The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has today published a Background Paper on EU action to achieve compliance with animal welfare legislation and to improve coordination between animal welfare activities and the Common Agricultural Policy. Background Papers provide information on an ongoing audit task and follow the announcement of the audit. They are designed as a source of information for those interested in the policy and/or programmes being audited. Each Paper includes a section in which interested parties are invited to contact the audit team via a dedicated email address to encourage a more interactive approach.
Today’s Paper is based on work done for an audit, currently underway, of the effectiveness of EU action on animal welfare. The audit is limited to farm animals, which are the subject of most of the relevant EU legislation. There are an estimated 4.5 billion chickens, laying hens and turkeys in the EU and some 330 million cows, pigs, goats and sheep. As well as the animals’ lifetime on the farm, the audit will also consider transport and slaughter.
For the 2014-2020 period, EU rural development funds allocated to “animal welfare payments” account for about €1.5 billion. The measures are intended to encourage enhanced levels of welfare which go beyond both EU and national minimum requirements.
The audit involves visits to five Member States: Romania, Poland, France, Italy and Germany. The audit is being led by ECA Member Janusz Wojciechowski and the report is expected to be published in late 2018.