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Joyce D'Silva

Joyce is our Ambassador Emeritus and was Chief Executive of Compassion from 1991 - 2005. She now works for us on a consultancy basis.

Joyce played a key role in achieving the UK ban on sow stalls in the nineties and in getting recognition of animal sentience enshrined in the European Union Treaty.

Joyce speaks and publishes widely on the welfare of farm animals. She has given evidence to the UK and New Zealand governments on genetic engineering of animals, and to the UK Government Enquiry into the handling of BSE (‘mad cow disease’). In 2007, she was invited to present to the European Commission’s Group of Ethical Advisers on the welfare aspects of cloning farm animals for food. In 2010 she was asked to participate in an invitee-only workshop on sustainable farming and food with the UK Government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change.

In 2017 the second edition of the expert book she co-edited with Professor John Webster was published: “The Meat Crisis: Developing more sustainable and ethical production and consumption”.

Joyce helped organise Compassion’s major international conference in 2017: “Extinction and Livestock: moving to a flourishing food system for wildlife, farm animals and us” and has co-edited the book based on the conference proceedings. In 2023, she was part of the team organising a follow-up conference, Extinction or Regeneration which explored solutions to transform global food systems for the health of people, animals and the planet.

She is a Patron of the Animal Interfaith Alliance and a Trustee of Help in Suffering, a veterinary centre in Jaipur. She is on the Advisory Council of CreatureKind.

In 2004 Joyce was the joint recipient of the RSPCA Lord Erskine Award in recognition of a “very important contribution in the field of animal welfare”.

In 2015 Joyce was conferred with an honorary Doctorate (D.Litt) by the University of Winchester, in recognition of her work for the welfare of animals. In 2017 she was made a Doctor of the University of Keele (Hon causa).

In June 2023, Joyce published another book, 'Animal Welfare in World Religion: Teaching and Practice', exploring religion and the treatment of animals. 

Joyce grew up on a mixed farm in Ireland and worked and lived in India after graduation. Reading Gandhi’s autobiography started her journey towards working for Compassion. She practices and teaches Tai Chi, enjoys walking and sings in a community choir.

Every year over sixty billion farm animals are reared for our food, the majority in factory farms. Compassion’s work is crucial to ending this global scandal of suffering and achieving a more harmonious future.



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