Today the EU Parliament made several decisions regarding stricter rules of antibiotics in animal husbandry. The main objective is to reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, but experts also believe that it will contribute to a more sober breeding of livestock, a more pleasant life for the animals, who therefore also will provide better hides for leather.
Over 1 100 proposals was submitted to today’s vote on veterinary medicines in the European Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee. And the stricter line had a major impact. There was a clear majority for example a total ban on routine prophylactic use of antibiotics, a database for the use of antibiotics down on individual farms, and the requirement that antibiotics may only be prescribed by veterinarians and only after examination and diagnosis.
In most European countries it’s very common to give antibiotics even for healthy animals to prevent diseases. Then you can have very large stocks, lousy hygiene, poor animal husbandry, make the animals grow faster before being slaughtered. It’s a cheap way to get more meat. One has basically used medication to implement poor husbandry. It should now be changed. Parliament will now put together a final writing of the voted proposals which are expected to be accepted in April, and in the not too distant future it will then be implemented in Europe.
I have repeatedly written about how the animal’s well-being, both physically and mentally, affect how the hides and then the leather will be. Prosperous animals produce a prosperous leather. They will, for example, have more space and a cleaner life, cause the risk of diseases increases otherwise since you can’t prevent them like before. Antibiotics should still be given to sick animals, which of course is good, since it’s at those times it’s needed and they should not have to suffer needlessly. With the new rules, more animals will have a more tolerable existence, which will mean that there will be more good hides for the leather industry. And European tanneries are by far the largest ones when it comes to producing quality leather used for premium shoes, and the demand for good raw hides is very large. Hopefully, these new rules in the EU in time will lead both to a halt in the steep price increase of leather and that the supply of really good leather gets better.
Althought I am in favour of better living conditions for animals, I don’t find the link between better conditions for animals and better or more leather; or maybe I am missing something in this ecuation?
JM: Sorry for the very late reply! Animals who live with less stress, have had the possibility to live a relatively good life, eaten more natural food that don’t make them grow unnaturally fast and so on leaves a skin that are in better condition to become a good leather.