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Council supports EU-wide animal welfare label

The Council approved conclusions for an EU-wide animal welfare label, highlighting the overarching objective of improving animal welfare for as many food producing animals as possible. Through the approved conclusions, the Council invites the European Commission to submit a proposal on an EU-wide animal welfare label for food produced under animal welfare standards higher than those in EU legislation.

Julia Klöckner, Germany's Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture recently said:

Animal welfare has been a priority for our presidency and I am very pleased to see that it is also now becoming an EU priority for more ambitious and higher standards. A common EU label on animal welfare would increase credibility and transparency in our markets and would enable consumers to make more informed choices. It would also help reward producers who respect those standards.

Ministers supported consumer demands to easily recognise food produced under stronger animal welfare standards and, through the conclusions, called for specific criteria to be taken into account when developing an EU-wide label. Among others, ministers stressed the need to go beyond current EU legal requirements on animal welfare, to gradually include all livestock species in the label covering their entire lifetime (also transport and slaughter), and to ensure a smooth interplay with existing labels.

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