PARIS – The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) adopted new general guidelines for animal welfare in livestock production and wording on the welfare of cattle bred for meat.

The new guidelines contain criteria and indicators to measure the welfare of beef cattle, nutrition of feed, lighting for cattle that do not have access to natural light, bedding and other aspects of cattle breeding conditions, the organization said. The OIE also decided on new texts regarding responsible use of antibiotics in food animals.

“In 2011 the delegates of the OIE did not reach a consensus on a text on animal welfare of broiler chickens and this year’s consensus on livestock is a huge step forward,” Bernard Vallat, OIE director general said in an online statement. “This is a historical event that opens way to the adoption of animal welfare standards of other farm animal production.”

OIE is an intergovernmental organization responsible for improving animal health worldwide. As of 2011, the organization had 178 member countries.