Special Issue "Animal Welfare and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Harry Blokhuis
Guest Editor
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: farm animal behaviour; farm animal welfare; welfare assessment
Dr. Laurence Smith
Guest Editor
Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6JS, UK
Interests: sustainability assessment; life cycle assessment; greenhouse gas mitigation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

A growing human population and rising incomes are resulting in an increased demand for meat, milk, and eggs. At the same time, the animal production sector needs to consider important environmental, economic, governance, and societal challenges, while addressing animal welfare. Five years ago, the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the aim to reduce poverty and hunger, improve health and well-being, and create sustainable production and consumption patterns. Although there are obvious domains where animals can contribute to achieving sustainable development, this is hardly mentioned within the SDGs, and the welfare of these animals is not mentioned at all.

In this Special Issue, we would like to address the sustainability of animal production systems, including environmental, economic, ethical, governance, and societal aspects (specifically animal welfare) and their interactions.

We invite original research papers that focus on the extent to which the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are compatible, or not, with improving animal welfare. Studies can, for example, relate to the animal welfare consequences of reducing the sector’s impact on natural resources and biodiversity, or the effects of more animal-friendly housing and management conditions on SDGs or defining sustainable development options that include good animal welfare. Papers may also address underlying structural, organizational, market, and trade aspects that affect the interaction between SDGs and animal welfare.

Prof. Dr. Harry Blokhuis
Dr. Laurence Smith
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sustainability
  • animal welfare
  • trade-offs

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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