Protecting Animals through Disaster Law

The Protecting Animals through Disaster Law (PADL) project, led by Animal Evac New Zealand, aims to create a global model act that supports governments in developing animal-inclusive disaster management laws and provides a framework to measure the effectiveness of their implementation.

The proposed Model Act on Animal Disaster Management is intended to supplement the existing Model Animal Welfare Act (Cox & Lennkh, 2016), ensuring alignment through a consistent style. It will include clauses identified from previous research where issues have impacted human-animal wellbeing and provide legislative measures to prevent such reoccurrences.

To develop the Model Act on Animal Disaster Management, we are seeking to fund a project team consisting of legal, animal welfare and disaster management experts. This grant will enable these experts to collaborate on drafting a comprehensive and legally sound model act. By engaging legal professionals as part of the project team, we can ensure that the model act is well-structured, aligns with international best practices, and is adaptable to different legal systems.

The Project Team will be accountable to the Project Manager, Dr Steve Glassey, Animal Evac New Zealand and a wider Project Board comprised of representatives from major funders. The Project Team will also be expected to present at the Global Animal Disaster Management Conference on their progress. This project shall be conducted virtually, with no funding available for travel costs. The project team may also use research assistants where required.

In addition to the model act, PADL proposes the creation of an Animal Disaster Protection Index (ADPI) to score whether governments have evidence-based laws, policies, and plans in place. The ADPI will use an approach similar to the World Animal Protection Animal Protection Index (API) (n.d.) for consistent comparisons. To develop the ADPI, we require funding to support the project team in creating a robust and reliable index rubric. This will involve defining clear criteria, establishing scoring methodologies, and ensuring the index is legally sound and applicable across different jurisdictions.

The ultimate goal of PADL is to provide exemplar statutes, reducing barriers to developing and implementing changes that improve the protection of animals from disaster impacts, and a mechanism to compare country-level progress for improved transparency and accountability. By contributing to the funding to develop the Model Act on Animal Disaster Management and the Animal Disaster Protection Index rubric, your organization can play a crucial role in advancing animal welfare in the face of disasters. It is hoped that AENZ can raise funds from a range of funders who also may have an interest providing an expert to the Project Board.

New Zealand is currently rewriting its national emergency management act, and following a major campaign by AENZ, over 60% of public submissions on an earlier bill called for animals to be specifically included and better protected. We hope this project will inform New Zealand to become the first country to implement the model act we propose.

Recently, Animal Evac New Zealand representatives attended the World Federation for Animals inaugural General Assembly in Copenhagen. Representatives were able to engage with World Animal Network (Wim de Kok) and World Animal Protection (David Garrahy) whose organisations are the product owners for the Model Animal Welfare Act and Animal Protection Index respectively. Both these organisations gave their support to collaborate on the PADL project.

Trough GADMC, AENZ has formed the International Panel on Animal Disaster Management Law (IPADML) which will act as the primary mechanism for consultation on the draft model act and index. This includes lawyers, researchers, veterinarians, disaster managers, public safety practitioners and more from all around the world.

Following the anticipated success of this project, it is likely that a subsequent project to operationalise the APDI be pursued including development of a website similar to that of the WAP API to allow for comparisons, and for a number of initial countries to be evaluated using the new ADPI.

Your support will help create powerful tools that governments worldwide can use to protect animals and strengthen their disaster management policies. Together, we can make a significant difference in the lives of animals affected by disasters and build a more resilient future for all.

Dr Steve Glassey
Patron, Animal Evac New Zealand

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