Criteria State animal welfare label for pigs
The aim of the state animal welfare label is to make it clear to the consumer which products meet higher standards than the legal ones. In this way, more animal welfare is promoted.
The planned criteria of the national animal welfare label for pig farming include the following points:
- Roughage and employment
- Bay equipment
- Nesting material
- Suckling phase
- Tail docking
- Piglet castration
- Self-checking with stable climate and water
- Animal welfare education
- Animal health benchmarking
Further cornerstones are to apply to the planned indicator. It is a voluntary participation, but binding compliance with the criteria. There is a comprehensive integration of all marketing channels for meat and meat products (processed products) and a broad participation of the whole chain (e.g. retail trade, gastronomy, crafts, processors) is intended.
The coalition agreement provides for animal welfare labelling until the middle of the legislative period. In mid-January 2019, the BMEL initiated notification of the law on the introduction and use of a three-tier animal welfare label. Initially, criteria were developed for pigs, followed by other livestock species.
The establishment of a state animal welfare label is a complex process in which many aspects have to be taken into account. The major challenge is to reach a broad consensus among the stakeholders to ensure the highest possible level of participation in the value chain. Only then can the label achieve the desired high market relevance. It is in the nature of things that different stakeholders represent different positions.
It must also be ensured, with the participation of industry, that farmers can compensate for the additional costs incurred. Here the promotion of investments - also with regard to construction measures - plays an important role.
The results of the BMEL Nutrition Report 2019 show: The majority of consumers would like to see state animal welfare labelling (81%). The introduction of a state animal welfare label takes these wishes into account. State labelling in the planned form will enable consumers to identify products whose production meets higher than statutory minimum standards and to include this in their purchasing decisions. However, animal welfare labelling also offers farmers good opportunities to stabilise their income.