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.
For anyone who has spent much time around either dogs or horses, two species with a long history of companionship with humans, the news of recent weeks probably comes as no surprise.
I cannot adequately express how happy I was to be able to pen the words: “World Animal Net is pleased to present its Model Animal Welfare Act” recently! Sabine Lennkh, a German lawyer (who specialised in Comparative Law and Animal Welfare Legislation for her Doctorate), and I have been working on this project for over three years now – and it has been a hard slog...
On Saturday mornings I visit an animal sanctuary in rural Maryland where I join a small team of volunteers tending to farm animals rescued from neglect or abuse. Some of these animals will never fully trust a human, while others want to interact.
The International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) Coalition was formed to facilitate the sharing of learning between some of the largest international animal welfare NGOs that invest in dog and cat population management. We were conscious that we faced many similar challenges and, by putting our heads together, we could forward our understanding and therefore improve our impact on animals. As a result of our earliest meetings, we developed a guidance document that distilled our shared knowledge on dog population management. The ICAM ‘Humane Dog Population Management Guidance’, or the ‘DPM guide’, was released in January 2007 (you can access a copy in several languages from the first item in the ‘Downloads’ window on our ICAM website).
Advocates around the world have made amazing strides for animals this year. From the U.S. ending government-funded experiments on chimpanzees, to the end of animal sacrifice in Nepal’s Gadhimai festival, 2015 was a big year for animals.
I was surprised to learn that many Animal Protection Organisations (APOs) do not recognise the importance of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s work on animal welfare – and that some remain completely unaware of this work. This is the long-awaited international policy framework for Animal Welfare (AW), which we can use to push and prod obstinate governments to take action for the animals!
On the weekend of December 12 and 13, 2015, something monumental happened—representatives of 195 nations adopted a climate agreement in Paris at COP 21. For the first time in history, nearly every country on the planet is committed to working to limit dangerous greenhouse emissions to combat the worst impacts of climate change. More specifically, these nations have agreed to pursue efforts to slow the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 Celcius degrees above pre-industrial levels. Among the legally binding elements of the agreement are the requirements to submit emission reduction targets and regularly review those goals.
I had been nursing a burning desire to write another blog on the Animal Protection Movement for some weeks, when an excellent speech by Arundhati Roy came across my desk. Entitled ‘The NGO-isation of the Resistance’. Watch it now - it is a ‘must-view’!
Recently, World Animal Net was honored to meet Jim Ries, President of One More Generation (OMG). OMG is a unique organization in that it was founded by two kids, Carter and Olivia Ries, who care deeply about animals and the environment that they (and we) rely on for survival. Carter and Olivia are passionate about empowering their peers to realize that their actions can in fact have a profoundly positive impact on the world around them. The work of this organization has inspired us at World Animal Net, and makes us optimistic for the future generations who will inherit the torch of making the world a better place for all its inhabitants.
OMG's Jim Ries was kind enough to answer our questions about how their organization accomplishes its mission of youth empowerment. Don't forget to check out their Orangutan Letter Writing Campaign!