On 16 December 2019, Council of the European Union adopted a set of conclusions on animal welfare. These highlight the importance of animal welfare as an integral part of sustainable animal production.
- invites the Commission to develop a new EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals based on the lessons learned from the strategy for 2012-2015;
- encourages the Commission and the member states to initiate communication and education activities for the public of the essential role of good animal welfare in promoting animal health, food security and a sustainable agro-food sector;
- recognises the need to further update the current legislation, in particular in areas such as animal transport over long distances, the welfare of cattle over 6 months, dogs and cats kept in the context of economic activity and animal slaughter in order to adapt it to the most recent scientific knowledge and technical developments;
- underlines that a number of recent scientific opinions issued by the EFSA and other scientific publications are available and can be used to help prepare and revise animal welfare legislation;
- encourages the Commission to provide sufficient resources for the EU reference centres for animal welfare and to open a call for additional centres covering, for example, ruminants and equids, including their transport and killing operations.
(Photo: Wageningen Livestock Research)