Applying a One Welfare Framework When Feeding Companion Animals
Panel of experts
Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Topic/s: animal welfare, one health
At this years' Robert Dixon Animal Welfare Memorial Symposium (2019), the panel discussed how the choices we make when we feed our animal companions affects other animals, the environment and even our own wellbeing.
This special Sydney Ideas event celebrates the 9th Annual Robert Dixon Memorial Animal Welfare Symposium and will explore a series of critical questions. What are the consequences for the animals, owners and environment of feeding different foods, including processed foods and synthetic meats? And what are the consequences for the animals, owners and environment of feeding high-energy diets?
Recent research has shown that the energy required to produce food for pet cats and dogs is responsible for releasing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases. In the United States, cats and dogs consume about 19 percent of the amount of dietary energy that humans do. If our companion animals eat other animals that are carrying infectious diseases, there is also a risk that they can transmit zoonotic diseases to us.
There's a bigger picture that's articulated in the One Welfare framework, which recognises the fascinating connections between animal welfare, environmental sustainability and human wellbeing.
In this discussion we have brought together a pet-food manufacturer, veterinary practitioner and holistic diet advocate, zoo nutritionist and nutritional ecologist to discuss the ethical treatment of invasive and native fauna. The conversation was chaired by the RSPCA's Chief science and strategy officer.
This event was presented in collaboration with the Centre for Veterinary Education, in memory of the late Dr Robert Dixon. For many years, Robert held the faculty position of Associate Dean for Animal Welfare while serving on the University's Animal Ethics Committee.
The title of 2019 Robert Dixon Animal Welfare Memorial symposium was 'Applying a One Welfare Framework When Feeding Companion Animals'. An the panel's members were Dr Bidda Jones (Chair), Michelle Shaw, Dr David Raubenheimer, Dr Roger Bektash, Dr Andrea Harvey and Dr Anne Fawcett.