EU: SAV Very Much Welcomes The Proposals Of The Current Netherlands Presidency Of The EU Regarding Animal Welfare. Journey Times Down To 8 Hours Max – Lets Hope So !!!


For our non EU visitors – each member state of the EU holds the ‘Presidency’ of the EU for a period of 6 months. From Jan to June 2016 it is the turn of the Netherlands – Holland; a very positive nation when it comes to animal welfare.

This means that each member state currently has the Presidency once every 12-13 years, and so it has a lot of work to do to ‘push’ issues important to it at this time.

Below is a basic insight into the current situation, and the message from the Dutch which we very much welcome. SAV.


The Netherlands presidency of the Council of the EU:

1 January-30 June 2016

The Netherlands presidency work programme focuses on four key areas: migration and international security, sound finances and a robust eurozone, Europe as an innovator and job creator and forward-looking climate and energy policy.

The presidency wants an EU that focuses on what matters to Europe’s citizens and businesses, an EU that creates growth and jobs through innovation and connects with civil society. The presidency will promote action at EU level only if it is more effective than policies at national level.


The presidency of the Council of the EU

Council of the EU

What is the Council presidency and how does it work?


What is the Council presidency and how does it work?

A rotating presidency

The presidency of the Council rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During this 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council, helping to ensure the continuity of the EU’s work in the Council.

Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called ‘trios’. This system was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. The trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over an 18 month period. On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries prepares its own more detailed 6-month programme.

The current trio is made up of the presidencies of the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta.

Animal welfare is a basic need: Dutch Presidency pleads for EU action for animals


Eurogroup welcomes statements Dutch Chief Veterinary Officer at Animal Welfare Intergroup.

Today the Dutch Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Christianne Bruschke, unfolded the views of the Dutch Presidency on the future of the European animal welfare related dossiers, saying “animal welfare is not a hype but a basic need in our society as fundamental for a sustainable future”. She also stressed that high ambitions in the field of animal welfare should be reflected in EU regulations as individual EU countries are no isolated islands.

Dr Bruschke called on the European Commission to put forward a new Communication on an EU Strategy on the protection and welfare of animals for the period 2016-2020.  In line with the recently adopted resolution of the European Parliament a new Animal Welfare Strategy should ensure the continuation of delivering high animal welfare standards across the Member States. Moreover, the Dutch Presidency would welcome the Commission to examine the perspectives of an updated, comprehensive and clear legislative framework for animal welfare. Such a framework would provide the opportunity to update existing regulations in accordance with new scientific insights, technological innovation and socioeconomic trends whilst addressing shortcomings and omissions.

Furthermore, a new EU platform on animal welfare, of stakeholder organisations and authorities of member states, run by the European Commission, could create more momentum and focus on the animal welfare challenges of the EU. Such a platform could facilitate discussions and exchange of experiences and best practices on implementation, control and enforcement of animal welfare regulations. The proposal of the platform will be presented at the next Agricultural Council meeting on 15th February.

Moreover, the Dutch Government remains to be a strong supporter of a reduction of transport times of slaughter animals to 8 hours as well as for the improvement of transport of conditions like space allowances. Although not expected during the Dutch Presidency, the European Commission should look into a revision of the current Transport Regulation and the reduction of transport times. In 2015 Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands filed a formal request for a revision of the Transport Regulation to the Commission. All three governments remain to urge the Commission for a revision.

Another point of attention for the Dutch Presidency is phasing out non-therapeutic mutilations in farming as reducing this practice will improve animal welfare and contribute to a more sustainable animal husbandry. One of the routinely applied mutilations is painful piglet castration. The Netherlands is fully committed to ending surgical castration by 2018, the deadline stipulated in the European Declaration to on Alternatives to the Surgical Castration of Pigs (Brussels declaration). Together with Germany and Denmark, The Netherlands have urged all involved stakeholders to sign the Brussels declaration and to act accordingly.