EU Parliament adopts Animal Welfare Action Plan

Thursday, October 12, 2006
Brussels, Belgium
Today, the European Parliament reflected the concerns of millions of European citizens that “improved animal protection is a permanent obligation of the Community”. In an overwhelming vote, MEPs endorsed a Resolution on the Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010. This outlines not only future activities in the field of animal welfare but a commitment to promote high animal welfare standards in the EU and internationally.
The Parliament resolution
  • considers that the protection of animals in Europe should not be restricted to farm animals and animals in experimentation but should extend to all groups of animals, including wild animals with full regard paid to animal welfare issues in such policy areas as sustainable development and trade in wildlife.
  • recognizes the public demand for ethically and socially acceptable products and calls on the European Commission to do more at the international level, particularly in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) context to promote the recognition of high animal welfare standards.
  • Supports the proposal to ban imports of cat and dog fur and calls for a ban on all seal products and what it calls “cruelty products” from third countries. It also calls for a ban on the import of wild birds to be made permanent.

For Lesley O’Donnell, Director of the IFAW EU Office, “this is a historic vote by the European Parliament putting animal welfare concerns at the heart of all European policies affecting animals”. “We particularly welcome the strong emphasis on the need to bring animal welfare into global fora and the need to extend animal welfare to policies affecting wildlife. The call for a seal ban reflects the overwhelming opinion of European citizens and over a million IFAW supporters in Europe”, said Ms. O’Donnell.

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