Day: February 2, 2021

Switzerland: 50 calves burned alive – PETA files a complaint

The animal welfare organization PETA filed a criminal complaint against the farmer, whose farm burned down last Friday.

This is because 50 calves lost their lives in the flames.

Peta wirft dem Landwirt vor, mutmasslich unzureichende Brandschutzmassnahmen getätigt zu haben. (Symbolbild BauZ)

The community residents, on the other hand, show solidarity and collect donations for the affected family (!!!)

That’s what it’s about
“Inadequate fire protection measures”, accuses the animal welfare organization PETA of the farmer, whose 50 calves died in the fire.

PETA has now filed a complaint and is calling for stricter legal regulations.

-The mood in Corébert BE is completely different.

The community as well as various private individuals show solidarity and launched a fundraising campaign.

In Rière le Moulin in Cortébert BE, a farm burned brightly on Friday night.
No people were injured – but 50 calves lost their lives in the fire.
The animal rights organization PETA became aware of the death of the calves based on several media reports – and has now filed a complaint against the farmer.

Because: “Due to presumably inadequate fire protection measures, it may have been accepted that the calves will suffocate in agony or burn while fully conscious,” said the animal rights organization.

This is not an isolated case in Switzerland: “Every year hundreds of animals die in stable fires. In Peta’s opinion, every such death is accepted approvingly due to a lack of fire protection regulations. “
The organization also calls on politicians to act and tighten legal regulations.

“Consumers can also do something about such terrible incidents: If everyone were vegan, that would not have happened,” said Ilana Bollag on behalf of Peta Switzerland.

The villagers of Cortébert stand by the farmer and show solidarity.

Various donation campaigns are underway according to to collect money for the affected family (!!). The community provides a bank account and calls for donations.

“Since the family has literally lost everything, donations in kind are also accepted,” the community said on Facebook. The affected family thanked everyone who showed their support via Facebook.

And I mean…The farmer is a homeowner, runs a farm, but has no fire insurance? A loophole in the law! or I would say… why should I donate something …?

And why a donation account?
If there is no negligence, the family will still receive money from the insurance.
Since the corona pandemic there have been many stable fires (also in Germany), it is suspicious, very suspicious, someone might suspect the intention is to collect the insurance.

I think the criminal complaint is the least the farmer has to get.
If 50 people were burned in the barn, there would be no discussion of inadequate fire safety, but the farmer would already be in custody.

50 calves burned alive, that sounds harmless to the donors, and because they are animal- and not human- children, they even feel sorry for the farmer.
But 50 calves char miserably in the fire – you have to swallow empty several times and get into great anger before deep sadness emerges.

To be honest, if I were to read, for example … 50 carnivores would have burned their fingers while grilling, I wouldn’t give a shit.
But the cruel death of the calves hits me in the middle of my heart where it hurts.

PETA is doing it right, Merci, PETA!

My best regards to all, Venus

Time to change the rules: Eurogroup for Animals launches White Paper on the Revision of the Transport Regulation.

Time to change the rules: Eurogroup for Animals launches White Paper on the Revision of the Transport Regulation

27 January 2021

Today, Eurogroup for Animals presented its White Paper on the upcoming Revision of the Transport Regulation during a high-level online event, bringing together more than 150 stakeholders from EU institutions, Member States, civil society and industry. The White Paper outlines how the new Transport Regulation should adhere to the basic principles of reducing, refining and replacing live transport, whenever applicable.

Since its foundation, Eurogroup for Animals and its members have been advocating to ensure effective protection of all animals transported. In 2007, Council Regulation 1/2005 – also known as the Transport Regulation – entered into force with the aim to avoid any injury or undue suffering during transport. However, over the years, investigations revealed that its implementation and enforcement is very poor; and scientific sources reported that its provisions are often unfit to ensure effective protection for the animals transported.

Today, Eurogroup for Animals launches a White Paper as a response to the European Commission’s stated aims to revise the Transport Regulation “to align it with the latest scientific evidence, broaden its scope, make it easier to enforce and ultimately ensure a higher level of animal welfare”.

Every day, a vast range of animal species are transported within the EU and beyond for commercial activities, yet the current Transport Regulation does not guarantee effective protection to all of them. In principle, the Transport Regulation should apply to the commercial transport of live vertebrate animals. However, the majority of its provisions refer only to the welfare of certain terrestrial farmed animal species: the requirements for the transport of fish, companion animals and equines are less developed; and measures to ensure the welfare of a large group of species transported for scientific purposes are completely absent. Additionally, by definition, invertebrates transported for food production remain out of the scope of the Regulation. This needs to change.

Furthermore, it’s been widely demonstrated that existing gaps in the current legislative framework have a significant negative impact on animals. This needs to be addressed by establishing comprehensive species- and category-specific requirements as well as a more efficient enforcement system. To this end, the White Paper provides the European Commission and EU co-legislators with science based key provisions to be included in the revised legislative text to substantially improve the welfare of terrestrial farmed animals, fish and aquatic invertebrates, equines, companion animals, and laboratory animals during transport. To further facilitate compliance and systematic data collection, a reporting system based on transparent communication on the animals being transported (species and numbers, animal welfare status, journey route) and any transport-related problems, is outlined. Such a system would increase Member States’ accountability and fully exploit the enforcement power of the European.

