Animal Welfare: Commission designates its first European Union Reference Centre
Today, following a public selection process, a consortium formed by the Wageningen Livestock Research (the Netherlands), the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (Germany) and the Department of Animal Science at Aarhus University (Denmark) has been designated as EU Reference Centre. Laid down in the Official Controls Regulation (Regulation 625/2017) which harmonised EU rules along the agri-food chain, this first Centre will focus on pig welfare. Improving the enforcement of the legislation of pigs is one of the Commission's priorities in the area of animal welfare. The Centre will provide technical support and coordinated assistance to the Member States to carry out official controls on animal welfare. It will also contribute to the dissemination of good practices, as well as carrying out scientific studies, training courses and disseminating research and information on technical innovations.
Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis welcomed this designation, stressing that "this is another illustration that the EU remains, at international level, at the forefront in developing high animal welfare standards. After the establishment of the EU Platform on Animal Welfare in 2017, today marks another milestone since this is the first time that an EU Centre is devoted to support Member States in the application and monitoring of animal welfare rules within the Union”.