The European Court of Auditors is currently examining whether action by the European Commission and the Member States has made an effective contribution to achieving the EU's animal welfare objectives.
The EU has some of the world’s highest regulatory standards on animal welfare. The concept of animal welfare is enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which recognises animals as sentient beings. The first EU legislation on the welfare of animals was adopted in 1974 and dealt with the protection of animals at slaughter. Animal welfare legislation has developed and expanded its coverage since then.
The Commission adopted the EU animal welfare strategy for the period 2012-2015 with the aim of ensuring that the existing animal welfare standards are consistently applied and enforced across the EU and that the animal welfare policy is well coordinated with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Responsibility for enforcing animal welfare legislation and managing the CAP is shared between the European Commission and the Member States.
Our audit will be confined to farm animals and it will consider the key provisions for animal welfare, including some issues identified by previous audits and by stakeholders. This will include two main strategic objectives: achieving compliance with the legislation on animal welfare in defined areas and improving coordination with the CAP. To test this, the audit includes visits to the Commission and relevant authorities in five Member States (Romania, Poland, France, Italy and Germany).
If you wish to contact the audit team, you may do so at the following email address: ECA-Animal-Welfare@eca.europa.eu.