Status: 07.06.2022 2:46 pm
The introduction of the mandatory animal welfare sign has been debated for years. Previous concepts failed. Agriculture Minister Özdemir has now provided the cornerstone of his concept.
Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Ozdemir (The Greens) presented a concept for a five-stage state label for animal welfare labels on food. This would enable consumers to know how much space the animals had during fattening and how comfortable their stalls were. Various breeding levels should be offered: stable, stable + space, fresh air stable, exercise/outdoor area and organic as an additional category.
|position level||what does that mean?|
|barn||Only the minimum legal requirements are met.|
|stable + place||Animals get 20 percent more space.|
|fresh air stables||The stables are open on at least one side.|
|Running/Outdoor||Animals are allowed outside for at least eight hours per day.|
|organic||There are larger exercise areas and more space in the barn.|
According to Özdemir, the obligation should initially apply to pork, with other animal species added later. The minister said that mandatory state labeling on animal husbandry is “an essential building block for agricultural animal husbandry that sustains the future.”
Our livestock farms urgently need a reliable, long-term perspective for investments in animal welfare and climate protection to pay off.
More transparency in animal husbandry
Ozdemir added that many consumers “want to know how the animals whose meat they buy at the counter or in the supermarket live.” “By mandatory labeling of animal husbandry in the state, we are now creating transparency that has been years overdue.”
The bill will then be voted on by the federal government and then submitted to states and assemblies for comment. Next, the draft must be obtained by the federal government and then forwarded to the European Union. Parliamentary proceedings in the Bundesrat and the Bundestag are due to begin in the fall. Ozdemir was confident that his proposal would be accepted by the various authorities. “We have waited long enough in Germany,” the minister emphasized. The tag is coming.
The concept is expensive
After several unsuccessful attempts, Ozdemir makes a new attempt to supply meat products in Germany with a mandatory label for animal husbandry. Recently, Julia Klöckner (CDU), the predecessor of Ozdemir, wanted to put such an animal welfare logo on the shelves with requirements higher than legal standards. But the plans failed.
After the change of government, the SPD, the Greens, and the FDP agreed to introduce the state label for animal husbandry. However, the Traffic Light Coalition is arguing over the question of how farmers can be supported with stable transfers and follow-up costs. One billion euros in start-up funding is planned in the federal budget until 2026. “This is good for a start, but not enough,” Özdemir admitted. Clarification is needed in the coalition for additional funding. A panel of experts put forward proposals such as a higher value-added tax or “animal welfare tax” on animal products. An additional charge of 40 cents per kilogram of meat can be envisaged.
FDP rejects meat surcharges
The FDP has already made it clear that it rejects such price increases – particularly in light of inflation. Özdemir, without adopting any of the suggestions, indicated that there are different financing models. “If you say no to everyone, you also say no to animal husbandry in Germany.”
The criticism doesn’t just come from the Traffic Lights Alliance. Opposition notes that pork, beef and poultry have been voluntarily labeled in supermarkets for years. Therefore, the AfD considers the project unnecessary.
The label does not go far enough for associations
The German Farmers’ Association has spoken of an important first step, but sees major loopholes in the draft: Without a binding timetable for the inclusion of beef and poultry, there will be no “guiding effect,” head farmers Joachim Roqued warned. The planned naming is not enough for environmental and animal rights activists. “A seal that looks only at the form of breeding is misleading and hides the core problems,” said Annemarie Botzki of the consumer organization Foodwatch.
Livestock farming in its current form afflicts animals with chronic diseases. Martin Hofstetter, an agricultural expert at Greenpeace, complained that “aspects such as transport, slaughter or animal health are not taken into account at all”.
Ozdemir presents the main points of animal care stickers
Birthe Sönnichsen, ARD Berlin, Jun 7, 2022 at 1:10 pm