Germany lobbies EU for 'high welfare' meat label

Friendly-looking pigs The German agriculture minister is to lobby the European Union to introduce a label on meat to confirm that the animal it comes from has been treated humanely.

Ilse Aigner said the label would make it possible for consumers to see which products were made using a very high level of animal welfare.

“Transparency changes buying behaviour and then the production processes and manufacturing processes,” she added, speaking at Berlin’s Green Week food trade fair.

Heinrich Graf von Bassewitz of German farmer’s association DBV said people should expect to pay more for meat with the label, pointing out that “consumers who complain about so-called factory farming have pushed forward this form of agriculture through their purchase of cheap foods and their extreme price-consciousness.”

While the move would be welcome if it were to stamp out factory farming and other brutal practices, or result in unethical producers being named and shamed, even “high welfare” meat comes at a cost to the environment. Undercover studies have also unearthed examples of animal cruelty on free-range and organic farms.

All of which serves to highlight the fact that there is only sure way to know that the food on your plate is cruelty-free – by buying meat-free.

So why not give Meat Free Monday a try?

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