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November 15, 2022
Rescued beagles, animals and climate change, protection for cephalopods, rewarding sanctuary excellence
Animal Welfare and Climate Change
Right now, government leaders, scientists, industry representatives, and environmental and animal activists from across the globe are meeting in Egypt for the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Representatives from the World Federation for Animals (WFA), of which AAVS is a founding member, are there with the important message that the inclusion of animal welfare is critical in mitigating climate change and released its position paper, “Animal Welfare: A Must in the Climate Negotiations.”
Current climate change mitigation policies focus mainly on human impact, but the climate crisis affects all life, threatening the survival of many species. WFA’s position paper makes the case that ignoring animal welfare contributes to climate change, and further exacerbates the suffering of farmed animals. The paper states that “Animals are not only affected by climate change; they can also play a critical role in mitigating its impacts and increasing resilience if their welfare is taken into consideration.”
WFA urges the COP27 to recognize the role that society’s use of animals can play in the effort to combat climate change. It recommends a shift towards plant-based food production and consumption, as well as protecting wildlife and ecosystems to lessen carbon emissions. Addressing animal welfare in the climate negotiations is critical for mitigation and adaptation strategies to be effective and fair if we are to develop and maintain sustainable and resilient societies supported by healthy ecosystems.
Nineteen members of Congress have asked the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to amend the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals to include cephalopods under its definition of “animal” to ensure these animals receive humane care. In response to a 2020 petition from several animal groups, including AAVS, NIH stated that it was considering doing so, but has failed to act.
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The huge effort to rescue nearly 4,000 beagles, who were destined to be used in experiments, is complete. Following a lawsuit by the Justice Department against Envigo, the research breeder agreed to close its facility and release its dogs. Meet some of these lucky beagles and hear how the rescue actually unfolded, recounted by rescuers from groups committed to find them forever homes.
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Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation
For over 45 years, Lynn Cuny has dedicated her personal and professional life to rescuing and advocating for animals, and she has been a leader and mentor to so many in the sanctuary community. She founded the Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation (WRR) in 1977 on 21 acres in Texas, working mainly with urban wildlife, but dreamed of expanding her facility to help and provide homes for hundreds more animals in need. Today WRR covers 212 acres, rescues over 10,000 wild rehab patients annually, and provides permanent care in large, natural enclosures for over 560 sanctuary residents, ranging from birds to primates to bobcats to farmed animals. Many of these animals are victims of the pet trade, roadside zoos, or research.
In October, Lynn was announced as the recipient of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) 2022 Carole Noon Award, named in honor of the late Dr. Carole Noon, who was a courageous and innovative sanctuary pioneer and founder of Save the Chimps. GFAS is an accreditation program for animal sanctuaries, and AAVS President Sue Leary is Chair of the GFAS Award Committee.
In accepting the award and speaking on the role of sanctuaries, Lynn said “Our moral responsibility to these animals is to give them as much of what we can that has been stripped from their lives because of what our species has done to them.” She added that to give animals the chance to live in a world that as closely as possible resembles their natural habitats, it’s important to “look out for them on their terms, not our terms.”