Tuesday, 24 February 2015
International Partnership agreement for advancement of animal production, health and welfare signed between University of Edinburgh and ICAR
An exciting collaboration has been agreed between the University of Edinburgh and the Government of India’s Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which was signed at a two day workshop on production animal health and welfare held in Delhi last week.
With the world population set to rise to 9 billion by 2050, and an expected significant increase in meat consumption, meeting the future demand for safe, sustainable and affordable livestock products is a high priority. As this need for greater animal production rises, it is important to recognise the critical relationship between poor standards of animal health and welfare, reduced animal productivity and human health. With a population of 1.3 billion people and home to 600 million livestock animals and rising, India is expected to be one of the countries with a substantial increase in the amount of meat they eat; as such, this is a highly important topic for the future of Indian agriculture.
The objective of last week’s two-day international workshop, which was co-organised by ICAR and the University of Edinburgh, through the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, was to discuss and develop collaborative research and education opportunities that will lead to improved animal production, health and welfare. Over sixty ICAR scientists met with veterinary institutes and associated Universities at this stimulating event, alongside ten academics from Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Roslin Institute and Scotland’s Rural College including chief guest Professor James Smith (Edinburgh University’s International Vice Principal) and JMICAWE’s Director, Professor Nat Waran.
The knowledge exchange activity provided fruitful discussion, not only on future research collaborations but also on the use of new technologies in helping to improve animal resistance to disease, the enhancement of sustainable animal productivity, methods to improve production animal welfare and also on capacity building through education. It was agreed that through international partnership, Indian veterinary and animal science training can be strengthened to provide the well-qualified skilled and animal welfare educated researchers and veterinarians needed to serve the ever-evolving needs of the animals and people of India.
Sustainability is key to success, and at the workshop held at the ICAR headquarters on the 16th and 17th February, a Memorandum of Understanding was co-signed by the Vice-Principal of the University of Edinburgh and the Director General of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, cementing what will be a long and fruitful relationship to benefit Indian production animal health and welfare research and veterinary education over the coming years.
We are very much looking forward to working closely with our Indian colleagues to collaborate in key strategic research and education areas, to advance livestock production and health, whilst integrating raised awareness of the methods and necessity for improving standards of animal welfare.