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Animals cannot help themselves – they must depend on people who care to fight for them. HSI represents more than 10 million people around the world who care.

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PO Box 439 AVALON NSW 2107
(61) (2) 9973 1728
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)      


Frequently Asked Questions

Who is HSI?

Founded in 1991, Humane Society International (HSI) has offices in Australia, the US, Canada, Europe and Central America to help carry out and support field activities and programs in over 35 countries. HSI Australia works as a major non-government force in Australia and the region for wildlife conservation and animal protection.

Humane Society International (HSI) is the largest animal protection organisation in the world with millions of supporters around the globe.  We have 10 offices strategically placed around the world and special conservation projects in many countries. HSI was established in Australia in May 1994 for the Asia Pacific region and already has one of the fastest growing memberships of any non-government conservation organisation in Australia.

HSI was established in Australia in May 1994 for the Asia Pacific region. With over 60,000 Australian supporters and a number of significant achievements, HSI is in a strong position to advocate change for the benefit of all animals.

Our vision is a world in which people change their interaction with other animals and their environments, evolving from exploitation and harm to respect and compassion.

How does HSI help protect animals and their habitats?

In the 20 years since its launch, HSI has supported over 100 animal protection or welfare projects across Australia, Asia, India and Africa.

HSI has distributed or leveraged over $2m in funds for small on-the-ground projects which are in the places where animals need us the most. They range from rehabilitating and releasing injured or distressed wildlife, rescuing endangered wild animals from illegal traders and during natural disasters, or to supporting local communities in their efforts to protect wildlife and their natural environment.

In Australia the HSI-operated Wildlife Land Trust (WLT) has established a network of sanctuaries in Australia - - to help conserve privately owned wildlife habitat; the "Humane Choice" food label is an accredited program to improve the lives of farm animals and address the unsustainable practice of intensive farming; and hundreds of species and almost five million acres of ecologically important habitat in Australia have been protected by HSI nominations under Australia's national environment laws.

We take legal action when needed; for example with our legal challenge against the Japanese whalers to stop whaling in the Australian Whaling Sanctuary, or securing a ban on the importation of dog and cat fur from horrific Chinese fur farms.

HSI also spends a lot of time and effort working to change national and global policy and law, lobbying bureaucrats and politicians to significantly improve protection regimes for animals and the environment. We have been devoting a great deal of our efforts over the last few years into the issue of climate change, and have been at the forefront pushing for laws and policies to help combat the effects of an increasingly warming world on the natural environment.

What makes HSI unique?

At the heart of everything we do is our focus on the humane care, welfare and stewardship of animals. This goes hand-in-hand with our broader work protecting the wider environment, biodiversity and wildlife habitat. We believe in the humane protection and care of individual animals, populations and whole species.

We are unique in Australia in the manner in which we support a broad array of programs, state-wide, nationally, regionally and globally, that bridge the overlap between wildlife conservation and animal welfare matters, working simultaneously on the ground and at the highest diplomatic levels.

Together with our supporters we are the voice for animals and their homes around the world.

Who does HSI work with?

HSI works closely with other like-mined national and international not-for-profit organisations to help protect animals around the globe. These include Profauna (Indonesia), Wildlife SOS (India), Wildlife Friends of Thailand, Born Free Foundation, RSPCA, IFAW, WWF, the Wilderness Society, Fauna and Flora International and Conservation International.

In Australia HSI works closely with other not-for-profit organisations to secure legal protection for threatened and endangered species and wildlife habitat, and with the rural community to help improve the lives of farm animals.

Does HSI have animal or wildlife rescue centres?

We do not directly run or fund animal shelters in Australia, but encourage our supporters to support and get involved with their local wildlife rescue group or shelter. Overseas HSI-funded wildlife centres help rescue and rehabilitate endangered and threatened wild animals in Indonesia, Africa and India.

What can I do to help?

Please support us today by making regular, automatic monthly donations to HSI from your bank account or credit card. It's an easy way to give. Monthly donations can be from as little as $10, are deducted on the 15th of the month and can be altered at any time.

Alternatively you can give a single donation by using our secure website, or by posting a cheque/postal order made payable to 'Humane Society International' to PO Box 439, Avalon NSW 2107.

Our supporters help the organisation in many ways such as raising sponsorship money or organising a community fundraising event, or perhaps joining a workplace giving program and contributing a regular amount from your pay. Writing letters is a very effective way of spreading the message about our cause. By writing to newspapers, magazines and other media, to politicians and businesses, we can educate others and influence policy and laws.

Are there any job vacancies at HSI?

