Decision makers and policy makers

Animal Ethics Dilemma

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An internet-based learning resource, which can be used by teachers and students as part of an animal ethics course.

Life Cycle Assessment

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Welcome to this learning resource on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the pork chain. When addressing the sustainability of meat production, environmental impact is a major concern. In general, meat has higher environmental costs than proportionally similar amounts of, for example, bread or vegetables. However, this also varies according to the different types of meat. To give an example, 1 kg of beef or lamb has considerably higher CO2 costs than 1 kg of pork, which is comparable in CO2 costs to chicken meat. In order to quantify the environmental impact of different types of food, a proper evaluation tool is needed. LCA is such a tool; it evaluates all stages in the life of a product, in terms of the environmental impact of each stage, from feed production, housing of pigs and manure handling, to slaughter, meat processing, distribution etc. Consequently LCA is a tool for identifying 'hot spots' in the food chain and it gives producers and food companies an opportunity to identify options to mitigate these hot spots and thereby improve the environmental profile of their products.

In this learning resource LCA is considered in relation to the pork production chain. First there is discussion of some general aspects of food production in relation to environmental issues, giving examples of emissions, and applying impact categories for 'global warming', 'acidification' and 'eutrophication'. This is explained by showing how different emissions are calculated, using equivalent factors for each impact category, and describing the contribution of different types of foods to global warming. To illustrate the concept, an example is then presented from the production chain for Danish pork, including results that show which parts of the pork chain make the highest contribution to the carbon footprint. Important terms used in LCA are listed and the process of carrying out an LCA is briefly explained.

At the end of the learning resource four different pig production systems are illustrated by video clips. Using figures from these systems, you have the opportunity to visualise and compare the environmental impact of these systems. Throughout the learning resource interactive exercises are used to enable you to understand the environmental impact of food production and the use of LCA as a tool.

Entire Male Pigs

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Welcome to this learning resource on entire male pigs!

It has been known since the Middle Ages that meat from a small minority (up to 10 %) of entire male pigs has an unpleasant odour, the so-called boar taint. The sensibility to boar taint is different between consumers and it can only be detected by some of the consumers and mainly when the pork is heated (Støier, 2010).

Problems with boar taint are nevertheless the primary reason for castration being routinely performed on the majority of male pigs in commercial meat production. Castration also results in reduced aggressive and sexual behaviour between pigs and a higher proportion of fat in carcasses.

Entire male pigs are preferred for meat production for several reasons. They are more efficient than castrates at converting feed into lean meat and, because they are slaughtered at an earlier age, they have less negative impact on the environment. However, castration has economic drawbacks in that it impairs growth for some days after surgery and involves extra labour. In recent years knowledge about the pain and animal welfare issues related to castration, and consumer concerns, have focused greater attention on the castration of male pigs.

In this learning resource we will explain the reasons for boar taint, consider methods of detecting and measuring boar taint, and discuss the alternatives to castration. The point of departure is that all stakeholders prefer entire male pigs with high meat quality, rather than castrated pigs. We will discuss the dilemma of poor welfare associated with castration (pain and risk to the health of the animals) and the poor welfare of uncastrated pigs farmed in confined spaces (stress and fighting, resulting in skin lesions and ultimately carcass damage).

The scientific report on the animal welfare aspects of the castration of piglets has been peer-reviewed by the members of the Scientific Panel for Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The report was adopted in 2004.

Animal Welfare-friendly Pig Housing Systems

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Welcome to this learning resource on animal welfare-friendly pig housing systems. The way we produce pigs for pork consumption is of great concern. Animal welfare legislation and the means of enforcing it are becoming clearer and more powerful.

This learning resource is based on an inventory of 108 pork production systems in the EU and competing countries and a survey on consumer attitudes to pork production that was conducted in 2008. It includes examples from six different production systems in two countries, France and Sweden. The systems are described from economic, technical and animal welfare perspectives. It has a strong focus on video clips from different pig production systems.

The first video about pigs in a semi-natural environment includes clips showing pig behaviour in semi-natural conditions and in different commercial systems in Sweden, the UK and Denmark. Interviews with researchers, politicians and farmers are also included. This video is about 20 minutes long.

