Denmark launches first animal welfare agreement

Denmark launches first animal welfare agreement

7 March 2024
Animal Protection Denmark
The Danish government, along with six political parties, have reached a consensus on the country's first animal welfare agreement, Together for Animals, which sets out an action plan for 2024-2027.

The agreement, based on demands from political parties, businesses, and animal protection organisations, includes 31 initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of both farm and companion animals. These initiatives include:

  • Shorter time spent in fixation for farrowing sows
  • Support scheme for phasing out cages for laying hens by 2035
  • A gradual abolition of the tethering of cattle
  • Initiatives against extreme breeding of pets
  • Intentions to deliver recommendations for animal welfare requirements for fish farming, including examining animal welfare consequences of octopus farming
  • Strengthening the Danish Animal Welfare Label

Intention to work at EU level to phase out the production of fast-growing chickens

I am happy that, together with a broad majority in the Danish Parliament, I have now reached a joint agreement for the benefit of our animals. With the agreement - which extends all the way to both the stables and the home - we are raising animal welfare and starting a new chapter for Danish animal welfare. It is with pride that I can say that we have drawn up the first animal welfare agreement, which will improve animal welfare in Denmark.

Jacob Jense, Danish Food Minister

Animal Protection Denmark was involved in the process and celebrates the concept of the agreement, as well as its wide support in the government. However, they note that the agreement is far from a panacea for animal welfare issues in Denmark. 

The agreement is a start, but we are by no means reaching the goal with these measures. What is particularly lacking is recognition that the many millions of pigs in agriculture need better conditions. There are seven initiatives for the pigs in the agreement, but the ambitions are too small and the uncertainty about the effect is great. The content of the agreement is diverse, but too thin in many places.

Britta Riis, Director, Animal Protection Denmark

While the agreement may not go far enough to generate substantial change for farm animals, companion animals fare better. Not only will the agreement work towards regulations on breeding of pets, it will also aim for stricter penalties in case of animal welfare violations. 

Britta Riis believes that the agreement provides a positive foundation for negotiating further improvements for the animals, much as the motto for the agreement states, “better animal welfare now and in the future”.