Humane Society International / Italy


Aumsama, iStock.com

ROME—The Italian coalition, End the Cage Age, published today a ranking of European countries, which shows the percentage of farm animals still kept in cages. Of the over 300 million animals who each year are caged in the EU, over 45 million are in Italy. The coalition is calling on citizens to engage with the relevant Ministers of Health and Agricultural Policies, asking them to work on the transition to cage-free systems both in Italy and in the rest of the European Union.

Download pictures and report
Ranking
Download maps

In the European Union, most hens, sows, rabbits, quails, ducks and geese are raised in cages that critically limit their ability to move, forcing them to live a miserable life full of suffering, far from meeting minimum animal welfare objectives. Sensitivity for this issue is increasingly reflected amongst European citizens. Last year, following the campaign efforts associated with the End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative, more than 1 million people signed a petition to end the use of cages in the EU. In Italy, over 90,000 signatures were collected and authenticated by the Ministry of the Interior.

Today the Italian End the Cage Age coalition, composed of Animal Equality, Animalisti Italiani, CIWF, ENPA, Humane Society International, LAV, Legambiente, Lega Nazionale del Cane, and OIPA, published a ranking of countries based on the percentage of animals raised in cages. In Italy almost all sows, rabbits and quails, as well as 62% of all laying hens are still kept in cages and it’s necessary to act as soon as possible to change this situation. Minister of Agriculture Teresa Bellanova and Minister of Health Roberto Speranza are responsible for implementing a transition to cage-free systems.

The End the Cage coalition asks citizens, starting today and in the coming days, to send tweets – using constructive language – addressed to the two ministers, asking them to commit publicly and concretely to phase out cages in our country. While Minister Speranza has already declared his willingness to start the dialogue on the transition to cageless systems for sows, so far there has been no reaction from Minister Bellanova.

The coalition declared: “Phasing out cages on farms is urgent because it responds to the pressing ethical request of millions of European citizens, and it is consistent with the growing attention in Europe for animal welfare and sustainability, as outlined in the Green Deal.

“Stopping the suffering of millions of animals is the ethical duty of every civil and democratic country. We hope that our Ministers will initiate public debate for a transition towards alternative systems as soon as possible, to ensure that our country does not fall behind in defending animals, and becomes a leader in the EU.”

The European Citizens’ Initiative is an official and unique tool provided by the European Union to influence political decision-makers. It involves the collection of at least 1 million signatures. Each signature is verified through a specific process by the Member States.

The End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative has collected over 1.5 million signatures that are still being validated in all Member States. In Italy validation has already been completed, confirming the validity of over 90,000 signatures. When this process is completed in all Member States, the signatures will be delivered to the Commission, which will be able to pronounce positively or negatively on the request, possibly starting a legislative process to phase out cages.

The End the Cage Age Initiative was the result of the coordination of over 170 animal, environmental and consumer protection organizations across Europe, including 20 in Italy.

END

Humane Society International welcomes vote signalling an end to the Netherlands’ horrific fur farm industry

Humane Society International / Europe


Jillian Cooper/iStock.com 

AMSTERDAM—Dutch MPs voted overwhelmingly today in favour of shutting down the estimated 128 remaining mink fur farms in the Netherlands, following outbreaks of COVID-19 on 17 fur farms since 26 April. Two farm workers are also believed to have contracted the virus from mink, after which hundreds of thousands of mink have been killed to prevent further spread. Humane Society International/Europe says it is good riddance to an industry predicated on the out-dated idea that exploiting, depriving and killing animals for frivolous fur fashion is acceptable.

Politicians voted in favour of the early closure of farms with compensation to be paid to fur farmers to end the practice earlier than the phase out due date of 31st December 2023, despite many fur farms being worth tens of millions of euros. Mink fur farming was banned in the Netherlands in 2013, and produced around 4.5 million mink pelts in 2018.

Speaking from Amsterdam, Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for animal protection group Humane Society International/Europe, said: “The intensive breeding and caging of animals on fur farms is an incredibly cruel practice that not only causes immense suffering to animals, but can also serve as a reservoir for coronaviruses. The Dutch Parliament has today said good riddance to an industry predicated on the out-dated idea that exploiting, depriving and killing animals for frivolous fur fashion is acceptable. While we are disappointed by the suggestion that taxpayers’ hard-earned money should be used as compensation to fur farmers who have kept this cruel industry alive in the face of massive public and political opposition, this vote calls on the government to act swiftly to end this inhumane practice before the existing 2024 deadline. That is worth a celebration. The Dutch government now has to take action to honour the Parliament’s wishes.” 

