Join Forces With Canadians Who Care About Animals

More than 60,000 Canadians are campaigning for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) at the United Nations.

A UDAW would be a powerful catalyst for change - inspiring the creation of national animal-protection laws in countries where they do not exist and encouraging all countries to improve their animal welfare legislation. It would raise the status of animal welfare as an international issue and inspire positive change in public attitudes towards animals.

Government representatives from Kenya, India, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, Australia and others have already indicated support for a UDAW. Send a letter to Canada's Minister for Foreign Affairs and urge him to support the achievement of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare at the UN.
Dear Minister,

I am writing to you as a concerned citizen, 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 the countless millions of pet owners around the world. They matter to farmers, veterinarians and others who depend on them for their livelihood. They are important to the food security of many nations, including our own, but most especially those countries in the developing world. Nearly two billion people around the world rely on animals to meet all or part of their daily needs. And they contribute significantly to the livelihoods of 70 per cent of the world's rural poor. More importantly, as sentient beings that can feel pain and suffer, their welfare matters to the animals themselves.

Despite this, there is 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 - are campaigning for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) at the United Nations.

Such a declaration would encourage countries to pass animal welfare legislation where none exists and look for ways to improve existing laws and standards. This would not only benefit animals but benefit people and the environment, as improving animal welfare has proven benefits for environmental sustainability, human welfare and the social development of nations worldwide.

Development of a UDAW is already supported by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) whose members are the Chief Veterinarian Officers of 172 countries including Canada and has been formally endorsed by a number of national governments around the world. A number of governments have already come together to work towards achieving a UDAW and it is expected that negotiations of the final wording will begin sometime in 2010. For more information about UDAW visit www.wspa.ca/gov and www.makeanimalsmatter.ca

As a Canadian, I hope that my country will participate fully in this process. I respectfully request that the government of Canada support the development of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
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