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For Immediate Release: 12/12/07

“Born Free in the USA”

Historic Merger Heralds New Force in U.S. Animal Protection Movement

Sacramento, CA / Washington, DC — The Animal Protection Institute and Born Free USA today announced that they have united to create a new, dynamic and more powerful force for animal protection in America and abroad.

Born Free USA United with Animal Protection Institute will turn the spotlight on the suffering and exploitation of wild animals as never before; together we will make historic progress,” predicted the combined organization’s new CEO, Will Travers, son of Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the Oscar-winning 1966 wildlife movie classic, Born Free. “At a time when so many individual animals are subjected to unspeakable cruelty, and more species face an uncertain future than ever before, Born Free’s brand of compassionate conservation and animal protection is vital.”

With its remarkable combined resources and talents in animal advocacy and wildlife conservation, the new California-based not-for-profit will focus its determined efforts on four main animal cruelty and wildlife protection issues: preventing the keeping of exotic pets; ending the abuse of animals by the entertainment industry; controlling international wildlife trade; and abolishing trapping and the use of fur in fashion. In addition, the merged operation will maintain and enhance API’s long-standing commitment to its Texas primate sanctuary, ensuring that the sanctuary Directors can continue their groundbreaking and life-saving work, rescuing individual primates and providing them with lifelong care in as an natural environment as possible.

“API has worked for four decades to save animals in need,” said Gary Pike, former chairman of the API Board and now a director of the new organization. “Our supporters across the country should enthusiastically celebrate, as I do, our decision to merge, which will dramatically increase the positive benefits we can bring to even more animals.”

CEO Will Travers is joined by an experienced senior executive team. Senior Vice-Presidents Nicole Paquette in the Sacramento office and Adam Roberts in Washington, DC, will help drive forward the organization’s ongoing national and international campaign and project portfolio. Born Free USA United with Animal Protection Institute will also draw on the experience of its affiliates, the Born Free Foundation in England and Born Free (Kenya).

“Wherever wild animals are in need, whenever they are needlessly subjected to suffering, deprivation and cruelty, Born Free will stand for justice and compassion. We are small enough to care but big enough to make a tremendous difference. Our mission is simple: harness the dedication and strength of millions of concerned citizens to change animals’ lives for good,” added Virginia McKenna OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), who recently traveled to the USA to witness the merger of the organizations in person.

Recognized for her animal protection work by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2006, McKenna described the day as one of the most exciting in her life. “I challenge everyone in America to do whatever they can to bolster our efforts on the animals’ behalf, and I invite everyone to join Born Free USA United with Animal Protection Institute in making this a better, more caring world.”

More information is available at www.bornfreeusa.org.


Zibby Wilder, Media Relations Director, 916-267-7266, press@bornfreeusa.org
Adam Roberts, Senior Vice President, 202-337-3123, adam@bornfreeusa.org

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