Local MP supports animal welfare campaign

April 1, 2009 5:27 PM

Mark is supporting the World Society for the Protection of Animals campaign

A global animal welfare campaign backed by 230 UK MPs including Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle, in an Early Day Motion last year, has received a major boost from the European Union (EU), with all 27 member states voting unanimously to actively support the campaign.

The EU's unanimous support of the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) is a vital breakthrough for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)-led campaign to achieve global recognition for animal welfare. The campaign is also supported by the British Veterinary Association and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and has been endorsed by the UK Government and others from around the world.

The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council, made up of all EU Ministers of Agriculture, issued a Council Conclusion which states that it:

• DEEMS it important to achieve world-wide acceptance of animal welfare as an issue of common concern and importance;

• ENCOURAGES the Commission to continue, as announced in its Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals, "to support and initiate further international initiatives to raise awareness and create a greater consensus on animal welfare";

• INVITES the Member States and the Commission, within their respective competencies, to support, in principle, the UDAW initiative in the relevant international fora.

The campaign now is seeking global recognition by the UN of animal welfare, to not only protect animals and reduce unnecessary suffering, but also better the development countries around the world, whether reducing poverty and hunger, improving human health, preparing for and recovering from natural disasters, or helping the environment.

Speaking after the announcement Mr Hunter said: The EU's unanimous support is a fantastic breakthrough for the campaign led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals to achieve global recognition for animal welfare. I have publicly backed this campaign and I urge the people of my constituency to do the same. Please sign the petition at www.animalsmatter.org as every signature counts towards getting the UN to formally acknowledge this important initiative."

John Gray, WSPA UK Regional Director added: "With this announcement, the EU has acknowledged the strong links that animal welfare has with other established global development issues such as climate change, food security, human health and poverty reduction."

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