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Animal Health and Welfare (23-01-2006)

Improving animal welfare: EU Action Plan adopted

Concrete measures to improve the protection and welfare of animals over the next five years are outlined in a new Action Plan on the protection and welfare of animals, adopted by the Commission today. The Action Plan aims to ensure that animal welfare is addressed in the most effective manner possible over the coming years, in all EU sectors and through EU relations with Third countries. For the period 2006-2010, five main areas of action are set out to meet this objective: upgrading minimum standards for animal welfare; promoting research and alternative approaches to animal testing; introducing standardised animal welfare indicators; better informing animal handlers and the general public on animal welfare issues; and supporting international initiatives for the protection of animals. Detailed background on each area of action is outlined in the Action Plan, in the accompanying impact assessment and Commission working document, along with an indicative timetable for the planned initiatives.
 
The Action Plan aims to clarify existing EU legislation on animal welfare, while putting forward proposals for areas where sufficient action is currently lacking. It also aims to ensure that full regard is paid to animal welfare in related policy fields such as agriculture, environmental policies, research and chemicals’ testing, in line with the Protocol on Protection and Welfare of Animals annexed to the EU Treaty. Future animal welfare policies will continue to be founded on the best available scientific advice, taking into account public expectations, socio-economic consequences and trade concerns.
 
Click here to read the Action Plan on the protection and welfare of animals
 
See also the European Commission press release and memo on the Action Plan