Animal Ambassadors

By on May 13, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Animal cruelty knows no national boundaries. Almost all of the industries we confront are global in nature—animal fighting and puppy mills (see yesterday’s blog), trophy hunting and the fur trade, the exotic animal trade and factory farming, just to name a few. As a matter of efficiency and focus, I’d love it if The HSUS could just focus on the problems in this country. But we cannot. We simply would not be able to achieve success. The industries we work to reform or abolish work on hundreds of fronts throughout the world, and we must meet them there as well.

Susan Prolman at UNESP in Brazil
© Marco Ciampi
Susan Prolman at Brazil’s Universidade Estadual Paulista.

We have been working in Europe and Central America for a while, and we are turning our attention more and more to Africa, Asia, and South America. In terms of country focus areas, we are spending increasing amounts of time in India, and we are looking to work more in China. I’ve also asked staff to concentrate on Brazil, a country about the same size as the United States and that has an enormous agriculture industry.

Here’s a report from Susan Prolman, who directs international campaigns for Humane Society International, our global affiliate.

Like people in the United States, Brazilians and others around the world care about the welfare of animals.

Yet in Brazil, like in the United States, millions of animals raised for food suffer from the cruelest intensive confinement systems in factory farming, including battery cages for egg-laying hens and gestation crates for pregnant pigs. In Brazil—one of the world´s largest agricultural producers—most consumers are not aware that farm animals are routinely confined in these inhumane cages.

Cage-free egg farm in Brazil

© HSI
A visit with cage-free egg producer
Luiz Carlos Dematte Filho, center.

Humane Society International is taking action to address this growing problem. We are teaming with ARCA Brasil, a well-respected Brazilian animal welfare organization, to launch "Campanha contra o Confinamento Intensivo."

I was in Brazil last week with ARCA Brasil President Marco Ciampi and our Brazilian farm animal welfare specialist Maria Cristina Yunes. We traveled the country advocating for change. We met with company executives, university professors, government officials, and other opinion leaders. The response was incredibly positive. Many commented that now is an exciting moment for potential change in the way farm animals are raised in Brazil. For example, while I was there, one of the nation’s leading organic certifiers, ECOCERT Brasil, officially announced the nation’s first farm animal welfare certification program.

Just days after returning from the trip, I received an email from one of the people we met, Luiz Carlos Dematte Filho. Luiz Carlos manages a company that produces organic, cage-free eggs and he plans to earn a Ph.D. in farm animal welfare. He is interested in initiating a project on improved animal welfare standards for poultry, and he wrote to ask HSI for resources and advice to help in the project’s design. This is just one example of exciting new developments that are on the horizon in Brazil.

Our campaign is still new, but holds promise to help millions of animals in the years ahead.

Categories
Companion Animals, Farm Animals, Humane Society International, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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