Animal Welfare

Who cares about animals ?

"The day mankind will know the innermost of an animal a crime against them will be considered a crime against humanity."
(Leonardo da Vinci)

Adote um Vira-lata

What can we do for the animals ?

Look at some examples of attitudes for people who care about the welfare of animals :

- don’t use clothes or coats made of fur (China is the largest producer and exporter of animal fur);
- don’t buy cosmetics tested in animals (refer to their customer services);
- don’t buy wild animals from illegal trafficking;
- don’t keep birds in cages;
- don’t attend circus performances with animals, bullfighting, rodeos (using sharpened spurs, calf roping, etc);
- demand animal protection laws (fully serving local and current animal needs) and their enforcement;
- participate in peaceful public demonstrations in defense of animals or in manifests through the Internet;
- try not to use animal leather and search for other options (synthetic leather has very good quality for handbags, wallets, shoes, belts...);
- teach respect for animals;
- etc.

Every animal – large or small like an insect – has its role in nature and in the ecological balance.

In order to save marine species, besides avoiding pollution (global warming), we need to demand the immediate increase of preservation areas (more marine reserves), a stricter pollution control and an efficient fight against predatory fishing (such as incidental capture). We need to demand the end of drift net fishing in the open ocean bottom.
The Japanese government intends to lift the whale hunting ban. No people should allow it to happen under any circumstances. This is unbearable.
Do not buy fish smaller than the size as permitted by law. Get to know the fishing legislation.
Turtles and other marine species thank you for helping them avoid fishing nets.

Golfinho Peixe-Boi

In order to avoid the overpopulation of cats and dogs in the cities we can :
- prefer a homeless dog or cat instead of purchasing a pure-bred puppy or kitten (refer to your city hall or animal protection entities);
- encourage the society to adopt mixed-breed animals (the nice “mutts” are fashion! );
- visit and get to know the work performed by animal protection entities that strive to save lives. Demand from your city hall the promotion of :
- ongoing education to make the population aware of the responsible ownership of pets (identify the animal with an identification plate attached to the necklace 24 hours a day, keep the animal within your premises, never unattended in the streets, but not tied to chains; vaccinate, visit the veterinary regularly, etc.)
- veterinary assistance and free reproduction control for dogs and cats owned by destitute families (in fixed or mobile units) in partnership with veterinary clinics, universities, animal protection entities and private businesses.
- partnerships and projects aiming at preserving the lives of abandoned animals (the Zoonosis Control Center in Sao Paulo has to euthanize 60 animals a day).
Get to know the Sao Paulo State Animal Protection Law LAW N 11.977, AUGUST 25, 2005.

Support the work by NGOs that sterilize and castrate stray dogs and cats in your city.

A dog is not a toy or object to be left unattended in a corner. Besides basic care, they need companionship, attention, caress, jokes and daily rides for their full development.

Rocky Balboa

Be vigilant and denounce animal mistreating (report it to the police district) : 
Examples : abandonment; trafficking; animal fights – cockfight; draft animal excessive work; denial of veterinary assistance to sick or hurt animals; cruelty; use of animals in religious rituals, etc.
In Brazil, it is considered a crime to keep animals in non-hygienic places or in places that make it difficult for them to breathe, move, rest or have some pure air and light. (LAW N 24.645, JULY 10, 1934)

With the technology now available, it is easy to document mistreatments with the camera of your mobile phone.

The environmental crime law says :
Article 32. To practice abuse, mistreatment, to hurt or mutilate wild, domestic, domesticated, native or exotic animals:
        Penalty - detention, from three months to one year, and fine.
        1 The same applies to those who perform painful or cruel experiences in living animals, even for didactic or scientific purposes, in case there are alternative resources.
        2 The penalty is extended from one-sixth to one-third of it if the act results in the animal’s death.
LAW N 9.605, FEBRUARY 12, 1998.

There are alternative resources to avoid animal experimentation.
Therefore, the practice of vivisection in Brazil is an unconstitutional and illegal act.
The cruelty against animals is also covered by the article 225 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution.

Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights (UNESCO, 1978) :
a) Experiments on animals that cause physical and mental pain are incompatible with animal rights, even if it is for medical, scientific, commercial or any other kind of experiment.
b) A substitute technique must be investigated and developed.

Nowadays, there are resources that are much more modern than the old-fashioned and unnecessary use of animals. Legislators and product manufacturers must be attentive to that matter. An increasing number of consumers seek to avoid animal-tested products.

Animals as Food

Bezerro Porquinhos

Alert - Clandestine slaughtering prevents the sanitary control of meat. According to the Bahia State Attorney General’s Office, the consumption of meat from clandestine slaughter houses is very harmful to health. Hygiene conditions are not observed, equipments are inadequate and transportation is careless. In addition, there are much animal suffering and environmental damages. Those who eat meat must require product certification to avoid health problems. Denounce clandestine slaughter houses. Refer to your health surveillance agency.

In addition, try to avoid eating beef from cattle raisers who destroy native forests for pastures. Help the wild animals.

Some differences between conventional chicken and organic chicken – Chickens freely raised, organic and certified, do not receive growth-promoting antibiotics as it is the case with conventional chickens. They are not confined and their lodging density is much lower. They have more dark hours to sleep, live longer and only eat organic food (without pesticides).

Millions of people all over the world, who have access to diversified food habits, have reduced or simply quit eating beef, pork, chicken and other meat for a number of reasons : compassion, respect for animal life, for the environment, for spiritual reasons, for health concerns, to help reduce hunger in the world, etc.
A large portion of the worldwide production of grains, especially soy beans and corn, in addition to other food, are used to feed billions of animals intended for food. This is not sustainable. The world population grows at a very fast rate and planted areas (monocultures) and pastures increase accordingly destroying forests (habitat of many species), not to mention the poor use of hydro-resources and pollution of soil, water and air (greenhouse effect gases) caused by the production of meat. A meat-based diet uses much more agriculture land than a vegetarian one.

Each person has his/her own food habit but a collective effort to reduce meat consumption becomes necessary for the good of all and of the planet. Everyone can contribute. A good attitude to start with is to avoid eating meat whenever there are other options. The offer of nutrients is generally diversified at restaurants that serve in buffet-style, common in large cities. Other people prefer to contribute by eliminating the consumption of red meat (beef, pork) and they feel lighter.

To learn more on the environmental impact of meat consumption and on vegetarianism, visit the website www.svb.org.br .
Vegetarian Diet – According to the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB), the only nutrient really requiring attention is the level of vitamin B12 in pregnant and lactant women and in children. Vegetarians who do not even eat eggs, milk and dairy products should also complement their diet with vitamin B12 as a preventive measure. The other nutrients can be easily supplied by a well planned vegetarian diet.
The position of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) is such that, when adequately planned, the vegetarian diet is healthy, nutritionally adequate and results in benefits for the health and for the prevention and treatment of a number of diseases.

Laying Hens – Consumers of eggs have the option to buy eggs from freely bred hens (refer to the egg package labels) and not from those that are confined in cages (watch the video "Tecnologia nas Granjas" Jan 14, 2007, Globo Rural website).

Animal welfare is an increasing concern of consumers and ethical companies.

In the future, humans will be more aware and less dependent on animals for food, clothes, entertainment, product tests, etc. Animal liberation is an ongoing process and will advance in our generation.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”. Mahatma Gandhi

Saint Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals.

Learn more on environmental laws at the website of IBAMA.
Visit the website of WSPA – World Society for the Protection of Animals.

www.natureba.com.br On-line Environmental Education for All