This Assembly will take place in Koblenz (Germany) from 26-28 of June. We are inviting 2 pastoralist representatives from each country in Europe. If you want to nominate or apply to participate, please write to email@example.com before the 17th of June.
The only continental wide organization representing pastoralist grassroot groups and regional chapter of the World Alliance of Mobile and Indigenous Pastoralists (WAMIP) European Shepherd Network (ESN) is moving forward in its mission of bringing together pastoralist and making their voice be heard.
The agenda is available here: ESN-meeting-2015.05.25-EN.
ESN has succeeded in securing funding for at least two years from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) that will enable it to strengthen the regional dialogue between shepherd organizations, implement actions at the European level, and become a strong entity with an operative secretariat during at least 2015 and 2016 to serve the purposes of its members.
The grant provided by the FAO covers the organization of a European-level meeting in 2015, set to happen in Koblenz, Germany on June 26-27-28. Shepherd leaders and Union representatives of the extensive livestock farming sector will be invited to discuss shared issues, such as:
– CAP implementation and national legal frameworks
– wild fauna and predator species
– land issues
– ecosystem services and climate change
– cultural identity and preservation of the shepherd way of life
The agreement with FAO also includes a regional identification process expected to result in a census of pastoral organizations in the EU countries.
Organisations of cattle breeders and shepherds from all over Europe will protest in this manner against the mandatory introduction of an electronic chip on each animal.
On 7 March more than 500 shepherds will meet to hear the verdict of the European Court in Strasbourg.
Several organisations of small cattle breeders from different European countries (France, United Kingdom, Hungary, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, etc.) working in extensive farming, in filing a claim against Individual Electronic Identification (EID) that the German Sheep Breeders Association filed in 2012 before the Court of Stuttgart that is currently pending a decision by the European Court of Justice.
On 7 March, representatives of shepherds from all over Europe will meet in Strasbourg after they were summoned by the European Court based in this city.
The claim was filed because of the flaws in the system at the time in which it is to be implemented, particularly in its pin form. These deficiencies have been reported in all Member States where the system has been implemented, as well as the injury it results in for the tagged animal.
In addition to its inefficiency, this system involves several bureaucratic phases and costs for farmers that we deem excessive at all levels, and are the same whether or not a disease has broken out.
According to the coordinator of the European Shepherds Network, Fernando García-Dory: “Making the chip compulsory is the last straw in a series of absurd and inconsistent policies for small livestock farms that are so valuable for the environment and society in Europe. Such policies are designed in Brussels without any input from farmers and are cut off from reality in the field. They might end a way of life that is already seriously endangered by the low prices that the global market imposes and other causes. The EID results exclusively from an excessive desire for control and bureaucratisation of agriculture as well as the economic interests of those who produce the device. This is a historic moment in which shepherds from all over Europe are uniting and saying “Enough is enough”. We know that the public prefers shepherds, rural landscapes and high-quality products over industrialisation and mechanisation of food production concentrated in few companies that continue to cause food scares and animal discomfort.”
On June 23, members from ESN – European Shepherd Network – from seven European countries and a local shepherd held a public meeting in the Ständehaus as part of the dOCUMENTA (13) conference program in Kassel, Germany.
The assembly gathered sheep herders and farmers who discussed the creation of European Shepherd Network, an organization to give this community a voice and make it visible. They also commented on current campaigns by shepherds and their relation to public opinion and to their animals.
The event included the screening of a documentary recounting the journey of German shepherds from Berlin and Brussels to Trier.
documenta is the world’s largest contemporary art exhibition, running in Kassel every 5 years.
Shepherds are vital – we need them!
Their work is invaluable.
Permanent grassland is rich in plant and animal species. It is the best way to manage and protect land.
– It is the most effective way to protect the soil from wind and water erosion.
- It filters out pollutants and delivers clean drinking water.
- It absorbs carbon dioxide better than any other land use.
- It offers a habitat for countless endangered plants and animals.
But species-rich permanent grassland does not come by itself.
It is the result of decades of work by experts – the shepherds.
Without their dedication and effort, this land would turn into forest or desert.
The work of shepherds is very special:
In our work and daily life, we all consume resources.
But through their work, shepherds safeguard resources. They improve habitats and the health of soil, water and air. They produce high-quality meat, milk, hides and wool. They create irreplaceable benefits for nature and the environment.
That is why shepherds are vital. That is why we need them!
Vereinigung Deutscher Landesschafzuchtverbände e. V. (VDL) is carrying against the individual animal identification – towards herd identification (batch identity) – shows the first results:
The Higher Administrative Court of Koblenz has basically declared the action admissible. This is a necessary prerequisite for a hearing before the European Court of Justice. There are other indications that we have a good chance to make it to Luxembourg.
This success before the German court has made Sergio Pavon Gonzalez, Policy Officer, DG SANCO to personally asked to be kept informed.
We must now solve the following problem:
When we come to the European Court, all 27 Member States and the Commission will be asked for their position regarding the complaint.
Some states will not respond.
Therefore, we ask for reports from as many organizations throughout Europe as possible highlighting all the problems with the system.