Germany: 1 billion euros for animal welfare from the EU
The program is aimed at small and medium-sized pig farmers but could be extended to other sectors
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, two German schemes with a total budget of around €1 billion to improve animal welfare standards in breeding of livestock, in particular pigs. The measures will contribute to the achievement of the EU's strategic objectives relating to the European Green Deal, the Common Agricultural Policy and the Farm to Fork Strategy.
Germany notified the Commission of its plans to introduce two schemes with a total budget of around €1 billion to support livestock farmers in: 1) investments to upgrade pig breeding sites; 2) implementing management practices to improve pigs welfare standards. Both schemes may be extended in the future to animals other than pigs. The schemes are open to small and medium-sized livestock farmers in Germany.
Under the first € 675 million scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants covering up to 60% of eligible investment costs for upgrading pig breeding sites to improve welfare standards. This includes improvements to the living conditions (such as access to outdoor climate or cooling possibilities), as well as limits to livestock density and CO2 emissions. This first scheme will run until the end of 2030.
Under the second €325 million scheme, the aid will take the form of direct grants covering up to 80% of the additional costs as result of aligning livestock practices with methods providing higher welfare standards (such as extra roughage and bedding, and electricity for ventilation and cooling). This scheme will run until the end of 2031.
The Commission assessed the schemes under Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU'), which allows Member States to support the development of certain economic activities under certain conditions, and under the 2022 Guidelines for State aid in the agricultural and forestry sectors and in rural areas (‘2022 Agricultural Guidelines').
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