WOAH side event: improving welfare for stronger aquaculture
The World Organisation for General Health’s (WOAH) 90th Annual General Session took place in Paris from Sunday 21 to Thursday 25 May 2023. On May 23rd, Eurogroup for Animals co-organised together with the International Coalition for Animal Welfare (ICFAW) a side-event on “Improving welfare for stronger aquaculture”.
The aim was to present the latest guidelines and tools for implementing and shaping WOAH’s fish welfare standards, as well as sharing knowledge and experience among participants to help enhance animal welfare in their home country.
Speakers included Birte Broberg, Senior Veterinary Officer at the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Dr Sara Barrento, E-learning and Aquaculture Program Manager at FAI Farms. Birte Broberg presented the Guidelines on water quality and handling for the welfare of farmed vertebrate fish, which were prepared by the EU Platform on Animal Welfare Own Initiative Group on Fish; she exposed the main findings and recommendations of these guidelines. Dr Barrento took participants through the training programmes and welfare monitoring phone app that FAI Farms has developed closely with tilapia farmers.
Over 45 participants attended the session, including government representatives from countries spanning four continents (South America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe). After the presentations, the audience engaged in a debate and asked several interesting questions which showed a keen interest in the topic of enhancing animal welfare in aquaculture, about its link with the One Health approach, etc. Conversations even continued long after the event, in the corridor, as participants were asked to free the room for another upcoming event, but were still willing to discuss the topic.