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Eurogroup Urges Greek Presidency to Prioritise Animal Welfare

30 January 2014

GREECE - Eurogroup for Animals has launched a Memorandum outlining its position on animal welfare related policies that will be discussed as part of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union and it will be formally presented to the Presidency on Thursday, 30 January 2014.

According to Eurogroup, the European institutions have increased their pace of work to ensure as many pending legislative proposals are completed before the Elections as possible and it is vital that the Greek Presidency does not lose sight of the importance of protecting animal welfare and ensuring that the highest standards are maintained throughout their Presidency.

The key priorities that Eurogroup for Animals urges the Greek Presidency to support are as follows:

Farm animals

  • Official controls: Ensure that animal welfare is taken into account and improve the transparency of controls and audits.
  • Cloning of animals for food: Support a full ban on animal cloning for food and on imports of animal clones, descendants, semen and embryos, as well as food from animal clones and descendants.
  • Sustainable food policy: Support the improvement of farm animal welfare as an objective of the EU sustainable food policy.
  • Organic farming: Ensure that any revised proposal of the Council’s regulation on organic farming and production adequately protects and improves where possible higher standards of animal welfare.


  • Bilateral trade agreements: Use bilateral trade negotiations to promote animal protection by calling for equivalence with EU animal welfare standards for farm animals, exchange of expertise and capacity building, and by including wildlife protection in Sustainable Development chapters.
  • Seals product ban: Maintain the trade restrictions on the import of seal products into the EU despite Norway and Canada appealing the WTO ruling.


  • Animal Health: Support measures which fully take animal welfare into account and consider all categories of animals.

"The Presidency has a central role to play in ensuring that animals are fully considered as sentient beings and that their welfare is taken into account when elaborating EU policies. We hope that the Greek Presidency will take its responsibility seriously as a number of important policies will be decided during the ahead of the European elections that will have a direct impact on animal welfare," said Reineke Hameleers, Director at Eurogroup for Animals.

"We believe that European decision makers should embrace the one welfare concept: where animal welfare, social development, economic growth and environmental protection are seen as being interrelated and recognized as mutually reinforcing components of sustainable development. It is hard to expect a farmer who has no chance of making a living to invest in enrichment of stables to improve animal welfare, the two must be sustainable. Likewise if we want to replace animal testing by alternatives we should invest in better safety testing from which human patients and laboratory mice will benefit equally. This one welfare approach is the way forward and we can no longer compartmentalise our actions and activities and we urge the Greek Presidency to endorse this approach," she concluded.

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