april 05 2013
the World Society for the Protection of Animals (commonly WSPA) is an international non-profit animal welfare organization and also a federation of such organisations and active in over 50 countries with more than 1000 member societies.
WSPA has eighteen offices, located in: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Tanzania, Thailand, United States and United Kingdom. The main office is in London.
The WSPA resulted from the merger of two animal welfare organizations in 1981, namely the World Federation for the Protection of Animals (WFPA) founded in 1953 and the International Society for the Protection of Animals (ISPA) founded in 1959.
Though WSPA is against the cruel treatment and abuse of animals in general, they also campaign against specific kinds of cruel treatment and abuse, such as bullfighting, bear baiting and dancing, whaling, the capturing and keeping of dolphins, intensive farming of animals, and the treatment of working equines and Pet|companion animals.
WSPA's work with bears is particularly well known, partly due to the Libearty campaign (which began in 1992). They currently work on ending bear farming, bear baiting, and the use of dancing bears. WSPA also funds and advises member societies working on bear cub rehabilitation and bear sanctuaries like Kund Park and Balkasar Bear Sanctuary in Pakistan. It can be said that thanks to the WSPA bear baiting campaign this blood sport has largely been stopped in Pakistan.
Besides these specific campaigns, the WSPA also advises governments on and promotes legislation which would improve animal welfare. Their international campaign for a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) aims to take a set of principles on respect and protection for animals to the United Nations for endorsement.
They also design educational programmes on how to work with and care for animals, including programmes for veterinarians, animal owners and children.
Besides campaigning, the WSPA also actively helps animals in need, such as during the aftermath of a natural disaster or war. Many pets become strays when their owners have died or fled and these animals are often in need of food, shelter and medical care. Wild animals often also suffer from the consequences of natural disasters. The loss of draft and farm animals in disaster situations impacts local livelihoods and food security, making recovery harder for the human community. Disasters responded to in recent history include the 2004 tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, where the WSPA provided shelter, food and medical care for stray animals. The WSPA also ensured that evacuees from Hurricane Paloma in Cuba brought their companions. The WSPA was the first animal welfare organization to start work in Myanmar after Cyclone Nargis hit in 2008.
The WSPA also funds and supports mobile clinics that neuter and spay stray cats and dogs, particularly in countries with ineffective and/or cruel methods of animal control. Mobile clinics also provide medical care for horses in Latin America where the owners of the animals often do not have the money and/or knowledge to give the animals the care they need.
^ Pakistan halts bear-baiting event 18 May 2005 BBC News
^ Sindh Wildlife set-up moves summary to ban bear baiting Pakistan Times