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ALIVE Newsletter No.96 Topic

Biodiversity and Appropriate Care

The Act on Welfare and Management of Animals regulates and enforces appropriate care of animals that are owned or managed by humans, therefore it may seem it would have nothing to do with wildlife or biodiversity. However, I believe there is a strong connection.

One reason I believe this is because increased livestock production has greatly contributed to deforestation and along with land development has resulted in ever decreasing habitats for wildlife. As a result, species cannot sustain their numbers and prosper and many will soon become extinct. Another reason is due to monoculture (raising one species of livestock in a factory farm) farming. Monoculture farming keeps a single species confined to a congested space, so the gene pool of the livestock is very small. This causes the spread of hereditary diseases and other infectious diseases.

I also believe that wildlife smuggling causes the extinction of many species and is the cause of invasions by alien species in different ecosystems in countries around the world. This negatively influences biodiversity. Moreover, infectious diseases that came with the smuggled animals can spread in their new locations. The other issue is the GM (genetically modified) animals. The increasing use of GM animals is a great threat to biodiversity.

I conclude that appropriate care of animals must be implemented to make sure that local habitats and environments are preserved, in order to protect biodiversity.

Fusako Nogami
Head of Publication and Editor