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New Seal: Government approves voluntary animal welfare label for pork


With a voluntary label for animal welfare, the federal government wants to improve life for slaughter pigs. Criticism also comes from the meat industry.

The keeping, transport and slaughtering of pigs will be marked by a voluntary seal. With the decision to introduce an animal welfare label, the Federal Government follows a draft law of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The seal is a so-called positive mark: Meat carrying the label must have been produced according to criteria that go beyond the "statutory minimum animal welfare standard," they say.

Seal should also be introduced for beef and poultry

Anyone who abuses the label must expect to be imprisoned for up to one year or fined up to € 30,000. The Bundestag still has to agree to the law. The seal applies initially to pork. At a later date, it will also be introduced for beef and poultry.

Criticism from the Wiesenhof boss

Consumers are "generally willing" to spend more money on meat, "if they can credibly assume that in the production of these foods animal welfare standards have been met," it says in the bill to justify the proposed animal welfare label. It should be introduced on a voluntary national basis.

Nonetheless, the government continues to examine, in consultation with the EU, "if and how a national mandatory animal welfare label could be regulated as a second step". Immediately after the decision of the Federal Cabinet, the SPD faction announced that it would only agree to a mandatory label in the Bundestag.

The Green Agrarian expert Renate Künast criticized that a voluntary label creates "no full transparency" for consumers. The farmers' association predicted that the label would "not be accepted by the market".

Peter Wesjohann, head of meat producer Wiesenhof, has also sharply criticized the voluntary nature of the planned labeling. "My motto is: Better no label than a voluntary," said Wesjohann the "New Osnabrücker newspaper". The currently desired solution would rather weaken the animal husbandry location Germany and displace production abroad, said the Wiesenhof boss.

Source: spiegel

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