Share article:
Share article:

Europe is considering farm-animal welfare label

© Belga

A German initiative to create a European farm-products label guaranteeing respect for animal welfare received broad support at the European Agriculture Ministers Council on Monday.

Despite the support, many countries, Belgium included, wanted the label to be voluntary rather than binding.

The ideal would be a compulsory, binding system covering all products sold on the European market, Julia Klöckner, the German Agriculture Minister, said. Many of her colleagues back the idea, as long as the system is voluntary.

“The European consumer today is confronted with a large number of labels that are supposed to provide a series of guarantees with regard to the welfare of farm animals, but in practice, these guarantees are often very limited, and even debatable,” Belgian Minister Denis Ducarme commented. He argued that a voluntary label harmonised at the European level “would have the advantage of clarity and coherence” on an EU scale for consumers.

Along with French Minister Didier Guillaume, he insisted that farmers, “the overwhelming majority of whom remain extremely attentive to animal care,” should not be stigmatised.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Austria already have experience in “animal welfare” labelling, while Germany is working on it. The idea is to harmonise these initiatives under a single European label based on verifiable criteria. Klöckner stressed the importance of verifiable information for consumers, but also for producers, for whom it could mean new market opportunities, she argued.

However, some States, such as Greece, stressed that rules already existed and asked the Commission to do a prior analysis.

Meanwhile, the European executive body is scheduled to do an evaluation of the strategy on animal welfare this year. The Commission has confirmed that the proposal that it will come up with under its Green Deal and its farm-to-table strategy would envisage such labelling.


The Brussels Times

Latest news

Consultative Committee will announce latest measures from 6:30 PM
The Consultative Committee will announce the latest changes to Belgium’s coronavirus restrictions in a press conference at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...