Party for the Animals demands improved animal welfare legis­lation from the European Commission

11 oktober 2023

The European Commission intends to scrap or postpone large parts of the European Green Deal. The Green Deal was intended to make the European Union greener and more animal friendly. The animals in particular are at risk of being victimised if the European Commission waters down its plans. Previously announced improved legislation, such as a ban on the confinement of farm animals in cages, stricter rules for slaughterhouses and better conditions for animals in livestock farming, have disappeared from the European Commission's work programme. Only the revision of animal transport rules remains as improvement proposal. This is evident from the answers Maroš Šefčovič gave, Frans Timmermans’ successor as head of the European Green Deal.

Political exchange

MEP for the Party for the Animals, Anja Hazekamp, explains: "The 8.4 billion animals in European livestock farming are victims of political exchanges. Plans that we fought hard for with millions of citizens, such as the cage ban in livestock farming, have been brazenly removed from the agenda. This is extremely disappointing and damages our confidence in the European Commission as a whole. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen clearly had a hand in scrapping many of the animal welfare plans. She mainly seems to be focusing on profiling for the European elections in 2024 rather than solving today's big problems."

Besides animal welfare plans, other Green Deal proposals also seem to have been shelved, including the revision of European chemicals legislation, proposals for a sustainable food law and better and mandatory labelling of unhealthy foods. For these proposals, the previous publication dates have disappeared. The revision of EU rules against food waste, including the adaptation of the shelf-life declaration on food, also seems to be off the table.

Appointment of European Commissioner for Climate

At the same time as these Green Deal proposals were scrapped, Wopke Hoekstra was appointed as the new European Commissioner for Climate in the European Parliament. Hoekstra, a Dutch Christian Democrat who used to work for oil company Shell, is unsuitable for the position according to the Party for the Animals. In the hearing with Hoekstra, MEP Hazekamp pointed out that every year, more than 8.4 billion animals are slaughtered for food production in Europe. "This not only causes enormous animal suffering and damage to nature, but a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation as well. Do you recognise that we need to limit the production and consumption of meat and dairy in order to achieve our climate goals?" asked Hazekamp, the intended Climate Commissioner. However, Hoekstra did not make a commitment to a targeted policy to reduce the livestock industry. The Party for the Animals voted against the appointment of Hoekstra as European Commissioner for Climate and that of Šefčovič as the new head of the Green Deal. Hazekamp advocates for candidates with a truly green heart who have proven to champion animals, nature, the environment, and climate.

The Party for the Animals will do its utmost to put animal welfare legislation back on the agenda and make Europe truly green and healthy.