Draft resolutions from the 7th Africa Animal Welfare Conference (AAWC) were released for comment in November 2023.

Draft resolutions from the 7th Africa Animal Welfare Conference (AAWC) were released for comment in November 2023.

This follows the gathering of scientists, researchers, academics, activists, journalists, cultural and religious leaders, development professionals, and government representatives from 54 countries and hundreds of organisations at the Kigali, Rwanda conference, which took place from 25 – 27 September 2023.

Under the theme Navigating the delicate balance of animal welfare, climate change and development: concerted actions towards a healthy and sustainable environment, the draft resolutions of the AAWC aim to:

  • Lobby for mainstreaming of animal welfare into the continent’s development agenda, while incorporating ethical and spiritual aspects to promote the transformation of food systems and avoid intensive agricultural systems.
  • Champion for the adoption and implementation of better livestock production systems that include animal welfare.
  • Champion and lobby for the development and implementation of a disaster management plan that also provides for animals affected by catastrophic events in Africa.
  • Promote inter-religious dialogue and an increase in the role of the faith community in animal welfare educational awareness programmes.
  • Promote civil society engagement in Africa for enhanced human, animal, and environmental wellbeing, in partnership with Unep.
  • Champion for the development of policies that promote the use of humane alternatives to animals in education, research, and testing.
  • Champion discussions on the transformation of Africa’s food system that encourage humane farming, high animal welfare standards, adoption of indigenous local foods, and the promotion of alternative proteins.
  • Champion for the development of policies and legal frameworks to address dog population control, human-wildlife conflict, and fish welfare.

Dr Olivier Kamana, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Rwanda, provided the keynote address.

He highlighted the place of animals as a means of livelihood, dietary resource and wealth protection which is a significant factor in socio-economic development. He observed that the topic was timely due to rapid changes in climate, and diet.

Ulf Bjornholm, chief of the Civil Society Unit at Unep, noted the gap in the animal welfare and rights issue and the need to curtail animal cruelty.

If successfully implemented, the draft resolutions will have a positive and significant impact on human and animal welfare, reduce emissions and mitigate the harsh effects of climate change.

Written by Dr Marinda Weideman, who is an independent consultant with over 20 years’ experience as an applied social researcher. She obtained her Ph.D. in Political Science in 2004. She has managed approximately 120 large- and small-scale, qualitative and quantitative, research projects, and produced approximately 150 research reports, academic articles, and news articles.



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