Whilst the UK develops our own position on animal welfare its interesting to be aware of how the EU its tackling this question.
After the adoption of the EU directive on unfair trading practices, Member States now have to transpose it until April 2021. The Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International calls upon every Member States to make ambitious legislative proposals in their countries, not only to implement the minimum EU requirements but to supplement them with a ban a further unfair trading practices. “Today, competition in the market is being conducted at the expense of producers – food is being sold off, the existence of farms is being put at risk. Precarious conditions for employees and temporary workers in the processing chain, inadequate animal, environmental and climate protection are accepted,” criticised Alexander Gerber, board member of the Biodynamic Federation. “A lax implementation of the EU directive and the voluntary nature of further steps is not enough because this would put those trading companies that are committed to fairness at a disadvantage in terms of price. There must be a level playing field, with a solid legal basis for a pricing policy that factors in the actual costs of production“.
In addition to an ambitious implementation, the Biodynamic Federation – Demeter International also sees an urgent need for action in national measures to ensure animal welfare, under the credo “more respect”. Cheap meat and animal welfare do not go well together. The EU should restructure its animal husbandry in such a way that the climate and environment are protected and that the well-being of the animals is ensured. This would mean, in particular, more stringent legal requirements for all farm animals and their control and mandatory meat labelling similar to the successful egg labelling. The introduction of an animal welfare levy must ensure the financing of particularly species-appropriate stables and corresponding husbandry methods.