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THE European Commission has adopted a new four-year strategy setting out its proposed actions for improving animal welfare across the EU.
The European Union Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012-2015 builds on experience gained with the Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-2010. This action plan, which was adopted in 2006, grouped together, for the first time, various aspects of EU policy governing the welfare of animals kept for economic purposes.
The new strategy, which was adopted on January 19, is needed, the Commission says, because ‘animal welfare conditions in the Union fall short of a level playing field, which is required to sustain the enormous economic activity that drives the treatment of animals in the European Union’. It says it has become increasingly clear that simply applying the same sector-specific rules to animal welfare ‘does not always yield the desired results’ and that problems of compliance with sector-specific rules highlight a need to consider whether a ‘one size fits all’ approach can lead to better welfare across the EU. ‘The diversity of farming systems, climatic conditions, land realities in the different member …