The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is currently one of the largest animal welfare and conservation charities in the world.
The group's declared mission is to "rescue and protect animals around the world."
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was founded by a small group of people in 1969 to stop the commercial hunt for seal pups in Canada. One of IFAW's founders, and possibly its most well known member, is Brian Davies.
With offices in over a dozen countries, and projects in more than 40 IFAW is one of the largest animal welfare organisations in the world.
- Rescuing and releasing whales, dolphins and porpoises that have stranded or been entangled in nets and fishing gear.
- Promoting whale watching, as an alternative to whale hunting.
- IFAW aims to protect the last 400 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, and have developed acoustic detection systems, and collaborate with lobstermen, commercial fishers and shipping industries to prevent collisions with ships and gear entanglements.
- Through the Animal Action Education, IFAW educates children worldwide about animal welfare and wildlife conservation issues.
- Through their Community-Linked Animal Welfare (CLAW) projects, the IFAW aims to help companion animals in underserved communities around the world.
- IFAW has training for or trained customs officers and game wardens in many countries to prevent the killing of endangered species.
- IFAW protects elephants by protecting critical elephant habitats, managing human-elephant conflict, preventing poaching, ending illegal ivory trade and rescuing orphan and injured elephants.
- Carrying out legislative and educational campaigns across the globe. This is an effort to try to prevent cruelty to animals, preserve endangered species, and protect wildlife habitats.
IFAW is best known for its leading role in the campaigns to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada and end commercial whaling, as well as its work to help dogs and cats in impoverished communities, protect elephants, end illegal ivory trade, rescue and release of wild animals such orphan rhinos and rescue of animals in the wake of disasters such as hurricane Katrina in the US.
Controversy and criticism
A financial manager of the Brian Davies Foundation, IFAW invested IFAW's money in organizations that carried out animal experiments, such as Bausch & Lomb, US Surgicals, Glaxo, Merck, Abbot, Upjohn, Philip Morris and McDonald's. When the investment was drawn to the attention of IFAWâs trustees, the shares were sold immediately and the financial manager dismissed.
When Davies retired from IFAW in 1997 to start Network For Animals, IFAW wanted to use his name and image for fundraising and campaigns. In return, he was to receive $2.5 million over seven years. The contract was important for the continued level of success that IFAW achieved with Daviesâ leadership, according to research on successful animal welfare organizationsâ. Davies had the following to say about it: âI signed an agreement with IFAW which was conceived by the trustees. I was opposed to the idea of receiving remuneration from two animal welfare organisations; this solution allowed me to run Network For Animals without pay for seven years.â
- Animal rights
- Animal welfare
- Official website for Canada
- Official website for the USA
- Official website for Great Britain
- IFAW in India - Wildlife Trust of India
- IFAW listing on Guidestar
- Charity Navigator
- Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance