Analysis of EU and Ukrainian legislation for the cattle welfare
“Animal welfare” – is a complex concept that characterizes the physical, mental, and natural state of animals at a given time and the ability to meet their needs. Animal welfare is a hallmark of the world of quality human nutrition and innovative livestock and is the basis for the sustainable development of society. The article aims to research and analyze the legislation on cattle welfare in the EU and Ukraine, highlight their strengths and weaknesses, and introduce proposals for better implementation of Ukrainian legislation in European norms. European legislation covers the welfare of animals during their life on the farm, the welfare during transport, and the welfare of animals during slaughter. This article analyzes in detail the following legal provisions: Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes, Council Directive 2008/119/EU establishing minimum standards for the protection of calves, Council Regulation 1/2005 covering standards for the transport of animals, Council Regulation № 1099/2009 on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter and ancillary recommendations such as the Council of Europe Recommendation on bovine animals and the OIE Standards for the Welfare of Dairy Cows. Currently, Ukrainian welfare legislation is represented by the Law on the Protection of Animals from Cruelty (2006) and the Law of Ukraine on Veterinary Medicine (1994). These laws do not cover the protection of animal welfare and do not meet modern requirements. In 2014, by signing an agreement with the EU on creating a deep and comprehensive free trade area, Ukraine committed to updating legislation in the animal welfare field and implementing it as much as possible to European standards. Only in 2021, a new law on veterinary medicine was adopted, which has a section on animal welfare and approved five requirements for animal welfare, but the main problem is that they came into force on 01.01.2026. Given that by 2023 the EU plans to improve its legislation in the field of animal welfare, there is a need to accelerate the implementation of the new Law on veterinary medicine in Ukraine. Also necessary are training for farmers to teach and explain new rules, develop a specific regulation with minimum standards for the welfare of cattle and cattle, review shortcomings, and organize discussions with scientists in the field of animal welfare to improve legislation, create a clear roadmap the Law.
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