Stumbling Toward Enlightenment

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Animal Welfare Touches the UN


posted by: alicia graef, at Care2

Animals undeniably touch the lives of people around the world. Billions of animals are used for sports, entertainment, therapy, protection, food, clothing and to some they mean a livelihood. To others they are merely possessions, and to the rest of us they are our fur babies and cherished members of the family. We love them and yet exploit them and there is currently no universal recognition of the rights and welfare standards they deserve.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals is working to urge the United Nations’ General Assembly to adopt international policies on animal welfare with their Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare (UDAW) campaign.

“Animal welfare is not some unaffordable luxury. It’s an essential part of solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing us today,” said Mike Baker, WSPA’s director general. The UDAW campaign intends to bring the significance of animals, animal welfare issues and the need for sustainable development at a global level to the attention of individuals and governments around the world.

A UDAW would mean that nations would agree that animals are sentient beings that can suffer, that they have basic welfare needs that need to be met, and that steps need to be taken to put a permanent end to animal cruelty.

At local and national levels a UDAW would also:

  • Encourage governments to improve their national animal welfare legislation.
  • Provide a basis for animal welfare legislation in countries where it does not currently exist.
  • Encourage those industries which use animals to keep welfare at the forefront of their policies.
  • Mobilize and unite the animal welfare movement behind a common goal.
  • Provide a useful framework to link humanitarian development and animal welfare agendas.
  • Inspire positive change in public attitudes towards animal welfare.
  • A UDAW would include both companion animals and livestock, in addition to making inclusions for animals in emergency relief plans. Improving animal welfare and management plans can also benefit the environment through responsible land use, improving conservation efforts and protecting biodiversity.

    Some governments have already stepped up to support this effort, including New Zealand, Cambodia, Palau, the Seychelles, Fiji, Switzerland and 27 EU member states, but the UN’s support is critical to moving these efforts forward.

    Help the WSPA reach their goal of 10 million signatures and add your name to the petition (closed) supporting the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.

    Author: barenose

    Have a look at my web site for ideas about the work I've done. I look forward to hearing from you about your next project, the Internet, the environment, or life.

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