Just like you, we at World Animal Protection are learning to cope with the disruption to our day-to-day lives. Fortunately, we are quite well adapted to working from home because we have staff working remotely all over the world.
However, those of us in the UK office in London have quickly had to set-up new systems and procedures to ensure we can carry on our work, which feels more important now than ever.
Planned activities have changed
We can no longer carry out some of our planned activities which would have involved gatherings of people, and some of the organisations we were targeting to improve animal welfare are now struggling with the fallout of the pandemic. We have been asking Tesco to improve their global policies so that the pigs in their supply chain are no longer caged and mutilated. We have been asking Nando's to stop selling chickens that suffer from failing organs that struggle to keep up with growth rates. And we have been asking Expedia Group and other travel companies to stop selling tickets to cruel wildlife attractions.
Pause on targeting some companies
The food retail industry and the travel industry among the hardest hit in this pandemic. Therefore, we have decided to suspend our public mobilisations targeting these companies as they focus on the immediate effect of this crisis. We look forward to a time soon when we can pick up our communications with them and work together to ensure they are playing their part in improving the lives of animals.
We are also reviewing our other plans. But we have not taken our foot off the pedal. Just in the last couple of weeks, we have:
Published a report – Suffering in Silence – which demonstrates the suffering of ball python snakes in the global pet trade.
Got over 50,000 people to call on Doncaster Racecourse to stop hosting reptile markets at their venue.
Published a report – Cruel Cures – detailing the cruelty in which bears are farmed to extract their bile for use in traditional medicine in Asia.
Promoted the new Business Benchmarking on Farm Animal Welfare report.
Signed an open letter to the World Health Organisation recommending bans on wildlife markets and trade.
With COVID 19 believed to have originated at wildlife markets, no one can now ignore the danger of eating wild animals, using them as medicine, exploiting them in the name of entertainment or keeping them as pets.
Virus risk from intensive farming
Furthermore, keeping animals on farms squashed together caged, mutilated and unable to behave naturally makes them stressed and sick, risking diseases shifting to humans - swine flu, bird flu and Nipah virus all emerged from farmed animals. Pumping them full of antibiotics to keep them from getting sick, instead of improving their living conditions, also risks the spread of superbugs.
It’s time for the world to come together to end the cruel and dangerous exploitation of animals.
End the global trade in wild animals. Forever
Our future depends on everyone rethinking how we treat all animals. All of us need to accept nothing less than a permanent and global ban of the wildlife trade and urgently work together to transform the global food system to end cruel factory farming.
So we are working up new plans to lobby governments around the world to act on this, now. We are also working to ensure that our other campaign activities all support this effort. This is a challenge for us, particularly as we are all working apart from each other with so many uncertainties about the future. But we believe we have an important role to play and are well placed to help effect the change that’s needed.
This is not the first time we’ve seen a global pandemic, but together we could make this the last.
World Animal Protection will rise to this challenge. Are you with us?