©Pascal Xicluna/Min.Agri.Fr

The French Minister for Agriculture and Food, Stéphane Travert, intends to implement an ambitious policy on animal welfare. Certain measures of the plan will soon be debated in the French Parliament. The Minister also recently reaffirmed the importance that he attaches to the subject as part of an evolution of agricultural models in France.

The Minister hopes to strengthen government strategies adopted in 2016 on training all actors, informing consumers and support for farmers in difficulty, as well as inspections and sanctions against infractions.

Training: The tools for training and outreach of farmers and animal transporters will be rethought and diagnostic tools for welfare in animal husbandry will be further developed. Training tools for slaughterhouses are currently being revised to strengthen requirements. Finally, a distinguished professorship will be created that will be dedicated to training in animal welfare.

Support: The program that supports farmers whose farms are in deep economic difficulty is being rethought in order to anticipate the potential consequences for animals. Collaboration is being led with all professional representatives and in coordination with the Minister of Justice and aims to generalize operational units on the departmental level. The objective is to detect problems in animal welfare as early as possible and to be able to help farmers encountering difficulty.

Inspections and sanctions: The Minister has started in-depth discussions about the organization of animal welfare inspections, with the goal of strengthening their efficiency and to improve the implementation of legal and administrative consequences. The training program for inspectors is currently being revised. Already, doubling sanctions is proposed as well as allowing animal welfare organizations to bring civil action based on official inspections.

Information: The minister wishes to stress again that an experiment on consumer information about the production methods of food products is in progress, as planned in the Estates general.

Innovation: the Minister stresses the commitment of the Ministry to promote innovation on alternative animal husbandry that increase animal welfare.