Policy

We supply government decision makers with research on threatened species.

See our findings
Influencing Influencers

We are lobbying Congress to ban the indiscriminate poisoning of predators.

Learn why
Country-Level Advocacy

Animals need a seat at the table.

If you want to change the game, start with the rules. And with animal welfare, that means the laws. Our first campaign effectively ended the commercial slaughter of whitecoat seal pups. Now we’re taking the fight to decision-makers around the world.

85%

of the world’s endangered vertebrates are not adequately covered by the world’s protected areas

1%

or less of European companies’ administrative burden is spent on environmental compliance

67

countries still lack a basic legal framework for protecting animals

Animal welfare is about natural freedoms: the freedom to live and reproduce in a healthy environment, freedom from hunger, freedom from discomfort, freedom from disease and distress. When our laws have loopholes and our lawmakers look the other way, those freedoms disappear.

Photo: IFAW
Tell the Truth

Few lobbyists are trained biologists. Even fewer have spent time inside the thoracic cavity of a dead right whale. Ours have. We bring half a century of firsthand experience to our advocacy campaigns, ensuring that policies, legislation and international treaties recognise real problems and real solutions. Around the world, we’re giving people big ideas to rally around and law enforcement the necessary tools to protect animals.

In a world of competing special interests, we tell the truth about animal welfare and conservation. That means educating people about the deafening impact of noise pollution from seismic oil exploration on whales, or informing tourists about wildlife products to avoid when shopping for souvenirs. We share guidelines for responsible pet ownership and how to help animals in a natural disaster. In places where people and animals share the land, we teach people how to promote healthy, conflict-free interactions with wildlife.

Our campaigns target governments and politicians, students and teachers, farmers and business owners, citizens and law enforcement – because the hard truth is that all people share the responsibility for animal welfare.

Photo: IFAW
Influence Influencers

Our first fourteen years of activism and advocacy led to the world’s first ban on seal products. When the Canadian government revived the hunt 15 years later, we worked to help expand the ban, bringing the commercial sealing industry to its knees once again. In the UK, our work led to the passage of the Hunting Act 2004, which outlaws the use of dogs to hunt wild mammals (since its passage, hundreds of cases have been successfully prosecuted under the Act). In Russia, we successfully lobbied to ban the winter den hunt that orphans countless brown bears every year and, in recent years, as elephant populations have been devastated by a new wave of poaching, we have worked with the governments of the United States, UK and China to shut down ivory markets.

Now we’re lobbying the United States Congress to pass a bill that replaces hazardous fishing gear with ropeless traps that ensure marine mammals’ safety, and in Europe, we’re working with lawmakers to close remaining legal ivory markets.

Photo: IFAW
Build Consensus

To make permanent changes in our laws and lifestyles, we need partners with influence. That’s why we participate in meetings of international treaties and agreements, including the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and most recently, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The differences we’re making on the ground start at the top. For instance, in the IWC, when votes in support of whaling were being “bought” with overseas development aid and cash in brown envelopes, we helped blow the whistle. The result: in 2011, the IWC banned cash payments for membership fees and adopted critical transparency measures.

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