Registered Charity in England & Wales No.1165941

Animal welfare NGO addresses UK government on COVID-19 recovery policies

gorilla sitting in a bed of grass, Image © Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash

Animal welfare NGO addresses UK government on COVID-19 recovery policies

An animal welfare charity is asking prominent UK government and parliament officials to consider animal well-being in COVID-19 recovery decisions.

UK animal welfare charity Wild Welfare, has written to prominent members of the UK’s government and parliament, asking for the well-being of animals to be addressed in all COVID-19 recovery, financing and policy-making efforts.

Wild Welfare’s Acting UK director, Simon Marsh, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on all our lives and what has become very apparent is that we need to do things differently.

“We’re very pleased to use our voice to call on influential global leaders to tackle illegal wildlife trafficking and animal health issues, so we might help reduce any future pandemic risk and give animals a more compassionate future.”

As world leaders met at the UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS), to consider the international cooperation required to deal with COVID-19 last week, Wild Welfare joined more than 150 other animal protection and environmental NGOs from around the world, in signing the Animals’ Manifesto.

In a campaign spear-headed by World Animal Net, Wild Welfare and others have been contacting their government policymakers to share the details of the Manifesto and ask for action to be taken for animals and the environment.

The charity has written letters, which include the manifesto, to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, who is the Minister for Pacific and the Environment at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and The Rt Hon George Eustice MP, who is Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 

Collectively, these influential members of the UK’s government and parliament are responsible for everything from the country’s COVID-19 response, to illegal wildlife trade and conservation.

Reports that the COVID-19 crisis likely arose from the exploitation of animals, as well as recent revelations about potential COVID-19 variants emerging from mink farms, has drawn greater attention to how human uses of animals can increase the risk of future pandemics. 

Wild Welfare works in more than ten countries around the world on projects centred on improving the care and welfare of captive wild animals and the illegal wildlife trade, wildlife exploitation and wild animal health are all relevant issues for them and their daily work.

The Manifesto outlines the actions required to end the unnecessary exploitation of wildlife, ensure animal well-being, transform farming systems, shift food consumption habits and increase vaccine development efficiencies.

Simon Marsh added, “We hope that by drawing attention to the Manifesto with influential UK officials, we can affect positive action and help reduce the risk of future pandemics and improve welfare for animals.”

Following on from the recent UNGASS, a Convention on Biological Diversity meeting on Biodiversity, One Health and the response to COVID-19 is being held on 15th and 16th of December. 

Wild Welfare regularly adds its voice to those of other animal welfare charities around the world, in support of animal welfare issues that need action, through its place in the Asia for Animals (AfA) Coalition and as part of the Brexit Manifesto for Animals.


Notes to Editors

For more information or interview requests please contact Wild Welfare on

Wild Welfare is a global organisation committed to improving animal welfare for captive wild animals. By uniting the world’s leading zoos, zoo associations and animal welfare organisations, we build trusting partnerships that help provide long-term solutions to critical wild animal welfare issues.

Our vision is to end the suffering of captive wild animals around the world and ensure full and sustainable protection is given to all animals in human care. Find out more at Registered charity in England and Wales No.1165941.

Image © Rob Schreckhise on Unsplash