On 27 September 2019, a 2017 opinion by the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) Ethics Specialist Group was reposted in the news section of the IUCN website, and was misconstrued as a new IUCN report by many. The document is not a new IUCN report, but in fact one of several positions presented to the IUCN Council in November 2017 for its deliberations on the admission of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) as an IUCN Member. Having considered all facts presented as well as IUCN’s Policy Statement on Sustainable Use of Wild Living Resources, IUCN Council recommended admitting IFAW as an IUCN Member at the November 2017 meeting.
The 2017 WCEL Ethics Specialist Group opinion does not therefore reflect IUCN’s overall position; it aimed to assist IUCN Council in its deliberations. The document has been, and remains, publicly available on the IUCN website since it was published following the Council meeting.