Wild Animal Initiative (WAI) is a nonprofit that works to understand and improve wild animal welfare.


WAI was founded in 2019 as a merger of two organizations, Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Utility Farm. Wild-Animal Suffering Research began in 2016 as a project of the Effective Altruism Foundation and was part of Sentience Politics for a year or so until becoming an independent organization.[1] Utility Farm launched in 2017.[2]


Animal Charity Evaluators rates WAI a "top charity"—one of the four organizations awarded their highest rating and the only group focused on wild animal welfare ever to be so rated. ACE considers WAI "an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong, cost-effective programs and their thorough strategy."[3]

Wild-Animal Suffering Research and Utility Farm have both received funding from EA Funds.[4][5] In June 2021, WAI was awarded a $3.5 million grant from Open Philanthropy to support projects relevant to the field of welfare biology.[6]

Further reading

Matthews, Dylan (2021) The wild frontier of animal welfare, Vox, April 21.

Wild Animal Initiative. Official website.

Wild Animal Initiative. Effective Altruism Forum account.

Animal Ethics | wild animal welfare

  1. ^

    Eskander, Persis (2017) Introducing the Wild-Animal Suffering Research Project, Wild-Animal Suffering Research, July 20.

  2. ^

    Rowe, Abraham (2017) An ethic of intervention, Utility Farm, April 26.

  3. ^

    Animal Charity Evaluators (2020) Wild Animal Initiative review, Animal Charity Evaluators, November.

  4. ^

    Bollard, Lewis (2018) Animal Welfare Fund update, Effective Altruism Funds, June.

  5. ^

    Cargill, Natalie et al. (2018) December 2018: Animal Welfare Fund Grants, Effective Altruism Funds, December 30.

  6. ^

    Bollard, Lewis (2021) Wild Animal InitiativeAnimal Welfare Research, Open Philanthropy, June 15.