Job vacancies at HSI come up rarely but are advertised on the HSI website, under the About Us section.

Will you protect my privacy?

Yes. HSI values and respects all individuals and organizations seeking to donate time, money or resources to our organisation. We will not disclose information that you may give us, such as your name, address, e-mail address or telephone number, to any third party companies, unless we have your consent. We may disclose your personal information to third party service providers, such as mailing houses, for the sole purpose of assisting with the preparation of direct mail/email appeals, newsletter mailings or similar. You can read our full privacy policy by clicking the link at the bottom of any page.

How can I find out what wildlife is endangered or faced with extinction?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains a 'red list' of threatened species. The associated website, http://www.iucnredlist.org/, allows you to search for particular species to check their status.

Species and ecological communities in Australia that are threatened with extinction are protected under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. The list of threatened animals listed under the Act is available at http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicthreatenedlist.pl?wanted=fauna , threatened plants are listed at http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicthreatenedlist.pl?wanted=flora , and threatened ecological communities at http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publiclookupcommunities.pl .

Where does the money raised go?

Money donated is put immediately into animal protection, wildlife conservation and environmental programs in Australia and overseas.

Most of our income comes from individual donors just like you. Donations are used to fund our animal protection and wildlife projects supporting wildlife rescue centres, rehabilitation and release programs for endangered wild animals, and the investigation of wildlife crime.

Your contributions allow us to deliver disaster relief efforts where and when they are needed.

They support our work to protect wildlife habitat in Australia and overseas, with initiatives such as the Wildlife Land Trust helping private landholders protect th

What percentage of my donation goes to HSI's animal protection and environmental projects?

Over 80% of the money HSI raises goes directly to our animal protection projects and conservation work in Australia and overseas. Around 10% of our expenditure is invested in fundraising to increase our capacity to fund projects in future years. The remaining 10% of expenditure is spent on day-to-day operational costs to maintain our office, and ensure we deliver all of our projects and campaigns in the most efficient way possible.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. All donations to HSI of $2 or more are tax deductible (Australia only).

How do I change/cancel my regular monthly gift?

You can make changes or cancel your regular monthly gift at any time by calling us on 1800 333 737 or sending an email to admin@hsi.org.au. Alternatively you can write to us at HSI, PO Box 439, Avalon NSW 2107. We can update your credit card or bank account information, adjust the amount of your monthly gift and ensure we're sending you the information you want to receive.

Can I make a donation in memory of a loved one?

Yes, you and your family and friends can make contributions in memory of a pet, family member, friend or colleague. We can even set-up a web page to help raise funds in memory of your loved one. Please call Customer Service on 1800 333 737 who can help with any questions or queries you may have.

How do I change my contact details/account information with HSI?

Please let us know about your new address, contact details or account information by calling 1800 333 737 or email admin@hsi.org.au. Alternatively you can write to us at HSI, PO Box 439, Avalon NSW 2107. This will ensure we can keep you up to date with our successes, project news and issues where we need your help.

I have set-up a regular monthly gift. What date will it get processed?

HSI processes all regular monthly gifts on the 15th of every month (or next working day). We have one processing date for automatic regular monthly gifts to keep our administration costs to a minimum.

What are the major threats to animals and wildlife?

In Australia, across Asia and around the globe the loss of wildlife habitat is having a huge impact on our natural world. Habitat loss is directly threatening the long term survival of thousands of species and biodiversity.

Habitat destruction is the main reason why wildlife habitat is being lost, followed closely now by the immense threats posed by climate change. In addition, a complex mix of factors can affect wildlife habitat including grazing by livestock and feral animals, weed invasion, salinity, and changes in the availability of water, as well as bushfire.

Overseas, animals are being illegally traded for money for use in traditional medicines, or kept as pets in shocking conditions. The high demand for rare species to be kept as pets or used in traditional medicines ensures this illegal trade remains substantial, reputedly worth some $40 billion per year. Illegal wildlife trade (including the bush meat trade) is virtually sucking dry remaining natural habitats in south-east Asia, with its wildlife destined for the ever hungry Chinese markets.

Despite a myriad of environmental and animal welfare laws in Australia and almost every country where HSI operates, there is often poor enforcement and operation of these laws. HSI supports local groups working with law enforcement agencies to help enforce existing animal protection and environmental laws.

Many endangered wild animals die from malnutrition, or injuries and diseases because of a lack of rescue and rehabilitation facilities. HSI is committed to funding rescue centres where they're needed the most. We are the sole funder of the Bali Wildlife Rescue Centre, and we support the Bannerghatta Bear Sanctuary in India and the SanWild sanctuary in South Africa.

