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Euro Coop is working with the European Commission to review legislation to ensure a higher level of animal welfare in the context of the Farm to Fork Strategy. Illia Gorokhovskyi, Chairman of the Board of Ukrkoospilka (COOP Ukraine) and First Vice – President of Euro Coop, spoke about these aspects of the current interaction with the European Commission.

According to the leader of the Ukrainian consumer cooperation, global issues of ecology, environmental protection, sustainable development, as well as education and youth employment are on the agenda of the global cooperative movement. Many of these issues are being worked out in the framework of Euro Coop’s interaction with the European Commission. One of these areas is to improve the welfare of animals, housing and transportation.

The concept of “animal welfare” includes the physical health, the emotional state and the behaviour of the animals, in particular those that are bred for agricultural purposes. It also applies to providing animals with the most natural living conditions, such as transfer from cage to free grazing.

Under the Farm to Fork Strategy, the European Commission has committed itself to reviewing legislation and considering options for animal welfare labeling. The aim of the legislation is to ensure a higher level of animal welfare, to expand the scope of the EU animal welfare legislation, to align it with the latest scientific data, current policy priorities, citizens’ expectations, and to facilitate its implementation. These issues concern animals bred and kept for farming purposes, including fish and fur animals.

“First of all, these issues are relevant for the communities of EU member states, but Ukraine also has organizations and volunteers who constantly raise these issues, so the decisions and standards developed during the European debate, as well as adopted by the European Commission, will be a good sign for Ukraine as well”, – Illia Gorokhovskyi noted.

According to him, Euro Coop supports the European Commission’s commitment to review existing EU legislation on animal welfare, as it considers the current legal framework obsolete not only in light of recent scientific and technological advances, but also in terms of consumer understanding and expectations of EU standards. Also, according to Euro Coop, animal welfare plays an important role in increasing the resilience of the food systems.

Illia Gorokhovskyi has been the First Vice – President of Euro Coop since June 2018, and since 2015 he has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide (CCW).