The European Commissioner has started off a meeting that re-launches the EU platform designed for addressing animal welfare issues. The platform will have about 75 representatives from different stakeholder organizations, including scientists, NGOs, EEA and EFSA among others. This time all main players of the EU are gathering to exchange ideas and contribute their experiences on how to improve animal welfare.
The commission is re-launching the platform as per a barometer survey that had been published last year. The survey showcased that most Europeans see animal welfare as an issue that is important and would like to see changes being brought about in how the animals are protected. Animal welfare improvement cannot be looked at through legislation only. The platform is not a forum where new legislation would be discussed or created. The motto is that everyone holds responsibility and hence, the key objectives are to get a mutual understanding as well as a trust to be built up among the players. The platform will aim at promoting dialogue among competent authorities. The renewed focus of EU on animal welfare issues and how legislation is being implemented will hopefully have positive repercussions across the EU member nations.
The platform will include societies, businesses, authorities, and scientists who can have an impact on animal welfare problems. The platform will work to coordinate the actions with a focus on ensuring that EU rules in this category are applied better. For that to happen, information exchange and best practices need to be known among the stakeholder organizations. Businesses need to come up with voluntary commitments on how to promote animal welfare on a global scale.
The members of the platform are selected to ensure that there is a fair representation among the different sectors with a focus on balance among different geographies and gender. The work practice of the platform will include meetings twice a year. In the first, the commission will identify priority work areas and reallocate resources among the members. This will enable sharing of information and resources from one member organization or group to another. It will also help facilitate ideas and best practices among the different member entities.
It is hopeful that a renewed focus on EU on animal welfare issues and legislative implementation will lead to bettering of animal welfare in different farms, food industries and in commercial activities where animals are deployed. It will certainly help address health issues that arise related to animal related food and products.