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FOUR PAWS’ U.S. Director, U.S. experts Raj Patel, Paul Waldau to Attend First Annual International Animal Welfare Summit

Summit Goal: Raise Global Awareness of the Importance of Animal Welfare


BOSTON –  March 30, 2018. At a time when the global issue of big-game trophy hunting is being debated after several recent changes to the Trump Administration’s policy on the issue, Four Paws, an international animal welfare non-profit organization, is holding its first annual International Animal Welfare Summit set for April 24th in Vienna, Austria. Robert Ware, the U.S. Director of Four Paws, is participating in the summit as well as a roster of experts in animal welfare issues, including nutrition, agriculture, policy and politics.


The aim of the Summit is to raise awareness of the importance of animal welfare in a global context, to provide up-to-date research and to stimulate discussion.


“Four Paws’ mission is to be the strong, global and independent voice for animals under human control and this summit will help us create sustainable solutions and build the kind of powerful partnerships that will lead to changing behaviour around animal welfare in the U.S. and round the world,” said Ware, based in the Boston office of Four Paws.

In addition to Ware, two other U.S.-based experts are scheduled to participate in the Summit: Raj Patel, an author and activist and; Paul Waldau, a professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where he heads the graduate program on anthrozoology, which he founded.

The Summit is an interdisciplinary platform to discuss current and future animal welfare challenges, in a global setting. Experts from the economic, legal, political and scientific disciplines play will play a major role discussing the connections between their field and animal welfare.

“Real progress is possible only if the individuals who can initiate change because of their standing in their relative fields are present and can share their experiences and ideas, as well as voice their criticism and concerns. This is what makes this summit the first of its kind,” Ware said.

Other Summit participants include:

  • China's most renowned contemporary artist Ai Weiwei
  • HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein, Activist, Jordan – Princess Alia Foundation (PAF)
  • Jörg Altemeier, Veterinary, Germany –
  • Nicky Amos, Executive Director Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, UK –
  • Tarique Arsiwalla, Vice President of IPFIFF, Netherlands –
  • Vidya Athreya, Ecologist, India –
  • Guillaume Betton, Farmer, France –
  • Hanna Denes, Sustainability Manager, Great Britain –
  • Maggie Entenfellner, Journalist, Austria
  • Helene Karmasin, Motive Researcher, Austria
  • Jörg Luy, Veterinary, Philosopher, Germany
  • Marc Pierschel, Director and Author, Germany –
    • Pamela Ravasio, CSR & Sustainability Manager, Switzerland –
    • Kurt Schmidinger, Geophysists and Food Scientist, Austria –
    • Phone Win, Physician, Myanmar
    • Matthias Wolfschmidt, Author and Veterinarian, Germany –



Following opening remarks by Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis will launch the summit. The subsequent keynote entitled, ‘A planet for all?’, will be delivered by well-known author, activist and scientist Raj Patel.


"Especially in terms of economy and nutrition, we want to raise the questions: Is animal welfare a real added value or just a passing trend? Is it a competitive advantage for companies, or do they see it as a risk rather than an opportunity?" says Heli Dungler, the founder and president of Four Paws who organized the summit.


The tension between animal welfare, sustainability and ethics on the one hand and purely business goals on the other will also be discussed.