Why Japan Needs to Deal with Animal Welfare

Swift response to global trends in humane treatment of livestock


December 09, 2021

  • Takuya Ichikawa


◆Looking at the Animal Protection Index (API) of World Animal Protection, 2020 edition, Japan ranks lowest in the fifth item out of a total of six items related to animal welfare legislation in five countries including the United States. Japan received the lowest G evaluation in protecting animals used in farming.

◆As for the response to this situation in Japan, general interest in animal welfare in livestock production remains low, and it seems that producers and the government, while recognizing the need to respond to domestic regulations, are taking a “humans first” viewpoint when it comes to the introduction of strict regulations.

◆In the medium to long term, however, as a producer it is impossible to ignore the trend toward tighter regulations worldwide. In addition, for food companies, it is necessary to respond to increasing pressure from the investor side, which is expected in the future. Animal welfare measures for livestock production will also be indispensable to expand exports of livestock products promoted by the government and to make foods more appealing to visitors to Japan.

◆What consumers, producers, and food companies may have in common is that none of them want livestock to suffer. Therefore, if the need for large, one-time investments is preventing the improvement of animal welfare, the national and local governments, and related organizations should provide sufficient financial support for this purpose.

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