Staff with elephants in Thailand

Our history

Image credit: World Animal Protection / Nick Axelrod

We’ve moved the world to protect animals for 70 years.

Since we began in 1950, we’ve made huge strides in our mission to protect animals. 

Thanks to our amazing supporters, we’ve woken the world up to the cruelty and suffering that billions of animals endure.

We became World Animal Protection in June 2014. While our name changed, our determination to protect animals remains the same. 

Just like our supporters worldwide, we know change for the better is always possible.

The more people who join us, the more we can achieve for animals. Will you sign up now to help end needless animal suffering?

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Our history
Piglet in staff member's arms
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A history of protecting animals everywhere

We’ve always moved wherever the need for animal protection is greatest – from treating more than 70,000 animals following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, to ending bear dancing across India in 2012, to investigating animal trafficking in El Salvador. And as we’ve grown, we’ve focused on protecting more animals in more places.

Today, we have offices in 12 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America. 

Find out more about our work worldwide.

Our previous campaigns

Learn about some of the achievements we've made for animals in disasters, wildlife, community animals, and farm animals.

A history of disaster work

Ever since ‘Operation Gwamba’ in 1964, when we rescued 10,000 animals from floodwaters in Suriname, South America we’ve protected millions of animals in disasters.

We’ve responded to earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, tornados, volcano eruptions, cyclones and shipwrecks. We’ve saved animals in conflicts from Bosnia to Rwanda and Afghanistan. 

See how we save animals in disasters.

A history of campaigning

We’ve campaigned for lasting change for decades. Launched in 1985, our campaign against bullfighting moved almost 50 cities in France and Spain to ban bullfighting.

In the same decade, India banned the trade in frogs’ legs after six years of WSPA campaigning – saving more than 30 million frogs annually. And in the 1990s, our Libearty campaign helped to outlaw bear dancing in Greece, Turkey and most of India. Today, we keep fighting for a better future for animals – add your voice to help protect animals.

A history of global action

We’ve moved international organisations to protect animals for many years. As WSPA, we began lobbying the EU in the 1980s, were given consultative status at the UN in 1981 and by the 1990s had been represented at the Council of Europe. Today, we’re the only animal protection organisation to regularly address the UN. 


We’re proud of our past and excited about our future – join us to help move the world to protect animals and the planet we all call home. 

Staff at a layer hens protest, Sydney, Australia

Take Action

We’re fighting to stop people exploiting wildlife and give farmed animals good lives. Take action today by signing our petitions and pledging to protect wildlife and farm animals. We need your help. Are you with us?

Act Now
Wild elephant in Udawalawa National Park Sri Lanka

Our wildlife work

Around the world, wild animals are being exploited. They’re hunted down, trapped and farmed in captivity, all to be sold and abused for entertainment, medicine, fashion, pets and products.

Broiler chicken

Our farm animal work

Every day, pigs, cows and chickens are crammed in together in unhealthy conditions, subjected to horrific cruelty and then slaughtered.