It is necessary to change the paradigm and consider that the welfare of farmed animals is closely interconnected with the health of people and the environment*: the farm, in its entirety and complexity, is in fact a pivotal element for food production and for a positive solution to the challenge’s humanity is facing on climate change, health and biodiversity.

The fight for sustainable, animal-friendly farming is one of the focal points of the Slow Meat campaign, and of the daily work the movement undertakes with producers, consumers, chefs, technicians, and institutions.

As part of the Presidia program, there are guidelines and production protocols to help producers make their products sustainable. 

In general, a sustainable production means

  • farming extensively outdoors on pasture, whenever the weather allows.
  • Respecting the animals’ natural growth rhythms
  • Prioritizing hardy local breeds and preserving biodiversity
  • Not forcing reproductive periods by deseasonalizing heats
  • Avoiding corn silage and supplementing grazing only with hay and natural and local feed, if possible grown by the farmer themselves
  • Limiting treatment with antibiotics, i.e. not using them preventatively/systematically but only when essential to curing an animal
  • Not practicing mutilations
  • Not transporting animals for long distances to reach the slaughterhouse and ensuring that at all times the animals are spared suffering and panic
  • Practicing farming on a human scale, in other words with smaller dimensions, making it possible to preserve a relationship with the animals and the natural context
  • Making processed products without using synthetic ingredients like artificial preservatives and other additives

To read the complete Animal Welfare guidelines, click here

Furthermore, Slow Food collaborates with numerous partners, in various field research projects, to improve not only the conditions of animals on farms, but also the lives of the producers themselves.

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In particular, thanks to the PPILOW project Slow Food aims to co-construct through a multi-actor approach solutions to improve animal welfare, starting from poultry and pigs reared in organic and low-input outdoor farming systems. To this end, the wellness self-assessment apps were developed in the project: PIGLOW and EBENE. A tool available to breeders, veterinarians and technicians to improve more and more, bringing to light the limits that there are to improve the welfare on individual farms.

Apps are structured on a short series of questions about the management of the farm and the behavior of the animals, according to the principle of One Welfare. After answering a questionnaire of about 20 minutes, producers get graphs and data on their own level of welfare on the farm, then, the final score is put in a ranking with the other European breeders.

To download the PIGLOW app, click here

To download the PIGLOW app, click here

To read news about the project, click here 

 

 

 

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* Pinillos R.G. (2018). One Welfare: A Framework to Improve Animal Welfare and Human Well-being. CABI Publishing.

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