Getting Involved With Animal Welfare & Conservation
Getting involved with animal welfare and conservation does not necessarily involve travelling miles from home-it is as much about protecting pets and local wildlife as saving tigers and polar bears!
What is Animal Welfare & Conservation?Animal welfare is about the treatment of all animals, worldwide and includes wild, captured and domestic animals. Conservation is about the preservation of natural habitats and environments for animals and, as such, is linked with the welfare of all animals.
How to Find OutIn the UK there are some fantastic opportunities to get involved with local conservation.The word conservation applies as much to the landscape-soils, plants, trees and water-as to the diverse range of wildlife whose existence depends on each unique habitat.
Local and national conservation schemes are well advertised-they need the support of volunteers and donations from the public to survive-and the publicity to promote awareness of all the endemic endangered species. If the keen beginner is not sure where to look, local libraries will have information about welfare and conservation schemes in their area.
Get Involved with Local Conservation ProjectsStart with something that inspires! For example, Exmoor ponies (themselves an endangered species) are being used in selected areas across the UK as a conservation tool.Herds of Exmoor ponies are grazed on threatened grasslands and moorlands because they eat many of the invasive plants that would otherwise take over the less resistant, but essential, native plants.
Conservation charities like these are usually very keen on introducing new volunteers. For the new conservationist, these organisations are a great introduction to the subject and help them to become more aware of what is often on their doorstep! Working with others like this is also a good opportunity for team-building skills to develop.
Animal Welfare ExperienceAnimal welfare and conservation are both global issues. To get involved does not mean the newly interested have to go thousands of miles in order to be effective though.
Local animal welfare groups are always keen to recruit new volunteers. They may be involved in working to provide toads with a safer route near busy roads, rescuing stranded dolphins, campaigning for the protection and improvement of livestock, or protecting the breeding grounds of endangered birds. Animal welfare is just as concerned with the treatment of domestic pets and the improvement of conditions for animals who may otherwise be commercially exploited.
The Animal Welfare ActTo promote responsible animal ownership by:
- Providing animals with a suitable place to live
- Feeding appropriate diet
- Ensuring animals show normal behaviour patterns
- Keeping animals with (or without if applicable) other animals
- Protecting animals from pain, injury and disease