5 January 2023

UN formally acknowledges role of working animals in achieving sustainable planet

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted a ground-breaking resolution, which urges member states to protect the health and lives of working animals as part of efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The document, entitled Agriculture Development, Food Security and Nutrition, explicitly notes the need to protect working animals, such as horses, donkeys and mules, as member states look to tackle the impacts of the pandemic, climate change and more. The resolution also highlights the importance of a One Health approach, in line with the Animal Welfare-Environment-Sustainable Development nexus resolution, which was adopted by the UN Environment Assembly last year, thanks to advocacy efforts by Brooke and its partners.

2022 was a fantastic year for working animals in global policy, clearly signalling that policy makers are listening and taking the welfare and health of working equids seriously.

At Brooke we're happy to see these important policy developments and are proud to have contributed to them through our advocacy efforts both at the UN and national level. We will continue our vital work in 2023 to ensure these resolutions are implemented and acted upon to improve the lives of working animals.

Anna Marry, Senior External Affairs Advisor, Brooke

Brooke has long advocated for the inclusion of working animals and animal welfare within UN policy. We do this through our consultative status with a number of UN agencies, including the Economic and Social Council, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Environmental Programme. Our special status means Brooke has access to UN meetings and can input on UN documents and processes, with a view to changing policy so that it protects animals, in particular working equids.

Around the world, working equids are essential to the livelihoods of millions of people and play a key role in access to food and water and agricultural work. This formal acknowledgment of their contribution to achieving a sustainable planet is an important step forward for working animals everywhere.