Norwegian Action Plan on Animal Welfare

Recommendation of 13 December 2002 by the Ministry of Agriculture, approved in Council of State on the same date 01.12.2006.

The Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture took an initiative in 2001, which resulted in the publishing of a white paper regarding animal husbandry and animal welfare (Proposition to the Storting No 12 (2002-2003) Animal Welfare and Animal Husbandry. Recommendation of 13 December 2002 by the Ministry of Agriculture, approved in Council of State on the same date). The white paper was published in 2002 and constitutes a broad review and evaluation of all animal care in Norway from an ethical and welfare perspective. It also includes proposals for long term goals and actions, hereunder an ethical platform.

St. meld. nr. 12.

A short version of the white paper in English may be found here:

The original version of the white paper in Norwegian may be found here:

The investigation leading to the white paper was organised as a project governed by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Fishery and the Norwegian Animal Health Authority were close cooperating parties.

The range of initiatives carried out by the project-group during the investigation was broad. Institutions, organisations and the public were asked to contribute written comments on many different topics concerning animal welfare. Five public hearings were organized in the form of meetings. The project-group also included in their investigation surveys, workshops and meetings with representatives from the industries, science, veterinarians, politically responsible authorities etc. Several institutions were engaged to write external reports on different subjects, including a report on animal welfare in the Sami culture.

The white paper has resulted in a number of actions.

Beside knowledge development, several issues were highlighted as important areas in the forthcoming work with animal welfare. Competent animal owners, freedom of information, consumer communication, appropriate legislation and influencing the international animal welfare framework were stressed as strategies to obtain the main goal; Healthy animals in good conditions. All actions should be based on the ethical platform, defined by the following statements:

  • Animals have an intrinsic value
  • Everyone who has animals in their care have the responsibility to ensure the animals’ basic needs and that they receive necessary treatment
  • Animals shall be kept in conditions which give a good quality of life
  • Healthy animals shall be a prerequisite in all breeding
  • Before new technology is taken into use it must be probable that it will not lead to reduced animal welfare.

As proposed by the Norwegian white paper on animal welfare and animal husbandry, good animal welfare can be considered as a collective benefit for society.

Contact information:

The Norwegian government will be happy to provide more information regarding our work with animal welfare.

Ministry of Agriculture and Food (terrestrial animals/birds)

PO Box 8007 Dep
N-0030 Oslo
Tel: +47 22 24 90 90
Fax: +47 22 24 95 59

Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs (aquatic animals)

PO Box 8118, Dep
N-0032 Oslo
Tel: +47 22 24 90 90
Fax: +47 22 24 95 85