Members of the European Parliament have called for a science-based European animal welfare framework law. 

They are advocating new rules on labeling, including non-stun slaughter, better controls and tough sanctions, equivalent welfare standards for imported animals and products, and species-specific welfare legislation. 

Members of Parliament have asked the European Commission to come forward with an EU strategy on animal welfare by adopting Swedish member of Parliament Marit Paulsen’s report of July 4. The resolution, drawn up in response to the Commission’s Animal Welfare Strategy 2012–2015, calls for an unambiguous and transparent approach based on scientific evidence to protect the welfare of animals kept by humans (zoo and farm animals as well as pets) and public health while stimulating productivity and competitiveness in Europe’s livestock sector. 

The report also supports a call for meat and products from non-stun slaughter to be labeled. Members are calling for the new rules on labeling to prevent abuses and inform consumers about farming methods and animal welfare. The report found that derogations for un-stunned slaughter have been exploited in some Member States leading to complaints in petitions to the European Parliament. Members are asking the Commission to consider creating an un-stunned slaughter label. 

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The report comes at the same time as the European Food Safety Authority has called for a revision of the way that poultry meat is inspected and welfare monitoring.

During the debate on the report, members also spoke in favor of increasing the resources of the EU Food and Veterinary Office in order to adequately control animal welfare inspections carried out by Member States and to investigate and penalize non-compliance.

The Commission is expected to table an EU-wide animal welfare framework law in 2013.