International Cat Day

International Cat Day is a celebrated annually on August 8. It was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. World Cat Day is also celebrated on 17 February in much of Europe and on 1 March in Russia. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) was founded by a small group of people in 1969, to stop the commercial hunt for seal pups in Canada. One of IFAW’s founders, and possibly its most well known member, is Brian Davies. With offices in over a dozen countries, and projects in more than 40 IFAW is one of the largest animal welfare organisations in the world. Activities undertaken by the International Fund for Animal Welfare include:

  • Rescuing and releasing whales, dolphins and porpoises that have stranded or been entangled in nets and fishing gear.
  • Promoting whale watching, as an alternative to whale hunting.
  • protecting the last 400 critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, and have developed acoustic detection systems, and collaborate with lobstermen, commercial fishers and shipping industries to prevent collisions with ships and gear entanglements.
  • Educating people worldwide Through the Animal Action Education about animal welfare and wildlife conservation issues
  • helping companion animals in underserved communities around the world Through their Community-Linked Animal Welfare (CLAW) projects.
  • Training customs officers and game wardens in many countries to prevent the killing of endangered species.
  • protecting elephants by protecting critical elephant habitats, managing human-elephant conflict, preventing poaching, ending illegal ivory trade and rescuing orphan and injured elephants.
  • Carrying out legislative and educational campaigns across the globe to prevent cruelty to animals, preserve endangered species, and protect wildlife habitats.

IFAW is best known for its leading role in the campaigns to end the commercial seal hunt in Canada and end commercial whaling, as well as its work to help dogs and cats in impoverished communities, protect elephants, end illegal ivory trade, rescue and release of wild animals such orphan rhino and rescue of animals in the wake of disasters such as hurricane Katrina in the US.

unfortunately The International Fund for Animal Welfare was involved in controversy after it was discovered that the financial manager of the Brian Davies Foundation, invested IFAW’s money in organizations that carried out animal experiments, such as Bausch & Lomb, US Surgicals, Glaxo, Merck, Abbot, Upjohn, Philip Morris and McDonald’s. However this was resolved When the investment was drawn to the attention of IFAW’s trustees,  the shares were sold immediately and the financial manager concerned was dismissed. When Davies retired from IFAW in 1997 to start Network For Animals, IFAW wanted to use his name and image for fundraising and campaigns. In return, he was to receive $2.5 million over seven years. The contract was important for the continued level of success that IFAW achieved with Davies’ leadership, according to research on successful animal welfare organizations”.

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