With clear parliamentary support for swift action, the Dutch Government will now be under pressure to ensure a ban on mink production given that this species is known to be susceptible to the coronavirus and could act as a reservoir for the disease. The Parliament also voted to maintain the ban on transporting mink and to prevent fur farms where the mink have already been culled from restocking with mink.

FAST FACTS:

  • SARS-CoV-2 was first identified on two mink farms in Netherlands on 26 April 2020.
  • On 3 June 2020, Dutch Ministers published a final report confirming animals on the infected farms will be culled, a measure taken “in the interests of both public and animal health”.
  • An estimated 60 million mink are farmed for their fur around the world, with the top three production countries China (20.6 million mink), Denmark (17.6 million mink) and Poland (5 million mink) in 2018.
  • Fur farming has been banned across the UK since 2003, and has been prohibited and/or is in the process of being phased-out in the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Croatia, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and most recently the government in Ireland has committed to ending fur farming.  Bulgaria, Lithuania, Montenegro and Ukraine are also presently considering bans on fur farming. A proposal to ban fur farming in Estonia was also tabled this week. In the United States, California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019 following similar bans in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood. In 2020, legislators in Hawaii and Rhode Island introduced fur sales ban proposals, as have cities in Minnesota and Massachusetts.
  • Fur farming, however, continues in other countries with China, Denmark, Finland and Poland being the biggest producers, and globally an estimated 100 million animals are killed annually for their fur, including mink, foxes and raccoon dogs.

Download video of mink farms in the Netherlands (courtesy of Dutch organisations Bont voor Dieren and Animal Rights)

ENDS

Media contact: To request an interview with HSI spokespeople (Dutch and English speakers), please contact Leozette Roode, HSI/UK: lroode@hsi.org

Notes
Latest available figures show approximately 35 million mink were farmed in 2018 in Europe, including Denmark (17.6m), Poland (5m), Netherlands (4.5m), Finland (1.85m), Greece (1.2m) and Lithuania (1.2m).  Figures for the same period show that mink were farmed for their fur in China (20.7m), the United States (3.1m) and Canada (1.7m), bringing the total to approximately 60 million mink globally on fur farms.

Humane Society International / Viet Nam


Tikki Hywood Trust

BRUSSELS/HANOI—Today’s ratification of the free trade agreement with the European Union by the Vietnamese National Assembly heralds a new era of intergovernmental cooperation on animal welfare and wildlife protection between the two. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union approved the agreement earlier this year. Humane Society International believes that, if supported with resources, the agreement has significant potential to protect wildlife and increase cooperation on animal welfare.

Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for HSI/Europe, said:

“Humane Society International believes that both Parties should seize the opportunity presented by this historic trade deal to increase their cooperation on animal protection. Although there were very limited animal welfare provisions, it does offer a chance for the EU to provide technical assistance and capacity building to advance farm animal welfare in Vietnam. The 2019 mass culling of pigs to eradicate African swine fever there illustrates just how badly such veterinary assistance is needed. The culling process was extremely inhumane due to lack of the right equipment and skills needed for electrical stunning and killing. Through increased cooperation with the EU, a long-term programme of training, capacity building and assistance could be instituted to teach humane animal-handling techniques and proper equipment use to safeguard the welfare and dignity of animals at the time of killing.”

Phuong Tham, director of HSI/Vietnam, added:

“In addition to sharing much needed knowledge and technical assistance on farm animal welfare, the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement includes provisions that can help support our government’s efforts to curb the trade in wildlife products. Sadly, Vietnam continues to serve as a source, consumer and transit country for the illegal wildlife trade. HSI/Vietnam hopes that, through the proper implementation of this trade deal and development cooperation, we can successfully reduce the demand for wildlife products and increase our government’s enforcement capacity with the training and tools needed to tackle the scourge of wildlife trafficking. The illegal wildlife trade not only poses a threat to biological diversity and natural habitats, but, as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, it can also pose a serious threat to public health. It was technically already illegal to sell and consume wild-caught species in Vietnam, but the existing rules were poorly enforced and wet markets selling wildlife have proliferated.”

