Ben & Jerry’s backs dairy cow welfare initiative

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Eu member states, European union

Ben & Jerry’s backs animal welfare initiative
Ben & Jerry’s has teamed up with Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to campaign for better treatment of Europe’s dairy cows.

The organisations have launched a European Citizens Initiative (ECI), pressing for higher welfare standards for the 23 million cows in the EU. They aim to amass at least one million signatures from at least seven of the 27 EU Member States for a petition pressing for legislation in the area to be updated.

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, said: “We know that the health of cows comes from the satisfaction of basic needs, such as proper housing, good nutrition, good health and appropriate treatment. This is very important to us because happy cows produce delicious ice cream.”

CIWF, WSPA and Ben & Jerry’s claim that treatment of dairy cows varies between different EU Member States. While specific European provisions already protect certain other animals, cows receive no minimum protection and often suffer from health problems, poor living conditions and insufficient grazing conditions, they argue.

A great forgotten area

Charbonneaux Leopoldine, spokesman for CIWF in France, said: “This initiative allows us to raise public awareness to the major issue of animal welfare in dairy cows, a great forgotten area of European legislation.”

According to a YouGov poll of more than 1,000 French people for CIWF France, 73% want the milk they consume to come from cows with free access to pasture for much of the year.

A total of 87% of respondents said animal welfare was an important criterion when buying a dairy product and 52% considered it to be “very important”​.

The poll also indicated that 89% of consumers believed that cows needed regulations to protect them and 81% said they would support a petition to that effect.

CIWF gave a public presentation on different farming methods for cows at an event in Paris on March 15.

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2 comments

improvements on trans fat profile

Posted by noe,

I am sure those pasture-fed cows will provide a nutritionally healhier cream regarding the trans and CLA profile!!

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A great first step

Posted by Jennifer,

Hooray for a good first step. It's about time that B&J's, a business that touts its 'social conscience', began to advocate for humane labor conditions the animals who are forced to work for their business. Regardless of the taste of the cows' milk, it's just the right thing to do. Now, how about if they start pushing for humane, pastured eggs that they add to their ice cream, and making a non-dairy alternative as well? Then we could all partake!

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