Evaluation of the EU Policy on Animal
Welfare and Possible Options for the Future
Final Report
Evaluation team: Matt Rayment & Puja Asthana, GHK
Heleen van de Weerd & Jason Gittins, ADAS
Janet Talling, Fera
Online consultation – 9,086 responses
Stakeholder interviews – 89 interviews with 196
National missions – 12 Member States
Literature and data review
Answers to 11 evaluation questions
Q1: To what extent has EU animal welfare legislation achieved its
main objective - i.e. to improve the welfare conditions of animals
within the EU?
 Legislation has improved welfare for those animals covered by
targeted legislation
– To be effective it needs detailed requirements, covering all aspects
of welfare
– Zoo animal legislation aims at biodiversity conservation and does not
specifically refer to animal welfare
 There is potential to achieve much higher standards by
strengthening the enforcement of current EU legislation
 By extending the scope of EU welfare legislation, several other
groups of animals could benefit from higher welfare standards
Q1: Possible options for the future
Increasing levels of enforcement of existing legislation
Considering extending the scope of EU welfare legislation to include
large groups of animals for which welfare concerns exist
Exploring non-legislative routes for achieving improved welfare
Stimulating further development of the Welfare Quality® project welfare
assessment protocols (for enforcement)
Enhancing the effectiveness of zoo animal legislation through better
enforcement and by providing more detailed requirements for the needs
of the animals under its scope
Developing an inspection body to support the enforcement of the revised
Experimental Animals Directive, and examining whether the FVO should
take up this role
Q2: To what extent has EU legislation on the protection of animals
ensured proper functioning of the single market for the activities
EU animal welfare legislation has contributed to, but not fully ensured,
the proper functioning of the internal market
Harmonisation is important in order to avoid competitive distortions
within the internal market
Specific EU animal welfare legislation has progressed the
harmonisation of animal welfare standards across the EU
Much greater variations in standards exist for those animals outside the
scope of current EU legislation, such as dairy cows and pets
Factors affecting harmonisation are: a lack of clarity; variations in
enforcement; and standards that go beyond EU law
Q2: Possible options for the future
Enhancing the enforcement of existing legislation
Clarification of aspects of legislation which have been
interpreted differently between Member States
Considering introducing EU welfare legislation for dairy cows
and pets in order to achieve harmonisation of Member State
legislation and to address the range of welfare issues
Enhancing communication amongst Member States, and
between Member States and the Commission on implementing
and enforcing legislation, in order to promote shared
understanding and encourage harmonisation
Q3: To what extent has EU funding for research & scientific advice
on animal welfare contributed to science based EU initiatives in the
field of legislation, communication and for international initiatives?
About €15 million of EU funding was allocated to scientific
research on animal welfare in each year of the evaluation period
In general, research funding reflects the main priorities of EU
animal welfare legislation (farm animals and facilitating the
replacement of in vivo animal testing)
Information from EU research projects is linked with EU policy,
primarily via EFSA activities
There is less evidence of research informing communication
actions and international activities
There are concerns that the FP7 Ethics Review process does
not meet its objectives
Q3: Possible options for the future
Allocating more EU research funding to the refinement of animal
experiments and to zoo animal welfare, as these subjects have so far
received little attention
Evaluating the effectiveness of the FP7 ethics procedures
Emphasising the importance of EFSA scientific opinion in the development
of policy and legislation as well as raising welfare standards
Facilitating improved coordination of animal welfare research between
Member States. A European Reference Centre (or network of centres)
could play a role in this
Ensuring that EFSA opinions continue to cover the whole scope of the
animal welfare policy area, also including non-food-producing animals
Q4: To what extent have EU actions of communication to
stakeholders and the public contributed to raise their awareness and
responsibility towards animal welfare?
EU has supported events, online resources & policy consultations
Insufficient evidence to determine the impact on stakeholders and
public awareness and responsibility towards animal welfare
Size of potential task faced by the Commission and its partners in
relation to animal welfare communications is large:
– Large and varied audiences; limited EU resources relative to the scale
of task; variety of organisations involved in animal welfare
A communications strategy would help focus activity to maximise
impact; stronger monitoring would help assess impact
Q4: Possible options for the future
Developing an animal welfare communication strategy:
– Definition of problem to be addressed; identify audiences and means
by which EU supported communication activities can influence them;
objectives and key messages of communications activity; Commission
and partners’ roles and responsibilities; implementation plan
– Focus on communications directly linked to EU policy
Stronger and consistent monitoring and evaluation of
communication activity
Continuing work to examine options for development of animal
welfare labelling and consumer information in the EU
Regular publications to raise profile of animal welfare at EU level
Q5: To what extent have EU international initiatives contributed to
raising awareness and creating a shared understanding on animal
welfare issues and standards at world level?
EU international initiatives have been widely welcomed by third
countries and are recognised as having raised the profile and
awareness of animal welfare in a global context
Trade agreements, support to organisations, standards-setting
and science / technology transfer have all contributed
There is still much to be achieved, and there is widespread
support from stakeholders that this should continue to be a
priority area for the EU
Q6: To what extent have EU international initiatives contributed to
establishing equivalent market conditions between EU businesses
and businesses from third countries exporting to the EU?
