World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
WHAT: Ensuring that animals are treated with respect.
IN DETAIL: The World Society for the Protection of Animals is involved in activities that promote the compassionate treatment of animals and good animal welfare. Whales, bears, and orangutans are some of the species at the heart of WSPA’s work.
WHERE: All over the world. WSPA holds local chapters in many countries worldwide.
World Animal Protection (formerly The World Society for the Protection of Animals) is an international non-profit animal welfare organization that has been in operation for over 30 years. The charity describes its vision as: A world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty has ended.
Animals in the Wild
The charity campaigns in Asia for an end to the bear bile industry. 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.
Animals in Communities
The organization is working to end the inhumane culling of stray dogs, which many countries do in a misguided effort to eliminate rabies. The organization points out that vaccination programs are the only effective way to eliminate rabies, and work with governments on vaccination programs. 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. Mass vaccination programs have also been delivered in Bali, The Philippines, Bangladesh, Kenya, Zanzibar, and Kathmandu, Nepal.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.”
Animals in Disasters
The charity has two disaster operations teams located 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. 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.
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.
Animals in Farming
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 percent rise in companies publishing farm animal welfare policies since the benchmark launched.
Global Animal Welfare
The charity is campaigning for a universal declaration on animal welfare. 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.
Jeannette McDermott Award
In 2015 the 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. The award was created in Canada by the 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.”