As 2013 draws to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect on all that we’ve accomplished together for animals this year.
Our work has touched the lives of millions of animals around the globe, delivering them from cruelty, protecting them in disasters, and showing governments, businesses and people how we can change animals’ lives for the better. We’re so thankful for our wonderful supporters and friends – these achievements would not be possible without your generosity, your actions, and your voice.
Here are just some of WSPA’s 2013 global achievements:
We protected animals in disasters. Our disaster response teams helped, both directly and indirectly, over 1.3 million animals in 14 international operations. When Typhoon Haiyan -- one of the largest recorded storms on record – struck the Philippines in November, our teams deployed quickly to the field to deliver immediate and ongoing aid for the many animals affected and the people that rely on them for their livelihoods.
We rescued bears from cruelty. WSPA saved an astounding ten bears from lives of cruelty and suffering. These majestic creatures are now free to roam as nature intended.
We saved the lives of thousands of dogs. Through our Collars not Cruelty campaign, we helped saved the lives of thousands of dogs that provide companionship to their communities. We showed governments throughout Asia and Africa that mass dog vaccination – and not the cruel culling of dogs -- is the only effective way to control canine rabies and prevent communities from this preventable disease.
We influenced governments. In a landmark agreement with India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), WSPA ensured animals will be included in all existing and upcoming disaster and emergency plans for India’s 28 states. With over 800 million Indians dependent on agriculture and animal breeding for survival, this will help prepare communities to take action to protect their animals during crises.
We advised businesses on best practices for animals. We participated in the Sustainability Consortium’s first-ever industry-driven Animal Welfare Advisory Panel, alongside leading brands including Walmart, McDonald’s, Unilever and more, providing input on how to improve animal welfare on a large scale.
We built public awareness for animals in factory farms. Nearly 80,000 supporters in North America signed on to our campaign to promote cage-free farming. Through this work, we can deliver meaningful change for millions of hens who currently live in tiny, cramped cages unable to perch, scratch, and stretch their wings.
We moved the world to protect animals. This year, over 23,000 of you have spoken on behalf of animals, asking the United Nations to recognize World Animal Day as an official day. This will mean that 193 member states will celebrate the fundamental relationship that exists between animals and humans. The UN also granted WSPA General Consultative Status this year, a tremendous honor that will give WSPA the opportunity to work with and advise governments on international standards for animals worldwide.
It’s been a year of delivering important change for animals across the globe. And 2014 looks to be even better - we’re planning big things for the year ahead. The time has come for global animal protection.
Together, let’s make animals an international concern as well as a local priority. I thank you for taking this journey with us. We could not do it without you.