Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Advancing animal welfare in India – Next week’s international conference in Bangalore
With a rising human population there is an associated greater demand for food particularly in rapidly developing countries such as India. Alongside this there is increasing international concern about standards of animal health and welfare and an enhanced awareness of the need to find effective and sustainable measures to produce safe food to safeguard human welfare. Over recent years we have increasingly looked to our nation’s veterinarians to ensure that the animals used for food, companionship or research are not only productive and healthy but are also managed humanely. It is becoming increasingly emphasised that international standards of animal welfare are vital not only for animal disease management, but also for sustainable productivity, food safety and public health, and there is an expectation that the veterinary profession take a leading role in promoting respect for animals in a progressive society.
Understanding the issues and finding new ways of enhancing animal health and welfare is clearly a complex and important area and one that is of particular relevance to the veterinary community in India. Early next week, scientists from Edinburgh will travel to Bangalore to present at an International animal health and welfare conference. The conference brings together the Commonwealth Veterinary Association who in partnership with other organizations is playing a lead role in addressing the problems of animal welfare throughout its member countries, with the University of Edinburgh and associated research institutes, such as the Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College. The key organisers, Dr Abdul Rahman, President of the CVA and Professor Nat Waran, Director of the RDSVS’s Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare, have put together a 5 day programme which will not only explore advances in veterinary research and key messages for India, but will also address the internationally important issues of animal welfare and canine rabies control. It is expected that this gathering of animal scientists, veterinarians, NGO’s and government representatives will allow the exploration of opportunities for new international collaborations to enable the sharing of best practice and development of new initiatives for advancing animal health and welfare research, education, policy and practice in India and wider afield.