Finland prioritises the health and welfare of agricultural livestock as an important way to ensure food safety and quality along the food chain.
Animal diseases may be transmitted to consumers via foodstuffs of animal origin. Diseases and other health and welfare problems may cause pain and suffering to animals. This affects productivity with economic consequences for individual farmers and even the whole agricultural sector. Contagious animal diseases may have severe impacts on the international trade in animals and products of animal origin.
People today are paying more and more attention to animal welfare issues. The welfare of the animals kept by farmers is seen as an important element of the ethical value of foodstuffs. Consumers are increasingly interested in the production and living conditions of animals. This interest in animal welfare is not restricted to food-producing farm animals only, as it also covers pets, animals kept for sports and hobbies, laboratory animals, zoo animals and circus animals, not to mention fur animals.
The Finnish authorities and Finnish farmers work systematically to maintain the good animal health situation of the country and to enhance animal welfare.