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2010: A year of animal welfare accomplishments

Dec 27, 2010

With 2010 coming to an end, WSPA would like to thank its donors and advocates for their ongoing support and dedication to helping animals. From providing relief to more than 100,000 animals in disasters, to ending the inhumane culling of dogs in Bali, to opening a new bear sanctuary in Pakistan, WSPA has been able to make a huge difference to so many animals this year.

As WSPA moves into its 30th year of advocating for animal welfare, we hope you continue to stand by us in our mission to end animal cruelty and suffering, worldwide.

In the meantime, please enjoy our 2010 achievements video below, and thank you again for your support!

Disaster relief

Following the January earthquake in Haiti, WSPA helped establish the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), a group that addressed the needs of the country’s surviving animal population. To date, WSPA has treated more than 45,000 animals in the hardest-hit areas of Haiti.

WSPA also helped repair the National Veterinary Laboratory and main lab infrastructure, which fell during the earthquake; installed 24 solar-powered refrigeration units, which are critical to storing animal vaccinations; and launched the country’s first-ever public awareness campaign to educate Haitians about disaster preparedness, pet care and health issues related to their pets and families.

Our disaster relief efforts didn’t end there – throughout the year, our disaster management team provided aid to animals in several disaster-stricken areas across the world, including...Pakistan, Mongolia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Myanmar.

Protecting bears

Just three months after the devastating floods in Pakistan, WSPA opened a new sanctuary in Balkasar. The sanctuary’s first residents were Babu, Sohrab and Maylu – three bears rescued from Kund Park, which was destroyed during the floods in August. In November, WSPA helped rescue Chowti – a 6-year-old Asiatic black bear – from bear baiting in Pakistan. Chowti was then sent to Balkasar Sanctuary, where she is now safe, well-fed and cared for.

In other bear rescue efforts, WSPA asked supporters to sign a petition calling for an end to bear farming in South Korea. Shortly after, more than 85,000 WSPA advocates made their voices heard and the South Korean Parliament began the process that could result in the phase out of South Korea’s bear farming industry. Currently, the bill is slated to be considered by the Environment and Labour Committee, as well as other relevant Ministries.

An end to bullfighting in Catalonia

In another area of the world, WSPA handed over 140,000 signatures to the Catalonian Parliament in support of a bullfighting ban in Catalonia. Just days later, the Parliament voted to approve the amendment of the current animal protection legislation and, therefore, ban bullfighting within the region. The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2012, and – from that day on – bulls will no longer suffer slow, painful and terrifying deaths in Catalonia’s bullrings.

A reprieve for whales

In July, WSPA, along with other groups, released an investigative video that showed a minke whale being harpooned by the Norwegian whaling vessel “Rowenta,” and the subsequent failure of the whaling vessel to ensure that the whale was dead during the next 22 minutes.

The next day, we held a press conference at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting to showcase the public outrage against a proposal to resume commercial whaling. After two days behind closed doors, the IWC failed to reach consensus on the future of whaling and, therefore, postponed a vote that could have increased commercial whaling quotas for the first time in 25 years.

Saving the dogs of Bali

In Bali, the government signed an agreement authorizing a mass vaccination campaign to immunize nearly 400,000 dogs. Funded by WSPA, working closely with the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), the new, island-wide program is an essential first step toward the government’s goal to eradicate rabies from the island by 2012. Already, the team has vaccinated more than 65,000 dogs, thereby preventing rabies from spreading throughout the dog population and protecting human health in the area.

Farm animal welfare

In WSPA’s fight to end factory-farming, we launched our first-ever iPhone application, Eat Humane Food Guide. The first-of-its kind, this free app makes it quick and easy for consumers to find products from humanely-raised animals at grocery stores and restaurants.

Later in the year, WSPA also unveiled a new and improved version of the Eat Humane restaurant guide, which now features 300 new restaurants. The guide offers consumers even more options for eating at establishments that serve at least one humanely-raised item on the menu.

New animal welfare laws in Nicaragua

In December, WSPA, along with other groups, helped Nicaragua enact strict animal welfare laws, including a “Law for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Animals and Domesticated Wild Animals.” This creates a new crime of “biocide” for unwarranted killing of domestic animals or domesticated wild animals, punishable under the Penal Code and incurring a jail term for offenders.

Exposing reindeer cruelty

To end the year, WSPA released an investigative video exposing the grim reality of reindeer slaughter in Sweden and Finland.  Footage showed the extreme distress experienced by reindeer as they are rounded up in large numbers, transported and slaughtered for their meat. Thousands of WSPA supporters have already signed a petition, calling on the Nordic Council of Ministers to uphold existing animal welfare laws in both Sweden and Finland, as well as the Växjö Declaration of 2008.

Amazing Advocates

Throughout the year, some very special advocates gave us their support…

"The World Society for Protection of Animals struck a chord with me, as it’s a global charity that recognizes the needs of animals around the world."
– Simon Cowell, Music Executive and TV Producer

“Animals really matter to me, and WSPA is trying to stop needless acts of animal cruelty all over the world.”
– Ricky Gervais, Actor, Producer and Writer

"I am honored to be a spokesperson for WSPA’s campaigns, and I encourage others to join in our fight to save all animals from suffering, worldwide."
– Leona Lewis, Singer

“I am pleased to be a part of the Eat Humane campaign for the WSPA. The organization’s key philosophy about food is something I believe in personally.”
– Tiffani Thiessen, Actress

“WSPA is doing incredible things around the globe to support the protection of all animals and if anyone can push for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, they can.”
– John Tartaglia, Tony Award- and Emmy Award-nominated Actor

“I am just thrilled to support an organization like WSPA. They do incredible work to help animals and I want to support them in any way I can. There really is no other organization reaching as far and wide as they are to help those animals most in need.”
– Claude Stewart, Comedian

“I am so thrilled to be a part of the ‘Animals Matter to Me’ movement and encourage others to step forward and help protect animals.”
– Audrey Landers, Actress, Singer and Fashion Designer

“Take offense to animal abuse and make it your goal to defend animals, everywhere. Please join me in signing WSPA’s universal declaration for the protection of animals, a statement that tells the world that animal cruelty and neglect is not OK – not now, not ever.”
– Igor Olshansky, Pro Football Player for the Dallas Cowboys

All of these accomplishments were made possible by the ongoing dedication and generosity of ALL our WSPA supporters. Thank you and we look forward to working with you in 2011 to help end animal cruelty, worldwide!
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