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May 7, 2010

2008 Accomplishments

Humane Society International

In 2008, Humane Society International (HSI) made extraordinary strides, bringing life-saving care to animals worldwide—and protecting millions more from future suffering. 

This was only possible because HSI supporters took action online, made a donation, or told friends and family about HSI's work. From securing new international policies to responding to natural disasters in regions around the globe HSI, together with its supporters, helped create a better future for animals and people.

With your help, HSI intends to see many more victories in the months and years ahead. If you haven't already, please sign up to become an advocate for animals today!


  • eBay banned ivory sales on their website, which will hopefully reduce poaching of elephants for their tusks.
  • The polar bear was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • The United States House and Senate directed United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to not fund programs that support or promote recreational, sport, or trophy hunting as a conservation tool.
  • HSI negotiated better protections for sharks and other species in Australia’s largest fishery, the Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery.
  • HSI joined the World Bank in their Tiger Conservation Initiative.
  • HSI launched the "Don’t Buy Wild" campaign to educate people about the threats to wildlife posed by human consumptive and non-consumptive use. Over 11,000 people have signed the "Don't Buy Wild" pledge.
  • Since early 2007, HSI has supported sustainable agriculture & habitat protection in Central America, improving wildlife conservation and the economic livelihood of Central American farmers.


  • The government of Canada laid 17 charges against seal hunters based on HSI's 2007 seal hunt video footage analyzed and provided to authorities by HSI Canada.
  • HSI staff were found innocent of violating a condition of their seal hunt observation licenses that requires they remain at least 10 meters from sealing activity.
  • The European Commission produced a draft regulation to ban seal product trade in the European Union. The European Parliament will amend and vote on the regulation early in 2009, and the passing of this trade prohibition could spell the beginning of the end for the global commercial sealing industry.
  • HSI helped coordinate a mass demonstration in Brussels, Belgium for an EU ban on seal products.
  • In 2008, eighteen grocery store chains with more than 760 locations and hundreds of restaurants joined the boycott of Canadian seafood during the year, bringing the total number to more than 5,000 establishments.

Animal testing

  • 2008 marked the end of animal skin irritation testing in the EU, thanks to HSI-Europe's campaign to accelerate regulatory acceptance of proven alternative methods, and in particular our campaign to end skin irritation on rabbits.
  • The European Commission adopted a long-awaited proposal to update and improve the European Union’s more than 20-year-old legislation governing animal experiments (Directive 86/609/EEC).

Marine mammals

  • HSI secured a historic decision from the Australian Federal Court, which found that the Japanese whaling company is in breach of Australian law when it kills whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary, and ordered that the hunt be stopped. 
  • Dominica announced that it will not support Japan and whaling at this year’s IWC meeting, following our advocacy work to get them to vote for whales and against whaling. 
  • With Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), HSI settled a low frequency active sonar case, with strong mitigation measures for Low Frequency Active (LFA) use in the Pacific.
  • HSI was instrumental in stopping the plans to build a dolphinarium and establish a dolphin capture operation in Panama. 


  • In response to HSI and The Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST)'s joint effort, Taiwan's world-class National Palace Museum announced that it will no longer serve shark fin. 
  • HSI worked to obtain better regulations to stop shark finning in national and international arenas.

Factory farming

Dogs & cats

  • HSI Canada collaborated with the CSPCA to raid three puppy mills in Quebec, seizing more than 330 neglected and abused animals. HSI was able to find homes for all of the dogs.
  • Mass spay/neuter initiatives began this year in Ethiopia, Peru, the Philippines and Trinidad & Tobago.
  • With the new Anti-Rabies Law in place with stronger laws for dog meat traders, HSI has been empowering local Philippines officials and pound workers to improve their skills through enforcement, animal handling and control and pound management trainings.
  • The first international Spay Day event was a success, with 16 groups participating around the world.


Training/local empowerment

  • Through Animal Care Expo, HSI coordinated U.S.-based internships for animal welfare advocates from around the world.
  • HSI provided training for international animal welfare advocates, animal care workers and veterinarians through workshops and professional conferences, including the Caribbean Animal Welfare Conference, Act Asia, and workshops in China, the Philippines, Central America and the Caribbean.

Policy & trade

  • HSI went before both the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) arguing for animal welfare to be included in trade considerations.   
  • HSI won more turtle protection in the Dominican Republic through the first citizen submission under the The Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA).
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