Fiji has joined a growing list of governments putting the spotlight on how we care for animals by supporting a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) to be endorsed by the United Nations.
Endorsement of the Declaration will mean global recognition that animals matter and can feel pain and experience suffering. It will send the message that all of us – from individuals to governments – have a responsibility to put an end to cruelty around the world.
The government of Cambodia backed the Declaration in July.
Momentum in Fiji…
Joketani Cokanasiga, Fiji’s Minister for Primary Industries, said: “Our support for UDAW will serve as a catalyst and give momentum to a review of Fiji’s animal welfare practices and legislation, and also of relevant elements of the school curriculum.
"[The UDAW] also recognises there have been major changes in global attitudes toward an understanding of animals, driven by research, education and experience."
… and beyond
WSPA Australia Programmes Manager Emily Reeves celebrated the Fijian government’s endorsement as part of the global push for a Declaration.
“The Fijian government’s decision is a key milestone in the development of this important initiative and we hope that other Pacific islands will follow their lead by recognising the importance of animal welfare.
“This may extend to influencing support from others in the region too such as Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps even further afield”, Emily added.