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Message from Dr. Shuichi Ito

Animal welfare (AW) is a concept that is said to have emerged in Europe in the 1960s, and since around 2000, the EU has enacted laws stipulating animal welfare standards, and AW has been transformed from an idea into a law. In recent years, many countries and regions have been promoting animal welfare, while international organizations such as the International Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have also developed standards and guidelines. In Japan, demand for animal welfare-conscious products is increasing, especially from foreign companies, and this is having a significant impact on the livestock industry.

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Previously, the prevailing view was that Japan did not need to change to animal welfare-oriented rearing management methods due to the country's hot and humid climate and limited land. However, the announcement of new animal welfare guidelines by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in July 2022 indicates the need for Japan to adapt to international trends while respecting past trends.

In order to consider future developments, it is important to understand the historical background. Therefore, in this lecture, we will explain in detail what animal welfare is, from the origins of the animal welfare concept, EU legislation, international trends, responses of various countries, and the differences between animal welfare and animal protection, which is our country's approach to animals.

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