At the end of May I attended the OIE’s 2016 General Session on behalf of WAN, which was one of a number of international animal protection organisations representing the International Coalition for Animal Welfare (ICFAW).
At World Animal Net, one of the most frequent emails we get comes from people traveling abroad who have encountered stray dogs and are concerned for their welfare. High profile cases of abuse of stray dogs by municipal and country governments have made headlines in past years from Romania, Russia, and Brazil, to name just a few. And in India, the problem of dog-mediated rabies has reached such a fever pitch that killing stray dogs is again being considered, though the country banned the practice in 2001.
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).
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!
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’!
I recently returned from Paris, where I attended the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s General Session of the World Assembly (24-29 May, 2015). World Animal Net is a member of the International Coalition for Animal Welfare (ICFAW). The only animal protection organisations present were World Animal Protection (as an OIE partner), ICFAW and the Brooke (both as observers). I was one of the two ICFAW delegates.
The first time I became aware of the many ways in which the development of industrial animal agriculture was harming humans, animals and the environment in ‘developing’ countries was back in 1999-2000, when I worked with fellow researchers Sari Varpama and WAN’s Wim de Kok on a major project for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). This culminated in a set of research reports entitled “The Livestock Revolution: Development or Destruction”, which included in-depth research into the detrimental impacts of industrial livestock development in ‘developing’ countries and findings from in-country investigations in Brazil, Thailand, India, South Africa and China.
I find it unconscionable that animal welfare and human-animal relationships have not yet been mainstreamed in development policy and international development work. This despite the fact that there is a myriad of reasons why no country’s development should take place without giving full consideration to the situation and welfare needs of the sentient fellow animals sharing our territory, our homes, our work, our livelihoods, our leisure, and often our lives.
In the animal protection world, there are many acronyms for very influential agencies and organizations. In this blog, we will attempt to explain some nuts and bolts of one such organization—The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
I joined the animal protection movement a quarter of a century ago, moving from a government policy position to join the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) – now World Animal Protection – as its Regional Director for Europe. I arrived with my ‘rose-tinted glasses’ firmly in place; full of longing to work for a cause that really mattered to me.