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 Back to Nature: Palm oil plantations are being turned back into protected rainforest
21.03.2019 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

nachricht The inner struggle of the evening primrose: Chloroplasts are caught up in an evolutionary arms race
14.03.2019 | Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie

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: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists propose new theory on Alzheimer's, amyloid connection

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Research on TGN1412 – Fc:Fcγ receptor interaction: Strong binding does not mean strong effect

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Bacteria use their enemy -- phage -- for 'self-recognition'

23.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>