World Farm Animal Welfare - Present Status and Prognosis
Ruth Harrison’s 1964 book ‘Animal Machines’, which described in detail the excruciating conditions for intensively farmed calves, pigs and chickens, can be seen as the major catalyst for farm animal welfare reform in the UK and Europe.
In Europe, it was the inspiration for the Council of Europe’s Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes.
In the UK, resulting consumer pressure made the UK government act ? forming the ‘Brambell Commission’ to investigate farm animal welfare. The Brambell report (1965) led to the formation of a Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) and an Act of Parliament governing farm animal welfare. It also included the well known ‘five freedoms’.
Whilst farm animal welfare was born in the UK, it really developed in the European Union (EU)
The European Union
The EU’s farm animal welfare measures include: -
The EU’s farm animal welfare legislation is based on thorough scientific research and analysis, including influential reports by the Commission’s own Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare (SCAHAW).
Council of Europe (CoE)
The CoE covers more countries than the EU, having 45 European member states. It was founded in 1949 to promote and protect democracy and human rights. It included animal welfare in its remit because it believed: “the dignity of mankind could not be disassociated from the respect man owed to his environment and the animals which inhabited it”.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO)
CIWF believes that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is the greatest
threat facing farm animal welfare (and animal protection more generally)
today. Under WTO rules a country cannot: -
In Seattle, the EU tabled animal welfare, but dropped this on pressure
from the US and ‘developing’ countries.
The International Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
A multilateral agreement may be a partial solution to the WTO problem, particularly if officially recognised by the WTO. The OIE has already started this process, and seems likely to become the international body with competence for animal welfare. It is a broad-based organisation, with 165 member countries (as opposed the WTO’s 146), and was chosen as the body capable of producing science-based guidelines/standards on animal welfare (due to its veterinary role). The OIE has already been mandated by the WTO in animal health matters.
Animal welfare has been established as a priority in the OIE’s 2001-5
strategic plan. Priority will be given to the welfare of animals used
in agriculture and aquaculture, and within that category: -
Other Important Animal Welfare Initiatives
Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN (FAO): The FAO amended its
mission to include animal welfare, drafted an animal welfare policy and
included animal welfare in its Good Agricultural Practice guidelines.
Council of Europe (CoE)
The CoE covers more countries than the EU ? it has 45 European member states. It was founded in 1949 to promote and protect democracy and human rights. It included animal welfare in its remit because it believed that: ‘the dignity of mankind could not be disassociated from the respect man owed to his environment and the animals which inhabited it’.
The CoE has five animal welfare conventions, with three on farm animals:
The above is the legislative picture. The reality is somewhat different. In practice, there is an explosion of factory farming, driven by demand and fuelled by large corporations. The growth is happening in ‘developing’ countries, mainly untouched by legislative protection. CIWF has carried out extensive research into this phenomenon.
|2004 HARs 学術大会|