Animal welfare, meat reduction, pesticides phase-out and stronger consumer rights should be the top priorities of a credible EU Farm to Fork strategy, European Parliament Rapporteur Anja Hazekamp (Partij voor de Dieren, Netherlands) said following the release of the Commission’s proposal today.

The Farm to Fork strategy for sustainable food is a key component of the European Green Deal. As the Rapporteur, Anja Hazekamp will be responsible for the drafting of the European Parliament’s response to the Commission’s proposal.

Hazekamp welcomed the overhaul of rules for animal transport and slaughterhouses, her long standing demand:

“We have been pushing for stricter rules on animal welfare during transport for years. It is a breakthrough that the European Commission intends to amend these rules. The EU transports over 1.5 billion animals annually, often under appalling conditions. Major accidents occur, such as the capsize of a cargo ship carrying 14,000 sheep last November.

“Transport of live animals to countries outside the EU must end and maximum transport times for all animal transports must be drastically reduced. The frequent abuses in slaughterhouses need also be addressed.”

However, the Commission’s text omits completely steps to reduce industrial livestock farming:

“There must be ambitious and binding targets to reduce the use of toxins in agriculture, and the most dangerous substances must be banned immediately to protect people, animals and the environment,” Hazekamp continued.

“The Commission uses big words when it says that the EU must become a world leader in sustainable food production. As we face a climate and biodiversity crisis, this must start with concrete steps to reduce the number of animals in livestock farming, reduce livestock emissions and make our diets more sustainable.”

On the issue of consumer information, Hazekamp intends to improve on the already good proposals:

“When we buy a product it is important that the label clearly shows the nutritional values, origin and impact on the environment and animal welfare standards. For example, it must be clear whether an animal has lived in a cage, a factory farm or outside in a meadow. Information must be clear and not misleading, as is sometimes the case,” Hazekamp concluded.

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