Interporc, the Spanish Inter-Professional Agri-Food Organisation for White Pork (Interprofesional del Porcino de Capa Blanca) has created its “Certified Animal Welfare”(“Bienestar Animal Certificado”) certification seal, the achievement of which requires compliance with the INTERPORC ANIMAL WELFARE SPAIN Animal Welfare and Bio-Safety Technical Regulations, developed by the Spanish pork sector, “the most demanding standards in the European Union which will position Spain as a benchmark in animal welfare and bio-safety requirements.”
Alberto Herranz, the chairman of Interporc, has underlined the importance of these regulations to the Spanish pork-producing sector “because as an international leader in this area we have a duty to anticipate the demands of consumers and distributors, offering transparency and a guarantee of a commitment to animal welfare throughout the animal's life.”
He said that the regulations are “technically impeccable” as they have been prepared alongside companies in the sector working in certification and administration, as well as scientists and experts in animal welfare. They are also endorsed by an independent scientific committee and have been presented to the large distribution chains and other related organisations for the protection and defence of animals.
Five principles of animal welfare in eight control areas
The IAWS Regulation ensures compliance with the five principles of animal welfare as established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE): animals free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition; free from fear and anguish; free from physical and temperature discomforts; free from pain, injury and illness and free to express their own patterns of behaviour.
These principles must also be met in the eight control areas established in the IAWS Regulation: feeding, cleaning-disinfection, housing, health, behaviour, management, the monitoring of farms and animals and control in the slaughterhouse, as well as in all phases of the production process from gestation and breeding, fattening-up, transport, slaughter and manufacture.
Alberto Herranz takes the view that “through this initiative we are striving to strengthen food safety, ensuring appropriate welfare and health standards”, because in order to obtain the Certified Animal Welfare (“Bienestar Animal Certificado) seal, in addition to community regulations, a series of requirements must also be met which represent “an additional bonus in terms of bio-safety and food security-related matters”.
To obtain the seal, audits are planned on livestock facilities, as well as on the loading, transportation and unloading operations and on the meat companies that process and prepare products for final commercialisation.