New parliament commits to acting for animals in the new term

Photo © Dani Oshi

MEP Anja Hazekamp today promised to drive “many more resolutions over the coming years” towards the EC in her role as President of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, following a promise made by President-elect of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen to take resolutions from the EP more seriously. The stalemate around better animal welfare legislation needs to end. 

Hazekamp pointed out that many of the resolutions on welfare from the previous term haven’t been satisfactorily addressed, such as the ones on broiler chicken welfare and live animal transport. 

The declaration came during the launch event of “What’s on the Horizon for Animals?”, an exhibition co-hosted by Eurogroup for Animals and the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals.

Also at the event, Janusz Wojciechowski, Commissioner-designate for Agriculture, promised to continue his work in support of animal welfare if he is accepted into the position. If appointed, he is determined to do everything possible to raise animal welfare standards in the Common Agricultural Policy and to encourage farmers to make improvements.

In the exhibition, which is on display at the European Parliament from 8th-10th October, visitors can follow a trail to discover the situation for animals in Europe today, which isn’t a happy one. The problems hampering the welfare of farm animals, equines, cats and dogs, wildlife, animals in science and traded animals are as diverse as animals are themselves.  

The exhibition also set the stage for Act4Animals, which follows the huge success of VoteforAnimals2019, with more than 1000 candidate MEPs signing our animal welfare pledges.  With Act4Animals, we’re asking the 115-plus signatories that were elected stand by the pledge they took on animal welfare in the run-up to the elections. We’re also inviting MEPs who didn’t sign our VoteforAnimals2019 pledge to now make a commitment to support animals during their mandate. 

“We call on as many MEPS as possible to confirm their commitment to support animal welfare during the election phase, and to now act on their promises,” says Reineke Hameleers, director of Eurogroup for Animals. “We want to be able to tell our grandchildren that the images in our exhibition come from a very dark and distant past.”

The event’s launch was co-hosted by MEPs Pascal Durand (Renew, FR), Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA, LU), Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL, NL), Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP, FI), Maria Noichl (S&D, DE), Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR, PL), Emil Radev MEP (EPP, BG) and Younous Omarjee (GUE/NGL, FR).  The keynote speech came from Donald M. Broom, Emeritus Professor of Animal Welfare, and other speakers including Susanna Ahlström, Senior Specialist at the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and several of Eurogroup for Animals member organisations also gave presentations. 

If animals are thought to be more like us, or rather if we are more like them, the point is that they should have natural happiness. That would turn everything around,” commented Sirpa Pietikäinen. “It wouldn’t mean that we couldn’t have production animals, but it would be a totally different scale and quality. The new commission seems to be taking this issue seriously the question is how the Member States will react, and how the CAP will be changed.” 

Almost 130 people attended the launch event, with many more passing by to view the exhibition on the opening day a forceful coalition of like-minded leaders, ready to act for animals during this new political term.

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