Which Countries Are Kindest To Animals?
From French poodles to South African rhinos to Australian kangaroos, it's no surprise that animals in different countries can lead startlingly different lives. But when it comes to animal protection, how do they compare?
The organization World Animal Protection has created a useful tool to answer just that - an interactive map of animal welfare and conservation policies of 50 countries. The map is based on an "Animal Protection Index" that measures each country's efforts to protect animals with legislation, improve animal welfare and recognize animals' emotional and cognitive abilities.
A few countries, most notably the U.K., New Zealand, Switzerland and Austria, rated well. The scale goes from A to G, with A being the best protection - the U.S. received a "D" rating because of poor livestock protections and a lack of humane education.
The map allows users to isolate countries and compare them based on different metrics. Though many countries are absent, World Animal Protection says it's a good way to get a handle on how governments are doing when it comes to animal protection.
In a statement, Mike Baker, the organization's CEO, said that it should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers, adding that "governments must take action to protect animals and to recognise that the welfare of animals is inextricably linked to people's health."