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Animals Matter to Me

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Posted by  Cody Saturday, 17 June 2006 13:01

Animals Matter to Me

"ANIMALS MATTER TO ME"

GLOBAL PETITION LAUNCH

Coastweek - - WSPA Director General Peter Davies is seen together with Hon. Wekesa, Kenyan Minister for Education, Science and Technology, when he officially opened the launch of the 'Universal Declaration for Animal Welfare'.

'Universal Declaration for Animal Welfare'

Hundreds of the world's animal welfare groups have begun the massive task of building a petition of ten million signatures.

The "Animals Matter To Me" petition calling for a United Nations Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is officially launched today at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) Biennial Symposium meeting in London.

The event is attended by more than 300 animal welfare groups from over 110 countries around the globe.

Launching the petition, WSPA Director General Peter Davies said:

    "This is the largest ever global animal welfare initiative. It is a huge milestone in our work to build a world free from cruelty and suffering for billions of animals."

 

WSPA and its member societies (local and national animal welfare organisations based in some 142 countries) will be campaigning hard to reach the petition's goal of ten million signatures, and by so doing, raise awareness about animals and the importance of considering their welfare.

The 'Animals Matter to Me" campaign is the public face of a government-led initiative to persuade the United Nations to adopt a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, similar to earlier initiatives in the sphere of human rights and the environment.

Five UN member states (Costa Rica, Kenya, India, Czech Republic and the Philippines) have already formed a steering group committed to taking the initiative forward to the United Nations.

In principle the Universal Declaration will call on the United Nations to recognise animals as sentient beings, capable of experiencing pain and suffering, and to recognise that animal welfare is an issue of importance as part of the social development of nations worldwide.

Billions of animals around the world are affected by humans, and rely on people to treat them with compassion.

But there is little national and no international protection for animals when that concern is absent.

Industrial animal farming is responsible for the biggest areas of suffering for animals in the world today, with approximately 4 billion mammals and 55 billion poultry used in farms globally to produce cheap meat, milk and eggs.

The majority are housed in dismal conditions where their welfare needs are not being met.

It is estimated that there are almost one billion stray dogs and cats roaming on the planet, suffering from hunger, disease and neglect and persecuted as pests.

A similar number of working equines (horses and donkeys) in developing countries, providing 80 per cent of the physical power for the agriculture and transport needs of local people, are afforded little or no consideration of their health or welfare.

He further commended Nigeria on its historical role in the liberation struggle of Africa that benefited a number of the current COMESA member State as well its recent contribution towards peace and security in Africa.

He particularly singled out the role played in Sierra Leone and Darfur - Sudan

Mr Ngwenya pointed out that Nigeria is big player in ECOWAS and CENSAD and that COMESA has a lot to learn from the region particularly in the field of Free movement of people.

"WSPA Member Societies have worked tirelessly to improve conditions for animals. We have seen major successes in some countries particularly where humane education has been adopted in schools and universities and where anti-cruelty legislation has been successfully enacted and enforced."

"Global recognition of animals and their welfare would not only provide the basis for their increased protection. It is also closely linked with improving human health, social development and environmental sustainability."

"In many countries people rely upon their animals for their livelihoods and often as their close companions.

"Animals clearly do matter to many of us; we must take this massive step forward to make sure they matter to everyone, especially governments."

"The adoption of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare would act as a catalyst for better animal welfare provisions within nations as, although non-binding, nations would be encouraged to respect its principles."

"We have seen the public's huge support worldwide for the UN's Millennium Development Goals, several of which can be linked to key animal welfare issues such as industrial farming and disaster preparedness and response.

"We aspire to raise people's awareness through the "Animals Matter To Me" campaign by showing that animals matter to everyone."

The "Animals Matter To Me" campaign will make use of the latest developments in online campaigning technology to secure signatures.

There will be a global website readable in six languages where supporters can sign up on-line.

"The campaign will also use other methods such as SMS messaging and email marketing to spread the word and achieve truly global representation for the petition in support of this initiative.

The petition can be signed and a copy of the draft Declaration text and proposed amendments can be found at:

www.animalsmatter.org

 

 

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