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Modest deal is reached at Cauncun summit

Modest deal is reached at Cancun summit


At the UN Climate Change Conference that took place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010, all the major economies agree to cut emissions and establish a fund to help nations most vulnerable to climate change. However the agreement is not enough to meet the promise of keeping global temperature rise to 2°C. The agreement will help to prevent deforestation, promote the transfer of low carbon technologies to developing countries and, by 2020, establish a green fund potentially worth $100bn a year, to shield the more vulnerable countries from climate change. However, governments failed to reach agreement on how far overall global emissions should be cut, giving no follow up at the Kyoto Protocol that take end in 2012. The next conference will take place in Durban, South Africa in 2011. You can read more information on the UNFCCC website. EFBA strongly supports any decision that can reduce global emissions impacting on Climate Change. The European fur-farming is an excellent example of an agricultural activity  taking care of the environement: we have modern farm management, minimum transportation inducing minimum CO2 emissions, fur animals are not only used for their fur but the carcasses are recycled in biofuels production... 

EU budget for 2011 in the final stage

EU budget for 2011 in the final stage


The Committee of Permanent Representatives approved on 1December, the new draft EU budget for 2011 presented by the European Commission on 26 November making no change to it. The agreement with the European Parliament had already been reached before the conciliation talks broke down, on 15 November. At the same time, MEPs prepare the three-way meeting between Council, Parliament and Commission in order to straighten out outstanding differences. If an agreement is found, the BUG committee will adopt it on 8 December, thus putting it on track to be approved by the plenary, on 13-16 December.  

Tackling Climate Change with EU fur-farming

Fur-farming wants to be part in the fight against Climate Change.


European fur-farming has good arguments to assert as a green agricultural activity. Indeed, fur-farmed animals are not only used for their fur but carcasses are also processed into biodiesel production. Manure is composted and recycled as natural fertilizer, reducing our dependence on synthetic chemical fertilizer. Modern farm management practices also limit water consumption without compromising animal comfort or welfare. All this while supporting thousands of EU farm families and rural communities. This is the message we want to share to the public and EU decision makers who are in Cancun to decide on the future fight against Climate Change. EFBA strongly supports any initiative that can provide solutions to the overall Climate Change problem.

Dacian Ciolos Agri Commissioner

European Commission unveils its communication over the CAP


On 18 November, the European Commission presented its communication on the CAP entitled "The CAP towards 2020". In a context of budget austerity and heated debates by the 27 member states on the role of the CAP (40% of the EU budget), " we have to come to terms with reality" says Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos. The reform has to be in place at the beginning of January 2014. It has three objectives, explained Ciolos: 1/ secure food supply, with quality and safe products; 2/ sustainable use of natural resources which also offers economic advantages over the longer term; 3/ equitable development of rural territories. These objectives must be found in both of the CAP's pillars. The European Parliament is expected to pass a resolution next summer on the Commission's communication. The Committee on Agriculture (AGRI) will have first airing of views with Commission representatives, on 30 November and 1 December. The agricultural professional organisations and cooperatives (Copa-Cogeca) and the EFBA regret the absence in the Commission's communication of concrete measures to guarantee a competitive and dynamic agricultural sector, prepared to meet the challenges of food security, volatile markets and climate change. Instead, they note, the main proposal is to require operators to provide additional mandatory environmental services, but without mentioning the possibility of additional financing to cover the extra costs of these actions. The results, claims Copa-Cogeca, would simply be further deterioration of producers' earnings and greater weakening of their position compared with imports from third countries and on the global market.

European fur-farming: 120,000 success stories

European fur-farming: 120,000 success stories


This is what we can read in the Parliament Magazine of 7 November. The Communication campaign of the European Fur Breeders' Association and the International Fur Trade Federation continues. We want to stress that the fur sector is a significant part of the agricultural economy. We provide jobs and revenues as from farmers to designers and retails, many ten thousand of people living in rural areas. Our campaign and communication is available in the PDF below.

