The tasks of this third EU Reference Centre for Animal Welfare include supporting the Commission and the Member States in the application of animal welfare requirements for ruminants and equines, carrying out scientific and technical studies, as well as conducting training courses and disseminating research findings and information on technical innovations.
EURCAW-Pigs was the first reference centre, designated by the Commission in March 2018. This was followed by a second centre in October 2019, devoted to the welfare of poultry and other small-farmed animals.
The Official Controls Regulation, adopted in March 2017, has established harmonised EU rules to prevent, eliminate or reduce the level of risk to humans, animals and plants, along the agri-food chain. Official controls, undertaken by competent authorities in each Member States, serve to check whether these rules are correctly implemented. The Regulation requires that EU Reference Centres for animal welfare are established to assist EU countries in their official controls.
The reference centre specialising in animal welfare for ruminants and equinesis constitutes of a consortium led by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare. The consortium is also composed of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria), the Ellinikos Georgikos Organismos-Dimitra/Veterinary Research Institute (Greece), the National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (France), the University College Dublin (Ireland) and the Instituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale” (Italy).
Photo: Cow cubicles (©WUR)