“For me, animal welfare is the good quality of life we provide for the animals.
The better quality of life we provide for them, the more will come back to us through economic effects”
(Saša Đurković, owner of a chicken farm)
The farmer has the biggest responsibility for ensuring good animal welfare on his farm, and consequently for production of healthy and safe animal based food. Successful farmers know that if they provide animals with everything they need – good environment, good care, space to express different types of their natural behaviour, than the animals can provide the farmer with what he needs – increase in productivity and the profit as well.
Animal Welfare = increase in productivity
Scientific research had shown that animals in poor physical and mental health can have lower reproduction, growth and productivity rate.
If the environment in which the animal is kept is not entirely adapted to its needs, the animal will be exposed to distress. Its body will fight to adjust to unsuitable conditions and remain free of stress and the energy gained from food will be spent on this adjustment effort rather than on growth and production. For that reason bad welfare leads to decrease in growth, production and reproduction. Inadequate handling of animals can cause them to express the fear of people, thus compromising animal welfare as well as their growth and reproduction.
Animal Welfare = profit
The farmes’ practices around the European countries have shown that the concept of farm animal welfare is economically profitable.
By signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, the doors had been opened for Serbia to export its products to EU market, which provides supply to over 500 million consumers. However, European companies that import goods from non-EU countries demand that the goods be produced in line with standards of good agricultural practice (GLOBAL GAP standards). Animal welfare is an important part of these standards. With that in mind, it is evident that complying with animal welfare standards represent a necessary step that our producers need to make in order to place their products on the EU market.
The growing interest among consumers for buying food produced in line with animal welfare standards are driving producers and retailers of the animal based products in the EU to create supply of such products.