Edited by Alessandro Bonanno and Lawrence Busch
Chapter 15: Animal welfare: The challenges of implementing a common legislation in Europe
The implementation of European Union (EU) legislation on animal welfare varies across the 28 member states in relation to the organization of the process and the results achieved (Evans and Miele 2007; Miele and Lever 2014). Recently, there has been an intensification of the non-compliance of several member states, as denounced by several influential animal welfare non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In all member states, EU regulations have to be directly implemented; however, national authorities are in charge of the transposition of EU directives into national legislation and the follow up of EU regulations. Animal welfare issues have gained very different levels of attention in the political agenda of the EU members: in some countries, EU legislation is integrated into an already existing national policy for animal welfare, while in other countries there are no specific animal welfare policies. There are also considerable differences in the extent to which private actors such as farmers, processors, retailers and NGOs are invited to discuss and prepare the implementation of the EU regulation in collaboration with the national authorities or with regional authorities where regional governments are responsible for animal welfare policy.
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