All animals should have good animal welfare and be treated well. This applies to both food-producing animals and pets, including animals kept for leisure, hobbies, sports and service, as well as to wild animals. Fit and healthy animals are a cornerstone of the food chain. Sustainable food systems based on good agricultural and animal husbandry practices, hygiene measures and biosecurity are fundamental. Good animal health and welfare gives more efficient production and safe food, allows for low consumption of antimicrobial agents, fewer infectious agents and low antimicrobial resistance. To ensure this, systematic and future-oriented work is essential.
Animal welfare white paper
The Norwegian government has started work on a new white paper on animal welfare to present to parliament, the Storting. The white paper will report on all animals covered by the Animal Welfare Act, including aquatic animals.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food has the scientific and political responsibility for the welfare of all terrestrial animals, i.e. production animals, pets and wild animals. Animal welfare is generally assessed as good in Norway. In an international context, Norwegian regulations for animal welfare are at a high level.
Both domestic and wild animals can be afflicted by disease, both serious and less serious. Whilst some diseases are to a lesser or greater extent contagious, others are not. Some contagious animal diseases may also infect humans, and in some cases humans can infect animals.