Amid debates, agreement surfaces for better animal welfare
“We as a global society have crossed the Rubicon. We disagree about where to draw the line to protect animal rights, but almost everyone now agrees that there is a line to be drawn.” - Nicholas D. Kristof
Mr. Kristof’s statement from his recent New York Times op-ed, throws into high relief the progress society has made since the beginning of the animal welfare movement more than four decades ago.
To be sure, we have had set backs, such as the introduction of the so-called “Ag-Gag” laws in the US seeking to prevent undercover filming of animal cruelty at factory farms. We have also seen progress in decisions from the likes of McDonalds to cancel its contract with a chicken farm where animal welfare abuses were documented.
On a global scale, governments and institutions including the European Union, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the Food and Agricultural Organization and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) now no longer require convincing, the simply include animal welfare thinking inside their key policy initiatives.
Increasingly the battle to protect wildlife is moving online, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare continues to meet the challenge, working with eBay and its Chinese doppelganger TaoBao to get ivory bans in place in these 24/7/365 marketplaces. We are especially proud to have formed a working partnership with INTERPOL in targeting and training law enforcement to combat the illegal wildlife trade.
There is a growing consensus there are reasonable measures we can take right now to make things better for the most at risk and endangered wildlife species.
Educating and empowering society to care for and protect animals is vital to lasting success. In order to help people become more effective animal advocates, IFAW has published our Statements of Principles and a glossary of terms that can help people communicate about these complex issues.
It is our hope that this document will become a useful tool as we work together—with other non-profit organizations, governments, law enforcement agencies, individuals and communities—together, building a world in which animals are respected and protected.