By Sharon Atieno

With two overarching goals of ensuring that farmed animals live good lives by transforming the global food system and stopping wild animals from being cruelly exploited by changing the systems, the World Animal Protection (WAP) has launched a new 10-year strategic plan to end animal cruelty.

The 2021-2030 strategy dubbed ‘New World for Animals’ seeks to transform the global food system through several strategies including proving that factory farming has no future. This will be achieved by exposing the hidden costs of factory farming and shining a light on the collusion and corruption that allow it to thrive as well as demonstrating the harm caused by factory farming.

Another tactic includes creating a food revolution through accelerating the shift to a humane and sustainable food system that prioritizes plant-based proteins and high welfare farming. WAP will also work with the industry, its regulators, and communities to make this change.

Further, the organization will expose the hidden financial systems that prop up factory farming and seek to redirect this money to humane and sustainable food production.

With regards to wildlife, the strategy seeks to disrupt the systems that fuel their exploitation through three main approaches. This includes exposing the harm inflicted on wildlife through hard-hitting campaigns and high-profile rescues which will turn consumers from cruel industries that exploit wild animals and shine a light on the urgent need for lasting change.

Besides, the organization will work with partners to research and promote the development of alternative wildlife-friendly products and experiences. It will also encourage the private sector to invest in these solutions – from plant-based ingredients for traditional Asian medicine to responsible, humane wildlife experience while engaging with local communities and supporting organizations and industry to find a clear route out of wildlife exploitation, turning the problem into the solution.

The third approach involves creating a New Deal for wild animals by influencing governments and mobilizing grassroots support. Through this, WAP will fight to enact a global package of wildlife laws, policies, and practices that will permanently protect wildlife and their habitats.

Speaking at the launch, Tennyson Williams, WAP Director for Africa called upon governments to enact policies and practices to safeguard animal welfare and ensure that animals live a cruelty-free life.

“At least 1.6 trillion wild animals suffer and are killed through people’s action annually while more than 70 billion land-based farm animals raised inhumanely are consumed annually.  With increasing pressure on land and animal habitats, humans will have to opt for alternative sources of proteins and also demand high welfare meat that ensures that animals are raised humanely and sustainably,” he said.

“System change is about addressing the root causes of problems – why things happen. Our strategy commits us to raise animal protection to a priority issue of global importance and to change attitudes and mindsets so that animals are no longer seen as commodities for people to exploit.”

Dr. Nick Nwankpa, Acting Director for African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU_IBAR), while making his keynote address said, “Right now, we’re embracing an unprecedented opportunity to advocate for animals within a joined-up response to urgent global crises. Animal welfare must be placed at the heart of sustainable solutions on a grand scale, to build a better world for all.”