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European Animal Welfare Law Conference in Brussels about "Animal Welfare in Constitutions" 02.02.2007

 
 
On February 1st, an international meeting about animal welfare law in the European Union and its member states was held in Brussels. On this occasion, the Foundation for the Animal in the Law (Stiftung für das Tier im Recht) had the honour of speaking about the importance of the implementation of animal welfare on a constitutional level.

The conference with the official title "Constitutional and Legislative Aspects of Animal Welfare in Europe – The Animal Welfare Action Plan as a Political and Legislative Challenge" was organised by "Vier Pfoten International" in Brussel's "Europe-quarter" and represented a platform for animal welfare law experts of the institutions and different member states of the European Union. The meeting enjoyed a noticable public interest and was also followed by exponents of the European Commission – the most important authority for legislation within the EU – and several members of the European Parliament.

After the official greeting words of the European Commissair Markos Kyprianou (Cyprus), the conference was opened by Jo Leinen, a German member of the European Parliament and important expert in environmental and constitutional law, with his keynote-speech. This was followed by reports from Despina Spanou (cabinet), Dr. Andrea Gavinelli (Animal Welfare Departement) and Dr. Hinrich Meyer-Gerbaulet on behalf of the European Commission. Further contributions came from the theologian, Dr. Heike Baranzke of the university of Bonn and different animal welfare law experts, such as Hans-Georg Kluge, David Bowles (RSPCA), Dr. Maya Neidenova and Dr. Despina Fruth Oprisan. Finally, Bernhard Kühnle, Director of the German Ministry for Food, Agricuture and Customer Protection spoke. The conference participants discussed numerous points, especially aspects of animal welfare law and politics, of the Union's activities and the European Animal Welfare Action Plan (AWAP). For details of  the programme of the conference, please click here.

It was a great honour for the Foundation for the Animal in the Law to be invited as the unique exponent from "outside Europe" – meaning from a non-member state of the Union – and to actively participate in the conference. Dr. Gieri Bolliger from the foundation, who has written a comprehensive dissertation about animal welfare legislation in Europe, addressed the importance of the implementation of animal welfare on a constitutional level in his speech. He highlighted that only few European countries (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia) have made this step until now. In Switzerland, animal welfare is anchored in the national constitution (Bundesverfassung) and thereby represents a state goal since 1973. Additionally, animal dignity is guaranteed by the Swiss constitution since 1992. With this constitutional system of animal welfare, Switzerland could be a good example to other countries and to the European Union. Here is a brief summary of Dr. Bolliger's speech: Summary



 
Further information:
» Vier-Pfoten-Constitutional and legislative Aspects of Animal Welfare
 

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