Serbia: Farm Animal Conditions – Update 26/11/10. Formal Statement on Conditions Now Provided by CIWF (Uk).

Since the publication of our post on the terrible conditions in which cattle were being kept on a Serbian farm:

SAV had been in regular contact with our colleagues at London based International farm animal welfare organisation, Compassion In World Farming (CIWF), in order to obtain their specialist views on these conditions.

CIWF have kindly provided us with a formal statement which can be seen below. It is clear that conditions at this farm do not comply with existing EU legislation regarding the keeping of farm animals. We wish to inform the Serbian authorities that provided with the photographs and information we have, a formal complaint would immediately have been made to the EU Legal Affairs dept should Serbia have been an existing EU member state.  As they are not, we are currently considering whether the information we have should still be provided regardless.

The following is the statement from CIWF, complete with links to existing EU COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. 

CIWF Statement:

It is clear from the photographs that these cattle are being kept in squalid, filthy, unhealthy and completely unacceptable conditions. The cattle in the pictures shown are standing in water contaminated with excrement. The matted nature of their coats shows that they are unable to keep clean and have clearly been in these conditions for some time.

Cattle need a comfortable, clean and well-drained area to lie down, receive adequate rest and remain healthy. The squalid conditions these cattle are being kept in plainly fail to meet basic welfare or hygiene standards as laid down by Council of Europe Convention and EU Directive which require that animals are prevented avoidable suffering and kept in conditions which avoid risks to their health.

It is clear beyond doubt that what is shown in these photographs does not comply with existing EU legislation, and consequently would impact Serbian accession to the EU. In the event of Serbia’s accession, these photographs could form the basis of a formal complaint to be made to the Legal Affairs Dept of the EU associated with animal welfare.

Phil Brooke

Welfare Development Manager – Compassion in World Farming

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes

Article 3

Member States shall make provision to ensure that the owners or keepers take all reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of animals under their care and to ensure that those animals are not caused any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury.

From the Annex:

Animals not kept in buildings

12. Animals not kept in buildings shall where necessary and possible be given protection from adverse weather conditions, predators and risks to their health.


Council of Europe Convention covering the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes state, amongst other things:

Article 9

1. Animals should be maintained in a clean condition.

2. Those parts of the accommodation with which the animals come into contact should be thoroughly cleansed, and where appropriate, disinfected, everytime the accommodation has been emptied and before new animals are brought in. While the accommodation is occupied by the animals, the interior surfaces and all equipment therein shall be kept satisfactorily clean.



Further information can be found via the following links to the CIWF website:

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