It’s been a banner year for Humane Society International, with new offices and representatives, coverage in an increasing number of countries, and countless animals rescued, helped, and saved.
Making gains for farm animal welfare
- After working with HSI, Burger King agreed to phase out gestation crates and battery cages throughout Latin America, and Arcos Dorados committed to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs, as did other leading restaurant operators in the region.
- In Canada, every major grocery chain, Tim Horton’s, Burger King, A&W, and Aramark all committed to transitioning to 100 percent cage-free eggs.
- McDonald’s South Africa announced plans to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs.
- Compass Group and Sodexo announced a global cage-free policy in partnership with HSI.
- Alsea, the largest restaurant operator in Latin America and Spain, announced a cage-free egg policy after several years of talks with HSI specialists.
- HSI pushed successfully for banning the sale and production of foie gras in Goiania, Brazil.
- We’ve also partnered with major institutions around the globe to promote and implement meat reduction programs.
Taking on the dog meat trade in China and South Korea
- We rescued and cared for 175 dogs and cats bound for slaughter at the annual Yulin festival in China. We also assisted our local Chinese partners in the rescue of more than 3,000 dogs and 3,000 cats from the dog and cat meat trade.
- We permanently closed down our largest dog meat farm to date in South Korea, rescuing and rehoming 250 dogs, and helped five farmers transition out of the trade into humane livelihoods.
- This month, the city housing the largest dog meat market in South Korea announced that it would close down and assist the dog meat vendors with creating new businesses—clear proof that our similar model is succeeding and being considered and adopted by government officials.
Ending animal testing
- We successfully pushed in Europe for the adoption of an animal-free testing strategy for skin allergy based on the “Tox21” paradigm—a step-by-step plan to modernize toxicity testing and better predict human responses to chemicals without involving animals.
- HSI also helped enact a ban on cruel and obsolete rabbit eye and skin testing for drugs in India, and bans on animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients in Taiwan and the State of Para in Brazil. Australian committed to follow suit in 2017.
- HSI’s efforts in China to provide training in animal testing alternatives to companies and government authorities has borne fruit through the country’s adoption of two alternative tests for cosmetics.
Rescuing animals in disaster-struck Haiti
- We provided emergency animal rescue and treatment for animals in Haiti, following the devastation left by Hurricane Matthew, setting up emergency clinics and treating approximately 1,500 animals.
Striking at dogfighting in Latin America
- Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly approved national anti-dogfighting legislation, taking the country a major step closer to a ban on the barbaric practice.
- HSI helped enact animal cruelty legislation in El Salvador, including a dogfighting ban and the requirement that animal welfare be included in public school curricula.
- Similar legislation was also enacted in Honduras that included a dogfighting ban and protection for all species of all animals, including wildlife and farm animals.
Making global progress on ending the elephant ivory and rhino horn trade
- The United States announced a near-complete ban on the ivory trade, and we led the successful ballot campaign in Oregon to ban the sale of 12 types of animals most targeted by wildlife traffickers.
- We also helped enact a ban on the ivory trade in Hawaii.
- We successfully pushed for a ban on the domestic ivory and rhino horn trade in France and in all French territories.
- To date, our rhino conservation campaign has reached more than one-third of the population of Viet Nam. HSI also led the effort for the first-ever public destruction of rhino horn and ivory in Viet Nam.
- China—the world’s largest market for ivory—announced that it would halt all domestic trade in the substance by the end of 2017.
Gains at CITES and IWC
- We helped increase and add protections for 113 species at the 2016 meeting of CITES, including pangolins, barbary macaques, African grey parrots, African pygmy chameleons, arboreal alligator lizards, silky sharks, thresher sharks, devil rays, and more.
- The parties approved a resolution recommending the closure of domestic ivory markets and rejected a proposal from Swaziland to allow limited international trade in rhino horn.
- At the International Whaling Conference in Slovenia, we led efforts culminating in an agreement that the body will now address bycatch, which kills an estimated 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises each year.
Gains for companion animals
- We helped achieve a temporary ban on dog culling and animal fighting in Bangladesh.
- We helped implement a ban on imports of foreign dogs for breeding and commercial use in India.
- We helped spay or neuter approximately 52,000 animals in Asia, and vaccinated approximately 225,000 dogs in Asia.
- We spayed or neutered an additional 15,000 dogs and cats in Latin American countries, including Guyana, Bolivia, Chile, Puerto Rico, and Ecuador.
Striking at animal cruelty worldwide
- India’s Supreme Court upheld a prohibition on Jallikattu, where bulls are subdued by young men. We persuaded the state of Goa in India against legalizing bullfighting. In Assam, also in India, we succeeded in getting a court order to ban bulbul fights, where tiny songbirds are starved and forced to fight each other, and buffalo fights. Finally, the High Court in Hyderabad, India issued an order upholding a ban on cockfighting.
- We helped end the Kots Kaal Pato fiesta in Mexico—a 100-year-old festival in which animals were hung-up like piñatas and beaten to death.
- We rescued 199 animals from cruelty situations in Mexico, and 300 animals from cruelty situations in Costa Rica.
- Our work to close global markets for seal products kept seal fur prices depressed in Canada and another 330,000 baby seals survived the annual slaughter as a result.
- The global outrage we helped generate in response to the gruesome spearing of a bear by a U.S. trophy hunter compelled the government of Alberta to ban spear hunting.
Protecting chimps abandoned in Liberia by the New York Blood Center
- Since 2015, The HSUS and HSI have been taking care of a group of more than 60 chimpanzees abandoned in Liberia by the New York Blood Center. The chimps are thriving under our care, even as NYBC has refused to take responsibility for their upkeep. The work to protect the chimps will continue in the new year and include the establishment of an HSI office in Liberia. Donate and take action now to support our life-saving work.