Once the trade agreement enters into force, both HSI/Europe and HSI/Vietnam intend to apply to join the respective Domestic Advisory Groups that will be established to allow civil society representatives to monitor the implementation of this free trade agreement.

Facts

  • The EU and Vietnam signed a trade agreement and an investment protection agreement on 30th June 2019. The Council of the European Union approved the agreement on 30th March 2020 after the European Parliament gave its consent on 12th February 2020.
  • The Cooperation and Capacity Building Chapter of EU-Vietnam FTA states that the “Parties agree to cooperate on animal welfare as necessary, including technical assistance and capacity building for the development of animal welfare standards.”
  • As of mid-December 2019, 6 million pigs in Vietnam have been culled in an attempt to eradicate African swine fever. The inhumane culling process highlighted the need for better training and equipment.
  • The Trade and Sustainable Development Chapter of the EU-Vietnam trade agreement includes commitments to the proper implementation and enforcement of multilateral environmental agreements, as well as provisions aiming to protect biodiversity and reduce illegal wildlife trade through information exchange on strategies, policy initiatives, programmes, action plans and consumer awareness campaigns. It also includes a commitment to enhance cooperation to increase species protection through the proposal of new CITES listings. Notably, in 2019, the EU and Vietnam jointly submitted proposals and succeeded in listing various reptile and amphibian species on CITES Appendix II.
  • Rhino horn is valued in countries like China and Vietnam for purported medicinal benefits, although there is no scientific evidence to back these claims. Horn can be sold for high prices on the black market, but there are indications that the price has fallen recently in Vietnam, thanks in part to a campaign to reduce rhino horn demand launched in 2013 by HSI and the Vietnamese government. The multi-faceted campaign has reached an estimated 37 million people—approximately one-third of the national population.
  • In 2016, HSI organized the first-ever Pangolin Range States Meeting, co-hosted by the governments of Vietnam and the United States, and attended by over 30 pangolin range states in Vietnam.
  • With HSI’s support, Vietnam held an event in November 2016 at which, for the first time in the country’s history, over two tons of elephant ivory, 70 kg of rhino horn, and other seized wildlife specimens were destroyed to send a message to the international community that the living animals are valued, rather than the products derived from them.
  • HSI partnered with the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Education and Training to implement a ground-breaking project under which millions of schoolchildren in Vietnam received educational lessons on threatened wildlife as part of an effort to tackle illegal trade in rhinos, elephants, pangolins, tigers and more.

END

Media contact:  Phuong Tham, phuongth@hsi.org

Humane Society International urges governments to close mink farms in all countries

Humane Society International / Europe


Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

LONDON—The Dutch government has ordered the culling of thousands of mink on nine fur farms from Friday this week, following advice from a team of veterinary and infectious disease experts that mink fur farms could act as a reservoir for SARS-COV-2, allowing it to remain in circulation for a long time.

Dutch MPs were notified of the cabinet decision in a letter sent last night by the Dutch Agriculture Minister and the Minister for Public Health, Welfare & Sport. The investigation by the Dutch Zoonoses Outbreak Management Team follows the Dutch Agriculture Minister’s statement on 25th May that it was ‘extremely likely’ that two fur farm workers in the Netherlands had contracted COVID-19 from mink infected with SARS-CoV-2.

In response to the Dutch government’s findings, animal protection group Humane Society International is calling for the global closure of mink fur farms as potential breeding ground for COVID-19 and other novel infectious zoonotic diseases. An estimated 60 million mink are farmed for their fur in 24 countries around the world, with the top three production countries China (20.6million mink), Denmark (17.6million mink) and Poland (5 million mink) in 2018.

