Lecture: "17 years of Animal Welfare in China"

"17 years of Animal Welfare in China" is the title of the next lecture organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Padova with the support of Guangzhou University and sponsored by the University of Padova

The conference is on Monday April 15th, 2024 at 17.30 at Classroom n. 3 of the Beato Pellegrino Complex (entry both from via Beato Pellegrino n. 28 snd via Vendramin n. 13).

The conference will be in English.

The speaker is Dr. Sara Platto, Professor of Animal Welfare & Behavior College of Life Sciences at Jianghan University of Wuhan, China.

Abstract: Over the past four decades, China's livestock and poultry sector has undergone a profound transformation in response to market-oriented reforms initiated in 1978. This shift has seen a transition from traditional small-scale farming to intensive industrial production methods to meet the nation's escalating demand for food. This transition, characterized by the adoption of Western farming practices such as gestation/farrowing crates for pigs, and battery cages for laying hens --practices that were banned in the EU-- was driven by the perceived advantages they offered in terms of productivity. However, this rapid and extensive industrialization has given rise to different animal welfare and food safety concerns, reminiscent of issues faced by Western nations decades ago. Although implementing animal welfare standards can yield positive effects across various sectors of the livestock industry, there exists a significant risk of imposing Western standards in contexts divergent from their origins. Indeed, while the fundamental principles of evaluating animal welfare remain consistent worldwide, the strategies for addressing these principles may diverge significantly between countries. The term "Animal Welfare" is not indigenous to the Chinese language, despite the concept being intertwined with aspects of Chinese culture. In fact, principles concerning the well-being and consciousness of animals are evident in various facets of traditional Chinese culture, including the teachings of Confucius. However, it wasn't until the International Forum on Animal Welfare & Meat Safety held in Beijing in 2005 that the term "Animal Welfare" (pronounced as 'dòngwù fúlì 动物福利' in Chinese) was officially introduced to China. Despite the prevailing belief that animal welfare is an underexplored topic in China, there is considerable attention given to the subject, as evidenced by the substantial number of published papers, primarily in Chinese, with a notable focus on the pig and poultry industries. This seminar aims to provide insights into the current situation of animal welfare in China, while also introducing Dr. Platto's 17 years of experience in the field within China. 

Dr. Sara Platto is a Professor of Animal Behavior and Welfare at the College of Life Sciences, Jianghan University (Wuhan, China). For the past 17 years, she has actively engaged in animal welfare research both within and outside the academia in China. Over the past two years, Dr. Platto has been focused on developing frameworks for assessing the welfare of wild animals in both captive and free-roaming settings, as well as advancing the field of conservation welfare in China. Her contributions to animal welfare have been acknowledged by Chinese authorities with the prestigious "2021 Chinese Government Friendship Award", the highest honor for foreign individuals working in China. Additionally, in December 2023, Dr. Platto was honored with the title of "Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy".