The European Council has so far agreed on six conventions in the veterinary field that define standards for ethical principles in the following areas:
- International animal transport
- Agricultural husbandry
- Slaughter of animals
- Animal experiments for scientific or other purposes
- Pet husbandry
These conventions are focused on the wellbeing and protection of pets and farm animals and also touch on the welfare of wild animals held in captivity.
Animal health issues which do not concern the wellbeing of animals are not addressed in the conventions. Subjects such as zoonoses (diseases transmissible from animals to humans), safety of foods of animal origin and import/export regulations are also not discussed in the European Council.
BVET: Administration and delegates
The Federal Veterinary Office (FVO) is involved in European Council work in two respects. On the one hand, the International Veterinary Service plays a coordination role. On the other, FVO members serve as delegates on European Council committees, these being at the moment the committees on agricultural husbandry, laboratory animals and the transport of animals. In general, all the delegates have the same mandate: to promote animal welfare. And they do this by introducing the high standards of Swiss veterinary practice into committee discussions.