At the 85th General Session of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), OIE Members unanimously adopted the OIE Global Animal Welfare Strategy [1, 2]. One of the main activities included in the Strategy was the establishment of a stakeholder forum, called the OIE Global Animal Welfare Forum.
The objective of the OIE Global Animal Welfare Forum is to provide a mechanism that brings together the animal welfare research community, global animal welfare movement and the global animal-source food sector to work with the OIE and its Members.
The OIE is planning a third session of the Forum
The OIE has held two sessions of the Forum already. The first one, in 2018, covered the main challenges around the implementation of OIE animal welfare standards. The second one, in 2019, discussed stakeholder responsibilities for the welfare of animals during transport.
The OIE is planning a third session of the Forum in collaboration with the Swedish Centre for Animal Welfare (SCAW), which is the OIE Animal Welfare Collaborating Centre for the Region of Europe. The Forum will be held virtually (invitation-only event), over three days, i.e. on 26 April, 28 April and 4 May 2021. The theme will be ‘Animal welfare and the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’.
In 2015, 17 Goals were adopted by all UN States to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They are a call to action for all countries to work towards a better and more sustainable future. It is intended that the Goals will be achieved by 2030. These SDGs have a wide scope, but the role of both domesticated animals and wild animals, including fish, is poorly covered and their welfare is not mentioned at all.
Efforts to implement the OIE Global Animal Welfare Strategy will also contribute to the achievement of the UN SDGs, and the Forum will provide an important opportunity to discuss a sustainable development paradigm, in which animal welfare could help to improve the living conditions of households globally.
This third session of the Forum will be based on the experience obtained at a workshop held in June 2018. The workshop, entitled ‘Animal Welfare and the Sustainable Development Goals’, was organised by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences as part of the Global Challenges University Alliance (GCUA) workshop series. The discussion and outcomes of this workshop were published .