Animal Protection Index

50 countries were assessed by World Animal Protection on their animal welfare policy and legislation, clearly identifying where improvements can be made to protect animals and people.

Animal welfare is high on the consumer and public health agenda but it does not always translate up to government level. Published for the first time, the Animal Protection Index (API) shows that many countries have been ranked very poor for animal welfare, due to issues ranging from intensive farming and illegal wildlife trafficking to the culling of stray animals -- all proven threats of disease outbreaks. 

The index sends a powerful message for governments to take notice and improve animal welfare which will in turn help to combat threats of zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, salmonella and most recently Ebola. Good animal welfare practices can help prevent disease, by keeping animals clean, in stable conditions with no overcrowding, to targeting bigger issues such as ending illegal trade of animals, which will reduce the risks associated with moving infected animals through commercial trade routes.

Whilst there are encouraging signs from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Switzerland and Austria who are rated with the highest scores, World Animal Protection is calling on all governments to immediately improve their animal welfare standards and factor these issues into current, critical debates on food, public health and sustainable development.

Mike Baker, Chief Executive at World Animal Protection says:

“The Animal Protection Index is a breakthrough project, uniquely bringing together global animal welfare policy and legislation.

“The results of the index speak for themselves - governments must take action to protect animals and recognise that the welfare of animals is inextricably linked to people’s health.” 

Note to editors:

For an interview with World Animal Protection spokesperson, contact Kai Akram
on or +44 (0) 20 7239 0542 / +44 (0) 7772 296 256

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 say about 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases
affecting humans are diseases of animal origin, and approximately 60% of all human pathogens are

The Animal Protection Index findings are presented on an interactive website where you can explore
countries in detail and compare and contrast policy and legislation around the world.

The index was designed in collaboration with the world’s largest law firm, DLA Piper, leading animal protection organisations and an advisory group of global experts on the topic. 

For more information on World Animal Protection, visit our website.