Slow Food Discusses Animal Welfare with the European Commission in Brussels on February 12, 2014

03 Feb 2014 | English

Piero Sardo, President of the Slow Food* Foundation for Biodiversity, is travelling to Brussels to talk at the conference on the “Main achievements of the EU strategy for the welfare of animals 2012-2015” to be held at the Charlemagne Building of the European Commission on February 12 from 9:30 am to 1 pm. The European Commission is organizing the conference on occasion of their mid-term assessment of the EU strategy on animal welfare. The Commission is due to start the preparations for the draft of the EU general animal welfare framework law this year. Therefore it is of utmost importance for Slow Food to engage in dialogue with the EC to make sure it takes into due account the views and needs of small-scale farmers regarding this issue.

The conference is divided into four different sections (I Farming; II Transport and Enforcement, III Quality of Food; IV Education and Training) and among the conference speakers are the European Commissioner for Health, the Director General of the Directorate Health and Consumers, veterinarians, animal welfare activists and researchers:

Animal welfare has become a major concern for Slow Food in recent years, which is why we are working closely with producers of the Slow Food Presidia** project to have a direct impact on the conditions in which their animals are raised. Slow Food considers intensive livestock production as unacceptable, because it compromises the welfare of animals and significantly jeopardizes environmental sustainability, human health and the livelihood of small-scale farmers and rural communities. The organization devotes special attention to the welfare issues revolving around animal transport, antibiotics, labeling, mutilations and force-feeding. The complete position of Slow Food on issues of animal welfare is outlined in the following Policy Paper:

Piero Sardo will further use his stay in Belgium as an occasion to visit the producers of the raw milk Herve cheese, for which a Slow Food Presidium will be launched shortly. On February 10-11, Mr Sardo will assist the preparations for the launch of the Presidium for this unpasteurized cheese that originates from the Belgian municipality Herve. Slow Food decided to establish a Slow Food Presidium for this traditional and culturally important product as the raw milk variety of the cheese was at risk of disappearing: In 1945 around 500 producers made Herve with raw milk, but only two small-scale producers have preserved the raw milk production to the present day. Slow Food has also added the cheese to its Ark of Taste catalog of endangered products.

For further information, please contact the Slow Food International Press Office:

Paola Nano, +39 329 8321285 [email protected]

* Slow Food involves millions of people dedicated to and passionate about good, clean and fair food. This includes chefs, youth, activists, farmers, fishers, experts and academics in over 150 countries; a network of around 100,000 Slow Food members linked to 1,500 local chapters worldwide (known as convivia), contributing through their membership fee, as well as the events and campaigns they organize; and 2,000 Terra Madre food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality food around the world.

** Slow Food Presidia are projects that support quality production at risk of extinction; protect unique regions and ecosystems; recover traditional processing methods; and safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties. Each project involves a community of small-scale producers and provides technical assistance to improve production quality, identify new market outlets and organize exchanges with producers internationally through the large Slow Food events.

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