mink in a cage at a fur farm in poland

European Parliament Elections


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Animals Can’t Vote, but You Can

As billions of animals are suffering in the European Union, a crucial moment for welfare looms on the horizon with the upcoming European elections in June 2024

Billions of animals in the European Union suffer due to a lack of protection and a failure of the EU to act. The laws that protect these animals will be rewritten, and we now have the opportunity to choose who will shape them. It is time to fix the appalling conditions in which farm animals are kept, transported and slaughtered, to end the cruel puppy trade, to ban fur farming and to end the commercial and illegal trade of wild animals. 

The next European elections will be held 6th – 9th June 2024. Prior to this we urge EU citizens to use your voice to help shape the future of animals in Europe. Tell candidates in the elections to the European Parliament that animal welfare matters to you and encourage them to pledge to protect animals.

Update 10th June: the European Parliament elections are now over!

With around 373 million people from all 27 EU Member States having had the opportunity to vote, a new Parliament is being formed. Over 900 candidates pledged to make a difference to animals in Europe, with the three largest groups in the Parliament making clear commitments to animal welfare in their manifestos. With these parties holding the majority of the seats, we are in a prime position to ensure that animal welfare is also carried over as a priority of the next European Commission, whose President will be elected by the new Parliament after they are nominated by national leaders at the end of June. Stay up to date with the outcome of the elections here.

What is the Pledge?

The fate of revising the EU’s outdated animal welfare rules will end up in the hands of the next EU lawmakers. By pledging their commitment, candidates are promising to enhance animal welfare should they be elected in the upcoming European Parliament elections. 

This initiative allows voters like you to make informed decisions about which candidates prioritise animal welfare concerns. Let your candidates know that taking a strong stance against animal cruelty and fully embracing animal welfare is crucial by urging them to sign the pledge.

Are you running for the European elections? Shape a better future for animals in the EU and their suffering by visiting this page and pledging to fully commit to animal welfare.

Vote for Animals Pledge

Vote for Animals Pledge

Read the full pledge for the 2024 European Parliament Elections

See Below All Candidates that Have Signed the Pledge

This widget is provided and hosted by Eurogroup for Animals.

See the pledges that MEP candidates have committed to here!

Make an Informed Vote

Your voice holds the power to shape the future for animals in Europe. Voting for animal welfare makes these politicians accountable for their actions: the more vocal we are about animal welfare issues, the less they can ignore citizens' demands and prioritise industry interest.

That’s why it’s so important that we elect MEPs who pledge to protect animals. Animals can’t vote, but you can. It's up to you to make an informed choice on who to vote for. Together, let's #DoBetterForAnimals and make a difference by voting in the EU elections. 

FAQs: All you need to know about the upcoming elections

What do the European Parliament Elections have to do with animal welfare? 

Animal welfare is an explicit objective of policy at EU level. The EU’s founding treaties, that set out its constitutional basis, specifically article 13 of the treaty on the functioning of the EU, states that the EU “has to pay full regard to animal welfare, as animals are sentient beings when it formulates and implements its agriculture, fisheries, internal market, research, and other policies”. 

As a result, over the years the EU has developed a multitude of rules concerning animal welfare. The institutions involved in the lawmaking process are: the European Commission, the Council of the EU, and the European Parliament. The 705 directly elected members of Parliament thus play a key role in the development of EU rules, which means that the more animal welfare supportive MEPs are elected, the stronger the Parliament’s support will be for measures and new rules that try to improve animal welfare. 

What does a new European Parliament mean for the current animal legislations in the EU? 

After the election of a new parliament, all existing legislation regarding animals will remain as it is because a new parliament does not automatically mean that changes will occur. The new parliament can and will only work on the animal welfare legislations that are currently already under development, and on any proposals for new legislation or for revision of existing legislation, if and when they are proposed by the new European Commission during the next legislative term. 

Does a new EU Parliament mean revision of legislations can be scrapped?

After the European elections not only a new Parliament, but also a new European Commission comes into place. It will be up to this Commission to decide what happens to the revision of the legislation that was anticipated, but not brought forward in the previous term. As for the legislative proposals that are already on the table, the new Commission could decide to revoke them. 

However, the chances of this happening after the 2024 elections are relatively small, as the next Commission is very likely to be a Von Der Leyen 2.0 Commission, meaning that they will largely continue the previous work. If the proposals are not scrapped, the new EU parliament will continue to work on them. 

Does this only affect citizens and animals in the EU?

No. EU decisions on animal welfare can both directly and indirectly have effects beyond the EU borders. The EU has many trade agreements with countries outside of the Union. Within those agreements, ‘mirror clauses’ are often adopted. Such clauses require products coming into the Union to adhere to the same standards as those set for the same products produced within the EU. Mirror clauses can directly affect animal welfare outside the EU when they are implemented regarding animal products, requiring for example that imported meat or dairy products have been produced with the same animal welfare standards as those within the EU. 

Additionally, EU decisions can also indirectly affect animal welfare outside of the Union through the ‘Brussels effect’. This means that the market size and importance of the European Union often results in international companies outside the EU implementing the same standards as those within the Union, as this becomes economically, legally and technically more practical for them. 

How can I, as an EU citizen, make a difference to help animals?

For animal welfare to progress as much as possible within the next years, we need EU institutions that care about this topic. Regarding the EU Parliament, this means the more MEPS who care about animal welfare the better. To start with, you can get informed about which candidates are supporting animal welfare: by not only checking which candidates have signed the animal welfare pledge, but also by reading through the manifestos of political parties that could mention animal welfare as a priority. It is then a matter of voting for these candidates during the elections.  

Post-elections, you can keep helping animals by maintaining pressure on elected MEPs, for example through email actions, petitions and events organised by FOUR PAWS. 

Power to the People


of EU citizens believe it is important to protect the welfare and living conditions of farmed animals.


citizens last year stood up to demand change through the Fur Free Europe European Citizens Initiative.


of EU citizens think that the welfare of farmed animals in their country should be better protected than it is now.

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