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WSPA announces new Director General
Peter’s retirement marks the end of a very successful chapter for the organization, during which WSPA saw massive growth and development – not just in size, but in capacity and ability to influence policy and legislation worldwide. Peter Davies said, “When I reflect on my time here, there is much WSPA has to be proud of – not least our creation of this truly global animal welfare movement. Today, WSPA has a presence in over 150 countries around the world and the commitment displayed by every member of this alliance has allowed for some truly impressive achievements – the sound of so many voices speaking on individual issues has been a powerful tool for advancing global animal welfare.” Through partnership with hundreds of member societies we strive to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends.

WSPA Board and Advisory Council announced
Mark Watts, Cecilia Vega Leon and Chinny Krishna WSPA welcomed three new Board members at the 2008 annual general meeting, held on June 3. Cecilia Vega Leon (Mexico), Chinny Krishna (India) and Mark Watts (UK) will also serve on the Advisory Council. The new Board members join some experienced colleagues. Following the meeting, the Board elected new WSPA Officers for the coming year: Dominique Bellemare (Canada) as President, Professor Ranald Munro (UK), as Senior Vice President Hanja Maji-Weggen (Netherlands) as Junior Vice President, Andrew Rowan (USA) as Treasurer and Peter Mason (New Zealand) as Secretary. Read more about WSPA, who we are and what we do >>

Brutal pig slaughter in Egypt
Egyptian authorities are undertaking an unacceptably cruel assault on the pig population in Cairo. Pigs being hit with iron bars, scooped up into bulldozers and flung into pits to be burned alive with chemicals; these are the truly distressing visuals that appeared as the Egyptian media started to report on the cruel methods being used in the cull. Initial reports suggested that the pig cull in Egypt was intended as a precaution against the spread of the ‘swine flu’ infection from pigs to humans. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has explicitly stated that culling is an inappropriate reaction to the outbreak of swine flu, as there is no known link between the flu and pigs.

New, comprehensive text on long distance transport launched
Long Distance Transport and Welfare of Farm Animals – the book that provides the scientific basis of the Handle with Care campaign – was launched at the 76th General Session of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris. The largest and most comprehensive academic reference text on the long distance transport of animals for slaughter was presented to almost 100 of the world’s Chief Veterinary Officers in a reception on May 26 2008. The reception was also attended by nearly 250 delegates of the general session, including the OIE Director General and Deputy Director General. The following day, Peter Davies, Director General of WSPA, addressed the OIE general session and highlighted the Handle with Care coalition’s global transport campaign.

WSPA and Dubai to promote animal welfare
Dubai Municipality and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to share expertise and technical know-how with the objective of promoting animal welfare and humane treatment of animals. Animal health and soundness are essential elements of public health and control of animal diseases that may cause harm or diseases to humans, he noted. The organisations also commits itself to continuous revisions and updating of techniques and programmes delivered. The Municipality will act as a model to the area and work with WSPA to provide training and assistance to other programmes in the region.

WSPA names Disaster Management Director
For more than 25 years WSPA has worked with the animal victims of disasters, and is often the first, and sometimes the only organization that will go to the heart of a disaster to save animals. This aspect of WSPA's work can be traced back to a landmark project in 1964 when WSPA staff directed the successful rescue and relocation of almost 10,000 animals in Suriname, South America, when 600 square miles of rain forest was purposely flooded during the construction of a hydroelectric dam. In addition to deploying disaster relief teams, WSPA has also implemented numerous long-term recovery projects to assist in affected areas.

Dr Gus Thornton, a former WSPA president, has died following a long illness
Dr Thornton and his granddaughter Rose © Courtesy of the MSPCA-Angell He grew up and went to veterinary school in Oklahoma, USA. Through his work for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), he helped WSPA set up its first office and later served two years as WSPA President. Mike Baker, Director General of WSPA, said: “He was a great veterinarian and humanitarian, and he was a true leader in both fields, nationally and internationally. He cared so very deeply about animals and people, was a kind and generous person, and he spent his life helping others….he will be greatly missed.”

Anti-whaling countries hold slim margin
In an indicator vote on Japan's motion to delete small cetaceans from the agenda anti-whaling nations achieved 32 votes, while pro-whaling nations only achieved 30 votes. Speaking on behalf of the Whalewatch coalition, Major General Peter Davies, Director General of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) stated: “We have shown that even when faced with the greatest of challenges, the welfare and protection of whales can still persevere. But the world must wake up from its deep slumber – the world's whales and their welfare remain hanging in the balance. Governments must now fight fiercely to prevent a hostile take over by the pro-whaling nations.”

Humane slaughter agreement signed In China
The WSPA and the APSRI will work in partnership to provide training and support on the humane transport, handling, stunning and slaughter of farm animals. The organizations will also work with relevant Chinese government agencies to establish humane slaughter legislation and codes of practice. Jia Zili, Director of the APSRI, said: “We are very glad to cooperate with the WSPA, the world’s largest animal welfare organization, to put the humane slaughter training program into practice. The WSPA and the APSRI have been working together to improve animal welfare since 2005. The MoU will mark a significant step forward in developing and improving humane slaughter programs in China, thereby also improving the quality of meat.

WSPA responds to disaster alerts in Mexico and Indonesia
WSPA funded veterinarians have been working in partnership with the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) assessment and intervention team in the region for the last two weeks with success. While the situation is slowly improving, WSPA is yet to decide as to the timescale of continued work in this situation. The work WSPA has funded has been companion-animal work but the intervention as a whole has focused on wildlife, farm animals and companion animals. WSPA is funding a member society ProFauna to undertake emergency feed and watering of animals and is covering the cost of the veterinary supplies required by the intervention team to improve conditions for the animals.

New executive director takes the helm at WSPA USA
Dr. Kornberg is a pediatrician by training and comes to WSPA following his successful tenure as chief executive officer at Network Health, a rapidly growing managed health care plan. In recent years, Dr. Kornberg has become involved in the animal welfare movement, volunteering his expertise on issues ranging from the use of vivisection at medical schools, to examining the connection between domestic violence and animal abuse. Professionally, Dr. Kornberg has over 20 years of experience as a practicing pediatrician and as a senior-level health care executive. He also holds a Master's degree in business administration. “Allan's expertise in strategic planning and his passion for animal welfare will enhance our effectiveness and allow us to expand our efforts to help animals,” said Major General Peter Davies, CB, WSPA director general.

WSPA helps shoppers find humane foods
As part of our campaign to put an end to the cruel and unsustainable practices of factory farming, WSPA USA’s EatHumane.org is making it easier for shoppers to find animal-friendly products at the supermarket with a food label classification system and searchable database of humane foods at major US grocery stores. An ever-increasing array of food product labels that make claims about human nutrition, environmental protection and animal welfare leave many shoppers confused about how to make the most humane choices when buying animal products. Generally animals raised under humane food programs are given access to sunlight, fresh air, and freedom of movement. Now before grabbing their grocery carts, shoppers can search their local store online to find food products and see how their store compares to others.

Global reach: WSPA celebrates 1,000 member societies
WSPA, the world’s largest alliance of animal welfare organisations, has grown to a total of 1,012 members. The 19 newest member societies will help strengthen the global animal welfare movement, changing many animals’ lives for the better. Since its inception in 1981, WSPA has worked in partnership with hundreds of member societies in over 150 countries. Peter Davies, Director General of WSPA, commented on the landmark: “Our mission at WSPA has been to build a global animal welfare movement and this is a very significant milestone for us. One WSPA-led campaign involving many of our member societies is calling for international recognition that animals matter.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia