January 2010: Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment made a big step forward for animal wellbeing this month by stating official support, in principle, for the development of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
A Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) is a proposed set of principles which, if endorsed by the United Nations, will result in international recognition on animal welfare as a key part of worldwide social development.
Animals matter to … the environment
This particular Thai ministry – the second to back a UDAW – is relevant as animal welfare matters not only to animals and people, but it also to the environment, which can be positively affected by better wildlife husbandry and the protection of animals to standards backed by science.
In a letter backing the UDAW initiative, the Ministry stated its support for animal welfare as an issue of global importance – one that forms an integral part of national and international conservation and environmental policies.
Firm foundation for further action
Since 2008, over 30,000 Thais have stated their support for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW); they all want to see their country recognise the importance of meeting animals’ needs.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has already stated its official support through its Department of Livestock Development. The Department has also publicly cemented its position on animal welfare by developing the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Animal Welfare Act, already approved by the cabinet.
With both public and ministerial support, WSPA has a strong case to seek full Thai government backing for the Declaration.
As a nation, Thailand could join 37 governments as well as millions of individuals worldwide by publicly calling on the United Nations to recognise animal welfare as an integral part of sustainable development and backing a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
Do animals matter to you? Find out more about the campaign for a UDAW and how you can get involved >>