Aug 2, 2007
In the first six months of 2007, WPSA has had a number of hugely significant successes for animal welfare. Any one of them would justify a major celebration on its own. I would like to take this opportunity to share these successes with you all and thank you for your continued efforts and support, without which these successes would not be possible.
Director General WSPA
- Changing farm animal welfare legislation in Taiwan in an extraordinarily short period of time.
- Landmark achievement in China on humane slaughter.
Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW)
- Achieving 500,000 signatures and endorsement from chief governmental veterinarians for the UDAW.
- A strong message on welfare at the International Whaling Commission.
- New evidence on the global illegal trade in bear bile presented at global gathering of governments.
- An emergency appeal to save Borneo's orangutans.
Building the animal welfare movement
- WSPA is now made up of over 800 member societies in 147 countries.
- Major progress in our Responsible Pet Ownership program in Costa Rica.
- 5-year MOU on animal welfare signed with the government of Dubai (U.A.E.).
- Construction of a new hospital for animals in Jordan.
- Continued relief and aid to working equines in Afghanistan.
- Endorsement from UNESCO of our international animal welfare education program in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Changing farm animal welfare legislation in Taiwan over an extraordinarily short period
WSPA and member society Environment and Animal Protection Society of Taiwan (EAST) have achieved a major step forward in animal protection in Taiwan - thanks to a hard-hitting video campaign and supporter action. In April we released disturbing footage of cruel practices in Taiwanese slaughterhouses. Scenes included a man repeatedly striking a pig with an iron bar before slitting its throat while fully conscious. The video spearheaded a campaign calling for stricter legislation and codes of practice to protect animals at slaughter. In a very short period it provoked over 8000 actions from WSPA supporters around the world. A swift amendment to the Animal Protection Act (APA) has now been passed. It makes animal cruelty - including inhumane slaughter - a criminal offense resulting in one year's imprisonment if violated twice within 5 years. This is stricter than the UK, for example, which doesn't have this level of legal protection.
Landmark agreement in China on humane slaughter
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on humane slaughter programs in China was signed by WSPA and the Beijing Chaoyang Anhua Animal Product Safety Research Institute (APSRI) in February 2007. This landmark agreement stated a commitment by the two organizations to provide training and support on the humane transport, handling, stunning and slaughter of farm animals. The organizations will also work with relevant Chinese government agencies to establish humane slaughter legislation and codes of practice. This MOU is thought to be the first of its kind in China and is a huge step forward for farm animal welfare in the country.
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Achieving 500,000 signatures and an endorsement from chief governmental veterinarians for the UDAW
The global petition for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) has reached its first half million signatories just one year after we launched the petition. The milestone ties in with mounting political support for the Declaration. Nearly at the same time, the chief veterinarians of 167 countries, who make up the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), unanimously passed a resolution stating their support for the development of a UDAW.
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A strong message on welfare at the International Whaling Commission
This year we had an outstanding outcry from WSPA supporters around the world asking for the welfare of whales to be protected and the ban on whaling to be maintained. In just four days, commissioners attending the IWC received over 4,000 emails stating the same message – there is no humane way to kill a whale at sea, and therefore it should not be happening at all. The result was strong statements from countries condemning the cruelty of whaling, helping to keep the pressure on to maintain the ban on whaling.
New evidence on the global illegal trade in bear bile presented at global gathering of governments
With over 7,000 bears in bear farms in China who suffer extreme pain due to daily bile extractions, WSPA continues to work hard to end this cruel practice. Many of these bears are kept in cages no bigger than a telephone box and often die from illnesses and infections from their open wounds. Throughout 2006 and 2007 WSPA conducted investigations into the illegal global trade in bear bile products on sale in Traditional Medicine shops in USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The findings were published in a report launched at the 14th Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) conference in Holland in June 2007, where the Chinese and other governments were present. All bear species are currently protected by CITES. The report exposed that shops in all eight countries surveyed offered bear products for sale and that most of these products originated from China's bear farms. This expose made it clear that bear bile continues to find its way into the four corners of the globe.
