Meet our working groups

WFA’s working groups are critical to achieving a collective impact for animals worldwide. Composed of our member organisations, they map strategic policy streams and identify opportunities for animal welfare improvements. Through collaborative strategies, they speak with one voice in the different international policy fora.


The WFA Working Group on the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) promotes the significance of animal welfare within the global environmental agenda.

Its goal is to ensure a coordinated approach among members in the engagement with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UNEA by leveraging the expertise of WFA members.

Currently, the UNEA Working Group is focused on preparing for the upcoming UNEA 6 session to keep animal welfare at the forefront for governments and UNEP. It continues to focus on maximising the impact of UNEA resolution 5/1, fostering a shared understanding of the animal welfare-environment-sustainable development nexus. 

This Working Group is co-chaired by Compassion in World Farming and WFA.


The WFA Working Group on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) focuses on the intersection of animal welfare and climate change.

Our objectives include promoting sustainable practices and policy changes, such as addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and vulnerabilities caused by industrial animal farming and fishing.

We advocate for governments to incorporate these sectors into their Nationally Determined Contributions, encourage responsible practices, and integrate climate change impacts on animals in global and national adaptation strategies.

Additionally, we raise awareness about the connection between animal welfare and climate change, emphasising its importance in mitigation and adaptation strategies.

This Working Group is co-chaired by Eurogroup for Animals and World Animal Protection.

Food Systems

This Working Group, set up in late 2023, aims to develop a joint strategy and narratives for WFA members to advocate for animal protection in key intergovernmental processes related to food systems. It is co-chaired by Mercy for Animals and Compassion in World Farming.


Biodiversity loss and the degradation of nature pose significant global challenges that endanger animals and sustainable development. Recognising the crucial and inherent link between animal welfare and biodiversity loss, the Biodiversity Working Group was established by WFA.

This group is currently engaged in mapping the international policy landscape and identifying opportunities to elevate animal welfare in biodiversity policy processes. Additionally, the Biodiversity Working Group is actively developing unified messaging and policy recommendations.

The establishment of this working group builds upon the efforts of the former Working Group on the Convention for Biological Diversity, which focused on advocating for greater animal protection in the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

This Working Group is co-chaired by the Born Free Foundation and Eurogroup for Animals.

International Financial Institutions

The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) Working Group acknowledges these institutions’ key role in shaping sustainable development, food systems, and biodiversity protection.

This working group identifies mechanisms to encourage IFIs to invest in more humane and sustainable activities, including structures like Finance in Common and the UN’s Finance for Development.


Policy Forum

The International Policy Forum (IPF) is a dynamic and diverse global network that brings together influential representatives in animal protection worldwide.

As a collaboration platform, it enables stakeholders to share insights and stay informed about emerging opportunities, including regional progress and challenges for the animal welfare agenda.

The IPF meets on a quarterly basis to foster meaningful dialogue and facilitate action to address global challenges for animal welfare worldwide. 

Other groups we support

ICFAW Secretariat

WFA provides the Secretariat for the International Coalition for Animal Welfare (ICFAW), a coalition working with the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). WOAH is the global authority on animal health and welfare.

We ensure effective administration and support ICFAW’s initiatives. We also provide input throughout WOAH’s development and refinement of its animal welfare standards and help implement these standards via capacity building and partnerships.

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PAWS Coalition

WFA closely supports the Pandemics and Animal Welfare Coalition, led by our member FOUR PAWS.

Our contribution is based on our in-house One Health and veterinary expertise and builds upon previous work previously carried out by the WFA Working Group on One Health. This group developed a joint position on One Health and advocated for concepts of well-being and primary prevention to be recognised, both of which have now been reflected in the definition adopted by the One Health High-Level Expert Panel.


WFA is a member of the Animal Issues Thematic Cluster (AITC) and played an essential role in the establishment and leadership of the group since 2018. The AITC is an international group of organisations working to ensure that animal care, protection, and conservation are included in the UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

The AITC is part of the NGO Major Group, one of nine Major Groups set up by the UN for civil society participation in the processes related to the High-Level Political Forum.

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