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17/07/2012: Ben & Jerry’s has joined forces with leading animal welfare charities for the Supporting Better Dairy campaign, which aims to improving living standards for dairy cows across Europe.
The ice cream brand is working with Compassion in World FarmingLink opens in a new window and the World Society for the Protection of AnimalsLink opens in a new window (WSPA) under the partnership, which sees non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and companies working together with the public to influence European Union (EU) policy.
While EU regulations already safeguard other farm animals, dairy cows currently have no such protection. This means their welfare standards vary greatly across the EU, with some suffering from inadequate housing, lack of access to pasture, meagre diets and poor health.
Supporting Better Dairy will run the first-ever animal welfare European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), allowing EU citizens to propose new legislation for improving standards for Europe’s 23 million dairy cows.
The campaign hopes to raise the bar by introducing basic standard EU-wide legislation through the ECI, at a time when there is more consumer interest in dairy cow welfare than ever before.
An exclusive EU-wide survey for Supporting Better Dairy revealed that 89% of consumers feel that cows need legislation to protect them and 81% said they would sign a petition to enforce this.
Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s said: “The reality is that, across the European Union, welfare standards for cows vary greatly. We love cows and believe that only happy cows make great ice cream but they are one of the only farm animals in Europe that don’t have specific regulations to protect them.
“It’s essential to create a level playing field across Europe that secures the health of our herds and the long-term sustainability of our industry.”
Suzi Morris, UK Director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals explained: “We cannot assume that the needs of dairy cows are being put first, so the EU must take the lead and ensure that cows do not suffer.”
An ECI needs to be backed by at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least seven of the EU’s 27 member states. Further information on the ECI can be found on the European Commission’s websiteLink opens in a new window.
Visit www.happycows.euLink opens in a new window to get behind Supporting Better Dairy.
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