First international standards adopted for animal welfare in livestock production

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has adopted new generic guiding principles on animal welfare relating to livestock production systems and a new chapter on the welfare of cattle bred for meat production.

Agreement was reached at the OIE’s 80th General Session, held in Paris and was said to be siginficant by the OIE’s director general Bernard Vallet after delegates’ failure in 2011 to reach agreement on animal welfare of broiler chickens. “This is an historical event that opens the way to adoption of animal welfare standards of other farm animal production,” he said.

The new adopted texts provide for criteria and indicators to measure the welfare of beef cattle, nutritious quality of feed, supplementary lighting for cattle that do not have access to natural light, bedding and many other aspects of cattle breeding conditions.

Other key decisions reached by delegates include new texts on the responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in animals for consumption purposes.


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