EU and Japan should use their trade deal to do more for animals
27 January 2022
WAV comment – so, under the JEEPA; the EU imports cattle, hens and pigs from Japan. But hey, does the EU not export (from Germany) pig meat to China ? Germany is one of the largest meat exporters in the world with approximately 58 million pigs are slaughtered in Germany every year.
So, lets get a grip – the EU produces pig meat within the EU (Germany) that it then exports outside of the EU. At the same time through JEEPA, the EU is importing pig meat from Japan on the other side of the planet ! – this must be so effective in reducing all the meat transportation miles and cutting down on air and sea miles I don’t think.
Sounds to me like a to hell with the environment; as long as we have good export and import figures, who cares !
Why not German pig meat be sold in the EU, and Japanese pig meat sold in Japan or China ? – this shown the environmentally destructive results of ‘economic partnership agreements’ that our master politicians pride themselves on so much. Fools or sense ?
From Eurogroup for animals.
The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA) entered into force in February 2019, but the partners have not yet started any discussion on animal welfare. At the occasion of the third joint civil society meeting under the trade deal, Eurogroup for Animals calls on the EU and Japan to make use of the provisions on animal welfare cooperation listed in the agreement to foster a transition towards a more sustainable food system, in which animal well being is respected.
While JEEPA liberalised the trade in most animal products without any condition related to animal welfare, it also provided two channels that could be used to improve animal well being: the provisions on animal welfare cooperation, and the chapter on Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD), which covers wildlife trafficking, sustainable aquaculture and fisheries.
While the EU does not currently import significant amounts of animal products from Japan, reduced tariffs have still led to more imports of Japanese animal products. For instance, between 2018 and 2019, imports of Japanese fresh and chilled beef increased by 31% and pig meat imports more than doubled.
As tariff reduction was not conditional on the respect of any animal welfare standards, and as Japan has poor legal requirements in the field, the increase in trade is likely to have favoured mostly industrialised intensive farming practices. This is not only detrimental to animal welfare, but also fuels challenges such asclimate change, biodiversity loss, antimicrobial resistance, and the spread of zoonoses.
Using the mechanisms available under JEEPA to promote higher animal welfare is thus essential to ensure that trade policy does not impede the EU’s efforts in combating these problems.
In July 2020, in a reply to a joint letter sent by Eurogroup for Animals, Japan Anti-Vivisection Association (JAVA) and Animal Rights Center Japan (ARCJ), the European Commission agreed that increased animal welfare cooperation should be part of the EU-Japan cooperation. At the occasion of the third anniversary of JEEPA, Eurogroup for Animals reiterates its call for concrete actions to take place in the field through the publication of a report on what the EU and Japan could do for animals under JEEPA.
The report describes the areas that would be the more promising for EU-Japan animal welfare cooperation either because of the EU imports (cattle, hens and pigs), or because the sectors are key in Japan and therefore any improvement to animal welfare could have a significant impact on animals and on the sustainability of food productions (laying hens and broiler chickens), and lastly because the EU exports live animals who end up being farmed in these sectors in Japan (horses).
Hopefully, 2022 will be the year such a cooperation starts. This would contribute to the achievements of the objective listed in the Farm to Fork strategy: to use its trade policy to “obtain ambitious commitments from third countries in key areas such as animal welfare”.