Sustainable livestock production
The government is taking steps to make livestock farming more animal-friendly and more sustainable. Farmers must work in a way that respects the animals, the environment and people.
Livestock production more sustainable
The livestock sector is made up of farmers, the processing industry and buyers. They must themselves find ways to make livestock production more sustainable. Supermarkets and other retailers have a decisive role to play. Demand from shops for sustainable products is rising, and this is leading more farmers to produce sustainably.
Government supports this approach with:
- Clear standards and laws on food safety, animal welfare and the environment.
- Research and innovation through the agri-food top sector.
High-quality agricultural education and research, for instance at Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR).
Financial support for livestock farmers who invest in innovative animal housing and husbandry systems.
Sustainable Livestock Production Agenda
The Government works with companies, civil society organisations and provincial authorities on the 6 main features of sustainable livestock production:
- sustainable animal housing and husbandry systems;
- animal health and welfare;
- integration of livestock farming into the landscape and the community;
- contributions in the areas of energy, climate and the environment;
business opportunities and a viable market;
Sustainable livestock production and animal welfare
Animal welfare is also important in sustainable livestock production. In recent years central government has taken steps to further enhance animal welfare. For example, there is now a list of mammals that may be kept as pets.
Reducing antibiotic use in livestock production
Animals in sustainable livestock production are given fewer antibiotics. Excessive antibiotic use can make bacteria resistant, which is dangerous for both humans and animals. That's why the government is working to reduce antibiotic use in livestock farming.