IAWS: Objective and Scientific Animal Welfare

Animal welfare

Science is called to respond to consumers' concerns about animal welfare.

Posted on Sep 01 ,10:44

IAWS: Objective and Scientific Animal Welfare

According to a Eurobarometer developed by the EU in 2015, more than 9 out of 10 European citizens consider it important to protect the welfare of farm animals (94%). This shows that the consumer is increasingly concerned about caring for animals, however, they often do so based on subjective emotions. Therefore, it is the work of science to establish indicators that are technical and measurable that allow evaluating animal welfare objectively to guarantee it to the consumer. In our case, this is achieved through the Animal Welfare and Biosecurity Technical RegulationINTERPORC ANIMAL WELFARE SPAIN (IAWS) and the “WELFARE COMMITMENT CERTIFIED” seal.
The Technical Regulation is based on the 5 freedoms established by the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) that all production animals must have and on the 12 General Criteria for animal welfare considering the EU regulations. It is endorsed by a Scientific Committee of experts in animal welfare, audited by independent certification bodies and its transparency has been supported by animal rights organizations.
The Scientific Committee (constituted by a total of 19 veterinarian and agronomist associations, universities and research institutes) contributes with the scientific component and evaluates and decides on any modification that is wished to be applied to the Technical Regulation. In this way, and including requirements establishedin thenational and European regulations as well as others that go further and are more demanding, it becomes a dynamic regulation and a tool for continuous improvement.
These OIE principles are translated into technical, objective and scientific criteria and requirements that must be met in the 8 control areas established in the Regulation: feeding; cleaning-disinfection; housing; health; behaviour; animal handling; control of farms and animals; and control at the slaughterhouse. Likewise, it establishes surveillance of good practices in all phases of the production process: gestation and breeding, fattening, transport, slaughter and manufacturing.
In this way, The Spanish white pork sector, through the "WELFARE COMMITMENT CERTIFIED" seal, allows the consumer to recognize that a product has been made with the maximum guarantees in terms of animal welfare and biosecurity with a scientific and objective basis that allows maximizing the welfare and indirectly the productivity, quality and sustainability of the animals.

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