Commend Costa Rica for Backing the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare

Target: President of the Republic of Costa Rica, Oscar Arias

Goal: Thank Costa Rica for acknowledging animals’ rights and protecting them from mistreatment and unnecessary suffering

Costa Rica recently joined 43 other nations in backing a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW), which acknowledges that non-human animals are sentient beings who can think, suffer, and should be protected under the law from cruelty and mistreatment. President Oscar Arias ratified the declaration with Vice President Alfio Piva and Provincial Mayor Araya Monge also offering their endorsement. Previously, Costa Rica had been engaged in animal rights campaigns, but it wasn’t until now that these policies had the full support of the government.

The UDAW is an agreement within and between nations to recognize the rights of non-human animals and aid in the prevention of cruelty and promote standards for their welfare. It is not legislation itself, but a way for governments to improve and introduce animal rights legislation. The ultimate goal of the UDAW is to be adopted by the United Nations, which would establish a universal responsibility to protect animals and aid in their welfare. Costa Rica is now the 44th member of the United Nations to back the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare. This is nearly one-quarter of all UN members and support is only growing.

The declaration isn’t simply a campaign for animal rights either; it is an acknowledgement of the understanding that helping animals also helps people. Protecting animals has a significant impact on sustainability, land use, biodiversity, and conservation. The poorest people in the world, who account for nearly one-sixth of the population, also rely on animals for income. Providing for the welfare of farm and draught animals also supports the livelihoods of struggling farmers and laborers.

Costa Rica backing the UDAW, and President Oscar Arias becoming the one-millionth signatory, is a significant step in animal welfare and legislation. Hopefully, Costa Rica’s support will set an example and inspire the remaining Central and South American countries to join the fight for the protection of animals. Please sign the petition below to thank the Costa Rican government for taking one more step in what will hopefully become a universal animal rights legislation.


Dear President Oscar Arias,

Thank you for taking such a big step in the protection of animals in Costa Rica by backing the Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare. In doing so you are not only ensuring that animals in Costa Rica will be treated with the compassion and respect they deserve, but you will also be protecting the environment, reducing the spread of disease, and improving the quality of life for all of its citizens.

We hope that your example will inspire the remaining members of the United Nations to back the UDAW so that it might eventually be adopted as a universal set of laws and responsibilities. Congratulations on being the one-millionth signatory and thank you again for your continued concern for biodiversity, sustainability, and the welfare of animals.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: kansasphoto via Flickr

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