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New York, U.S.A. – Â The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) handed nearly 110,000 signatures on its global petition to improve the treatment of farm animals, to the Executive Coordinators of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), Ms.Â Elizabeth ThompsonÂ and Mr.Â Brice Lalonde. The petition represents the significant and growing worldwide support for PawprintÂ â€“ WSPA’s campaign to put farm animal welfare on the agenda at Rio+20 in June.
Every day, billions of animals suffer on industrial farms. Pigs, chickens and cows are unable to move freely, breathe fresh air or even feel the sunlight. Not only is this one of the worst animal abuses in the world, it also has negative effects on the environment, poverty and human health. Through Pawprint, people from every corner of the globe have asked world leaders to include animal welfare as part of the discussions at Rio+20.
“We are thrilled that tens of thousands of people around the world have acknowledged that the well-being of animals is crucial to the future of people and our planet,” saidÂ Luis Carlos Sarmiento, Country Director of WSPA-South America. “Now, more than ever, it is evident that better animal welfare belongs on the conference agenda.”
“It is very encouraging to see such vast support for implementation of comprehensive humane and sustainable agriculture practices,” said Mr. Lalonde. “Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture is one of the priority areas that will be addressed at Rio+20.”
In the lead up to the conference in June, WSPA has sponsored high-level expert meetings, and developed several credible reports andÂ farm-based case studiesÂ â€“ all of which showcase that humane farming is a viable, environmentally-friendly alternative to intensive industrial production methods. WSPA’s goal is to lobby five recommendations to the UN, national government delegates and the agricultural industry:
In addition to helping the animals themselves, humane and sustainable treatment of farm animals has been shown to provide a series of health, safety and environmental benefits: