In 2019, HSI drove key global wins for farm animals and against dog meat trade, wildlife trafficking and more
With a presence in more than 50 countries, Humane Society International has the reach and the ability to create lasting and transformational change for animals around the globe. In 2019, among several achievements, our team helped win key victories for giraffes, elephants and rhinos at the meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). We also closed down two dog meat operations in South Korea and transported 300 dogs to safety and a chance at a better life; passed laws in Canada to end shark fin sales and to ban the use of cetaceans in entertainment; and won cage-free commitments from food producers, restaurants and retailers around the globe.
HSI expanded further into Europe this year, in Poland, Romania, Italy and Germany, where we will focus on issues like dogfighting, farm animal welfare and human-wildlife conflict.
Here are some of HSI’s most important victories:
- We closed down two dog meat farms — our 14th and 15th — in South Korea, rescuing nearly 300 dogs.
- Authorities in South Korea shut down the Gupo dog meat market, one of the country’s largest such markets. With local partner groups, HSI rescued nearly 100 dogs from the market as it shut down.
- Seoul’s last three dog meat shops agreed to end dog slaughter on-site. Authorities in the capital city have now declared their city free of dog slaughter.
- Working with our partner groups in China, CAWA and Vshine, we led the shutdown of an illegal slaughterhouse, saving 31 dogs on site, and assisted activists who had halted a shipment of 620 cats being trucked to a slaughterhouse.
- In Cebu City, Philippines, we vaccinated 80,000 dogs over a five-month period, in what was Humane Society International’s largest vaccination drive.
Animal protection and crisis response:
- After Cyclone Idai devastated Malawi and Mozambique, HSI provided veterinary care and supplies to dogs, cats and farm animals there.
- In the Bahamas, following Hurricane Dorian, our team assisted with search and rescue of lost/displaced pets, the care of animals in need of medical attention, and the transport of animals being cared for at a temporary shelter.
- After a landslide left hundreds of people homeless in Bolivia, HSI provided veterinary care and helped reunite dogs and cats with their families.
- HSI/Canada staff, along with the Montreal SPCA, rescued more than 200 wild animals from a roadside zoo outside of Quebec. Animals rescued included lions, tigers, zebras, and bears. All animals received care and HSI assisted in placement and transport of the animalsto partner sanctuaries throughout North America.
- The relentless efforts of our HSI India and Nepal teams, other animal protection groups and Indian law enforcement officials helped bring down the number of animal sacrifices at the Gadhimai festival in Nepal.
- In Central and Latin America, almost two dozen companies committed to ending the sales of eggs from caged hens, including Carrefour (which operates 589 stores in Argentina), Walmart Brazil, Unifood (the largest fast-food holding company in Chile) and La Parroquia de Veracruz (a major restaurant chain in Mexico).
- We helped Tesco become the first major retailer in South East Asia to pledge to sell only cage-free eggs, a move that affects the company’s 2,000 stores in Thailand and Malaysia.
- Standard Charter, which finances companies in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, stated its commitment to provide financial services only to clients that provide cage-free production systems for livestock. This is the first time a financial institution has announced such a policy.
- In Brazil, we worked with partners to convince Pamplona, a major pork producer, to commit to eliminating gestation crates, sparing more than 40,000 mother pigs annually from extreme confinement.
- The High Court of Delhi reiterated a prohibition on the establishment of new battery cages throughout India and directed the Indian government to regulate the poultry industry.
Animals in research:
- Brazil announced sweeping changes to its requirements for animal testing of agricultural pesticides, including eliminating the requirement for a controversial one-year toxicity test conducted on dogs, a move prompted by years of government negotiations led by HSI as well as an HSUS undercover investigation.
- Australia moved to end reliance on cosmetic animal testing, by passing the Government’s Industrial Chemicals Bill 2017 into law.
- Avon, P&G and Estée Lauder Companies joined HSI’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign, supporting a worldwide ban on cosmetics testing on animals.
- Canada, the largest importer of shark fins outside Asia, passed a landmark bill that includes measures to prohibit the trade in shark fins nationally as well as finning in Canadian waters.
- Canadian lawmakers overwhelmingly passed the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins Act or the “Free Willy Bill.” It bans the trade, possession, capture and breeding of all cetaceans for entertainment.
- Delegates at the meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) voted to protect giraffes from overexploitation in international trade. Countries also took action at CITES to limit the capture of wild African elephants from Botswana and Zimbabwe for export to zoos and rejected multiple dangerous proposals to open up the trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn.
- Yahoo! Japan announced it would stop selling elephant ivory products on its e-commerce platforms beginning November 1, 2019.
- HSI and the HSUS released findings of undercover investigations into the ivory trade in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. Legislation has been introduced in both jurisdictions to crack down on such sales.
- We received official approval from the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training to develop a comprehensive threatened species curriculum (which includes lessons on several threatened species including pangolins, tigers, rhinos, elephants, primates, hornbills, and more) for national primary school extracurricular lessons.
- Following a global effort spearheaded by the HSUS, HSI and the Fur-Free Alliance, Prada, one of the world’s biggest fashion houses, announced it will go fur-free—including for its Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands.
- The British luxury department store Selfridges announced a policy banning leather made from the skins of exotic animals, becoming one of the first department stores to do so.
- Following outreach and conversations with HSI, Snow + Rock, a major retail chain specializing in outdoor wear with over 20 stores across the United Kingdom, adopted a no fur policy.
- In October, HSI/U.K. and the Finnish animal protection group Oikeutta Eläimille released video footage from their latest undercover investigation of fur farms in Finland, documenting the terrible suffering millions of animals continue to endure for this completely unnecessary commodity. Finland’s fur farms produce and export large quantities of fur each year, including to the United States and the United Kingdom.
On the eve of a new year, one we hope to make our biggest and best in terms of transformational outcomes for animals, we’re as enthusiastic and committed as ever, and we hope that you are too. In 2020, with your support, we will continue to grow our global campaigns, and to deliver meaningful and dramatic changes for animals across the world.