International Fund for Animal Welfare

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The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
Type Non-profit Organisation
Industry Conservation
Founded 1969, New Brunswick, Canada
Headquarters Yarmouth Port, Cape Cod Massachusetts
Key people Fred O’Regan, Thomas C. Ramey
Products Landmark & framework legislation, research, activism.
Revenue $25,149,783 USD (2010 Tax Return)
Employees 300+ (worldwide)

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is currently one of the largest animal welfare and conservation charities in the world.

The group says its mission is "to improve the welfare of wild and domestic animals throughout the world by reducing commercial exploitation of animals, protecting wildlife habitats, and assisting animals in distress".[1]


The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was founded by a small group of people in 1969 to stop the commercial hunt for seal pups in Canada. One of IFAW's founders, and possibly its most well known member, is Brian Davies.

Today (per April 2008), with offices in 16 countries,[2] IFAW is one of the largest animal welfare organisations in the world. The work of IFAW’s global team of campaigners, legal and political experts and scientists is concentrated in three areas: reducing commercial exploitation of wild animals; protecting wildlife habitats; and providing emergency relief to animals in distress.

In the United Kingdom, IFAW played a pivotal role as a member of a coalition of groups campaigning to put a stop to hunting with dogs.[3]


  • Locally and globally, IFAW conducts marine mammal research from their research ship Song of the Whale.
  • Rescuing and releasing whales, dolphins and porpoises that have stranded or been entangled in nets and fishing gear.
  • Promoting whale watching, as an alternative to whale hunting.
  • IFAW aims to protect the last 350 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, and have developed acoustic detection systems, and collaborate with lobstermen, commercial fishers and shipping industries to prevent collisions with ships and gear entanglements.
  • Through the Animal Action Week, the IFAW educate more than two million children worldwide, about animal welfare and wildlife conservation issues.
  • Through their Community-Linked Animal Welfare (CLAW) projects, the IFAW aims to help companion animals in underserved communities around the world.
  • IFAW have training for or trained customs officers and game wardens in many countries, to prevent the killing of endangered species.
  • Carrying out legislative and educational campaigns across the globe. This is an effort to try to prevent cruelty to animals, preserve endangered species, and protect wildlife habitats.

IFAW's AICD department was merged with its wildlife and habitat to create one department known as Programs. This was due to larger restructuring efforts underway mainly resulting from greatly reduced funding. IFAW also reduced its workforce by more than 100 employees worldwide.

Wildlife and Habitat Protection (WHP)[edit]

IFAW believes that the destruction of natural habitats is a threat to wildlife and people. Therefore they provide operating funds and ranger training to Meru and Tsavo National Parks in Kenya, to Liwonde National Park in Malawi, and to wildlife law enforcement officials in China and other nations. IFAW uses environmental education, job training and human-animal conflict resolution, with the goal to help local communities coexist with wildlife.

Protection Against Commercial Trade (PACT)[edit]

Since IFAW believes that international commercial trade in wildlife products, is a major cause of species extinction and cruelty to individual animals, they work with the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to help control this. IFAW also cooperate directly with many nations, from Kenya to China, to train anti-poaching rangers and customs officials. IFAW collaborates with law enforcement agencies and conducts campaigns to stop the trade in elephant ivory, as well as souvenirs and traditional medicines that contain animal parts. In 2007, IFAW supported the United Nations University initiative Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System, a wildlife enforcement and compliance monitoring tool. The project completed the development stage and is planned for national level implementation.

Controversy and criticism[edit]

A financial manager of the Brian Davies Foundation, IFAW invested IFAW's money in organizations that carried out animal experiments, such as Bausch & Lomb, US Surgicals, Glaxo, Merck, Abbot, Upjohn, Philip Morris and McDonald's. When the investment was drawn to the attention of IFAW’s trustees, the shares were sold immediately and the financial manager dismissed.[4]

When Davies retired from IFAW in 1997 to start Network For Animals, IFAW wanted to use his name and image for fundraising and campaigns. In return, he was to receive $2.5 million over seven years. The contract was important for the continued level of success that IFAW achieved with Davies’ leadership, according to research on successful animal welfare organizations”.[5] Davies had the following to say about it: “I signed an agreement with IFAW which was conceived by the trustees. I was opposed to the idea of receiving remuneration from two animal welfare organisations; this solution allowed me to run Network For Animals without pay for seven years.” [4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International Fund for Animal Welfare". Wildpro. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  2. ^ "Who We Are". IFAW. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  3. ^ Enforcing the Ban on Hunting with Dogs, IFAW
  4. ^ a b Davies 2013
  5. ^ Clarke, C. IFAW Begins: Brian Davies, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the New Brunswick Humane Movement in the 1960s. University of New Brunswick (Canada), 2009 Retrieved 24/04/2013 2009.

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