Response to Amazon's Rainforest Burning

Statement on the ongoing fires in the Amazon Rainforest and the connection to the meat industry, from Director of the Farm Animals and Nutrition Department at FOUR PAWS, Martina Stephany:


“Hundreds of new fires emerge every day in the Amazon rainforest, adding to the already out-of-control destruction. Countless wild animal species are suffering and dying from this dramatic disaster. As over half of the world’s rainforest are located in Brazil, these fires also affect humans since the Amazon rainforest is considered the “lung of the world”.

“Slash and burn” deforestation tactics traditionally use fires to clear large areas of rainforest in order to gain more pastures for cattle. This tactic runs rapid as Brazil is also the world’s leading beef exporter. Brazil’s rainforest is home to approximately 200 million head of cattle. According to the Global Forest Atlas of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, cattle ranching is the largest driver of deforestation in every Amazon country, accounting for 80% of current deforestation rates.

Animal agriculture and intensive livestock farming requires massive amounts of land, feed, energy, and water and cause suffering of billions of animals worldwide. FOUR PAWS considers the meat industry as one of the biggest obstacles in the fight against climate change and deforestation. Thus, FOUR PAWS calls on major food companies to step up and take action to prevent such disasters from happening, and to decrease the number of animals in factory farms. FOUR PAWS also calls on consumers to know the environmental cost of their food and how their choices at the grocery store play a very important role in tackling climate change.”

FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need, and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organization advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy, and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. 

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