Natural disasters, such as the Tsunami and Victorian Bushfires, have an enormous impact on wildlife and companion animals. Hundreds of thousands of animals have been killed or injured in these, and similar, natural disasters. HSI has provided emergency relief to assist animal rescue efforts across our region.

What is biodiversity and why is it so important?

Biodiversity is the variety of plant, animal life and micro organisms found in a particular habitat, or in the world as a whole. A high level of biodiversity is essential, as it is only when all of these interdependent biological systems are working together do they provide people and animals with clean water to drink, air to breathe and fertile soils for food.

HSI considers the protection of biodiversity as essential to achieve our mission of creating an ecologically sustainable and humane world for all animals and their environments. While it might be possible for the world to survive the ravages of a world significantly changed by the effects of climate change, the loss of the bulk of the world's biological diversity is quite simply unsustainable for many species and human life.

How does HSI help animals in a natural disaster like the Tsunami, hurricanes or bushfire?

Every year, thousands of animals are affected by increasing numbers of natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, cyclones, earthquake and drought, while others find themselves in crisis, without food, water and shelter following man-made events.

Wherever possible and with thanks to the wonderful support of our many members, HSI is able to provide emergency relief assistance in affected areas to provide relief to wildlife, livestock and companion animals. This emergency relief includes funding local non-government organisations as well as directly sending in rapid response teams. In the immediate aftermath of the 2005 Tsunami HSI sent two teams into Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. These teams assessed the needs of animals in the areas devastated by the tsunami, and provided much needed fresh water, food, veterinarian support and supplies.

Apart from the Tsunami, HSI has provided emergency relief assistance for major natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 earthquake in China, floods in India, and most recently in February 2009 during the Victorian bushfires.

What is HSI doing in Australia to protect species and habitat?

HSI is working hard to protect them. When we first launched our 'Million Acres' campaign in 1998, our aim was to secure the protection of at least 1 million acres of habitat. We have far exceeded this figure, with our nomination program securing protection for nearly five million acres of Australian grassland, woodland, shrubland, alpine and coastal habitat under Australia's Commonwealth, State and Territory laws.

The most effective way to prevent the decline and loss of animals and plants unique to Australia is to protect their habitats or 'ecological communities' where they live. Many of Australia's different habitats and ecological communities are under severe threat from land clearing, grazing by livestock and feral animals, weed invasion, salinity, and changes in water and fire regimes.

In 1999 HSI played a key role in the introduction of a comprehensive new piece of environmental legislation, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, which extended to the Commonwealth Government rights and responsibilities for environmental matters of national significance. The legislation reflected the need to protect our rich biodiversity.

Our Habitat Protection page highlights the important types of habitat now protected because of HSI's nominations.

What are the threats facing our marine environment? How is HSI helping to protect animals like whales, albatrosses and turtles?

Australia has one of the most diverse marine environments in the world. It is home to 4000 fish species, 500 coral species in the northern reefs alone, 50 types of marine mammal and a wide range of seabirds. It is estimated that as many as 80 per cent of marine species found in southern Australian waters occur nowhere else.

The threats facing thousands of marine species such as whales, turtles, dugong, seabirds, sharks and uncountable species of fish, include shark control (beach meshing) nets, marine debris, ballast water, longline fishing, trawling and drift netting.

Bycatch, or the accompanying, unintended catch of marine mammals and marine birds, is killing hundreds of thousands of animals every year. It is estimated that over 20,000 albatrosses die every year from getting caught in longline fishing hooks alone. HSI has successfully had longline fishing listed as a threat under law, leading to changes in the way longline fishers operate to reduce bycatch. HSI continues to push for the toughest possible action to bring an end to albatross bycatch on longlines in Australia.

In the Pacific and Southern Oceans Japan continues to hunt whales, including in the past few years the endangered fin whale and sperm whale. HSI has successfully brought a legal challenge against the Japanese whalers to stop whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary.

HSI attends international meetings to fight for whales, sharks, turtles and other marine animals. The major international meetings include the International Whaling Commission (IWC), where major decisions are made on the future of whaling; CMS where the conservation and management of migratory species is decided; and CITES where the trade in listed endangered species is controlled.

HSI funds freshwater and marine turtle conservation work in Indonesia, Vietnam and India.

What is Humane Choice?

Humane Choice is a food label that initially covers free range beef, pork, lamb, chicken and eggs, and guarantees the consumer that the animal has been treated with respect and care, from birth through to death. The Humane Choice label denotes the animal has had the best life and death offered to any farm animal.