An emergency appeal to save Borneo's orangutans
Following a financial crisis at the Nyrau Menteng Orangutan center in Borneo, WSPA launched a global appeal to provide funds to keep the center open. As a result we have enabled the center to continue to care for over 600 orangutans that have been rescued from forest fires and persecution across central Borneo. The appeal was so successful WSPA is now looking to make improvements to the center in addition to covering running costs in 2007.
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WSPA is now made up of over 800 member societies in 147 countries
WSPA's mission continues to be to build a united global animal welfare movement. Over the last few months we've recruited new organizations to the WSPA Alliance family in our effort to support those working locally to stop cruelty to animals. We now have over 800 member societies working with us in nearly 150 countries to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends – that's nearly a doubling of our member society base in just four years!
Help WSPA build an animal welfare movement >>
Major progress in our Responsible Pet Ownership program in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, dog bite incidents have been highly publicized in the media, creating a negative environment for all dogs, which people tend to think of as being potentially aggressive. Handling of these cases by police authorities has not been optimal, due to lack of training of the officers and the absence of an Animal Control Unit. In some cases, dogs have even been shot on site for lack of knowledge of handling methods and equipment. In other cases, human lives have been lost. In San Jose, WSPA has completed three successful ‘train the trainers' courses for police and fireman in the handling of aggressive dogs and bite prevention programs. Also, 200 schools and 24,000 children have received dog bite prevention presentations. By the end of 2007 it is hoped that 60,000 children will have received dog bite prevention training.
Nearby in Puntarenas, Costa Rica's largest province, there have been historical issues with stray dogs and cats. Many people in these communities can't afford to neuter their animals or obtain veterinary treatment. In April, a new WSPA-funded mobile clinic was launched by our Member Society APRAP (Asociacion por el Rescate Animal de Puntarenas) so they can conduct a focused project of treatment, education and sterilization as part of their population control program. The clinic is now sterilizing around 50 animals per day.
5-year MOU on animal welfare signed with government of Dubai (U.A.E.)
Following the successful introduction of humane stray dog and feral cat control programs with our partner organizations K9 Friends Dubai, Feline Friends Dubai, and the Dubai Municipality, we were thrilled to be invited by the government to sign a 5-year MOU which would ensure continued and developed progress of animal welfare in Dubai. Legislation governing pet shops has already been introduced and many of the pet shops in Dubai have now stopped selling all but birds and fish, and others now have to meet stringent licensing conditions. The new MOU, which currently runs until 2011, will enable cooperation on issues such as animal welfare legislation, working animals, farm animals (transportation & slaughter) and wildlife collections.
Construction of a new hospital for animals in Jordan
In March, the new animal hospital in Amman, Jordan, which is to be managed by WSPA member society, the Humane Centre for Animal Welfare (HCAW), was opened by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah. The hospital, which was co-funded throughout the construction phase by WSPA and the government of Jordan, will effectively save the lives of many equines and companion animals which otherwise may have died through the lack of appropriate surgical facilities. The hospital offers free treatment to the owners of working animals who live in the poorer regions of Jordan but also provides help and education to anyone who needs it. The hospital is also being used by the Jordanian veterinary faculty as a practical teaching facility for students and will serve as a model throughout the Middle East for other governments to visit and learn from. WSPA has also provided a mobile clinic to operate from the hospital to the nomadic regions of the country where no other veterinary facilities exist and is also providing a significant contribution for the first 2 years of running costs of the hospital and mobile clinic.
Continued relief and aid to working equines in Afghanistan
In war torn Afghanistan, WSPA is working in conjunction with our member societies, The Brooke and the Committee for Rehabilitation Aid for Afghanistan (CRAA), to provide mobile veterinary clinics, farriery, fresh water, and owner educational programs for the many working equines that have suffered through a lack of poor husbandry and welfare and health care. During the first half of 2007 over 83,000 equines and 12,000 camels have received treatments from the 8 mobile clinics now operating in and around the city of Jalalabad.
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Endorsement from UNESCO of our international animal welfare education program in Latin America and the Caribbean
The regional office of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for Latin America and the Caribbean endorsed a WSPA animal welfare education program in primary schools. Endorsement of the WSPA initiative by the regional UNESCO office is recognition of the interdependency between humans, animals and the environment. In this way, animal welfare has a role to play in the ‘UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development' initiative.
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