welfare of farmed animals and the opportunities currently provided to rethink it. Even though it is repeatedly stated that the EU has the most far-reaching animal welfare related legislation in the world, large parts of it are outdated and hardly enforceable. There are still many gaps which leave billions of animals more or less unprotected. The currently ongoing Fitness Check of EU legislation related to the welfare of farmed animals must lead to a full-scale review and to the best possible welfare standards for all farmed animals.

Several Animal Welfare Intergroup Members have already confirmed their proactive support for the campaign.

The campaign #EUforAnimals was presented by its coordinator Adolfo Sansolini. This is an initiative by Global Action in the Interest of Animals -GAIA and is supported by 15 partner organisations throughout the EU.

EU Citizens care about the welfare of animals and want to see that EU provides the adequate status and consideration for it. Therefore, it is legitimate to request that animal welfare appears as a fully-fledged policy field in the job title of the relevant EU Commissioner.

Since it’s launch a few days ago, the campaign’s petition for an EU Commissioner for Animal Welfare has already gathered over 41000 support signatures from EU citizens and numerous MEPs have signed up as well.

Francisco Guerreiro MEP encouraged the Animal Welfare Intergroup Members and all colleagues in the House to wholeheartedly support both campaigns and to concretely help for their promotion.

The meeting concluded with a short update by Maria Boada, Project Manager at AWF, regarding the situation of more than 1700 bovines that are currently on board of the livestock carrier Elbeik. Unfortunately, the fate of these animals remains still unclear: the possibility for them to be exported again to a third country remains. Martina Stephany, Director of the Farm Animal Department at Four Paws reported live from the port of Cartagena and said that the livestock carrier Elbeik will arrive there tonight. 

Both stressed that immediate action is necessary to relieve the animals and the crew. The Spanish authorities are urged to finally step in and put an end to this sad journey.

Access all the material of the meeting here.