European Animal Welfare
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Animal Welfare
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Animal Welfare

Some interesting reflections from the Second European Animal Welfare Symposium held in Brussels

Second European Animal Welfare Symposium

On 20 September, more than 500 people had the opportunity to attend, both in person and online, the 2nd International Symposium on European Animal Welfare, held in Brussels and consolidated as a unique multidisciplinary forum to promote advances that lead to maximum animal welfare guarantees not only in the European Union but also with the ambition to be a reference worldwide.

Around twenty expert speakers attended to the event from different European countries who had the opportunity to express their different points of view, debate their opinions, and refute the impressions of the other attendees, all of them, contributed to generating conversation around a key issue for the future of livestock farming, such as animal welfare.

This was the case of Andrea Gavinelli, head of the Animal Welfare SANTE.G.3 unit, who wanted to point out that, in recent years and in Europe alone, 50 different labelling systems have been created, «which only generate confusion», which is why he called for unification and for «breaking down barriers in Europe and opening up to dialogue». And he recalled how the EU can contribute knowledge to support initiatives such as European Animal Welfare, which will serve to «open up dialogue and negotiation that will lead us to appropriate and effective legislation», as well as «learning from each other»

Another Italian, Paolo Ferrari of the Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali (CRPA), called for «creating a system of accreditation and labelling that is well understood. «We want a product that is worth paying more for because it is really going to bring benefits,» he said. He linked the success of the initiative of the interprofessional organisations organising the symposium «to the effort to raise awareness and educate consumers and producers, companies and organisations, to pass on the benefits of a product according to animal welfare rules».

A more emotional approach was called for by Portugal’s Inés Ajuda of Eurogroup for Animals, who called for «listening to consumers, who like to know what they are eating and want to know that we respect animals». She also put herself in the role of the farmer, «their passion, their belief in what they do every day and how to take the necessary measures to be closer to our consumers».

A view shared during the event by Carolina Cucurella, representative of the European Animal Industry and Transport (UECBV): «Farmers have to feel proud of the products they produce and how, in this way, to achieve more satisfied consumers. And that means that the legislation, the authorities, must also know how to value the importance of rural areas and to maintain the social network that livestock farming is capable of keeping alive».

Laura Boyle from Ireland, of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), as well as giving us her vision from the British Isles, reminded those present of the importance of basing animal welfare on a series of solid evidence and data to reinforce the implementation of measures, and of adding indicators such as animal behaviour to find out whether the necessary parameters are being met. In his speech, he also did not hesitate to congratulate the livestock sector «for the clear improvement it is achieving, which will lead to an increase in consumer confidence» and gave as an example the holding of this 2nd International Symposium on European Animal Welfare.

The Symposium was recorded in its entirety and the video is available to all on the official website:


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