Amsterdam, December 1st, 2011
Eurogroup for Animals: Michel Courat
The European declaration of Brussels is a major step forward for pig welfare. But it needs a follow up to reach the goal of ending castration of male piglets in the European Union in 2018. During the International conference ‘Boars heading for 2018’ in Amsterdam on December 1st, 2011, Michel Courat of the Eurogroup for Animals called up all parties in the European pork production chain to sign the Declaration of Brussels. ,,NGO’s will be supportive where they can, but will at the other hand stay vigilant, “ Courat said.
Speaking at the international conference ‘Boars heading for 2018’, Courat mentioned that the key for success is mainly in the hands of the retail and food companies. They have to enforce the ambition of the declaration of Brussels throughout the whole pork supply chain. Positive points are already the voluntary commitment of mayor players to end castration of male piglets in the EU in combination with the funding of scientific research by the European Committee to find solutions for the still existing challenges.
“Castration under anaesthesia and also immunocastration, is only a temporary option towards complete ending of castration in 2018”. Courat said.
According to Courat the first important steps are taken. ,,It is achievable,” the policy officer of Eurogroup for Animals said. ,,But Eurogroup for Animals will stay very vigilant.” To follow the process, an effective and independent reporting is needed. There is also an urgent need to build and strengthen relationships among all stakeholders in the pork production chain. ,,Those parties who did not sign the Declaration of Brussels yet, should do it now. No one should stay behind.”
About Michel Courat
Michel Courat is policy officer for farm animals at Eurogroup for Animals. Courat is a veterinary surgeon. He joined Eurogroup for Animals in 2008 after having spent 9 years as a veterinarian in the UK working for the Meat Hygiene Service. In that period he worked on implementing and enforcing the European and British animal welfare and hygiene legislation.