Global Animal Protection – Andrew Rowan – Oct 2019 – Pres. Ltr.

Global Animal Protection

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT, ANDREW ROWAN, October 2019
September and October are traditionally heavy conference months across the world and that is true in the animal protection space as well. In the past seven weeks, WellBeing International has attended and spoken at five conferences in Addis Ababa, Cape Town, Mombasa, Sydney and Dalian (China). Two of these conferences were regional conferences focusing on animal protection in Africa (the Third African Animal Welfare Conference in Addis Ababa) and Asia (the Eleventh Asia for Animals Conference in Dalian). These successful regional conferences are evidence of the growing global concern about the treatment of animals and about the state of the world in general (e.g. the One Welfare Conference at the University of Sydney this month) and the growth in animal protection concern is the topic of this Letter.
The first formal animal protection organizations were formed in the 19th century and enjoyed some political influence by the end of the century. However, the movement faded as a political force in the first half of the twentieth century but then experienced a renaissance after the Second World War. From 1950 to 2000, public support for animal protection in the USA grew by approximately four-fold. On the international stage, a few animal protection groups were established and grew in reach and influence. By the beginning of the 21st century, international animal protection organizations were spending around $30 million (USD) a year on programs. Today (2019), such expenditures amount to more than $300 million (USD) a year and the movement now commands significant political influence in North America, Europe and several other OECD countries. But it is also growing rapidly in other parts of the world as the chart below shows (even though the actual number of animal NGOs in Asia, Africa and Latin America is still low by American and European standards).
[The chart is based on lists of animal organizations compiled by World Animal Net between 2000 and 2017. The World Animal Net Directory is not exhaustive, but it does provide a means to compare the growth of animal protection globally. Note that public support in the form of donations has increased in the USA from $2 per capita in the 1960s to around $8 per capita by 2000 (inflation adjusted dollars).]
The highest growth rate is in Asia where the number of animal protection groups has increased by over 300% in the last twenty years. The latest Asia for Animals conference in Dalian this month had just under 500 attendees and was the largest of the eleven Asia for Animals conferences so far. In China alone, the number of animal protection groups has exploded from a handful in 2000 to several hundred today and the Dalian conference was the first to be organized by a Chinese animal NGO (VShine Animal Protection Association of Dalian). In India, the animal protection movement has been well established for fifty years (the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was passed in 1960 and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was set up in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act). In fact, the AWBI was the first of its kind to be established by any Government. In 2010, Indian animal NGOs established the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) which has grown rapidly and recorded almost $700,000 (USD) in income for FY2018. The highest growth rate is in Asia where the number of animal protection groups has increased by over 300% in the last twenty years. The latest Asia for Animals conference in Dalian this month had just under 500 attendees and was the largest of the eleven Asia for Animals conferences so far. In China alone, the number of animal protection groups has exploded from a handful in 2000 to several hundred today and the Dalian conference was the first to be organized by a Chinese animal NGO (VShine Animal Protection Association of Dalian). In India, the animal protection movement has been well established for fifty years (the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act was passed in 1960 and the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) was set up in 1962 under Section 4 of the Act). In fact, the AWBI was the first of its kind to be established by any Government. In 2010, Indian animal NGOs established the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations (FIAPO) which has grown rapidly and recorded almost $700,000 (USD) in income for FY2018.
In Africa, organized animal protection has, until recently been limited to Egypt, Morocco and the Southern and East African countries but there are new organizations springing up in other countries and the African Union and the United Nations Environment program have both launched animal welfare initiatives in the past few years. The same is happening in Latin America although currently there is no regional meeting of animal NGOs on the continent. To some extent, annual meetings in the USA (e.g. Animal Care Expo) have provided a venue where Latin American organizations can meet and exchange information. There have also been regional meetings for Caribbean and Middle Eastern countries and the Dogs Trust has been organizing an annual meeting for Eastern European countries for over a decade.
In summary, there may be as many as 50,000 animal NGOs (local, national and international) spread across the globe in 2019 with a global annual expenditure footprint in the range of $6-8 billion (USD).