Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Animal Welfare: European Commission supports research to improve animal breeding and food quality

24.04.2002


How are animals fed and treated? In the aftermath of the mad cow and other food scare crises, European consumers are more and more concerned about “farm to fork” food safety and where their food comes from.



EU research can help improve animal breeding and living conditions. The European Commission discussed farm animal welfare research at European level with researchers and other stakeholders during a seminar held in Brussels yesterday. Participants addressed results achieved so far by EU-supported research, and identified European Union’s requirements for future research in this area. The Commission currently supports projects directly related to animal welfare with €7.5 million. In addition, several animal health projects also contain aspects of welfare research. Research projects examined transport of cattle over long distances, animal welfare in organic farming, feather pecking in poultry and consumer concerns. This is the first time that scientists involved in EU-funded research are brought together with representatives of consumer and welfare groups to discuss how research can help implement and develop innovative animal welfare and food safety policies.

Improving animal welfare is an increasingly important aspect of intensive livestock production due, to a large extent, to increased consumer concern about the source of animal products. The European Commission has supported animal welfare research projects under the current and previous European research and development Framework programmes. These projects focus directly on welfare-related research and also on public opinion about animal welfare issues. The forthcoming Sixth Framework programme (2002-2006) will look into animal welfare as a part of policy-related research, with the aim of providing healthy food supplies and exploring new fields of research.


Recently completed and ongoing projects from the Fourth and Fifth Framework programmes, include work on transport of cattle over long distances, animal welfare in organic farming, poultry genetics and feather pecking in chickens and a study on public attitudes to welfare issues (see annex for details). Other projects have tackled important issues such as welfare of veal calf production, genes associated with stress in pigs and locomotory dysfunction in turkeys. Projects involve partners from countries throughout the EU and the associated states.

Beyond the projects leading to direct improvements for animal welfare and food quality, the project on organic farming revealed that, while there is evidence that organic standards have a positive impact on animal welfare, animal health on organic farms is not necessarily better than on conventional farms. The project on consumer opinion was made complex due to the difference between what the public says it wants and actual purchasing behaviour regarding animal products. Nevertheless, the project provides a base on which to build both research and policy that meet society’s demands.

The demand for more welfare-conscious production systems may also engender costs that have an impact on the trade of animals and animal products both within the EU and between the EU and the rest of the world. According to the Treaty of Amsterdam, the European Commission must take into account animal welfare issues when formulating policy and it regularly consults a scientific committee on animal welfare issues.

Under the next Framework programme (2002-2006) research into animal welfare is planned as a part of policy-related research as well as in the context of providing a healthy food supply and potential research areas will be defined in the near future. The workshop, thus, comes at an opportune time for EU-supported welfare research.

Stéphane Hogan | alphagalileo
Further information:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/agro/fair/en/index.html
http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/quality-of-life/ka5

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>