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Animal welfare web portal launched

One-stop shop for policy-makers, farmers, scientists and animal welfare organizations

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
A vet in the DRC gives a goat anti-worming treatment.
22 May 2009, Rome - A new internet portal has been launched today by FAO that will serve as a one-stop-shop for individuals and organizations searching for the latest information about the welfare of livestock. 

The Gateway to Farm Animal Welfare is designed to provide a reliable information conduit on legislation and research findings in the sector, as well as on animal welfare standards, practices and policies. Expected users are farmers and government officials, lawmakers, researchers, the livestock and food industry and non-governmental organizations.  

Important forum

It will provide an important forum for animal welfare issues related to activities such as transport, slaughter and pre-slaughter management, animal husbandry and handling and the culling of animals for disease control.

Livestock production accounts for 40 percent of the value of world agricultural output and products of animal origin provide one-third of humanity’s protein intake. Animals also contribute income, social status and security to roughly one billion people, including many of the world’s poor.

Livestock moves south

Since the 1990s, the centre of gravity of livestock production has moved from north to south and a few developing countries have emerged as powerful new players on the global scene.

“Any development programme that improves animal health, increases livestock production and responds to natural disasters where animals are involved needs an animal welfare component in it,” said Samuel Jutzi, Director of FAO’s Animal Health and Production Division.

“This portal meets a real information need in this extremely important area.” 

Compliance with standards

By giving less economically developed country governments, professionals and producers online access to the latest information and the opportunity to contribute information relevant to their own situation, the portal will help to improve livestock welfare, health and productivity worldwide.

Compliance with animal welfare standards can open access to international markets for products from less economically developed countries. The portal will also offer on-line conferences and seminars. 

Key partner collaboration

FAO has developed the portal in collaboration with key international partners in animal welfare including: the European Commission, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the World Organisation for Animal Health, Compassion In World Farming, the Latin American Poultry Association, Humane Society International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Brooke, the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the International Dairy Federation, the International Federation of Agriculture Producers and the World Veterinary Association.