Moving the World to Protect Animals: Eliminating Spin, Establishing Substance
The veterinary profession plays a critical role in improving animal welfare, though often implicit and restricted to healthcare. The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) is an international animal welfare organisation whose core strategy is to engage leading global influencers of animal welfare policy and practice; veterinary professionals are key.
WSPA's approach to improving animal welfare includes supporting veterinary professionals to be pragmatic, animal advocates in society as well as clinical practitioners. It aims to inform, inspire and involve the small animal practitioner in global animal welfare issues, ranging from cases seen in everyday practice through to policy decisions that consider animal welfare as a priority alongside other global concerns.
WSPA has four programme areas: disaster management, humane dog population management and rabies control, wildlife and humane sustainable agriculture. The relevance to veterinary practitioners of these programmes, a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW), advocacy at international policy level, an Animal Protection Index and support offered from online platforms such as Animal Mosaic and educational resources in welfare and ethics, is explained.
Further engagement in animal welfare has the potential to improve the public profile of the veterinary profession, add value to the service they provide, and increase job satisfaction as well as benefit animals.
WSPA can be a global strategic partner in animal welfare to the veterinary profession, supporting it to build on its unique position, multidisciplinary skill set and compassion so that it is at the forefront of animal welfare.