 » European fur-farming: 120,000 success stories


Nagoya (Japan) conference sets 2020 global biodiversity targets


By 2020 the rate of loss of all natural habitats including forests should be more than halved and where feasible "brought close to zero", whilst the world's land area devoted to nature reserves should be increased to 17%, according to a declaration by Global Environment Ministers at the international biodiversity summit in Nagoya last week. Negotiators agree on 20 headline targets for the 2011-2020 period. Ministers also called to maintain the genetic diversity of cultivated plants as well as farmed animals in an attempt to "minimize genetic erosion". The EFBA and the 7,200 European fur farmers make very efforts to safeguard the biodiversity by breeding only domesticated animals. European fur-farming sector uses responsible practices. The European Commission will be forward with its own biodiversity strategy by the end of the year. More information available on

Irresponsible and suspicious acts for Spanish activists

Irresponsible and suspicious acts for Spanish activists


On 23 October, a Spanish fur-farm has been attacked by activists from the group "Igualda Animal". They entered illegally into the farm and released up to 300 animals. Fortunately all the animals have been recovered thanks to the control patrol and the farmer. Investigation will start in order to capture those eco-terrorists who cause severe outcomes for the farmer but most importantly for the danger it might represent for the farmer and his family. Last week, the same group of activists has circulated images of injured fur-farmed animals in the local press. However, Spanish fur-farms are inspected every month and none have such animals in the conditions depicted in the press. Following this, investigations will also take place on the material used by the activists. The European Fur Breeders' Association strongly supports the farmer attacked by the eco-terrorists and will follow the case carefully with the Spanish farmers and local authorities.



Veterinarian controls confirm excellent animal welfare in European fur farms

Veterinarian controls confirm excellent animal welfare in European fur farms


This is the title we can read in the Parliament Magazine issue of 11 October. Indeed, the European Fur Breeders' Association is proud to share the conclusion of a recent report published by the Food Administration of Denmark which shows that "disease incidence and mortality of mink is at a low level that is significantly below that of other livestock in Denmark". This excellent news confirms that animal welfare is a key priority for our European fur-farmers. The full publication can be downloaded in the PDF document below:

 » Veterinarian controls confirm excellent animal welfare in European fur farms

Situation blocked in the Netherlands about fur-farming

Situation blocked in the Netherlands about fur-farming


The ban proposal initiated by Van Velzen and Waalkens in September 2009 was discussed yesterday at the Upper Chamber of the Netherlands. After two hours of intense discussion, the situation remains difficult and the main conclusions are: 1. It has been recognised that the bill is not a good one; 2. Therefore the initiators have by the end of November 2010 to write a letter to the President of the Upper Chamber in which they will detail their position concerning the adoption procedure. The process is thus postponed for a few weeks and more.

Green CAP

Dacian Ciolos wants a CAP greener than ever


EU Farm Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, speaks in favor of more environment-targeted measures within the Common Agricultural Policy's first Pillar. Ciolos stressed that the CAP should promote and enhance famers' efforts to protect the quality of soil, water and biodiversity. He outlined that three main elements should underpin the CAP architecture: 1. Guarantee European's food security and meet in growing global demand; 2. Natural resources must be managed on a sustainable basis (water, soil, biodiversity, climate change); 3. Ensure fair territorial development. Padraig Walshe, President of Copa Cogeca, the European association of European farmers, warned the Commissioner that "if you keep piling on regulation after regulation and constraint after constraint you will simply ruin the competitiveness of farming". The best way to ensure the environment is looked after is to ensure farmers receive a fair revenue.  The European Commission plans to adopt the communication on the CAP on 17 November 2010. It will foreshadow the legislative proposals to be adopted in July 2011 for the post-2013 policy.

A new irresponsible attack in a Swedish fur-farm

A new irresponsible attack against Swedish fur-farm


A Swedish fur-farm has been attacked on the night of 9 October 2010. Eco-terrorists released up to 3800 minks by opening all the cages from the whole farm. The Swedish Fur Breeders' Association (Sveriges Pälsdjursuppfödares Riksförbund, SPR) and the European Fur Breeders' Association (EFBA) support the Swedish fur-farmer. Both organisations strongly oppose to this unacceptable attack that is causing severe outcomes for the farmer but most importantly for the danger it might represent for his security and for the biodiversity. Activists call these attacks on fur farms "civic activism". As a matter of fact, it is pure terrorism against a legal agricultural activity. In the USA, those people are considered as eco-terrorists by the FBI. The farmer makes every effort to recollect the animals in order to safeguard nature and biodiversity.

A Swedish fur-farm attacked by activists

A Swedish fur-farm attacked by activists


In Sweden, during the night of 3 October, a Swedish fur-farm has been attacked by activists who destroyed material to release up to 17,000 minks. The Swedish Fur Breeders' Association and the European Fur Breeders' Association strongly oppose to those irresponsible acts that cause severe outcomes for the farmer but most importantly for the danger it might represent for the security of the farmer and for the biodiversity. With the help of neighbors, the farmer makes every effort to recollect the animals released in order to safeguard nature and biodiversity.

