The welfare of elephants in zoos and circuses has become a controversial issue worldwide due to the great suffering and premature deaths of elephants caused by inadequate zoo conditions and life on the road. IDA has become a leading voice for the plight of captive elephants, and works to improve the health and welfare of hundreds of elephants languishing across North America. IDA also takes measures to help wild elephants by raising awareness about issues such as illegal poaching and the international export of wild elephants.
IDA works to be a voice for urban wildlife, such as deer and geese, by educating about and promoting immunocontraception and other nonlethal methods for population control. We also speak up for wild animals, whose lives and families are being destroyed through trophy hunting promoted by organizations prominently including the Safari Club International (SCI), and other forms of “recreational” hunting.
Every year, thousands of wild horses are ripped from their native land in terrifying roundups, corralled in holding pens for life, adopted out, or sold to questionable buyers. Many are sent to slaughter. These roundups are sanctioned by the U.S. government under a law passed in 1972 to “protect” populations of wild free-roaming horses and burros. Yet, the interests of cattle and sheep farmers, backed by political power, have stripped most of the horses’ protections and have drastically reduced their natural habitat. IDA has helped to cancel a roundup of hundreds of wild horses and has saved other stallions from being sent to slaughter. IDA is also proud to be an original member of a coalition of over fifty horse-advocacy organizations working to ensure the wild horse a home on the Western range.