What are you paying for when you buy meat with the animal welfare seal?

We are used to seeing stickers that inform of a certain certification in all meat and animal products. One of them is that of animal welfareand directly attends to a European directive that guarantees that the origin of that product has complied with a series of standards that prevent mistreatment.

Specifically, Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) makes it clear that “Member States shall fully take into account the welfare requirements of animals as sentient beings, while respecting the legal or administrative provisions and the customs of the Member States relating, in particular, to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage”.

In summary, and as established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), an animal obtains the welfare certificate when during its life “it is healthy, comfortable, well fed, safe and does not suffer from unpleasant sensations such as pain, fear or restlessness ”.

[El ridículo bulo de la Ley de Bienestar Animal]

New consumption habits

The way we buy has changed in recent years, evolving and focusing on aspects that go beyond issues such as priceand looking at things such as the origin of the product or the way and the conditions in which it has been produced.

One of the functions of the seals and wellness certifications is precisely that, to clarify to the consumer any doubts about issues such as the feeding of the animals or the facilities in which they have lived.

As the report reflects Other consumption for a better futureprepared by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), around 70% of those interviewed prefer to buy products driven by sustainability criteria, and this despite the fact that there are still many barriers in terms of knowledge and information about this type of products.

[La dieta con bajo impacto ambiental que salvará al planeta está en España]

The document also states that half of consumers are interested in sustainable movements such as social or solidarity economyand have ever been interested in or practice circular economy actions.

For all this, the food sector has a large number of committed consumers, with 70% of those surveyed recognizing that tMake purchasing decisions with animal welfare in mindyour own health and the environment.

What are the standards?

In the case of the meat industry,he standards under which meat is produced with animal welfare certificates are the following:

  1. Diet: The animals are feeding correctly, without being thirsty or hungry, with a varied diet and sufficient food.
  2. Treatment: They are treated with respect and affection, without violence or negative behaviors that imply aggressiveness. In this section it is also seen that they relate well with the rest of their congeners.
  3. Health: The health of the animals is essential, which is why periodic veterinary examinations must be carried out and it must be made clear that no specimen suffers from diseases or injuries.
  4. Habitat: The animals must have a comfortable space, where they can move freely, without elements that restrict their movements, and in places where there are no elements that alter their rest.

How does Spain apply it?

As a member of the European Union, Spain is obliged to apply and comply with animal welfare standards. Even so, it is a competence transferred to the autonomous communities. As reported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, there is legislation in this regard since 1974, when the directive on stunning animals before slaughter was approved.

Almost 50 years later, the law goes far beyond sacrifices, and animal welfare has reached other areas of production such as the stay in livestock farms, their transport or experimentation.

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