Our history: 30 years of making animals matter

Since WSPA's founding 30 years ago, our dedicated supporters have helped us make an amazing difference for animals all around the world. Here are just 10 incredible highlights that they have made possible...

2011: Focussing on farming

2011We launched Pawprint, our campaign to address the issues that are directly related to industrial farming. 

Not only is industrial farming bad for animals, but its pollution can destroy the environment, can make local farmers poorer and can threaten human health. 

We’re calling for better farming – better for animals, people and the planet – to be put firmly on the agenda at the UN Earth Summit in Rio in June 2012.

2010: Making animals matter at the UN

India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, pledged his support for the development of a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare at the United Nations and became the two millionth signatory supporting our Animals Matter campaign.

So far 40 national governments, celebrities including Simon Cowell, Leona Lewis and royalty including the King of Malaysia have given their support.

2007: Building a brighter future

2007Our donors and supporters helped us save Borneo’s Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary from closure, giving the 650 resident orangutans a more secure future.

By the end of 2010 we had helped the sanctuary develop enough fundraising capacity and financial stability to purchase a long-term lease for a huge area of forest to release healthy orangutans back to their jungle home.

2001: Battling against baiting

We saved Rustam, a frightened and badly injured bear from a horrific bear baiting event. He became the first resident of Kund Park our first sanctuary for baited bears. Since 2001, this cruel ‘sport’ takes place less and less in Pakistan thanks to the education and campaigning work we have carried out with the Bioresource Research Centre of Pakistan.

1996: Relieving suffering

1996When thousands of animals were at risk after a volcanic eruption on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, our disaster experts stepped in to help and co-ordinate relief efforts.

Saving animals when disasters strike and helping to prepare countries in disaster prone areas is at the core of our work today.

In 2011, through the generosity of our donors and supporters, we were able to help an amazing 330,000 animals in 11 countries that were suffering in disasters.

1992: Caring for bears

1992We launched Libearty, our high profile campaign to save the world’s bears from cruelty and exploitation.

Since the Libearty campaign, we’ve had a lot of success by stopping bear dancing in Greece, Turkey and most areas of India.

In Pakistan we are giving sanctuary to baited bears and have convinced religious leaders to speak out against baiting. And today we’re campaigning against the cruelty of bear farming, which affects 12,000 bears in Asia.

1990: Saving dogs

1990Since 1990 we have provided Dr Gudush Jalloh of the Sierra Leone Animal Welfare Society and his team the equipment, advice and support to vaccinate 56,000 dogs in Freetown against rabies, and sterilise and de-worm them.

Our learning and experience from this project helped us to launch mass vaccination programmes and our campaign against culling – Red Collar – in 2011. Governments are now recognising that vaccinating dogs, not culling them, is the answer to eradicating rabies.

1987: Taking campaign action

After six years of campaigning, India – the world’s largest exporter of frogs’ legs –banned this cruel trade. This ban saves more than 30 million mostly wild-caught frogs annually from slow and agonising deaths for the restaurant trade in Europe and the USA. Today, your support remains vital in helping us stamp out the cruelty inflicted on wild animals in the name of trade.

1985: Banning the bullfights

1985We launched Dance with Death – our first anti-bullfighting campaign video.

Since then our supporters have helped us battle bullfighting all around the world; by 2011, more than 49 towns and cities in France and Spain had banned this cruel sport.

WSPA and our supporters were delighted when bullfighting was outlawed by the Catalonian Parliament in 2011. Thanks to our 165,000 supporters who joined with the Catalonian people to call for a ban.

1981: Making new beginnings

1981WSPA was formed after the 1981 merger of The World Federation for the Protection of Animals and the International Society for the Protection of Animals.

In our first year we exposed the cruelty of the frogs’ leg trade; investigated the suffering of livestock transported between Africa and Ireland and eased the suffering of animals when an earthquake struck in Southern Italy.