Animal Welfare Concerns Highlighted By Survey
According to a survey sponsored by the European Commission of its 27 member states, consumers are willing to pay more for products originating from producers who practice higher animal welfare standards.
According to this survey, 62% of respondents said they would change their shopping habits (including paying higher prices) to obtain more animal welfare friendly products. The survey also revealed that consumers do not currently feel that they have sufficient options, primarily because they lack the knowledge to distinguish higher animal welfare products from others. Consequently, there is significant support for animal welfare labeling of consumer goods.
The Eurobarometer indicates that animal welfare is an issue ranked highly among E.U. consumers, giving it an 8 out of 10 in importance.
Approximately 70% of survey respondents support the idea of financial rewards for producers with high animal welfare standard, and 89% felt that imports should be required to conform to the same animal welfare conditions as those originating in the E.U.
Consumers seem to readily associate a link between animal welfare and the quality and safety of foods. More than half of respondents perceive foods produced according to higher animal welfare standards to be healthier than other foods, while 48% associated them with better quality.
The European Commission will be proposing a special “animal welfare” label for animal-based goods produced according to these higher welfare requirements. This label is part of a five year E.U. plan to promote animal welfare (published in January 2006).