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UNESCO endorses WSPA education program
The program is based on a similar animal welfare education program that has been successful in Costa Rica for over 16 years. Endorsement by the regional office of UNESCO based in Santiago, Chile will help to advance embedding of animal welfare and humane education in primary schools across the country. In 2006 the education system of Chile was analyzed to identify in which subjects in the primary school curriculum animal welfare topics could be integrated. During the workshops teachers receive resource packs containing education materials, which they will use to implement animal welfare activities in their lessons. UNESCO’s policy of sharing best education practice worldwide in addition to stimulating experimentation, innovation and policy dialogue is important to WSPA; it is through raising awareness, promoting dialogue, critical thinking, legislative and policy changes that a change in people’s attitudes towards animals is brought about.

Tiffani Thiessen teams with WSPA to educate consumers on choosing humane foods
Actress Tiffani Thiessen, star of the TV series “White Collar,” has taped a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) for WSPA to educate the public about reading labels on meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products to see which ones signify that animals were raised humanely. It’s important that people make educated choices when buying food, which can be confusing and misleading with the food labeling system. Factory farms use intensive “production line” methods to maximize the amount of meat produced, while minimizing costs. They keep animals together in unnaturally large numbers, creating a large amount of waste that creates an environmental problem.

WSPA launches new website to educate Traditional Asian Medicine users on bear farming
More than 12,000 endangered Asiatic black bears are cruelly confined in bear farms, facilities at which many are kept in tiny cages and their bile is regularly extracted and sold for use in Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM). WSPA has encouraged traditional medicine groups worldwide to support a statement agreeing that there are good herbal alternatives to bear bile - 71 traditional Asian medicine associations from eight countries have already expressed their support. The letters sent to retailers will include a link for retailers to learn more about bear farming and obtain a template letter (in English or Chinese) that they can use when contacting Chinese companies about their bear bile policies.

Educational event showcases mobile clinics’ work in Sri Lanka
The two mobile clinics demonstrated how they are able to deliver affordable medical care to animals in tsunami affected areas both on the east and west coasts. The Blue Paw Trust has two veterinary clinics that provide medical and school educational services, dog sterilizations, rabies prevention and general animal welfare treatments in tsunami affected areas of the country. The four day-long event was a fantastic chance to spread awareness about the mobile clinics’ work in Sri Lanka as well as a unique opportunity to engage local communities in educational activities on humane stray dog and rabies control. The educational event was organized in the Sri Lankan town of Ampara by the Department of Health Services and attracted over 15,000 local school children and 5000 members of the public.

World Rabies Day: Time for humane solutions
Last year, WSPA supported member societies in affected regions – largely Asia and Africa – in delivering public education programs and promoting a proven way to stop the spread of rabies: responsible pet ownership. But WSPA’s work with member societies continues all year round, implementing effective and humane responses to rabies and improving dog welfare. Proof of this can be seen in Latin America, where canine rabies has been virtually eliminated thanks to mass vaccination and a concentrated effort by governments. In Tanzania: WSPA is working with the government to offer free vaccinations for dogs in Tanzania’s largest city and distribute educational materials on rabies control and prevention.

New Animal Welfare Syllabus
The original Concepts in Animal Welfare syllabus was the result of a long-standing collaboration with the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Medicine, one of the first academic institutions to pioneer animal welfare teaching and research. This version has already been adopted by over 250 universities in more than 30 countries since its launch in 2003. The revised version comprises 34 interactive modules on CD-ROM and encourages inclusion of specific topics within established veterinary syllabuses. The CD ROM has been sent to over 800 faculties and WSPA has organised workshops for over 450 veterinary institutes around the world since 2000.

A helping hand for horses and donkeys
A recent WSPA grant is helping the Gambian Horse and Donkey Trust (GHDT) provide college-level training to combat the lack of local animal welfare knowledge and education that results in suffering for hardworking equines. Without education and resources for owners, the animals suffer from a number of painful ailments. WSPA's grant has enabled the GHDT to take their education work further and start an equine welfare training scheme for 14 students at Gambia College's school of agriculture. After graduation, the new specialists will work in Gambian communities as part of a partnership involving the Gambia College and the ministry of livestock development.

Two cubs rescued as 100,000 Vietnamese reject bear bile
WSPA partner Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) recently celebrated two important milestones in its work to protect bears – first, the rescue of two bear cubs and, second, receiving its 100,000th pledge against bear bile use. Bear bile continues to be used in some Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM) to treat conditions such as reducing fever, protecting the liver and improving eyesight – despite there being more than 65 herbal alternatives available. Since that time, WSPA has been working in partnership with ENV to help support its public engagement campaign to end the demand for bear bile and close down the bear farming industry for good.

WSPA counters abandonment of cats in China
To date we have found neither evidence nor direct reports of indiscriminate catching/trapping of cats by the authorities of Beijing. Information via local media advertised this service for citizens, stating some unsubstantiated information about cat diseases, subsequently spreading fear among cat owners. WSPA's Beijing office is providing Responsible Cat Ownership educational material for Beijing animal protection organizations to distribute to Beijing citizens and cat owners to counter further abandonment and explain ways to care for cats as pets. WSPA works with local animal welfare groups and governments around the world to address stray cat and dog problems humanely and comprehensively.

One year later: WSPA assesses the impact of animal relief work in Haiti
Last January, ARCH set up a mobile veterinary clinic, which allowed trained veterinarians to travel into earthquake-stricken neighborhoods and provide medical aid to tens of thousands of dogs, cats, goats, cattle, horses and other animals. Launched a public awareness campaign to educate Haitians about disaster preparedness and health issues related to their livestock and pets. By focusing on both the immediate and long-term needs of the Haitian community, ARCH has ensured that supporters’ generosity is used both effectively and efficiently – not just to treat the animals affected by the earthquake, but also to help the Haitians on their long and arduous road to recovery.

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.”

New Report from Vietnam Exposes Ongoing use of Bear Bile
Bear bile is still widely available in the country, where approximately 3,600 bears continue to be kept under terrible conditions in bear “farms,” which also prohibited by Vietnamese law since 2005. Their bile is extracted through various methods – including a syringe directly into their gall bladder and the insertion of a steel catheter into their abdomen – and then used in traditional medicine. To reduce the demand for bear bile, we need to dispel the traditional belief that bear bile is a magic medicine that can cure many health problems. Bile is typically used to treat conditions such as reducing fever, protecting the liver, improving eyesight, breaking down gallstones and serving as an anti-inflammatory.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia