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The relevance of Animal Welfare to Sustainable Development

by ruchita last modified Jan 22, 2014 07:24 PM

Dec 14, 2009

The relevance of Animal Welfare to Sustainable Development

Mr Vinod S Kapur and Mr Michael Baker presiding over the meeting (left to right)

The Republic of Seychelles, the Swedish Government and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) at the United Nations organized an event on the 8th October 2009, to brief the G77 nations on animal welfare and its relevance to sustainable development.

Among the eminent speakers who presided over this briefing were Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, Asst. Secretary General at International Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction (ISDR); Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania; Mr. Jamie Perez, National Projects Officer, FAO, Columbia; Mr. Vinod S Kapur, Founder and Chairman of Keggfarms, India and Mr. Michael Baker, Director General, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). The briefing was well attended by over one hundred senior representatives of the G77 nations.

This briefing was linked to the specific task of agreeing on the text to be included in the Agenda 21 Resolution on sustainable development with special bearing on:-

Environmental and Agricultural Sustainability - responsible animal management affects land use, climate change, pollution, water supplies, habitat conservation and bio diversity for the better.

Human health – good animal care reduces the risk of diseases transmissible to humans and of food poisoning. The human animal bond also has therapeutic benefits.

Poverty and Hunger Reduction – looking after animals properly improves their productivity and helps farmers to provide more food for themselves, their families and the community.

Disaster preparedness and risk reduction – animals are important for people’s lives and livelihoods and must be given due consideration in plans for disaster preparedness and response. Any community that survives a disaster can face a second, delayed blow when their perished livestock is not replaced as a measure to mitigate losses.

The importance of responsible animal management was iterated by all the speakers. Mr. Vinod Kapur of KeggFarms presented a number of case studies sharing the realities of his poultry based successful business enterprise. He shared that the intertwining of the values of animal welfare with a business model led to the poverty and hunger reduction among the underprivileged rural poor, especially the women.

Mr Kapoor shared his experiences on the sustainable poultry management practices followed by over one million economically challenged homes in the state of West Bengal, Uttaranchal, Orissa, Assam and Manipur in India. He shared that the concept of animal welfare for the well-being of humans was not merely an abstract idea, but can be a flourishing ground reality.

Dr. Kapoor’s presentation was well received by all the member nations of G77 most of whom expressed their willingness to replicate this Good Practice. The Republic of Uganda  has already taken the lead to introduce a Kuroiler based program for poverty alleviation and women empowerment with the collaboration of Keggfarms.

The proposed text for insertion into the Agenda 21 Resolution in Second Committee on Sustainable Development reads as follows:-
“Preamble: Recognising that many economies and hundreds of millions of people, in particular the poor depend on animals for food, a living and social status and that animal welfare promotes food security, poverty and disease reduction and environmental protection.

Operative: Encourages member states, the UN system and civil society to share and develop best practices related to animal welfare, as a component of development, environment and disaster reduction activities towards sustainable development.”

The event was a day of pride for the Indian innovation!

Contributed by - Mr Shankar Ghosh, KeggFarms Pvt. Ltd.