Did you know that the European Commission has been promoting animal welfare for a long time in order to improve the lives of farms animals?
In times when environmental friendly and animal welfare is become every day more important, you’ll may be asking yourself wether the European Union is really doing something in order to protect the welfare of farm animals.
In 1998 the Council Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals was a great achievement; this regulation was written for farming purposes and gave general rules for the protection of animals of all species kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes, including fish, reptiles or amphibians.
These rules are based on the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes and they reflect the so-called ‘Five Freedoms’:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal behavior
- Freedom from fear and distress
When the Lisbon Treaty came into force in 2009 it amended the ‘Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union’ (TFEU) and introduced the recognition that animals are sentient beings. Article 13 of Title II states that:
“In formulating and implementing the Union’s agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of the EU countries relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage.”
National governments may adopt more stringent rules provided they are compatible with the provisions of the Treaty but Community legislation concerning the welfare conditions of farm animals lays down minimum standards.
On which side are you? Are you a farmer, a producer, an animal activist? We know the laws. Get to know us.