The European Convention for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes (1976; ETS 87) is a "framework convention" which gives principles for the keeping, care and housing of animals, in particular in intensive breeding systems. A Standing Committee (T-AP) composed of Representatives of the Parties to the Convention, is responsible for the elaboration and adoption of more detailed recommendations to the Parties concerning the different species of animals for the implementation of the principles set out in the Convention.
For this purpose, the T-AP follows the developments in scientific research and new methods in animal husbandry. These Recommendations are different from those adopted by the Committee of Ministers as they become binding on the Parties six months after their adoption.
For its works, the T-AP has developed a close collaboration with non-governmental organisations representing the different fields concerned: veterinarians, farmers, animal protection associations, animal behaviour specialists, zootechnicians, which participate as observers in its meetings.
In 1992, a Protocol of Amendment to the Convention (ETS 145) was opened for signature. This Protocol provides for the extension of the scope of the Convention to the breeding of animals produced as a result of genetic modifications or novel genetic combinations.
The T-AP is currently elaborating new recommendation concerning rabbits and species-specific Appendices standing from Recommendation concerning farmed fish. In addition, it revises its Recommendation concerning cattle, adopted in 1988.