The EU's preferred means of improving animal welfare in Germany is not to pass new laws but to help achieve better implementation in the member states.
This was made clear at the 13th European Meat Forum in Brussels where representatives of the European Parliament and Commission discussed various issues with the butchery sector.
The new animal welfare strategy for 2011 to 2015 means that Europe's butchers need not fear the introduction of a mandatory animal welfare seal in the near future. What is needed instead are generally binding standards which are uniformly implemented in all 27 member states. The Europeans need to speak the same language, urged the politicians on the panel.
The International Butchers' Confederation, the organiser of the 13th European Meat Forum, seized the opportunity to stress just how much importance the non-industrial butchery sector places on animal welfare.
But IBC President Jean-Marie Oswald also pointed out that a mandatory seal would involve a disproportionate amount of work and costs for butchers which would in turn put valuable small-business structures under pressure. In addition, a further logo would serve to confuse rather than inform consumers, he claimed. The IBC therefore urged improved monitoring of the existing high animal welfare standards and targeted support for innovation in the fields of animal protection and animal health.
Source: afz – allgemeine fleischer zeitung 46/2011