Heatwaves and floods are finally pushing Brits to become more eco-friendly


A survey of 2,000 adults has revealed that 69 per cent have been shocked by heatwaves across Europe and 56 per cent have been moved by wildfires in Hawaii, California, and Australia.

Almost half (45 per cent) say they are adopting a greener way of life following the recent droughts in parts of Africa, including Zimbabwe, Tunisia, and Namibia. Another 45 per cent have changed their ways after seeing flooding across Asia.

Furthermore, 76 per cent want to make more of a difference after witnessing the suffering caused by the climate crisis to people, animals, and communities across the world.

The research was commissioned by SPANA, the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad, as part of its ninth International Working Animal Day, which this year is raising awareness of the impact of the climate crisis on working animals, like horses, donkeys and camels, in low-income countries.

Linda Edwards, chief executive of the global animal welfare charity, which has recently provided emergency treatment to 8,800 injured and abandoned working animals following landslides in Tanzania, said: "The growing severity of the climate crisis is becoming clearer than ever to the public. And this is driving a significant shift towards environmental responsibility in households in the UK."

"But working animals are often the forgotten victims - in many cases, dangerous conditions are a worsening problem for working animals and are threatening the survival of many animals globally. Tragic events, like landslides in the Hanang district in the Manyara region in northern Tanzania last year, led to the loss of many lives and an estimated 200 animals - with around 25 per cent being working donkeys."

"Heavy rain led to communities and working animals being vulnerable to both food shortages and displacement - with grazing areas, farms, and infrastructure washed away, while homes were destroyed. In addition to delivering critical treatment in Tanzania, we provided 3,200 working animals with emergency feed."

78 per cent of people also feel that working animals are largely overlooked and forgotten in the climate crisis.
78 per cent of people also feel that working animals are largely overlooked and forgotten in the climate crisis. -Credit:SWNS

The research, which was conducted via OnePoll, revealed 73 per cent are concerned about the impact of climate change, such as extreme heat and drought, when it comes to working animals. Yet, 78 per cent of people also feel that working animals are largely overlooked and forgotten in the climate crisis.

And 82 per cent agree that working animals need help and support when an emergency strikes as they play a vital role in their community from carting heavy goods to transporting families and are fundamental to food security as they work the land.

Linda Edwards, from SPANA, which treated 336,018 working animals and trained 2,369 animal welfare professionals globally last year, said: ''Working animals and the communities that depend on them in low-income countries are bearing the brunt of the climate emergency, facing severe impacts that threaten their health, food security and their livelihoods."

"This forgotten workforce is struggling to endure extreme weather conditions, highlighting the urgent need for global action to protect their welfare and the vital role they play."

"In the past year, severe flooding and landslides have caused terrible destruction in Tanzania and Iraq - and countries in North and West Africa have experienced a deadly heatwave, something I saw and experienced during my visit to Mali in May this year. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Namibia are just some of the countries struggling through a prolonged drought."

"These events have made life for working animals more precarious than ever and have left owners struggling to feed, care for or even keep their working animals."

"The World Bank estimates that by 2030, the climate crisis could push over 120 million more people into poverty. And this only reinforces why SPANA is committed to helping working animals affected by the growing impact of the climate crisis."