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EU Council pushes new animal welfare strategy for livestock

Ministers of Agriculture from across the European Union have this week called for action to strengthen pig welfare laws and to end painful procedures on farms.

17 December 2019, at 10:53am

The Council of the EU Conclusions on Animal Welfare published this week, acknowledge that good animal welfare improves animal health and reduces the need to routinely use antibiotics, helping to tackle the growing superbug crisis.

The announcement read as follows:

In its conclusions the Council invites the Commission to develop a new EU strategy for the protection and welfare of animals based on the lessons learned from the strategy for 2012-2015. The Council also encourages the Commission and the member states to initiate communication and education activities for the public of the essential role of good animal welfare in promoting animal health, food security and a sustainable agro-food sector.

The conclusions highlight the importance of animal welfare as an integral part of sustainable animal production. They recognise the need to further update the current legislation, in particular in areas such as animal transport over long distances, the welfare of cattle over 6 months, dogs and cats kept in the context of economic activity and animal slaughter in order to adapt it to the most recent scientific knowledge and technical developments.

Earlier this year, World Animal Protection brought together a group of experts and stakeholders from across the swine industry to explore the issues surrounding ending painful piglet procedures. The group known as The 3Ts Alliance have called for an end to surgical castration, tail docking and teeth reduction of week-old piglets.

Jacqui Mills, Head of Farming at World Animal Protection said: “The painful mutilations of sentient farm animals to prop-up poor factory farming procedures is indefensible. This is a clarion call from the Agriculture Ministers of Europe and the industry must sit up and take notice.

“Good animal welfare is good for animals, people and business.”

World Animal Protection is calling upon the food industry to improve the welfare of pigs in their supply chains through their Raise Pigs Right campaign.