These are exciting times for the animal protection movement, and especially for those of us who work at the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates, including Humane Society International and the Humane Society Legislative Fund. The year 2019 has come in with a roar. Already, we’ve secured an important win for farm animals and we’re working to pass important animal protection laws both in the 116th Congress and in state legislatures. In addition, we’re standing strong against a slew of anti-animal measures emerging at both the federal and state level, including attempts to water down the Endangered Species Act and to place America’s native carnivores at serious risk.
But it’s not just in the United States that we are fighting the big fights for all animals. HSI now has a presence in more than 50 countries and a worldwide agenda that includes the elimination of intensive confinement practices in agriculture, the abolition of the dog meat trade in Asia, the protection of street dogs in multiple nations, an end to the trophy hunting of animals abroad, the phasing out of cosmetics testing, and the spread of laws to stop animal cruelty and support animal protection in every nation, among other issues. It’s pretty clear that animal suffering knows no borders, that animals around the world are under threat, and that we and our affiliates — through our host of programs — are uniquely positioned to help them.
We now live in a global community. Increasingly, what happens in one part of the world is connected to things happening elsewhere, and that’s no less true when it comes to the protection of animals and their interests. Animal welfare issues in all of their complexity routinely cross national and continental borders, affected by global trade and the transportation of animals across vast distances, international conservation agreements, and by international financial institutions funding far-flung projects that affect animals and their habitat, among other factors.
In countless cases, we see an international intertwining of animal issues. Whether it is the American government deciding on allowing imports of trophy-hunted animals from Africa or Canada; Australians buying cosmetics made in China or Europe; India deciding to ban the import of seal skins thus striking a blow to the Canadian seal trade; a fight over the export of American horses for slaughter to Mexico and Canada; the challenge of bringing animals and their needs into focus within the global response to climate change; the difficulties of navigating international trade agreements that jeopardize good animal welfare laws; or American dog fighters moving their enterprise to countries in Latin America or Africa, it’s not enough in the 21st century to protect animals within just the borders of a single nation. That is why the HSUS and its affiliates work globally to protect all animals. And that is why we’ve renamed this blog “A Humane World.”
For a long time, we’ve focused this space on bringing you news about our work to help animals here in the United States and elsewhere. And that’s what you’ll continue to see. The only difference is that we’ll do so with an even greater consciousness of the global nature of our struggle to help all animals, and to carry on the fight for them.
You, our readers, are extremely important to us: you write in to tell us how you feel about our issues, you sign our actions and petitions, you support us with your generous donations, and you inspire us with your dedication and passion. We want to hear from you, learn from you, and understand which animal topics are most important to you. Please leave us a comment below and share your thoughts, so that we can continue to do the work and bring you the news that most matters to you.