Parliamentary question - O-000059/2023Parliamentary question

Promised revision of the EU animal welfare legislation and the animal welfare-related European Citizens’ Initiatives


Question for oral answer  O-000059/2023
to the Commission
Rule 136
Niels Fuglsang (S&D), Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE), Günther Sidl (S&D), Sarah Wiener (Verts/ALE), Emil Radev (PPE), Michaela Šojdrová (PPE), Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE), Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE), Annika Bruna (ID), Caroline Roose (Verts/ALE), Pascal Durand (S&D), Pierre Larrouturou (S&D), Martin Buschmann (NI), Manuela Ripa (Verts/ALE), Martin Häusling (Verts/ALE), Maria Noichl (S&D), Anna Deparnay-Grunenberg (Verts/ALE), Grace O'Sullivan (Verts/ALE), Mario Furore (NI), Rosa D'Amato (Verts/ALE), Tiziana Beghin (NI), Petras Auštrevičius (Renew), Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE), Anja Hazekamp (The Left), Sylwia Spurek (Verts/ALE), Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE), Martin Hojsík (Renew), Michal Wiezik (Renew), Malin Björk (The Left), Marisa Matias (The Left), Ville Niinistö (Verts/ALE), Marianne Vind (S&D), Christel Schaldemose (S&D), Karen Melchior (Renew), Alice Kuhnke (Verts/ALE), Pär Holmgren (Verts/ALE), Marina Kaljurand (S&D), Mick Wallace (The Left), Henna Virkkunen (PPE), Róża Thun und Hohenstein (Renew)

In its farm to fork strategy, the Commission committed to revising the EU’s current animal welfare legislation by the third quarter of 2023. In July 2021, in response to the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) entitled ‘End the Cage Age’, which collected more than 1.4 million signatures, the Commission vocalised its commitment to adopt a ban on cages for the species covered under the ECI. The Commission noted that this ban would be considered in the context of the overhaul of the EU’s 20-year-old animal welfare legislation. In the meantime, in under 10 months, the ECI entitled ‘Fur Free Europe’, which calls for a ban on fur farming in the EU and on placing products derived from fur farms on the market, also collected more than 1.5 million signatures.

In mid-October, Eurobarometer published a new special poll on Europeans’ attitudes towards animal welfare, which confirmed EU citizens’ huge support for better animal welfare rules in the EU.

However, when presenting its work programme for 2024, the Commission confirmed that it would publish only the proposal on the protection of animals during transport, and referred to the need for more assessments and dialogue on the other expected proposals aimed at revising the outdated EU animal welfare legislation. Yet, farmers, industry, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders have been discussing this revision for several years, not only through the usual civil dialogue groups established by the Commission, but also via the EU Platform on Animal Welfare and its numerous subgroups. In addition, in the context of the Better Regulation process, two public consultations took place in preparation of the revision, one of which collected almost 60 000 pieces of feedback, placing it among the EU consultations with the highest levels of participation. The EU institutions have also carried out significant work, including numerous scientific opinions published by the European Food Safety Authority, supporting the revision.

In December 2023, the Commission published a proposal on the welfare of companion animals, which was initially expected to be part of the ‘kept animals proposal’ covering a much larger scope. Even though the proposal on pets is welcomed, concerns persist regarding the adoption of the rest of the initial proposal.

In this context:

Can the Commission provide a plan containing a clear timeline for the delivery of the still outstanding legislative proposals that it repeatedly promised throughout this term, notably:

Submitted: 15.12.2023

Lapses: 16.3.2024

Last updated: 20 December 2023
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