DCZ science advisor Dr. Eva Sternfeld attended the 2nd World conference on Farm Animal Welfare which was held on Oct. 24-25. About 500 international and Chinese participants attended the conference hosted by FAO and the China Association for Promotion of International Agricultural Cooperation. The Conference was organized by the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW) an organization founded in 2013 and attached CAPIAC. In China ICCAW is working with nearly one thousand companies and 170 experts in the field of animal husbandry and veterinary sciences in an effort to improve farm animal welfare.
In their opening speeches officials of MARA, such as Ma Youxiang, chief director of Animal husbandry department and Jia Fazhong, director of MARA’s Agricultural Products Quality and Safety Center outlined the present challenges for China’s animal huasbandry and livestock production. Ma mentioned the difficulties in the livestock sector, such as the spreading ASF crisis and impacts of the trade war due to high dependence on imported feedstuff. In terms of farm animal welfare the MARA officials mentioned that the ministry is at present drafting animal welfare standards for animal products and for poultry products. Their presentations were followed by Paul Littlefair, representing the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), a British NGO that since more than 13 years is in constant dialogue with Chinese governmental and non-governmental to promote the cause of animal welfare in the agriculture sector. Littlefair presented the Beijing Consensus on Farm Animal welfare, a ten point declaration that later was signed by representatives of the hosting and co-hosting organisations. In her speech Gudrun Gallhof, minister for Health and Food Safety of the European Union to China, shared experiences of animal welfare implementation in the EU. Other talks included presentation by Professor Chen Yaosheng, Chief scientist of the National Swine Industry Technology System Association, who spoke about “Application of Artificial Intelligence in Welfare-friendly Farming. Chen’s institute is conducting experiments with face and voice recognition of pigs which allows targeted treatment of individual pigs.