A report has been adapted by the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, calling for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to encourage a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly approach to farming. It received a resounding 'yes' from the Committee on 25th May, with 41 MEPs voting yes and only 7 voting against the improvement.
The CAP is a system of agricultural subsidies aiming to provide EU farmers with a reasonable standard of living, consumers with quality food at fair prices and to preserve rural heritage.
Reform of the CAP is currently being discussed by the EU. Compassion believes that the CAP should help European agriculture move away from factory farming towards humane, sustainable forms of animal husbandry. In addition, Compassion views CAP as anti-development, as the west spends such a vast amount on agricultural subsidies every year, amounting to unfair competition with farmers in less industrialized nations.
Compassion, along with Soil Association and Friends of the Earth, wrote to MEPs to vote for an inclusion to the report, urging CAP to consider developing countries, their food production capacity and their long term food security. Europe's dependence on imported soy protein is an issue that is causing widespread deforestation which leads to greenhouse gas emissions and a devastating loss of biodiversity. Soy is used in factory farming systems to feed animals and this report could influence the distribution of funds away from factory farms and towards more humane extensive systems.
Compassion's Director of Public Affairs, Joyce D'Silva says:
"This is an important and significant achievement. The public are demanding change when it comes to the issue of factory farming and this report brings us one step closer to a fairer and more humane farming system."