28 June 2000
EU plea for animal welfare cash

THE EU is to call on trading partners to allow compensation for farmers who must adhere to higher animal welfare standards, reports the Financial Times.

The newspaper reports that a submission to the World Trade Organisation the EU will say it has no interest in erecting “unjustified” trade barriers.

However, the EU will argue that farmers in countries applying high standards should not be disadvantaged against competitors.

This is likely to revive accusations among “free trade” countries that the EU is using animal welfare as a hidden form of protectionism.

European farmers protest that new EU legislation on battery hen space requirements and transporting animals will place them at a disadvantage to less welfare-friendly competitors.

The submission will go to a special session of the WTO agriculture committee on Wednesday and Thursday (28 and 29 June) discussing reform of the farm sector.