World Animal Protection

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World Animal Protection
Founded1981; 43 years ago (1981)
TypeNon-governmental organization
FocusAnimal protection
OriginsWFPA and ISPA
Area served
Key people
Paul Baldwin, President
Steve McIvor, Chief Executive

World Animal Protection, formerly The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), is an international non-profit animal welfare organization that has been in operation since 1981. The charity's mission is to create a better world for animals by protecting them.

The charity has regional hubs in: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, and offices in 14 countries. Its headquarters is in London.


The organization was known previously as the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). This resulted from the merger of two animal welfare organizations in 1981, the World Federation for the Protection of Animals (WFPA) founded in 1950[1] and the International Society for the Protection of Animals (ISPA) founded in 1959.[2] In June 2014, the charity became World Animal Protection.[3]


Animals in the wild[edit]

In 1985 WSPA launched a campaign to outlaw bullfighting in cities in France and Spain.[4]

In the 1990s, the charity contributed to the prohibition of bear dancing in Greece, Turkey, and India. In India, the charity funded a sanctuary for bears previously used in the trade.[5][6]

After a BBC investigation in September 2013,[7] the charity launched a campaign against the caged civet coffee trade. Several retailers have since stopped selling coffee produced by caged civets.[8]

The charity campaigns in Asia for an end to the bear bile industry.[9] In Pakistan they work to end bear baiting by campaigning for a change in law, offering alternative livelihoods to bear owners and housing bears rescued from bear baiting in a purpose built sanctuary.[10]

Animals in communities[edit]

The organization is working to end the inhumane culling of stray dogs, which many countries do in a misguided effort to eliminate rabies.[11] The organization points out that vaccination programs are the only effective way to eliminate rabies, and work with governments on vaccination programs.[12] In 2012, a mass vaccination program was started in the Shaanxi, Guizhou and Anhui Provinces of China, working with the Chinese Animal Disease Control Centre; as of June 2014, 750 veterinarians have been trained and over 90,000 dogs have been vaccinated.[13] Mass vaccination programs have also been delivered in Bali, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Kenya, Zanzibar,[13] and Kathmandu, Nepal.[14]

A second focus is on stray dog population management itself, through proven humane methods such as education, improved legislation, registration and identification of dogs, sterilisation and contraception, holding facilities and rehoming centres.[15] They help governments design a program, and monitor and evaluate progress, using the model provided in the document "Humane Dog Population Management Guidance", developed in November 2007 by The International Companion Animal Management Coalition (ICAM Coalition), of which the organization is a member.[16]

Programs often include veterinary services such as mobile clinics for stray cats and dogs or those belonging to people who cannot afford veterinary care. The animals are sterilized, vaccinated, and provided other needed veterinary care. Such programs are provided in Sri Lanka, Zanzibar, Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Sierra Leone, and Bali.[17]

A further focus is on helping working animals (horses, donkeys, and mules) in the West Bank, where mobile clinics were noticing increases in signs of neglect and cruelty.[18] Through a partner organization, the Palestine Wildlife Society, "In each community, we train a few people who can teach others about equine welfare. They attend workshops and visit communities where our training is already having an impact. They then share what they learn. Word spreads. Habits change. Animal welfare improves. And, because their animals are healthier, owners can earn a better living too."[18]

Animals in disasters[edit]

The charity has disaster operations teams in Asia and Latin America. In the aftermath of disasters they travel to worst affected areas to administer emergency veterinary care, distribute food and reunite animals with their owners where possible. The work is of particular benefit in developing world countries, where communities rely on animals for food, transport and income.[19] The charity also works with governments and local animal welfare groups in disaster-prone areas to set up national warning systems and teach communities how to protect their animals in the event of a disaster.[20][21]

In November 2013 the charity were filmed for a BBC documentary called Vets in the Disaster Zone, during disaster response work in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. The programme aired on BBC Two on 28 April 2014.[22]

Animals in farming[edit]

World Animal Protection works with governments, food businesses and farmers to improve the welfare of farmed animals. They encourage the general public to buy food produced in line with high welfare standards.

In 2013 the charity joined with Compassion in World Farming to create a business benchmark on farm animal welfare (BBFAW). According to The Guardian, there has been a 10 per cent rise in companies publishing farm animal welfare policies since the benchmark launched.[23]

Global animal welfare[edit]

The charity is campaigning for a universal declaration on animal welfare.[24] In 2013 they successfully lobbied the United Nations to include language on animal welfare in two General Assembly Resolutions on agriculture and disaster risk reduction. In 2017, a World Animal Protection investigation uncovered a massive increase in harmful wildlife selfies on social media sites.[25] Instagram vowed to take action, following an investigation by international NGO, World Animal Protection.[26] In 2017, two Instagram personalities, Sal Lavallo and Jessica Nabongo streamed a live video of an endangered species, a pangolin being eaten in Gabon.[27] By 2020, videos and accounts showing cruelty to animals and abuses of endangered species are not banned.[28][29]

