European Animal Welfare
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Do Certification and Accreditation sound the same to you? Nothing could be further from the truth.

Differentiating between certification and accreditation is complicated, but not impossible.  It is a prerequisite to know if a farm animal is undergoing optimal conditions in terms of animal welfare.

To make it easier to understand here we provide more information.

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Is playing with Spain the same as playing with your own team? Well, an Accredited Certification and a Certification are not in the same league.

You have to know how to play in the same league and know the team you belong to. The same applies to certifications. It is important to know that an accredited certification gives you maximum guarantees on a product as well as reliability and independence in a process that normally should not be conditioned. Remember: Always look for accredited certifications in animal welfare.

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Certification and Accreditation, it is like watching a regional second division match or watching a national team match in the World Cup.

Certification and accreditation may seem difficult concepts to differentiate, but it is a matter of seeing everything in perspective. We explain it to you:

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What ENAC is and why we should trust it as if it were the national selector.

In European animal welfare, ENAC plays a fundamental role as it regulates the operation of accreditation systems in Europe. This is essential in order to have accredited certifications, the tool that ensures the correct operation of each of the welfare certified facilities.

You can also get more information at the following link:

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It sounds like a play on words but it is not: Certifier and Accreditor are not the same thing.

Don’t get confused, certifier and accreditor are not the same concept. If you want to guarantee the animal welfare of farm animals, we explain the importance of differentiating between these two concepts.

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What Accreditation bodies are for and why whitout them. This would be the jungle.

Accreditation bodies play a fundamental role when it comes to animal welfare. Among other requirements, they guarantee independence and rigor to the certification bodies. In this way, we can know if a product complies or not with a reliability. Always be informed, look for accredited certifications in animal welfare

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Certification vs Accredited Certification

PROVACUNO, INTEROVIC and JTT are clear that a certification is not the same as an accredited certification. It is essential to learn to differentiate between the two concepts if we want to contribute to the welfare of our ruminants on farms.  Always choose products with accredited certification

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The Carnivore’s Ethics by Fernando Savater

Animals and whether or not they have rights continues to be a point of debate in society. Fernando Fernández-Savater Martín is a Spanish philosopher, philosophy professor and writer. He stands out in the field of essays and journalistic articles and is a winner of the planet prize and the national essay prize. 

During the first European Animal Welfare Symposium organized by the interprofessionals Interovic, Provacuno and JTT, the philosopher spoke of the importance of not «humanizing» animals and stressed the fact that they have neither rights nor duties «since they are not in the world of moral obligations».

«Animals have no rights because they have no duties, that is, they are not in the world of moral obligations, but that does not mean that they can be treated in any way. Animals need care, and somehow humans take care of them in their own way because an animal is not a stone or a tree. Animals demand a form of care and a form of generosity on our part. » – concluded the writer.

In this way and before more than two hundred attendees, the philosopher emphasized treating different beings according to their own reality: «We cannot treat an animal as if it were a stone just as we cannot treat a Velázquez painting as if it were a rag hanging on the wall. Distinguishing and discerning is what ethics is all about» and he went on to affirm that animals are living beings, «but they are not human, so to apply our same guidelines to them would be to alter their essence».

According to Fernando Savater, humans know pain, just like the rest of the animals, but also suffering, something that becomes one of our exclusives:

«There are people who, out of sentimentality or religion, do not want to eat certain foods and this is totally free. What is not free is to impose this as the only social life and on traditional ways of life and, furthermore, to do so in the name of ethics, as if morality demanded this type of behavior. I have been a professor of ethics and morals for 40 years and I can tell you that it is not true. Morality does not demand such things.» Savater reaffirmed during the event.

Today, European society continues to evolve towards new models of consumption based on concern for the welfare of animals in production chains. During this first Europe-wide symposium, scientists, technicians and different stakeholders from throughout the production chain were able to debate, offer different opinions and learn about the latest scientific and technical advances in animal welfare in production animals.

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The importance of promoting animal welfare

The beef and sheep interprofessionals in both Spain and Hungary (Interovic, Provacuno and JTT) were warmly congratulated by the entire livestock-meat sector thanks to the organization, last November, of the first Animal Welfare Symposium at European level. The recognition came about thanks to the work of the three interprofessionals in uniting different representatives of the production chain and putting animal welfare, a problem of growing concern to citizens all over Europe, in the spotlight.

Thanks to the work of these organizations, technicians and scientists from the sector converged in the same space with the aim of putting animal welfare in the focus of public opinion. In the words of Javier López, director of Provacuno: «Without animal welfare there is no efficient production. Without animal welfare the industries cannot have an adequate product for the consumer, so we have to make a communication exercise in this type of events to transfer to society what is the role of this type of Symposium within what is livestock production».

Great referents of the sector such as the UECBV veterinarian Carolina Cucurella or the philosopher Fernando Savater had the opportunity to debate and contribute new ideas and concepts to the current state of animal welfare. In Cucurella’s opinion: «the moment animals have a good level of welfare, they are animals that will reach the consumer’s table providing a security based on the fact that this product has been obtained with good practices along the whole chain».


