Applying EU animal welfare standards to imported animal products would consistently offer to EU consumers the type of products they ethically feel more comfortable with, and would ensure that European consumption does not fuel inhumane and unsustainable models of production beyond the EU’s borders. The revision of the EU’s animal welfare legislation is a unique opportunity for the EU to lead the global transition towards sustainable food systems. The animal welfare requirements that are mostly considered are the following: ban of cages, stocking density and space allowance, mutilations, enrichment, and male chick culling.
This document reviews the animal welfare standards in the top countries exporting animal products to the EU. It also reviews the standards in countries with which the EU is negotiating a trade agreement (FTA), as these are likely to export increased quantities of animal-based products to the EU in future, and including animal welfare based conditions in trade agreements is an exception.