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WSPA releases online education resource in three languages
The content forms part of the existing Animal Welfare Online site and also acts as a resource bank for other individuals and organizations involved in animal welfare and humane education that have produced high-quality and effective resources. The events page highlights upcoming education events worldwide where humane and animal welfare themes are paramount, while the news page showcases global animal welfare education successes that are replicable in other communities. One current example demonstrating the importance of FCAW comes to us from Costa Rica, where an educational project in a community of scarce economic resources demonstrates that young people can leave behind problems like drugs and lack of opportunities by taking care of their animals.

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.

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.

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 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 >>

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.

WSPA takes welfare message to vets from across the world
WSPA encourages veterinarians to teach animal welfare and consider disaster operations as part of students’ training. He described how, since 2005, WSPA has recruited and trained teams of veterinarians from around the world to respond effectively to disasters to meet the current gap in Animal Welfare provision during emergencies. Another essential element in WSPA’s capacity to respond to disasters are trainee vets working in teams, coordinated (though not directly employed) by WSPA. These Veterinary Emergency Response Units (VERUs) are made up of volunteer students based in a veterinary faculty and led by a professor, who receives annual training with WSPA’s disaster teams and support in terms of equipment and training.

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.

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.

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 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.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia