Binding label for animal husbandry labeling takes next hurdle
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The German government is one step further along the road to a state animal welfare label. In its meeting, the German cabinet passed the Animal Welfare Labeling Act. The parliamentary legislative process will now begin.
With the animal husbandry label, consumers should be able to trace the type of husbandry in which the animal was kept on the food. In a first step, fresh unprocessed meat from pigs is to be labeled in food retail and wholesale, at service counters, in specialty stores and in online trade, the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) announced.
Other animal species and products are to follow. The draft law also provides for the possibility that food from other EU member states and third countries can also be labeled on a voluntary basis.
The decisive factor for the labeling of foodstuffs is the type of husbandry of the animals during the so-called "productive life stage"; in the case of meat, this is the fattening of the animals. The labeling provides for five types of husbandry:
- Stable: the husbandry during fattening is in accordance with the minimum legal requirements.
- Stable and space: The pigs have at least 20 percent more space available compared to the legal minimum standard. The pens are structured by various elements. These may include partition walls, different levels, different temperature or light areas.
- Fresh air pen: The pigs are provided with permanent contact with the outdoor climate inside the pen. This is achieved by having at least one side of the barn open so that the animals can perceive environmental impressions such as sun, wind and rain.
- Free range: The pigs have access to a free range for the entire day, but at least eight hours per day, or they are kept outdoors without a fixed barn building during this period.
- Organic: The animal husbandry complies with the requirements of the EU Organic Regulation. This means that the pigs have an even larger outdoor area and even more space in the barn.