Chapter 5: Private animal welfare standards: motivation and effect
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The motivation is uncertain for the growth of private farm assurance schemes and their role in the agri-food chain. Private animal welfare standards may upset the balance achieved in the public norms which cater for animal welfare and the interests in trade and market access of producers in developing and developed countries. Further, it should be contemplated whether the scheme-holders ought to be accountable, and private farm assurance standards transparent, to the consumer. Recognising the private commercial nature of farm assurance schemes the EU adopted procedural operating guidelines, and uncertainties are documented as to the application of the legal rules of the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements to private standards and private standard schemes. The WOAH has taken steps to alleviate the capacity for private standards to undermine the animal welfare standards in the TAHC. Yet there are, perceivably, opportunities presented by private animal welfare standards with positive prospects for stakeholders in the agri-food chain.

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