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Animal Health and Welfare (21-11-2005)

Animal Welfare: EU and Chile progress with joint actions

The European Commission and Chile last week highlighted the progress made in building a common understanding on agreed animal welfare standards, linked to the EC-Chile Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement. This Agreement entered into force in February 2003 and concerns measures applicable to trade in animals and animal products, plants and plant products, other goods, and measures related to animal welfare. The animal welfare actions concluded to date in line with the Agreement include various activities to improve information exchange, specifically the organisation of scientific seminars in Chile and in Italy.
 
A programme of future actions was approved at a meeting of the Agreement’s Joint Management Committee on 17-18 November. Future initiatives will include promoting training and greater awareness. The Agreement foresees reaching a common understanding on applying animal welfare standards, taking into account the developments in international standard-setting organisations such as the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). The OIE’s guidelines form the basis for these discussions, currently focussing on standards for the stunning and slaughter of animals while considering extension to other issues such as animal transport. The SPS Agreement with Chile was the first ever bilateral agreement between the EU and a third country to include animal welfare within its scope. Such initiatives are fully in line with the Commission’s commitment to work to raise global awareness and consensus on animal welfare.
 
 
For more information on the EC-Chile Agreement, see:
 
http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/international/trade/agreements_en.htm