By Eurogroups for animals
The EU and China are two very important global players in the agri-food sector. Both are both facing common challenges, such as the climate crisis, the spread of zoonoses and the surge in antimicrobial resistance. As unsustainable food production lies at the heart of those challenges, animal welfare can play a key role in finding solutions to them.
In November 2020, Eurogroup for Animals published a new report: “What could the European Union and China achieve for animals?”, exploring how improving animal welfare, as well as moving towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns that rely less on meat and dairy products, can help achieve numerous SDGs, and prevent future pandemics.
Improving animal welfare in production systems could contribute to building resilience in the food production sector (SDG 2); improving human health by helping to reduce the risk of zoonoses; lessening the use of antibiotics in animal productions (SDG 3); fighting the climate crisis (SDG 13), and generating concrete economic benefits (SDG 8).
Even more positive effects could be achieved with moving towards more sustainable production and consumption systems, specifically reducing the production and consumption of meat and dairy products, as this could benefit public health, lowering cases of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (SDG 3). It would also benefit climate and environment since the dairy and meat sector represents around 14.5% of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions (SDG 13n) and it is a massive source of water pollution (SDG 6, SDG 15, SDG 14).