More than 1,000 scientists from around the world have already signed the “Dublin Declaration” that proposes to put a stop to the fanatical and reductionist visions that threaten livestock farming

More than 1,000 scientists from around the world have already signed the “Dublin Declaration” that proposes to put a stop to the fanatical and reductionist visions that threaten livestock farming
More than 1,000 scientists from around the world have already signed the “Dublin Declaration” that proposes to put a stop to the fanatical and reductionist visions that threaten livestock farming

So far, 1,090 scientists from around the world have signed the “Dublin Declaration”, a document that, while acknowledging the challenges faced by livestock, maintains that this activity is essential for human civilization.

The document, created at the end of last year by two European scientists – the Belgian Frédéric Leroy and the Swiss Peer Ederer – was made with the purpose of showing an authoritative voice on the matter in the face of the systematic attacks that livestock farming has been registering by institutions and organizations on a regional, national and even global scale.

Within Mercosur, 104 scientists have signed the document, including André Pedroso (Embrapa), Angelica Pereira (Universidade de São Paulo), Sergio Pflanzer (Unicamp), Ricardo Brumatti (Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul) , Claudia Elena González (National University of Itapúa), Laura Astigarraga (Faculty of Agronomy of the University of the Republic), Rafael Carriquiry (Udelar), Enrique Fernández (INIA), Rodolfo Cantet (Fauba-Conicet), Darío Colombatto (Fauba- Conicet), José Jáuregui (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of the Coast), María Elena Otegui (Fauba-Conicet) and Jorge Martínez Ferrer (INTA), among many others.

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The “Dublin Declaration” is reproduced in its entirety below, which, in addition to being synthetic and clear, is so well written that it does not admit of any summary.

Purpose of this statement

Livestock systems must advance based on scientific criteria of the highest quality. These systems are too valuable to society to be the object of simplification, reductionism or fanaticism. These systems must continue to be part of our society, from which they have broad support. For this reason, the scientific community has been asked to provide reliable evidence of its benefit in nutrition and health, its sustainability, and its sociocultural and economic relevance; as well as offering solutions for the numerous improvements that are needed. This declaration aims to give voice to the many scientists, globally, who successfully, diligently and honestly generate knowledge in various disciplines, in order to offer an objective vision of the future of livestock.

Challenges for livestock

Current food production systems are facing an unprecedented double challenge. On the one hand, there is a need to increase the availability of food derived from animal production (meat, dairy, eggs) to satisfy the nutritional requirements of some three billion people, for whom nutritional deficiencies cause growth retardation, anemia , emaciation and other varieties of malnutrition. At the same time, some methods and intensity of animal production present challenges related to biodiversity, climate change and nutrient flow; as well as for animal health and welfare, within the broad spectrum included in the concept of “integral health”. With high population growth, concentrated mainly in urban and socioeconomically vulnerable populations, and where much of the population depends on a ranching lifestyle, finding evidence-based solutions becomes even more urgent, as sustainability issues and supplies grow exponentially.

Livestock and human health

Farm animal-derived foods supply a wide variety of essential nutrients, as well as other health-promoting compounds, which are in short supply in most diets worldwide, even among high-income populations. People with a high economic level can seek balanced diets, even if they significantly reduce the consumption of meat, dairy products or eggs. However, this approach may not be advisable for the general population, especially for sections of the population with high requirements such as children, adolescents, pregnant or lactating women, women of reproductive age, the elderly, or those with chronic diseases. . Scientific evidence, of the highest level, in bio-evolution, anthropology, physiology or epidemiology emphasize that the regular consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs, as part of a balanced diet, is beneficial for human beings.

Livestock and environment

Farm and grazing animals are irreplaceable for maintaining a circular flow of materials in agriculture, as they are able to recycle, in various ways, the large amount of inedible biomass that is generated as a by-product during food production that man needs for his diet. Food animals are in an optimal situation to reincorporate these materials into their natural cycle, while producing high-quality food. Ruminants, in particular, are capable of adding value to soils that are not suitable for direct food production. Furthermore, when livestock systems are managed following agro-ecological principles, many other benefits can be produced including carbon sequestration, improved soil quality and biodiversity, protection of water resources, and provision of environmental services. relevant ecosystems. While the livestock sector faces challenges such as the exploitation of natural resources and climate change, which are important and require a response, a single course of action such as drastically reducing the number of heads could incur environmental problems. on a large scale.

Livestock and socio-economy

For millennia, cattle raising has provided mankind with food, clothing, energy, manure, work, income, as well as assets, security, security, and status. Food of animal origin is the most accessible source of high-quality protein, as well as other nutrients, for the world’s population. In addition, cattle ownership is the most common form of private asset ownership and provides the foundation for rural community financial capital. In certain communities, livestock is one of the few pieces of property that women can own, and is a starting point for gender equality. Advances in animal science and associated technologies are currently improving livestock performance across all of the aforementioned health, environmental, and socio-economic aspects at a faster rate than at any other time in history.

Outlook for livestock

Human civilization has been built on livestock since the beginning of the Bronze Age, more than 5,000 years ago, being the pillar of food security in modern societies. Livestock farming has proven to be, for millennia, an effective method of creating healthy diets and ensuring a lifestyle, based on a wisdom that is deeply rooted in cultural values ​​in all corners of the planet. Sustainable livestock farming will also provide solutions for the new challenges of the moment: staying within the safe production limits of planet Earth; the only Earth we have.

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