Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is intricately linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reflecting a deep interconnection between human progress and the humane treatment of animals. The SDGs, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Among these goals, SDG 14 and 15 specifically aim to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources, and to protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, respectively. These goals underscore the importance of biodiversity and the well-being of all life forms, including animals, as essential components of global sustainability efforts. Animal welfare plays a critical role in achieving these objectives by advocating for the humane treatment of animals, which in turn supports healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. Furthermore, the concept of One Health, which recognizes the health connections between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment, is pivotal in realizing the SDGs. By promoting animal welfare, we contribute to a healthier planet, which is fundamental for sustainable development and human well-being.

The relationship between animal welfare and the SDGs extends beyond environmental conservation to encompass ethical, economic, and social dimensions. Ethically, the consideration of animal welfare in the context of the SDGs reflects a growing recognition of animals' intrinsic value and the moral obligation to treat all forms of life with respect and compassion. Economically, sustainable practices in agriculture, fishing, and other industries that consider animal welfare can lead to more resilient and sustainable food systems, contributing to SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). Socially, the promotion of animal welfare can enhance community well-being, as humane treatment of animals often correlates with improved health outcomes for people and reduced instances of violence and cruelty in societies. This multifaceted relationship demonstrates how advancing animal welfare is not only beneficial for animals but also contributes to the broader objectives of the SDGs, including reducing inequalities (SDG 10), ensuring healthy lives (SDG 3), and fostering sustainable communities (SDG 11).

The integration of animal welfare into the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals offers a holistic approach to addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our time. By recognizing the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, we can forge paths toward sustainability that are more inclusive, compassionate, and effective. The advancement of animal welfare within the SDGs framework highlights the necessity of adopting practices that respect all life forms, thereby contributing to the achievement of global goals aimed at creating a sustainable, equitable, and thriving planet for future generations. As we continue to strive towards these goals, the inclusion of animal welfare principles will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping a more ethical and sustainable world.

animal welfare day

World Animal Welfare Day: Embracing Sustainable Development Goals and Resources


The Veterinarian's Guide to Animal Welfare, 2022, pp 117-138

This chapter aligns with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and Goal 15: Life on Land by describing the various methods and metrics to use in assessing animal welfare, from wildlife to livestock to laboratory animals and beyond.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Volume 57, November 2022

Talks about the safety and environment of dogs in schools and their interactions with children.

Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 96, September 2022

Research indicates that tourists continue to have difficulty assessing animals' welfare at wildlife tourism attractions, and so there is an immediate need for more education on such impacts. The purpose of this paper is to fill this education knowledge gap by introducing an environmental literacy framework, i.e., “what an environmentally literate person should know and be able to do,” in progressing from animal welfare illiteracy in tourism to literacy.

Animal Behaviour, Volume 186, April 2022, Pages 151-177

The authors investigate whether applying multiple welfare indicators’ and triangulating them can lead to converged and corroborating evidence of welfare, or whether the indicators' contradict one another.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Volume 48, February 2022, Page 83

Compares the pros and cons of volunteering with animals.