The African Union Interafrican Bureau for Animal Resource (AU-IBAR) recently hosted a retreat to review a draft animal welfare strategy and action plan for the entire continent. This took place from 6-8 March in Naivasha, Kenya. Participants included member states from the region, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Regional Economic Communities, and a number of major animal protection organisations. World Animal Net (WAN) was represented by Nick de Souza, veterinarian and experienced African animal protectionist. Tozie Zokufa, the President of the Pan African Animal Welfare Alliance (PAAWA), and a member of WAN’s International Policy Forum, also attended.
WAN’s Janice Cox has just played a part in helping to shape the first Regional Animal Welfare Strategy (RAWS) covering Africa. Every continent but Africa has now agreed on a RAWS, leaving Africa lagging behind. However, the process is now off to a start, thanks to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an African Regional Economic Community (REC) representing eight eastern African countries including the horn of Africa. IGAD is now the first REC in Africa to validate a RAWS.