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European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes



Date of Signature: March 10, 1976

Date Effective: October 9, 1978

Depository Government: Council of Europe

Parent Treaty: Statute of the Council of Europe

Participating States:

Signed and Ratified:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Chech republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK.




Summary:   This treaty applies to animals kept for farming purposes. It outlines the keeping, caring for and housing of farm animals on the farm and especially in modern stock farming systems. Freedom of movement is especially important for animals kept in these systems as well as appropriate lighting, ventilation, temperature and environmental conditions.


European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes

 

The member States of the Council of Europe signatory hereto,

Considering that it is desirable to adopt common provisions for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes, particularly in modern intensive stock‑farming systems,

Have agreed as follows:

Chapter I General principles

Article 1

This Convention shall apply to the keeping, care and housing of animals, and in particular to animals in modern intensive stock farming systems. For the purposes of this Convention animals shall mean animals bred or kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes, and modern intensive stock farming systems shall mean systems which predominantly employ technical installations operated principally by means of automatic processes.

Article 2

Each Contracting Party shall give effect to the principles of animal welfare laid down in Articles 3 to 7 of this Convention.

Article 3

Animals shall be housed and provided with food, water and care in a manner which having regard to their species and to their degree of development, adaptation and domestication is appropriate to their physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.

Article 4

1 The freedom of movement appropriate to an animal, having regard to its species and in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge, shall not be restricted in such a manner as to cause it unnecessary suffering or injury.

2 Where an animal is continuously or regularly tethered or confined, it shall be given the space appropriate to its physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.

Article 5

The lighting, temperature, humidity, air circulation, ventilation, and other environmental conditions such as gas concentration or noise intensity in the place in which an animal is housed, shall having regard to its species and to its degree of development, adaptation and domestication conform to its physiological and ethological needs in accordance with established experience and scientific knowledge.

Article 6

No animal shall be provided with food or liquid in a manner, nor shall such food or liquid contain any substance, which may cause unnecessary suffering or injury.

Article 7

1 The condition and state of health of animals shall be thoroughly inspected at intervals sufficient to avoid unnecessary suffering and in the case of animals kept in modern intensive stock farming at least once a day.

2 The technical equipment used in modern intensive stock farming systems shall be thoroughly inspected at least once a day, and any defect discovered shall be remedied with the least possible delay. When a defect cannot be remedied forthwith, all temporary measures necessary to safeguard the welfare of the animals shall be taken immediately.

Chapter II Detailed implementation

Article 8

1 A Standing Committee shall be set up within a year of the entry into force of this Convention.

2 Each Contracting Party shall have the right to appoint a representative to the Standing Committee. Any member State of the Council of Europe which is not a Contracting Party to the Convention shall have the right to be represented on the Committee by an observer.

3 The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall convene the Standing Committee whenever he finds it necessary and in any case when a majority of the representatives of the Contracting Parties or the representative of the European Economic Community, being itself a Contracting Party, request its convocation.

4 A majority of representatives of the Contracting Parties shall constitute a quorum for holding a meeting of the Standing Committee.

5 The Standing Committee shall take its decision by a majority of the votes cast; however, unanimity of the votes cast shall be required for:

a the adoption of the recommendations provided for in paragraph 1 of Article 9;

b the decision to admit observers other than those referred to in paragraph 2 of this article;

c the adoption of the report referred to in Article 13; this report could set out, where appropriate, divergent opinions.

6 Subject to the provisions of this Convention, the Standing Committee shall draw up its own rules of procedure.

Article 9

1 The Standing Committee shall be responsible for the elaboration and adoption of recommendations to the Contracting Parties containing detailed provisions for the implementation of the principles set out in Chapter I of this Convention, to be based on scientific knowledge concerning the various species of animals.

2 For the purpose of carrying out its responsibilities under paragraph 1 of this article, the Standing Committee shall follow developments in scientific research and new methods in animal husbandry.

3 Unless a longer period is decided upon by the Standing Committee, a recommendation shall become effective as such six months after the date of its adoption by the Committee. As from the date when a recommendation becomes effective each Contracting Party shall either implement it or inform the Standing Committee by notification to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe of the reasons why it has decided that it cannot implement the recommendation or can no longer implement it.

4 If two or more Contracting Parties or the European Economic Community, being itself a Contracting Party, have given notice in accordance with paragraph 3 of this article of their decision not to implement or no longer to implement a recommendation, that recommendation shall cease to have effect.

Article 10

The Standing Committee shall use its best endeavours to facilitate a friendly settlement of any difficulty which may arise between Contracting Parties concerning the implementation of this Convention.

Article 11

The Standing Committee may express an advisory opinion on any question concerning the protection of animals at the request of a Contracting Party.

Article 12

Each Contracting Party may appoint one or more bodies from which the Standing Committee may request information and advice to assist it in its work. Contracting Parties shall communicate to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe the names and addresses of such bodies.

Article 13

The Standing Committee shall submit to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, at the expiry of the third year after the entry into force of this Convention and of each further period of three years, a report on its work and on the functioning of the Convention, including if it deems it necessary proposals for amending the Convention.

Chapter III Final provisions

Article 14

1 This Convention shall be open to signature by the member States of the Council of Europe and by the European Economic Community. It shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval. Instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

2 This Convention shall enter into force six months after the date of the deposit of the fourth instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval by a member State of the Council of Europe.

3 In respect of a signatory Party ratifying, accepting or approving after the date referred to in paragraph 2 of this article, the Convention shall enter into force six months after the date of the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.

Article 15

1 After the entry into force of this Convention, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe may, upon such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate, invite any non‑member State to accede thereto.

2 Such accession shall be effected by depositing with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe an instrument of accession which shall take effect six months after the date of its deposit.

Article 16

1 Any Contracting Party may, at the time of signature or when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, specify the territory or territories to which this Convention shall apply.

2 Any Contracting Party may, when depositing its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession or at any later date, by declaration addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, extend this Convention to any other territory or territories specified in the declaration and for whose international relations it is responsible or on whose behalf it is authorised to give undertakings.

3 Any declaration made in pursuance of the preceding paragraph may, in respect of any territory mentioned in such declaration, be withdrawn according to the procedure laid down in Article 17 of this Convention.

Article 17

1 Any Contracting Party may, in so far as it is concerned, denounce this Convention by means of a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe.

2 Such denunciation shall take effect six months after the date of receipt by the Secretary General of such notification.

Article 18

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall notify the member States of the Council and any Contracting Party not a member of the Council of:

a any signature;

b any deposit of an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;

c any date of entry into force of this Convention in accordance with Articles 14 and 15 thereof;

d any recommendation of the kind referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 9 and the date on which it takes effect;

e any notification received in pursuance of the provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 9;

f any communication received in pursuance of the provisions of Article 12;

g any declaration received in pursuance of the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 16;

h any notification received in pursuance of the provisions of Article 17 and the date on which denunciation takes effect.

In witness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Convention.

Done at Strasbourg, this 10th day of March 1976, in English and in French, both texts being equally authoritative, in a single copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Council of Europe. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe shall transmit certified copies to each of the signatory and acceding Parties.

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