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  1. 2009/10/08Swedish minister Erlandsson opens conference
    Eskil Erlandsson, the Swedish Minister for Agriculture, opened on 8 October 2009 the animal welfare conference in Uppsala Sweden. Erlandsson stated that it is a key issue to take animal welfare into account in the international (World trade) arena.

Eskil Erlandsson opened on 8 October 2009 the animal welfare conference "Delivering Animal Welfare and Quality: Transparency in the Food Production Chain" in Uppsala Sweden. Some hundred experts in the field of animal welfare and health from the EU and other countries gathered in Uppsala, north of Stockholm. The conference marks the conclusion of the Welfare Quality Project that has engaged researchers in the work on animal welfare for over five years

Minister Erlandsson stated that it is a key issue taking animal welfare into account in the international (World trade) arena.
He stated furthermore that:
  • Improving animal welfare may increase costs but this can be counterbalanced by increased productivity and product quality.
  • Animal welfare must be an integral part of international agreement on Agricultural sustainability.
Eskil Erlandsson hoped that works in the Welfare Quality area will continue to evolve.

 
Commissionner Vassiliou and Minister Erlandsson                                       Picture © Gunnar Seijbold


Commisionner Androulla Vassiliou (DG Health and consumers) mend that the level of international attendance at the conference provided clear evidence that Animal Welfare is an important issue worldwide. She stated:
  • Proper and transparent information on animal welfare is a key issue.
  • Producers investing in animal welfare can market their produce easier and get good returns on their investments. Studies show that consumers are prepared to pay more for products that come from healthy animals.
  •  Welfare Quality has highlighted the importance of sound science in this area and shows that we need to continually review and update our animal welfare measures and policy.
  • It is extremely important to maintain the multidisciplinary partnership of Welfare Quality and the links with stakeholders formed in this project.

Picture ©Gunnar Seijbold

Harry Blokhuis, coordinator of the Welfare Quality® project 
said in his speach at the conference: "An important driving force to improve animal welfare is the concern felt by the public".  Harry Blokhuis pointed out that livestock farming has been intensified and that the way that it is conducted today does not tally with the expectations of many, with animals moving around freely on small farms. In the long run, this has given rise to increased public awareness and led to demands for better animal care. This was the driving force when the EU-financed Welfare Quality Project started in 2004. Two other driving forces were that consumers lack information on animal well-being and that farmers wish to take good care of their animals and can see the link between healthy animals and production quality.


Attandees from over 30 countries discussed farm animal welfare during two days. The Welfare Quality project presented her "Assessment protocolls for cattle, pigs and poultry".

 

 
  Management Committee of Welfare Quality®                                      Pictures ©Gunnar Seijbold

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