Freedom for Animals (Svoboda zvířat – SZ) is a nation-wide nonprofit organization engaged in protection of animals and associating people who support its aims. Our mission is based on the idea that each and every life has its own unique value that should not depend on the momentary human judgement. Our organization was founded in 1994.
Our efforts don’t focus only on animal welfare (although from a short-term perspective we agree with this approach), the key aim is to change people’s attitudes towards animals – for animals to be perceived as living beings of their own intrinsic value. The way people treat animals should not be based on possible benefits of the animals’ use. Any activity of our organization is based on the idea of non-violence and respect for personal freedom of every earthling.
What we do
Freedom for Animals organizes workshops and expert conferences, discussions, exhibitions, information stalls, showing of documentaries, tasting of vegan food, etc. Within educational campaigns our organization issues leaflets, brochures, posters and produces film documentaries.
Our campaigns focus on so called fur animals, replacement of animal experiments and animals in circuses. Besides other activities Freedom for Animals also places emphasis on environmental and ethic awareness – successfully lecturing about ecology and animal protection in elementary and secondary schools as well as in universities and other public places. Within the campaigns we organize petitions, demonstrations, submit amendments and comments to drafts of legislation and governmental decrees concerning protection of animals, prepare suggestions and proposals on improvement of animal protection, cooperate with authorities, participate in administrative proceedings, lobby etc. Within the promotion of cosmetics and household products that are not tested on animals, Freedom for Animals grants the Humane Cosmetics Standard and the Humane Household Products Standard international certificates to Czech companies fulfilling given criteria. Ethically responsible fashion traders are awarded the Fur Free Retailer (Obchod bez kožešin) certificate. In 2006, the Freedom for Animals opened an information centre in Prague where it provides public with information from all areas of animal protection. Another information centre is for a long time in the office of Freedom for Animals in Pilsen, which is the headquarters of the organisation.
The organization cooperates with Czech and foreign animal protection organizations that have similar aims and missions. Within the scope of the international cooperation, Freedom for Animals is a member of Fur Free Alliance (international coalition that fights against fur fashion), ECEAE (European Coalition to End Animal Experiments) and ENDCAP (European Network to End Keeping of Wild Animals in Captivity). Besides these our association actively cooperates with other partner organizations in Europe (WSPA, RSPCA, InterNICHE, VIVA) as well as in the USA (HSUS, Peta). Our work includes also discussions and cooperation with authorities engaged in animal protection – the Central Commission for Animal Welfare, the State Veterinary Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of the Environment.
Membership fees and donations from the public make up about 90% of our income. Another 3% comes from grants which usually support the Cat Protection department. The rest of our finances come from selling promotional items and organising fundraising events. SZ does not accept money from companies that profit from abusing animals.
During its 20-years history, Freedom for Animals achieved many successes, such as enforcement of the ban on animal testing of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients in the Czech Republic, closing down of some fur farms or participation in the implementation of cat- and dog-fur trade ban and seal-based products trade ban in the EU. However, we see our greatest achievement in the fact that public now accepts animals as feeling creatures.