Unveiled by Interporc director Alberto Herranz, the seal is expected to highlight performance in the pig sector in animal welfare and biosecurity, and will be “the most demanding of the European Union and will position Spain as a benchmark”.
He stressed the importance of IAWS “since, as one of the great international leaders, we have a duty to anticipate the demands of consumers and distributors, to offer transparency and a guarantee of commitment in animal welfare throughout of the entire life process of the animal”.
Herranz said the IAWS regulation was “technically impeccable” as it had been created in collaboration with companies in the sector, certification, administration, scientists and experts in animal welfare, and was also endorsed by an independent scientific committee, as well as presented to large distribution companies and organisations for the protection and defence of animals.
The IAWS ensures compliance with the five principles of animal welfare established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE): animals free of hunger, thirst and malnutrition; free of fear and anguish; free from physical or thermal discomforts; free of pain, injury or illness; and free to express their own patterns of behaviour.
These principles must be met in the eight control areas established in the IAWS Regulation: feeding, cleaning-disinfection, housing, health, behaviour, management, control of farms and animals, and control in the slaughterhouse, and in all phases of the productive process – from gestation and breeding to fattening, transport, slaughter and manufacture.
Herranz said that “with this initiative we reinforce food safety and guarantee an adequate welfare and health status”.
To obtain IAWS, audits are included in the livestock facilities, in the loading, transport and unloading operations, and in the meat companies that process and elaborate products for final commercialisation. Herranz added: “We intend to cover all phases or stages, both livestock and industrial.”