The Animal Welfare certificate ensures good practices which improve the quality of the product and offer full transparency to consumers.
The need to develop a benchmark system for the sector in the area of animal welfare prompted IRTA, a member of the Welfare Quality Network, to create a certification scheme based on the protocols of Welfare Quality®. Farmers, breeders, retailers and certification bodies played an active role in its development.
Applus+ Certification is a certification body approved by IRTA, with auditors who are qualified to certify the regulations according to their scheme. These regulations apply to the production process of animals which are bred on Spanish farms, as well as the slaughter and traceability of animals and products which meet the requirements of the certification.
The awarded certification is a “label” or “badge” which certifies adherence to the protocols of Welfare Quality® animal welfare.
This assessment and monitoring gives producers and slaughterhouse managers insight into the welfare status in their facilities and helps them to strive for continual improvement. The certification process ensures good, respectful and sustainable practices in animal welfare, which are reflected in improved results. It also provides a guarantee to consumers that a series of standardized, Europe-wide measures are applied, which ensure animal welfare throughout the production cycle.
This model is the first of its kind in Europe and takes into account various parameters grouped into four basic principles:
• Proper diet
• Proper shelter
• Good health
• Appropriate behaviour for species-specific needs
Using a sample group from the farm or the slaughterhouse, an analysis is made of how the animals really are, not just taking into account their housing conditions or how they are slaughtered. This analysis checks that applicable legislation is being followed and considers previously defined, standardized criteria.
• Offering a certified product to consumers which guarantees adherence to animal welfare requirements throughout the food chain.
• Developing a livestock and food production business which is more respectful to animals and fulfils the conditions which ensure their welfare.
• Meeting the requirements of the main national distribution networks.
It is for all of the links in the animal product food chain who want to label their product: Livestock farms (including multisite systems), slaughterhouses and/or food manufacturing companies.