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© Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality / We Animals Media

Greetings and happy New Year to all of our subscribers in Europe and around the world!

This coming March, Animal Law Europe will celebrate its first full year of operation. While we are grateful to mark this milestone, we are looking to the year ahead, which will see us continue to grow and evolve. Beginning this month, Animal Law Europe will transition from a consultancy to a nonprofit think tank: The European Institute for Animal Law & Policy. We invite you to peruse our new website for more information about the work we aim to accomplish in 2022 and beyond. 


We would like to thank supporters like you who have made our launch a success, and we welcome you to the first quarterly newsletter of 2022!


This quarterly research note covers the regulation of antibiotic use in EU animal agriculture. We hope you will find this research note is particularly timely, as the two EU regulations pertaining to the use of antimicrobials will enter into force on January 28th of this year. It was our pleasure to collaborate with The Jeremy Coller Foundation in preparing this research note, and we would like to extend our special thanks to Grace Martin for her contributions as the note’s co-author.

Download the research note


The European Institute for Animal Law & Policy will organize a first event early this year to present our report of a comprehensive legal analysis of EU farm animal welfare legislation. More information on this event is headed to your inbox soon, along with our 2021 Annual Report.


Alice Di Concetto, founder of The European Institute for Animal Law & Policy, made several media appearances last quarter. Alice was quoted in a piece in Sentient Media, and she co-authored two op-eds published in and The Brussels Times respectively.

The first, co-authored with Elliot Teperman of the Jeremy Coller Foundation, called for policy coherence in animal agriculture policy.

In The Brussels Times, Alice co-authored an op-ed with Olga Kikou of Compassion in World Farming EU which advocated a much more robust revision of EU animal welfare legislation for pigs.


Animal Law News
European Union
  • New Laws

The Whistleblower Directive entered into forceDirective (EU) 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the Protection of Persons Who Report Breaches of Union Law (Whistleblower Directive) entered into force on December 17th. The Directive establishes rules and procedures to protect individuals who report information they acquired in a work-related context on breaches of EU law in key policy areas, including protection of the environment, ranging from waste management to chemicals, food and feed safety, animal health and welfare, and consumer protection.

The new EU Organic Regulation also entered into force on January 1st, 2022.

  • Proposals
Proposal for a Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products (published on November 17th): The proposal aims to regulate imports to the EU to reduce the deleterious impacts of the expansion of agricultural land for the production of commodities such as cattle. A research paper commissioned by the European Commission found that beef imports represent one of the largest shares of EU-driven deforestation. 

Proposal for an Environmental Crime Directive: The Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of the environment through criminal law and replacing Directive 2008/99/EC (published on December 15) directs Member States to adopt rules regulating the placing on the market of products which cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury to any person; or substantial damage to air, water, or soil quality; or to animals or plants as a result of “the product’s large-scale use.”

  • Work Programs

In the 2022 Work Program for Regulation 1144/2014 on the promotion measures concerning agricultural products: The European Commission committed to funding “less red and processed meat and other foods linked to cancer risks (e.g. alcoholic drinks),” more specifically, “beef, pig meat, lamb, and goat meat and all processed meats.”

For more information, please check out: The Guardian’s article citing Wakker Dier’s report on the issue | Animal Law Europe’s Feedback to the European Commission’s Public Consultation.

  • Infringement Procedures

More on infringement procedures: Infringement decisions occur when the EU executive “pursues legal action against Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law.”  More information on infringement procedures can be found in Alice’s Twitter thread and on the Commission’s website.

Letter of Formal Notice
Portugal – Special Areas of Conservation: The Commission called on Portugal to implement the judgement of 2019 which had been addressed to Portugal by the Court of Justice of the European Union. The European Commission is mandating that Portugal designate special areas of conservation as per the Habitats Directive (Directive 92/43/EEC).

Referral to the European Court of Justice
Malta – Wild Animals (Hunting): The European Commission’s DG ENVI refers Malta to the European Court of Justice for violating the Birds Directive by allowing finch trapping. 

Spain – Nitrates Pollution (Animal Agriculture): The European Commission refers Spain to the Court of Justice of the European Union for poor implementation of the Nitrates Directive:
On a related note, The Netherlands is also enacting new plans to reduce their nitrates emissions by reducing the number of farmed animals to comply with a 2019 ECJ ruling which had found the Netherlands in violation of the Nitrates Directive.

  • Public Consultations
Animal Welfare (all animals): Evaluation of EU rules on animal welfare (until January 21st).