In this line, the importance of communicating at all times to society the improvement work and the effort made by the sector itself in this sense was stressed, and it was exemplified with initiatives such as this first annual Animal Welfare Symposium, as Luis Gosálvez, founding member of SEPROBA and director of the Scientific Committee of the Symposium, said: «The stockbreeding sectors have very good professionals and they also love their animals very much. One does not become a breeder because he wants to harm the animals. With that, he mortgages his house, he gets personally involved… but he has to say it and do it. The policy of silence is useless in such a particular debate, where there is so much tendency to feelings».

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), there are several strategies aimed at ensuring the implementation of good animal welfare practices: voluntary codes, generally developed by the industry; business plans; product differentiation that allow consumers to make purchasing choices; development of internationalization programs; and application of international standards and agreements signed by intergovernmental organizations or conventions.

Regardless of the strategy implemented, a prior analysis must always be made based on local conditions to determine which programs are most effective in promoting good animal welfare practices and how the implementation of these programs benefits animals, people and the environment.

Raúl Muñiz, president of the Interprofessional Interovic recognized a constant evolution in the commitments of the sector with the welfare of ruminants and insisted that, as an interprofessional, they have the challenge of knowing how to transmit to a society, increasingly distant from the rural enclave, which are the advances and difficulties faced by livestock productions: «we are calm because we know how to produce. We know that we produce within the highest standards of quality and welfare, but this must be transmitted to the consumer, giving him the guarantee that we are really doing it». – Muñiz emphasized.

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Things that look the same but are not: Certification VS accredited certification.

Certification is a standard procedure by which a body gives written assurance that a product, process or service conforms to specified requirements. In this way, certification seals have become an indispensable tool for consumers who want to have guarantees and reliability about the promises a product makes to them.

But some things may seem to be the same thing, but they are not the same thing at all. Thus, an accredited certification is, yes or yes, evaluated in an audit by ENAC, so it has an additional guarantee that gives it the official accreditation. However, in certifications that have NOT been accredited, the reliability is unknown.

Just as a country can only have one president, so it is the same with accreditation bodies: it can only have one.

A National Accreditation Body is an entity recognised by international legislation as responsible for assessing and recognising the conformity of assessing bodies: certification bodies, testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, inspection entities, etc. Each country has designated its own. In the case of Spain, the National Accreditation Body is ENAC.

The National Accreditation Bodies are the entities in charge of evaluating, by means of the corresponding audits, the bodies that assess conformity (laboratories, inspection, certification and verification or validation bodies, among others) and, in this way, guarantee that they are technically competent.

This is why not all certifications are equal and do not offer the same guarantees and reliability. Only those certifications that have been accredited by a National Accreditation Body, such as ENAC, have the additional guarantee offered by accreditation.

In this way, accredited certification becomes a maximum guarantee of reliability for the consumer thanks to the fact that the entity that endorses the certification is accountable for its work to ENAC. Thus, during the accredited certification process, both the commitments that the product acquires through certification and the certification process itself are evaluated and verified, as well as the entity that carries out the certification process.

Animal welfare of ruminants, an unavoidable commitment.

The Spanish beef interprofessionals, Provacuno, and the Spanish and Hungarian sheep and goat interprofessionals, Interovic and JTT, consider the animal welfare of ruminants to be «an unavoidable commitment», which is why they encourage farmers to opt for accredited animal welfare certificates based on scientific criteria that are traceable and reproducible over time.

Unavoidable commitment

Only in this way will consumers be able to have full guarantees and reliability that the products they consume have truly been produced with the utmost respect and care for animals.

In this sense, Javier López, director of Provacuno, considers that «accredited certificates are the only ones that are reliable for the consumer because behind them is a National Accreditation Body (ENAC) that acts as a guarantor of reliability, transparency and independence during the certification process».

For his part, Tomás Rodríguez, coordinator of Interovic, explains that «another of the key aspects for generating consumer confidence is that certification is based on scientific criteria that are traceable, measurable and reproducible over time, the only way for the consumer to have full confidence that animal welfare is demonstrable».

What are national accreditation bodies for and why would it be a jungle without them?

  • They have an international character and are coordinated through the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
  • They make it possible to homogenise evaluation criteria internationally, applying requirements established in ISO standards.
  • They guarantee the independence and rigour of the assessment bodies (certification bodies, testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, etc.).
  • Each country has its own. In the case of Spain, the National Accreditation Body is ENAC.

When accredited certification also becomes a tool for improving profitability and productivity.

Accredited certification involves the implementation of a process on the farm that requires the recording of data and indicators. This daily monitoring provides farmers with a control and traceability system that allows them to analyse the information in order to guarantee animal welfare and continuous improvement.

In this way, the accredited certification process is not only a guarantor of animal welfare, but also a valuable tool for improving the profitability of farms.

For Sandor Kukovic, coordinator of the Hungarian sheep and goat interprofessional JTT, «a farm is a business that has to generate profitability and that depends first and foremost on the health and welfare of the animals. A healthy and well-functioning animal produces more and better than an unhealthy one. But beyond that, the recording of monitoring data that accredited certification obliges you to do allows the farmer to implement on-site technological and operational improvements that not only have a direct and positive impact on animal welfare, but also lead to improved profitability and lower costs».

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Animal Welfare



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