The EU has some of the world’s highest animal welfare standards, which have been in force for decades, and animal welfare objectives are embedded in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The most recent Commission animal welfare strategy aimed to address compliance issues and to improve synergies with the CAP. We found that EU actions to improve animal welfare were successful in some areas, but there were delays in their implementation and weaknesses persist in certain areas related to welfare issues on the farm, during transport and at slaughter. We make recommendations covering the strategic framework, Commission enforcement and guidance actions to support Member States in achieving compliance, and actions to strengthen the links between animal welfare and the agricultural policy.
Special report No 31/2018: Animal welfare in the EU: closing the gap between ambitious goals and practical implementation