Since its founding in 1951 the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has sought to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by people. In the organization's early years our particular emphasis was on the desperate needs of animals used for experimentation. In the decades that followed we expanded the scope of our work to address many other areas of animal suffering.
Today one of our greatest areas of emphasis is cruel animal factories, which raise and slaughter pigs, cows, chickens and other animals. The biggest are in our country, and they are expanding worldwide.
Another major AWI effort is our quest to end the torture inflicted on furbearing animals by steel jaw leghold traps and wire snares. AWI continues its work to protect animals in laboratories including promotion of development of non-animal testing methods and prevention of painful experiments on animals by high school students. Representatives of AWI regularly attend meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora to fight for protection of threatened and endangered species. Similarly, we attend meetings of the International Whaling Commission to preserve the ban on commercial whaling and we work to protect all marine life against the proliferation of human-generated ocean noise including active sonar and seismic air guns. AWI works to minimize the impacts of all human actions detrimental to endangered species, including the destruction of natural forests containing ancient trees, and pollution of the oceans destroying every kind of marine life.