A new centre promoting animal welfare standards internationally is to be established in China, thanks to a University of Queensland-led project.
The International Animal Welfare Standards Project, led by Professor Clive Phillips and Michelle Sinclair from UQ’s Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics, is working to improve animal welfare during farming, slaughter and transport.
“China is responsible for 39 per cent of farmed animals worldwide – it’s the biggest livestock producing country in the world and has the biggest consumer market,” Professor Phillips said.
“There’s a clear opportunity for China to be a world leader in animal welfare.
“We’ll be training a new generation of Chinese scientists, dedicated to investigating and improving animal welfare standards in agriculture.”
Representatives from the UQ team travelled to Beijing to meet with Chinese collaborators, discussing the details of the project and celebrating the new centre’s inauguration.
“The development of this, the first Sino-Australian Animal Welfare Centre, will be a huge step forwards for the region,” Professor Phillips said.
The broader International Animal Welfare Standards Project, which has been running for five years, has already seen more than 1,500 leaders trained in animal welfare in China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand.
“The project has already proven successful in developing resources for animal welfare improvement, which have been accessed 45,000 times in January and February of this year alone,” Ms Sinclair said.
“We’ve also been able to develop and distribute freely available and fully translated training resources.
“Both farmers and animals in south east and east Asia will soon benefit from the program developed by locals in their very own backyards.”
The project secured funding from the Good Ventures Foundation and universities throughout China, including the Chinese Agricultural University in Beijing.