JMICAWE Director Cathy Dwyer and SRUC colleagues Emma Baxter and Irene Camerlink were guests at a Conference on farm animal welfare organised as the 5th China Animal Welfare Forum on Quality and Safety of Meat and Poultry Products by the International Cooperation Committee on Animal Welfare (ICCAW) in Hangzhou. The meeting was attended by about 40 overseas guests, and 350 Chinese delegates from industry, academia and NGOs, and was a good signal that China is now starting to consider animal welfare as very important in food animals.
Cathy gave an interview to the Chinese TV media before the conference began, particularly addressing concerns that animal welfare is synonymous with an increase in costs of production, and also took part in a panel discussion with both Chinese and overseas experts.
On the second day of the conference there were species-focused sessions and Emma gave a talk on neonatal mortality in a session organised by the RSPCA.
It was interesting to see how animal welfare is viewed in China with a lot of interest in standards and legislation and fewer talks on animal behaviour or animal based measures as might be the case in European meetings. This is planned to be an annual event, so we look forward to seeing how the status of animal welfare in China develops over the next few years.