Now, more than ever, is a great time to start re-evaluating our relationship with animals. In the last month, we witnessed the uproar of the #blacklivesmatter protests around the globe. Could a similar thing follow suit for the animal welfare?
Animal welfare means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behavior, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress.https://www.avma.org/resources/animal-health-welfare/animal-welfare-what-it
Today we are excited to speak to a South African animal welfare specialist – Doctor Tozie Zokufa.
Tozie Zokufa, who works locally in the field of animal welfare. Read on for his insights and ways you can pledge your support.
There are many ways you can choose to help, such as adopting a pet, choosing products that not tested on animals, participating in Meatless Mondays, volunteering with your local animal shelter or rescue, or writing letters to your editor on issues that affect animals.
Where did your interest in animal welfare originate?
I can trace it back to 2009 after I had spent almost a decade within the private sector and government, while focused on meat safety. An international organisation recruited me to assist them, here in South Africa, with their work in farm animal welfare.
Tell us a little about your work for Caawo.
Caawo stands for the Coalition of African Animal Welfare Organisations, and my role is that of director of regional coordination. The work allows to me do what I am passionate about, which is to study and implement policies and strategies that will alleviate the pain and suffering of animals, especially farm animals and wildlife, both in Africa and elsewhere.
Well done for shedding light on the appalling practice of live livestock transportation in your latest blog post. Isn’t it amazing what can be achieved when organisations around the world collaborate?
Thanks, and yes the global animal welfare community remains delighted by the victories in both Australia and South Africa. The swift action of the National Council of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the NSPCA) took a critical role in barring the recent export of sheep from East London, as a result of the High Court interdict they managed to arrange. This shows what immense strength there is in numbers.
What other topics are top of mind for you when it comes to animal welfare in the time of COVID-19?
You would have heard by now that, in China, there is another outbreak from pigs – with the potential for it to become a pandemic. I could name several other topics but rather allow me to name just one – that is factory farming. We need to do away with it, or there could be more viral strains such as COVID-19 coming our way.
What would you recommend that concerned members of the public do to show their support for your work?
We greatly appreciate their support and encourage them to follow us on social media. We also request that they assist and guide us with any skills they may have, which could improve on our offering to market.