December 31, 2007
2007 was a busy and exciting year for Humane Society International (HSI) and the animals HSI strives to protect.
HSI often asks supporters to take action on important issues facing animals, and the collective action produces results. With your help, HSI intends to see many more victories in the months and years ahead. Sign up to become an advocate for animals today!
Stopping the seal hunt
Images and stories from the 2007 Canadian commercial seal hunt helped secure key victories in the campaign to end the hunt:
- Ever more restaurants and seafood distributors in the United States and Canada signed on to the ProtectSeals Canadian seafood boycott. By using their purchasing power, these ethical companies are forcing Canada's fishing industry to stop killing seals.
- HSI and its partners around the world made tremendous progress in Europe in the campaign to close global markets for seal products. Prices for seal products declined by 50 percent in 2006. Momentum grew in Europe for the European Union to introduce a ban on the import, export and trade in all seal products. In addition, Germany, Austria, France and the Netherlands all announced their intention to prohibit seal product trade. HSI has now initiated campaigns to ban seal products in five additional EU member states.
Saving whales—not whaling
Whales were once again saved from commercial slaughter at the 2007 meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). The preservation of the standing moratorium on commercial whaling, the erection of a barricade against Japan's upcoming Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) proposal threatening great whales, and movement toward an IWC workshop on climate change all advanced. Japan's proposal for coastal commercial whaling was defeated, and a proposal reaffirming the importance of the commercial whaling moratorium passed.
Japan's fourth largest fisheries company, Kyokuyo, pledged to stop its sale of whale meat in Japan. Following a campaign calling on True World Foods, a company distributing Kyokuyo sushi in the United States, to persuade Kyokuyo to stop selling whale products, Kyokuyo stated it had ceased production of whale products and sold off its remaining stockpile. Maruha, Japan's largest seafood company and one of the former owners of Japan's whaling fleet also confirmed it was ending its production and sale of whale products throughout Japan following an Environmental Investigation Agency campaign in 2006.
Safeguarding dolphin-safe label
In April 2007, a United States court upheld previous rulings to maintain the integrity of the Dolphin Safe tuna label. The U.S. Department of Commerce attempted to weaken the definition of the well known and trusted "dolphin-safe" label to allow tuna caught using a method that kills 2,000 to 4,000 dolphins a year to be labeled and sold as dolphin-safe.
Spotlighting shark finning in Central America
HSI held a regional conference on shark finning in Costa Rica that drew widespread media attention to this cruel and harmful practice and resulted in the establishment of a Latin American coalition that is working towards increased global protection for sharks. The coalition flexed its muscle at a United Nations (UN) meeting by leading the charge for greater shark protections.
Protecting endangered species
- Proposals by Japan and Iceland to ultimately reopen the trade in whale products were defeated by a large margin.
- Four African nations that were seeking to export stockpiled ivory at the risk of increased elephant poaching agreed not to propose additional ivory trade from their countries for at least nine years (however, this is after an initial trade).
- CITES member nations rejected breeding tigers for trade in their parts.
- CITES member countries agreed to ban trade in six of the seven species of sawfish, a species that is closely related to sharks.
- The bobcat will remain protected under a United Nations treaty despite an effort by the United States to eliminate such protection.
Banning cat and dog fur in Europe
On June 19, 2007, the European Parliament voted unanimously to ban cat and dog fur from being imported or exported into Europe by Dec. 31, 2008. This marked the end of an eight-year campaign by Humane Society International to stop this trade.
Passing New Protections for Dogs in the Philippines
A new law in the Philippines requires dog owners to register their dogs and vaccinate them against rabies. The new law is also:
- helping put an end to the dog meat trade
- strengthening animal welfare standards
- protecting people and animals from rabies
The cruel dog meat trade was officially banned in 1998, but in certain areas where dog meat is big business, remained unenforced. HSI sponsored a meeting in 2006 to address the dog meat trade and explore ways to strengthen regulations against it. The Anti-Rabies Act imposes heavy fines and imprisonment for violators.
Sustaining humane animal control in India
HSI worked with local Indian organizations and municipalities to introduce and implement street dog sterilization programs to help reduce the suffering of thousands of homeless animals through humane methods. Through partnerships with local groups like Help in Suffering and Animal Help Foundation, HSI has supported Animal Birth Control programs and the concept of Capture-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (CNVR).
Helping others help animals
Eighty-four international animal welfare workers from 29 countries around the globe joined 1,500 U.S. attendees at the 2007 annual Animal Care Expo sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and HSI in Dallas, Texas. This three-and-a-half-day event offered participants the opportunity to attend workshops and special sessions on a wide range of animal care and protection topics. HSI also arranged week-long internships at selected U.S. humane societies and animal protection agencies for qualified individuals from abroad.
Phasing out farm animal suffering
Canada's largest pig producer, Maple Leaf Foods, will phase out the use of gestation crates and convert to group housing systems, where breeding pigs will have some freedom of movement and the ability to socialize. The phase-out will affect 116,000 animals each year.
Rebuilding a university of Syiah Kuala Teaching Farm, Banda Aceh
HSI, with major support from an anonymous donor, worked with Giant Steps Foundation, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPCA) and local animal welfare group, Yayasan Yudisthira Swarga (The Bali Street Dog Foundation) to rebuild the university's teaching farm, which was destroyed by the December 2004 tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia. HSI introduced a new humane curriculum at the farm which serves as the main veterinary center and teaching facility for northern Sumatra, a region that depends heavily upon farming and livestock production. Its completion is a major step in the recovery of the animal welfare system in the region as well as the economy and hope of the Banda Aceh people.
Campaigning for cage free eggs in India
HSI launched its campaign against battery-cage egg production in India, reaching out to several large-scale egg producers and helping several animal welfare groups within India take on their own efforts to improve the welfare of egg-laying hens.