What is animal welfare?
Animal welfare is based on recognising and respecting the 5 fundamental freedoms defined by the World Organisation for Animal Health :
- Freedom from hunger and thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort (shelter, rest areas).
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease (prevention, rapid diagnosis and treatment).
- Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour (sufficient space, contact with other creatures).
- Freedom from fear and distress (conditions and practices that don’t cause psychological suffering).
What measures do you take to reduce medication use in livestock?
For many years, Euralis has urged its producers to limit medication use to what is strictly necessary; consulting veterinarians advise farmers and encourage them to administer alternative medicine such as micronutrients and essential oils. In 2019, Euralis decided to accelerate this commitment by offering products made from livestock raised without antibiotics from birth. In 2019-2020, the overall percentage of poultry and ducks/geese raised without antibiotic treatments from birth stood at 90%.
How do you contribute to the welfare of ducks?
We have drawn up a charter to emphasise the importance of animal welfare, as well as that of employees and breeders. This charter requires the cooperative to implement continuous improvement measures within our livestock sectors.
One of our key performance indicators for monitoring animal welfare was receiving Palmig Confiance certification, validated by a third-party inspection organisation. This reference system was developed by the CIFOG interprofessional organisation to recognise the successful combination of biosafety demands, which are necessary for ensuring the longevity of activities and improving animal welfare. Euralis has been involved in this initiative since 2019. To date, 92.3% of audits have been undertaken and 36% of producers are certified by an external inspection body. The objective is to reach 60% approval by the end of 2021.
What animal welfare measures do you have in place for poultry?
Euralis cooperative members raise the majority of broiler chickens under the Label Rouge quality mark. Farmers use slow-growing chicken breeds, the rearing density per m2 in poultry buildings is much lower than in intensive farming, natural lighting is used, the chickens have access to outdoor space, and most animal feed comes from local suppliers (maize from Southwest France, French grains, etc.). Finally, transporting poultry is kept to a minimum, with abattoirs located close to farms.
Euralis was the first French key player in its sector to commit to an “Animal Welfare Labelling” strategy based on a reference system of 230 criteria drawn up by various partners (NGOs, distributors, breeders) to evaluate the welfare of broiler poultry. This labelling strategy helps consumers understand the conditions in which the animals are raised throughout their life, from birth to slaughter, including rearing and transport.