The OIE World Assembly of Delegates adopted first international standards on animal welfare in livestock production systems

Paris, May 24 2012 – At the organisation’s 80th General Session OIE Delegates adopted new generic guiding principles on animal welfare relating to livestock production systems and a new chapter on the welfare of cattle bred for meat production.

“In 2011 the Delegates of the OIE did not reach a consensus on a text on animal welfare of broiler chickens and this year’s consensus on livestock is a huge step forward This is a historical event that opens way to the adoption of animal welfare standards of other farm animal production,” OIE Director General said.

For example the new adopted texts provide for: criteria and indicators to measure the welfare beef cattle, nutritious quality of feed, supplementary lighting for cattle that do not have access to natural light, bedding and many other aspects of cattle breeding conditions.

OIE published the first international standards on the welfare of animals in 2005 addressing the transport of animals by land, sea and air, slaughter of animals for consumption and killing of animals for disease control, and then on welfare of laboratory animals and stray dog population control.

Other key decisions of the World Assembly of Delegates this week include new texts on the responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in animal for consumption purposes.

The setting up of international standards on modalities of use of feed additives in livestock including hormones and other potential growth promoters is the responsibility of the Commission of the Codex Alimentarius (CCA).