During the recent Finnish EU Council presidency, we responded to a questionnaire on the issue of a pan-European animal welfare label sent to all Member States’ Chief Veterinary Officers. Voluntary animal welfare labelling systems that had already been established in some countries had been well received by consumers and enabled consumers to base their purchasing decisions on compliance with animal-welfare criteria. The Council concluded that, at the same time, animal welfare labels had opened up a market to producers for products produced to higher animal welfare standards.
We already have some of the highest welfare standards in the world, as well as a number of voluntary labelling schemes which provide assurances as to the welfare of the animals. The Government has committed to a serious and rapid examination of what can be done through labelling, to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK market, and to consult on this.