ANIMAL WELFARE (5734/06)
Letter from the Chairman to Ben Bradshaw
MP, Minister for Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare,
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Thank you for your Explanatory Memorandum of
9 February 2006 which Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture)
considered at its meeting on 8 March 2006.
The Committee decided to clear the Communication
from scrutiny. We would be grateful to know how the EU proposals
set out in the Communication would integrate with the objectives
of the UK Animal Welfare Bill currently before Parliament.
8 March 2006
Letter from Ben Bradshaw MP to the Chairman
Thank you for your letter of 8 March 2006 on
the Commission Communication concerning a Community Action Plan
on the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2006-10. You have asked
for clarification as to how the proposals in the Action Plan will
integrate with the UK Animal Welfare Bill.
The EU Action Plan and the Animal Welfare Bill
are of course very different. The Bill is a piece of legislation
that sits in the framework of our Animal Health and Welfare Strategy
and applies to England and Wales; the Action Plan is a strategic
document that sets out the EU's proposed actions on animal welfare
until 2010, only some of which are legislative. The Bill covers
most animals that are not wild, although its main impact will
be on non-farmed captive animals; the Action Plan is largely focussed
on the welfare of farmed animals although it also covers animals
used in research and some trade issues.
There are, however, also some common themes.
For example both are intended to improve animal welfare and to
ensure that satisfactory minimum legislative standards are in
place. Both also aim to simplify and consolidate existing legislative
controls. The Action Plan aims to ensure animal keepers and the
general public have information about animal welfare so that they
understand their role in protecting the welfare of animals. The
Animal Welfare Bill provides for codes of practice to ensure that
those responsible for animals have the necessary knowledge to
ensure their animals' welfare. The EU Action Plan includes the
aim of improving enforcement across the EU; the Bill introduces
a more coherent approach to enforcement in England and Wales.
I do not regard them as comparable or equivalent
documents. But the two are mutually consistent.
I hope this is helpful.
27 March 2006