The wellbeing of animals is closely linked to public health and animal welfare rules must be properly enforced across the EU to prevent the spread of animal-related diseases, say MEPs in a draft non-binding resolution to be debated on Monday and voted on Wednesday. They also stress that this would also create a level playing field for all EU farmers.
MEPs want more rigorous checks on animal welfare rules and their implementation by all member state, real sanctions for non-compliance and existing loopholes closed. The text, drafted in response to the Commission's Animal Welfare Strategy for 2012-2015, calls for an early warning system to avoid any delays in applying new rules, as happened with the laying hens directive.
MEPs also urge the Commission to consider compulsory information on meat labels to inform consumers whether the animal was killed without stunning.
Pets and stray animals
In a separate non-binding resolution, MEPs will call for better protection of pets and stray animals, which are currently not covered by any EU legislation. New legislation should promote responsible ownership, prohibit unlicensed kennels and shelters and apply "severe sanctions" to any EU country which fails to comply with the rules, according to the draft text.
Procedure: Non-legislative resolution
Debate: Monday, 2 July
Vote: Wednesday 4 July