United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: NGOs

Thank you mister chair,
Yesterday, you stressed in your summary the importance to approach sustainable
development in an integrated, holistic manner. Taking this as a point of the departure, and
recognizing this is the review year, it?s important to identify possible gaps so far. One of those
gaps, although a couple of the Regional Implementation Meeting-reports made reference to it,
is a lack of sufficient attention to the role of animals and the important social value of animal
welfare.
I would like to illustrate this with three ways of how animal welfare fits in and contributes to
an integrated approach towards sustainable transport.
First, transport infrastructure has major consequences for nature, plant and animal life,
biodiversity and ecological functions that go with these. Roads can divide habitats, interfere
with migration routes, increase accidents involving wildlife, and potentially devastate the
habitat?s carrying capacity for species ? quite apart from opening up areas to development and
other impacts.
Second, and this ties in with the issue of avoiding unnecessary transports, for reasons of fuel
use, pollution, disease control and local food security, as well as animal welfare, there should
be a reduction in movement around the world of animal feed, animals and food from animals.
Long-distance transport of live animals for slaughter is particularly wasteful of energy,
dangerous for disease transmission and inhumane. Alternatively, food security is best
achieved on a local basis ? and I would like to endorse in this respect the intervention of the
Farmers Major Group.
Finally, it is important to recognize that for people without access to motorized transport,
animal-based transportation is often critical. As was briefly mentioned in today?s
documentary, especially in rural areas of developing countries, animals are still an important
source of transportation for goods and people ? and they will likely to continue to be so in the
next decades or so. To improve these animal-based transport services, provisions should be in
place to provide adequate shelter, water, and food. In addition, there should be access to
veterinary care. Such improvements, which are typically relatively very low cost, will
increase the productivity of the animal-based transport services and therefore will benefit both
people and animals.
Thank you for your attention.