Dangerous and irresponsible attack against a fur-farm in Ireland

Dangerous and irresponsible attack against a fur-farm in Ireland


On the night of 25 September 2010, activists entered illegally into the farm of an Irish fur-farmer to destroy material and finally release 5,000 minks. Both organisations strongly oppose to this unacceptable attack that is causing severe outcomes for the farmer but most importantly for the danger it might represent for his security and for the biodiversity. The only way that the farmer can defense himself, as well as his employees, is to further inform the public on the reality of his job and to provide the best care to the animals. The farmer breeds domesticated mink for more than 40 years. Activists call these attacks on fur farms "civic activism". As a matter of fact, it is pure terrorism against a legal agricultural activity. In the USA, those people are considered as eco-terrorists by the FBI. Thanks to the help of neighbors, the farmer was able to recollect more than 4,500 of the animals released, so far.


General elections in Sweden

General elections in Sweden, EFBA member: new political landscape with far-right in the Parliament.


Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's centre-right bloc won 49.2 percent of votes and 172 seats in Sweden's 349-seat legislature in Sunday's vote, three short of a majority, according to a final ballot count.
The left-wing opposition coalition garnered 43.7 percent of the ballot and 157 seats, marking a crushing defeat for Social Democrat Mona Sahlin, 53. The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats' entry into parliament with 5.7 percent of the vote for 20 seats will mark a big change in the new Sweden political landscape. The far-right party could play either kingmaker or spoiler, forcing Reinfeldt to seek new alliances or even make it so difficult to govern that snap polls are forced. The Green Party scored its best election result ever with 7.2 percent of the vote. Reinfeldt's win spelled a decisive end to the rival Social Democrats' 80-year domination of Swedish politics. The General Elections take place every four years and discussions are under way to form a coalition in the government.  

red point

Attack against 2 fur-farms in GREECE


Attack against 2 fur-farms in GREECE

Considered as extremist by the FBI, Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claims the responsibility for the attack in Greece where 52.000 have been released into the wild on the night of 27 and 28 august 2010.

The first hit was in Heliodendro Kastoria where all the cages in the 37 sheds of the farm have been opened and also severe damages to the machinery and materials have been done. The fences were cut so that animals released could also get out of the farm walls as well. The second attack happened in kaloneri, Siatista in another mink far. This time 8 sheds of minks were opened and minks released. Gates of the farms were opened with the consequence that minks went also into the wild. Total 2000 minks released. At the end of the week more than 65% of minks were dead and the rest captured or killed by hunters.

The investigation by the national authorities is still ongoing.

EFBA and all its national associations strongly oppose to those unacceptable and irresponsible attacks that are causing severe outcomes for farmers but most importantly for the danger that its represent for the biodiversity.


red point

TV show and a press release Sweden


The Djurrattalliansen (The Animal Welfare Act) has released a TV show and a press release on a Swedish TV Channel "SVT" on the evening of 9 of August 2010. In the TV programme and on their website, pictures could be found from 17 mink farms about bad treatments on animals and also animals in extremely bad conditions.  

EFBA together with the Swedish association is taking action on this case and is watching very closely the media. We are also verifying all the documents and information's that have been released in order to see if they are accurate and true. The authorities have already inspected 40 percent of the Swedish farms with small or none failure. So today we can already say that those information's are not reflecting the truth and the situation of fur farming in Sweden! We sent a press release (enclosed the press) The investigation by the national authorities is still ongoing.

EFBA totally disapproves these unacceptable methods depicted on a very small number of Swedish fur-farms.


 » TV Show & Press release Sweden

New Guide to the Belgian Presidency of the European Union

New Guide to the Belgian Presidency of the European Union


You want to discover some external insights and internal analysis pieces on the Belgian presidency priorities, as well as some information on how Belgium works, some key, fun and useful facts & links, and the opportunity to meet some real Belgian people? Please find through the link below the publication of the new "Guide to the Belgian Presidency of the European Union": 

European Commission

European Commission launches first Newsletter on Animal Welfare


Today is the publication of the first biannual Animal Welfare Newsletter of the European Commission. The newsletter aims to raise awareness about initiatives and work in the field of Animal Welfare among stakeholders, professionals, NGOs and members of the public. This first issue focuses on the importance of the Lisbon Treaty's recognition of animals as "sentient beings". It also emphasises Commission's recent process of evaluation of its policy on animal welfare towards the elaboration of a new European strategy on animal welfare. The newsletter can be accessed following this link



