Transforming the systems – tackling the worst abuse
"The terrible suffering caused by the COVID-19 crisis provided a completely unexpected and unparalleled opportunity to put animal welfare on the global agenda. By the end of March our whole organisation was working at an incredible pace on an extraordinary and urgent task – bringing about a global ban to the wildlife trade.
The pandemic, traced to wildlife cruelly captured and sold in Wuhan wet markets, sharply and irrevocably highlighted the inextricable links between human and animal health. The wildlife trade – both legal and illegal – and the systems that support it, exploit more than a trillion wild animals annually. They are horrifically abused and treated as commodities for use in food, ornaments, traditional medicines, entertainment and as pets.
To tackle their suffering, we formed a clear strategic campaign and target – to convince world leaders from the G20 to support a ban on the trade during their November meeting in Saudi Arabia. In a massive effort across all our offices, we mobilised more than 1.1 million supporters and achieved recognition from sympathetic governments. Despite this, and the horrific rising human death toll from the virus, the G20 fell short of supporting a ban on the trade. However, G20 agriculture and water ministers did take a significant step. They asked the One Health Tripartite – the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – to assess wildlife trade and pandemic links...
I am forever mindful that the work we do to move the world for animals would be impossible without the valued commitment and support of those who share our vision to end animal cruelty. My sincerest thanks for everything our supporters do to give animals a voice. I look forward to sharing ways we can work together to achieve even more for animals in 2021."