LAST UPDATED: 9 April 2020
It's an understatement to say we are living in strange and uncertain times.
Collectively, we're finding our feet in a new world, and striving to create a 'new normal'. But as communities and governments around the globe pull out all the stops to help people through the days and possibly months ahead, there is another group who is also deeply impacted by the fallout of COVID-19 — animals.
Please support our Emergency Grants program today — and help ensure animals get the critical help they need during this pandemic.
COVID-19s animal victims
The global shutdown of the tourist trade has enormous implications for animals in many countries. Horses and elephants subjected to the daily labour of carrying tourists for 'rides' or transport have now become 'collateral damage', as these industries have ground to a halt. Some face days or months chained, others may be sold off or face starvation as owners become unable to feed them.
The feeding and care of animals in captive facilities in many countries is also dependent on tourist income and we are actively investigating where conditions and care may have deteriorated. And across many countries there is concern for animals living on the streets whose ability to survive was dependent on tourists, scraps from now-closed restaurants or locals now in lock-down.
Compassion in action — globally
Even amidst the very challenging situation this global pandemic presents, there are caring people everywhere working day and night to help animals.
Thanks to the generosity of Animals Australia's dedicated and compassionate supporters like you, funds from our Emergency Grants program are already reaching animals in need.
While the implications of this global event are still unfolding, our commitment to help animals who need it is stronger than ever.
One of the many benefits of our international work is the relationships we've built. We've had first-hand insight into the remarkable work of local advocates, often in the most difficult of circumstances.
So while borders remain closed and travel restricted, we've been reaching out to these trusted international colleagues to get assessments of how animals are being impacted in their countries — and how we can help.
It's clear that COVID-19 has added another huge layer of challenges. They are desperately trying to find ways to continue to provide for animals in their care while also helping animals impacted by the virus.
We are determined to help these groups, and others like them, through our newly-established an Emergency Grants program.
But we can't do it alone.
These Emergency Grants are critical at a time when income sources for animal rescue and protection groups have been significantly reduced, or stopped altogether.
Your support will help some of these brave and compassionate animal advocates in the following ways:
- Assisting our vet team on the ground in Indonesia, who are preparing to inspect captive animal facilities like local zoos and wildlife parks. They will also work with groups on the ground helping animals where needed.
- Supporting working donkeys, horses and bulls in Indonesia and North Africa, to ensure that local projects have funding to continue to care for them at a time when their owners may be without income.
- Helping ensure that the hundreds of elephants within 'riding' camps in Thailand are being fed, and positive education programs encouraging more ethical models of tourism can continue.
- Contributing to help feed the millions of street animals who rely solely on the kindness of strangers for their meals, as groups on the ground ensure that they are still fed during lockdowns in Lebanon, Palestine and India.
- Establishing an emergency fund for animal rescue groups in Australia affected by COVID-19.