European Commission – DG SANCO
DG Health an Consumers` (SANCO) mission is to ensure and protect European citizens’ health, safety and consumer rights. In particular, it aims to empower consumers, protect and improve human health, ensure food is safe and wholesome, protect the health of animals and plants, promote the humane treatment of animals, the European values and the well-being of Europeans as requested by the Constitutional Treaty. DG SANCO’s work consists of aintaining and developing soundly based and proportionate policies, laws and programmes. In pursuing its goals it also aims to contribute to competitiveness, a sustainable environment and good relation with the EU’s international partners.
DG SANCO’s work in the field of the welfare and protection of animals is built on the recognition that animals are sentient beings and on the vision of integrating the farming of animals in good health and welfare conditions with several issues such as the safety of the food products and the respect of the environment in order to bring a real benefit for the global society.
In particular, it aims to ensure that animals do not endure avoidable pain or suffering, and obliges the owner/keeper of animals to respect minimum welfare requirements. To achieve this, SANCO develops and coordinates policy initiatives at EU level, in particular for farmed animals and also acts in the European Commission as facilitator for animal protection initiatives for wild species or companion animals. In addition it prepares EU legislation, performs social and economic studies and promotes research programs and scientific reviews.
SANCO is engaged in raising awareness among stakeholders as well as to promote animal welfare globally, achieving understanding and recognition of animal welfare issues at international level through international cooperation initiatives.
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicate poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries. It was established as an international financial institution in 1977 as one of the major outcomes of the 1974 World Food Conference organized in response to the food crises of the early 1970s that primarily affected the Sahelian countries of Africa. The conference resolved that “an International Fund for Agricultural Development should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects primarily for food production in the developing countries”. Its mission is to enable poor rural people to overcome poverty.
Seventy-five per cent of the world’s poorest people - 1.05 billion women, children and men - live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods.
Working with rural poor people, governments, donors, non-governmental organizations and many other partners, IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing rural poor peoples’ access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.
It is now one of the largest sources of development financing for agriculture and rural development in many developing countries.
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
The OIE, the World Organisation for Animal Health, is the intergovernmental organisation in charge of improving animal health worldwide. It was created by the International Agreement of 25 January 1924. The standards set by the Organisation are recognised as a global reference by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). In 2009, the OIE totalled 174 Member Countries and Territories, maintained permanent relations with 36 other international and regional organisations and had Regional and Sub-regional Offices on every continent. Through the implementation of the mandate received by its Members, the OIE collects, analyses and publishes the latest scientific information on control methods for animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans. The Organisation permanently informs Members of the situation and the evolution of these diseases and zoonoses worldwide. The OIE is in permanent contact with specialised international organisations that finance and support disease control programmes and provides them with technical support. It develops standards for use by its Member Countries to protect themselves from pathogens incursions while avoiding unjustified sanitary barriers. In the field of food safety, OIE activities mainly focus on eliminating hazards existing prior to the slaughter of animals or the primary processing of their products (meat, milk, eggs, etc.) that could be a risk for consumers.
Due to the close relationship between animal health and animal welfare, the OIE plays henceforth a key role as the leading international organisation for animal welfare. The OIE supports the national Veterinary Services in order to enable them to realize at best the mission they carry out for the benefit of the society and the entire international community. The OIE considers Veterinary Services to be an International Public Good and their compliance with international standards (structure, organisation, resources and capacities) as a public investment priority. The OIE tries hard to persuade developed countries and financial institutions to show solidarity with poor countries and their veterinary services. This solidarity works in the interest of all as one single country infected by a disease can represent a threat to all other countries. Through its veterinary services support programmes, thanks to the instrument called “PVS”, the OIE actively assists developing countries in aligning with international quality standards it adopts and publishes with the full approval of its Member Countries and Territories. To Member Countries and Territories that request capacity building, the OIE also provides expertise and training of senior officials for the improvement of sanitary governance and the preparation and implementation of animal disease control and eradication programmes.
Compassion in World Farming
Compassion in World Farming is the leading non-governmental organization (NGO) working internationally to advance the welfare of farm animals and to achieve a vibrant rural economy based on humane and environmentally sustainable farming methods. Founded by a farmer in 1967, Compassion’s headquarters are in the UK from where it co-ordinates a European Coalition of like-minded societies. Compassion also has offices and representatives in four continents, including in China.
Compassion has a strong track record in lobbying, research and education and played a key role in achieving UK and European Union (EU) phase-outs of some of the most damaging livestock production systems such as the keeping of calves in narrow crates for veal, the confinement of breeding sows in narrow crates throughout their pregnancies and the keeping of laying hens in barren battery cages.