Jeannette McDermott Award[edit]

In 2015 World Animal Protection awarded Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director of the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - South Africa (NSPCA), and former Board member of the World Animal Protection, with the Jeannette McDermott award for animal welfare.[30] The award was created in Canada by World Animal Protection in 1996 "in recognition of someone’s life devoted to animal welfare." Dominique Bellemare, Chairman of WAP Canada stated: "Marcelle has done amazing work for the past decade and for the cause of animal welfare. She has used her years on the international platform to advance the cause of animal welfare in Africa. I thank her profusely for all her work and dedication."[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wim DeKok Animal Rights Collection Archived 27 July 2020 at the Wayback Machine, North Carolina State University
  2. ^ Dominic Broadhurt, Janette Watson, Jane Marshall, "Ethical and Socially Responsible Investment: A Reference Guide for Researchers" Archived 11 May 2022 at the Wayback Machine, Walter de Gruyter. January 2003 (p. 72). ISBN 9783598246302
  3. ^ Susannah Birkwood, World Society for the Protection of Animals changes its name to World Animal Protection, Third Sector. 11 June 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  4. ^ Casamitjana, Jordi (30 July 2010). "Catalonia's bullfight ban a huge victory". CNN. Archived from the original on 16 January 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  5. ^ Alex Kirby, Hope for India's dancing bears Archived 22 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News. 21 January 2003. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  6. ^ Amanda Hodge, Curtain falls on India's dancing bears Archived 1 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine, The Australian. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  7. ^ Guy Lynn, Chris Rogers, "Civet cat coffee's animal cruelty secrets" Archived 29 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  8. ^ Coffee Talk Joan Page McKenna, accessed 11 May 2022
  9. ^ 'Torture chamber' agony of China's bears Archived 18 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News. 5 April 2000. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  10. ^ Pakistan halts bear-baiting event Archived 19 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine, BBC News. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  11. ^ For example, "Cull of 30,000 pet dogs ordered after deadly rabies outbreak in Chinese city" Archived 1 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Tania Branigan, The Guardian, 3 August 2011; and "Stray dogs must be culled, Bali governor says" Archived 25 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Ni Komang Erviani, The Jakarta Post, 27 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Ending inhumane dog culling" Archived 20 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, World Animal Protection, accessed 19 July 2014; see also "Mass rabies vaccinations called for", China Daily, 29 September 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Mass dog vaccination program to combat rabies" Archived 20 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, China, 18 June 2014.
  14. ^ "Combatting rabies in Nepal" Archived 27 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, World Animal Protection, accessed 19 July 2014.
  15. ^ "Stray dog population management" Archived 16 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, World Animal Protection, accessed 19 July 2014; and the Humane Dog Population Management Guidance document mentioned below.
  16. ^ "Humane Dog Population Management Guidance" Archived 21 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The International Companion Animal Management Coalition (ICAM Coalition), November 2007.
  17. ^ "International Companion Animal Work" Archived 27 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, World Animal Protection, accessed 19 July 2014.
  18. ^ a b "Protecting working animals in the West Bank" Archived 16 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, World Animal Protection, accessed 19 July 2014.
  19. ^ Animal welfare team in Solomons tsunami zone, ABC Radio Australia. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  20. ^ Tess Sprayson, Taking the lead: veterinary intervention in disaster relief Archived 11 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine, British Vet Association Archived 21 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine. January 2006. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  21. ^ Krista Mahr, On the Road with Disaster Vets in Burma Archived 19 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Time Magazine. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  22. ^ Vets in the Disaster Zone Archived 6 June 2014 at the Wayback Machine, BBC Two. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  23. ^ Nicolette Fox, Business Benchmark: the animal welfare index Archived 1 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  24. ^ Leona backs animal welfare cause Archived 1 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Metro. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
  25. ^ "Instagram acts to stop animal cruelty | World Animal Protection". 12 May 2017. Archived from the original on 30 December 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  26. ^ National Geographic; Natasha Daly (4 December 2017). "Exclusive: Instagram Fights Animal Abuse With New Alert System". Archived from the original on 16 April 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  27. ^ "Instagram influencers eat pangolin in Gabon - call it 'armadillo'". Africa Geographic. 6 June 2019. Archived from the original on 13 February 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  28. ^ Dalton, Jane (28 August 2020). "Anger as Instagram refuses to remove 'vile' videos of animal cruelty". The Independent. Archived from the original on 13 February 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  29. ^ Shrivastava, Rashi (22 November 2022). "Hundreds Of Social Media Videos With Billions Of Views Show Wild Animals Being Tortured, Report Finds". Archived from the original on 13 February 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  30. ^ Webmaster, NSPCA (10 June 2016). "International Award for Marcelle Meredith". NSPCA Cares about all Animals. Archived from the original on 19 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  31. ^ "Move the world to protect animals". World Animal Protection International. Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.

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