ING requests LEI to do research in reaction to the report of the Dutch NGO ‘Wakker Dier’
On the 18th of August 2014 the Dutch NGO called ‘Wakker Dier’ (an animal rights NGO) published a report on animal welfare in the USA animal husbandry sector. It expressed its concerns about companies in the USA not respecting animal welfare as a consequence of a lack of legislation around animal housing and care.
In response to said report ING agreed with Wakker Dier at the time that further research would be conducted. The research would focus on the difference between animal welfare standards in the EU vs. those applicable in the USA. The research institute LEI (University of Wageningen) would conduct the research.
The research conducted by the LEI institute covered the activities of ING clients in the USA and focused on the most important animal groups. The LEI concluded that overall welfare standards in the USA cannot simply be rated lower than in the EU. Legislation is very limited, but together with industry standards and best practice guide-lines, form the fundamentals for animal welfare requirements. Therefore it is important to gain insight in the standards and guidelines applied by ING clients. Critical differences remain between the USA and Europe. These and other conclusions and recommendations are mentioned in the summary that is publicly available.
At the end of 2015 ING published its animal welfare policy which is based on the findings of the LEI institute and conversations with various stakeholders. It provides the conditions under which ING will finance the animal husbandry sector.