The world is becoming more aware of the vulnerability of animals, mostly because of the excesses of humankind that lead to habitat degradation, pollution, overfishing, and of course, climate change. These are the animals that could go extinct due to climate change.
Some nations are more proactive in addressing these concerns about animals than others. 24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of 17 countries that are doing the most to protect animals — domesticated, wild, and endangered. We compiled our list based on data supplied by the Animal Protection Index, which classified 50 countries based on their commitments to protect animals and improve their welfare in policy and legislation. The United States received a grade of D from the API and is not among the 17 nations on the list. We also reviewed data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature to find at-risk animals in a particular nation.
To recognize the plight of animals, 28 European nations have created Natura 2000, a web of breeding and resting areas for endangered and rare species. The intention is to ensure long-term survival of Europe’s most at-risk species. Individual European nations are taking specific legislative actions to protect animals found in their countries.
Outside of Europe, Brazil, which is home to some of the world’s largest rainforests, has passed laws protecting animals used in farming and scientific research. Asian nations such as the Philippines and Malaysia have taken initiatives to shield animals within their borders. Even so, animals such as the Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia are in danger of going extinct because of habitat degradation and poaching. These are animals humans are driving to extinction.
This first publication of the Animal Protection Index (API) provides ratings of 50 countries in how they treat animals. The API selected these nations using statistics published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in its Statistical Yearbook for World and Agriculture 2012 from the countries that are the largest producers of beef, poultry, pork, sheep and goat, milk, and eggs. Each country’s assessment was broken down into 15 unique indicators grouped into five themes: Recognizing animal protection; governance structures and systems; animal welfare standards; providing humane education; and promoting communication and awareness.