Answer to Written Question: Animal cruelty

(Source: European Parliament)



Answer given by Ms Kyriakides

on behalf of the European Commission


1. The Commission considers that any breach of the EU animal welfare legislation that involves animal suffering and abuse is unacceptable.

2. Member States are primarily responsible for the implementation and application of the EU legislation. The Commission assists Member States in their efforts and ensures that the EU law is correctly applied. The Commission is closely working with the Member States competent authorities to investigate any case where it appears that a Member State competent authority systematically neglects its obligations to perform official controls, to detect breaches of the legislation or to apply sufficiently dissuasive sanctions. If such systemic breaches are identified and persist, the Commission may also initiate infringement proceedings.

In the 2017-2018 period, the Commission performed audits on the welfare of animals transported by sea[1]. Based on the findings, the Commission is presently exploring the possibility of tertiary acts to assist Member States competent authorities to improve their official controls.

In addition, in the context of the Farm to Fork Strategy[2] and based on the experiences derived by the implementation of the current legislation in the last years, the Commission will revise the EU animal welfare legislation, including on animal transport in order to prevent animal suffering to the maximum extent possible.


[2] COM(2020) 381 final.

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