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German Label Gives Pig Farmers Room To Breathe

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German Label Gives Pig Farmers Room To Breathe

Labels Introduced To Promote Humane Farm Practices

The recent explosion of food products with organic or eco-labels has sparked a trend. Now, many consumers are deciding what to buy based on how the label conveys the sustainable practices of the company.

It's also led to increased calls for labels that detail the humane practices of livestock farms. Animal rights activists have long pressed governments and regulatory commissions for some kind of label that indicates how farms treat and raise their animals. They will get their wish when Germany introduces a labeling system in 2013 that does just that.

Two-Tiered Label Initiative For Pork And Poultry
The label will indicate to what extent the livestock was properly raised in accordance with animal protection guidelines, Deutsche Welle, a state broadcasting company, reported.

"The animals will have more room and more space to move," Thomas Schröder, president of Germany's largest animal protection organization told Deutsche Welle. He also cited an example in the poultry industry: "Imagine a shower tub. On one square meter, you have 24 chickens. To qualify for the first level of the new label, it will have to be just under half of that."

To date, 27 poultry and 20 hog farms have applied for the new label. Deutsche Welle said the plan is to get 5 million animals from the poultry industry and 20,000 from the hog industry to be raised in accordance with label requirements.