Animal welfare education

New Commission website on animal welfare education


The EU is determined to widen the impact of education about animal welfare, partly as a response to the Treaty of Lisbon that defines animals as "sentient beings." Furthermore, concerns over animal welfare reflect the EU's own values of solidarity, respect, compassion, empathy and a sense of justice and consideration for others. Animal welfare is also part of the quality attributes that EU consumers are giving to animal products. To this end, the European Commission has launched a new website on animal welfare education in order to support and further inform interested parties on the First International Conference on Animal Welfare Education, organised by the Commission and the Belgian Presidency of the European Union on October 1-2 in Brussels. A special section of the website is dedicated to the online version of the animal welfare drawing contest for children from 6 to 13 years old, The website can be accessed following this link:

Belgian flag

Belgium takes over the helm of the EU Council Presidency


After six months of Spanish Presidency, it is today the turn of Belgium to preside the EU Council for the second half of 2010. Belgium's presidency comes at a moment when many changes are being made at both, national and European levels. After general election held on June 13, the Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme's government is expected to remain in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed in the autumn. Although the country is politically divided, there is remarkable consensus about the EU. All the political parties are supportive of the EU and prepared to support the Belgian Presidency. From an agricultural point of view, discussions will focus on the Commission Communication on the future CAP post-2013, the future of the EU Budget, the proposed legislative package dairy & the revision of the EU quality policy, as signaled by Belgian Farm Minister, Sabine Laruelle. You can follow the Belgian EU Presidency on the website created to this occasion: The full programme of the Belgian Presidency for the next 6 months is available in the PDF document below.

 » Programme of the Belgian Presidency of the EU Council

Fur-farming supports Greek economy and rural development

Fur-farming supports Greek economy and rural development


The experience of a Greek fur-farmer published in the European press. "I love to work with nature and animals. I give them the best care as it impacts directly on the quality of the fur and thus the results of my job. Fur is a very fashionable and sustainable industry" says a Greek fur-farmer in the Parliament Magazine. Read the full story on the PDG document below.

 » The experience of a Greek fur-farmer in the European press

Priorities of Belgian EU Presidency

Priorities of Belgian EU Presidency


Two weeks ahead of the start of the Belgian EU Council Presidency, the country's six-month programme was approved at a joint meeting of all the governments, on 16 June in Brussels. The Belgian Presidency will focus on six priorities: 1/ exiting the crisis and restoring growth; 2/ fostering social progress and combating poverty and social exclusion; 3/ relaunch of the climate and environment negotiations; 4/ further development of the area of justice, freedom and security; 5/ the Union's influence in the world and enlargement; 6/ implementation of the Lisbon Treaty. Belgium will also stress specific points such as supervision of the financial sector; the encouragement of ‘green jobs'; implementation of the citizens' initiative... Belgian EU Council Presidency will officially start on 1 July.

Biodiversity has more and more the same attention as Climate Change

Biodiversity has more and more the same attention as Climate Change


After 2 years of debate by nearly 90 countries, the establishment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was approved on 11 June in South Korea. It is composed of a group of international scientific experts on biodiversity within the framework of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This body will be the equivalent of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will promote the inclusion of biodiversity considerations in policy making, in the same way that climate considerations are taken into account.

European fur-farming and fur trade are in the European press

European fur-farming and fur trade are in the European press


On the occasion of the green week the European fur farming and fur trade want to show that the fur sector works in harmony with nature! The European fur-farming sector is an excellent example of an activity based on natural, renewable and sustainable resources. The byproducts of fur farming itself, such as animal fats are used in the production of bio-diesel.  C02 neutral energy is also produced from the incineration of the rest of the carcass.   Manure from the fur farms is collected  and recycled as agricultural fertilizer.    In this way, the entire animal is used... The full advertising is available on the PDF document below

 » European fur-farming and fur trade work in harmony with nature

Two new instruments for monitoring biodiversity

Two new instruments for monitoring biodiversity


On the occasion of the Green Week that was hold last week, the European Commission presented two new instruments in order to fill the gaps in knowledge about the state of biodiversity. The first one is a new web portal, BISE (the Biodiversity Information System for Europe), centralizes all information concerning European biodiversity, EU policy and legislation in the area of nature, the research in biodiversity that is going around the EU... You can access to the tool via the link The other instrument Is a biodiversity baseline. It is addressed to policy makers and offers a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of biodiversity. The baseline is defined by the European Environment Agency and the European Commission and will be used to monitor progress in the renewed efforts to halting biodiversity loss, and will allow trends beyond 2010 to be clearly established and measured. This second tool is available at

Talks on reform of post-2013 CAP

Talks on reform of post-2013 CAP


At the informal Agriculture Council held on beginning of June in Merida, Spain, a clear majority of ministers stressed the need to place research, innovation and competitiveness at the heart of the new CAP. Ciolos hopes the agriculture budget can be maintained from 2014 but said adaptations would be needed. Commissioner Ciolos recommended however better resource management and more intelligible measures and criteria for direct support. Positions still differ considerably on the criteria of direct support which account for more than 25% of European producers' income and play an important role by facilitating access to credit. The European Commission will come with its communication on reform of the post-2013 CAP for the second week of November.

