START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Jul 23, 2007


The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been actively pressuring government agencies in the United States, Canada, and Europe to greatly increase the amount of testing that they require for new and existing pesticides and other chemicals. The result of the WWF's lobbying has been the establishment of what threatens to be the largest animal-testing programs of all time.

The WWF was the driving force in pressuring the US Congress to legislate the screening of chemicals for "endocrine (hormone) disrupting" effects and has subsequently been heavily involved in establishing the framework for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) massive chemical-testing program now under development. As its Web site points out: "WWF invested substantial resources in the EPA's Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee," which "agreed upon a set of tests to form the foundation for the screening and testing program." What the WWF neglects to mention, however, is that 10 of the 15 recommended screens and tests are animal-poisoning studies, some of which kill hundreds or thousands of animals at a time. According to scientific estimates, the WWF-backed endocrine testing program will kill up to 1.2 million animals for every 1,000 chemicals tested, and with environmental organisations pressing for tens of thousands of chemicals to be retested under this program, the toll in animal suffering and death will be staggering. The WWF is also pressuring government agencies in Europe to embark on a similar animal-testing program.

In addition to lobbying for more chemical testing, the WWF has teamed up with Procter & Gamble, S.C. Johnson, and other chemical companies to create an institute to pursue "basic research" on endocrine disruptors. On top of this, the WWF is now pushing the US Congress to pass a bill that would pour additional millions in public funds into endocrine research, much of which would likely be used to fund experiments on animals.

Unfortunately, the "endocrine disruptor" issue is not an isolated example. The WWF has been a major force in pressuring the European Union to amend its Chemicals Policy to require companies to test and retest as many as 30,000 new and existing chemicals. The British Institute for Environmental Health estimates that this process will kill upwards of 45 million animals if the standard battery of animal-poisoning tests is used. The WWF's US and Canadian offices are also calling for more testing of pesticides, despite the fact that more than 9,000 animals are already killed for each pesticide product on the market. The organisation has called for certain pesticides to be tested for "developmental neurotoxicity" (DNT) using a test that kills upwards of 1,300 animals each time it is conducted. This test has been heavily criticised by scientists, including the EPA's own Scientific Advisory Panel, which concluded that "the exposure of rat foetus/pups was not shown to be equivalent to human foetus/infant during equivalent stages of brain development" and that "the current form of the DNT guideline is not a sensitive indicator of toxicity to the offspring." In other words, WWF is calling for thousands of animals to be killed in a test that scientists admit is not relevant to humans!

In its defence, the WWF says that "in the absence of effective, validated alternatives, WWF believes that limited animal testing is needed for the long-term protection of wildlife and people throughout the world." However, there is nothing "limited" about the massive amount of animal testing that the WWF is endorsing. Dr. Joshua Lederberg, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, pointed out in 1981: "It is simply not possible with all the animals in the world to go through chemicals in the blind way we have at the present time, and reach credible conclusions about the hazards to human health." Now more than 20 years later, millions of animals are still dying in agonizing chemical toxicity tests, and we are no closer to getting dangerous chemicals out of the environment. In fact, despite killing hundreds of thousands of animals in painful chemical toxicity tests, the EPA has not banned a single toxic industrial chemical in more than a decade!

Other Animals Abuse

The WWF Endorses the Killing of Wild Animals, Too

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) gives special meaning to the word "conservation." The organisation, founded in 1961 by a group of wealthy trophy hunters, apparently believes that conserving animals means keeping them around long enough for well-heeled "sportsmen" to blast them out of the woods, oceans, skies, plains of Africa, and jungles of Asia. Past WWF chapter presidents include C.R. "Pink" Gutermuth, who also served as president of the National Rifle Association, and trophy hunter Francis L. Kellogg, who is legendary for his massive kills. In its early days, the WWF even used fur auctions to raise funds.

Since then, the WWF has learned that most people are appalled by hunting and trapping, so today, the organisation veils its true stance under phrases like "sustainable development," arguing that killing is acceptable under some circumstances. When answering difficult questions about its policy on hunting, trapping, and whaling, the WWF is careful never to state outright that it approves of all these activities. But don't be fooled, the WWF's intentions are all too clear and deadly.


