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La nouvelle coalition allemande prévoit un label obligatoire de bien-être animal

By November 26th 2021December 16th, 2021No Comments

Document type : Article published inEuractiv

Author: Julia Dahm. English translation: Daniel Eck

Preview: New German coalition plans mandatory animal welfare label, restructuring of farm subsidies
Germany's next government will introduce mandatory livestock labelling and revise the distribution of EU agricultural subsidies, according to the coalition agreement the three parties agreed to on Wednesday (24 November). EURACTIV Germany reports.
In the coalition agreement, the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, and liberal business-friendly FDP promise to work towards sustainable agriculture that serves "the interests of farms, animal welfare and nature at the same time". The agriculture and food ministry, which will go to the Greens, will remain in its current form and not be merged with the environment ministry.
The deal also promises the launch of a binding animal welfare label from 2022. It will provide information on transport and slaughter and be accompanied by an education and information campaign.
Species extinction and farm extinction are central challenges, emphasised Green Party co-leader Robert Habeck at the presentation of the paper. He spoke in favour of a change in agricultural policy.
Restructuring livestock farming
Coalition partners also want to support the restructuring of livestock farming to improve animal welfare and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. According to their agreement, this is to be financed through a "system supported by market participants".
The SPD shot down plans to introduce a voluntary labelling system in the previous government, favouring a mandatory one.
This time, the three parties in the new "traffic light" coalition want to nationally adopt the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) "without delay" while adapting it to "environmental protection as well as income security" goals.
The Bundestag passed legislation to implement the CAP reform in the summer, but ordinances will regulate specific issues like the individual premium levels for environmental services.
The caretaker government of Chancellor Angela Merkel already agreed on one of them on Wednesday. However, the "traffic light" coalition wants these revised soon as Germany's deadline to submit its national CAP implementation plan to the Commission is the end of December.
In the long term, the new government also wants to present a concept for developing EU agricultural subsidies once the current funding period ends in 2027, including replacing CAP direct payments with "rewarding climate and environmental services". This position is close to the election campaign demands of the Greens, though the FDP had advocated liberalising the agricultural sector and making farmers "independent of agricultural payments".
Compromise on new gene-editing techniques
In agriculture, the three parties want to reduce plant protection products and thus improve species conservation. "The loss of biodiversity is an (...) ecological crisis," the coalition paper states.
Germany will ban the sale of the controversial weedkiller Glyphosate from the end of 2023 and promote organic farming more strongly.
The plan is to ensure 30% of the land is used for organic farming by 2030, a step up from the previous target of 20%. This would mean Germany could surpass the EU target of 25% set in the flagship Farm-to-Fork strategy.
The coalition also wants to help promote high-precision techniques for spreading pesticides to reduce the quantity sprayed.
However, the coalition agreement is still vague regarding the controversial issue of authorising new gene-editing techniques for plant breeding. The paper says that the new government will create "transparency on breeding methods" and strengthen risk and detection research.
The coalition partners thus appear to be clearly in favour of labelling products produced with new gene-editing techniques but did not explicitly reject the use of new breeding techniques, which the Greens and the SPD had called for in the election campaign.

From the Euractiv website