Earlier this year, our Model Animal Welfare Act book became available on our website for purchase. We want to ensure that maximum use is made of this valuable resource, especially as it is the culmination of almost four years of blood, sweat and tears! Researching and writing the Model Animal Welfare Act involved an extensive comparative law exercise, taking into account existing guidance and best practice in the field; with further refinement after consultation with leading law experts across the world. The end product is a template and guidance document for those interested in enacting new legislation or improving existing animal protection legislation; including best possible structures, systems and provisions to protect the welfare of animals.
As we set our sights on our goals and resolutions for 2017, we have a unique opportunity to assess our advocacy for animals and incorporate a fresh approach to our strategies in the coming year.
Anyone who has experience in the field of animal protection knows that for the majority of issues, from farmed animals, animal experimentation, pet overpopulation, hunting, animals in entertainment, to working animals, we battle vested interest groups which benefit economically from the use and abuse of animals. Unfortunately, many governments across the world operate under a paradigm that promotes human-centered economic growth. Because of the contribution of animal-use industries to economic growth, economic considerations of animal use are generally given primacy over animal welfare considerations. Thus, government structures, systems and processes are developed which support animal-use, despite the fact that these generally do not reflect public opinion on animal welfare. This paradigm prevents an overarching animal welfare ethic from being incorporated, the result being a marked lack of progress by animal advocates.
A few years ago, I finished my undergraduate education in biology, where I had become increasingly fascinated and excited about conservation. Having spent the first few years of classes pipetting mysterious concoctions and analyzing the resulting DNA sequences under the florescent lights of a laboratory, the prospect of spending my time outside, counting populations of real, living, breathing animals, sounded fascinating.
The WAN blog allows us to share our expertise in the fields of policy, science, communications, management, and more in a manner that animal protection organizations can easily incorporate into their everyday work for animals. The blog also provides the opportunity to highlight important work of individual organizations and campaigns, and allows researchers, experts, and others outside of WAN to provide useful information to the animal protection community.