2023, the year of the 'B+ Animal Welfare Commitment' seal
Livestock professionals are the first to be interested in animal welfare. Not only do they share their lives with their animals, but their livelihood also depends on them. This concern for animal welfare is also shared by consumers themselves, who in recent years have become more concerned about this matter, while at the same time being more demanding when it comes to demanding improvements in the situation of animals, as well as stamps of quality that certify it, and serve as an endorsement of said good practices.
Along this path, at the end of 2022 the 'B+ Animal Welfare Commitment' seal was presented, which is undoubtedly the culmination of the work that the Interprofesional INTERPORC began when it created the seal IAWS (INTERPORC Animal Welfare Spain).
Although the European production model, the one followed in Spain, is the most guaranteeing animal welfare in the world, from the pig sector it was considered that it could go even further. In other words, to voluntarily demand compliance with stricter standards than those set by the European Union with the aim of placing the Spanish white-coated pig sector at the forefront of animal welfare worldwide.
To achieve this, INTERPORC convened a scientific committee of animal welfare experts, who began to work on analyzing the situation at that time, identifying improvement parameters that were even ahead of consumer demands.
His work gave rise to the IAWS (INTERPORC Animal Welfare Spain) technical regulation. A meticulous and precise document, prepared by specialists and with scientific rigor, which establishes the conditions and regulations that must be followed by companies that want to display the 'Certified Well-being Commitment' seal. Some rules that, as was intended from the beginning, are more rigorous than those established by national and European laws.
In this way, the seal has become an endorsement of good practices in animal welfare. A guarantee that, moreover, results in the demonstration of good will of the sector in this matter for two reasons.
First, its voluntary nature. In other words, nobody forced companies to follow it, not even the law, which was much more lax in this matter. Despite everything, in the first three years since it was launched, more than 60% of pig livestock production in Spain voluntarily submitted to controls and audits, implementing the highest animal welfare standards in the world in its production model. .
Second, the transparency of the process. The aforementioned controls and audits are not internal, that is, they are not carried out by the sector itself. Verification of compliance with the regulations corresponds to independent certification entities accredited by ENAC. Independent professionals who are responsible for carrying out the verifications that allow the seal to be granted or not, as well as to renew it annually.
At the end of 2022, another step was taken on the path towards the best practices in animal welfare, and it was none other than the presentation of the common seal 'B+ Animal Welfare Commitment' by the meat interprofessionals INTERPORC, ASICI (Iberian pork), INTERCUN (rabbit), INTEROVIC (sheep and goats), AVIANZA (avian sector) and PROVACUNO (cattle).
After a work of adaptation to each production scheme and to the different species, the guarantee of good practices in animal welfare in all meat species has been unified in the same image. In this way, consumers will be able to identify meat products that guarantee maximum respect for animal welfare throughout the chain.
Thus, a much-desired point is reached for INTERPORC, since the Interprofessional for white-coated pigs was clear from the beginning that the work carried out initially could be extrapolated and be very useful for the entire meat sector.
For this reason, 2023 is a very important year to communicate this new image to the consumer. The Regulations and the seal 'B+ Animal Welfare Commitment' are undoubtedly a great advance and must be a protagonist this year in terms of animal welfare. However, professionals in the swine industry in particular, and meat industry in general, are clear that this issue is not closed because animal welfare is a path of continuous search for excellence and the application of new improvements that imply benefits for the animals.
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