Growing Pains: The Developing Relationship of Animal Welfare Standards and the World Trade Rules



This article looks at the reasons why animal welfare is likely to be an important issue in trade disputes in the future and in the clarification of policy on the World Trade Organization's (WTO's) Article XX exemptions. Trade disputes that are based on animal welfare issues, such as product differentiation, have historically been settled before discussion at the WTO. The growth in legislation based on animal welfare has increased the likelihood of a dispute being considered by a panel. A dispute is likely to look at cultural differences between countries, which is an area that the WTO is increasingly looking at. It is probable that any dispute will see further clarification on the use and limits of the Article XX exemptions and these are explored in the article.