Animal rights education for schools to help end animal abuse

Published on Friday, 19 September 2014 11:37
Written by Julia de Cadenet

As a lawyer and founder of the UK charity World Protection for Dogs and Cats in the Meat Trade I have petitioned and rallied alongside other caring activists to lobby governments both at home and abroad. I spoke at the House of Commons on behalf of tortured dogs and cats and raised the issue at APGAW in December 2013.

Charities agree that education is paramount to ending animal abuse so it is extremely encouraging to see that 'Education for Sustainable Development and Animal Welfare' has just been launched by the House of Commons in light of the UN's post 2015 agendas (on sustainability, environmental and civil society). Such a resource and training package should make a huge impact to improve lives of millions of animals across the globe in line with the UN's new green ethos and holistic approach – at last, great news for animals globally.

The educational materials from the House of Commons will provide guidance and materials for teachers so they can teach animal welfare to children in schools.

Thanks to lobbyists, including Occupy UN for Animals spearheaded by Ali Dolloso, the House of Commons now has a deeper understanding of the link between animal welfare and the UN's sustainable development and wants to now be part of the change. "With so much focus on the UN environmental and sustainability agendas, it is important that animals benefit too." says Ms Dolloso. "Animal welfare should be at the core a civil society and a healthy environment. There is no better time than the 2015 Development Agenda to improve the lives of animals – produced in their billions for trade and consumption"

Our charity does not just address the welfare issue for animals of trade. In Asia, we also highlight animal abuse following 2,000 year old traditions. Following the UN's address on Millennium Post Youth 2015, it is significant that Mr Cameron and the house shared these concerns. It is never easy to address the subject of dogs being boiled alive for ancient elixirs and tonics however social media can play a significant role in the educative process.

An education pack also containing information on how to manage animals around a disaster is key to change. It has been endorsed by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

"UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) recently stated they will be recommending a Universal Animal Welfare Declaration next year" Ms Dolloso confirmed, "a link between UNEP and the House of Commons is something I have been lobbying for because I could see the links needed to be forged."

There is now more hope that it won't be long before the lives of millions of animals in the world are improved and we can start to see an end to animal abuse and atrocities globally, with much improved and shared policies, and of course education, which is the start.

Our charities education department is also pushing for Animal Welfare to form part of the national curriculum and has drafted up a series of core modules which can be adopted at home and overseas.

It is just over two years since scientists signed the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness which examined the sentience of non-human beings and it is really is encouraging to see the House of Commons finally getting involved in this issue.

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