Cow on a Meadow

FOUR PAWS welcomes the adoption of the Own Initiative Report on the Farm To Fork Strategy by a joint vote of the Committee of Environment and the Committee of Agriculture

After all of the compromise amendments were accepted yesterday, the animal welfare organisation welcomes the adoption of the entire report, despite certain weaknesses regarding animal welfare.


“We see the report as a step in the right direction. The adopted compromise amendments include many important points on better farm animal welfare and are a strong signal to the European Commission”, says Pierre Sultana, Director of the European Policy Office at FOUR PAWS. “We were also delighted to see MEPs calling for that imports from third countries where EU animal welfare standards are not adhered to should be prohibited. This would hopefully not only improve animal welfare in the EU, but also encourage our main trading partners outside the EU to improve their regulations.”

“However, while most of the Farm to Fork strategy deals with agriculture and many important amendments on that matter did pass, two amendments were tabled that addressed the issue of fur farming. Both of these were rejected, despite the massive threat that fur farming poses to public health”, says Sultana. “We were hoping that, with this report, the EU will finally begin to address this issue. Outbreaks of COVID-19 in mink farms across Europe offer the last 18 months have clearly shown that this outdated practice is not only cruel to animals and unnecessary, but it also poses a serious risk to human health. A sustainable future needs to exclude practices that are threatening public safety and have little to no benefit for European citizens.”

“We were also saddened to see that several individual amendments regarding animal welfare were rejected during yesterday’s vote”, says Sultana. “Amendments asking for a reduction in the production and consumption of animal-based products also faced a similar fate. Yet, global food production is currently the single largest driver of nature and biodiversity loss and is responsible for around one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, while land use change is a major driver of the emergence of infectious diseases.”

“As a cornerstone of the Green Deal, the Farm to Fork strategy must set an ambitious goal to address the environmental footprint of animal agriculture. We regret to see that MEPs have missed the chance to follow scientific advice, since the production and consumption of animal-based products must decrease drastically if we want to have any chance of tackling the climate crisis”, concludes Sultana

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, orangutans and elephants – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in twelve countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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