Djurens Rätt
23 March 2023

Call to the Minister of Rural Affairs: Support an European Commissioner for Animal Welfare!

Minister of Rural Affairs Peter Kullgren has received a call to support the #EUforAnimals initiative. This is a campaign that wants to see an EU-commissioner with "Animal Welfare'' in the title. Djurens Rätt is the initiator of a letter sent to the Minister. 43 animal rights- and animal welfare organizations from across the EU are now calling on Sweden to take a stand for this. 

Many agree that animal welfare must be improved in the EU, and the Swedish government has also expressed this. An essential condition for this to happen is that the issue is given more relevance at the institutional level in the long term. This is why we need a commissioner with "Animal Welfare" in the title. The campaign proposes that the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, who already has some responsibility for animal welfare, has this explicitly added in the job title. This is not just a symbolic issue, although it is important to clarify who is responsible. But when this is added to the title, the issue will be prioritized and more resources may be allocated to the directorate.

– This is completely in line with the animal policy that the government has expressed that it wants to pursue. It could be a way to improve animal welfare in the EU and to be able to devote more resources to checking compliance with current legislation. Djurens Rätt expects the Swedish government to welcome the proposal and clearly show its support, says Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt.

The establishment of an EU Commissioner for Health, Food Safety and Animal Welfare is supported by 69% of EU citizens, according to an Ipsos survey of June 2021. The percentage in Sweden is 82%.

- The commitment of Swedish citizens to the #EUforAnimals campaign has been astonishing, with the largest percentage of signatures in relation to the population. This is a loud call to the Swedish government to promote this proposal at the European level, and to all Swedish politicians to support this campaign. If we want consistent and ambitious action on animal welfare at the EU level, a Commissioner for Health, Food Safety and Animal Welfare is what we need, says Adolfo Sansolini, Coordinator of the #EUforAnimals campaign on behalf of the Belgian organisation GAIA.

The #EUforAnimals campaign request for a commissioner for animal welfare with “Animal Welfare” in the title. So far, 235,000 EU citizens have signed the petition and 192 MEPs have supported the campaign. The link above shows which MEPs are supporting the campaign.

Read the letter here.