LIVESTOCK IN THE EU – Periodic news

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Rising production costs for all agricultural sectors, particularly livestock, are a concern. Many sectors are demanding higher producer prices and improved farm incomes. 

Opportunities have developed for some UK livestock sectors as a result of Brexit. In Ireland, however, the vote by MEPs to ban the transport of very young animals is described as a ‘blow’ to the calf exports industry. 

Since the end of summer 2021, in Europe (geographical), 26 countries have been affected by influenza viruses, involving more than 400 outbreaks in livestock and 600 cases in wildlife. Affected farms are subject to strict biosecurity measures and disease control zones are in place. 

Animal health companies have developed 49 new vaccines over the past two years as part of an industry-wide strategy to help reduce the need for antibiotics. In addition to producing vaccines, some industries have launched a range of other preventive products and 17 new diagnostic tools. 

In Germany, the new government will act to improve farm animal welfare and a mandatory animal welfare label will be introduced for meat from 2022. 

The European Commission has presented its carbon farming initiative, which aims to increase the amount of carbon dioxide stored in the soil – with the aim of achieving climate neutrality in the land sector by 2035. This ‘carbon farming’ proposal would reward farmers for managing or sequestering carbon, becoming a new source of income for land managers. 

In France, a reduction in methane emissions from livestock has been observed since the 1990s, thanks to various levers. In order to pursue these methane reduction objectives, changes in the livestock production system will have to be made, as well as the implementation of certain actions on the farm, changes and actions that have yet to be prioritised. 

The European Commission has published a report on the European Union’s Agricultural Outlook for 2021-31, but without incorporating the potential impact of the measures put forward in its Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. Meat and dairy markets will be influenced by sustainability, social and health issues over the coming decades, both in terms of production types and consumption patterns.

full note available on FE Members’ area