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Farm ministers call for more health for animals


A communique by about 70 farm ministers gathering in Berlin was released. There is a global need to improve animal health and animal welfare by promoting good animal husbandry management practices, biosecurity and biosafety and knowledge exchange, said the communique after the 10th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference. The ministers said more international cooperation is necessary “in order to make livestock production and animal husbandry more sustainable, responsible and efficient”. There is also a requirement to bring livestock breeding and husbandry further into line with consumers’ expectations of humane care of farm animals.
“We note that the demand for food of animal origin, in particular food derived from meat, milk and eggs, is projected to rise significantly in many regions of the world due to the growing population, increasing purchasing power and changes in consumer behavior… At the same time, consumers are increasingly calling for livestock production to be made more sustainable and more respectful of animal welfare,” the communique said. Ministers undertook to give greater consideration to animal health and animal welfare in training programs.
A balanced consumption of meat is needed for a healthy diet, health protection and the efficient use of resources, they said. Animal health and the connection with human health is another key issue, said the host Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt after the meeting.
“This is especially clear with (animal diseases which can be transmitted to humans) and the problem of resistance to antibiotics… So in our final communique we have resolved to strengthen worldwide efforts against the unnecessary use of antibiotics in animal farming,” Schmidt said.

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