WTO’s recognition of animal welfare as a moral ground to legislate on trade welcomed
Posted on 25/11/2013
Today the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Dispute Panel has recognised the fact that animal welfare can be used as a moral ground to regulate trade. In its initial report published today the arguments used in the complaint brought by Canada and Norway against the European Union regulation forbidding the placing on the market of seal products derived from commercial hunts have been rejected.
The concerns raised by EU citizens are shared by those in other countries which have also introduced prohibitions on the trade in commercial seal products such as Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the US, Taiwan and Mexico and Canada and Norway should recognize this.
Eurogroup for Animals is of the opinion that Canada and Norway should now close the dispute and not appeal the decision.
I fully support the WTO dispute panel on their decision to hold that animal welfare is a relevant consideration when legislating.
I would now like to see the EU going further to protect animals by creating a senior appointed person whose sole responsibility it would be to ensure sentient animal welfare across the union. Their remit must include regulating transport of live animals, farm animal welfare, ending fur farming, stop subsidising bull rearing for bull-fighting, greatly reduce animal experimentation, end ritual slaughter exemption, enforce standards of welfare on EU farms and in EU slaughterhouses! There is a huge amount left to do in the EU!
Animals are more than property and the EU rapidly needs to move in this direction - and to apply the precautionary principle in all animal welfare matters.
By Dr P Bowen-Walker on 2013 11 27