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Conference on Trade and Welfare

by 5m Editor
20 January 2009, at 11:23am

EU - A conference on <em>Global Trade and Farm Animal Welfare</em> is taking place today and tomorrow (20 and 21 January 2009) in Brussels, organised by the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers and the Directorate-General for External Trade of the European Commission.

The organisers also include the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the Eurogroup for Animals, Compassion In World Farming and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

The conference is part of several international activities led by the Commission which seek to raise awareness of animal welfare issues globally, as foreseen in the Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010. This event follows up the International Forum on Global Aspects of Farm Animal Welfare, which took place in April 2008, co-organised with the same organisations.

The aim of the event, which will be opened by Commissioner Vassiliou and Petr Gandalovic, the Czech Minister for Agriculture, is to bring together representatives from all continents, to discuss positive experiences of the inclusion of animal welfare in relation to trade.

The conference also forms part of the efforts of the Commission to catalyse stakeholders and international organisations (OIE, FAO, UN, WHO, WB, WTO) into supporting and promoting higher animal welfare standards.

The event also seeks to foster a culture of constructive dialogue between stakeholders and ministerial representatives from the major EU trading partners with a view towards developing a global strategy to address the issue of animal welfare and trade.

Commissioner Vassiliou said, "The improvement of farm animal welfare is a challenge that the Commission embraced many years ago. However, lasting improvements can only be achieved by common understanding, engagement and international partnership. With this conference, we aim to further develop a culture of constructive dialogue among all stakeholders to improve animal welfare globally, through the creation of new market opportunities for animal welfare friendly products and a 'People Centred' approach to the central issues."