Germany Seeks Welfare Labels

Germany’s agriculture minister is urging the European Union to adopt animal-welfare labels on its meat.

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In a new charter released Thursday, German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner urged the European Union to label meat based on the welfare standards of its source, in an effort to increase transparency about which products come from animals raised in better conditions. The labeling system would be implemented as part of a new government program that seeks to shift German farm policy toward better animal-welfare standards and allow consumers to make informed decisions about their purchases. Officials with Deutscher Bauernverband, the German farmer’s association, argue that citizens will have to reevaluate their pricing standards and be willing to pay higher prices for humanely raised meat. Other key issues in the charter included farm animals’ designated space and freedom of movement, and the elimination of certain cruel practices such as castrating piglets without painkillers.

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