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March 4, 2015, 14:15

Interesting seminar on animal welfare

Evropustofa, the Institute of International Affairs of the University of Iceland and Veterinary Office hosted an open seminar on March 3 on animal welfare in the EU and Iceland.

 Terence Cassidy, Head of Sector for Animal Welfare at the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office, gave a presentation on the development of animal welfare legislation in the EU, as well as what methods have been most effective in bringing about compliance. Here you can access the slides from his presentation.

Þóra Jóhanna Jónasdóttir, Veterinary Officer for Pet Diseases and Animal Welfare at the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, followed suit with a presentation on Iceland‘s recent animal welfare legislation explaining also how it differs from legislation in the EU. Here you can access the slides from her presentation.

A panel discussion followed the presentations with Erna Bjarnadóttir from the Farmers Association of Iceland, Dominique Plédel Jónsson from the Consumers’ Association of Iceland, and Sif Traustadóttir from the Icelandic Society of Animal Protection, commenting on the presentations and giving the viewpoints of their respective organisations on the subject.

The seminar’s speakers spoke of the vast changes that have been made in recent years in animal welfare legislation and how the importance of animal welfare is increasingly taken into account in the production and transportation of animals. Furthermore, Iceland’s new legislation was said to be a major step for animal welfare in Iceland and that the country was performing relatively well in these matters. However, on some issues Iceland was lagging behind, for example in the welfare of laying hens.

Speakers and panelists were unanimous in the view that the general public needed to be better informed on the lifespan of farm animals and that consumers needed more information on what goes on inside slaughterhouses, on farms, and during the transportation of animals. This would make consumers more aware of the importance of animal welfare and make them more willing to pay a certain price for it.