Worldwide, 2020 stretched us all to our limits and we have now reached a pivotal point in society. But, these hard times have now given us a huge opportunity to change how we live and change the way animals are treated around the world.
We cannot do this alone; our Government holds the key and has the opportunity to now make these changes. They have an opportunity to take bold action now to prevent future pandemics. Help us to tell the decision-makers this cannot wait any longer – they must use this pandemic as a turning point for positive change.
The world needs a reset of our relationship with animals. International institutions and national governments need to tackle the root causes of zoonotic disease emergence in a holistic approach that recognizes animal welfare as one major aspect in the prevention of pandemics and must take action to improve animal welfare. The One Welfare Framework (now included within the new One Health definition) could serve as a guiding framework towards treating our planet and all its inhabitants with more respect, care, and compassion – for their sake and ours. The political response to prevent future pandemics must focus on making our farming and agricultural systems more resilient and banning practices that increase the risk of zoonotic disease emergence and spread, like the commercial wildlife trade, the dog and cat meat trade, and fur farming.