Canadians care deeply about animals and the environment, and the federal government’s own public studies show that some 95% of Canadians support the protection of wildlife and habitat at risk and that less than 5% of Canadians hunt. One-third of Canadians feed and watch birds. There are an estimated 100,000 horses and some 18 million dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and other small animals and fish kept as pet in 6 out of 10 Canadian homes (Based upon our research and experience, many more would have pets if their circumstances such as allergies, work schedule and rental situations would allow).

A recent Harris Decima poll conducted for WSPA found that more than 95% of Canadian agree that animal pain and suffering should be reduced as much as possible, even in those cases in which the animals are raised to be slaughtered. Nearly as many, 88% support the animal protection’s movement core goal of minimizing and eventually eliminating all forms of animal cruelty and suffering (

Government sources include Environment Canada and Statistics Canada

Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

A declaration of our duty to respect animals and their welfare needs would have a sustained and beneficial impact on the long term health and welfare, economic and environmental security, for people animals and the environment.

Agreement on the importance of an issue affects people's attitudes, and attitudes affect actions.

What is it?

A Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare would be an agreement among people and nations that:

Animals are sentient and can suffer.

Animals’ welfare needs must be respected.

Animal cruelty must end for good.

View the draft declaration (PDF file, 65KB)

What will it achieve?

The adoption of a UDAW by the United Nations would:

Establish animal welfare as an international issue.

Encourage governments to improve and enforce national animal welfare legislation by providing a benchmark.

Recognize that animal welfare is a key factor in humanitarian and environmental policy making.

Encourage industries which use animals to keep welfare at the forefront.

Acknowledge the risks to animals caused by environmental factors such as climate change, habitat loss and pollution.

Create a more compassionate global attitude to animal welfare, including their needs and habitats.