Jessica is the Executive Director at World Animal Net. Having received a B.S. in biology with minors in chemistry and anthropology from the University of New Mexico, she combines a scientific background with a passion for animal protection. She completed her M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University and internships with Humane Society International, Animal Protection of New Mexico, and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society before arriving at World Animal Net. In her free time she volunteers with horse and wildlife rescues and makes delicious vegan food.
Rabies is a disease that is almost always fatal, killing 59,000 people and countless animals per yeari. However, rabies is also a disease which is entirely preventable with modern vaccines. Despite this, rabies continues to disproportionally affect marginalized and impoverished communities, with 95% of rabies deaths occurring in Asia and Africa. Additionally, 99% of human fatalities are the result of infection from rabid dogs. This unfortunate disease vector leads to millions of animals being killed, often inhumanely, in a futile effort to prevent future infections.
From July 10-20, I attended the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the United Nations. The HLPF is the UN’s platform for review of progress in sustainable development. It also is intended to strengthen the science-policy interface and identify emerging issues.
As the UN’s 2017 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) draws near, regional preparatory meetings that feed into the HLPF are taking place around the world. Just two weeks ago, from 3-5 May, the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development took place in Rabat, Morocco. We were pleased to partner with RAPAD Morocco (the French acronym for the Associative Network for Animal Welfare and Sustainable Development), a national federation covering both animal protection and sustainability issues based in Morocco, who was able to attend the Forum and ensure that animals had a voice there.
As the leading intergovernmental organization promoting human and environmental rights, you would have expected the United Nations (UN) to give proper consideration to animal welfare issues – particularly bearing in mind the many cross-cutting issues involved and the number of intersections between animal welfare and human rights and the environment. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
As has been discussed previously on the blog, World Animal Net’s Janice Cox was invited as a panelist on animal welfare to the recent World Bank Global Practice Forum, which took place in March in Washington, DC.
WAN participated in the 2014 People’s Climate March, where we brought a giant inflatable cow emblazoned with the words, “I’m full of greenhouse gases, do you have steak in it?” Three years later, we are proud partners of the People’s Climate March, which will take place April 29th. There will be numerous marches in the United States, but also around the world. As partners of the March, we want to take the opportunity to call on animal advocates to take part in the March.
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.