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"EU agriculture is over-intensified"

News Section Icon Published 02/04/2012

This striking statement has just been made by Prof Scholes, a leading member of the international Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change and co-author of a new report on food security.

Prof Scholes continued, "Arguably, the EU and other industrialised nations must de-intensify to become sustainable." These statements came at the Planet Under Pressure conference where the commission's food security report was presented. Compassion couldn't agree more.

A fellow commissioner, Professor Jahn, told the conference that "Any definition of sustainability or food security should include animal welfare."

This is great news for farm animals across the world if it can be adopted and implemented.

Compassion is key

Compassion's Emily Lewis-Brown, Research Manager, participated in a session at the conference to develop a Pathway to Sustainability. Participants identified the top issues relating to achieving sustainability. The answer was resounding. This large group of sustainability scientists identified over 40 key issues for sustainability and a vote found the top four issues to be:

  1. Engagement by civil society into the development of sustainability goals

  2. Values which underpin the whole of the sustainability agenda

  3. Participation in developing and implementing sustainability

  4. Compassion and well-being of people and animals.

While Compassion proposed three of these, it was a surprise to find all of our input was voted into the top four. It underlines the strong feeling that sustainability is more than ensuring that the economy can be sustained and the environment can be restored. Fundamentally, sustainability is about ensuring that people and animals can live well now and in the future.

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