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Animal welfare: priority for the Colombian livestock sector

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Taking care of each of the practices in livestock allows us to guarantee optimal conditions for the animals, the main reason for this important sector of the economy.

Disproving the myths about cattle farming is a task that the Colombian Federation of Cattlemen, Fedegán, carries out daily with notable results and progress.

In different scenarios, the representatives of the union refute the misleading information that is issued to society, one of these myths is related to practices that promote the mistreatment of bovines, when the priority for farmers is the welfare of animals.

In this order of ideas, the veterinarian and International Animal Welfare Prize, Juan Carlos Carrascalpointed out that farmers implement actions that are within the framework of the law and that generate profitability for their business.

“Each country has its reality and that is where we have to weigh up which are those international regulations that apply or must be adapted to our country. The World Organization for Animal Health, OMSA, only makes recommendations and suggestions”, commented the award-winning veterinarian.

For Carrascal, the most important thing to guarantee animal welfare is to provide an appropriate environment for cattle for their correct development; which implies, in addition to the space where they live and feed, the people who deal with them on a daily basis”, highlighted the expert.

The Five Freedoms

In the same scenario, the technical secretary of the Price Stabilization Fund (FEP), Augusto Beltran Segrera, highlighted the parameters that exist worldwide for terrestrial animal breeders for more than 60 years; with the purpose of guaranteeing their well-being.

The guidelines that guide the OMSA in terms of terrestrial animal welfare include the Five Freedoms. Announced in 1965 and widely recognized, they describe the expectations of society regarding the conditions to which animals are subjected when they are under the control of man”, commented Beltrán Segrera.

Among these conditions, it stands out that the animal is free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition; free from fear and anguish; free of physical and thermal discomfort; free from pain, injury and disease and free to display natural behavior.

The Lisbon Treaty of 2009

According to Beltrán Segrera, the Lisbon Treaty of 2009 also grants animals the category of sentient or sentient beings, thus ordering that the European Union and its Member States have an ethical responsibility to avoid mistreatment, pain and the suffering.

“The well-being of food-producing animals depends to a large extent on their handling by humans. There are a number of factors that can influence their welfare, from housing and bedding to space and overcrowding, transport conditions, stunning and slaughter methods, male castration and tail docking.” explained the technical secretary of the FEP.

ICA: apply international recommendations

For her part, the general manager of the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), Deyanira Barrero Leonhighlighted the efforts of the livestock sector for more than 20 years, in the implementation of breeding systems, soil recovery and mechanisms aimed at improving the conditions in which cattle are transported.

Colombia has been doing important work on this issue of animal welfare for a long time.. On the international issue of ICA, we have voted in favor of the recommendations on this issue and that vote implies returning to the country and starting to work on its dissemination and implementation,” said the senior executive, who stressed that the institution is part of the World Organization for Animal Health.

The official announced that Progress is being made in the construction of specific regulations to establish procedures that allow the application of international recommendations.

“This is how, starting in 2015, laws and decrees began to be promulgated and later they have also emerged in some resolutions,” Barrero explained during the 39th National Livestock Congress.

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