The German Federal Ministry of Agriculture announced on May 10th that Ariane Désirée Kari will be the new Federal Commissioner for Animal Welfare. The creation of the office was agreed in the coalition agreement, and the funds for it were made available at the end of last year through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture budget.
Federal commissioners advocate for the interests of a cause or group of people. Ariane Désirée Kari is a qualified veterinarian and has been a specialist veterinarian for animal welfare since 2022. She was also Deputy State Commissioner for Animal Welfare in Baden-Wurttemberg. According to the Agricultural Ministry, she is to work on the further development of animal welfare and on promoting cooperation and exchange between the federal government, states and associations in the field of animal welfare.
For this purpose, the commissioner now has a staff of four employees at her disposal. The Commissioner is to be able to work independently and without instructions. Her tasks include:
In cooperation with other animal welfare organizations and experts, Animal Society developed a concept for the new Commissioner in order to give it the strongest possible powers. Some of these recommendations have been implemented, but overall the potential of the Federal Commissioner for Animal Welfare has not been fully realised. For example, there is a lack of
It is seen as a risk for the effective execution of the office that time-intensive tasks – such as answering citizens‘ enquiries – are outsourced from the Animal Welfare Department to the Commissioner. This could be to the detriment of the development of innovative initiatives for more animal welfare.
Nevertheless, the creation of the office is an important step for the political representation of animal concerns and interests. Federal commissioners are considered state lobbyists in their field. In this respect, the office can be understood as a representation not only of animal protection, but also of the animals themselves – and be implemented accordingly.
More information on our work for an institutional representation of Animals – see www.representinganimals.org