Given the populist trends in public discussion about animal welfare in animal husbandry, the animal welfare organisation Initiative Tierwohl has reinforced its call for more objectivity in the debate.

 Individual interest representatives are publicly disseminating false information about Initiative Tierwohl, which like no other alliance is improving animal welfare across the board in Germany. For instance, on several occasions recently Initiative Tierwohl has been incorrectly interpreted as a product label – only to be then criticised for not satisfying the requirements of a product label.

”Blanket or incorrect criticism such as the claim that Initiative Tierwohl is a product label should not be heeded anymore“, states Dr. Alexander Hinrichs, General Manager of Initiative Tierwohl. ”It harms progress towards more animal welfare in animal husbandry if individual lobbyists equate the achievements of Initiative Tierwohl with those of a label or spread other false information. This misleads consumers and causes the important debate about more animal welfare to drift off into subjective populism. This has to stop if we want to achieve our common goal of ‘more broad-based animal welfare’“.

As experience has shown that for most consumers the price is more important than animal welfare when they shop for food, the Initiative is pursuing an approach that is independent of the decision for a specific product. Traceability of the products by consumers is therefore not essential in order to create more animal welfare. Common labels that have to rely on product decisions by the consumer have not so far succeeded in developing broad-based effectiveness.

”Initiative Tierwohl enables many farmers to create greater animal welfare on a broad basis. As of next year more than 4100 pig farmers and well over 1000 poultry farmers will be participating in our programme – no label has this many“, continues Hinrichs.