CIEL | Blog: Exploring the interaction between sustainability and welfare in livestock and aquaculture production

Fiona Short
Exploring the interaction between sustainability and welfare in livestock and aquaculture production

The first CIEL Insights Webinar of 2023 for CIEL Members will be focussing on the relationship between animal welfare and sustainability.

Part Two of the National Food Strategy, published in 2021, highlighted that pig and poultry meat are low carbon protein, but the footprint varies depending on the production system.

The report emphasised that animals produced in intensive systems have a lower carbon footprint than those reared in more extensive, and often perceived as higher welfare, systems. This is acknowledged as a result of improved feed efficiency and higher biosecurity reducing disease in such systems. However, it is also widely recognised that animals reared in high welfare systems are ‘happier’ and more content. Lower stress levels leads to improved performance.

The trade-off between strategies designed to improve animal welfare with the impact these may have on the environment will be at the heart of the discussion in our upcoming Insights Webinar, chaired by CIEL’s Innovation Manager for Sustainability, Dr Harry Kamilaris.

We’re drawing on the insight and experience of 4 excellent speakers to inform the debate:

Dr Annie Rayner from FAI farms is a senior research manager focussing on sustainable and regenerative food production, in particular with regards animal health & welfare. Annie will highlight the environmental and animal welfare trade-offs to consider when it comes to slower-growing birds.

Dave Little, Professor of Aquatic Animal Health at the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, is a specialist in aquatic resource development and capacity building. Dave will be discussing sustainability indicators that integrate welfare with other sustainable or eco-intensification factors for European aquaculture.

Dr Jordana Rivero-Viera, Rothamsted Research, is a grazing livestock systems specialist who works on grazing systems with an emphasis on sustainability. Jordana will be assessing the influence of improving cattle welfare on the sustainability of cattle rearing.

Helping to bring our thoughts together and set the stage for an interesting Q&A session will be Dr Stephanie Buijs from the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI). Stephanie is a Senior Scientific Officer focussing on the welfare of all livestock species. Stephanie will pose the question, high animal welfare and the carbon footprint – enemies or allies?

We’re really looking forward to thought-provoking presentations and subsequent discussion. If you’re not yet a CIEL Member, but would welcome the opportunity to find out more about CIEL Insights Webinars, please get in touch at [email protected].

World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022
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Dr Fiona Short, Innovation Manager – Nutrition

Working within the innovation team, Fiona provides scientific insight and translation of technical research to support industry members and help ensure its impact is realised across the supply chain. Fiona has spent the majority of her career working in the animal health and nutrition industry, specialising in monogastrics, with over 17 years in research and a further six in industry.
Email: [email protected]  |  Phone: 01904 567716