Anneliese Dodds MEP

The South East's Voice in Europe

Compassion in World Farming

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Last week Anneliese visited the headquarters of Compassion in World Farming in Godalming, Surrey.

The organisation was founded in 1967 by a British farmer, Peter Roberts, and his wife Anna who had become concerned at the growing disconnect between modern agriculture and the well-being of animals and the environment. Appalled by the cages and crates that had started to become common-place they set up Compassion in World Farming.

Today they lead a growing worldwide movement of people concerned about how factory farming mistreats animals, wastes precious resources and utterly fails to meet the needs of the planet's inhabitants.

Anneliese said: "As a member of the European Parliament's Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals the promotion of animal welfare is one of my key concerns. It was good to visit Compassion in World Farming and talk about how we can work together to continue to improve the welfare of animals in the EU and throughout the world."

The EU has had a good record on animal welfare - often under pressure from Labour MEPs. Over the last few years Labour MEPs have:

* approved new rules for the labelling of eggs so that consumers can identify them as free range, barn or cage

* helped create new rules to improve animal welfare during scientific experimentation- and would have done more if not opposed by Conservative and Lib Dem MEPs and others

* brought in new rules on fisheries to stop the practice of 'discards' and ensure sustainable fish stocks, and enable the creation of an EU-wide 'sustainable' fish label

* banned the testing of cosmetics on animals and the marketing in Europe of any new cosmetics tested on animals outside the EU

* tightened up rules on the transport of live animals across Europe

* introduced "passports for pets". Since 2004 quarantine-free travel has been introduced for guinea pigs, rabbits, chinchillas and hamsters (thus extending legislation, which came into force in 2000 for dogs and cats) provided they meet strict health and safety criteria

* adapted laws to end battery cages for hens and reduced the stocking densities allowed for broiler chickens

* brought in a total ban on the trade in cat and dog fur and campaigned for an end to the seal fur trade

* voted for real fur to always be labelled as such, so that consumers can choose to avoid it if they want

* supported new stricter standards for tuna fishing to end dolphin deaths and prevent danger to other species such as turtles and sharks

* voted to unequivocally end the cruel practice of 'shark finning' aboard ship

* agreed rules banning the selling of seal products across the EU

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