Dear Sir / Madam,
In 2008 the Nordic Council of Ministers adopted the Växjö Declaration, which stated the Council’s belief that animals are sentient beings with their own intrinsic value and that they should be respected as such.
In the declaration the Council also stressed the importance of good animal welfare and the need for it to reflect the ethical values of its societies, reiterating the pioneering traditions of the Nordic region and based on a deep insight into the links between animal health and animal welfare.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has recently documented round-ups, transportations and slaughters of reindeer in Sweden and Finland, which highlight a number of significant welfare problems and practices that conflicts with the values of the Växjö Declaration, European Union Directives and relevant domestic legislation.
Key findings from the investigation include appalling examples of the poor animal welfare inflicted on reindeer throughout the processes documented.
I urge the Nordic Council of Ministers to address this situation in line with the statements they made in April 2008, following the Växjö Declaration, which called on officials to look more closely at the welfare of animals in the food production process.
These statements also confirmed that Nordic consumers expect food production to be based on good animal welfare.
Having seen WSPA’s findings, which show the examples of poor welfare inflicted on reindeer, I want to reiterate that I - and others, in the Nordic region and worldwide, continue to expect that a basis of good animal welfare is central to food production in the Nordic region.