The hope was that the Common Agricultural Policy could be used to transform agriculture; steering it away from factory farming and towards more extensive farming with animal welfare at its heart.
It is with disappointment that Compassion reports back that the CAP reform does not include any substantial changes in favour of sustainable farming in the EU.
This is a hugely wasted opportunity. However, Compassion has secured an important victory in achieving two key amendments:
The 'promotion of animal welfare' has been added to the priorities of the Rural Development Programme.
Farm animal welfare payments were in danger of being weakened to only being available for a renewable period of one year. They have now been secured to an availability of one to seven years.
The public were led to believe that this would be a huge reform of CAP, moving towards a stronger future for animal welfare and the environment. This isn't the case. The chance to progress has been largely wasted. However, the danger of a step-backwards for animal welfare, which was on the table at the beginning of negotiations, has been overcome.
Dil Peeling, Compassion's Director of Campaigns says, "What we got was improvements; what we were looking for was change."
The challenge now facing us all, is to ensure that EU member states take the chance to use part of their Rural Development Programmes for animal welfare. Compassion's chief policy advisor continues to promote the benefits and necessities of keeping animal welfare at the forefront of the negotiations.