Animal welfare is an integral part of global sustainability

WSPA demonstrates the role of animal welfare in humane, sustainable farming at UN meeting

WSPA has long argued that animal welfare matters, but we are now working to build a place for animals on the agenda of Earth Summit 2012, also known as Rio +20, (so-called as it is twenty years since the last Rio summit).

At the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, WSPA is co-hosting a key event with the environmental organisation, Bioregional, showing how animal welfare is an essential part of the world’s solutions to sustainability.

Vicki Hird, Humane Sustainable Agriculture (HSA) Campaigner for WSPA, will present at the 12th May meeting, setting out five core recommendations for the Earth Summit agenda:

  • the development of policies for sustainable food supplies;

  • tackling the unsustainable demand for farm animal products and supporting producers in transition;

  • greater research and development to support HSA;

  • the phasing out of subsidies and investment for unsustainable, inhumane systems; and,

  • ensuring animals are integrated in disaster management.

WSPA’s latest briefing reveals why humane treatment of farm animals is at the heart of the issues key to the Earth Summit 2012 – including on food security, environmental protection and poverty alleviation. The document, Why livestock and humane, sustainable agriculture matter at Rio +20, can be viewed here.

Humane, sustainable poultry benefits poor

WSPA has begun to build case studies and research on humane and sustainable agriculture, showing that humane farming is an intrinsic part of sustainable food production. Our first published case study – on chicken and egg production – shows how humane farming also improves the livelihoods and nutrition of poor rural households in India.

WSPA’s agriculture team studied the case of Keggfarms in India, an egg producer which has established a new sustainable business model aimed at the rural poultry sector. Keggfarms created a new dual purpose breed of chicken, the ‘Kuroiler’, far hardier than standard intensive meat chickens yet fast-growing and able to produce many eggs, allowing it to thrive in a resource-poor, foraging village environment. Kuroilers are now distributed to around one million households located in some of the most remote parts of India.

WSPA research found that by rearing Kuroilers in rural communities, animal welfare was better than in intensive farms, and production was less reliant on unsustainable feed concentrates. The model studied improved livelihoods and food and nutrition security of poor households.

Keggfarms commercial egg production system is also cage free, and so kinder to the laying hens. The study, Enhancing rural livelihoods and nutrition through higher welfare poultry production in India, can be viewed here.  

We will be providing coverage following the 12th May event.

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