International issues

International issues

In today’s globalised food marketplace, European farmers and food producers face competition from many countries, some of which have lower animal welfare standards than those applied in the EU. This places EU farmers and producers at a commercial disadvantage, because they must invest more money in their businesses to meet the EU’s stricter rules.

To help establish a level playing field and fairness for European companies and exporters, the EU includes animal welfare issues in trade agreements and organises major international events to promote its view on animal welfare.


Main initiatives at international level

1 - FAO Initiative on Capacity Building to Implement Good Animal Welfare Practices

In 2008, FAO - Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations decided to give more explicit and strategic attention to animal welfare in its capacity-building activities in countries with developing economies. To guide its activities, the FAO convened an Expert Meeting, and later on launched dedicated internet portal. 

2 - EU Cooperation with World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

The European Commission is actively working with the OIE to raise awareness on animal welfare issues internationally and to support the implementation of the OIE guidelines. Examples of such cooperation include:

3 - Animal welfare legislation on farmed animals in Third Countries and the implications for the EU

4 - Council of Europe - animal welfare related acts