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Animal welfare

Animal welfare is enshrined as a State goal in the German Basic Law and regulated in the Animal Welfare Act. Under the latter, animal keepers are obliged, in order to promote the welfare of their animals, to comply with the applicable regulations.

Animal welfare is an important issue for the BMEL. The ministry works on developing the existing regulations to support animal welfare. Other examples of ways in which the BMEL promotes animal welfare include sup-porting research projects, investments in livestock husbandry systems that conform to animal welfare principles, and the development of alternatives to animal testing. The ministry also supports and promotes better animal welfare standards - including for animal transportation - at EU and international level.

International Animal Welfare Conference in Brussels

Drei Schweine im Auslaufbereich schauen in die Kamera

Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany presented their European Animal Welfare Initiative at the International Animal Welfare Conference and discussed the envisaged goals.

more: International Animal Welfare Conference in Brussels …

Joint commitment for more animal welfare in pig farming

Group photo of the ministers Schmidt, Jørgensen, Dijksma and Bucht

International animal welfare conference in Copenhagen on 29/30 April 2015

Danish Agriculture Minister Dan Jørgensen, Dutch Agriculture Minister Sharon Dijksma and German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt discussed improved animal welfare in pig farming at the International Conference on Pig Welfare in Denmark.

more: Joint commitment for more animal welfare in pig farming …

Recommendations for more animal welfare

Federal minister Christian Schmidt, Gert Lindemann and Inge Böhne present the interim report

On 22 January 2015, Federal Minister Schmidt received the first interim report drawn up by the "Group of Experts on Animal Welfare". Minister Schmidt had tasked the Group of Experts on Animal Welfare with flanking his animal welfare initiative and making proposals on how animal welfare in Germany could be improved.

more: Recommendations for more animal welfare …

Agriculture Ministers call for more animal welfare in Europe

The ministers Schmidt, Dijksma und Jørgensen after signing the declaration

Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands sign a declaration on improving animal welfare at European level

Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands called upon the European Commission to give a high profile to animal welfare issues in its priority setting.

more: Agriculture Ministers call for more animal welfare in Europe …

BMEL Animal Welfare Initiative

Logo BMEL Animal Welfare Initiative

Minding animals - new ways to improve animal welfare

On 17 September 2014, Federal Minister Christian Schmidt launched a new initiative for more animal welfare. With the start of the Animal Welfare Initiative, he wants to bring animal welfare further into the mainstream of society.

more: BMEL Animal Welfare Initiative …

Minding animals - new ways to improve animal welfare

Titelbild der Broschüre mit den Eckpunkten der Tierwohl-Initiative

Concept paper

Animals are our fellow creatures. Ensuring their welfare is an obligation for all people handling animals. Since 2002, animal welfare has been enshrined as a State goal in the German Basic Law and has therefore become a binding guideline for government action.

more: Minding animals - new ways to improve animal welfare …

Improving animal welfare in Germany

Cow and calf on a meadow

The BMEL pursues a comprehensive strategy in the area of animal welfare. This includes numerous initiatives, one aspect of which is the amendment to the Animal Welfare Act that entered into force in July 2013.

more: Improving animal welfare in Germany …

The BMEL supports introduction of an independent animal welfare label

Logo Animal Welfare Label

Growing numbers of consumers attach particular importance to high animal welfare standards in the production of animal-based foods. In order to strengthen consumer confidence in livestock farming, processes must be explained and information needs to be provided on the realities of production. Trust can be built up by ensuring openness and transparency along the entire production chain.

more: The BMEL supports introduction of an independent animal welfare label …

Improving the welfare of laying hens

Laying hens

Germany plays a leading role in Europe in animal welfare issues: Fundamental changes and improvements have been made to husbandry systems.

more: Improving the welfare of laying hens …

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