Day: June 30, 2021

EU Commission: finally a positive reaction

The EU Commission wants to gradually end the caging of farm animals such as laying hens and pigs.
In response to a European citizens’ initiative, the authority announced a corresponding legislative proposal by 2023 on Wednesday.

An ordinary pig farm: legalized torture of living beings …

This means that citizens’ requests could become a reality nine years after the initiative was launched.

Brussels now wants to first prepare an impact assessment by the end of 2022.
There should be a public consultation on this from the beginning of next year at the latest.
Brussels will “examine in particular whether the proposed legislation is realistic in 2027,” said the authority.

As EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said, the EU also wants to push for animal welfare standards to be anchored in trade agreements. This is also intended to prevent foreign producers from undermining these standards and thus unfairly competing with EU farmers after they have withdrawn from cage farming.

However, it is still unclear how long the possible transition phases will be.

Activists had collected nearly 1.4 million signatures with the “End the Cage Age” campaign by October last year.
In doing so, they received enough support within the framework of a European citizens’ initiative that the EU Commission had to deal with the matter.

Money for remodeling stables

The EU Commission announced that it would use the EU agricultural policy to help farmers abolish cage farming.

“The phasing out of cages will come at a cost for farmers,” said Kyriakides.
The Commission will not let them down, “but support them in all phases of the transition to better animal welfare and sustainable food systems”.


Funds from EU agricultural policy are to be used to support farmers in converting stables or purchasing new housing systems.

The consumer organization “Foodwatch” called the abolition of cages overdue and called for a faster process. “Every day on which we do not act is a day on which a million sows cannot look after their piglets and chickens and rabbits cannot move as they need”, explained Foodwatch representative Matthias Wolfschmidt.

The animal welfare organization “Four Paws” spoke of “a great victory for Europe’s livestock”.

However, as usual, the Commission can only submit proposals. The specific regulation must then be negotiated with the member states and the European Parliament.

A concrete draft is to be submitted in 2023 and then requires the approval of the EU Parliament and the EU Council

When it comes to cage management, there is likely to be strong resistance from some Member States, or at least calls for long transition periods.

https://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/eu-kommission-will-kaefighaltung-von-nutztieren-von-2027-an-beenden-17415291.html

And I mean…According to the citizens’ initiative, far more than 8.2 million animals still live in cages in Germany. This corresponds to a share of 14 percent of livestock in Germany.
This means that Germany is pretty well within the EU average.

Only in Austria (3 percent), Luxembourg (3) and Sweden (8) is the proportion lower. It looks worst in Portugal (89), Spain (89) and Malta (99).
Across Europe, according to the initiative, more than 300 million animals are suffering in cages.

Image: SOKO Tierschutz

Copa-Cogeca welcomed the aid and accompanying measures proposed by Brussels for farmers.

The association emphasized that the ban proposed by the Commission could only be accepted if the proposal was based on clear economic principles.

In addition, an impact assessment must be available before the exit date is set. In other words, one can assume that farmers can in principle live with an end to cage management.

But they will be compensated dearly for the exit and will insist that the EU apply the same strict standards to imports.

We cannot speak of a victory before the end of cage husbandry comes as soon as possible, and also the end of the import of caged animal products.

We still have to watch closely what happens now so that the agricultural lobby does not overturn the project. Because they would have enough time for that, 6 years!

If you really want animals to be released from their cages, you have to stop eating their bodies and their products.

My best regards to all, Venus

UK: Drug Firms Giving MPs ‘Hidden’ Funding, Research Shows. Investigative Report From ‘The Guardian’, London.

WAV Comment: we have always attempted to draw attention on several of our posts relating to how powerful the lobbyists are – Farming, Animal Exports; Pharmaceuticals etc.  In this excellent report by ‘The Guardian’ (London), the lid has been taken off the all party parliamentary groups (APPG’s) who are supposed to be independent and represent the normal citizen with their enquiries.  It would appear that drug firms may look at this from a slightly different angle – their potential profits being a large contributor.

“Something must be done to mitigate against potential influence which normal citizens or NGOs won’t be able to exert.”

Regards Mark

 

Big Pharma's Big Spending on Lobbying Netted Big Contracts in 2020 •  Children's Health Defense

Drug firms giving MPs ‘hidden’ funding, research shows | Pharmaceuticals industry | The Guardian

Drug firms giving MPs ‘hidden’ funding, research shows

Pharmaceutical industry has “hidden web of policy influence” over dozens of all-party parliamentary groups

Drug companies are giving groups of MPs and peers that campaign on health issues hundreds of thousands of pounds a year in “hidden” funding that could hand them “undue influence”, research has found.

The pharmaceutical industry has built up a “hidden web of policy influence” over dozens of all-party parliamentary groups (APPGs) at Westminster by making hundreds of “non-transparent” payments to them, as part of the industry’s wider effort to lobby those in power, researchers claim.

The findings raise questions about the independence of APPGs, the voluntary special interest cross-party groups of members of both houses of parliament that seek to influence ministers and government departments through reports, inquiries and meetings at Westminster.

Fifty-eight APPGs focusing on different aspects of health received 468 payments totalling just under £2.2m in direct and indirect funding from pharmaceutical firms between 2012 and 2018, academics from the University of Bath found. APPGs receive no money from parliament to support their activities, which often involve ministers being questioned and being sent reports.

“In the context of health-related APPGs, payments from the pharmaceutical industry represent institutional conflicts of interest as they create circumstances where the primary interest, policymaking in the interests of public health, is at risk of being unduly influenced by the secondary interest, the pharmaceutical industry’s goal of maximising profits”, the authors conclude, in a paper published on Thursday evening in the medical journal PLOS One.

