UDAW Costa Rica Puppy

If you are reading this, you are an animal lover and if you are South African, you may be shocked to see how we rank against other countries in animal welfare.

World Animal Protection have created an Animal Protection Index that judges 50 countries on their policy and legislation for animals, identifying where improvements can be made to protect animals and people.

You can visit the above page and look at the detailed rankings, but I picked a few countries to compare against South Africa and we don’t come out well (rankings are scored overall on a scale of A to G, with A being best):

United Kingdom        - A

India                           - C

Australia                     - C

Brazil                          - C

South Africa               - D

At least we are ahead of

China                          - E

Egypt                          - F

I don’t know about you, but I am not particularly proud of this ranking.

The only way we are going to change this, is by changing our government’s attitude towards animal welfare and one way is by backing the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW).

The UDAW was conceived in 2000 by a group of animal welfare organisations including World Animal Protection, (formerly the World Society for the Protection of Animals) which now acts as its Secretariat. It is supported by a planning group including Compassion in World Farming, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Humane Society of the United States.

In May 2007, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) passed a resolution supporting the development of a UDAW in principle, as did the Commonwealth Veterinary Association (CVA) and the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE). In August 2008, the national veterinary associations of Chile, New Zealand, the UK, the Philippines, Thailand and Colombia have all given public backing for a UDAW.

The principles of the declaration are:

  1. The welfare of animals shall be a common objective for all states and all appropriate steps shall be taken by Member States to prevent cruelty to animals and to reduce their suffering.
  2. The policies, legislation and standards of animal welfare attained by each state shall be promoted, recognized and observed by improved measures, nationally and internationally. Each member state should care for and treat animals in a humane and sustainable manner in accordance with the principles of the Declaration.
  3. All appropriate steps shall be taken by states to prevent cruelty to animals and to reduce their suffering
  4. Appropriate policies, legislation and standards on the welfare of animals will be further developed and elaborated, such as those governing the use and management of farm animals, companion animals, animals in scientific research, draught animals, wildlife animals, and animals in recreation.

How can you support the UDAW? Simply sign the petition and adding your vote to over two million people, 330 animal groups and 46 governments.

The petition backing the UDAW can be found here.

Sign now and show your support – You can make a change!


Content from World Animal Protection ( used by permission.

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