Julia Klöckner: "The castration of anesthetic piglets soon belongs to history"

There is no shortage of terms that scare many people. "Industrial breeding", "intensive farming", "superb castration of piglets", "shredding of chicks". A debate on agriculture in Germany these days appears as an impression of "new pillory".

In an interview with FOCUS Online, Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner explains what she is doing to end the castration and grinding of piglets into anesthesia and to improve the overall well-being of women. animals. The politician of the CDU also explains that in a world economic order, German singles have little sense.

VIP news: Her cabinet colleague Svenja Schulze (SPD) is increasingly criticizing the industrial farming and intensive farming system in Germany. She is outraged that "we import soy to feed the animals, animals in which we can not handle the manure." This is not a sustainable agriculture, what do you say?

Klöckner: We are part of a global economy – we import and export. The right balance is important. And exactly what we import, what are the requirements we impose on products as they are produced. It will not help much if we reforest the forests here, but import goods without any problems, which was preceded by illegal and massive logging. Certifications are useful, for example.

"Support the welfare of animals with payments"

VIP news: The reform of EU agricultural promotion offers the possibility of defining targeted incentives to strengthen climate protection.

Klöckner: Law. And that's what our German proposals look like. We must and want to become more ambitious in the so-called 'green architecture'. And that must also pay for farmers. A more sustainable European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) can only exist if there are uniform and binding guidelines for all. Key projects for further environmental, natural and climate protection must be implemented effectively with CAP reform throughout the EU.

VIP news: What does this mean concretely?

Klöckner:At the same time, superior environmental performance must be efficient and easy for farmers to implement. I would also like to further support animal welfare through European farm payments. Moreover, we are fighting for the bureaucratisation and for regional agriculture to remain competitive.

Do organic bananas set the tone?

VIP news: Are not you afraid that minimum coffee breaks will impose a policy of minimum standards?

Klöckner: This worry can not bring me to inactivity. We do not need and do not want to unify everything throughout the EU, but environmental dumping should not occur. It is important for me that we control the results, the means can be very different.

VIP news: Beyond the debate on the future animal welfare label: many consumers do not understand why there is still today in Germany a castration and shredding of anesthetized piglets.

Klöckner: Castration of anesthetized piglets will soon be part of the story. Germany will be a pioneer of the EU. Our claim is not just to lighten the pain, but to extinguish it. For example, unlike our European neighbors, as of January 1, 2021, for example, simple local anesthesia is no longer allowed.

VIP news: In addition, the grinding of male chicks is only disgusting.

Klöckner: Me too Unfortunately, this is not the case only in Germany, but throughout the EU on the agenda. We go out first first.

Procedure for genital identification in the egg

VIP news: How?

Klöckner: With more than six million euros, our ministry has promoted gender identification procedures in eggs. Male chicks are not hatched at all. One of these methods is already used and needs to be expanded. Animal welfare is of little use if we do not allow hatcheries to change, because it is clear that they will then go to neighboring countries of the EU. There is little commitment to not killing the cows. We can and will be pioneers here. We must therefore use good judgment to prove that animal welfare is not only ethically required, it is profitable and maintains regional production in the country.

VIP news: How should you imagine that?

Klöckner: One possible procedure is the so-called endocrinological procedure, which is already used and about to reach serial maturity. Here, the eggs are incubated for about nine days. A liquid is then obtained from each egg without touching the inside of the egg. In these samples, sex is determined with a biotechnological detection method in a short period of time. Another method of determining sex in the egg is to send a special beam of light to the inside of the egg and to determine the sex by analyzing the reflected light.

Fight against the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry

VIP news: A few years ago, Germany was at the head of an international movement in favor of the removal of the use of antibiotics, because there are more and more dangerous resistances in animals, but also in humans.

Klöckner: There are massive grievances around the world. Because antibiotics are used for prevention or for animals to grow faster. This is rightly forbidden in Germany. At meetings of G20 Agriculture Ministers, I have addressed this issue on several occasions – in Argentina and Japan. In Germany, we managed our minimization strategy. Overall, the use of antibiotics in animal feed has decreased by more than 30%.

VIP news: Yes, but some representatives of the poultry industry give the impression that they have nothing to do with the subject.

Klöckner: Here we have a problem. Nearly half of the antibiotics used in broilers and turkeys are so-called reserve antibiotics, which is unacceptable. Because these are means of last resort, if nothing else works, even with people. Therefore, I do not accept this use of high reserve antibiotics. I recently invited representatives of the poultry industry to a crisis meeting …

VIP news: … ordered to report?

Klöckner: They all came. In any case, the poultry industry must ensure that animal health in barns is such that the use of antibiotics is reduced as much as possible. I agree with the federal Minister of Health. The next meeting will be in September. Provisions will then be made.

Here is the first part of the interview