IAWS 2018

IAWS 2018, which took place at Schönbrunn Palace on 24 April 2018, examined the protection of animals in a global, political-economic and cultural-ethnic context, and acted as a platform for the burning questions raised by the overarching theme “Animal Welfare – A Necessity for Human Survival or Only a Concern for the Privileged?”.


(c) VIER PFOTEN | Adrian Almasan



>> Morning <<


10.00 am // Start

>>Welcome by the presenter<<

Nadja Bernhard, Journalist and presenter

10.05 am // Welcome

>>Welcome address by the Host<<

Heli Dungler, Founder and President VIER PFOTEN (FOUR PAWS)

10.10 am // Opening

>>Opening address by the Austrian President<<

Alexander Van Der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria

10.20 am // Introduction

>>Introductory speech by the EU-Commissioner<<

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

10.35 am // KEYNOTE

>> A  Planet for All? <<

Raj Patel, Writer, activist and academic

Through terms like "the Anthropocene", we are told that today’s ecological catastrophe is an inevitable consequence of being human. But our fate is not written into our species. Our current trajectory of state-shift comes from a socio-ecological system that, among other things, has a central idea: that humans are separate from nature, and from animal life in particular. What, then, might it be like for us to renegotiate relationships between humans and other beings in the web of life? What would it be like to have a planet for all?


11.35 am - 12.00 noon
>> Break <<


12.00 noon // INTERVIEW

>> Perspectives - Principal viewpoints on animal welfare. <<

Nadja Bernhard with special guests from the fields of art, culture and media.


1.00 - 2.00 pm
>> Lunch <<



Some speakers' presentations are available for download below.
IMPORTANT: Copyright by the respective speakers. The contents of the presentations only reflect the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the promoter.


    Survival of the Fittest - A Planet on the Edge?

    Presenter Nadja Bernhard

  • 2.00 pm
    Humans and Other Animals - An Essential Connection? Making the Case for a Holistic Approach.
    // Paul Waldau (US) //

    Humans need a robust sense of “welfare”, not only because such a notion clearly benefits nonhuman animals, but also because such a way of life fosters the well-being of each human community and its individuals. The good news is that much work is already underway challenging human exceptionalism in many different areas of human life and education.

  • 2.45 pm
    Human-Animal Coexistence - Examples from a Zoopolitan Perspective.
    // Marc Pierschel (GER) //
    Filmmaker and Author

    The loss of habitat is threatening many species with extinction. In cities, rodents and other animals that have found their own niche are often seen as pests. Yet, the urban population is longing for closer relationships with animals which is testament to a growing population of companion animals. But how can we transform our cities, our infrastructure, and our environment so that we meet the needs of animals? To answer this question, Pierschel draws on the concept of “Zoopolis”, the vision of a human and animal community that can coexist peacefully.

  • 3.30 PM BREAK

  • 3.50 pm
    Watch Out! Humans About! Can Wild Animals Really Coexist with Us?
    // Vidya Athreya (IND) //

    India has one of the highest density of humans worldwide, but also the highest populations of many highly endangered large wildlife species, such as elephants, tigers and Asiatic lions. Current research shows that there are various kinds of relationships between people and large wildlife in India, often cloaked under the singular term of “conflict”. But could shared spaces for humans and wild animals also be facilitated differently nowadays?

  • 4.35 pm FISHBOWL
    Crises, Conflicts, Catastrophes - Do Animals Have a Right to be Rescued?
    // HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein (JOR) //
    Founder "Princess Alia Foundation"
    // Phone Win (MMR) //
    Physician, "Mingalar Myanmar"
    // Corinna Milborn //
    // Marcus Bachmann //
    Médecins sans Frontières

    Earthquakes, floods, violent conflicts or war deprive individuals, families, and whole communities of their livelihoods. Besides rapid humanitarian aid, is it also justified to rescue and support the animals found in the afflicted areas? Representatives from the mediatic, humanitarian, and animal welfare fields discuss together with the audience.

    Everyone is welcome to take a seat on the podium!


    "Meating" the Demand of a Growing Population?

    Presenter Nicolas Entrup
  • 2.00 pm
    Our Food, Our Responsibility - Facts and Visions for Respectful Consumption.

    // Tanja Busse (GER) //
    Journalist and author

    We cannot continue to eat the way we eat. Our food system needs a change very urgently. The way we produce and consume food in the Western world is harming our health, the environment, farmers and also animals - both livestock and wildlife. Intensive agriculture does not only exploit farm animals but it is also destroying the habitats of wild animals. It is extremely important for all the progressive powers to work together and to develop a common vision of a better food system and farmers need to be part of the solution. Slightly higher animal welfare standards within a thoroughly unsustainable food system is not an option.

  • 2.45 pm
    What's for Dinner Tomorrow? Nutrition and Food Production Models of the Future.
    4 Talks + Podium talk

  • Betton runs the “Pôle Viandes Locales”, an initiative of 60 members that combines all steps of production “from field to plate”. This model means not only entrepreneurial freedom to the farmers but also maintains the values of co-operation, a strong local economy, as well as animal welfare from birth to death. This ambitious and innovative approach has already been the target of numerous scientific studies. All aspects of the initiative are dedicated to the needs of the animals.

    • A Creepy Crawly Alternative - Anyone in for Crickets?
      // Tarique Arsiwalla (NLD) //
      Vice President International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF)

    According to Arsiwalla, insects could bring our food production system to a more preferred level of sustainability. There are two typical routes how insects can play a role: insects for direct human consumption or insects as feed for animals. The future of our food system will be defined through systemic innovation across ecological footprint, animal welfare and cost efficiency. Although there is a clear and natural tension between those drivers, advancements in biology and technology can bring those together. In order to achieve a future where all human beings have access to proper nutrition while preserving stability in natural ecosystems a full system redesign is necessary. Insect based nutrition can play a vital role in the transition to a food secure future.

