WSPA’s call for farm animal welfare builds global momentum

To date almost 100,000 people have supported Pawprint – WSPA’s campaign urging governments to put farm animal welfare on the agenda at the 2012 Earth Summit. Farm animals belong at the Earth Summit: WSPA’s practical farm-based case studies and credible research is providing evidence that good animal welfare also benefits people and the planet.

Billions of animals suffer on a daily basis in industrial farms. Pigs, chickens and cows are confined, unable to move freely, breathe fresh air or feel the sunlight. Not only is this one of the worst animal abuses in the world, it has significant knock on effects for people and the planet too.

In response to WSPA’s campaign, people from every corner of the globe have written to their governments asking that animal welfare be added to the agenda of June’s Earth Summit 2012 – the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. WSPA will be submitting the full petition to the UN Secretariat in the coming weeks.

WSPA has also been lobbying the UN directly, most recently co-sponsoring a High Level Roundtable on Humane and Sustainable Agriculture. We presented new case study and research evidence which proves that the rapid increase of livestock production is causing a strain on the environment as well as resulting in shockingly poor welfare for huge numbers of animals.

This successful meeting led to the inclusion of farm animal welfare in the resulting Outcome Food Charter which outlines how our food production must change. The Charter will now be used to persuade world leaders of the importance of humane, sustainable farming in the run up to the Earth Summit.

High-welfare farming: a sustainable, environmentally friendly alternative

Industrial farming isn’t an inevitability. WSPA and Compassion in World Farming recently released a joint report on the use of freshwater in agriculture. The report included staggering evidence that:

  • one quarter of all global freshwater use is for animal production, mostly to grow animal feeds
  • producing grain-based animal feeds uses 43 times more irrigation water per kilogram of feed than is needed for grass-based animal feeds.

WSPA’s growing body of evidence from around the world shows that where industrial farming swiftly uses up our precious natural resources, the humane and sustainable treatment of farms animals can actually increase food security and economic growth and have environmental benefits.

Dr Lesley Lambert, Chief Policy Advisor at WSPA, explained: “Feeding the planet is one of the most profound issues we face today, as individuals and as a global community. To do so,  we must act now to make the future of farming more sustainable on all levels.”

What does WSPA want to achieve at the United Nations?

WSPA has presented five recommendations to the United Nations and key stakeholders. We ask that they support and develop humane and sustainable agriculture systems; manage demand for animal products; and phase out support for unsustainable and inhumane farming systems.

“We know there is a link between the welfare of people and animals. The global community is joining us to say that we do not have to choose the welfare of one over the well being of the other,” said Dr Lambert.

“It’s a priority of WSPA that the wellbeing of animals is acknowledged as crucial to the future of people and our planet.”

Join the debate – ask your government to make animal welfare in farming a priority >>
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