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Thursday, 27 April 2017 00:00

WATCH NOW: World Bank Agriculture Global Practice Forum Discussion on Animal Welfare

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As has been discussed previously on the blog, World Animal Net’s Janice Cox was invited as a panelist on animal welfare to the recent World Bank Global Practice Forum, which took place in March in Washington, DC.

Janice addressing the Agriculture Forum at the World BankJanice had the opportunity to introduce animal welfare to the audience, which consisted largely of World Bank staff (these forums are internal events intended to ensure consistency and up-to-date knowledge across World Bank departments).

At the end of the session, panelists were asked to briefly suggest what the World Bank can do to take animal welfare forward. Janice’s key ask was that the World Bank host an international stakeholder conference on animal welfare in development. At the end of the session, the Senior Director of the Agriculture Global Practices unit, Juergen Voegele, spoke persuasively about the need for the World Bank and staff to embrace animal welfare as a critical issue and to promote it to all customers and stakeholders. He then went on to say that the World Bank would accept Janice’s challenge, and host an international stakeholder workshop on animal welfare.

World Animal Net is now in continuing discussions with World Bank with the responsibility of organizing input from NGOs and civil society. The World Bank is now putting together a concept note for the event, which is tentatively planned for late 2017 in the Netherlands. We will provide periodic updates on progress in this respect, but for now, we are happy to share that a video of the panel session is now available. Below the video, you will find a transcript of both Janice’s policy ask and the statement from the Senior Director of the Agriculture Global Practices Unit, Juergen Voegele.

    • The session on animal welfare begins at 8:55 (following a related session on antimicrobial resistance)
    • Questions to panelists begins at 35:40
    • Janice’s closing policy asks to the World Bank begin at 43:35
    • Closing statement from Dr. Juergen Voegele at 52.41

From Janice Cox, World Animal Net (44:18)
“I think the most important thing to say is that [animal welfare] is a complex issue, and it's multifaceted, and any interventions need to be formulated with all the stakeholders to make sure they're the most effective. And so my primary plea is for some sort of workshop or stakeholder engagement to discuss what are the priorities, how can we best take this forward, and also how can we improve the best practice and make it accepted as Good International Industry Practice.” 
WB QuoteFrom Juergen Voegele, Senior Director World Bank Agriculture Global Practice, addressing the audience of World Bank staffers (57:28)
“I believe, and Ethel believes, and our management team believes all of you have to have a clear understanding about what it is that animal welfare stands for... Our job as an institution is to change mindsets around the world. That's what you do every day as you interact with your clients, right? It's all about how do you become more sustainable. It's all about how do you change health nutritional outcomes. It's all about how do you change your way of thinking around jobs. That's what we do: We move the needle. That's what we do every day. And we believe we need to also be at the forefront, not at the tail end, of the issue about animal welfare.

The way we produce and handle and manage and transport and kill our animals today is last century in most parts of the world, in my opinion. It is not what it needs to be this century.

So when Janice and I had a long conversation, I kind of challenged her, and I said "Look I get all this. Where are the good practices examples that if only everybody did them you would sort of quit the job and would say 'Job done'? You know: 'We're happy, animals are ok'? What would that, what does that actually look like?" Nobody I think has an argument around that we need to treat the animals in a right way, in fair way. But when it comes down to the details, where are the good examples that we could point towards? […]

This is what we need from you, Janice, and your team, increasingly... And I will take up your challenge for a workshop. I am prepared to host a workshop with the stakeholders that we all collectively find, FAO and everybody involved, that we find that should be in the room.

And maybe with a pure focus. Not debating whether or not this is important or debating new regulations and rules.... I think a lot has been done. We don't need to replicate this. But to sit down and sort of share experience around what really works, where are these examples where everybody says, "Yes that's the way to do it."

Because that's what our team here needs. That's what everyone out in the field needs to have in their back pocket.
Jessica Bridgers

Jessica is the Executive Director at World Animal Net. Having received a B.S. in biology with minors in chemistry and anthropology from the University of New Mexico, she combines a scientific background with a passion for animal protection. She completed her M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University and internships with Humane Society International, Animal Protection of New Mexico, and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society before arriving at World Animal Net. In her free time, she volunteers with horse and wildlife rescues. 



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