International Conference To Explore Trade Opportunities Of Animal Welfare

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13th January 2009, 03:41pm - Views: 336

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Brussels, 13 January 2009

International conference to explore trade opportunities of animal welfare 

A Brussels conference will this month show what trade opportunities higher standards for

animal welfare have to offer. On 20 and 21 January the Conference on Global Trade and

Farm Animal Welfare will bring together anyone from farmers, retailers, politicians,

academics, international institutions and animal welfare organisations to present positive

experiences of inclusion of animal welfare in the trade environment. This event, which follows

a successful forum held in Brussels last April, is being organised by the Directorate-General

for External Trade and the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers of the European

Commission, together with Eurogroup for Animals, Royal Society for the Prevention of

Cruelty to Animals, Compassion in World Farming, and World Society for the Protection of


Scientists have linked higher standards for animal welfare to improved food safety and better

food.  World-wide there is also a growing demand for high welfare products which farmers

and retailers can sell at an increased profit margin. The link between animal welfare and

development is increasingly being recognised by institutions such as the World Bank’s

International Finance Corporation and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture

Organisation. In other words, improving animal welfare has a positive impact on human

welfare too.

Adolfo Sansolini, trade policy advisor for RSPCA, Compassion in World Farming, Eurogroup

for Animals and WSPA, commented: “Farmers, retailers and governments have a lot to gain

by working together on animal welfare. Ethical considerations and business opportunities

don’t stop at the border.

“Higher standards for animal welfare are a chance to tap into a continuously growing market.

Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in how their food is being produced. Animal

welfare is no longer only a just cause, but also a trade opportunity that should not be




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For more information, call Steven Blaakman, senior press officer at Eurogroup, on 0032

(0)27400823 or email him on Outside office hours,

he can be reached on 0475731066.

In Australia:  Carole de Fraga, Regional Representative, Compassion in World Farming (03) 9880 7342 or 0409 836 355.



The European Union explicitly states in its Community Action Plan on the Protection and

Welfare of Animals 2006-2010 that the Commission wants to promote high animal welfare

standards in the EU and at the international level. This involves co-operating with developing

countries on creating production systems with higher standards for animal welfare, which

would help them to export to the union.


Australia has strong links with the EU.  The EU is Australia’s largest single economic partner

and Australia’s largest partner in two way trade in goods and services.  It is the largest

investor in Australia and the second largest destination for Australian investment overseas.


Australia and the EU cooperate significantly on issues of animal welfare and policy.


The Australian Government is committed to the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy (AAWS)

which refers to Australia’s responsibility to animal welfare within Australia and internationally. 

Australia is significantly engaged in external trade in animals and animal products.  Australia

contributes to international benchmarking of animal welfare standards and develops its own

international policies involving animal welfare.  


Conference on Global Trade and Farm Animal Welfare website:


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