UK loses its A grade in global test of animal welfare leadership
Our Animal Protection Index (API), which ranks countries on their laws protecting animals, exposes the drastic need for global change.
We need stronger laws protecting animals in farming, in entertainment and in homes
The UK has dropped a grade in a global assessment of countries’ records on animal welfare due to Brexit parliamentary delays which have held up planned laws such as animal sentience and export regulation.
The UK previously held an ‘A’ grade but has now dropped to a ‘B’ in the second revised edition of the Animal Protection Index (API) which assesses the animal welfare policies and legislation of 50 countries.
The index scores countries from A (being the highest score) to G (being the weakest score) according to their policy and legislation.
Shockingly, not one country has obtained an ‘A’ grade. The United Kingdom is rated highest along with Sweden and Austria all achieving a ‘B’ score. However, there is room for improvement in these countries too.
World Animal Protection is calling on all governments to immediately improve their animal welfare standards, not only for the benefit of animals, but also to reduce the risk to public health.
Sonul Badiani-Hamment, World Animal Protection UK external affairs advisor said: “The UK government is failing to keep up with the latest science on animal welfare and has been treading water, making promises of new legislation on animal sentience that have not been met.
“The UK is a nation of animal lovers and the government must reflect this in their work and continue to improve animal protections if it is to ensure we regain our top rating. We need stronger laws protecting animals in farming, in entertainment and in homes. This is particularly important as the UK leaves the EU, to ensure that hard-won protections are not lost in the rush to agree new trade deals.”
Coronavirus and other concerns
Severe animal welfare concerns from intensive farming, wildlife markets and associated trade are all proven threats of disease outbreak, such as the most recent global epidemic, coronavirus.
The API found that China, USA, Vietnam, Egypt, Azerbaijan and Belarus need to do more to protect animals and people from the threat of zoonotic diseases.
This global threat will continue for as long as there is no effective legislation and preventative measures to control the emerging threat to animal and people’s health.
Beyond public health, these systems which put us all at risk are causing immense suffering and cruelty to billions of animals every year.
Does the life of an animal mean nothing at all?
Last year World Animal Protection launched a 60-second film to highlight the many ways that we are failing to protect animals, asking the question: does the life of an animal mean nothing at all?
This is a question we need to ask governments lacking even the most basic animal welfare policies.
Join our movement calling for a better world for animals.