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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Two important meetings take place in Brussels

Earlier in October Max Farrugia, International Animal Rescue's representative in Malta, attended two important meetings in Brussels: a meeting of ENDCAP which seeks to end the keeping of wildlife in captivity in Europe and a meeting of PIE - Pets in Europe - which is proposing a charter for the welfare of companion animals in Europe.

ENDCAP now forms part of the EAEDC (European Alliance to End Dolphins in Captivity). Its mission is to raise awareness of the damage captivity often causes to dolphins. It will be calling for an end to the trade in dolphins into the EU and an end to the construction of new dolphinaria. In order to persuade the EU Commission and Parliament that these issues need to be addressed the group needs to collect at least one million signatures. International Animal Rescue is one of the groups that is working hard to collect as many signatures as possible by mid-2010.

The meeting also discussed the Action Plan - an aspirational document that sets out a five year plan by the European community to raise standards of animal welfare. The plan identifies actions for wild animals kept in captivity in Europe, as well as companion animals, working animals, laboratory animals and animals used for food production.

The use of wild animals in circuses was also discussed, as well as the import of wild animals into Europe by the pet trade. Also under consideration was the question whether sanctuaries could provide an interim solution to the closure of zoos in Europe.

A delegation from PIE met with MEPs to discuss a Charter for the Welfare of Pets which PIE is proposing. Janusz Wojciechowski (Poland ECR) declared himself willing to sponsor the Charter. He was of the opinion that this was not a controversial issue and it should not be a problem to get other MEPs to sign it. He expressed the view that a launch event would help raise the profile of the issue and that is something to be further discussed.

A more detailed report on these meetings will be posted in due course.