Our Technical Officer on Disaster Management and Animal Welfare, Dr. Paolo Dalla Villa, from Subregional Representation in Brussels, attended the 55th Congress of the International Society of Applied Ethology held in Ohrid (Rep. of North Macedonia) from the 4th to the 8th of September.
This year’s theme – Animal Behaviour and Beyond, was inspired by the current debate about the need to discuss and promote behavioural sciences’ paramount importance in understanding the interspecies relationships and assess their impact on modern farming systems, public health, and food safety sectors, in a One Health perspective.
The event was held in a hybrid format with 350 participants. Dr. Dalla Villa provided a very interesting presentation “The World Organisation for Animal Health Platform on Animal Welfare for Europe: from science to action” outlining our role and current policies in support to the implementation of the international animal welfare prescribed in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and giving updates on our Platform on Animal Welfare for Europe, current and upcoming regional initiatives defined in the regional Action Plan plan of the Regional Animal Welfare Platform
This introduction was followed by a video recorded speech on “How to translate scientific principles into impactful actions when implementing the WOAH international standards on animal welfare” given by Hannah Larsen, Senior Adviser at the Ministry for Primary Industries, animal welfare expert of the our Collaborating Centre for Animal Welfare Science and Bioethical Analysis in New Zealand, who emphasised the critical importance of a positive, ethically-principled, science based approach when establishing animal welfare standards and formulating animal welfare policy. Prof. Francisco Galindo, head of the multi-national WOAH Collaborating Centre on Animal Welfare and Sustainable Livestock Systems was also present, along with Leopoldo Stuardo connected online from Paris.
According to the ISAE President Mark Rutter “Societal expectations towards the welfare of animals are steadily growing at international level; animal owners, farmers and food producers should be supported by scientific knowledge. The ISAE remains committed to collaborate with the World Organisation for Animal Health and support its Members in their efforts to put the WOAH Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Code standards on animal welfare into practice”. The event offered the opportunity to value and share the scientific dimension at the basis of the WOAH policies and TAHC standards implementation, and to recall the need for scientists and researchers to keep providing a positive contribution with knowledgeable, problem-solving oriented research, within and beyond the ISAE community.
Throughout the event professionals from different areas of expertise connected to animal behaviour had an opportunity to share knowledge, learn about WOAH international standard, connect with each other and contribute to outcomes of Animal Welfare Platform for Europe. Understanding animal behaviour and implementation of animal welfare standards is important not only for animals, but also humans and environment.