Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability
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Animal Welfare Forum Successfully Launched

In the afternoon of November 29, 2013, Animal Welfare Forum, co-organized by IEEPA, World Society for The Protection of Animals (WSPA), International Cooperation Center for Animal Welfare (ICCAW), China Association for the Promotion of International Agriculture Cooperation (ICCAW), was successfully held in Beijing during the period of the 6th WEC. Zhonghua Zhao, Country Director of WSPA China, hosted the forum, which focused on four topics including Animal Welfare and Sustainable Development, Animal Welfare, Food Safety and Public Health, Animal Friendly Farming and Environmental Protection and Animal Welfare and Ecological Protection. Secretary general Jon Li delivered a special speech, and other guests who participated in the panel discussion include Jia Youling, president of China Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), former Head of National Veterinary Bureau and Chief Veterinarian, Zhao Yutian, deputy secretary general of China Association for the Promotion of International Agriculture Cooperation, Professor of MOA Countryside, Jiang Zhigang, program officer, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) China, Zhou Zunguo, representative of Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) in China, Xi Chunling, executive president of International Cooperation Center for Animal Welfare, China Association for the Promotion of International Agriculture Cooperation, Zhang Zhengwang, professor, Beijing Normal University; secretary general of China Ornithology Society, Zhaoxia Yang, vice professor and deputy director of Ecological Legislation Research Center, Beijing Forestry University and so on.

In the wake of the development of modern society, the harmonious coexistence among human, nature and animal have become increasingly important, and animal welfare has become one of the focal points in modern society. Animal welfare does not mean extra treatment to animal, but satisfy the primary need, like free from thirst and hunger, sickness and injury. Chinese animal welfare undertaking has stayed in the primary stage, and people still lack of concept and significance of animal welfare.

Mr. Jia insisted that the core of animal welfare is to treat the animal kindly, and the pressing work currently is to increase the awareness of animal welfare. Veterinarian who know animal well should understand and master the knowledge and skill of animal welfare. According to Mr. Jia, Chinese Animal Welfare Award will be established in the future by cooperating with international organizations, further improve the awareness of the public, improve Chinese animal welfare undertaking.

Nicola Beynon, Senior Advisor of Corporate Engagement and Director of External Affairs, WSPA Asia-Pacific Region, pointed out: animal in the farm accounted for 2/3 of the global animal amount, and the significance of animal welfare has not obtained official sanction. In order to encourage government and inter-governmental organizations to take action, WSPA, while assist UN members in eliminating poverty and achieving sustainable development, is working together to push forward UN to approve "global animal welfare declaration" launched by the society.

In recent years, in the wake of improving standard of living, people has increased their demand on food quality and safety. However, along with the great animal pest like foot and mouth disease, bird flu, lean meat powder, water-injected meat and residual animal drug, food safety have constantly raised the concern and panic, which virtually is related to the animal welfare. Xi Chunling pointed out: animal welfare is essentially a best immunity. Industrial breeding has exposed numerous animal welfare issues such as bad breeding condition, abuse of antibiotic, brutal slaughtering mode, which not only has influence on animal health and their quality, but brought many negative influences on human health and environment. Therefore, if we want to achieve sustainable development of breeding, it is imperative for us to ameliorate animal welfare.

Animal welfare is not only closely bound up animal, but also to food safety, public health, environmental protection, climatic change, poverty elimination, disaster prevention. as an important part of animal welfare, animal health will be an inevitable factors in the whole public health system.

Seen from the currently known animal contagious diseases, 70% diseases belong to zoonoses, which not only menaced animal health, caused large loss of livestock breeding, severely menace public health and life safety. Therefore, that we provide animals with comfortable, hygienic breeding environment will be conducive to enhance animal immunity, decrease sickness and drug usage. Be kind to animal means be kind to us.

Zhao Zhonghua pointed out: we must consider people first if we want to consider the animal, and must change our concept if we want to improve the conditions of the animal. We do not look on animal welfare solitarily, as it is an interdisciplinary involved in economics, ecology, ethics, public politics, and needs comprehensive visual angle and efforts. As an important part of green and sustainable development, the popularization of animal welfare in China will play an increasingly vital role in China's sustainable development between economy and environment, public health as well as global animal welfare.

This forum aims to improve the awareness of the public, enterprises, and governments on animal welfare, which is closely related to global challenges, sustainable agriculture development.

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