From 'Fitbits for cows' to DNA testing and certification: How is the meat sector innovating to improve animal welfare?


By Flora Southey, Food Navigator



In the UK, beef cattle are wearing ‘Fitbits for cows’, in Germany, an independent certification scheme is improving animal welfare for pork and poultry, and in Bulgaria, Big Data is serving to differentiate local products from imported competition. FoodNavigator looks at animal welfare innovation in Europe and the UK.


Last year, the European Commission committed to improving animal health and welfare under its Farm to Fork Strategy.


Specifically, the Commission pledged to revise animal welfare legislation by 2023, including on animal transport and the slaughter of animals, to align it with the latest scientific evidence.


A commitment to consider options for animal welfare labelling that better transmit value through the food chain was also made.


Whether those in the meat sector, from farmers to processors, support mandatory initiatives in this space (and many don’t), a number are innovating to improve animal welfare standards at a voluntary level.


Independent certification for German pork​ …


Big Data in beef and lamb ​...


Genetics and traceability to improve animal health​ ...