  • 3.30 PM BREAK

  • 3.50 pm
    Continuation: What's for Dinner Tomorrow? Nutrition and Food Production Models of the Future.

    • A.I., 3D Printers, Lab Meat - Innovations to Replace Meat, Eggs and Dairy.
      // Kurt Schmidinger (AT) //
      Food scientist and geophysicist

    Do we really have to replace meat, milk and eggs? After making the case to answer this question with a clear “Yes”, Schmidinger will analyse current and future plant-based alternatives. It means a status quo of the most innovative approaches worldwide, such as the bleeding plant burger or the deployment of artificial intelligence in the development of new types of plant-based foods. Will Clean Meat (in vitro meat) be the meat of the future? Who are the investors and when will it be introduced onto the market?

    • To Eat or Not to Eat Animals? Food and Ethics.
      // Jörg Luy (GER) //
      Veterinarian and expert in animal ethics

    Luy will ethically reflect the positions of the previous speakers and briefly show their advantages and disadvantages. To this end he will refer to some new insights about ethical decision making. The explanation why the protection of farm animals has not progressed over the last decades might be rooted in our genetic heritage. A current research project conducted by the German Ministry of Agriculture has come across evidence for a subconscious governance of motivation, which might not only explain why we are not progressing in terms of animal welfare, but also how moral conflicts – such as the ones regarding farm animal welfare – could be solved.

    • 4.40 pm Podium talk
      Guilllaume Betton
      Tarique Arsiwalla
      Kurt Schmidinger
      Jörg Luy

    Animal Welfare - Added Value or Passing Trend?

    Presenter: Nina Thüllen

  • 2.00 pm
    Animal Welfare as a Selling Point - Business Risk or Opportunity?
    // Nicky Amos (UK) //
    Executive Director Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW)

    Many global food companies see farm animal welfare as a key sustainability issue, having published formal improvement objectives for farm animal welfare, such as commitments to the avoidance of close confinement in one or more of the major markets in which they operate. However, the reality is that companies continue to face structural and commercial barriers to making farm animal welfare an integral part of their business strategy, such as a perceived lack of customer willingness to pay for higher farm animal welfare, the capital investment required, and a general lack of awareness of the wider business and marketing benefits of higher welfare.

  • 2.45 pm
    Production sector.
    Animal Welfare in the Meat Industry - Who Cares?

    // Jörg Altemeier (GER) //
    Veterinarian and Head of Animal Welfare, Tönnies Lebensmittel

    Tönnies Lebensmittel is one of the biggest slaughterhouses for cattle and pigs in Germany. Jörg Altemeier presents the reasons – ethical, legal, demands from society and consumers – Tönnies is implementing higher animal welfare standards in their slaughterhouse, and how they seek to positively influence the previous steps in the production chain. He will also talk about how Tönnies monitors and ensures proper implementation of animal welfare standards.

  • 3.30 PM BREAK

  • 3.50 pm
    Trade sector.
    Animal Welfare as a Constant Balance Between Sustainability and Profitability.

    // Pamela Ravasio (CH) //
    Head of CSR & Sustainability at European Outdoor Group

    // Hanna Denes (UK) //
    Senior Standards Manager at Textile Exchange

    The outdoor industry has been working on animal welfare for many years. It has evolved from trusting supplier in their best efforts, to micro manage them, and back; from self-declarations to in-house audits to the use of third party standards and collaboration with NGOs; and from having very little knowledge on species specific requirements to being progressively educated on the needs of the animals, part of its supply chains. Yet, precisely these good intentions opened the door to a complex multidimensional puzzle. One where animal welfare is but a single component.

    Following: dialogue on stage between Hanna Denes and Pamela Ravasio, who will contribute with their experience on the complex structure of this industry.

  • 4.35 pm
    A Question of Morals? What Motivates Consumers and Who They Trust.
    // Helene Karmasin (AT) //
    Motive researcher

    Animal welfare would be easy to enforce if consumers actively favored those goods that take this aspect into account, even if they had to pay a little more for it. What are the motives that influence consumers when taking this decision? When answering this question, it becomes clear that "the consumer" does not exist. Indeed, there are many different groups of consumers who differ by socio-demographics, values, moral orientations and lifestyles - which of these are inclined towards animal welfare and which are not? As with anything traded on a market, communication strategies play an important role: how is trust built? Even highly moral goods can not rely on the rational discourse alone, but must take into account the moods and attitudes of consumers.


5.20 - 5.40 PM
>> Break <<


5.40 pm // CLOSING

>> Podium discussion: Animal Welfare - A Necessity for Human Survival or Only a Concern for the Privileged? <<

Nadja Bernhard with speakers from the afternoon sessions


6.20 - 10.00 PM
>> Get-Together and Networking<<


Who’s coming to the Animal Welfare Summit?

The 1st International Animal Welfare Summit is aimed at decision makers and stakeholders of

  • Private commercial undertakings
    from the food manufacture and retail industry, and undertakings processing animal (by-)products
  • Interest groups and associations
    for agriculture (e.g. agrarian and organic associations), consumer protection, food service, and professional veterinary and agricultural associations
  • International NGOs
    from the fields of animal welfare, animal rights, protection of the environment, protection of nature and species, education, health and humanitarian assistance
  • Universities and research facilities
    from the domains of agricultural science, animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, food and health sciences, economics, social sciences jurisprudence, ecology and meteorology
  • National and international political institutions
    with a focus on agriculture, animal welfare, environment, commerce, consumer protection, development, science and education

This event runs on Invitario, the software solution for a smarter invitation and participant management – www.invitario.com

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