Through this “Animals’ Manifesto” a coalition of more than 170 NGOs working across the globe have called on world leaders, international institutions, political parties, and all stakeholders to stop and assess the direction of current COVID-19 response efforts, realign these with the glaring need for transformative change, and finally address humanity’s exploitation of animals.
The fact that the COVID-19 crisis very likely arose from the exploitation of animals has drawn greater attention to how human uses of animals can increase the risk of future pandemics. In July 2020, a report released by the UN Environment Program and the International Livestock Research Institute identified the increase in consumption of animal products, intensification of animal production systems, and wildlife exploitation as primary drivers of pandemic risk.
It is therefore imperative that to reduce the future risk of pandemics global leaders take concrete steps to recognise and incorporate the linkages between humans, animals and the the environment into policies.
Despite this, millions in development funding continue to be funneled into farming systems which increase the risk of future pandemics, even as calls to “build back better” grow.
The signatories are calling for:
- Steps to incorporate One Health and One Welfare into policies.
- Concrete policies and actions that:
- transform farming systems
- change food consumption habits
- end the unnecessary exploitation of wildlife
- increase vaccine development efficiencies, and
- ensure the wellbeing of animals in communities, such as companion animals and working equines.
- Visionary, prudent, and necessarily bold leadership by global institutions at the center of the COVID-19 response, including the UN General Assembly, UN Environment Programme, the UN Development Programme, and international financial institutions.
The Manifesto was originally shared with policymakers in recognition of World Animal Day on 4 October 2020.
Please find the English, Spanish, and German versions above.
As more language versions become available they will be added, including Chinese and Vietnamese.