A Donkey Sanctuary team were in Paris this week joining delegates from 180 countries attending the 85th General Session of the OIE World Assembly of Delegates.
So what has this got to do with donkey welfare?
The OIE (or World Organisation for Animal Health) is one of the most important international groups that we engage with because it’s responsible for setting internationally recognised animal health and welfare standards. What’s considered poor animal welfare in one country might be seen as acceptable in another, so having a set of guidelines that governments and authorities accept and follow is crucial. So decisions being made this week in Paris might end up improving the lives and welfare of donkeys from Peru to Pakistan.
These conferences are an opportunity for us to meet delegates and to provide reasons why we think some of their measures need to be strengthened or created to improve animal welfare. And delegates want to seek us out and ask our advice as recognised experts in our field.
Our team works tirelessly, arranging meetings, tracking down key delegates and seeking support for our key issues. And that hard work has paid off this week with the OIE’s adoption of the first global strategy on animal welfare – this aims for “A world where the welfare of animals is respected, promoted and advanced”.
Delegates have been eagerly discussing with us how we can help get the new guidelines implemented and benefitting working animals. This is something that we’ll be working on with World Horse Welfare, Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad and The Brooke and we’ll be letting you know just how we’re going to do that over the coming months.