Launch of the Animal Welfare Platform by the European Commission

25.1.2017

FOUR PAWS welcomes the launch of the Animal Welfare Platform by the Commission.

Update: for further information on the progress of the platform, please click here.

FOUR PAWS welcomes the initiative of the Commission to create an animal welfare platform bringing together stakeholder experts for a comprehensive animal welfare strategy and giving them the opportunity to contribute and exchange knowledge on best practices related to law enforcement, science and education.

On 24 January 2017, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, announced the adoption of the initiative to create the Platform. It will focus on three main priorities: the implementation of EU law; commitments to go beyond legal standards without additional legislation; the promotion of existing animal welfare standards. Already in 2015, together with 41 other animal welfare organisations, FOUR PAWS signed an open letter supporting the Joint Declaration on the creation of an EU Animal Welfare Platform.

Gathering all stakeholders is a crucial step forward for implementation.

"We welcome the Platform and recognise the need to improve the implementation and enforcement of EU legislation on animal welfare. Knowing that the vast majority of EU citizens are concerned about the protection and improvement of the welfare of animals, consumer awareness and involvement is crucial."

Pierre Sultana, Director of the FOUR PAWS European Policy Office in Brussels 

Mr Sultana stressed, however: “Nevertheless, there is at present a need for new specific legislation regarding certain animal species. Should solutions not be found within the platform, the Commission will have to consider revising the existing legislation on animal welfare.”

In 2012, the FOUR PAWS European Policy Office created the EU Enforcement Network of Animal Welfare Lawyers and Commissioners. Since its creation, it has been active in European enforcement regarding existing EU animal welfare legislation, emphasising the need to have a solid framework in order to obtain specific results and to improve and support the enforcement of EU animal welfare legislation in the Member States and the animal welfare strategy set by the EU Commission.

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org