GERMANY - The German government is to spend more than €33 million on animal welfare programmes this year according to the 2015 Federal Government Animal Welfare Report.
This is a rise from 2014 when the agriculture ministry spent €20.5 million.
In the pig sector, the report shows that the government has already started to put plans into place to ban castration of piglets without anaesthetic by 2019.
The sector started the moves to phase out the practice two years ago and according to the report alternatives to castration including leaving entire boars and immunocastration are being considered to castration under anaesthetic, when castration without anaesthetic is banned.
The report says that any alternative methods will have to be discussed and clarified with the rest of the food chain and several workshops and seminars involving politicians, the trade, welfare groups and consumer groups have been held to discuss the alternatives to castration without anaesthetic.
The report also says that the pig sector is researching ways of addressing boar taint and how to detect it in the slaughterhouse as well as ways of reducing the problem through breeding feeding and management.
In addition to castration of piglets, the animal welfare report also says that tail docking is only allowed in exceptional circumstances.
The report says it is only carried out to prevent tail biting and this is caused because poor housing conditions and poor management.
“Both tail biting and tail docking are animal welfare concerns,” the report says.
It says that Germany is working with other countries, including the Netherlands and Denmark as well as welfare organisations to research ways to minimise tail biting.
The report says that in Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and Lithuania tail docking is already banned and the pig farms in those countries are bound by stricter welfare regulations.
Now a ban on tail docking has become a focus for Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark.
The report also shows that by then end of last year, Germany was 99.91 per cent compliant with the EU regulation on the ban on sow stalls, while eight other countries in the Union – Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Cyprus - were still subject to infringement proceedings.
You can view the full report by clicking here.
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