Tokyo Olympics & Paralympics: Downgrading Animal Welfare Issues
The draft also referred to JGAP or Global G.A.P as acceptable certifications. Those who are not certified by JGAP or Global G.A.P may also consider the GAP Acquisition Challenge System, which is a prior step before acquiring a JGAP certificate.
(4) Livestock products produced by taking appropriate measures to raise livestock animals in a comfortable environment with reference to the Animal Welfare-oriented Livestock Management Standards.
JGAP is a certificate system that is being created by Japan Farmers' GAP Association, which is subsidized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. In addition, the GAP Acquisition Challenge System was also created for livestock producers to check necessary efforts on their own, assuming it is hard to acquire a JGAP certificate.[ Information on Agriculture March 2017 Issue by Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corporation.
In any case, it’s said all animal welfare matters should meet the Animal Welfare-oriented Livestock Management Standards set by Japan Livestock Technology Association. But, the draft by JGAP only “encourages” it and does not mandate it:
Efforts must be made to improve the environment for livestock by utilizing the checklist (appendix I) based on “the Animal Welfare-oriented Livestock Management Standards.”
It would be acceptable if it were “working on” improving animal welfare. The final draft is yet to be published, but is unlikely this part would change.
- It is impossible to measure animal welfare this way
Since the Animal Welfare-oriented Livestock Management Standards does not have anything quantifiable for animal welfare issues, it is impossible to measure.
- Ignoring the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals
For the animal welfare matter, The Act of Welfare and Management of Animals was not mentioned though other matters are said to follow relevant laws and regulations. While the Animal Welfare-oriented Livestock Management Standards is merely set by Japan Livestock Technology Association as “efforts to meet the demand,” the act is law binding. The reality of agriculture also shows this act is often violated.
- 3)JGAP while there is the Global G.A.P
The certificate should have been internationally valid for export of agriculture and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. However JGAP is designed to meet situations in Japan and is a lot looser than Global G.A.P.
- 4)Global G.A.P is not enough, either
Global G.A.P is not recognized as an animal welfare standard in Europe and the US in the first place, though it is a much better standard than the Japanese. Any animal welfare groups in the EU and US would think of “Global Animal Partnership” and they don’t even know of Global G.A.P. There are huge discrepancies in concepts between London, Rio Olympics/Paralympics and Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics.
NHK also Alerts…On Nov 24th before this code was submitted, Mr. Hiroki Ouse of NHK picked procurement of food for Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics. The special attention was paid to agriculture. He narrated as follows:
Chickens, for instance, it is usual to raise them in narrow cages for efficiency in Japan. But, the chickens stretch their wings, groom them, and sunbathe in the morning. They are known to be clean. It is impossible for them to due such things in cages.
Pig’s teeth are cut in order for them to not hurt each other, and their tails are also mutilated. These acts are for the animals, but on the other hand, some say it also shows animals are not considered to be sentient, and they demand for animals to be raised in a way that is not against their nature and desire even if their life is so short. These measurements make it possible to create a sustainable society.
The Olympics and Paralympics are just a startUnfortunately, it is predicted that eggs from battery caged chickens, pork from farms using gestation crates, milk from cows chained 24/7, 365 days, pork and chicken in intensely crowded conditions, beef from blinded cows, and animals who suffered will be served by looking through this draft, and the JGAP standard. The Animal Rights Center has been continuously working with relevant parties.
However, the Tokyo Olympics/Paralympics are only a start. In order for this issue to move forward, citizens, corporations, and nation must change our mindset.
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