August 21, 2009

RSPCA urges climate change sermons


by David Masters

Clergy are being urged to preach about the effects of climate change on animals in a special service later this year.

The RSPCA is encouraging vicars and lay preachers to highlight the damage to biodiversity caused by climate change in their Animal Sunday sermon on 4 October.

Oxford University theologian Rev Professor Andrew Linzey said: “This is a prime example of how human and animal causes are interrelated. As Noah would have said, ‘We are all in one boat together’.

“I urge clergy and congregations to start preparing prayers and readings from the RSPCA’s Service for Animal Welfare and to include discussion on the effects of climate change on animal welfare.”

Earlier this year, the RSPCA released new research showing the effects of climate change on the welfare of pets, farm animals, and wildlife.

In particular, they found climate change is likely to encourage the spread of infectious diseases between dogs.

“In fact, the south east of England has already seen cases of heartworm, a parasitical disease spread by mosquitoes which thrives in warmer conditions and can kill unvaccinated dogs,” said David Bowles, RSPCA head of external affairs.

To help clergy in their preparation for Animal Sunday, the RSPCA has published a Service for Animal Welfare, complete with prayers, readings, and liturgies.

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