Learn more about the science of animal protection

What is animal sentience?

Science shows that animals are sentient beings meaning they think and feel, have personalities and needs of their own. This means that very large numbers of sentient animals routinely experience pain and deprivation at human hands.

Our evidence irrefutably proves that animals are sentient beings. Our views are rooted in our extensive research and our opinions are published in reports such as 'Wild at Heart: The hidden cruelty behind the exotic pet trade of african grey parrots' and 'Pork and the Superbug Crisis: How higher welfare farming is better for pigs and people'. We carry out ground breaking investigations, which drive real change.

How do use our research to make change?

Through research, reporting and campaigns we show the true personalities of every animal. We help people see animals for the individuals they are. In this knowledge, people consider and change their behaviour to improve the lives of animals and ultimately their own.

For example our undercover investigation into the Elephant Crush, resulted in media, governments and institutions realizing in horror the abuse that goes on behind the scenes to tame wild animals and helped propel our campaign forward to end this cruelty. Our Animal Protection Index (API) ranks how well 50 countries protect animals, which helps us to press for better legislation.

We are the only Animal Welfare NGO to be awarded the UN’s general consultative status, cementing our standing as the leading authority on animal welfare. This gives us the credibility and influence to bring about solutions that change opinions and actions of the world’s most influential entities.

Browse our reports

Curbing the global wildlife trade

A macaque at a market in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photographer Reference: Aaron Gekoski

Every day, thousands of wild animals are poached, farmed or sold into the global multi-billion-dollar wildlife trade – for food, pets, traditional medicine and entertainment.

Wildlife. Not Entertainers

Tiger cub chained

Wildlife. Not Pets

Otter, Japan

Wildlife. Not Medicine

Lion Farm South Africa

The demand for traditional Asian medicine is threatening wildlife populations around the world. From big cat farms to pangolin poaching, iconic animals are being pushed to the bring of extinction to fuel a scientifically unproven practice.

Raise Pigs Right

Pigs, Latin America

Millions of pigs around the world are raised on cruel factory farms that confine them to cages and barren environments, mutilate piglets to prevent fighting in overcrowded spaces, and break their spirits by not allowing them to express their natural behaviors.

Change for Chickens

chickens, USA

Sea Change

turtle, Sea Change