Veterinarians: put the animal at the center of the transition to a more sustainable livestock industry
The public debate on nitrogen measures seems to be mainly about seemingly conflicting interests around economics and nature. While measures to reduce nitrogen in livestock farming, in addition to the consequences for the livestock farmers themselves, can also have a major impact on the health and welfare of their animals. This is precisely what the livestock industry is all about. The veterinary sector therefore calls for putting the animal at the center of the transition to sustainable livestock industry. Veterinarians in practice, science, education and business are offering their knowledge and expertise to this end.
The existing policy - aimed at nitrogen reduction - looks mainly at reducing the livestock population. However, this does not guarantee good health and welfare of the remaining animals. The KNMvD (professional association of veterinarians) and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Utrecht therefore published the position paper Put the animal central in the transition to more sustainable livestock industry.
Nitrogen broker Remkes' report makes room to take steps forward and emphasizes that there must be much more focus on a 'One Health' approach (climate, animal welfare, water, soil and health), but according to the KNMvD and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, there is still insufficient focus on the animal. The organizations would have liked to see more emphasis on the impact of policy on animal health and welfare. Therefore, they call on the government to put the animal at the center when reviewing policy and to use the knowledge and expertise of the veterinary sector.
Read the position paper 'Zet het dier centraal in de transitie naar een duurzamere dierhouderij' (in Dutch) of the KNMvD and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Utrecht here.