The British Veterinary Association has broadly welcomed the European Commission’s new animal welfare strategy but is urging the European Commission to ensure robust implementation and enforcement of existing and proposed measures to improve animal welfare in the European Union.
Lack of enforcement of EU legislation by Member States is seen as a major compliance issue, adversely affecting animal welfare in the EU, as is the lack of sufficient economic incentives for compliance, said the association. Another gap is the lack of sufficient knowledge about welfare amongst many of those who handle animals.
The new four-year strategy adopted by the Commission aims to address these issues by setting up a comprehensive animal welfare legislative framework focusing on welfare outcomes and on the education of all concerned parties, as well as the reinforcement of current Commission actions. “We must continue to strive for the highest possible standards of welfare for the animals we keep and this latest move by the Commission is to be welcomed," said Carl Padgett, British Veterinary Association president. "Effective implementation and enforcement of legislation throughout the EU is essential if we are to make a significant difference to the welfare of animals."