On Wednesday 14 November 2018, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) will publish a special report on the Animal Welfare in the EU.
ABOUT THE AUDIT
The ECA examined the welfare of farm animals and the overall implementation of the latest EU strategy, focusing on its two key objectives: to achieve compliance with the minimum standards and to optimise synergies with the common agricultural policy (CAP). The auditors visited five Member States: Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Romania.
The report is expected to point to certain successes of the animal welfare policy, but warn of a gap between its ambitious goals and practical implementation. The auditors are expected to single out weaknesses in relation to farm animals and compliance with minimal standards, as well to make a number of recommendations to the European Commission for improving the management of the policy, including on the strategic framework for animal welfare and more effective enforcement.
ABOUT THE TOPIC
The EU has some of the world’s highest animal welfare standards, which include rules on the rearing, transport and slaughter of farm animals. The CAP links farm payments to minimum levels of animal welfare, while rural development policy encourages farmers to pursue higher standards. For 2014-2020, 18 Member States have allocated €1.5 billion to animal welfare payments under rural development.
The EU livestock sector represents almost half of total agricultural activity, generates an output of €168 billion annually and provides around 4 million jobs. Linked sectors (milk and meat processing, livestock feed) have an annual turnover of approximately €400 billion. The consistent application of animal welfare standards helps to level the playing field in these sectors.