German coalition deal seeks animal welfare improvement

A compulsory animal welfare label will be introduced for meat from 2022
calendar icon 25 November 2021
clock icon 2 minute read

Germany's incoming government has big plans for its farmers and food manufacturers, Reuters reported yesterday. The new coalition, which comprises the centre-left Social Democrats, the Greens and the libertarian Free Democrats, plan to cut farmers' use of herbicides, improve animal welfare and restrict advertising products with sugar to children in an attempt to promote healthier diets. 

The coalition agreement will install a three-way federal government, marking the end of 16 years of conservative-led rule under Angela Merkel.

By the end of 2023, Glyphosate will be removed from the market as part of a wider programme to reduce weed-killer use, the agreement said. 

The new government wants to achieve a 30% level of organic farming in Germany by 2030. To achieve this, it has promised more financial support to help farmers make the switch from conventional to organic farming. 

A compulsory animal welfare label, which will also cover transport and slaughter, will be introduced for meat from 2022. Furthermore, transport of live farm animals to third countries outside the EU will only be permitted once the routes have proven facilities that ensure the welfare of animals.

The legal basis will be introduced to permit video surveillance of sections of slaughterhouses of special importance to animal welfare.

The new government also wants to "significantly reduce" emissions including ammonia and methane from agriculture. 

It aims to decide a national food strategy by 2023, with a focus on healthier food for children. Moves will be made to find more alternatives to meat.

Advertising of foods with high sugar, fat and salt content targeting children under 14 will be stopped, though the coalition agreement made no mention of sugar taxes.

Source: Reuters

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