Registered Charity in England & Wales No.1165941

Considering animals in COVID recovery efforts: UK Government response

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

Considering animals in COVID recovery efforts: UK Government response

Wild Welfare has received a response from the UK government, following its calls for them to address the well-being of animals in COVID-19 recovery efforts. 

The response was to a letter written to prominent members of the UK’s government and parliament in December last year, sharing the Animals’ Manifesto document and asking them to take action for animals and the environment in all COVID-19 recovery, financing and policy-making efforts.

The Minister responsible for animal welfare, The Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, said in his reply that the UK Government was fully committed to the One Health approach in relation to COVID-19 recovery efforts, adding that the global community needed to double its efforts to tackle challenges faced by the loss of biodiversity and disruption of wildlife habitats.

As part of a campaign spear-headed by World Animal Net, Wild Welfare joined more than 150 other animal protection and environmental NGOs from around the world in signing the Animals’ Manifesto last year, a document outlining key policies and actions required to end the unnecessary exploitation of wildlife and ensure animal well-being, as well as transform farming systems and shift food consumption habits.

In Lord Goldsmith’s reply to Wild Welfare’s acting UK director, Simon Marsh, he said that although the exact cause of the COVID-19 pandemic is still to be determined, factors such as encroachment into wildlife areas, illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade and poor animal health and welfare are all known to play critical roles in disease outbreaks.

On receiving the response, Simon Marsh, said: “From tackling illegal wildlife trading to securing more effective animal welfare legislation, there is so much more that needs to be done to give wild animals globally a better future, so we’re very pleased our government appears to be taking positive steps towards this with a One Health approach.

“Our work takes us around the world where we sadly witness the negative impact poor welfare standards and practices are having on animals.

“COVID-19 has not only affected people but animals too, so as we continue to fight the pandemic, it’s vital we work to secure better animal and human welfare now and in the future.”

Wild Welfare works globally on captive wild animal care and welfare projects, improving conditions for animals living in facilities such as zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.

As part of the Asia for Animals (AfA) Coalition and the Brexit Manifesto for Animals, the charity regularly adds its voice to those of other animal welfare NGOs around the world, in support of various animal welfare issues.

You can read the full reply from the UK government to Wild Welfare HERE.


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.