There is already considerable legislation on the statute books in Europe dealing with animal welfare. Such legislation results from strong public pressure and interest. The legislation is always science based, usually on reports from the European Union (EU) Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (SCAHAW). This paper described the legislative framework in the EU, the methodology used for the assessment of animal welfare and comments on the economic implications of improving animal welfare.
Key words: Animal welfare; European Union (EU); scientific advice.