Veterinarians for Climate Action speak up for animals

effect of climate change on animals
Photo: esmehelit 123rf

AUSTRALIA’S Veterinarians for Climate Action believe urgent action is needed to help protect animals and pets from the impacts of climate change.

The group said the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report documents widespread and critical impacts on people and the natural world from increasingly frequent and intense heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, storms and floods. Some impacts are now irreversible.

The Veterinarians for Climate Action group is committed to bringing a halt to climate change to protect the health and welfare of all animals, livestock, unique Australian wildlife and much-loved pets.

Veterinary consultant Dr Helen McGregor said vets in rural and regional Australia are already experiencing the impacts of climate change on the farm businesses and communities they work with.

“Without urgent action for change, this will only increase,” Dr McGregor said.

“Heat stress can adversely affect livestock growth, reproductive success and milk production. The impacts of climate change are already being felt across the agricultural industry.

“An increase in the number of hot days is also contributing to more severe droughts and changes in rainfall patterns are leading to both water shortages and impactful flooding,” Dr McGregor added.

VFCA said in cities and other built-up areas with extensive roads or paved surfaces and few trees, temperatures are predicted to warm more than 4ºC by the end of the century unless strong climate action is taken with drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

The IPCC report has stressed the importance of healthy environments and biodiversity, but the VFCA said climate change is already damaging precious ecosystems, from forests to alpine areas. Nearly three billion animals—mammals, reptiles, birds, and frogs—were killed or displaced by the 2019-20 bushfires in Australia.

Veterinarians for Climate Action is urging all governments in Australia to take vigorous action this decade to bring climate change under control and believes the nation must aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2035, with a rapid shift away from fossil fuels to a fully renewable-powered economy.

This article was sourced from the News page on the Sheep Central website.


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