A Dutch commission has presented a report focusing on achieving sustainable livestock production in 2020. It requires a radical turnaround and ought to happen on a national basis. It received mixed responses.
The commission, led by Daan van Doorn, previous CEO at Vion Food, was set up by the Noord-Brabant province, and calls for a careful livestock industry, which is in harmony with its direct surroundings and in which animals are the most important in modern facilities.
In addition, management ought to be sustainable and the production process needs to evoke respect from members of the public.
All parties within the chain ought to cooperate to achieve this, the report described. National authorities will target an integral approach of all problems in the livestock production chain and will create legislation for the transition towards sustainability. In addition, an independent authority should oversee the process. This way, the commission hopes to involve all stakeholders and producers – excluding nobody.
The retail chain, as well as producers, feed millers and meat processors support the initiative to produce all meat ‘sustainably’ by 2020 at the latest – and signed a manifest to emphasise their intentions.
The Dutch agricultural and horticultural organisation LTO qualified the targets as ‘challenging and ambitious’.
Animal welfare organisations as well as environmentalists did not sign the manifest – they feel the plans are too vague and do not set any specific goals.
Both animal welfare and environmental topics continue to dominate the debate on livestock production in the Netherlands. Among others, topics like castration, antibiotic resistance, size of pig and poultry houses keep on generating news.