< > W160 - World Society for Protection Animals (WSPA) - http://www.wspa.org.uk/ http://www.wspa-international.org/

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Organisation Reference World Society for Protection Animals (WSPA)
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This information has been taken directly from the World Society for Protection Animals (WSPA) Website.

WSPA's origins go back more than forty five years. The society's present structure was created in 1981 through the merger of the World Federation for the Protection of Animals (WFPA), founded in 1953, and the International Society for the Protection of Animals (ISPA), founded in 1959.

WFPA and ISPA were the first organisations to campaign internationally on animal welfare issues, highlighting problems such as the Canadian seal hunt, the devastation of the world's whale population and the international transportation of horses. In the early 1960's ISPA established a reputation for its emergency work bringing aid to the animal victims of disasters. One of WFPA's most significant achievements was the passing of a series of wide ranging animal conventions by the Council of Europe.

From its original bases in the UK and the USA, WSPA has extended and enhanced the work of these organisations. During the early 1980s, new field offices were established in Costa Rica, Colombia, and Canada which considerably increased the scope of the society's investigations and projects. Today, WSPA has 13 offices worldwide and over 400,000 individual supporters. WSPA is also the world's largest network of animal protection specialists having a membership of over 400 animal protection societies in 91 countries. The society is represented on numerous international bodies and is the only animal welfare organization to have consultative status at the United Nations and the Council of Europe.

A key area of WSPA's work has been the introduction of animal welfare principles into regions where they were previously under developed or non- existent. WSPA has successfully introduced procedures such as pre-slaughter stunning in many Third World countries and has run numerous projects to improve the conditions of stray animal populations. In Eastern Europe, following the political revolution which swept through the region from 1989, WSPA gave resources to many new animal protection groups and contributed to the passing of national animal welfare laws in several countries.

Building on the experience of ISPA, WSPA staff have brought emergency aid to animals during floods, earthquakes, explosions, famines, oil spills and wars in six continents and has built up a reputation as a world leader in this field. Most recently its staff were involved in a year long operation to evacuate animals stranded on the volcanic island of Montserrat in the Caribbean.

WSPA has also undertaken high profile campaigns to focus public opinion on some of the world's most urgent animal welfare problems. In 1985 WSPA took over the work of the International Council Against Bullfighting and since then has led worldwide opposition to this brutal custom. In 1988 WSPA launched the NO FUR campaign which was adopted by over 50 member organisations and took the arguments against the wearing of fur to all corners of the globe. In 1991, the Society's launched Libearty, the World Campaign for Bears, which has highlighted for the first time the plight of this species. Libearty has become one of WSPA's most successful projects establishing bear sanctuary's in Greece, Turkey, Thailand and fighting to end cruel practices such as dancing bears and bear baiting.

Another of WSPA's most active projects is the Pet Respect Campaign which seeks to alleviate the plight of millions of unwanted companion animals that are often indiscriminately destroyed through cruel methods. WSPA has been active in setting up seminars and humane methods of stray dog and cat control in many countries, including Taiwan, Poland, Cyprus, Grenada, Kenya, India, Romania, Spain, Greece, and Colombia. Working together with the World Health Organisation, WSPA has produced a set of guidelines on stray animal control aimed at reducing dog populations through neutering and eliminating rabies by vaccination.

In 1991, WSPA launched Libearty, the World Campaign for Bears, which highlighted the welfare plight of all bear species around the world for the first time. Libearty has become one of WSPA's most successful projects establishing bear sanctuary's in Greece, Turkey, Thailand and fighting to end cruel practices such as dancing bears, bear baiting, and the farming of bears for bile in Asia. WSPA has also supported work to rehabilitate orphaned cubs to enable their release back to the wild and is currently focusing on the humane resolution of bear-human conflict situations around the world.

WSPA has supported the work of Idaho Black Bear Rehab Inc. since 1998.

Dates Referenced August 2001
89 Albert Embankment
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0)20 7793 0540
Fax: +44 (0)20 7793 0208
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Specific References (Please note - website addresses change frequently and all references are dated accordingly. If hyperlinks are no longer active, please inform us)

Reference Section of Website Specific Website link
W160.Mar06.w1 The veterinary, behavioural and welfare implications of bear farming in Asia http://ww2.wspa-international.org/pdf/welfare_of_asian_bears.pdf

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