Speaking from Amsterdam, Dr Joanna Swabe, Senior Director of Public Affairs for animal protection group Humane Society International/Europe, said: “The intensive cage confinement of animals on fur farms has always been a potential breeding ground for infectious diseases, and confirmation that mink on Dutch fur farms have infected workers with COVID-19 exposes yet another reason to close this cruel and entirely unnecessary industry. Fur farms typically contain thousands of mink in rows of cages in unsanitary, crowded and stressful conditions not unlike the wildlife markets at the centre of global concern. In addition to fur factory farming being inherently cruel, the potential for zoonotic disease spread, and for mink fur farms in particular to act as reservoirs for coronaviruses, incubating pathogens transmissible to humans, is an unavoidably compelling reason for the world to call time on fur farming and for all fashion companies to go fur-free. The Netherlands’ deadline of 2024 for phasing out mink fur farms simply provides three and a half more years of unnecessary risk. The Dutch government, and all fur-producing countries like Denmark, Poland, France, Italy, China, Finland, Spain and the United States, should commit to end this inhumane practice and protect public health.”

The Ministers’ letter to the Dutch Parliament notes that more infections are expected to be detected in the coming weeks, and that as human-human infection rates decline, mink-human infection could increase the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in humans. All fur farms in the Netherlands are now undergoing mandatory screening, and measures have been put in place including a restriction on both farm visitors and the transportation of mink. Cordons were put in place around the infected farms, and residents advised not to go within 400 meters of the farms. Initial tests confirmed that virus particles had been found in the dust of some of the mink sheds.

Non-infected farms will be required to continue to follow current measures and to submit carcasses of “naturally” deceased animals each week. Mandatory testing of all Dutch mink farms is in progress and the results are due from those tests next week.

Mink fur farming was banned in the Netherlands in 2013 with a deadline for complete phase out by 2024. The Netherlands farmed around 4.5million mink in 2018. HSI is supporting calls by Dutch animal organisations for the closure of the approximately 128 fur farms that remain to be fast tracked in light of the COVID-19 risk. The Ministers’ letter states that the Dutch cabinet is considering whether and how to support fur farms to voluntarily terminate their businesses before the 2024 deadline.

Claire Bass, Humane Society International’s UK Director, responded to the news by urging the United Kingdom to show world leadership with a UK fur sales ban: “Banning the cruelty of fur farming in the UK nearly two decades ago, was morally the right thing to do for animals. It’s clear from the situation in the Netherlands that mink fur farms can act as reservoirs for pathogens that put human health at risk. By continuing to allow imports of tens of millions of pounds of fur each year, the UK is effectively underwriting trade in wildlife that could act as a petri-dish for the creation and spread of future viral pathogens. We cannot lay pandemic blame at the door of those countries that commercially farm and trade in wild animals in appalling conditions while simultaneously providing markets for their products. We urge the UK governments to ban the sale of animal fur, sending a clear global message that it is not acceptable to put public health at risk for the sake of the frivolous fur fashion industry.”

Mink fur farms and COVID-19 timeline

The other main species reared on fur farms – foxes and raccoon dogs – are known to be able to become infected with SARS-CoV-related viruses, with the potential to act as intermediate hosts to pass viruses to humans. Raccoon dogs and foxes in wildlife markets in China were both found to have been infected with SARS-CoV.

Fur farming has been banned across the UK since 2003, and has been prohibited and/or is in the process of being phased-out in the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Croatia, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and most recently the government in Ireland has committed to ending fur farming.  Bulgaria, Lithuania, Montenegro and Ukraine are also presently considering bans on fur farming. In the United States, California became the first US state to ban fur sales in 2019 following similar bans in cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood. In 2020, legislators in Hawaii and Rhode Island introduced fur sales ban proposals, as have cities in Minnesota and Massachusetts.

Fur farming, however, continues in other countries with China, Denmark, Finland and Poland being the biggest producers, and globally an estimated 100 million animals are killed annually for their fur.

Take action: Sign HSI’s petition for a UK fur sales ban at hsi.org/furfreebritain

Download video of mink farms in the Netherlands (courtesy of Dutch organisations Bont voor Dieren and Animal Rights)

ENDS

Media contact:

To request an interview with HSI spokespeople (Dutch and English speakers), please contact Wendy Higgins, HSI/UK, whiggins@hsi.org

Notes:
Latest available figures show approximately 35 million mink were farmed in 2018 in Europe, including Denmark (17.6m), Poland (5m), Netherlands (4.5m), Finland (1.85m), Greece (1.2m) and Lithuania (1.2m).  Figures for the same period show that mink were farmed for their fur in China (20.7m), the United States (3.1m) and Canada (1.7m), bringing the total to approximately 60million mink globally on fur farms.

