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Abstract

Animal welfare in livestock farming is a much discussed topic in Germany. Surveys show that so-ciety desires an improvement in livestock farming and, above all, sees politics and business re-sponsible to bring about change. Policy has various options for intervention: In addition to the creation of appropriate legal framework conditions, support measures are particularly suitable for this purpose. Examples are the measure farm investment support (in the EUs Rural Development Programme Measure M04 “Investments in physical assets”) and the granting of an animal welfare premium for welfare-friendly husbandry and management procedures (in the EUs Rural Development Programme Measure M14 “Animal Welfare”). The latter have so far only been implemented to a limited extend. In order to improve the information available on this policy instrument, this report presents information on the design of and data on the uptake of the “Animal Welfare”-measure implemented by the German federal states. Additionally the potential of these measures to improve animal welfare is assessed on the basis of the number and share of animals supported by the measure. In Germany, five federal states currently support the improvement of animal welfare through the “Animal Welfare”-measure within the framework of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Of the German EAFRD funds available in the 2014 - 2020 programming period, less than one percent is earmarked for the “Animal Welfare”-measure. Outside the EAFRD, two more “Animal Welfare”-measures are implemented in Germany. Hamburg finances a pasture premium together with the federal government (via the programme “Improvement of the agricultural structures and the coast protection"/"Gemeinschafts-aufgabe Agrarstruktur und Küstenschutz” (GAK)) and Bavaria also implements a pasture premium which is purely self- fi-nanced. The measure which is implemented by the largest number of federal states is the pasture premi-um “summer grazing of dairy cows”. Pigs and chickens are much less often addressed the same goes for cattle for fattening. All support measures are action-oriented, with the exception of two results-oriented measures for fattening pigs and piglets offered in Lower Saxony, where the subsidy is paid when a certain proportion of intact tails is achieved. Most of the premiums offered so far only support a small share of farms and animals. At federal level, the proportion of animals supported is by far the highest in cattle with a share of five percent. Of the chickens and pigs, less than one percent of the animals are supported by animal welfare measures. Due to the limited scope of the measures, it can be assumed that the support has so far not induced fundamental changes in animal husbandry. However, they can represent an approach for testing of animal-friendly procedures and rewarding of an animal-friendly husbandry, because of the compensa-tion (at least in part) of the higher costs of animal-friendly production. Research shows that a more effective design of animal welfare premiums would be possible through the combination of results- and action-oriented approaches. The GAK, which only allows for action-oriented support, should therefore be amended to include results-oriented support. In addition, the range of subsidies should be extended to cover all relevant livestock species.

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