The World League was founded by Miss Kate Deighton and Rudolf Bergner in Germany in 1898 and formally organised in Paris in 1900. The English branch of the World League was established in 1900 by Miss A L Woodward; she continued to direct its activities until her death in 1921.

There was a second Congress in Frankfurt and a third in Helsinborg. The Fourth Triennial International Congress of the World League Against Vivisection and for the Protection of Animals, as it was then known, was held at Caxton Hall, Westminster, London, from 19 to 24 July, 1909. This event was attended by many delegates from over 20 countries.

At the time the League had great support in the British Parliament, with no less than 44 members of Parliament, including four future Prime Ministers, attending the Congress.

On 4 October 1928 the League inaugurated World Day for Animals, which is still universally held on the first Sunday in October to commentate the death & the Patron Saint of Animals , St. Francis of Assisi .The Australian branch of the League was formed in 1935 by Miss E B Moore, It was originally titled 'The World Day for Animals League' and was allied to the English branch of The World League for Protection of Animals.

Later the name changed to conform with that of the English parent society. The League was registered under the Charitable Collections Act, NSW 1934 on 14 May l937.