After this introduction the learning resource is divided into sections according to the production stage of the pig. For each production stage a number of different commercial pig production systems are presented - conventional systems and systems with a focus on animal welfare-friendly pig housing. Every system is presented with video clips and production figures. By exploring the material you will learn more about the mechanisms behind the different behaviours of the pig and what should be taken into account when building housing systems.

The scientific reports on the animal welfare aspects of different housing and husbandry systems are peer-reviewed by the members of the Scientific Panel for Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW) for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The report on adult breeding boars, pregnant and farrowing sows, and unweaned piglets was adopted in 2007 and the report on weaners and rearing pigs was adopted in 2005.

Animal Welfare-friendly Pig Housing Systems

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The learning resource is available in Portuguese

Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) in Africa

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Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), unanimously adopted in October 2000, sets out a policy framework for women and peace and security. This course, much like its sister course Implementation of Security Council 1325 (2000) in Latin America and the Caribbean, introduces the main principles of the resolution and provides practical guidelines on how to implement it at the national level, including through the development of national action plans. While informative for any student interested in the topic, the course was especially designed for people who work at the highest decision-making levels, especially at the national level, in Africa and who require a practical tool to support and facilitate the implementation of SCR 1325 (2000). The course is based on background information, analysis, and a wide range of studies. The first three lessons focus more broadly on the issues of women, peace, and security; the UN's role and views on the subject; and SCR 1325 (2000) itself. Within this context, Lessons 4 and 5 highlight the challenges and priorities specific to the African region. Lesson 6 examines the role of both regional and subregional organizations in supporting national implementation of the resolution. The final lesson provides guidelines for creating and implementing a national action plan. Seven lessons, 244 pages.

Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) in Latin America and the Caribbean

Online

Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), unanimously adopted in October 2000, sets out a policy framework for women and peace and security. This course introduces the main principles of the resolution and provides practical guidelines on how to implement it at the national level, including through the development of national action plans. While informative for any student interested in the topic, the course was especially designed for people who work at the highest decision-making levels, especially at the national level, in Latin America and the Caribbean and who require a practical tool to support and facilitate the implementation of SCR 1325 (2000). The course is based on background information, analysis, and a wide range of studies. The first three lessons focus more broadly on the issues of women, peace, and security; the UN's role and views on the subject; and SCR 1325 (2000) itself. Within this context, Lessons 4 and 5 highlight the challenges and priorities specific to the Latin American and Caribbean region. The final lesson provides guidelines for creating and implementing a national action plan. Six lessons, 221 pages.

Principles and Guidelines for UN Peacekeeping Operations

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This course has been developed in consultation with the Peacekeeping Best Practices Section of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ Policy, Evaluation and Training Division. It is based on the internal DPKO/DFS publication entitled United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines, which is more widely known under its informal name Capstone Doctrine. This publication is a comprehensive document that defines and promulgates available peacekeeping doctrine, definitions, procedures, and policy. In ten chapters, it introduces the concept and evolution of UN Peacekeeping, explains the decision process that precedes the deployment of a peacekeeping operation, and then the planning process to implement that decision. It also discusses the art of successful mandate implementation and addresses the management of peacekeeping operations, how operations are supported and sustained, and how they are concluded at their termination. The Institute course Principles and Guidelines is designed to teach this DPKO doctrine to all UN personnel serving in the field and at Headquarters, as well as to those who are new to UN peacekeeping. Ten chapters, 208 pages.

Principles and Guidelines for UN Peacekeeping Operations

Online

This course has been developed in consultation with the Peacekeeping Best Practices Section of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations’ Policy, Evaluation and Training Division. It is based on the internal DPKO/DFS publication entitled United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines, which is more widely known under its informal name Capstone Doctrine. This publication is a comprehensive document that defines and promulgates available peacekeeping doctrine, definitions, procedures, and policy. In ten chapters, it introduces the concept and evolution of UN Peacekeeping, explains the decision process that precedes the deployment of a peacekeeping operation, and then the planning process to implement that decision. It also discusses the art of successful mandate implementation and addresses the management of peacekeeping operations, how operations are supported and sustained, and how they are concluded at their termination. The Institute course Principles and Guidelines is designed to teach this DPKO doctrine to all UN personnel serving in the field and at Headquarters, as well as to those who are new to UN peacekeeping. Ten chapters, 208 pages.

Internationalization of Open Educational Resources

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An extensive slideset and workshop concept regarding the internationalization of open educational resources. This includes an introduction of OER, some practices.