Charitable Donations to AR Groups Increase 11%

Animal Agriculture a Major Target

ARLINGTON, VA – In 2008, there appeared to be an increase in well-funded animal rights activities directed at animal agriculture. Based on our research, the Animal Agriculture Alliance understands why. In 2007, the latest reporting period available for review, charitable donations to animal rights groups rose 11% providing activist groups with more funds to develop wide ranging activities such as California’s Proposition 2, undercover video operations, legislative initiatives and legal actions. Donations to the extremist People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its subsidiaries increased 11%.

The Alliance research used a variety of sources including independent examinations of some groups’ Internal Revenue Service Form 990 which the IRS requires non-profits to file and the 2008 Animal People Watchdog Report on 150 Animal Charities–the newspaper Animal People’s annual review of animal charity budgets. Donations to Humane Society for the United States (HSUS), the largest animal-rights activist group in the USA, remained about the same as last year when including subsidiary organizations the Fund for Animals and Doris Day Animal League (DDAL).

On the international front, the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), a relatively moderate animal rights group, increased its donations by 80%, displacing PETA as the third largest activist group targeting modern animal agriculture. However, in terms of assets PETA and FSAP combined still can claim being the third largest animal rights group with assets of $34.5 million. Additionally, UK-based Compassion in World Farming raised revenues 60%.

A very significant increase in charitable donations to an animal rights group was to Acton, Calif.-based Animal Acres which increased donations by 443%. Animal Acres was founded by Lorrie Bauston, a co-founder of the East Coast animal rights group Farm Sanctuary. For all who value animal agriculture, this group warrants watching.

Total donations to the most significant domestic and international animal-rights groups reached nearly $330 million in 2007. This level of funding will only improve the ability of animal rights groups worldwide to continue their multi-dimensional efforts attacking animal agriculture and other animal use businesses. Below is a comparison of 2007 and 2006 fundraising for some of the most notable activist groups’ funding.

Though revenue for groups with animal-rights and anti-animal agriculture programs was up in the low double-digits, total assets expanded 31%, due to conservative spending by the groups. Animal-rights behemoth HSUS had assets increase about 5%, slightly less than the S&P 500 gain of 6% for the year. However the group still retains enough assets to fund itself for over 2 years and 4 months at its 2007 budget level.

“Much of this increased funding is attributed to donors who are not fully aware of the anti-animal use campaigns of many of these groups,” noted Alliance Executive Vice President Kay Johnson Smith. “It’s unfortunate many portray themselves as mainstream and working to improve animal care, yet their funding is primarily spent on campaigns to ban or restrict essential uses of animals such as being raised for food or for research to find cures for diseases. Even worse, many of their campaigns demand changes that are actually harmful to animals’ overall health and well-being.”

The Alliance encourages all potential donors to thoroughly evaluate the true goals and campaigns of all animal rights groups before making a contribution. American farmers and ranchers work hard every day to provide consumers with wholesome products from  humanely raised animals. Be sure your tax-deductible contributions are not going to groups working to eliminate your right to choose those products.

For full information on activist group funding, asset changes and salary information for key staff, please visit the password-protected Members section of the Animal Agriculture Alliance website at If you are not an Alliance member, but would like to receive this information and other membership benefits, please visit the Alliance website and click on Join Now.

About the Alliance:
The Animal Agriculture Alliance is an industry-united, nonprofit organization that helps bridge the communication gap between farm and fork. We connect key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues. We engage food chain influencers and promote consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. We protect by exposing those who threaten our nation’s food security with damaging misinformation. Find the Alliance on Facebook and Twitter.

Category: Press Releases

Tag: Activist Activity,