Animal Welfare Matters to Animals, Canadian People and the Environment!

  • by: World Animal Protection Canada
  • recipient: Minister of International Trade, Minister of Justice, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of International Co-operation
Animals matter to people. They provide food, livelihoods and also companionship to billions of people around the world. And as sentient beings they can feel pain and can suffer. Yet, there is no global recognition for the importance of animal welfare. WSPA is working to address this by encouraging governments to adopt a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare at the United Nations.

How can we reduce poverty around the world and achieve food security for all without considering animals? How can we address the problems of climate change and environmental sustainability without considering the role that animals play?

Help us send a strong message to Canada's government that animals matter to Canadians. Ask the ministers responsible for Agriculture and Agri-Food, Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Justice to support this initiative in principle and participate in the process that will lead to a UN declaration.
Dear Minister,

I am writing to you as a concerned Canadian, one of the nearly half a million Canadians who supports humane societies and other animal protection organizations.

[Personalized comment here]

Animals matter. They matter to billions of people around the world who count on animals for companionship. They matter to people who depend on them for their livelihood. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the billion poorest people around the world are reliant on animals to supply their daily needs. Moreover, as sentient beings that can feel pain, their welfare matters.

Despite this, there is as yet no global recognition of the importance of animal welfare. To address this, some of the world's leading animal protection organizations, including the World Society for the Protection of Animals and, here in Canada, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies have proposed that a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) be adopted by the United Nations.

The development of a UDAW is supported by the World's leading animal protection organizations as well as the World Veterinary Association, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) (representing the Chief Veterinarians of 172 countries including Canada) and has been formally endorsed by the governments of Sweden, New Zealand, the Seychelles and Cambodia. Also, a number of key international government ministries support UDAW, some of these include the UK's Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the ministries responsible for agriculture in Australia, Colombia (where the Senate has also given their approval), as well as Croatia and the Philippines, amongst others.

It is expected that in 2010, a number of these countries will come together to discuss and determine what a UDAW might look like. As a Canadian, I hope that my country will participate fully in this process. To that end, I am asking you, in your capacity as minister to use your influence to support the development of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
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