May 29, 2007
Chief Veterinary Officers from across the world are backing the move towards a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, which is supported by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and is being recognized by a growing number of government authorities and international organizations.
At their annual meeting in Paris on May 25, members of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) gave overwhelming backing to the initiative to achieve worldwide acceptance of animal welfare as an important issue and called on governments to support the goal. The resolution states that the OIE decided:
To support, in principle, the development of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare which calls on countries to acknowledge the importance of animal welfare and, at the same time, recognizes the OIE as the established international animal welfare standard setting body.
To encourage the efforts of governments seeking to support this goal.
To encourage the efforts of globally recognized animal welfare organizations seeking to achieve this goal.
Director General of WSPA, Peter Davies, said, “WSPA is delighted that the OIE is backing the Universal Declaration for Animal Welfare. This is a crucial moment in its realization and such an important declaration of support and commitment from government veterinarians across the world. We will be working with them to encourage governments to improve protection for animal health and welfare. This move gives added impetus and urgency to our aim to end animal cruelty. A Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare would have a real, long-term impact on the welfare of billions of animals worldwide.”
The WSPA-supported initiative for a Universal Declaration for Animal Welfare to be adopted by the UN - working with HSI, RSPCA, CIWF, IFAW and the ASPCA - is currently gaining momentum around the world:
A global petition is close to achieving 500,000 signatures from members of the public.
Government authorities in Kenya, India, the Philippines, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic are officially backing the Declaration.