Humane Society International urges farmers to farm for the future of meat-reduced diets

Humane Society International / Europe


Chat Photography/HSI Vegan macaroni and cheese

BRUSSELS—The European Commission will promote a shift to planet-friendly plant-based diets, according to its long-awaited Farm to Fork Strategy published today. As well as tackling climate impacts of food, reducing obesity rates and cancer prevention are cited as key health reasons why meat reduction and a shift to a more plant-based diet is necessary.  However, the Commission backed down from making a commitment – seen in an earlier leaked version of the strategy – to cease spending millions of Euros each year on promoting meat production and consumption. Instead, the strategy focuses on how the EU can “use its promotion programme to support the most sustainable, carbon-efficient methods of livestock production”.

The shift in emphasis is part of the Commission’s strategy for a sustainable food system. The push for plant-based foods has been welcomed by animal welfare campaigners at Humane Society International who urge Europe’s farmers to get behind the strategy by farming for the future of meat-reduced diets.

Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs for Humane Society International/Europe, says:

“Animal farming makes up roughly 70% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, and climate scientists have long agreed that big reductions in meat and dairy are vital if we are to have any hope of reaching our climate change targets. So within that context, it is deeply disappointing that the EU has chickened out of ending the practice of pouring millions of euros into promoting inefficient and unsustainable meat production and meat consumption. Climate-conscious citizens across Europe are increasingly shifting their diets to include more planet-friendly and animal friendly plant-based foods and so we welcome the fact that EU research funds will now be dedicated to expanding the availability of plant-based proteins and meat substitutes.

It is, however, lamentable that the Commission has partly kowtowed to a factory farming industry that is wholly based on a high-volume, low-price production model routinely propped up by government subsidies. The Farm to Fork Strategy published today should have put this low-animal welfare model on notice, but it has fallen short. If we want to save the planet, we need to stop producing so much meat and dairy, and support a transition to more sustainable forms of agriculture. Farming for a meat-reduced future is something that all farmers should get behind because they are a vital part of the solution. Far from taking away their livelihoods, the plant-based revolution offers a wealth of new and more sustainable possibilities. We should be supporting farmers to transition to new crops and production models, to grow the peas, pulses and vegetables at the heart of rocketing demand for plant-centric diets.”

HSI/Europe welcomes the Commission’s commitment to revising animal welfare legislation and to align it with the latest scientific evidence. This should not just be restricted to animal transport and slaughter. Much of the present animal welfare law is outdated and poorly enforced by most Member States. It is vital that revised legislation is implemented and easily enforced and the European Union achieves a higher level of animal welfare. For example, it is high time to end the confinement animals on farms. For example, the Laying Hens Directive 1999/74/EC should be revised to phase-out and eliminate the use of enriched cages to confine hens, once and for all. Finally, it is welcome that the Commission will also be considering options for animal welfare labelling as part of the strategy. It is a good idea to use labelling to link production methods to consumer demand.

As ever, the devil will be in the details. The Farm to Fork Strategy does not include any concrete plans to reduce the numbers of animals kept on farm in the EU, nor does it put an end to the CAP subsidies that sustain intensive animal agriculture.

Notes 

  • “The Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system” is an important component of the European Green Deal, which seeks to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050, improve people’s well-being and to protect the natural habitat, while ensuring a just and inclusive transition;
  • The key goals of the strategy are to ensure Europeans get affordable and sustainable food, tackle climate change, protect the environment, preserve biodiversity and increase organic farming;
  • The strategy encompasses a range of actions relating to ensuring sustainable food production and food security, stimulating sustainable practices in food businesses, reducing food loss and waste, combating food fraud and promoting the global transition;
  • A number of issues raised in the strategy are specifically relevant to the protection of animals. A commitment is made to revise existing animal welfare legislation. There was virtually no progress made on advancing animal welfare standards during the previous Commission’s mandate and revision is greatly needed to reflect recent developments in animal welfare science. Only the legislation on animal transport and slaughter were explicitly mentioned, but this does not exclude additional legislation from being updated; animal welfare labelling is also proposed;
  • Action on antimicrobial resistance, which is also linked to animal welfare, is also included in the strategy. A commitment to the reduction in sales of antimicrobials for animals on farms and in aquaculture is proposed;
  • The strategy recognises that the current food consumption patterns in the EU are unsustainable from both a health and environmental perspective. Reducing obesity rates and cancer prevention are cited as the key health reasons why meat reduction and a shift to a more plant-based diet is necessary;
  • The strategy seeks to reduce the environmental and climate impact of animal production through supporting innovative solutions and requiring sustainable animal production practices, rather than explicitly calling for a reduction in the number of animals on farms.
  • To enable the transition to more plant-based diets, the strategy also commits to dedicating EU funds to research into increasing the availability and sourcing of alternative plant proteins and meat substitutes.