Compassion initiated and led the EU-wide campaign to have animals recognized as “sentient beings” – a campaign which achieved success with the adoption of the Protocol on the protection and welfare of animals in the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997.
Compassion engages positively with farmers and the food industry, rewarding good practice, and has developed innovative resources on Good Agricultural Practice in Animal Welfare (available in English and Chinese). Compassion believes that rural livelihoods must be protected alongside the local environment, the global climate and the welfare of farm animals.
Compassion in World Farming has established the European Farmers Network (EFN) in collaboration with the Food Animal Initiative. The EFN is a network of farmers who meet good welfare and sustainability criteria and are keen to promote their ideas and practices within the European market. The long term aim is to establish an International Farmers Network. This could possibly be done in collaboration with FAO extension services.
Humane Society International (HSI)
Humane Society International (HSI) is the international arm of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a charitable nonprofit organization founded in 1954 with a constituency of more than ten million people, and incorporates both policy and on-the-ground programs in countries around the world.
HSI oversees and coordinates the work of The HSUS around the world, addressing animal issues that cross many borders and impact the lives of billions globally. Working with national and jurisdictional governments, multilateral entities, corporations, academic institutions, humane organizations, and individual animal protectionists, HSI finds practical, culturally sensitive, and long-term solutions to common animal issues, and advocates an ethic of respect and compassion for all life.
Among our many efforts include the development of trade capacity building programs; providing assistance in humane control of companion animal populations; advocating for higher welfare of farm animals and recommending improved practices and systems based on scientific research; stemming the illegal trade in wildlife; protecting endangered species and marine mammals, as well as their habitats; providing educational materials and trainings for organizations, industry, governmental, and international agencies; influencing international laws and policies to effect global change; and conducting international campaigns to reduce the suffering of animals. HSI also works closely with policymakers, conducting briefings and helping to draft legislation, regulations, policy statements, international treaties, free trade agreements, and resolutions affecting animals, and has category 1 consultative status with ECOSOC.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) works to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world by reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress. IFAW seeks to motivate the public to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote animal welfare and conservation policies that advance the well-being of both animals and people.
Protecting Marine Mammals
IFAW campaigns globally to stop commercial whaling and end the cruel and unnecessary seal hunt in Canada. IFAW also works to protect marine mammals from the threats of ocean noise, entanglement, and ship strike.
IFAW works on seven continents to protect vulnerable wildlife populations that are threatened by extinction, including protecting more than eight million acres of vital habitat and migration corridors for elephants, tigers, bears, rhinos and other wildlife. IFAW campaigns worldwide to prevent resumption of the international ivory trade that could easily wipe out what remains of once mighty herds of African and Asian elephants.
Caring for Cats and Dogs
From the townships of South Africa to the Navajo Nation in the United States, IFAW provides crucial veterinary care for dogs and cats in impoverished communities worldwide.
Providing Hands-On Help
IFAW emergency relief teams are deployed where needed most to assist animals in distress, including oiled wildlife, stranded marine mammals, and animals caught in natural disasters. IFAW is leading the way in rehabilitating rescued wildlife and returning them to the wild.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)
Founded in 1824, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) works in England and Wales to prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering of all animals. As the oldest animal charity in the world, it has over 80 animal shelters, centres and veterinary clinics, 330 inspectors that enforce the animal legislation. The RSPCA plays an active part in disease contingency planning in Wales and England, and works with the government to counter outbreaks of diseases such as the Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Avian Influenza. The RSPCA has programmes in more than 50 countries globally and works primarily in East Asia and Europe though it has recently started programmes in Malawi and Zambia that straddle human development/animal welfare issues.
The RSPCA is the only organisation to collect statistics on all aspects of animal welfare in the UK, which are published annually (www.rspca.org.uk). These are collected on 29 indicators for farm and pet animals, wildlife and animals used in research. The RSPCA writes the standards for the only animal welfare assurance scheme in the UK, Freedom Food. Standards are now agreed for 11 species and are used in countries such as the USA, Argentina and Thailand as the basis for domestic standards for national assurance schemes.
Freedom Food farms now have over 24% of all pigs in the UK, 35% of all laying hens and of 19% of ducks.
