Animal Protection Index By World Animal Protection
According to its website, “The Animal Protection Index establishes a classification of 50 countries around the world according to their commitments to protect animals and improve animal welfare in policy and legislation.” Using an interactive map, the website allows users to compare and contrast the animal welfare policies of the largest producers of beef, poultry, pork, sheep and goat, milk, and eggs in the world. In addition to individual ratings of particular countries, users can directly compare up to four countries by their various animal welfare indicators. Countries were scored based on five criteria or “themes”:
(1) Recognizing animal protection – This theme examines recognition of animal sentience and the importance of animal protection as a societal value within the country, including government support for the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, prohibition of cruelty and protection for different categories of animals.
(2) Governance structures and systems – This theme examines government commitment to improving animal protection. This includes whether there is allocation of responsibility, accountability and resources within government.
(3) Animal welfare standards – This theme examines whether the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)’s animal welfare standards have been incorporated into law or policy, the extent of engagement with the OIE on animal welfare issues, and whether the government publishes reports on progress in improving animal welfare.
(4) Providing humane education – This theme examines whether issues of animal care and protection are included in the national education system at primary and secondary level, and comments on whether animal welfare issues such as humane handling form part of veterinary medicine education.
(5) Promoting communication and awareness – This theme examines whether there is government consultation and engagement with relevant stakeholders on animal protection issues, such as the development of new legislation and policy and the licensing of scientific research using animals.