Improving wild animal welfare through collaboration

IFAW’s Wildlife Rescue Division teams up with organizations and coalitions around the world to devise and promote best practices and animal welfare standards for wildlife in the wild and temporary or permanent captive situations. To do so, we have developed relationships with organizations such as the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). Our experts have provided counsel on international standards such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines for reintroducing animals to the wild and protocols for the rehabilitation of high risk species such as the Amur tiger in the Russian Far East..

IFAW also supports and engages in opportunities to bring together experts and practitioners, such as workshops and conferences held by the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), the Bear Care Group, and the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA). In October 2013, IFAW co-hosted with GFAS the first ever big cat sanctuary workshop which brought together many U.S. sanctuaries to meet and share information. That workshop also resulted in a best practices working group with an aim to make large enhancements in standards of care for big cats as well as improve sanctuary sustainability and stewardship.

Through the relationships built in the big cat workshop, IFAW has developed an alert system which rapidly brings together cats who need rescue with sanctuaries that have the appropriate facilities and available capacity.