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New scheme for animal welfare

AGEA and agriculture

AGEA (Agriculture Payment Agency) is an Italian government agency that operates in the agricultural sector. The agency carries out various functions and activities to support and manage the disbursement of aid and financing in the field of agriculture.

Here are some of the main activities carried out by AGEA:

  • Management of direct payments : what does AGEA pay? AGEA deals with the management of direct payments to farmers within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union. This includes European Union payments for areas such as farmer income support, agri-environmental aid and rural development measures.
  • Farm registration : The AGEA is responsible for registering and identifying farms, maintaining a national register of farms and cultivated areas. This register is fundamental for the allocation of direct payments and for the management of agricultural policies.
  • Certification and control : The agency carries out certification and control activities to ensure compliance of agricultural companies with established rules and regulations. This includes monitoring agricultural practices, food safety requirements and environmental criteria.
  • Management of agricultural markets : The AGEA plays a role in the management of agricultural markets, facilitating the registration of transactions and providing information on the prices of agricultural products.
  • Technical support and information : The agency provides technical support and information to farmers, agricultural organizations and industry operators. This includes disseminating information on legislation, funding programs and good agricultural practices.

Through its management, control and support activities, the agency contributes to the promotion and development of the agricultural sector in the country.

Steps forward from AGEA: Eco-schema 1

AGEA, the Agricultural Payments Agency, has introduced a new payment scheme to incentivize animal welfare and the reduction of antimicrobial resistance.

This scheme, called Eco-scheme 1, was first introduced in 2020 and focuses on measures to improve animal welfare and reduce the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.

Eco-scheme 1 provides for the awarding of a prize to livestock producers who adopt certain behaviors and good practices. These include reducing the use of antibiotics and adopting husbandry practices that improve animal health and welfare. This incentive scheme is one of the many tools used to achieve the sustainability and animal welfare objectives set by the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

Animal welfare comes first

Animal welfare is a very important aspect of modern animal husbandry. Proper animal management can help reduce the risk of disease and improve the quality of the meat and milk produced. Adopting good husbandry practices can also reduce the use of antibiotics, which is a major public health issue globally.

The premium offered by Eco-scheme 1 can help producers invest in technologies and farming practices that improve animal health and welfare.

For example, producers can use specific foods and feeding techniques that reduce the need for antibiotics. They can also adopt husbandry systems that reduce animal stress and promote natural behaviors, such as freedom of movement.

This type of premium can be particularly useful for small producers who may find it difficult to invest in these practices due to the high costs. Furthermore, the premium can also incentivize manufacturers to promote the quality of the final product, which can lead to increased consumer confidence and increased demand.

Eco-scheme 1 also focuses on reducing antimicrobial resistance. Overuse of antibiotics in animals can lead to the emergence of resistant bacteria, which can be transmitted to humans and cause difficult-to-treat diseases. Adopting husbandry practices that reduce antibiotic use can therefore help prevent antimicrobial resistance.

Progress in animal husbandry

Eco-scheme 1 is an important step towards sustainability and animal welfare. However, this scheme alone cannot solve all problems related to animal husbandry. To achieve sustainability goals, it is necessary to adopt a holistic approach that also takes environmental impact into consideration.

For more information, you can download the complete circular by clicking here .