World Society for the Protection of Animals

World Society for the Protection of Animals

April 12, 2007 09:00 ET

Better treatment of animals could help combat climate change

A key to fighting pandemics, water shortages and other 21st century challenges as well

Attention: Agriculture Editor, Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 12, 2007) - The threat posed by climate change has people focused on how they heat their homes, drive their cars and use fossil fuels. How about another look at the food on their tables?

Dr. Michael Appleby, animal welfare policy advisor for the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), says better treatment of farm animals could help combat some of the most challenging problems of the 21st century, including the impacts of climate change, natural disasters, bird flu pandemics, water shortages, food poisoning and world hunger.

The link between animal welfare and issues like climate change may not be as well known as the impacts of fossil fuels, but they are remarkably simple to illustrate.

The livestock sector alone, for example, is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, and this will only get worse as global meat and milk production is projected to double by 2050. Put another way, some experts say we can do more to combat climate change by not eating as much meat as by driving electric cars. And there is a clear link between the risk of spreading a pandemic "bird flu" and extreme factory farming practices, like packing hens together in tiny battery cages.

Dr. Appleby will be the keynote speaker at an international conference starting April 29 that will address some of these issues. Dr. Appleby - who is based in London -- will be available for interviews in Toronto on April 27 and April 28 prior to the conference.

By modifying our farming practices and incorporating animal welfare, we could make a big change for the planet, ourselves and our fellow creatures, says Appleby. "We need to take a biological approach to people, animals and the environment, not a technological one," he says.


Peter Boisseau
Media Manager, Canada
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
90 Eglinton Ave. East, Suite 960
Toronto, ON
Tel: 416-369-0044 Ext. 106
Fax: 647-268-8122

Animal Welfare during Pandemics and Natural Disasters April 29 - May 1, 2007 University of Guelph, ON.
Opening session: 3:00 pm, Sunday April 29, 2007, Rozanski Hall (this session is open to the public) Michael Appleby, PhD, World Society for the Protection of Animals "Why should we care about animals during times of crisis?" /For further information: http:/// IN: AGRICULTURE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Peter Boisseau, Media Manager, World Society for the Protection of Animals
    Primary Phone: 416-369-0044 ext. 106
    Secondary Phone: 647-268-8122
    Toll-Free: 800-363-9772