Since its founding in 1951, AWI has sought to alleviate the suffering inflicted on animals by people. In the organization’s early years their particular emphasis was on the desperate needs of animals used for experimentation. In the decades that followed they expanded the scope of their work to address many other areas of animal suffering.
Today one of AWI’s greatest areas of emphasis is cruel animal factories, which raise and slaughter pigs, cows, chickens and other animals.
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, they attend meetings of the International Whaling Commission to preserve the ban on commercial whaling and work to protect all marine life against the proliferation of human-generated ocean noise including active sonar and seismic air guns.
AWI is also the originator and presenter of the prestigious Schweitzer Medal for outstanding achievement in the advancement of animal welfare.