This decreto adds a chapter to Title 3, Part 14 of Book 2 of Decreto 1071, 2015 “Decreto Único Reglamentario del Sector Administrativo Agropecuario, Pesquero y de Desarrollo Rural.” This Decreto establishes the dispositions and requirements for the welfare of species for agricultural production.
The text in this decreto is based on the recommendations of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The aim is to position animal welfare for the production species in order to provide them with ethical treatment and optimized healthcare. This results in improved parameters of quality and safety of products derived from cattle. Decreto 2113, contains parameters to protect the diversity and integrity of the environment, as well as the minimum care that anyone who is responsible for the animals must meet. The newly added Chapter 5 introduces the five freedoms as a requirement that must be met in the exploitation of animals for production.
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst;
- Freedom from Discomfort;
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease;
- Freedom to Express Normal Behavior; and
- Freedom from Fear and Distress.
During the exploitation of animals for agricultural production, practices that could cause stress to the animals and that put their health at risk must be avoided as well.
Decreto 2113 defines several terms relevant to animal agriculture.
"Production animals" is defined as “the vertebrates and invertebrates intended for commercial production, which includes the following steps: reproduction, breeding, raising, and the final period of fattening.”
"Animal welfare" is defined as “the way in which an animal faces the conditions of its environment. An animal is in good condition of well-being if it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished and safe. If it can express innate forms of behavior and if it does not suffer unpleasant sensations of pain, fear or restlessness.”
The term "stress" is defined as a “physiological mechanism of defense of an organism against situations that require adaptability. The organism works at a rhythm that is the result of interaction and balance with its environment. If the environment changes, it is clear that the body will need to adapt to the new situation through stress.”
Some of the general aspects to take into account for the wellbeing of animals in the production system established in Article 126.96.36.199.5, include:
- That genetic selection considers the health and wellbeing of the animals; that the animals are able to rest comfortably, move safely and comfortably, which includes providing them adequate space in their environment to switch postures and to allow them to express their natural behavior.
- To take into consideration that social grouping of animals benefits positive social behaviors and minimizes injuries, disorders or chronic fear.
- In animal stalling, the air quality, temperature and humidity should contribute to good animal health.
- In cases were painful procedures cannot be avoided, pain should be managed to the extent that the available methods allow it.
- The management of animals should promote a positive relationship between humans and animals. Humans should not cause injuries, panic, lasting fear, or avoidable stress.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was given a deadline of twelve months after Decreto 2113 takes full effect. The aim is to create regulations that are necessary to guarantee the welfare of species for agricultural production. Such regulations must be based on the recommendations and guidelines established by the OIE. The Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), will address the violations of the health and animal welfare norms, in compliance with the current valid norms.