A low key image of the European Parliament

A low key image of the European Parliament


A European survey conducted from 29 January to 17 February among more than 26,000 people from the 27 member states shows that a majority of people (55%) wish to see the EP play a more important role. It also shows that respondents retain very little knowledge of Parliament's activities and two thirds admit to being poorly informed. 40% consider the EP to be dynamic and 43% think the opposite. 38% find that it is attentive to citizens while 49% have the opposite view. The respondents would like to see the institutions focus as a priority on crisis and relief policies, in particular the fight against poverty and social exclusion, followed by consumer protection and public health, and then climate change. Protection of human rights is at the top value of the persons surveyed.

EFBA Annual Report 2009

EFBA Annual Report 2009 is online with a dynamic and original presentation


The European Fur Breeders' Association (EFBA) is pleased to inform you that our new Annual Report 2009 is now available on our Fact Sheet webpage. This report provides a broad summary of the association's activities in 2009. It is intended for anyone who wants to find out more about the EFBA's environment, daily operation, evolution and growth perspectives of the fur-farming in Europe. We wish you a good reading.

Better regulation for animal experimentation

Better regulation for animal experimentation


The EU Council of Ministers approved yesterday a directive that aims to improve animal welfare on animal experimentation without harming health and research. Scientific experiments on animals will be better controlled and restrictive measures will be taken to protect them. The directive relates in particular to the introduction of alternative methods, which cause less pain and distress, better regulation on the use of primates, and classification of the severity of tests and controls to be undertaken in order to ensure conformity. As a general rule, animals taken from the wild will not be allowed to be used in experiments, with some exceptions. Experiments using animals will require prior evaluation and authorization. The decision will be formally adopted during a future Council session.

WelFur project is in the European press

WelFur project is in the European press


In the continuation of our communication campaign in the Parliament Magazine, the European Fur Breeders' Association published, in the issue of 3rd May, a full advertising devoted to its animal-welfare project on fur-farmed species, WelFur. Openness and transparency are the key words for the modern European fur-farming sector. This is why we believe that information on the welfare status of fur-farmed animals is an essential feature of this transparency. The ad is available in the below PDF document.

 » Animal welfare is a key priority for European fur-farmers

Improvement in the animal welfare

Improvement in the animal welfare


The report on the evaluation and assessment of the Animal Welfare Action Plan 2006-2010 has been implemented in a satisfactory manner and measures taken to reduce harmful antibiotics in animal feed have worked well. Such are the main conclusions of the Merit Paulsen report, approved this week by the European Parliament. A resolution based on this report calls on the European Commission to propose, by 2014, "general animal welfare legislation to achieve a common understanding of the concept of animal welfare, the associated costs and the fundamental conditions applicable". However, prior implementing these provisions, existing rules should be better applied via more frequent inspections and effective sanctions, insist MEPs. The proposal of a European network for animal welfare is still ongoing and should be created by using existing structures within the Commission or in member states and be responsible for providing assistance, said the European Parliament.

A target of 30% emissions cut for Europe?

A target of 30% emissions cut for Europe?


The European Commission is ready to increase its offer to reduce the Union's greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from 20% to 30%. Connie Hedegaard, the commissioner for climate action, will present a communication to this effect before the Environment Council of 11 June and the European Council of 15-16 June by including an analysis of the economic implication of such a decision. According to Hedegaard, the increase to 30% is technically and economically possible, due to the economic crisis that has made possible to reduce the EU's greenhouse gas emissions without too much effort, more quickly than anticipated and at a lower cost. "If we maintain the level of investment anticipated two years ago, we will exceed the 20% reduction rate", said the commissioner. The communication could be adopted by the College of Commissioners on 26 May prior to go before the Council. The European Fur Breeders' Association welcomes this decision and will be pleased to make every effort to further minimize the impact of the fur-farming sector on the environment.


