The EU has appointed Tonio Borg as the new Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, a brief which includes farm animal welfare.
His appointment comes at a significant time for EU animal welfare policy; with slaughter and sow stall legislation about to come into force, the Common Agricultural Policy being reformed, new legislation being developed on cloning and widespread non-compliance with existing laws on live animal transport and barren battery cages for laying hens.
Commissioner Borg's new role carries tremendous responsibility. The quality of life of the 7.3 billion animals farmed each year in the EU is in his hands. Compassion will take every opportunity to work with Commissioner Borg in moving the European Union towards more humane farming.
Compassion has already written to Commissioner Borg with the following key requests:
- Ensure that existing animal welfare laws, such as those which exist for pigs, hens and the transportation of live animals, do not continue to be widely flouted
- Ensure all new legislation is developed with full regard for animal welfare, as per the Lisbon Treaty
- Put a ban in place on the use of cloned animals and their off-spring in food production
Commissioner Borg's position on these key issues is not yet clear. We look forward to working with him on the future direction of farming in the EU.