01/22/14 Putting Animal Welfare at the Heart of European Elections!
Animal Friends calls the MEPs to sign The Animal Welfare Pledge
- Sandra Petrovic Jakovina and Tonino Picula the first from Croatia to sign The Animal Welfare Pledge
This year Croatian citizens will have the chance to vote their representatives in the European Parliamnet for the second time. In 2013, during the European Year of Citizens, the distance between the EU institutins and European citizens seemed larger than ever. We need to engage the members of the next European parliamnet, as the only directly elected EU institution, to bridge the gap between the words on paper and the intersets of citizens and animals.
Eurogroup for Animals is the leading voice for animal welfare at the European Union level providing a voice for the billions of animals kept in laboratories, farms and homes or living in the wild. The Eurogroup is recognized by the European Parliament and Commission as the leading animal welfare organization at the EU level and represents animal welfare interests on many EU advisory committees and consultation bodies.
Animal Friends is joining the new Eurogroup for Animals campaign, whose goal is to put animal welfare at the heart of the next European elections and ensure that animal welfare becomes a topic that drives citizens to go to the elections and to initiate changes. In order to set that critical foundation, Eurogroup for Animals and its member organizations will call on all the candidates for the European Parliament to sign the Animal Welfare Pledge. The organization also presented the Manifesto with demands for the next Parliament, which, Eurogroup for Animals hopes, will adopt all the political groups as well. In adition, through its 40 member organizations and 10 million supporters, Eurogroup for Animals works getting the Manifeto adopted by candidates at the national level.
Eurogroup for Animals presented a pledge with seven key demands urging all returning MEPs and new candidates to sign to show their support for animals, thus confirming that they recognize the concerns of Europe's citizens. Animal protection is high on the list of priorities of EU citizens according to the Eurobarometer data, with 82% of EU citizens upholding our duty to protect the rights of animals at whatever cost (Eurobarometer 225, June 2005, p.26.). The Pledge identifies the key policy areas where Eurogroup for Animals expects to see change during the term of the next Parliament. It includes live animal transport, animal testing, the exotic pet trade, companion animal breeding, international trade, an overarching animal welfare framework law and an increased recognition and awareness that animals are sentient beings.
Sandra Petrovic Jakovina is the first Croatian MEP to sign The Animal Welfare Pledge, and soon after joined by Tonino Picula, who became the second Croatian MEP to sign the Pledge document. Animal Friends thanks and congratulates our MEPs for their support of animal welfare, and expects everyone else to sign the Pledge as well.
Beside the campaign of putting animal welfare at the heart of the European elections, Animal Friends also participated in another euro-campagin. This campaign was launched by the European Vegetarian Union and its goal is harmonization of standards of labeling of vegetarian and vegan food at the EU level and facilitating the selection of products for consumers who choose such products for moral, ethical, religious, health or other reasons. With this campaign, Animal Friends gives support to the Proposal for a Union Act on voluntary labelling rules regarding information related to suitability of food for vegetarians or vegans, which we also notified the MEPs about.
Since its founding, Animal Friends has collaborated with foregin associations and acted internationaly. With Croatia joining the EU, the work of Animal Friends has received a new, European dimension, that is, it participates now officialy and fully in campaigns on the European level as well.