There is only one animal on Earth that has been granted "universal" rights: Homo sapien.
On December 10, 1948, we granted ourselves those rights when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It states, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Unfortunately -- and to some, shockingly -- there is no similar international protection afforded to the other animals with which we share the planet.
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is trying to change that.
They have started a petition urging the U.N. General Assembly adopt international policies on animal welfare with their Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare (UDAW) campaign.
"Animal welfare is not some unaffordable luxury. It's an essential part of solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing us today,” said Mike Baker, WSPA’s director general.
The draft UDAW states that "animals are living, sentient beings and therefore deserve due
consideration and respect" and that member nations would agree that "all appropriate steps shall be taken...to prevent cruelty to animals and to reduce their suffering."
According to the WSPA's Web site:
- Around 60 billion farm animals are used each year globally to produce meat, milk and eggs. The majority are raised in industrial farming systems where their welfare needs are not met.
- Globally, there are some 600 million dogs, and a similar number of cats, of which an estimated 80% are stray or unwanted.
- The illegal and often inhumane trade in wildlife and wildlife parts is a soaring black market worth $10 billion a year, exceeded only by arms and drug smuggling. Millions of wild animals are killed, captured or traded inhumanely in this shady business.
- An estimated 80% of power input on farms in developing countries is supplied by draught animals, however the resources made available are often woefully inadequate, leading to significant welfare issues.
- Animals are also affected on a huge scale by natural disasters, though seldom considered.
How many more horrors must billions of other animals endure day after day before they receive a similar statement?
- Sign the Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare
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