A New Animal Welfare Index Turns Prior Rankings On Their Head
Kenya and Tanzania emerge as global leaders in animal welfare
SYDNEY, Dec. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Voiceless Animal Cruelty Index (VACI), a global interactive education resource, tracks the animal welfare performance of fifty countries — selected among the largest producers of farm animal products in the world (vaci.voiceless.org.au). These countries account for almost 80% of the world’s farm animal production.
The new index complements the World Animal Protection Index (API) published in 2014. While the API ranked the quality of animal welfare legislation across countries, the VACI focuses specifically on the welfare of farm animals. This yields entirely new country rankings: thus, Kenya, India, Tanzania, and the Philippines displace Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom at the top of the animal welfare league table.
Approximately 70 billion farm animals are slaughtered each year for human consumption globally. This equates to 2,200 animals per second. The number of animals slaughtered worldwide is increasing at a rapid pace. As meat and dairy consumption rises, so does factory farming, which is rife with animal cruelty: most farm animals are permanently confined in cages or packed together in such large numbers that they struggle to find space to move or reach their food. Baby animals are mutilated without pain relief – the sensitive tails, teeth and genitalia of piglets and the beaks of chicks are clipped, as well as the horns, tails, and testicles of calves – because it is practical, cheap and, alarmingly, often lawful to do so.
For Ondine Sherman, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Voiceless: “The VACI is an important tool in raising awareness of the global suffering of farmed animals. It is a powerful educational resource that we believe can assist educators and advocates around the world make positive change for animals.”
For Jeffrey M. Masson, American author and animal rights advocate: “The animal rights movement has long lacked a reliable index that tells us how countries stack up when it comes to cruelty towards farm animals: what country kills the most animals; is eating the most meat; has the best laws; displays the greatest awareness? And at the same time, what changes can we monitor? What great fortune that Voiceless has decided to do something about this!”