Animal welfare is an integral part of global sustainability

May 10, 2011

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.

At the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, WSPA is co-hosting a key event with the environmental organization, 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 May 12 meeting, outlining 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;

  • More 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 briefing will also discuss why humane treatment of farm animals is at the heart of the issues key to the Earth Summit 2012 – including food security, environmental protection and poverty alleviation. A full report, Why livestock and humane, sustainable agriculture matter at Rio +20, can be viewed here.

Humane, sustainable poultry benefits poor

A new WSPA case study, “Enhancing rural livelihoods and nutrition through higher welfare poultry production in India,” shows how humane farming helped improve the livelihoods and nutrition of poor rural households in India.

WSPA’s agriculture team studied the case of Keggfarms in India, an egg producer that established a new sustainable business model aimed at the rural poultry sector. Keggfarms created a new dual purpose breed of chicken, the “Kuroiler,” who – unlike a standard intensive meat chicken – is able to thrive in a resource-poor, foraging village environment.

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. Keggfarms’ commercial egg production system is also cage-free and, therefore, kinder to the laying hens. The studied model also improved the livelihoods, as well as the food and nutrition security, of poor households in rural India. Click here to read more.

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