WHEN WE PROTECT THEM ALL, WE PROTECT OURSELVES

COVID-19 has transformed our world. We’ve had to radically change how we live to save lives.

But, this is just a short-term fix. Because, unless we change our ways, another pandemic will happen again – much sooner than we think.

In the last 20 years, we’ve faced SARS, MERS, ebola, zika, swine flu – and now COVID-19. And it’s inevitable that another deadly virus is out there.

But, to deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

Wild animals are cruelly caught, traded, stacked, shipped, killed and consumed in wildlife markets. Many of them carry viruses to which they have developed immunity over thousands of years.

We, however, do not have such protection. A virus that can live in a healthy bat can infect and kill us by the million. As we are witnessing across the globe right now.

What caused the COVID-19 outbreak? A bat? A pangolin? No – it was us. Because of our treatment of nature.

It's estimated that as many as 1.7 million unidentified viruses exist in animals. Any one of these could be the cause of the next pandemic. 

As an essential first step, wildlife markets must close. The shutters need to come down – for good. We must learn. We must re-educate ourselves. We must act. Now.

When we protect them all, we protect ourselves.

ABOUT PROTECT THEM. PROTECT US.

"Our treatment of the natural world has brought the planet to the brink. It is time for us to step away from the edge, for the sake of all life on Earth." - Joanna Lumley OBE

Born Free has joined forces with a new short film Protect Them. Protect Us, narrated by Born Free's Founder Patron Joanna Lumley OBE. Launched in January 2021, Protect Them. Protect Us explains why we must take action now to close wildlife markets, reset our relationship with the natural world, and invest in nature.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future." - J.R.R. Tolkien

There's so many ways you can make the world a better place for wildlife. With just a few small changes, you can make a real difference. If every individual made just one small change, we can ensure a better future for people and animals.

 

URGE DECISION MAKERS TO PUT WILDLIFE FIRST

You should never underestimate your power. Tell your local representatives and politicians you want them to prioritise and promote the protection of wildlife and animal welfare in their policies. Add your name to online petitions about issues you feel strongly about, or email them directly.

Born Free has a number of pre-written emails you can send straight to the inboxes of the people responsible for making the decisions that matter, so you can let them know how strongly you feel on issues ranging from the closure of wildlife markets, to recognising animal sentience.

TAKE ACTION

 

SPREAD THE WORD

Spread the word about the importance of nature, wildlife protection and animal welfare among friends and family. Talk with them about the changes you would like to see in the world, and the areas or issues you think should be prioritised.

On your social media feeds, share important posts, new campaigns, stories, videos and positive actions you and others can take to make it count.

And remember, there's so many ways to express your views. Why not try creative writing, poetry, art, dance or drama?

SHARE ON FACEBOOK     SHARE ON TWITTER

 

ENCOURAGE LOCAL WILDLIFE

Encourage wildlife in your local area by making your garden wildlife-friendly, and supporting the development of local wildlife initiatives. Ideas on how you can do this in the UK are:

  • Include bee-friendly plants and flowers in your garden
  • Don’t cut your lawn as often (bees love clover and dandelions)
  • Keep aside a wild area
  • Create a wildlife pond
  • Install bird feeders, baths and nest boxes
  • Make hedgehog throughways and feeders – but make sure you put out appropriate food for wild animals (eg, cat food for hedgehogs, not bread and milk)
  • Don’t fit artificial grass; avoid using chemical pesticides.

WILDLIFE ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN

 

SUPPORT EFFORTS TO KEEP WILDLIFE IN THE WILD

The wild is a very dangerous place for wildlife, particularly as human activities that negatively impact upon wildlife are increasing and expanding to all corners of the globe. However, Born Free firmly believes that animals belong in the wild where they can be free, and that they deserve to have access to the space and resources that they need to thrive.

You can support the efforts of Born Free, and of many other wildlife conservation groups, who work to monitor, conserve and protect wildlife and their habitats across the world, while striving to promote a harmonious co-existence with the local communities who live alongside them. 

FIELD CONSERVATION     ADOPT

 

BE A WILDLIFE-FRIENDLY CONSUMER 

  • Don’t buy exotic or wild animals as pets, and avoid shopping in stores that sell them
  • Avoid products made from wild animals, such as fur clothing, ornaments made from ivory, bone or coral, traditional medicines containing animal parts, or foods
  • Buy considerately. Try natural, animal-friendly products that are made from certified, sustainable sources
  • Consider your choices when buying new things (which are often made overseas and pollute our air, land and water). Can you buy second hand, less, or less often?
  • Live sustainably. We are delighted to work with Climate Stewards to help you offset your carbon footprint and support Born Free. Try the sustainability calculator
  • Avoid single-use plastics and other products that can damage the environment and wildlife
  • Reduce your meat intake. Consider eating less meat, fish and dairy, or consider buying from local farm shops
  • Consider moving to a green energy provider to power your home in an environmentally-friendly and efficient way
  • Check out your pension policies and other financial investments, and try to invest in ethical funds that don’t invest in industries that damage or destroy nature or exploit animals. Ask your employer about ethical pension and investment opportunities.

 

DON'T FUND CAPTIVITY

Stop captive animal suffering. Avoid attractions and activities that exploit captive wild animals – both in your own country or when you are travelling internationally. These include zoos, dolphinaria, circuses, animal shows, animal encounters and where animals are used as props for selfies.

We can all take steps to ensure our travels or activities do not impact on captive wild animal welfare or promote exploitation. Plan your holidays and research any activities that may involve wild animals. Make sure you only book excursions through responsible tour operators and travel companies. Check out Born Free’s Raise the Red Flag map.

Challenge attractions on their conservation and animal welfare claims. How much of their funds go towards conservation initiatives? What conservation projects are they working on, if any? How do they ensure the best possible welfare standards for their animals? 

Send Born Free your eyewitness reports via Raise the Red Flag.

 CAPTIVE ANIMALS

BUSINESS FOR NATURE

Do you represent a business? Business for Nature, in which Born Free is a Partner, is a global coalition bringing together influential organisations and forward-thinking businesses to demonstrate business action and amplify a powerful business voice, calling for governments to reverse nature loss.

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