Update on Belgian political crisis and its compromised EU Presidency

A new Belgian political crisis compromises its close EU Presidency


After the incapacity of the country's political parties to overcome tensions between Flemish and French speakers and the resignation of Belgian Prime Minister, Yves Leterme, the government seems destined to a prolonged caretaker period, which will deprive it of political legitimacy during the early weeks of the EU Council Presidency, starting on 1 July. Indeed, early elections might be held in mid-June and a new government formed, which would take several weeks. The election could complicate the situation further by accentuating the divide between Flemish separatist parties and the French-speaking parties, willing to preserve the country's unity. After the transitional Presidency held by Spain, Belgium has to complete implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, has to set new institutional habits like the External Action Service and Herman Van Rompuy's role as European Council president. However, a caretaker Belgian government could be less enthusiastic than expected. The Commission however has reiterated its confidence in the country's leaders as they have been working with the Belgian authorities for months.

TV manager guilty of theft?

Danish TV2 manager guilty of theft?


This is what we can read in the Danish newspapers following the TV2's documentary aired last October alleging abuses of animals at mink farms. The Danish Fur Breeders' Association has decided to take action for defamation against the TV2 station as the police have now discarded the material used by TV2 for the documentary. After and extraordinary and highly intensive inspection from the Veterinary and Food-Administration, statistics have shown that less than 0.005% suffers unnecessary injury or harm. In other words, 99.9952% of animals had no wound or injuries. This is better than any other animal farms, or a group of humans for that matter. The DFBA published an advert in the national newspapers about the situation which had been taken also on international level. We invite you to read an article on the Copenhagen Post. The full communication of the Danish Fur Breeders' Association is available in the document below 


 » Danish TV2 manager guilty of theft?


13% of EU citizens clearly know what the Common Agriculture Policy is


A survey conducted by DG AGRI show that European have a lack of knowledge in what the CAP is but support CAP's role and budget. Eurobarometer highlights large gaps in public knowledge of CAP.  French people have the highest awareness level (66%) followed by Lithuania (65%) and Ireland (62%). Ireland is also the country were people have the highest level of precise awareness (26%). 90% of EU citizens regard agriculture and rural areas as important for the future. 46% think that agriculture has already made a major contribution in fighting climate change. Still 46% think that the EU budget allocated for agriculture is "adequate", 20% "too low" and 17% too high. Click here to access the full report.

MEPs approved the Country of Origin labelling and reject the colour code

MEPs approved the Country of Origin labelling and reject the colour code


The EP Environment Committee recently voted that the country of origin labeling should be clearly stated on meat, poultry, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables and other single-ingredient products. On the opposite, the MEPs rejected the front-of-package colour system - traffic light - whereby the levels of fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt would be colour-indicated.

Farmers should be rewarded for their efforts against climate change

Farmers should be rewarded for their efforts against climate change


 The Stéphane Le Foll's report (French Socialist) on the EU-Agriculture & Climate Change states that through modernization & more efficient production models, the agricultural sector can reduce its own Greenhouse Gas emissions, improve CO2 sequestration in the soil and make use of renewable energies. Discussions with the Committee reiterate that farmers should be rewarded for these efforts. The resolution was approved by 34 votes in favour, 4 against and 4 abstentions and is scheduled for a plenary vote in April. EFBA welcomes this decisions.The European fur farming is an excellent example of a sustainable activity based on natural, renewable and sustainable resources. The European fur-farming makes every effort to guarantee an agricultural activity that has a minimal effect on the environment.  

Marit Paulsen

New standards for animal welfare


The future action plan 2011-2015 on animal welfare should focus on "the implementation of a general law on animal welfare, the introduction of a European centre for the welfare and health of animals, the best application of the legislation, the link between animal health and human health and new indicators and techniques" writes the Swedish MEP, Marit Paulsen (ALDE, photo), in an own-initiative report on animal welfare. The MEP regrets however that the European Commission has still not presented a draft for new rules in terms of animal transportation, as it had committed to doing. She urges the EU executive to move forward in this area by the end of the year. EFBA welcomes those new measures to improve animal welfare. In parallel of this, the scientific project on the welfare of fur animals, WelFur (see our webpage Fact Sheet), launched end 2009, is still ongoing.

Positive start on the accession of Iceland to EU

Positive start on the accession of Iceland to EU


Last week, the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) endorsed the European Commission's positive recommendation on the start of accession talks with Iceland. MEPs called on the member states to give the green light to the opening of talks with Reykjavik at the forthcoming summit, scheduled for 25-26 March in Brussels. Iceland counts 22 fur-farms and is a member of the European Fur Breeders' Association.

