A World Conference on Farm Animal Welfare was held in Hangzhou, China on 12th-13th October, under the theme of ‘Advocating Farm Animal Welfare, Promoting Sustainable Development and Marketing Ethical Consumerism’.
The conference was hosted by FAO and CAPIAC, organised by ICCAW, and greatly supported by Compassion in World Farming, RSPCA, USMEF and NPB.
Nearly 400 representatives from government agencies, animal welfare organisations, universities and research institutes took part with many delivering speeches.
Chinese Government speaks out for animal welfare
The Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture for the People’s Republic of China, Yu Kangzhen, delivered a speech in which he stated: “Promoting animal welfare has become not only an important choice for the green development of agriculture and a significant measure to ensure food safety and healthy consumption, but even more so an important embodiment of human caring in modern society.”
He added: “The Chinese traditional culture has always advocated the concept of raising and using animals with an attitude of love and appreciation and as one of the world’s major developing countries China would align with the objective requirements for economic and social development and vigorously promote work on animal welfare.”
This was the first time that the Chinese government has publicly declared its attitude towards animal welfare – talking openly about the work Compassion has been doing with ICCAW - indicating that China is ready for change and has clear objectives.
A great effort has already been made for animal welfare improvement in China and significant progress has been achieved.
Green agriculture commitment from China
Today, China is committed to the development of green agriculture and at the heart of this is the improvement of both animal welfare and health, and the quality and safety of livestock products.
In the future, China aims to:
- accelerate the development of animal welfare technical standards and regulations;
- gradually perfect the systems of animal welfare inspection, assessment and supervision;
- actively explore the approaches for animal welfare legislation;
- take farm animal welfare as an approach to promoting the green and sustainable development of the farming industry;
- continually enhance international communication and collaboration
Good Pig Production Awards
Compassion’s Good Pig Production Awards were presented on the first evening of the conference and all the winners were able to talk about their work with Compassion.
The Good Pig Production Award recognises Chinese producers that are making significant commitments to improving the welfare of pigs by meeting five basic requirements which focus on: group housing of sows in the gestation period, enrichment with straw, the avoidance of mutilations such as tail docking or teeth clipping, providing pigs with a suitable environment (including temperature control and hygiene), as well as meeting several stipulated food safety requirements.
Over the course of four years we have awarded 41 pig producer companies, with three businesses successfully upgrading their rating.
ICCAW promotes and administers our awards programme in China and together we have expanded the programme by successfully launching the Good Egg Production Awards and Good Chicken Production Awards this year.
This year alone, 29 producers from China have been recognised for the great work they are doing to improve the lives of pigs, hens and broiler chickens and all the winners were welcomed on stage to be applauded for their commitments.
An amazing 92 million farm animals are set to benefit each year from All of our Chinese winners’ policies and practices to date.
Compassion hosts Poultry Welfare session
Compassion opened the Poultry Welfare session on 13th October which was organised in partnership with ICCAW, introducing Compassion and our Chinese Good Production Awards.
Our Ambassador, Jeff Zhou, moderated this session and delivered Compassion’s presentation: ‘What is the future for higher welfare poultry production?’
Jeff was also invited to take part in the conference video which was very well received by delegates. Watch the video here.
In addition, Compassion was invited to submit a paper for the conference book which was entitled: ‘Designing systems with the animals’ characteristics and welfare in mind, and recognising producers who are committed to rearing their animals in higher welfare systems'.