After the bill was officially approved by the EU, animal welfare organisation Eurogroup for Animals welcomed the move.
“We have worked hard to get this result and I am proud to say that thanks to our advocacy efforts and the support of key actors in the EU institutions, every animal holder in Europe will need to follow good animal husbandry practices and use medicine in a prudent and responsible way,” said Reineke Hameleers, director of Eurogroup for Animals.
“In addition to acknowledging the important role of veterinarians and pet owners in caring for animals, the new law will ensure that disease control measures take animal welfare into account, sparing animals any avoidable pain, distress or suffering.
“Stakeholder consultation requirements in the context of contingency planning will allow animal welfare organisations to support the best possible outcomes for animals. Moreover, the law introduces important prevention mechanisms to avoid disease outbreaks.”
The bill pulls together more than 40 different animal health laws from across Europe into a single statute to help prevent the spread of animal diseases like bird flu, African swine fever and mad cow disease.
With the value of EU livestock estimated by to be worth somewhere in the region of €159bn ($171bn), the new regulation was created to help Europe act swiftly and decisively in the case of a disease outbreak.