Austria ups animal husbandry standards
The Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA) expert committee has decided to phase out permanent tethering in dairy farming for its seal of approval by the end of 2023. “The Austrian dairy industry supports further improvements in the AMA seal of quality in the area of animal welfare. This credibly further develops the quality and sustainability strategy of the Austrian dairy industry and secures access to the markets,” says Association of Austrian Milk Processors (VÖM) president Helmut Petschar, on the decision.
This form of husbandry is currently forbidden in Austria, but is still permitted in isolated cases with official exemptions. This is intended to further strengthen the credibility of the AMA seal of quality in the area of animal welfare.
In addition, a voluntary module called ‘animal husbandry +’ is being set up in the AMA system, which guarantees additional, higher animal welfare standards. This not only provides for stricter animal husbandry standards, but also additional controls in the area of animal welfare and documentation in the area of medicine use and animal health monitoring.
This module is also intended to create an animal husbandry labeling model in Austria compatible with Germany’s Animal Welfare Initiative (ITW) animal husbandry labeling system. It will hopefully ensure further German export options, especially since various animal husbandry standards have already been announced by several German retail chains as a prerequisite for further deliveries. The German milk market is very important for Austria with a share of around 25% of total sales.