We are most pleased to invite you to participate in an evening of discussion on the question of animal welfare in the EU and beyond with our distinguished speakers Mr Marco Valletta, Member of the Cabinet of Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commission, Ms Toni Shephard, Executive Director (UK), Animal Equality, Mr John Flack MEP (ECR/ UK), Ms Tilly Metz MEP (Greens/LU) and Ms Stephanie Ghislain, Project Leader, ‘Trade and Animal Welfare’, Eurogroup for Animals.
A video message from Ms Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (EPP/FI) will be projected before the debate.
Mr Maxime Boonen, Director & Founder, B2C2 will hold an introductory speech.
The debate will be moderated by Robert McLeod, Chairman, MLex.
This event was kindly sponsored by
About the debate
While Article 13 of the TFEU recognises animals as “sentient beings”, making the EU one of the few constitutions in the world to do so, the EU agricultural policy (the Common Agricultural Policy or “CAP”) provided ground for the first EU legislation on animal welfare as early as 1974, regulating the welfare of farm animals as agricultural products. More recently, in June 2018, the animal welfare issue has once again rose to prominence as the Commission has put forward a legislative proposal on the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which defines some clear objectives on animal welfare as a production standard. Moreover, in recent decades, awareness and concern for animal welfare in terms of animal protection have steadily risen among citizens, businesses and policy-makers.
The Commission also created in 2017 a EU Platform on Animal Welfare in order to enhance dialogue at the European level among competent authorities, businesses, civil society and scientists. The platform will also be used to assess ways to better apply and implement EU rules. Within this institutional framework, global agricultural market trends as well as EU member states’ freedom to define subsidy priorities have emerged as important focal points in the debate. Notwithstanding these initiatives, some commentators have remarked that, even if the new EU proposal on the CAP contains some positive suggestions to improve the welfare of farm animals, several aspects remain insufficiently developed in order to truly improve animal welfare. Besides, there have been major societal challenges emerging from the evolutions of both European and global farming.
The increased pace at which the EU is closing new trade deals has pushed the question even further both in legislative and geographical terms. The EU is currently negotiating with several countries, most of which are relevant to this debate as they are both sources of EU meat imports and countries where farming is increasingly intensifying without strong farm animal welfare legislation and animal welfare standards. In addition, investigations on the conditions in which animals are transported have highlighted the severity of the risks, as well as the consequences of constant stress, overcrowding, injury and motion sickness for animals.
In this context, the European Parliament has called for a new animal welfare strategy for 2016-2020 in order to ensure first and foremost continuity of action. As the Parliament’s Think Tank has acknowledged, “concerned about the need to uphold the high level of animal protection and the competitiveness of European producers, the Parliament has [also] called on the Commission to be more ambitious when including animal welfare standards in international negotiations”.
What should the EU priorities be for Animal Welfare in the EU and beyond?
This event will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Participants are free to use the information received but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the attendees may be revealed. For this reason, unless explicitly authorised by PubAffairs Bruxelles, the filming and/or the recording of the event by any means are strictly forbidden.
The event will commence with a welcome drink at 7.00 pm, followed by a panel debate at 7.30 pm. After the panel debate there will be an opportunity for questions and discussions.
We look forward to seeing you at 7.00 pm on the 9th of October at The Office, rue d’Arlon, 80, Brussels.
All our debates are followed by a drink in a convivial atmosphere.