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March 3, 2015

Animals Need the Strongest Protection in Trade

Proposed EU-US free trade agreement must address animal protection

Humane Society International/Europe and World Animal Protection

  • Rhinos are experiencing a poaching epidemic. Christophe Cerisier/iStock

Animal protection must be firmly part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, Humane Society International and World Animal Protection will say at an event in Brussels today.

An Eagle Eye on TTIP, hosted by David Martin, Member of the European Parliament, will include discussion on ways TTIP may adversely impact the lives of:

  • Animals raised in farming
  • Animals used in testing of pesticides, chemicals and other regulated products
  • Wildlife in international trade

Both NGOs have been proactively engaged since the first round of negotiations on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure TTIP will not lower EU or US standards; and it will not undermine regulation or democratic processes.

Take action on TTIP if you live in the EU or if you live in the U.S.

Emily Rees, trade policy advisor at World Animal Protection said:
“TTIP must take full consideration of the public’s concern for the well-being of animals in farming.

“The EU has a duty to ensure that products available to European consumers respect EU legislation. Free trade agreements like TTIP can set conditions to ensure that the food we buy respects ethical values.

“The EU has banned the most extreme confinement systems, such as battery cages, veal crates, and keeping sows in stalls for the whole of their pregnancy, which continue to be used in the US. In the U.S, eggs from hens raised in battery cages are banned from sale in California, as these cages severely compromise animal welfare, yet these same eggs that contravene EU law can be sold to European consumers. TTIP should change this situation by setting conditions for the import of eggs from the U.S.”

Dr. Joanna Swabe, HSI's European Union executive director, said:
"The TTIP agreement could also give teeth to the legislation already in place to prevent illegal wildlife trade. This global black market activity threatens not just the survival of targeted wildlife species and wildlife habitat, but also security, good governance and economic development."

Rhinos and elephants, for example, are experiencing a poaching epidemic controlled by organised criminal networks, and proceeds from the illegal trade fund terrorist and other illegal activities. In the marine environment, many species are in danger of extinction as a result of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and subsidies that result in overfishing and depletion of stocks.

The Sustainable Development and Environment chapters of TTIP can serve as an opportunity for the EU and US to show global leadership in addressing excessive trade in wildlife, combating wildlife trafficking and preserving the earth’s natural resources. TTIP must include strong measures to protect wildlife threatened by trade, to implement and enforce critical multilateral environmental agreements, and to require strong penalties for those engaging in illegal wildlife trade and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Emily McIvor, policy director in Research & Toxicology at HSI, said:
"We are also working to advance the science of chemical and product safety assessment using modern human biology-based tools. Tens of millions of animals are still being used in laboratory research and product testing each year in the US and EU, despite a growing recognition that mice, dogs and other animals are often poor ‘models’ of human biology or the way chemicals or diseases affect people in the real world."

McIvor added: "The EU has made great progress, passing legislation that substantially reduces animal testing for pesticides and biocides, prohibiting the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals, introducing non-animal methods of vaccine batch testing, and reducing use of animals involved in chemical safety assessments as part of the REACH regulation. TTIP could help to achieve regulatory alignment of these and other 'best practices,' and provide a common mechanism for timely adaptation of testing and assessment methods to incorporate new non-animal approaches as they are validated."


Media Contacts, Humane Society International:
US: Raúl Arce-Contreras rcontreras@humanesociety.org +1 301-721-6440 (office), +1 240-620-3263 (mobile)
UK: Wendy Higgins whiggins@hsi.org +44 (0)7989 972 423

Media Contacts, World Animal Protection:
UK: Bev Boyle bevboyle@worldanimalprotection.org +44 (0)7968 415 856
UK: Kai Akram kaiakram@worldanimalprotection.org +44 (0)20 7239 0542

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