More than 400 MEP candidates pledge to support better protection for wildlife in the next parliamentary term

With less than a month to go until the EU elections, a large number of prospective MEPs have already signed up to “Vote for Animals 2019”, committing to support animal welfare once elected.

Launched by the Eurogroup for Animals, the pledge campaign has already secured approximately 440
signatures from candidate MEPs from across the political spectrum and all EU Member States, and this number is growing every day.

The pledge calls on MEP candidates to ensure that animal sentience and its implications are acknowledged in all relevant legislative proposals. The signatories urge the European Commission to safeguard efficient enforcement and implementation of existing animal welfare legislation and to introduce better animal welfare standards in Europe.

Sweden, Denmark, Poland, France and Belgium have the highest percentage of candidates that have
signed the pledge.

AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection, a supporter of the initiative, is particularly pleased to see that the protection of wildlife is among candidates’ priorities. A majority of the signatories supports the adoption of an EU-wide positive list of exotic species that can be kept as pets, with a view to curbing the trade in exotic animals unsuited to captivity or that pose a public health risk. Supporters have also pledged to ban the use of wild animals in circuses throughout the EU, following the example of 24 Member States where this practice is no longer allowed or severely curtailed.

A poll conducted on AAP’s behalf revealed that 65% of Europeans consulted condemn the use of wild
animals in circuses.

“Previous generations of EU politicians have repeatedly failed to take the issue of wild animals in circuses seriously. As a result, incidents involving the public and wild circus animals continue to make headlines. Alongside the cruelty inflicted on the animals themselves, from being forced to perform unnatural behaviours and being housed in often squalid conditions, the practice also causes a number of health and safety issues. Exotic animals can be carriers of dangerous diseases, and circus animals regularly escape from their enclosures, harming or even killing people,” explained AAP’s Head of Public Policy Raquel Garcia-van der Walle.

Ahead of the polls across the Member States, Animal Advocacy and Protection thanks all those who have signed up to the pledge so far and looks forward to an EU which prioritises animal sentience, with increased protection for wildlife in all its forms.

AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection is an international animal welfare organization working for a better future for exotic, non-domesticated animals. AAP operates two rescue and rehabilitation facilities, one in the Netherlands (Stichting AAP) and one in Spain (AAP Primadomus), and is engaged in advocacy and campaigning for better legislation at regional, national and European level.