IDEXX CEO Establishes Wild Cat Conservation Foundation
WESTBROOK, Maine, April 23, 2019—IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDXX), a global leader in veterinary diagnostics and software, today announced that its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Ayers, and his wife, Helaine, have established a foundation that will support conservation of the estimated 40 species of felids in the wild. The Ayers Wild Cat Conservation Trust is endowed by a gift of IDEXX stock from the Ayers family. The foundation will focus on supporting the funding of global wild cat species conservation initiatives and organizations.
“We lionize cats such as jaguars, leopards, and cheetahs in popular culture—and yet felid species in the wild are threatened with declining populations and, in time, extinction. We need to do more to preserve their populations in their natural habitat,” said Ayers. “Helaine and I believe in the importance of dedicated species conservation efforts, and we hope that our foundation will help to support the vitality of wild cats, their natural habitats, and the professionals dedicated to them in a meaningful way for years to come.”
While the foundation’s purpose is to support conservation initiatives for all species of wild cats, a specific focus will be on the 33 species of small cats, which currently receive only a small fraction of all wild cat conservation funding. Many of these felid species are endangered or vulnerable with declining populations, and include the clouded leopard, the black-footed cat, the sand cat, and the fishing cat.
The foundation will fund initiatives such as the Panthera Small Cats Program, which the Ayers family has helped to establish. Panthera is devoted exclusively to the conservation of the world’s 40 wild cat species and their ecosystems. The first foundation grants are expected to be made this year.
The foundation’s initial endowment has been established using IDEXX stock that Ayers purchased on the open market in 2002 and 2003. The foundation has no formal affiliation with IDEXX Laboratories.
About IDEXX Laboratories
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a member of the S&P 500® Index and is a leader in pet healthcare innovation, serving practicing veterinarians around the world with a broad range of diagnostic and information technology-based products and services. IDEXX products enhance the ability of veterinarians to provide advanced medical care, improve staff efficiency and build more economically successful practices. IDEXX is also a worldwide leader in providing diagnostic tests and information for livestock and poultry and tests for the quality and safety of water and milk. Headquartered in Maine, IDEXX employs more than 8,000 people and offers products to customers in over 175 countries. For more information about IDEXX, visit: www.idexx.com