Interview: Animal welfare important to human health: Scottish expert

Souce:Xinhua Publish By Updated 19/04/2013 12:19 am in Health&Lifestyle / no comments


by Guo Chunju

EDINBURGH, April 18 — Animal welfare is a topical subject and of growing international concern to achieve a much deeper understanding of the importance of animal welfare, a Scottish animal welfare expert has said.

Animal welfare is important “not just to the animal, but also to economics, human health, human well-being, and also environmental situations such as water quality and so on,” Natalie Waran, professor of animal welfare education at the University of Edinburgh, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

She stressed the necessity of recognizing links between animal health and human health, noting that “increasingly people come to see this for themselves, not just people who care about animal welfare, but also those who indirectly have huge influence on human health.”

“One welfare, one health, one medicine, one world,” Waran said, emphasizing that people cannot avoid getting into the cycle that causes health issues, like misuse of medicines that lead to antibiotic resistance, and then lead to epidemics, as well as some issues with intensive farming that are not good to the animals, and also to the people working with the animals.

Risk factors of intensive farming actually could be reduced if the animals were handled better with transportation and movement to avoid overcrowded conditions, according to Waran.

The international animal welfare society is committed to ensure animal welfare as part of the veterinary curriculum, said Waran.

For the past 25 years, the University of Edinburgh has built up a considerable amount of expertise in animal welfare science, while the United Kingdom has a lot of scientists, knowledge, experience about protecting the welfare of animals, according to Waran.

Furthermore, she emphasized the university’s public engagement with farmers through training program to ensure academic research is applicable and have practical impact on farming.

The International Center for Animal Welfare Education of the University of Edinburgh is a hub of expertise on animal welfare science in education and research, collaborating with international partners to advance understanding of animal welfare issues.

The Scottish animal welfare expert also mentioned the contacts and exchanges between the University of Edinburgh and the Chinese Veterinary Medical Association, as well as Nanjing Agricultural University on animal welfare education, on the issue of science and knowledge-based legislation of animal welfare.

Furthermore, she hailed China’s expertise of panda nutrition, reproduction and conservation, adding that there are some other species which are equally important and need to be well kept like the panda iconic species.



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