Drug companies can use their close relationship with APPGs to contribute to their inquiries, argue for policies that favour their commercial interests and have that reflected in reports, all without the public knowing about those links, according to Emily Rickard and Dr Piotr Ozieranski, from Bath University’s department of social and policy sciences.

They uncovered the long history of funding by examining parliament’s register of APPGs and drug company payment disclosure reports. Both sources contain information about big pharma’s funding of APPGs, and also its financing of health charities, which often act as the secretariat for APPGs. But the details given were often vague, incomplete and hard to understand, the authors said.

Their research found:

  • 16 health-related APPGs received 168 payments from 35 drug firms worth £1.2m in 2012-18 – one-sixth of their total funding
  • Two APPGs, on health and cancer, accepted more than £600,000 in that time
  • 50 health-focused APPGs received almost another £1m in 304 payments from patient organisations or health charities, which themselves take sums of money from big pharma

“We are not attacking any APPG or alleging any impropriety. However, there is a dilemma. The APPGs are a key part of policymaking and it is clear that corporate money is entering the APPG bloodstream”, Rickard and Ozieranski told the Guardian.

“Something must be done to mitigate against potential influence which normal citizens or NGOs won’t be able to exert.”

The revelations led to calls for greater openness about where APPG funding comes from.

“APPGs have an important role to play in holding the government to account and shaping policy by bringing together voices from across the political spectrum and from a range of stakeholders”, said Dr John Chisholm, the chair of the British Medical Association’s medical ethics committee.

“However, it is vitally important that there is full transparency around who is behind these groups and what is driving their calls for change. This is especially important for the development of health policy, which must be underpinned by the principle of improving the health of the population, and not risk being swayed by other conflicting interests.”

Justin Madders, a shadow health minister, said: “It is hugely concerning if big pharma and other vested interests are using the cover of these groups, which were set up with the best of intentions, to circumvent the normal rules on probity and transparency.

“There is a need for clearer rules on funding and conflicts of interest to ensure important health issues are not used as a vehicle to push private interests.”

But Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, a Labour peer and the treasurer of the all-party parliamentary health group, countered that APPGs’ lack of funding from parliament left them reliant on external organisations.

“APPGs need a lot of support to be run effectively. There is no funding available so its inevitable that outside organisations are asked to fund”, he said.

“In these circumstances it is an imperative on the parliamentarians who serve as honorary officers to make sure that financial sponsors do not improperly influence the outcome of APPG work.

“That is certainly the case with the APPG on health, where the sponsors come nowhere near our decisions on programmes.”

Elliot Dunster of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry said: “APPGs facilitate discussions between MPs, peers and stakeholders in an open and transparent way. A number of these groups are supported by charities, trade associations and companies to carry out research, reports and meetings.

“There is strict parliamentary guidance on APPGs and a complete register – there is no hidden funding from pharmaceutical companies for MPs.” This article was amended on 26 June 2021 to add a statement from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry that was provided after publication.

 

Further interesting reading (EU):

Power and profit during a pandemic | Corporate Europe Observatory

https://corporateeurope.org/en/2020/09/power-and-profit-during-pandemic

 

Pharmaceutical Industry Ethics - Seven Pillars Institute

EU mandatory register for lobbyists, a baby step towards full transparency  – EURACTIV.com

Regards Mark

Here’s Why Millions of People Don’t Eat Lamb Anymore.

lamb – Google Search

Cute to the Max: This Lamb is Melting Hearts - Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary .org

WAV Comment:

Approximately 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights throughout the world each year.

More than nine billion farm animals were slaughtered in the United States last year.

Approximately 25 million farm animals are slaughtered each DAY in the United States.



Get a grip on the US meat business by clicking on:

Here’s Why Millions of People Don’t Eat Lamb Anymore

We all know the children’s song “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” but did you ever seriously think about just how messed up eating lamb is? Let us fill you in.

The USDA reported that around 2.2 million lambs were killed for meat in 2015. Like cows, pigs, and chickens, lambs are raised in filthy factory farms, subjected to cruel mutilations, and horrifically slaughtered.

Lambs are usually “tail docked just a few weeks after birth. Farmers claim this is to reduce buildup of fecal matter around the animals’ backsides. But this cruel and painful mutilation is performed without anesthetics and often leads to infection, chronic pain, and rectal prolapse.

Typically slaughtered around six to eight months of age, lambs live a mere fraction of their natural lifespan. Mother sheep are deeply caring and form strong bonds with their babies. In fact, they can recognize their lambs who have wandered too far away by their calls. Sadly, this bond is broken at factory farms where lambs are ripped away from their mothers just a few days after birth.

Lambs are not only sweet and gentle but also highly intelligent. They are capable of problem solving and considered to have IQs that rival those of cows. They also have great memories. Lambs can remember at least 50 individual sheep for years! Through highly developed communication skills, lambs use various vocalizations to communicate different emotions. They can even display emotion through facial expressions.

How can anyone claim to love these gentle animals while still eating them?

People who are opposed to animal cruelty often cling to the idea that eating meat is necessary. But the science is clear: We’re more than capable of living happy, healthy lives without eating meat or other animal products.

It’s time to put our ethics on the table and stop eating lambs and all other animals. We can live our values of kindness by switching to a vegan diet.

Click here to order your FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide.

Here’s Why Millions of People Don’t Eat Lamb Anymore – Mercy For Animals

Regards Mark