Danish Animal Welfare to Be Improved Significantly in 2018
“Denmark is a leading country when it comes to high levels of animal welfare, but that does not mean we rest on our laurels, we wish to continue to do better”, says Karen Hækkerup , CEO for Danish Agriculture & Food Council.
Millions for research
In 2018 the Danish pig producers will invest 230 million DKK (EUR 39 million) in research on animal welfare, quality and sustainably production. Animal welfare and research are indissoluble. “The industry needs to go out and find tomorrows next steps in collaboration with the universities and organisations”, says Karen Hækkerup. The funds are coming from the pig producers themselves and the research is carried out by SEGES in close collaboration with among others, Aarhus University, Copenhagen University and other leading, international organisations and universities.
If the boars are not castrated, the risk of unpleasant taste and smells when cooking the meat are increased. That is why a lot of the global markets are demanding castration of the pigs. Today the farmers are using pain-releaser during the castration, but Danish pig producers have, on their own initiative, taken the next step and decided to introduce local anesthetic before the castration. This means that the Danish pig producers already go further than the official requirements from the EU and the Danish legislations.
“In the coming months, we will be focusing on the training of farmers and employees to make sure all boars get local anesthetics before castration by the end of 2018,” says Erik Larsen, chairman for pig production at Danish Agriculture and Food Council.
This means that the Danish pig producers already go further than the official requirements from the EU and the Danish legislations.
More sows to be untethered
At this point the majority of the sows in Denmark are untethered in the stables. Danish pig producers are especially focusing on the next step: untethered sows in the farrow stables. According to Erik Larsen, Danish pig producers are leading, when it comes to establishing farrow stables for untethered sows on their own initiative. “We are intensifying the research and development of farrow stables”, says Erik Larsen.
Backing from the consumer is important
Initiatives for better animal welfare often involve higher production expenses. According to Danish Agriculture & Food Council it is therefore important to have the consumer’s support.
As the results from the research projects are coming in, we wish to develop and improve animal welfare for as many pigs as possible. With “as many as possible” we have to consider, that the project also has to be realistic in relation to the consumer’s demands. “We can’t create too expensive production conditions for Danish farmers and food businesses, as the consumer’s will then choose cheaper meat from other countries, with a lower level of animal welfare,” says Karen Hækkerup.
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Source: Danish Agriculture & Food Council
Photo: Økologisk Landsforeningen