On 21 April 2018, after only two years of negotiations, the European Union and Mexico announced the conclusion of the modernization of their 1997 ‘Global Agreement’, covering both political and trade cooperation between the two partners. The new text includes a unique chapter on animal welfare and antimicrobial resistance – sending a strong statement to the world that animal welfare matters and is critical to protect Europe’s values and the health of European citizens. As such it sets a groundbreaking precedent for international and EU trade policy, as well as for animal welfare.
As the world’s fourth producer of eggs (most of them from caged hens), the seventh of poultry meat, the sixth of beef, and the fifteenth of pork, Mexico is a key country for animal products. It has the second largest amount of livestock among Latin American countries behind Brazil, accounting for around 550 million chickens, 34 million heads of cattle and 17 million pigs. (FAO statistics collected for 2016.) Promoting better animal welfare standards through the newly concluded agreement could thus improve the life of millions of farm animals, wild animals kept in captivity and those used for scientific purposes.Global Trade and Customs Journal