The Brooke is the UK’s leading overseas equine welfare charity and our aim is to improve the lives of horses, donkeys and mules working in the poorest parts of the world. These animals form the backbone of the economy in many developing countries, supporting countless poor communities where many people earn less than a dollar a day. The Brooke’s mobile vet teams and community animal health workers, and our partner organisations worldwide, provide free treatment to animals and train animal owners, local healers, farriers, saddlers, feed sellers, harness and cart makers. We currently operate across ten countries in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Middle East. The enormous difference the Brooke makes is thanks to the kindness of our supporters and the dedication, care and compassion of our local vets and community workers. Our work is underpinned by unique and proven methods developed with Bristol University Veterinary School. We have over 800 highly-skilled staff working directly in the field. Our goal is that by 2016, Brooke will have increased the number of working animals we reach from 700,000 to measurably improving the lives of 2 million suffering horses, donkeys and mules who need our help most in the world.
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is the world’s largest alliance of animal welfare organisations. Through partnership with hundreds of member societies we strive to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends. We bring about change at both grassroots and governmental levels, to benefit animals. We support and develop high profile campaigns, scientifically-backed projects and innovative education initiatives, and focus on four core areas: Farm animals; Animals in disaster zones; Companion animals and working equines; and Wildlife. With our member societies, governments, international agencies and other partners, we strive to fulfill our vision: a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends.
International Dairy Federation (IDF)
IDF is the pre-eminent source of scientific and technical expertise for all stakeholders of the dairy chain. Membership covers 56 countries and accounts for about 86% of current total milk production worldwide. The mission of IDF is to represent the dairy sector worldwide by providing the best global source of scientific expertise and knowledge in support of the development and promotion of quality milk and dairy products to deliver consumers with nutrition, health and well-being. IDF’s membership is made up of National Committees, constituted by dairy organizations in each country and representing as fully as possible the various dairying activities of the country (such as milk production, manufacture, distribution, technology, science, human nutrition, marketing, economics, education and administration). One of IDF’s key tasks is to provide sciencebased information for the benefit of the dairy sector as well as to international organizations, governments and legislators. There are currently about 1200 experts from IDF member countries and beyond involved in IDF work projects in 8 strategic working areas: analytical methods, animal health and animal welfare, dairy farming, dairy science and technology, economics, environment, food standards, hygiene and safety and nutrition.
World Veterinary Association (WVA)
The World Veterinary Association is a federation of over 80 national veterinary medical associations throughout the World. We also have regional, specialist, and observer veterinary association members. The WVA is the internationally recognized representative of global veterinary medicine. It was founded in 1863 in Hamburg, Germany, but was completely reorganized in 1997. The WVA has collaborative agreements with: the OIE, FAO and WHO. The three main issues of WVA are, in the One World-One health concept, animal health, animal welfare and public health.
Latin American Poultry Association (ALA)
ALA is a non governmental organization that, applying equitable and transparent principle, seeks collaboration among member countries. Exchanging and disseminating knowledge, technology and expertise, respecting the environment and fostering fair competitiveness. It represents the Latin American Poultry sector, and supports its competitive development in a global environment.
Its mission is to foster health and production in the Latin American poultry, for this in turn to provide nutritious, accessible and high quality food, to generate employment and wealth in the region.
International Egg Commission
Founded in 1964, the International Egg Commission (IEC) is the only trade association that represents the interest of egg farmers, egg graders and processors with international and intergovernmental organisations. The IEC brings together the egg industry leaders from over 60 countries to discuss and address global issues such as trade, production, bird management, animal welfare and sustainability. In 2006, the IEC signed an agreement with the World Animal Health organisation (OIE) to join forces on issues of common interest like disease control, zoonoses and animal welfare. The IEC is currently seating as one of the 3 industry representatives on the OIE permanent working group on animal welfare. In 2011, the IEC signed an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to collaborate on various issues like the fight against undernourishment in the developing world, the environmental performance of the egg industry and the well-being and care of laying hens. The IEC is also actively representing the global egg industry in other international gatherings, be it intergovernmental organizations like Codex or private standards setting organizations like the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), part of the Consumers Goods Forum and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
International Wool Textile Organisation
The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) has been the recognized global authority for standards in the wool textile industry since 1930.
With a membership drawn from 22 countries encompassing the wool pipeline “from sheep to shop”, IWTO represents the interests of the world’s wool textile trade at the international level.
By facilitating industry strategy and ensuring standards in manufacturing and sustainability, IWTO fosters connection between members and stakeholders through mutual support of opportunities for wool.
In 2013, IWTO signed an agreement with the World Animal Health organization (OIE) as well as with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for further collaboration on animal health and welfare. IWTO also publishes the International Guidelines for Wool Sheep Welfare.