Through the years, the European Union has developed a solid and science-based legislative model on animal welfare. To promote this approach outside the EU borders and achieve progress in this field, the cooperation with international partners on animal welfare plays a key role.
How the European Commission promotes animal welfare standards
The Commission has developed several international activities with its partners to raise animal welfare awareness and to promote the EU model and principles worldwide.
These international activities are divided in three different levels of action according to partnerships:
- Multilateral activities through the cooperation and support of two international organisations in the dissemination of EU Standards in non-EU countries, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
- Bilateral activities with non-EU commercial partners. Since 2002, the European Commission has been striving to include animal welfare in trade agreements and cooperation with non-EU countries.
- Training and technical assistance to improve knowledge and support local workers.
In January 2018, the Commission adopted a report that reviews the main international activities on animal welfare and evaluates their outcomes.
Commission's Report on the impact of animal welfare international activities
This report highlights that the Commission, together with EU Member States, has played a prominent and decisive role in raising global awareness on animal welfare. Moreover, these actions have led both on achieving significant results and in putting animal welfare in the dialogue with many non-EU countries.
- Commission's report - Annex
- Study report
- Executive summary of the study
- Volume II, Annexes of the study
The report was based on an external study mandated by the Commission.
Before that, the first report on animal welfare in the international context adopted by the Commission was the 2002 report on farmed animals in third countries and the implications for the EU".