Exploring pig and poultry welfare in China

China accounts for half of the world pig population (~36.3 million sows), and produces ~5 times as many pigs as the EU. China is also the largest egg producer in the world. Any improvement in animal welfare is therefore likely to have a great impact on the life of the animals. In May two of our animal welfare researchers went to visit academics and NGO’s to speak about the current welfare issues for pigs and poultry in China.

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE) has recently been awarded with a grant to provide animal welfare training in China and to exchange knowledge with Chinese producers. In this first visit the focus was on pig production as it tied in with the Global Pig Forum and Animal Husbandry Expo held in Qingdao, Shandong province. Academics and industry representatives of different regions of China were consulted on current animal welfare issues and the most effective method to reach producers. Meetings with NGO’s and the Ministry of Agriculture further informed about current animal welfare guidelines. Animal welfare guidelines for the major livestock species are currently in place or are being rolled out in the coming months. This shows that animal welfare is a rising issue that is being considered by industry. This was also confirmed during the presentations by leading officials and producers at the Global Pig Forum.

The newly formed connections will contribute to a collaborative strategy to provide animal welfare training to pig and poultry producers. This program will continue into 2018 with farmer workshops currently being scheduled. A PhD project will run alongside the workshops to assess their effectiveness for animal welfare in practice.

The project, titled ‘Healthy animals, healthy food, healthy people’ is funded by the Open Philanthropy Project. The project is led by the JMICAWE and includes experts from JMICAWE as well as from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). For more information contact Cathy.Dwyer@sruc.ac.uk


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