ENDS

Media contact: To request further information or interview Dr Swabe, email Wendy Higgins whiggins@hsi.org

Humane Society International


Humane Society International


Humane Society International / Global


HSI HSI/India responds to the COVID-19 pandemic in Lucknow, India.

WASHINGTON— Family-owned Mars, Incorporated has donated $1 million to animal welfare organization Humane Society International for its global companion animal programs. The donation is a part of Mars’ initial $20 million cash and in-kind donations to aid communities across the globe during the COVID-19 crisis. HSI will use the funds in targeted countries to help keep companion animals in their homes, to assist shelters taking in abandoned or surrendered animals, and to provide for street dogs and cats who are not able to be fed by their communities during this time.

“We are incredibly grateful to Mars for this generous donation, which recognizes that our companion animals are a vital part of our families,” said HSI President Jeffrey Flocken. “They are a source of comfort and unwavering affection, particularly in difficult times. As the world struggles with this pandemic, these critically needed funds will directly help dogs and cats who are suffering as a result of the coronavirus crisis, be it starving dogs on the streets in India, Chile and elsewhere, or shelters in need of vital supplies in South Africa and beyond.”

“It’s vital that businesses like ours do our part to ensure the continued health and well-being of the people, pets and communities most affected by COVID-19, which is why Mars Incorporated has committed $20 million in relief to vulnerable populations across the world,” said Poul Weihrauch, President, Mars Global Petcare. For those of us fortunate enough to have animals in our lives, the companionship, love and comfort they bring has probably never felt more important. That’s why we are pleased to provide $1 million in support to HSI, an organization dedicated to providing critical support to the millions of vulnerable pets across the world.”

HSI is strategically deploying the grant to provide the greatest impact for animals at risk or suffering as a result of this global crisis. Recognizing that each country is experiencing the effects of the pandemic on a different timeline and faces different animal welfare needs, the relief effort will be conducted in phases. Phase 1 will focus on the most urgent needs in eight geographic areas:  Chile, China, Guyana, India, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa and the Middle East region. HSI already has a presence and/or existing relationships with local organizations and governments in these locations, which will help to maximize the campaign’s impact.

The range of work will include:

  • Assisting residents to enable them to keep their animals at home;
  • Helping shelters that face shortages of food and supplies while dealing with increased numbers of animals surrendered or abandoned by owners who can longer care for them;
  • Tending to community animals who have lost their usual sources of food and medical care as a result of lockdown policies;
  • Working with governments to ensure companion animals are incorporated into pandemic emergency plans by designating veterinary services as essential and allowing advocates to rescue animals in need during lockdowns; and
  • Promoting accurate and useful information about appropriate animal welfare for cats and dogs during the pandemic.

HSI estimates that Phase 1 will help more than 20,000 animals. Subsequent phases of the campaign will be determined as the crisis spreads to new areas or intensifies in current areas, and the needs shift.

An additional component of the campaign involves engaging Mars Associates through volunteer opportunities to make a tangible difference for dogs and cats affected by the pandemic. Opportunities include reaching out to local shelters to offer assistance, encouraging their networks to adopt and foster shelter animals, and virtual engagement and support of the Mars-HSI initiative to help animals in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We are immensely proud to work with Mars on this effort,” said Flocken. “Mars’ commitment to animals and the people who love and care for them has never been more evident than it is now, during this unprecedented time.”

Download photos and video of animals affected by the pandemic.

END

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Nancy Hwa, Humane Society International, nhwa@hsi.org, 202-596-0808
Kimberly West, Mars, Incorporated, Director of External Communications, Kimberly.west@effem.com.

 

HSI and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 25 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programs. hsi.org and @hsiglobal.

Humane Society International


Humane Society International