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Jean Lambert London's Green MEP

Making Tracks: Demanding better conditions for Europe’s cows

Jean and Keith have lent their support to a new campaign calling for improved welfare for Europe’s 23 million dairy cows.  Due to a lack of specific legislation covering the needs of cows, standards of bovine welfare vary greatly across the EU, resulting in untold numbers suffering from painful illnesses such as mastitis and lameness, as well as low life expectancy.

A collective of organisations, including Compassion in World Farming, WSPA and Ben & Jerry’s, have joined forces in calling for a new law on cow welfare, using the recently launched European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI).  Under the ECI, Europeans have the power to propose new legislation on a specific issue if they gain one million signatures of support from around the EU.

The proposed EU Directive on Dairy Cow Welfare calls for common, specific and enforceable standards across Europe, including daily access to shelter and comfortable resting areas, a nutritious diet and fresh drinking water and a reduction in painful bovine diseases.

Once the petition has collected one million signatures, the initiative will be passed to the European Commission, who will consider whether to propose legislation in response to the concerns raised.

This article is taken from ‘Making Tracks’, a newsletter from the UK’s Green MEPs about their work on animal rights. To receive a copy by email or post please email or you can download a PDF copy of this newsletter.