Farm animal welfare: Enough talk – we need results!
GUE/NGL MEP Stefan Eck urged the European Commission to adopt new, tailor-made legislation on rabbits and other farm animal species for which no minimum protection standards were approved yet.
"I am observing a trend: for this Commission, under Mr Juncker and Mr Timmermans, animal welfare ranges far beyond any other business. I have the feeling and the fear that we won't have any animal welfare legislation during the next three years".
"We want new legislation to protect animals. Words are not enough, the time of words is over. We need results. The Commission must live up to its responsibilities by taking non-compliant member states to court, or to face the citizens legitimate anger," said Stefan Eck in a seminar at the European Parliament on +Animal Welfare 2016-2020+, co-organised by Eurogroup for Animals and the Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals.
The first Eurobarometer on animal welfare in nine years, which was released on Tuesday, shows that more than four in five citizens want to see better welfare for farmed animals. Nearly three quarters of citizens believe that pet welfare should be better than it is at present, and nine out of ten people think that imported products should respect the same animal welfare standards as those applied in the EU, with nearly the same proportion believing that the EU should do more to promote a greater awareness of animal welfare internationally. Furthermore, the new Eurobarometer reveals that more than 50 per cent of citizens are willing to look for animal welfare labels when shopping, and almost six out of ten accept to pay an extra amount for higher-welfare products.
"With the +better regulation+ and the crisis in the agricultural sector as excuses, the Commission is turning its back on the EU Treaty principles. This is unacceptable and goes against the popular sentiment," accused MEP Eck.