Agriculture ministers call to strengthen farm animal welfare laws in Europe

Press release

16 December 2019: Ministers of Agriculture from across the European Union have this week called for action to strengthen pig welfare laws and to end painful procedures on farms.

This welcome move by Ministers, follows the success of the End the Cage Age initiative that saw 1.6 million people across Europe call for stronger farm animal welfare laws.

The Council of the EU Conclusions on Animal Welfare published this week, acknowledge that good animal welfare improves animal health and reduces the need to routinely use antibiotics, helping to tackle the growing superbug crisis.

Most people aren’t aware that in their first week of life, piglets are forced to endure painful mutilations, often without pain relief. This includes having their tails cut off, their ears being notched to identify them, their teeth clipped, and male piglets being castrated. 

Earlier this year, World Animal Protection brought together a group of experts and stakeholders from across the swine industry to explore the issues surrounding ending painful piglet procedures. The group known as The 3Ts Alliance have called for an end to surgical castration, tail cutting and teeth reduction of week-old piglets.

Jacqui Mills, Head of Farming at World Animal Protection said: “The painful mutilations of sentient farm animals to prop-up poor factory farming procedures is indefensible. This is a clarion call from the Agriculture Ministers of Europe and the industry must sit up and take notice.

“Good animal welfare is good for animals, people and business.”

World Animal Protection is calling upon the food industry to improve the welfare of pigs in their supply chains through their Raise Pigs Right campaign.

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Notes to editors

Surveys show 94% of EU citizens think that protecting the welfare of farm animals is important (Eurobarometer, 2016).

World Animal Protection has moved the world to protect animals for more than 50 years. World Animal Protection works to give animals a better life. The organisation’s activities include working with companies to ensure high standards of welfare for the animals in their care; working with governments and other stakeholders to prevent wild animals being cruelly traded, trapped or killed; and saving the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them in disaster situations. World Animal Protection influences decision-makers to put animals on the global agenda and inspires people to change animals’ lives for the better.

To learn more about World Animal Protection campaigns, our news and successes, and how you can take action for animals, visit:

“Good animal welfare is good for animals, people and business.