Improving the standards of livestock living conditions is becoming a global trend, but Japan is lagging in efforts to advance the concept of farm animal welfare given little or no consideration by producers and consumers alike.

In June, Japan's farm ministry belatedly drew up a set of non-binding guidelines from this perspective. But it is unclear if they will be observed widely in the country's livestock industry where production efficiency is generally prioritized.

The idea of improving animal living conditions originated in Europe and consists of "five freedoms" that should be guaranteed in best-practice treatment.