The EU and US leaders start preparing negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The European Union and the United States of America are the world’s two largest trading blocs and are significant trading partners any new trade agreement between them can have a major impact on animal welfare. The many areas to be discussed and agreed should be clearly:
* The need in the food supply chain for transparent traceability in order to improve animal welfare and consumer safety, as illustrated currently in the EU by the discovery of horse meat in food products purporting to be made with beef;
* There must be an acceptance of EU restrictions on US imports of chickens washed with chlorine and beef treated with hormones;
* The current EU ban on thefeed additive ractopamine used by the Pig Industry in the US must be maintained and US producers encouraged to change their production method.
This announcement is a major breakthrough and could have far reaching impacts on animal welfare. Improvements in animal welfare can contribute to growth and employment by ensuring the highest standards for food production and the conservation of the natural environment.