After successfully enforcing the ban on in-feed antibiotics, certain countries in the European Union, are trying to differentiate their meat production methods by promoting a welfare system that exceeds current normal established production practices.


Here, it is should be noted, that already in the European Union there is considerable legislation that has put livestock producers in the region at a serious disadvantage against less expensive imports. But, going even further there are on-going discussions on how to design pig diets that can be labeled as welfare friendly.


I am not quite sure this welfare trend will become as widespread as that for antibiotics. First, we have the example of the United Kingdom, where such practices virtually removed this country from as a major pig producer. Basically, authorities and pig producers failed to convince consumers that welfare meat deserved a premium price over apparently identical meat from imports.


Second, welfare is a very subjective issue and not related to human health. The issue forces legislators to intervene in force, such as the case with livestock antibiotics. Thus, although welfare nutrition will figure as an issue in magazines and conferences, my prediction is that it will fade quickly (within the next decade) as has been the case with most feed additives.


But, I may be, what do YOU think?