Bringing the animal health and welfare standards in line with EU legislation, also means improved economy for farmers and food producers. In this way, they will be even more competitive on regional and international markets. Farm biosecurity has importance for the future of sustainable agriculture. These are the conclusions of the kick-off conference of project Animal health and welfare held in Belgrade.

‘Reinforcement of animal health and welfare’ is EU funded project that provides support to the Veterinary Directorate of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management in the process of harmonization with EU legislation and standards in the area of animal health, welfare and biosecurity.

“This project will assist Serbia to conduct targeted awareness campaigns, draft a consolidated animal health strategy, monitoring and surveillance programs, but also prepare a Disaster management plan for animals- which becomes ever more relevant in light of the climatic changes” said Sakellaris Hourdas, Head of Operation III in the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia.

Animal disease control strategy will reduce risks of transmission of animal diseases to animals and people. Upgraded biosecurity on farms will better protect animal holdings from the diseases. It will also support sustainability of agriculture and protection of environment. Responsible dog ownership will support decreasing of incidence of straying and welfare problems, risks to public safety and reduce the number of dog bite incidents.

“This project will assist Serbia enhancing greater opportunities for food producers and agricultural products to trade with the EU. It can be done through improvements in animal health and welfare policy, reducing risks to human and animal health also through the improvement of stray dog population management” said Emina Milakara, Acting Director of Veterinary Directorate of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management.

Environmentally and animal-friendly farming means shared responsibility towards society. This enables production of high-quality products as a result of keeping and raising, transport and slaughter of animals in the best possible conditions.