Home > Who We Are > Founder


Dr W J Jordan

Known to everyone throughout the world of wildlife conservation as Bill, Dr Jordan, graduated from Edinburgh University and the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College, and was selected to become house surgeon. He then moved to Liverpool University where he was a lecturer for three years before starting his own practice outside Chester. At this time he was also appointed consultant veterinarian to Chester Zoo.


In 1964 he was appointed consultant veterinary clinician to the Government of Iran, travelling widely there, assisting the university, the veterinary service and the wildlife department for six years. He was also appointed vet to the Shah of Iran.


He then moved to South Africa where he was a lecturer at Pretoria University for three years.

On returning to Britain, Bill accepted the post of deputy vet to the RSPCA and later founded their wildlife department. Eight years later he resigned from the RSPCA and worked as a consultant in wildlife protection. He has written a number of books and many articles about wildlife and the problems they face at the hands of man, and has frequently appeared on television and radio broadcasts.

Bill founded the Care for the Wild organization, taking the name from one of his earliest books as an author. The book details how to care for sick and injured wildlife, and has recently been updated. In recent years, he has lost faith in the Care for the Wild International organization and has left them in order to found Bill Jordan Wildlife Defence Fund, in order to continue to work to oppose all forms of cruelty to wildlife.

Bill Jordan Wildlife Defence Fund USA was founded in 1984 as Care for the Wild USA by Dr Bill Jordan. It is now the US-based arm of BJWDF , run by Dr Bill Jordan's daughter, Sheena Bliss. The dedicated team there work closely with BJWDF in England to provide immediate aid to wildlife in distress anywhere in the world.

Bill is also known for conducting a major survey of British zoos and writing the book The Last Great Wild Beast Show which drew a lot of media attention and was the catalyst for the legislation which sets the standards for zoos today ~ the Zoo Act.

Bill Jordan has lived and worked in Africa and the Middle East. He has been

a member of the British Delegation to the International Whaling Commission, where he persuaded the Commission to ban the 'cold' non-explosive harpoon, which caused so much cruelty.

Bill with harp seal

His report on his investigation into the killing of harp seal pups (over 100,000 killed each year) was debated in the European Parliament and resulted in a ban on importation of their fur.


During his career, Bill Jordan has achieved a huge amount in his quest to protect wildlife from suffering, and has supported and acted as advisor on many projects:

Bill with baby rhino

  • Animal transport regulations, with CITES guidelines on Transport of Wildlife - working with the Airports Authority and RSPCA

  • Movement of 500 elephants in Africa

  • Bill started the now famous fostering programmes for David Sheldrick Wildlife Society

  • Leghold trap - Bill was a member of the British delegation to the International Standard Organisation Committee seeking a standard for the leghold trap, which he opposes. Bill was chair of the Scientific Group on Pain and distress. The proposed standard was rejected

  • Trustee of Rhino Ark
  • Helped set up and fund Mokolodi cheetah reserve , Botswana

  • Bill was sent to the Faroe Islands to investigate the slaughter of pilot whales and meet their prime minister

  • Badgers and TB in cattle - Bill maintains that TB is spread from cattle to badgers and has worked to persuade the Government and the public that slaughter of badgers is not the solution

  • Vicuna - In 1980 Bill was asked to investigate the claim that there were too many vicuna in Peru and many would have to be culled because it was claimed that they were destroying the habitat and up to 10 each day were dying of starvation. Bill found this to be untrue and his report stopped the killing

Bill Jordan with baby elephant


  • Civet cat, Ethiopia - Bill was scientific adviser to Beauty without Cruelty's investigation into the use of civet by the perfume industry, which exposed the cruelty involved

  • Tortoise trade - Whilst working for the RSPCA, Bill investigated the tortoise trade from North Africa, which he called 'the cut flower trade' because most of the tortoises died. The investigation resulted in a ban on the trade

  • Zoo Act - Bill's writing was the catalyst for setting up this legislation

  • Dangerous Wild Animal Act - Bill assisted in drafting this legislation

  • The Berne Convention and Migratory Species - Bill was scientific adviser on the European Wildlife and Natural Habitats Directive, and he took part in the discussion on the Bird Directive, the importation of whale products and the implementation of CITES

  • European Parliament on the harp seal slaughter - Bill's repoet was debated by the European parliament

  • European Parliament on Kangaroo killing - Bill accompanied an MEP as scientific adviser

  • Prepared guidelines for the Transport of Wild Animals for the Committee of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)

  • Initiated training courses for animal inspectors at the RSPCA in anatomy, physiology dietetics and general animal welfare
Bill Jordan with Tony Blair and Tony Banks Bill at Nakucu
  • Set up first training course for zoo keepers at London University and initiated the Zoo Licensing Act

  • Initiated training courses for zoo keepers at Chester Zoo and founded a diagnostic laboratory there

  • Founded RSPCA Wild Animal Advisory Committee and the RSPCA Animal Experimentation Advisory Committee

  • Founder member and former secretary of the British Veterinary Zoological Society

  • Consultant to the British Board of Film Censors

  • Sat on the Massacre of the Innocents Committee

  • Secretary of the Veterinary Group of IUCN

  • Founded Care For The Wild International, which had branches in USA, Germany and Denmark, and consultants in Kenya, Zambia Thailand, India and Chile

  • Honorary veterinarian to: HRH The Shah of Iran; HRH Princess Shams; HRH Prince Ali Reza; His Excellency Atabai; His Excellency Alam; Iranian Wildlife Department

  • Received Order of the British Empire (OBE) from Queen Elizabeth in 2006