Yesterday (20th October), the European Parliament paved the way for higher farm animal welfare standards across Europe by voting in favour of a strategy for a fair, healthy and planet-friendly food system.
The adopted text, based on the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy, emphasises how keeping animals in close confinement in intensive systems makes animals more susceptible to infections that can be transmitted to people. The vote was passed despite intense lobbying from the agribusiness industry who oppose the move for reform.
Resisting pressure from agribusiness lobby
Parliament’s recognition of the risks associated with intensive animal agriculture and its calls for a faster move away from factory farming has the potential to be a turning point.
I congratulate MEPs for resisting strong pressure from the greedy vested interests of the agribusiness lobby to ignore the urgency of stepping away from factory farming.
Olga Kikou, Head of our EU office
Every year, more than 300 million farmed animals across Europe spend all or much of their lives imprisoned in cages. This causes tremendous suffering and increases the risk of diseases. A shift away form these cruel systems has the potential to improve animal health and welfare, while significantly reducing the spread of pandemics.
From farm to fork
The strategy covers every step of the food supply chain, from farmers to consumers. It recommends healthier foods, reducing meat consumption and better labelling. It also calls for a reduction in pesticides and protection for pollinators and places a strong emphasis on animal welfare.
The European Commission will now decide on legislative proposals to implement the strategy. We will continue to work alongside European policy makers and civil society to pursue legislation that can bring reform towards a more sustainable food system.
Read more about factory farming.