© Cheick Saidou /French Ministry of Agriculture

During this year’s International Agricultural Show in Paris in early March, French Minister of Agriculture Stéphane Le Foll announced the creation of a new National Reference Center for Animal Welfare.

Led by the French National Institute of Agronomic Research, INRA, this is a landmark measure coming from the Animal Welfare Action Plan launched by the Ministry in April 2016. The national Reference Center on Animal Welfare will have as its mission the organization and sharing of information with the totality of actors involved in animal welfare (farmers and people who own animals, veterinarians, researchers, etc.), to spread the results of research and technical innovation, to provide technical scientific support to all actors and to create a resource center for educating the stakeholders about animal welfare and protection.

© Min.Agri.Fr.

All France’s four national veterinary schools will also participate in the program, as well as certain actors of applied research. An advisory committee will bring together all of the animal protection associations and professional organizations to the National Reference Center for Animal Welfare.

This initiative allow to meet the expectations of citizens concerning sustainable agriculture practices and animal welfare. The action plan on animal welfare is an integral part of France’s agroecological plan. It will also contribute eventually to the European platform on animal welfare created by the European Commission.