The functioning of the food industry is always in the focus of public opinion, and ANIMAL WELFARE is being given very special attention in the market. Producers must therefore comply with ever stricter animal welfare standards if they are to enjoy profitable partnerships with major buyers and avoid negative consumer reactions.
ACERTA offers the widest possible range of animal welfare standards to help producers demonstrate compliance by achieving certification against international requirements. The standards assessed cover all animal handling activities on farms, transport and slaughterhouses.
In general terms, animal welfare refers to how an animal adapts to the conditions in which it lives. To confirm that an animal is in a good state of welfare, there should be scientific verification that it is healthy, comfortable, well fed and safe, that it can express its innate behaviour (such as free grazing), and that it is not suffering from pain, fear or distress. Achieving animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, adequate shelter, management and nutrition, human management and dignified slaughter where appropriate.
There are currently several auditable animal welfare program promoters:
The Animal Welfare on Wheels – WOW guarantee label identifies operators who comply with animal welfare conditions during transport in land vehicles.
Two levels of certification are established: WOW and WOW Plus. With very little additional effort, transporters certified at the WOW Plus level will be eligible to obtain the prestigious GLOBALG.A.P. certification, an international benchmark of quality in the primary sector and for all food distribution companies.
The Welfair™ certification in Animal Welfare is an independent certificate approved by IRTA in collaboration with the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (Neiker-Tecnalia®) based on the European Welfare Quality and AWIN® standards, which evaluates and controls the quality of animal welfare on farms, growth areas and slaughterhouses, in an exhaustive manner, in the following species: cattle, pigs, sheep and for chickens, rabbits and turkeys.
The “INTERPORC ANIMAL WELFARE SPAIN” seal endorses the good practices carried out in the areas of animal welfare, health, biosecurity, animal handling and traceability in all the stages of the value chain for white-coated pigs in Spain and allows the consumer to recognise that a product has been produced with the maximum guarantees in these areas.
The GLOBALG.A.P. Animal Welfare Expert Committee has established rules for animal welfare that go beyond the demands of the legal requirements and define the contents of this “add-on” certification.
Increasingly, exporters to Europe and progressively in other markets (Asia and America), need to comply with the production standards determined by the GLOBALG.A.P. certification scheme.
In a everyday growing competitive enviroment, GLOBALG.A.P. certification is a tool to demonstrate commitment to the production of safe food in a sustainable manner.