Born Free USA
Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute is a national animal advocacy organization. Our mission is to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity, rescue individual animals in need, protect wildlife - including highly endangered species - in their natural habitats, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. Every year, millions of animals suffer in fur farms and circus cages. In our campaigns against such cruelties, we use powerful tools including legislation, public education, litigation, and grassroots networking. We also work actively with media to spread the word about challenges facing animals. Our primary campaign areas currently include animals used in entertainment, captive exotic animals, trapping & fur, and the international wildlife trade.
Born Free USA raised public awareness of the dangers and cruelty of keeping wild animals as pets; use in entertainment venues such as zoos and theme parks; the commercial trade in live animals, their parts and products made from them; and the trapping and fur industry. The organization used social media, mainstream media, and educational outreach materials to advance its charitable purposes. Additionally, it maintains an interactive database of deadly and dangerous captive wild animal incidents to shed light on the magnitude of the issue of captive exotic animals, along with a database of trap-related injuries and deaths to make the public aware of the dangers of traps of wildlife, pets, and humans on public and private lands. It also addressed the supply and demand of fur for fashion by urging retailers and fashion houses to pledge to be fur free. Born Free USA worked to end cruelty to furbearing animals by advocating for policy changes related to the barbaric body-gripping traps and snares in the National Wildlife Refuge System. It continued its Fur for the Animals program in which donated used fur apparel was distributed to wildlife rehabilitation centers around the country to comfort injured and orphaned wildlife. The organization worked to educate citizens about elephant and rhino poaching, trophy hunting, and the illegal commercial wildlife trade. It also campaigned to secure protections for endangered and threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. In Canada, Born Free USA stopped or delayed deer culls in nearly all of British Columbia. It also advocated for a bill in Parliament to end the practice of keeping cetaceans in captivity and campaigned to have the midland painted turtle identified as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Born Free USA conducted a series of trainings in coastal West African countries that focused on the identification of shark and ray species. These trainings enhanced the ability of the countries law enforcement officers to identify trafficked species and enforce CITES regulations. The organization produced identification guides of CITES-listed species for West and Central African countries in response to the need for low-tech resources to help law enforcement officials identify species and their parts at border crossings and better enforce CITES regulations and protect highly vulnerable species. It led fact-finding missions in collaboration with the governments of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Togo to evaluate the impact of wildlife crime on biodiversity and develop recommendations to tackle wildlife crime in the region.
Born Free USA operates the countrys largest sanctuary for rescued monkeys. Located in south Texas, the Primate Sanctuary is home to more than 500 macaques, baboons, and vervets. In 2018, the sanctuary rescued three monkeys from research laboratories and another formerly kept as a pet. It also embarked on a large infrastructure improvement project to expand animal enclosures and improve quality of life for many of the sanctuary residents.