What does breeding seals on animal products mean?

Animal welfare has become an issue of increasing importance in recent years. More and more consumers want to know the conditions in which the animals whose meat, eggs or milk they eat are kept. For this there are types of breeding from 1 to 4, which can be found on the package. You can find out what they mean and what the differences are here.

In the supermarket, consumers are faced with a variety of seals and labels on the product packaging. But sometimes you can’t categorize them right away. For many meats and some dairy products, breeding labeling is observed. These devices must inform the consumer about the conditions of the animal from birth to slaughter or during the entire preservation process.

This is what it means to keep seals for meat

As already mentioned, there are breeding forms from 1 to 4. And the “quality” is increasing. It is important to note that this is not an animal welfare label and therefore cannot provide any information about animal health and welfare. Only the situation is highlighted here, the Consumer Advice Center writes.1

Many consumers want to shop consciously. Also for this reason, labels and tags make sense. So the Society for the Promotion of Animal Welfare in Livestock Breeding introduced the Animal Husbandry Seal.2 Many supermarkets have joined in, discount discounts and put labels on their meat and some dairy products. To be more precise, you can find seals on

  • ALDI
  • Lidl
  • Kaufland
  • edica
  • Buntig . group
  • Benny
  • Clear
  • repeat

Forms of breeding were introduced to fatten or raise cattle, chickens, turkeys, ducks, rabbits, dairy cows, and pigs. Among other things, the type of breeding, feeding, space maintenance, etc. are disclosed. You can find out what the stages look like in detail below.

Housing type 1 (red)

The worst type of housing is housing type 1 and is called “stall housing”. This sign reveals, among other things, that animals have very little space. Basically, this level refers to the legal minimum standards for raising animals. Products marked with QS certification meet the standards of breeding type 1. Animals can be leashed all year round and kept exclusively in the barn. In addition, for all forms of breeding in terms of health monitoring, the results are recorded at the slaughterhouse.

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Housing type 2 (blue)

Housing type 2 is called “stable housing plus”. Here, too, stable housing is the norm, and conditions here are a little better than in the previous stage. Animals have a little more space and sometimes they get better activity materials (litter, etc.). However, it should be noted that the standards are not significantly different from the lower management level and the animals still do not have much freedom.

Housing type 3 (orange)

Model 3, called the “Outdoor Climate,” is a little better. As the name suggests, the animals have limited access to pastures and outdoor areas and are sometimes free or on tap. The big difference is that the animals are given non-GMO feed. In contrast to previous forms of breeding, the forage must only be approved by the QS and therefore also contains genetic engineering.

Housing Type 4 (Green)

The highest form of breeding is called “Premium” and aims to ensure the best breeding standards. Animals have the largest area with this type of housing. Not only is the feed produced without genetic engineering, but half of it also comes from our own farm or sourced regionally. Organic products are here, but conventionally processed products can also be found under Type 4 breeding if they meet the criteria.

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Other seals that provide information about the form of breeding

Sometimes there is no breeding model code 1-4 on the package, but there may be other seals that can be used to tell the conditions the animals were kept. The following overview reveals which seals correspond to the breeding form identification colors:

  • red: QS Marks, Lonki Park, Olivia Pannon White, QMilch
  • blue: Tierwohl Initiative, Heimat Rinder, Müller’s Landrind, Rabbit Care, Lonki Gutes Leben, Olivia Pannon White Plus, Rabbit Relax, QMilch+, DLG Tierwohl (Bronze)
  • orange: Farmers Love, German Animal Welfare Association (1 star), Nature and Respect, Fairmast, Hay chicken, Rottaler farm chicken, Prima chicken, Farm chicken, Wiesenhof Privathof poultry, Professional animal care, Farmers love, Rural Country Life, Pig Hay Initiative, Bavarian hay hog, hay hog, fair farm, respect for the animal, farmer pig, schmitz – animal responsibility, regional hay hog, good meat – hay hog, Lars Pod, country happiness, farmers brand – regional & fair, happiness in the stable, Pro Weideland, Château Boeuf, Animal Fair, Natural Gourmet, Eichenhof, Naturplus, Qualivo – Premium Beef, DLG Animal Welfare (Silver)
  • Green color: Organic *, Pure Nature, German Animal Welfare Association (2 stars), Hofglock, Neuland, Strohol, Active stable for pigs, Iberfris guiwillo, gloxat, Reinert Herzensachs, Blei Morschwein, Struhglock, Hof bean, Gebauer domestic, Almo terefull, – veal Premium, DLG Animal Wellbeing (Gold)

Conclusion: There is no designation for animal welfare, but for breeding conditions

If you want to know something about an animal’s health and condition, you can’t figure out how to keep it. These only state the conditions in which the animal lives. However, it should be noted that such seals certainly make sense, because many consumers think more about their consumption or how they keep their animals when shopping.

Also surprisingly, many of the companies or seals are in the orange (conservation type 3) and green (conservation type 4) zone. However, this does not necessarily mean that meat or milk is automatically healthier or better. Perhaps the animals had a better life than the animals that lived on a farm with a red or blue seal. Whether this affects meat quality is still another question and should theoretically be noted with other labels. But there is no doubt that the quality of the feed, the breeding or the location of the animals is much better at a higher level.


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