Food Labeling - Revision of rules on information provided to consumers (until March 7th)  

Maritime PollutionRevision of EU rules on illegal discharges from ships (until June 16th)

Member States
  • New Laws
🇫🇷 France – Wild Animals in Captivity (marine mammals, circus); Farmed Animals (fur animals); companion animals; private ownership of exotic animals: The French Parliament passed the Law Against Animal Abuse, which (1) Prohibits the use of wild animals in circuses within seven years; fur farming effective immediately ; the sale of companion animals in pet stores by 2024; (2) Restricts the private ownership of exotic animals, and (3) Reinforces criminal penalties against animal cruelty, and criminalizes the filming and distribution of zoo pornographic materials. The executive orders will be adopted by the French administrations in the coming months.

🇫🇷 France – Farmed Animals (pigs): On November 17th, the French government (Ministry of Agriculture) adopted an executive order prohibiting the castration of pigs without anesthesia or analgesia. The measure entered into effect on January 1st.

🇫🇷 France – Farmed Animals: On December 16th, the French government (Ministry of Agriculture) adopted an executive order requiring the appointment and training of an “animal welfare officer,” on each farm in France.

🇮🇪 Ireland – Farmed Animals (fur animals): The Irish government approved a bill amending the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 and which would prohibit “the breeding, rearing or keeping of specified animals solely or primarily for the value of, or the manufacture of products from, their fur or skin; to provide for a system of compensation to persons who before the coming into operation of the prohibition were engaged in the fur farming of mink.”

🇮🇹 Italy – Farmed Animals (chicks): On December 16th, the Italian lower chamber approved a bill amending the implementation rules of EU Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing to prohibit the culling of male chicks in egg production by 2026, and to accelerate the adoption of in-ovo sexing. The bill will likely come to the Senate floor early in 2022 and is likely to be adopted there.

🇮🇹 Italy – Farmed Animals (fur animals): On December 24th, the Italian Senate adopted a legislative amendment prohibiting fur farming (points 980 and following). The law concerns all fur animals and entered into effect on January 1st of 2022. Fur farms are allowed to keep their animals until June 30th of 2022. The law further provides €3 million in compensation for fur producers affected by the legislation.

🇪🇸 Spain – Recognition of Animal Sentience: On December 16th, the Spanish government adopted a law amending its Civil Code to recognize animal sentience. The Spanish Civil Code now reads that “animals are sentient, living beings. Their treatment is subjected to the provisions on property and goods to the extent that such provisions comply with animal sentience, or with animal protection rules.”

  • Rulings

🇬🇷 Greece – Farmed Animals (Slaughter): Greece’s Higher Administrative Court ruled slaughter without stunning contravenes Greek legislation on animal welfare. This ruling came as a result of a challenge brought by the Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation seeking annulment of a rule by the Greek Ministry of Agriculture. The rule had implemented EU Regulation 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing and allowed the slaughter without stunning of animals for religious purposes. In its ruling, the Greek Court largely relied on the European Court of Justice’s case law, which confirms the significant margin of interpretation left to the Member States in the adoption of an exemption on the obligation to stun animals prior to their killing for religious purposes.

Global Animal Law News

🇧🇷 Brazil (companion animal)The Brazilian Supreme Court denied the appeal of a defendant who has been found guilty of dog cruelty.

🇮🇸 Iceland (liminal animals)The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) enacted a reminder-rule enforcing the prohibition on the use of glue traps for liminal animals such as mice, as per article 28 of the Icelandic Welfare Act.

Other: Animal Law scholars launch the Convention on Animal Protection’s website.

Podcasts and Replays


Ctrl Alt Meat, a weekly podcast by the Jeremy Coller Foundation, produced an episode on “5 Things to Know about Animal Law.”

On October 16th, the Jeremy Coller Foundation held an event for the launch of the Coller Animal Law Forum, an interactive database that collates and analyses various laws and policies that impact farmed animals. Watch the replay here.
  • The European Citizens’ Initiative “Stop Finning” is gathering signatures until January 31st.
  • #StopBugieInEtchetta: 13 Italian NGOs, including Animal Law Italia, CIWF Italy, Animal Equality, Essere Animali, Onlus, Legambiente, The Good Lobby, and LAV, launched a campaign against humane washing, and opposing the Italian government’s proposal for a misleading label on farm animal welfare (Sistema di Qualità Nazionale Benessere Animale (Sqnba)). Read more (in Italian).

Law & Policy
Academic Publications

Job Posting

The Jeremy Coller Foundation is looking for a project manager for the Coller Animal Law Forum. The deadline to apply is 23 January  2022. Learn more here.

👉 Would you like us to include your updates (calls for contributions, publications, events, campaigns, etc.) in future European Institute for Animal Law & Policy newsletters? Send them to

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