Within the last 30 years the EU has adopted a series of legislation concerning the protection of animals. The scope of this legislation includes the protection of animals kept for farming purposes, during transport and at the time of killing. It also includes the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. Furthermore the welfare of wild animals is part of EU legislation through a directive on zoo animals as well as initiatives prohibiting the trade in seal products from commercial seal hunts and establishing trapping standards. The EU has also banned the importation and intra-community trade of cat and dog fur.
The EU adheres to the principle that, beyond specific objectives, people have an ethical duty of taking care of animals which are under their responsibility. EU legislation in those fields reflects the increasing importance given by the public on the ethical dimension of economic activities dealing with animals. The intervention of the proper care of animals is sufficiently significant as to affect the functioning of the internal market.
In 2006, the Commission adopted the first EU Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010 (later called ‘Action Plan’) where strategic lines and future actions were described. The Action Plan was the first document grouping in a single text the different aspects of the EU policy on animal welfare. These terms of reference now envisages an evaluation as to establish a follow-up programming beyond 2010.
In November 2009, ICF International and ADAS UK Ltd were commissioned by the European Commission, Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO), to evaluate the EU policy on Animal Welfare (EUPAW), with reference to farm animals, experimental animals, pet animals and wild animals which are kept in captivity or submitted to a treatment which is controlled by humans. The evaluation covers four possible types of EU action (legislation, research, communication and international activities).
The objectives of the evaluation are:
- To undertake an analysis of the results of EU policy on animal welfare and a comparison with its objectives;
- To assess the efficiency of the policy in meeting these objectives and its coherence with other areas of EU policy;
- To establish whether changes are needed to EU policy on animal welfare and to suggest possible improvements to the scope, structure and working practices, having considered different policy options; and
- To make recommendations for the design of future policy, taking into account socio-economic issues.
This evaluation is based on a set of eleven evaluation questions:
- To what extent has EU animal welfare legislation achieved its main objective i.e. to improve the welfare conditions of animals within the EU?
- To what extent has EU legislation on the protection of animals ensured proper functioning of the single market for the activities concerned?
- To what extent has EU funding for research and scientific advice on animal welfare contributed to science based EU initiatives in the field of legislation, communication and for international initiatives?
- To what extent have EU actions of communication to stakeholders and the public contributed to raise their awareness and responsibility towards animal welfare?
- To what extent have EU international initiatives on animal welfare contributed to raising awareness and creating a shared understanding on animal welfare issues and standards at world level?
- To what extent have EU international initiatives on animal welfare contributed to establishing equivalent market conditions between EU businesses and businesses from third countries exporting to the EU?
- To what extent are the present financial instruments and the financial resources at EU level adapted to the needs of the EUPAW? Would it be necessary to establish specific financial instruments and/or dedicated resources to EU initiatives related to animal welfare?
- To what extent does the EUPAW address the needs of stakeholders and the EU citizens? Which areas need changes concerning objectives, scope, management systems or processes?
What kind of changes?
- To what extent does the intervention logic, objectives and activities linked to the EUPAW support or possibly conflict with those of other EU policies?
To what extent are the elements of EUPAW intervention logic internally complementary, mutually supportive and consistent?
How successful has EUPAW been in promoting the necessary coherence and complementarity between the different EU policies in collaboration with the Commission and Member States?
- To what extent do animal welfare policies contribute to the economic sustainability of the sectors concerned (farming animals and experimental animals)?
- What costs are involved in the management of the EUPAW for the Member States’ public administrations?
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