Announcing Wild Animal Initiative

To­day, we are pleased to an­nounce that Wild-An­i­mal Suffer­ing Re­search (WASR) and Utility Farm (UF) are merg­ing to­gether to form a new or­ga­ni­za­tion fo­cused solely on wild an­i­mal welfare — Wild An­i­mal Ini­ti­a­tive.

Over the last year, we (Wild-An­i­mal Suffer­ing Re­search and Utility Farm) have be­come in­creas­ingly aware that our work over­laps sig­nifi­cantly, and that our val­ues are well al­igned. Be­cause of this, a merger seemed like the nat­u­ral next step for our or­ga­ni­za­tions. We drafted a merger plan, sought feed­back from our teams and ex­ter­nal mem­bers of the EAA com­mu­nity and our re­spec­tive Boards. All were broadly sup­port­ive of our de­ci­sion. This new or­ga­ni­za­tion will be bet­ter suited to co­or­di­nate re­search and aca­demic out­reach, and in­cor­po­rates les­sons that have been learned over the last two years at both WASR and UF.

Wild An­i­mal Ini­ti­a­tive will be­gin pub­lish­ing re­search and writ­ing at wildan­i­ma­l­ini­ti­a­tive.org. How­ever, the Utility Farm and Wild-An­i­mal Suffer­ing Re­search sites will re­main live and serve as an archive of the work pre­vi­ously com­pleted by both or­ga­ni­za­tions. If you’re in­ter­ested in re­ceiv­ing up­dates on our progress, sign up for our mailing list.

Why Wild An­i­mal Ini­ti­a­tive?

Prob­lem. Wild an­i­mals suffer. We don’t have solu­tions to this suffer­ing, and few peo­ple take wild an­i­mal welfare to be a crit­i­cal cause area.

Solu­tion. To im­prove wild an­i­mal welfare, we need to build foun­da­tional knowl­edge of the prob­lem, fa­cil­i­tate the search for solu­tions in academia, and ad­vo­cate for promis­ing strate­gies to im­prove the wellbe­ing of non­hu­man an­i­mals in na­ture. This is the ob­jec­tive of Wild An­i­mal Ini­ti­a­tive.

Priorities

Our pri­ori­ties are to con­duct re­search to un­der­stand the prob­lem, to de­velop solu­tions that im­prove wild an­i­mal welfare, and to build ca­pac­ity through aca­demic out­reach.

Un­der­stand­ing the problem

We will con­duct mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary re­search in ecol­ogy, biol­ogy, and eco­nomics to bet­ter un­der­stand the cause area, eval­u­ate re­search find­ings, iden­tify in­ter­ven­tions and ex­am­ine the rele­vant con­sid­er­a­tions in de­vel­op­ing vi­able in­ter­ven­tions.

We will re­lease a Re­search Agenda in early 2019 that lists our spe­cific pri­ori­ties.

Devel­op­ing solutions

We will con­tinue work to re­search near-term in­ter­ven­tions to im­prove wild an­i­mal welfare, such as ad­vo­cacy for the adop­tion of hu­mane in­sec­ti­cides, and pub­lish re­search on the cost-effec­tive­ness of these in­ter­ven­tions.

Build­ing an aca­demic community

Both WASR and UF spent a sig­nifi­cant amount of time on aca­demic out­reach in 2018. Our goal was to en­courage: (a) the es­tab­lish­ment of welfare biol­ogy as an aca­demic field, and (b) foun­da­tional re­search pro­jects in biol­ogy and ecol­ogy. In 2019, we will re­fo­cus on early ca­reer aca­demics, and launch a new out­reach pro­gram that funds these young aca­demics to con­duct the out­reach them­selves.

Job opportunities

If you’re in­ter­ested in get­ting in­volved, we’d love to hear from you! Right now, we are hiring for the fol­low­ing po­si­tions:

Re­search Manager

Oper­a­tions Manager

We also are hop­ing to con­tinue grow­ing our co­hort of vol­un­teer writ­ers. Sign up to­day!

Sup­port our work

Wild An­i­mal Ini­ti­a­tive is a 501(c)3 non­profit, and dona­tions in the US are tax-de­ductible. Please sup­port our work to­day to help us un­der­stand how to best help wild an­i­mals!