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Animals Need the Strongest Protection in Trade

Proposed EU-US free trade agreement must address animal protection

BRUSSELS (3 March, 2015)—Animal protection must be firmly part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, Humane Society International and World Animal Protection will say at an event in Brussels today. 

An Eagle Eye on TTIP, hosted by David Martin, Member of the European Parliament, will include discussion on ways TTIP may adversely impact the lives of:

  • Animals raised in farming
  • Animals used in testing of pesticides, chemicals and other regulated products
  • Wildlife in international trade

Both NGOs have been proactively engaged since the first round of negotiations on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure TTIP will not lower EU or US standards; and it will not undermine regulation or democratic processes.

Amanda Mayhew, senior adviser, trade policy at World Animal Protection, said:

“TTIP offers a historic opportunity to protect animals in farming and in the wild, including marine animals, on a massive scale. The world’s wildlife are in crisis, with the trade of live wild animals causing some of the worst suffering imaginable, but TTIP can serve as a critical tool in combating this global crisis. TTIP must also take full consideration of the public’s concern for the well-being of animals in farming. We hope TTIP will help to advance the public conversation on farm animal welfare in the U.S. and lead to improvements in welfare standards.”

Dr. Joanna Swabe, HSI’s European Union executive director, said:

“The TTIP agreement could also give teeth to the legislation already in place to prevent illegal wildlife trade. This global black market activity threatens not just the survival of targeted wildlife species and wildlife habitat, but also security, good governance and economic development.”

Rhinos and elephants, for example, are experiencing a poaching epidemic controlled by organised criminal networks, and proceeds from the illegal trade fund terrorist and other illegal activities. In the marine environment, many species are in danger of extinction as a result of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and subsidies that result in overfishing and depletion of stocks.

The Sustainable Development and Environment chapters of TTIP can serve as an opportunity for the EU and US to show global leadership in addressing excessive trade in wildlife, combating wildlife trafficking and preserving the earth’s natural resources. TTIP must include strong measures to protect wildlife threatened by trade, to implement and enforce critical multilateral environmental agreements, and to require strong penalties for those engaging in illegal wildlife trade and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Emily McIvor, policy director in Research & Toxicology at HSI said:

“We are also working to advance the science of chemical and product safety assessment using modern human biology-based tools. Tens of millions of animals are still being used in laboratory research and product testing each year in the US and EU, despite a growing recognition that mice, dogs and other animals are often poor ‘models’ of human biology or the way chemicals or diseases affect people in the real world.”

McIvor adds: “The EU has made great progress, passing legislation that substantially reduces animal testing for pesticides and biocides, prohibiting the sale of cosmetics newly tested on animals, introducing non-animal methods of vaccine batch testing, and reducing use of animals involved in chemical safety assessments as part of the REACH regulation. TTIP could help to achieve regulatory alignment of these and other ‘best practices,’ and provide a common mechanism for timely adaptation of testing and assessment methods to incorporate new non-animal approaches as they are validated.”

ENDS

Media contacts:

World Animal Protection:

Bev Boyle, bevboyle@worldanimalprotection.org , +44 (0)7968 415 856

Kai Akram, kaiakram@worldanimalprotection.org , +44 (0)20 7239 0542

HSI:

US: Raúl Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org , +1 301-721-6440 office, +1 240-620-3263 mobile

UK: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org , +44 (0)7989 972 423      

About Humane Society International

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org.

About World Animal Protection

We are World Animal Protection. We are active in more than 50 countries. From our offices around the world, we work with businesses, governments, local partners and animal welfare organisations. We help people to find practical ways to prevent animal suffering worldwide. We collaborate with national governments and we have formal relationships with international bodies including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Council of Europe and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). We seek national and international policy change to improve the lives of millions of animals, because animal protection is a fundamental part of a sustainable future.

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About Us

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Our key campaigns include Kill the Cull opposing England's badger cull; Be Cruelty-Free to end animal testing of cosmetics; CITES and wildlife protection; Love Spain Hate Bullfighting. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org Be Cruelty-Free is the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally HSI is leading the charge to end cosmetics cruelty in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and Be Cruelty-Free USA is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States. On the web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree

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