What is intensive farming? What impact does it have on farm animals?

Intensive farming practices involve very large numbers of animals raised on limited land, which require large amounts of food, water, fertilizers, pesticides and medical intervention (required to keep the animals healthy in cramped conditions).

How does intensive farming impact on the natural environment?

Intensive farming contributes to environmental degradation and global warming. as the use of fossil fuels and water is significantly higher compared with sustainable or free range farming methods. For instance a free range pork producer with 150 breeding sows uses around 5000 litres per day whereas according to DPI (Department of Primary Industry) an intensive farm with the same number of pigs would use around 35000 litres of water per day.

Intensive farming works against, rather than with, nature. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides can pollute and alter the biology of rivers and lakes, with useful insects killed as well as those that destroy crops.

Whereas with sustainable farming, grazing animals living on pasture do their own harvesting and fertilizing, spreading their manure over the soil where it becomes a source of natural fertiliser improving the quality of the grass. Furthermore the top soil retains moisture and removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere more effectively than any land use, including forestland and ungrazed grasslands.

How does buying Humane Choice products help farm animals?

All Humane Choice certified animals live their lives as they would have done on Old McDonald's farm, being allowed to satisfy their behavioural needs, to forage and move untethered and uncaged, with free access to outside areas, shade when it's hot, shelter when it's cold, with a good diet and a humane death.

Procedures such as mulesing, nose ringing, tail docking, beak trimming or any form of mutilation will not be allowed. Weaning of animals shall enable the natural process of animal rearing to occur, sows will not be kept confined in stalls and transportation shall be kept to a minimum.

To stop confusion over labelling of free range produce, we want to take the guesswork out of consumer decision making where animal welfare standards are concerned. There is only one 'Humane Choice' so there is no variation in standards and consumers can have full confidence in the integrity of the product.

How can I become a Humane Choice farmer?

This is a wonderful initiative that will give you the marketing edge you need, and deserve, to sell your humanely farmed livestock. Visit the application page on the Humane Choice website for more information.

All farms wishing to become accredited with Humane Choice must undergo an independent audit by AUS-QUAL to ensure compliance to the Standards. In addition, each farm is also subject to inspections by a representative from Humane Choice.

Where can I buy Humane Choice labelled food? Where can I find more information?

Visit the Humane Choice website or call 1800 333 737 for a list of current stockists and for further information.

What is the Wildlife Land Trust (WLT)?

The Wildlife Land Trust (WLT) exists to protect wildlife and its natural habitat in a network of sanctuaries across Australia and the world.

Working under the guiding principle of "humane stewardship", the Wildlife Land Trust helps to protect not only vast and impressive landscapes, but also the smaller, humbler places that provide for the needs of all wildlife, rare and common species alike.

Since its establishment in 1993 the Wildlife Land Trust has helped protect over 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in eight countries, including Australia.

Who can join WLT?

Private landowners can apply to have their land join the Wildlife Land Trust. Whether you currently have an agreement with a state government wildlife authority, your land is designated through a voluntary wildlife refuge scheme of some kind, or you're not involved in any formal program, we invite you to join us at the Wildlife Land Trust (WLT), and become part of a global sanctuary system.

I own some land that I would like to be part of the WLT sanctuary network. How do I become a Wildlife Land Trust member?

Visit the Wildlife Land Trust section of the HSI website. The website has more information on the benefits of becoming a member. To discuss your application please call Michael Kennedy on 1800 333 737 or email him at michael@hsi.org.au.

What are the benefits of becoming a Wildlife Land Trust member?

As a private land holder you will be part of a global wildlife sanctuary network, promoting best conservation practices, and protecting wildlife and habitats around the world.

You will receive a regular copy of the "Wildlife Lands" newsletter the WLT's dedicated newsletter, where your property will be introduced to the other members, as well as being included on this website. You will also be provided with a Wildlife Land Trust sign to erect on your property if you wish.

In the future, we will be exploring working with other partners, to offer advice on various aspects of managing your sanctuary and offering help to those property owners who would like to "step up" their current non-binding arrangements and seek stronger legal protection.

Are there any legal obligations if I join WLT?

No, there no legal obligations upon land holders. We do ask you to sign a non-binding letter of agreement in relation to your commitment to protect wildlife and habitats. Joining the WLT does not conflict with any of your current arrangements, legal or otherwise, and aims to entirely complement existing protection measures in cooperation with ongoing government or non-government schemes.

How much does it cost to join WLT?

There is no fee or cost to join the Wildlife Land Trust. You will need to complete an application form so we can better understand the flora and fauna found on your land.

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