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University LINKs Scheme

University of Queensland (Australia)

Professor Clive Phillips
School of Veterinary Sciences
Email: c.phillips@uq.edu.au




Mini-symposium on Animal Welfare in Africa, University of Queensland
University of Queensland (Professor Clive Phillips)

The Centre for Animal Welfare and Ethics of the University of Queensland Veterinary School organized a mini-symposium on Animal Welfare in Africa on 25 October, 2017, with support from the UFAW LINK scheme.

Keynote speaker, Professor Peter Thornber opened the meeting by talking on the social issues facing livestock keepers in Africa and emphasising the close connection between human and animal welfare. He outlined the growing trade in donkeys with China, which are used to produce a gelatine-based ‘aphrodisiac’ Ejiao, for the Chinese medicine market, and which is the focus of concern. Some 14 countries in African have now banned the export of donkey skins and live donkeys due to the social impact of losing working donkeys, particularly for village women.

Professor Thornber finished by describing how Africa was developing an Animal Welfare Strategy http://worldanimal.net/world-animal-net-blog/item/448-animal-welfare-strategy-for-africa-endorsed , that modelled on that of Australia’s www.australiananimalwelfare.com.au .

Dr Amira Amira Goma, University of Alexandria, Egypt and Professor Peter Thornber.

Other talks included ones on animal welfare challenges in Kenya and the welfare impacts of rhino horn farming, when compared with the usual poaching of the horn. Dr Amira Goma (also in attached photograph) from Alexandria University, Egypt also presented a fascinating talk on the welfare of laboratory animals in Africa.

Ann Wilson, a lecturer from the University of South Africa, rounded off the symposium by talking about the pros and cons of farming lions and other wildlife species. These farmed animals are regarded as having no conservation value as they can’t be released into the wild. However, their use in providing lion cubs for ‘petting’ and the opportunity to walk with young lions raises awareness and attracts donations, whilst at the same time giving some concerns about the welfare and ethics of the practice, see https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jun/03/canned-hunting-lions-bred-slaughter . She contrasted how many African countries burn ivory recovered from poachers to send a message to the trade, but South Africa sells it to raise money for anti-poaching armies and other conservation initiatives.

The Symposium raised awareness of a set of animal welfare concerns that was for the most part unique to Africa, but also had many lessons for those concerned with animal welfare in Australia