BVA has backed calls by MEPs to extend new EU animal welfare law to pets and dairy cows and create new rules on food labeling.

BVA has backed calls by MEPs to extend new EU animal welfare law to pets and dairy cows and use it to tackle poor enforcement of welfare standards and create new rules on food labeling.

Earlier this year the European Commission launched its Animal Welfare Strategy 2012-15.

On July 4, 34 MEPs adopted a resolution by Swedish MEP Marit Paulsen, which listed improvements to the strategy and called for “an unambiguous and transparent” evidence-based approach to welfare standards across the EU.

The report calls for products of non-stun slaughter to be labeled, something BVA has long been campaigning for.

BVA president Carl PadgettBVA president Carl Padgett said he was particularly pleased this topic had been highlighted in Ms Paulsen’s report.

“We believe that slaughter without pre-stunning unnecessarily compromises animal welfare – a view that is supported by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, the Farm Animal Welfare Committee, and backed up by science,” he said.  

“By ensuring that all meat from animals that were not stunned only enters the specific communities that it is targeted at, we can make a significant difference.”

Commenting on the report’s calls for welfare provision for pets and dairy cows, he added: “The BVA was concerned that the Commission’s EU welfare strategy made no reference to welfare guidance for dairy cattle and there was a lack of measures relating to companion animals, so I am heartened that MEPs are now urging the Commission to consider new animal welfare legislation to cover all kept animals, including dairy cows, and also cats, dogs and other domestic pets, which are currently not specifically protected by any EU law.”

Mr Padgett also highlighted the report’s calls for better enforcement of welfare standards across the continent, reiterating ongoing concerns that some EU member states will fail to comply with the EU-wide ban on sow stalls due to come into force in January 2013.

The EU Commission is due to draw up final plans for its new EU animal welfare law next year.

  • For more information about Ms Paulsen’s animal welfare report visit the European Parliament’s website.
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