Victories and Highlights


Ever since its birth in 1983, In Defense of Animals has been at the forefront of the fight to expose and end animal suffering and exploitation wherever and whenever possible. We have achieved incredible victories for many animals throughout the decades, providing them with renewed opportunities for safe and happy lives.

We hope you will share the pride in some of IDA’s more noteworthy achievements for animals. These, along with many others, could not have happened without your support. On behalf of these animals, and those who still so desperately need our help, we thank you.

● IDA’s investigation of the Cole Bros. Circus, and our filing of federal complaints against them with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fisheries & Wildlife Service, resulted in both formal charges and fines for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act and for their involvement in the illegal sale of endangered Asian elephants, Tina and Jewel.

● Since IDA launched the Elephants in Zoos campaign, we have pressured many zoos in North America to close their elephant exhibits permanently, have inspired other zoos to state they will shut down or phase out their elephant exhibits, and have secured the direct transfer of more than a dozen elephants imprisoned in an artificial zoo enclosure to a natural habitat sanctuary, free from bullhooks and forced breeding…for life!

● IDA was instrumental in the passage of legislation banning the cruel production and sale of foie gras in California.

● IDA helped to ban the cruel practice of canned hunting in the state of Oregon.

● IDA’s Guardian Campaign continues to gain momentum in its quest to elevate animals’ treatment in society. Increasing numbers of cities and counties across the USA, including the state of Rhode Island, now use the term “guardian” instead of (or in addition to) “owner” in their animal-related ordinances, thus rethinking the concept of animal ownership. The growing number of cities which have adopted the term include San Jose, California, Parma, Ohio, and Boulder, Colorado.

● IDA helped to cancel a roundup, planned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, of hundreds of wild horses at the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and also saved thirty-six other stallions from being sent to slaughter.

● IDA prevented 100 Catalina Island buffalo from going to auction, and likely slaughter, by arranging their safe transfer to a permanent home on a Native American reservation in South Dakota.

● IDA’s involvement helped to block the Walt Disney Company’s planned capture and import of elephants, hippos and rhinos from South Africa to the U.S.

● IDA prevented a proposed culling of seals off the coast of South Africa, a five-year plan that would have killed 150,000 baby seals.

● IDA partnered in a lawsuit that blocked the Navy’s plans to use dolphins to guard a submarine base in Bangor, Washington.

● IDA’s work to compile and analyze thousands of pages of chimpanzee medical records from experimental facilities was supplied to the McClatchy Newspapers for their Special Report, “Chimps: Life in the Lab”; the Institute of Medicine’s Committee Recommendations, (which is based on the McClatchy report); and the most prestigious mainstream scientific publication in the world, Scientific American, in their article “Why it is Time to End Invasive Medical Research on Chimpanzees”.

● IDA worked cooperatively with other organizations to secure the release of 55 macaque monkeys who were abandoned by a defunct chemical-testing laboratory and safely transferred them to the safety and freedom of sanctuaries in Texas and Oklahoma.

● IDA’s nine-year campaign closed the Coulston Foundation, once the largest chimpanzee research center in the world. They were forced into bankruptcy, saving hundreds of chimpanzees and monkeys from the cruelties of vivisection.

● IDA liberated 40 captive dolphins off the coast of Japan when an IDA investigator swam underwater in the middle of the night and cut the nets to set them free. We also helped to stop the planned import into the U.S of four orcas, brutally captured in Japan during an annual dolphin roundup.

● IDA gained the freedom of 180 beagles scheduled for death and dissection by veterinary students at the University of California, ended NYU’s crack cocaine experiments on monkeys, ended Rockefeller University’s vomiting experiments on cats, ended the Oregon Primate Center’s psychotropic drug experiments on monkeys, ended Michael Berens’ brain cancer experiments on Beagle puppies and secured the transfer of 30 primates, victims of University of California, Berkeley’s cruel mother-deprivation experiments, to a sanctuary.

● IDA rescued 15 dogs and one cat from impending slaughter at South Korea’s Moran Meat Market and brought them safely back to the U.S. They all received the care, medical treatment and loving homes that all dogs and cats in South Korea deserve. We continue to fight for those whose misfortune was being born into the meat trade, where profound cruelty, neglect and unconscionable methods of slaughter are an everyday routine.

● IDA’s Hope Animal Sanctuary continues its vital work which has already saved tens of thousands of animals, including dogs, cats, goats, sheep, horses, chickens, pelicans, lizards, turtles, lions, tigers and bears from abandonment, starvation, cruelty and abuse. Hope Animal Sanctuary’s mission to be a life-saving force for neglected animals in rural Mississippi continues to be fulfilled. In addition, Hope Animal Sanctuary’s celebrated Freedom Runs program gives thousands more formerly abused and abandoned animals, many of whom were near death, the opportunity to live a renewed life in permanent homes with loving guardians.

● IDA filed a lawsuit which successfully prevented the US Army from breaking the legs of 120 retired racing greyhounds, securing the release of all the greyhounds in the Army’s possession.

● IDA India continues its efforts to bring respect, justice and compassion to the thousands of street animals of Mumbai, India, who fight for survival every day. Our veterinary clinics and ambulance services spay and neuter more than 10,000 animals each year and provide emergency care to thousands more who are in desperate need of help.

● IDA Africa’s Sanaga-Yong Sanctuary in Cameroon, Africa, continues the fight to end the “bush meat” trade, and provides sanctuary and protection in a natural environment for captive and orphaned chimpanzees. Many of the chimpanzees living at the sanctuary continue to recover from the trauma of witnessing their mothers killed by poachers during their capture. Others enjoy freedom and loving care at the sanctuary after enduring decades of life chained to a tree or the ground. Our fight to keep Cameroon’s remaining wild chimpanzees safe in their forest homes continues.