ClassyFarm and Animal Welfare… Italy at the forefront.

Animal welfare, with particular reference to farm animals, including milk buffaloes, is a topic of primary importance, to the point that already in 2008, the European Parliament had established the pillars of Community action to improve animal health and welfare, as well as strengthening biosecurity measures in farms through legislative interventions and support to agricultural enterprises. The European Parliament’s initiative led to a review of animal health legislation with the approval of the “Animal Health Law“. This legislation refers to the fight against antibiotic resistance but has kept the “animal welfare package” unchanged due to the limited human and financial resources made available by the European Commission and the Member States.

In response to the lack of legislation, in Italy has been developed the system of categorization of farms called “ClassyFarm“, the first of its kind not only in Europe but worldwide. This system anticipated the provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/429 and introduced several measures, including:

– Greater responsibility for farmers, who are considered to be the main responsible for health, animal welfare and drug consumption.
– Obligation to be assisted by a specially appointed veterinarian.
– Obligation to participate in continuing training programmes on biosafety, animal health and animal welfare.

These provisions place Italy at the forefront of the preparation of the institutions in this field, even if there is still a need for an impetus to move from the concrete idea to practical implementation on the ground.