The cruel practice of dancing bears was made illegal in India in 1972 but in the decades that followed sloth bears that had been caught from the wild continued to be beaten and mutilated to force them to dance. International Animal Rescue and our Indian partners Wildlife SOS succeeded in bringing this barbaric practice to an end in December 2009 and the rescued bears live in a safe, semi-natural environment in our sanctuaries in India.
Millions of migrating birds are illegally shot down as they fly over Malta each year. International Animal Rescue joined the campaign to end this indiscriminate slaughter in 1990 and lobbies at a national and European level for greater bird protection. Max Farrugia, Chairman of International Animal Rescue in Malta, runs a bird rehabilitation hospital in Valleta. Once their wounds have healed, rescued birds are released back into the wild.
Sterilisation is the only humane and effective way of reducing and controlling large populations of stray cats. International Animal Rescue’s vets in India and Indonesia routinely sterilise stray cats at our clinics. A team from Catastrophes Cat Rescue in the UK also conducts sterilisation trips for us in Spain and other parts of Europe, intensively trapping and sterilising communities of feral cats and giving them treatment for injuries and illness.
International Animal Rescue was set up in Goa on the west coast of India to reduce the suffering of the stray dog population. Unregulated breeding had resulted in large numbers of sick and starving dogs and puppies on the streets and beaches. Since then our sterilisation and vaccination programmes in Goa and subsequently also in Tamil Nadu have dramatically reduced the numbers of strays.
Widespread destruction of the rainforest and the illegal trade in primates in Indonesia inflict terrible suffering on animals that are caught from the wild to be killed for bushmeat or sold as pets. They also pose the threat of extinction to some endangered species. International Animal Rescue's team in Indonesia specialises in rescuing and rehabilitating orangutans, macaques and slow lorises and releasing them back into protected areas in the wild.