EU fails to strengthen enforcement of sustainable development provisions in EU FTAs.

EU fails to strengthen enforcement of sustainable development provisions in EU FTAs

28 January 2021

While the announcements made by the EU institutions on the revision of the so-called “Enforcement Regulation” on trade disputes foresaw stronger enforcement mechanisms for Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) provisions contained in trade agreements, the draft text adopted at the European Parliament’s plenary session on 21st January does not reflect the awaited progress.

The long-awaited materialisation of the principle that violations of TSD chapters – in which wildlife conservation and trafficking issues are embedded, alongside deforestation or climate issues – are as important as those perpetrated against market access provisions, remains uncertain from the EP’s first reading of the text released earlier this week. While the text interestingly lays down that the Regulation allows for a suspension of the obligations stemming from EU trade deals – which means the EU could suspend preferential tariffs – in response to breaches of TSD chapters, the concept remains largely aspirational – as it is listed in the recitals which are non-binding, legally speaking.

This outcome is disappointing considering the statements made by the EU institutions back in October 2020 that the EU would “examine breaches in the field of sustainable trade with the same attention as breaches of market access”. As a reminder, the purpose of the Enforcement Regulation’s update was to extend its scope in order to enable the EU to impose counter-measures in situations where EU trade partners violate WTO rules or block the dispute settlement procedures available under WTO rules. This is seen as an interim arrangement in reaction to the legal void left by the “WTO Appellate Body crisis” since December 2019. Considering the weakness of enforcement mechanisms attached to TSD chapters, there was hope that the updated Regulation could also provide new tools to address concerns in this field.

Eurogroup for Animals  thus regrets that  the enacting terms of the Regulation do not include any wording on strengthening the enforcement of TSD chapters contained in EU FTAs.It is also hard to see what the recital listed in the reviewed Enforcement Regulation will add to existing legislation, as the principle that TSD violations could lead to the suspension of the FTA has already been recognised by the CJEU Opinion on the EU-Singapore FTA. ) Back then, we already analysed that this ruling was not a panacea. Suspending the entire agreement in response to the breach of TSD provisions is the equivalent of a “nuclear weapon”. It is thus very unlikely the EU will want to trigger this process. In addition, the aspirational nature of the provisions contained in TSD chapters (which usually list commitments to ‘aim’ or ‘strive’ at ‘promoting’ sustainable development issues) would also make it difficult for the EU to prove failure of commitment from its partner. The recent ruling in the dispute linked to labour rights provisions included in the EU-Korea FTA has clarified that, in their current form, these provisions only impose an obligation of “efforts”, not of “results”. 

In conclusion, this regulation does not add any additional mechanism to strengthen the enforcement of TSD commitments in EU FTAs. All eyes will now be on the new EU Trade Strategy, which should be published on 17 February, to assess whether the EU has succeeded to make its trade policy compatible with the EU Green Deal. 

Leaked documents suggest the EU-Mercosur agreement needs to be renegotiated.

Leaked documents suggest the EU-Mercosur agreement needs to be renegotiated

1 February 2021

The agreement, as it stands now, is a bad deal for animals, nature and people. And it cannot be fixed by simply adding a protocol or a declaration.

Leaked working documents from the French government suggest that for France to consider ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement, it must either be renegotiated to include new provisions, or new EU legislation must be put in place for instance to impose EU standards to imported products.  

The Commission’s new proposals to solve the conundrum created by the ratification of the EU-Mercosur agreement will only be presented by mid 2021 but several Member States are also preparing a list of “pre-ratification conditions”, as shown by leaked proposals from the French government. The document suggests that the Agreement would either need to be renegotiated, or that new EU legislation should be put in place, before it can be ratified. Among others, the French government proposes: 

The development of “mirror measures”, which means that certain EU health and environmental standards  should apply to imports.

Cooperation against deforestation, for instance through the creation of a traceability system for animal and plant based products in order to identify whether those products are linked to deforestation.

A review of all import tolerances, in order to ensure producers from Mercosur respect the environment. 

The French opposition to the Agreement grew after the release of the French Impact Assessment on the deal which confirmed the threats identified by Eurogroup for Animals: the deal, if implemented, will lead to an increase of EU’s imports of beef and chicken from Mercosur countries, creating further pressure on  EU animal welfare standards. French Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed in September 2020 that France will oppose the ratification of the EU-Mercosur trade deal in its current shape.  Yet, the proposals made by the French government in the leaked working document do not address our concerns related to the impact of the agreement on animal welfare. For instance, animal welfare standards should have been added to the list of standards that the EU should impose on imported goods. 

In this context, Eurogroup for Animals still calls for a reopening of the negotiations, which should include amongst other: 

A review of the market access offer to further limit the volume granted in tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for animal based products, especially for bovine and chicken meat.

Animal welfare conditions for all trade preferences granted to animal products. 

The clarification that provisions on marking and labelling do not pre-empt the EU from adopting a method of production label that would apply to imports.

A recognition of the precautionary principle in the field of food safety.

Proper monitoring mechanisms to assess the impact of the implementation of the trade deal on the animals, the environment and the people, and the introduction of tools that would allow to revert the negative impact that could be detected by these mechanisms. This could be done by strengthening the TSD chapter and its enforcement mechanisms.