Significant differences remain between animal welfare legislation
and voluntary standards in the EU and third countries
Production costs are generally higher in the EU than elsewhere,
mainly because of high land, feed and labour costs
EU has influenced the OIE to develop international principles
and recommendations, also via bilateral agreements
This is work in progress and implementation and enforcement of
international standards remain challenges for the future
Q5,6: Possible options for the future
 Continuing EU support to the inclusion of animal welfare in OIE
and FAO initiatives and in bilateral agreements
 Paying attention to ways of encouraging and enforcing the
adoption of animal welfare standards at international level, such
as encouraging participation of third countries in international
training initiatives
 Communicating the goals and achievements of international
activities more widely within the EU and to other stakeholders
 Reviewing the EU’s international activities and evaluating
outcomes periodically, to focus on the most successful strategies
Q7: Are the present financial instruments and the financial
resources at EU level adapted to the needs of the EUPAW? Would
it be necessary to establish specific financial instruments and/or
dedicated resources to EU initiatives related to animal welfare?
Financial resources for the development and implementation of
EUPAW are modest but increasing
Further growth will be needed as the policy develops further
Could be benefit from more dedicated resources for animal welfare
FVO would benefit from more resources for inspection efforts
Substantial funding is provided to third parties through different EU
schemes – priority is to maximise the benefits of these
Member States devote substantial resources to research, and to
implementation and enforcement, exceeding EU expenditure
Q7: Possible options for the future
 Ensuring adequate growth in funding for the EUPAW over the next
action plan period, in line with the growing needs of the policy
 Ensuring that the FVO has sufficient funding to ensure adequate
levels of inspection and enforcement effort
 Examining the need for more dedicated budget lines dedicated to
support key aspects of animal welfare policy
 Ensuring sufficient EU resources for meeting the requirements of
the revised Experimental Animals Directive
 Emphasising the importance of CAP to animal welfare, as part of
the current CAP reform debate
Q8: To what extent does the EUPAW address the needs of
stakeholders and the EU citizens? Which areas need changes
concerning objectives, scope, management systems or processes?
EU citizens and stakeholders have diverse needs and expectations
– with varying emphasis on different aspects of EUPAW
General public support for EU’s approach to improving farm and
experimental animal welfare
No compelling case for changing general direction of the policy
Basic principles reaffirmed - policy should be clear, enforceable and
based on sound science and economics
Interests of different groups need to be balanced and taken into
account as the policy develops
Q8: Possible options for the future
While current arrangements appear to work well, a more formal
and structured approach to stakeholder engagement could be
considered in future (as part of a wider communications strategy)
Establishing working groups between Member States and the
Commission for dialogue/co-ordination on legislation, research
In consultation with stakeholder groups, assessing the need to
develop new modes of engagement over time, such as:
stakeholder platforms
online fora
advisory committees.
Q9: To what extent do the EUPAW intervention logic, objectives &
activities support or conflict with those of other EU policies? Are
they internally complementary, mutually supportive and consistent?
Elements of the EUPAW are broadly internally consistent and
coherent with other areas of EU policy
No major areas of conflict, but some specific examples of
tensions between the EUPAW and other policies
Some trade-offs between animal welfare and other policy goals
Examples of where different elements of the EUPAW (research,
legislation, communication & international activities) are mutually
supportive and support other EU policy areas
Q9: Possible options for the future
Consider addressing specific areas where there are apparent
conflicts, such as between rules for animal transport and driver
Q10: To what extent do animal welfare policies contribute to the
economic sustainability of the sectors concerned (farming and
experimental animals)?
Widely accepted that animal welfare policies increase costs of
businesses in the farming and experimental sectors
Estimated additional annual costs of €2.8 billion for farm animals,
€54 million for experimental animals ≈ 2% of overall output
Higher standards have business benefits, though usually
outweighed by costs
Limited evidence of the economic impact of EU legislation on the
sectors affected
Scale of impacts depends on economic factors in industries affected
Little independent evidence that animal welfare policies have
affected economic sustainability of the sectors concerned
Trade liberalisation could increase impacts in future
Q10: Possible options for the future
Rural development programmes can support investment and aid
adaptation to higher standards in the farming sector
Designing legislation to manage adverse impacts, e.g. through
phase in periods and flexible, outcome based standards
Targeted R&D for economically sustainable standards
Promoting development and harmonisation of labelling schemes
Examining role of public procurement and corporate social
responsibility in rewarding high standards
Further independent research to enhance understanding of
economic impacts, and particularly business benefits
Q11: What costs are involved in the management of the EUPAW for
the Member States' public administrations?
On-farm inspections, central policy costs , transport inspections
involve major costs in all MS
Regulation costs for experimental animals significant in some
Member States generally unable to give costs of national
administration of the EUPAW – best estimates have been made
Estimates of annual costs for 27 Member States:
Central costs €13 million; farm inspections €53 million; transport
inspections €14-15 million; slaughter inspections €24-25 million;
experimental animals €0.5 million [total of €105 million]
Data indicate large differences between Member States, due to
level of inspections and other issues
Q11: Possible options for the future
Improving dialogue between the Commission and Member
States in respect of data requirements, thus allowing exchange
of information on the data supplied and resolving apparent
This would also help to quantify the main areas of administration
costs and identify opportunities for cost reductions

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