World Animal Net (WAN) maintains the most comprehensive online global database of animal protection organisations with over 17,000 contacts in 170 countries. The organization was founded in 1997 by people with a long history of working in the animal protection field. The goal was to improve communication, coordination, and effective action among the world's animal protection groups. WAN has consultative status at the United Nations where we push for official recognition of World Animal Day and a universal declaration for animals. 99% of the world’s animal protection organisations are focused on extending direct assistance to animals within their geographical reach; meanwhile, the focus of WAN is on education, regional and global legislation, and policy changes that all have long-term potential for improving the lives of millions of animals.
Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and also working from South Africa and the United Kingdom, WAN researches, analyses and engages in international animal protection policy advocacy. Only a handful of other animal protection organisations do this and, many do so, on an issue-by-issue basis, as opposed to a wider strategy policy approach. As a few examples, we have:
- United Nations: provide input to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE): worked on Regional Animal Welfare Strategies in Africa, and provided professional advice on the forthcoming Global Animal Welfare Strategy.
- European Union, FAO and World Bank: advocated on the mainstreaming of animal welfare in development.
- World Bank: participated in the third phase of consultations on the World Bank’s second draft Environmental and Social Framework (ESF), prepared “best practice” documentation for the Bank’s work impacting animal welfare.
- Established an International Policy Forum in 2014 to convene key international, regional and national animal protection representatives to collaborate, network, and develop policy proposals and joint advocacy.
- WAN has developed a Model Animal Welfare Act to be used for legislative and regulatory animal protection in every jurisdiction.