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Farm animal welfare in a world of changing expectations

Posted in: Pork Insight Articles, Welfare by admin on July 5, 2017

Cultural attitudes toward animals have been changing rapidly during the past 50 years. These changes have culminated in some remarkable and very recent developments in farm animal welfare. In the United States, guidelines and audit procedures, designed to assure consumers that animal welfare standards are being met, are currently being introduced by chain restaurants and other major players in the food industry. The European Union has agreed to implement major changes in production methods including phasing out the battery cage for laying hens and the gestation stall for pregnant sows. To prepare for such changes, the animal industries need certain services and resources to be in place: ( 1) research, development and expertise to ensure that acceptable methods are accessible and well tested, (2) economic conditions that favor the timely adoption of such methods, (3) a regulatory environment adequate to encourage appropriate changes and to assure the public that key concerns are being met, and ( 4) organizational leadership and infrastructure to help the animal industries anticipate and prepare for emerging issues. The animal industries need to act promptly to ensure that these services are in place, in order to promote a smooth transition to production standards and methods that will meet changing expectations.

Farm animal welfare in a world of changing expectations

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