According to the Web site of the WWF's Canadian office, "WWF is not an animal welfare organisation. We support the hunting and consumption of wild animals provided the harvesting does not threaten the long-term survival of wildlife populations. WWF has never opposed a sustainable seal hunt in northern or eastern Canada." However, despite the WWF's portrayal of the situation, the Canadian seal hunt is anything but a "subsistence" hunt, it is the largest slaughter of marine mammals in the world. Quotas established by the Canadian government have soared to an all-time high: 350,000 seals per year for the next three years. Not since the mid-1800s, when unrestricted slaughter saw a million seals per year killed, has so much blood been shed on the ice off Canada's East Coast.

Worse is that the Canadian government has stated in internal documents that having the WWF's support for any raise in seal quotas is important, and the WWF's position statement suggests that it had been working with the Canadian government before the quota was announced. In other words, the WWF had the power to help avert the largest quota of harp seal pups in history but chose, instead, to let it happen without so much as a word of opposition.


While the WWF states that it opposes "commercial whaling," it does support the slaughter of whales by native tribes and under some other conditions. When asked directly about its policy, WWF is vague, stating: "WWF's views on whether sustainable whaling should be permitted derive from its mission 'to conserve nature and ecological processes and to help build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.'" In the past, WWF officials have clearly stated that "WWF International has the national WWF organisations behind it in the view that as soon as one can ensure a sustainable commercial harvest of the great whales under secure international control, then whaling will no longer be a WWF concern."

Sport Hunting

As one would expect of an organisation founded by hunters, the WWF does not oppose the slaughter of animals with guns and other weapons for sport. Rather than working to stop the killing, the WWF believes that hunting should be regulated, arguing that wealthy trophy hunters can bring income to poorer nations. The WWF claims that it has no power to stop hunting, stating, "The decision to allow trophy hunting is a sovereign one made entirely by the governments concerned. We will continue to monitor governments' enforcement of important trade laws to ensure that trophy hunting is done within the legal standards of that area."


The WWF believes that culling, another way of saying "killing", elephants is acceptable, as is the trade in ivory, because the profits that it brings spur governments to keep elephants from going extinct. In 2000, US News & World Report reported that WWF representatives travelled to Nairobi to ask the United Nations to lift the ban on the ivory trade in order to allow a "sustainable harvest of ivory for horns and hunting trophies."

The WWF's bizarre view, that we must kill some animals now in order to save animals to kill later, has proved false time and again. The trade in ivory has only encouraged rampant poaching, the senseless slaughter of elephants. The WWF tries to duck the issue by falsely stating, "The decision to cull, or to select animals from the herd for removal or death, is indeed an agonising choice, but it is one made entirely by the governments concerned and there is no international involvement in those decisions."


As with hunting and whaling, the WWF refuses to condemn the massive killing of animals with steel-jaw leghold traps. While calling itself a "preservationist" organisation that "seek[s] to be the voice for those creatures who have no voice," the WWF stands back from the issue, stating that "the trade in furs, skins, and other products of animals that are not endangered isn't the focus of our campaign."

But no matter how hard the WWF tries to "greenwash" its support of animal slaughter, its real message rings out loud and clear: Animals are ours to hunt, trap, kill, poison, and use as we see fit. And although appeals to preserve genetic diversity, ecosystems, and the planet sound good on paper, they mean little if what the WWF is really advocating is more efficient killing fields.

Wolf Hunting

Despite an ongoing international tourist boycott that was called in response to the wolf "control" program in Alaska, in which at least 100 wolves have been shot as of March 2004, the WWF promoted several trips to Alaska throughout June, July, and August 2004 as part of "WWF Travel," an "ecotourism" program. When asked why the WWF was sending its members to Alaska, effectively undermining efforts to save wolves in the state, the WWF travel desk representative stated that the WWF did not consider the matter of wolf-killing a priority.

Please write to the WWF and express your opposition to its involvement in the slaughter of millions of animals in laboratories. Let the WWF know that you contribute only to organisations that oppose outdated animal-poisoning tests and that there is no such thing as conservation through killing.

James P. Leape, Director General WWF-International
Ave. du Mont-Blanc, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
Fax: 41 22 364 5468

Carter S. Roberts, President and CEO WWF-US
1250 24th St. N.W., Washington, DC 20037
Fax: 202- 778-9637

M.J. Russill, President and CEO WWF-Canada
245 Eglinton Ave. E., Ste. 410, Toronto, ON M4P 3J1
Fax: 416-489-3611

Elizabeth Salter Green, Head
European Toxics Programme
WWF-U.K., Panda House, Weyside Park, Godalming, Surrey GU7 1XR
Fax: 01483 426409

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Posted: Jul 23, 2007 4:56am


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Alf I.
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London, NU, United Kingdom
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