The main objective or goal set by any animal rights and welfare activist is to provide these innocent animals with a tomorrow that is better than their today. Their primary aim is to end the cruelty and ignorance extended by humans toward these harmless creatures with whom we share this beautiful planet.
Brian Davies is a well-established name that comes up in any conversation that discusses animal rights and welfare. That’s why we thought we would like to introduce him to our readers.
”Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it”.ALBERT SCHWEITZER
Who Is Brian Davies?
Brian Davies is a Canadian animal welfare activist who has been struggling for animal rights for more than four decades. He has been imprisoned several times and even went on a hunger strike to make his point.
Brian Davies was born in 1935 in the Welsh mining village of Tonyrefail, he was raised by a family who taught him the importance of compassion towards living creatures. As a child, Brian was always rescuing animals and bringing them home.
He once recalled, “from the time I could walk, I was rescuing animals. I was always finding cats or dogs that were lost or injured”.
Gloria Davies has worked in animal welfare alongside Brian Davies as his wife for 50 years. Gloria was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is of Italian heritage. She is the CEO of Network for Animals. Gloria, like Brian, has dedicated her life to making the world a better place for animals in desperate need.
Beginning Of A Career In Animal Welfare
Brian’s activism began in early 1958, at the age of 23 when an automobile struck a dog outside Davies’ home. He contacted the Fredericton Society for the Protection of Animals (SPCA) since no local veterinarians were accessible. They advised him to rush the dog to Fredericton Animal Hospital. This experience ignited a flame of passion and love for animals within Brian that only grew with him throughout his life.
He observed that most of the animals in shelters were there because they had been abused or neglected by their owners, which motivated him to work harder to improve their lives. After realizing the injustice and cruelty to animals, he joined the New Brunswick Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NBSPCA) in 1961. With NBSPCA backing him, Davies remained in the front and center to prevent animal cruelty, especially the hunt for baby harp seals.
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)
By 1968, the NBSPCA took a step back and disengaged from Save The Seal campaign. Davies, however, refused to separate himself from the campaign.
He eventually just renamed the Save The Seals campaign to The International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW).
Taking the step towards change
He would take groups of people into airplanes to bear witness to the barbaric actions taken by the commercial sealers. These sealers would hunt thousands of baby harp seals, aged nearly three weeks and three months, using horrific methods like shooting to death or crushing their skulls with a hakapik.
The Canadian government, on the contrary, opposed Davies because he refused to disengage with the Seal Campaign.
In 1977, Davies was sentenced to prison when he was persuaded to break the Seal Protection Regulations by flying a helicopter in an area where it was not permitted.
Efforts Paying Off
IFAW was forced to move its headquarters from Canada to the United States due to increasing difficulty in campaigning. In 1983, 18 years after the seal campaign, European Union General Court placed a ban on importing newborn harp seals (whitecoats) and hooded seal pups (bluebacks) throughout Europe.
Political Animal Lobby and Network For Animals
Davies retired from IFAW in 2003 but remained involved in animal welfare and formed the Network for Animals (NFA) and the Political Animal Lobby (PAL).
Political Animal Lobby was unique in its ability to generate political change for animals.
Davies knew that politics play an enormous role in the realm of animal welfare and rights, and saw the need for an organization dedicated to changing policies at the highest levels of government. He believed decisive change for animals must ultimately involve political change.
One of PAL’s (Political Animal Lobby) greatest achievements was the donation of $1,450,000 to political parties like the British Labour Party. This donation helped win Labour the election and go on to create the Hunting Act, which they had pledged to animal lovers across the UK.
It helped them be able to operate and speak freely in politics within the UK.
On the other hand, the Network for Animals is a leading force against animal cruelty, representing nearly one million supporters and activists in the United States.
The Network For Animals is an animals charitable trust focused on the global injustices toward animals. Network For Animals has been able to take on grassroots activism such as seizing dogs from the Philippine Dog Meat Trade and supporting small animal rescues.
Network For Animals, executive director David Barritt is on the ground in Dubrovnik pleading with authorities not to immediately close Zarkovica shelter.
Their initiatives included:
- Ending horse fighting in the Philippines.
- Protecting Rhinos poaching and elephant culling from criminal activities in Africa and Tanzania.
- Saving the Seals from the vicious seal hunt.
- Seizing dogs from the illegal dog meat trade in the Philippines.
Provides disaster relief for animals.
Animals Survival International
Animal Survival International is a sister organization for Political Animal Lobby and Network For Animals and acts as a voice for animals around the world threatened by climate change, habitat destruction, and the illegal wildlife trade. Our mission is to make the world a better place for animals.
“I will continue to fight for the animals until the day I die.”Brian Davies
As an animal welfare activist, Brian Davies has made a significant difference. Surprisingly it all began with rescuing an injured dog outside his home. If not all, surely we too can focus on helping animals in every way within our reach. Even if it includes simply taking a dog to the doctor.
Please read also the story of the 9-year-old South African animal rescuer Lukhanyo Gal
Brian Davies is one of the world’s most distinguished animal activists. He founded Network for Animals (NFA), Animal Survival International (ASI) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). His actions brought to an end the annual slaughter of baby whitecoat seals in Canada and he played a significant role in ending fox-hunting in the United Kingdom. Among his numerous other achievements are dramatically reducing the illegal dog-meat trade in the Philippines and helping to bring about an end to seal and elephant culling in South Africa. Brian is now 87 but says he will continue working: “until I drop dead fighting animal injustice.”