Brian Davies, IFAW’s founder

Brian Davies

IFAW’s founder

IFAW’s founder, Brian Davies had humble beginnings in a coal mining region of Wales. In 1955 he moved to Canada looking for a better life. His soft heart for animals led him to the Canadian SPCA where he was invited to witness the “humane” treatment of seals.

In 1966 he saw the seal hunt for the first time.“... 30 meters ahead of me was a baby white seal on its back and the hunter was skinning it alive. I made an eye connection with that seal and I could feel the desperate terror and pain that it was suffering.”

When they returned from the ice, the other observers provided suggestions about how to make the hunt more humane. Brian was the lone voice who stood up and said, “You can’t make this humane.” It was in this moment, that he became a champion for the seals.

Over the course of several years, battling the Canadian government and dodging blows from the seal hunters themselves, he founded the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as the single voice to end Canada’s commercial seal hunt.

Little could he have known back in 1969 that he would achieve far more. Today, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world with projects in more than 40 countries. Brian’s vision, his dream and his determination continue to inspire IFAW staff, supporters and animal lovers around the world.


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