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The EU wants better farm animal welfare

News Section Icon Published 15/03/2016

A new survey, published today (15th March), has shown just how much the EU cares about farm animals. Unfortunately, this isn’t reflected in the reality of how many of them are reared.

The EU-wide audit has revealed that a large majority of citizens care deeply about the welfare of animals, and would like to see standards vastly improved.

Conducted by the European Commission, The Eurobarometer on Animal Welfare 2016 is the first of its kind in nine years, and was specially requested by Eurogroup for Animals, of which Compassion is a member.

Key findings:

  • 94% think protecting the welfare of farm animals is important
  • 82% think farm animals should be better protected than they are currently
  • 64% said they would like to have more information about the treatment of farm animals in their country
  • 9 out of 10 believe that imported products should respect EU animal welfare standards, and that the EU should do more to promote animal welfare awareness worldwide
  • 68% think some or even most decisions on animal welfare legislation should be taken at EU level
  • 89% believe there should be EU legislation that obliges people to care for animals used for commercial purposes

Half of EU citizens look for labels to identify higher-welfare products, while
59% are willing to pay more for them. Sadly, we know all too well that confusing labels mean that people aren’t always getting what they think they’re paying for when buying meat, eggs and dairy.

Lack of political will

With such overwhelming results, it is clear that the main barriers preventing the advancement of animal welfare in the EU is not the general population demanding cheap food at any cost. Instead, a lack of political will and a need for better awareness of the realities of factory farming, are holding us back.

Our Chief Policy Advisor, Peter Stevenson, said: “Thankfully, this report means that the intensive farming industry will find it increasingly hard to churn out their ‘go-to’ argument - that they are simply giving customers what they want.

“The international movement standing up for farm animals cannot be ignored for much longer.”


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