An article in the online newspaper ‘Contexte’ of 12 September 2023 mentions rumours that the proposed revision of animal welfare legislation, which is due to be presented by the Commission this autumn, is being abandoned.
This revision could be postponed to be dealt with by the next Commission in the next political mandate, i.e. until after the European elections.
However, various European Citizens’ Initiatives, such as ‘Fur Free Europe’, ‘End the Cage Age’ or ‘Commit to a Europe without animal testing’, have been very successful. Animal welfare is therefore an important issue for Europeans.
Can the Commission clarify its intentions with regard to this reform?
The Commission has been acting to improve animal welfare for over 40 years, progressively
improving the lives of animals. Animal welfare is and will remain a priority for the
Commission. An example of that is the adoption in early 2023 of new rules on the transport
of animals by sea.
The Farm to Fork Strategy foresees a revision of the EU’s animal welfare legislation. The
huge preparatory work is ongoing, covering legislation for the welfare of animals at farm
level, during transport, at the time of killing and to establish a voluntary European label for
animal welfare. The Commission has also responded positively to the European Citizens’
Initiative ‘end the cage age’, which aims to phase out and finally prohibit the use of cages
for certain species of animals. The Commission is now reflecting on and carefully assessing
important aspects, including the related costs and the appropriate length of the transition
The proposal on the protection of animals during transport, one of the four pillars of the
legislation, is the most advanced and is expected to be presented in December 2023.
In addition, the Commission carries out other activities to promote animal welfare, for
example via the EU Platform for Animal Welfare, the EU Reference Centres for animal
welfare and its mandates to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It also continues to
work on enforcement of existing legislation, notably via regular audits and controls.