Farming labelling system

Better information on agricultural products for consumers


End of February, the Committee on Agriculture (AGRI) approved Scottà report of establishing a compulsory labeling system indicating a product's place of production. EFBA welcomes this system that will better inform consumers about the quality of the products that they are purchasing and strengthen the competitiveness of the agricultural sector. The European Parliament's Committee on Agriculture also called for maintaining the protected geographical indications (PGIs) and protected designations of origin (PDOs) as they exist at present. Further information will be available in the course of March when the Scottà text will be presented to all MEPs with a view to being adopted.

Agriculture and Rural Development can play an important role in EU2020 strategy for growth

Agriculture and Rural Development can play an important role in EU2020 strategy for growth


Yesterday, the Commission published its EU2020 strategy for growth's proposals (‘A European Strategy for smart, sustainable & inclusive growth') based on a more efficient use of resources. Agriculture, Rural Development, cohesion & maritime policies will actively participate in the achievement of EU strategy with regards to biodiversity and climate change targets. Barroso insisted on the need to "invest in structural change é structural growth... in smart, sustainable & inclusive growth". DG AGRI officials added that "even though agriculture is not mentioned so clearly, it is evident that agricultural policy is central to these issues" giving a few examples such as precision farming that embraces new technologies, the production of biogas... DG AGRI officials also underlined that the policy document on the future CAP will "mirror the objectives outlines in the EU2020 strategy". COPA-COGECA, the EU farm lobby group, underscored the "vital contribution that the EU agriculture sector makes to building Europe & to maintaining growth & employment in rural areas".  

Build a better future together

Build a better future together


The communication campaign in the Parliament Magazine continues. The last issue of February 22, is about the new European Commission. Together, EFBA and IFTF wanted to congratulate the new Commissioners on their recent election at the Commission. This issue was a great opportunity to introduce our organizations and to work together on several issues such as protection of animals and protection of nature... More information is available in the full advertising in the below PDF document.   

 » Build a better future together

Voluntary aninmal welfare labelling

Voluntary animal welfare labelling system should see the light


Following a meeting between EU Farm Ministers, it seems that the majority of Member States would prefer the creation of an animal welfare labeling system that is voluntary and flexible (see news 04/11/2009). It aims to improve the information available to consumers so that farmers get a fait return for the special requirements inherent in the European model of agriculture. However, more work is needed on the definition of objective criteria on animal welfare indicators. Ministers also reiterated that the level of animal welfare has to be assessed in a transparent and scientifically recognized way across the board. EFBA welcomes such system that should be more understandable and easy to read for consumers. The EFBA WelFur project, a welfare-quality-like project on fur-farmed animals, is a big step in the right direction to guarantee the welfare-assessment protocols for the mink, the fox and the finnraccoon. The implementation of these protocols at farm level is within the scope of WelFur.


Policy Commitments of the new European Commission


Attached to this news, you will find a document that summarizes the policy commitments of the 2010-2014 European Commission. It outlines the main policy commitments made by the new commissioners during their hearings before Parliament in early 2010. By this way, you will be able to follow and evaluate their progress in matching their words with deeds throughout the term of the Barroso II Commission.

 » Policy Commitments of the new European Commission

New Commission

Creation of two new directorates-general


On 17th February, the Commission announced the creation of two new directorates-general: DG Energy (ENER) and DG Climate (CLIM). The new DG Energy will be headed by Britain's Philip Lowe who is currently director-general of DG Competition. ENER will combine the different units related to this sector from the former DG Transport and Energy together with the Task Force Energy from DG External Relations. Belgium's Jos Delbeke will lead the new DG Climate which is the combination of the climate related activities of DG Environment, DG External Relations and DG Industry. DG Transport and Energy (TREN) has been renamed DG Mobility and Transport (MOVE). State aid for transport is now being dealt with by DG Competition. Christian Leffler (Sweden) has been appointed as deputy director-general of DG Development while Rudolf Strohmeier (Germany), as deputy director-general in DG Research.


Barroso's new team wins backing from Parliament


Yesterday in Strasbourg, the Barroso II Commission went to victory with a support of a massive 70% of voting members (488 in favour to 137 and 72 abstentions). The three large political groups voted massively in favour of the Commission. The vote of approval required a simple majority. The European People's Party (EPP, 265 seats) unanimously supported Barroso II. Thirteen of the 27 Commissioners are from their political family, including the president. 90% of the Social Democrats (S&D, 184 seats) favoured approval. Apart from certain exceptions, the Liberals (ALDE, 84 seats) supported also massively the new Commissions' team. The groups who voted against the new Commission are the Greens-EFA (55), the European United-Left Nordic Green Left (35), the far-right Europe of Freedom and Democracy group (31) and the non-attached (28). The Eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists (54) abstained. The new Commission officially takes up its duties on 10 February and will carry out its work until 31 October 2014. To see the new commissioners' portfolio, click here

Fur-farming is an agricultural success story

Fur-farming is an agricultural success story in the European press


In the continuation of the communication campaign started in January by EFBA and IFTF in the Parliament Magazine (see news 26/01/2010 "EFBA is in the European Press"), the second issue was published in the Parliament Magazine on 8th February. We want to show how the fur farming plays a significant role  in the European economy and is a strong support to rural areas. The European fur farming is an agricultural success story. The full advertising is available in the below PDF document.

