FIFTY Australian scientists have signed a major international declaration in support of the essential role of animal agriculture in a sustainable food system.
The Australian scientists from universities and research institutions across the nation join more than 550 others from around the globe as signatories to The Dublin Declaration of Scientists on the Societal Role of Livestock, which was created in October following the two-day International Summit on the Societal Role of Meat.
The Dublin-based summit brought together the world’s most respected academics and researchers from the US, Europe and Australia – and was designed as a science-focused follow-on from discussions held at the United Nations Food System Summit in 2021.
Australian Meat Processor Corporation CEO, Chris Taylor, attended the summit and said its three areas of focus included the role of meat in diet and health, the role of meat in a sustainable environment, and the role of meat in society, economics and culture.
“The summit most importantly set out to provide the science behind the role of meat and livestock systems on a global scale – but to also separate evidence-based discussion from ideology and policy making, and to really provide clarity – or clear the fog,” Mr Taylor said.
“The content presented was underpinned by over 1,000 peer reviewed scientific papers.”
“And the overwhelming outcome was that the highest standards of science and research do not support the often reductionist approach taken by those trying to wage an ideological war against animal agriculture.”
The one-page declaration is continuing to gain traction within the international science community – rising from some 200 signatories in October to more than 600 in December.
Its opening statement says, “livestock systems must progress on the basis of the highest scientific standards” and that they are “too precious to society to become the victim of simplification, reductionism or zealotry”.
The declaration acknowledges today’s food systems “face an unprecedented double challenge” – including the provision of food security and nutrition for the globe’s growing population.
It also acknowledges issues around “some methods and scale of animal production systems” which face challenges relating to biodiversity, climate change and nutrient flows.
Mr Taylor said the declaration provided a broad range of balanced scientific views and would go a long way towards publicising and promoting what the science says.
The full outcomes and research presented at the summit are set to be published in a special March 2023 issue of Animal Frontiers, the highly respected Journal of The American Society of Animal Science.
Source: AMPC. For more information on the Dublin Declaration, visit www.dublin-declaration.org