What do you pay when you buy meat with an animal welfare label?

We are used to seeing labels informing about a certain certification in all meat and animal products. One of them is that of animal welfareand directly follows the European directive that guarantees that the origin of that product complies with a series of standards that prevent bad treatment.

In particular, Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) clearly states that “Member States shall take full account of the requirements of the welfare of animals as living beings, while respecting the legal or administrative provisions and customs of the Member States in particular in relation to religious ceremonies, cultural tradition and regional heritage”.

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

[El ridículo bulo de la Ley de Bienestar Animal]

New consumer habits

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

One of the functions of the seal and wellness certificate is precisely to clarify all the doubts of the consumer about issues such as the animals’ diet or the facilities in which they lived.

As the report reflects Second consumption for a better futureprepared by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), about 70% of respondents prefer to buy products guided by sustainability criteria, despite the fact that there are still numerous barriers in terms of knowledge and information about this type of product.

[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 trends such as social economy or solidarityand have ever been interested in or practiced circular economy actions.

In addition to all that, the food sector has a large number of devoted consumers, with 70% of respondents admitting that tMake purchasing decisions with animal welfare in mindown health and the environment.

What are the standards?

In the case of the meat industry,standards according to which meat is produced with animal welfare certificates are as follows:

  1. Nutrition: The animals are fed properly, without thirst and hunger, with a varied diet and enough food.
  2. Treatment: They are treated with respect and love, without violence or negative behaviors implying aggression. This section also shows that they are well connected with the rest of their relatives.
  3. Health: The health of the animals is of crucial importance, which is why periodic veterinary examinations must be carried out and it must be clear that no specimen is suffering from disease or injury.
  4. Habitat: Animals must have a comfortable space, where they can move freely, without elements that limit their movement and in places where there are no elements that disturb their rest.

How does Spain apply it?

As a member of the European Union, Spain is obliged to apply and adhere to animal welfare standards. However, this competence has been transferred to the autonomous communities. As announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, legal regulations in this sense have existed since 1974, when the Directive on stunning animals before slaughter was approved.

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

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