 » Fur-farming is an agricultural success story

Support Animal Welfare

EFBA is in the European press


EFBA, together with IFTF, has recently started a communication campaign in the Parliament Magazine ( The Magazine, published every fortnight, is a direct portal to MEPs and other key EU decision makers and informs policy making in the EU. Special feature editions include as Green Week, Employment Week, the OECD Forum as well as the depth EU Presidency supplements. The fur sector is pleased to have this great opportunity to raise its voice and open the debate over a sector too often misunderstood due to full of distorted truths given for many years. The first publication, joined with IFTF, was a general overview over the role of the two associations and the importance of the fur industry. The one page advertising is available in the attached document.

 » Support Animal Welfare, Rural SME's and Consumer Information

Dacian Ciolos

EP vote of approval delayed for the new Commission College


The initial Plenary vote on the full Commission College scheduled on January 26 will finally take place on February 9 after a delay caused by MEPs' refusal to approve the appointment of Bulgaria's Rumania Jeleva, nominee for European commissioner. Bulgaria's replacement nominee, Kristina Georgieva, a vice-president of the World Bank, will have a hearing before MEPs on 3 February. While Dacian Ciolos' nomination (photo), Romania's candidate for the European Commission, is not in any doubt after the EP Agricultural Committee sent a letter recommending his nomination. It was first a surprise however that someone from a country with a poor record of managing EU funds has been entrusted with a portfolio that receives the second-largest share of the EU's agricultural policy. But as previous head of the committee on agriculture, Ciolos showed fluent mastery of the detail of the EU's agricultural policy, as well as astute judgment of the political forces at play. If the vote on José Manuel Barroso's second team on 9 February is positive, the new Commission will be sworn into office at the European Court of Justice the following day and set to start work.

Year of Biodiversity

Debates have started on the new biodiversity strategy


Declared this year as the ‘International Year of Biodiversity' by the United Nations, the European Commission published a communication, on 19th January, that proposes a long-term (2050) vision for biodiversity, as well as four options for a mid-term target (2020). The text recognises that the EU failed to meet its 2010 target but the text is an essential step on the way towards meeting the new goals. The 10-page text states that there should be greater financial opportunities in favour of biodiversity under the Common Agricultural Policy, while biodiversity concerns should be embraced into all policy areas. In terms of the next steps, discussions on the issue will commence at a high-level European conference on the ‘Post-2010 biodiversity vision & target', scheduled to take place in Madrid on the 26-27 January under the Spanish Presidency. International negotiations will follow in Nagoya, Japan in the autumn, while the Commission pledges to bring forward a new EU biodiversity strategy by the end of the year. The communication of the Commission is available in the attached document.

 » Option for an EU vision and target for biodiversity beyound 2010


Climate Change and Biodiversity at the top priorities of the new EU Presidency


From 1st January, Spain is at the helm of the EU. One of the top priorities announced in the joint programme of the Troika presidency (Spain, Belgium and Hungary) is the fight against climate change.  But it will be up to Spain to start the evaluation, policies and measures that will result directly from the results of the Copenhagen climate conference. To this end, an informal meeting of energy and environment ministers will be held from 14 to 17 January in Seville. Other challenges are also on the horizon, like the revision of the drive to halt biodiversity loss within the framework of the International Year of Biodiversity (2010) and preparation of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and the Biosecurity Protocol (11-29 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan).  Linked to these issues, the Spanish EU Presidency will pay attention especially to forest protection; prevention of natural disasters; water management and mainstreaming of the environment in all other policies in the context of a revised Lisbon strategy. Madrid is expected to launch the seventh action plan for the environment (the current plan expires on 21 July 2012), a task that will be continued by the Belgian and Hungarian EU presidencies. EFBA welcomes these initiatives. Taking care of the environment, our farmers use good management farming systems (e.g. recycling water, by-products...). We only breed domesticated animals and by this way contribute to the protection of the biodiversity.

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