EU: EPAA Conference 2022 “Accelerating the Transition to Animal-Free, Sustainable Innovation”.

From Eurogroup foor Animals.

EPAA Conference 2022 “Accelerating the Transition to Animal-Free, Sustainable Innovation”

23 November 2022

This year’s European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) Annual Conference gathered members from the European Commission, the European Parliament, regulatory authorities, industry, academia, and NGOs to discuss the challenges that still need to be addressed to make animal-free sustainable innovation a reality within the EU.

MEP Tilly Metz opened the conference by stressing that what is needed is not less testing, but different and more effective testing using new approach methodologies (NAMs), as well as a better coordinated cross-sectoral EU approach.

The Directorate-General for Research and Innovation made it clear that the Commission is committed to work towards the phasing out of animals in science, and announced an European roadmap aiming to fully replace animals in chemical safety assessments. The Joint Research Centre also expressed the need to develop a NAM-based classification system to better demonstrate the safe use of chemicals and ensure a higher level of protection. 

EPAA’s achievements in 2022, including the development and promotion of non-animal strategies to replace animal-based tests, as well as their aspiring plans for 2023 to increase the use of NAMs for regulatory safety testing, demonstrate EPAA’s strong engagement to accelerate the replacement of animal testing by innovative non-animal approaches.

The industry, represented by Cefic and Unilever, shared its intentions to continue its efforts to implement the use of NAMs, and ensure the protection of people using the best (non-animal) science available. As Carl Westmoreland summed up, “there isn’t a lack of tools, just a lack of experience with using them to make decisions”. The European Medical Agency also indicated that it is open to discuss NAMs and 3R testing approaches for human and veterinary medicinal product applications, and presented the ambitious and promising work plan of its new working party focused on fostering the 3Rs.  

Finally, Emily McIvor summarised the successes achieved over the past years in accelerating the transition to non-animal science, including the European Parliament’s Resolution to ‘Accelerate a Transition to Innovation without the use of Animals in Research, Regulatory Testing and Education’, the launch of the €400 million PARC project to establish a centre of excellence for the transition to Next Generation Risk Assessment, and the successful European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe without Animal Testing which collected over 1,4 million signatures. 

In this regard, Eurogroup for Animals recently published a position paper which reflects some of the key elements needed in a EU wide strategy for the transition to non-animal science. 

Key elements of a strategy to transition to non-animal science

Key elements of a strategy to transition to non-animal science | Eurogroup for Animals

Regards Mark

EU: Bad News for Wolves – European Parliament Votes to Downgrade Protection of Large Carnivores.

From Eurogroup for Animals:

The European Parliament votes to downgrade protection of large carnivores

24 November 2022

On 24 November, the European Parliament adopted a Joint Motion for Resolution calling for downlisting wolves’ protection status under the Bern Convention and threatening the continuous protection of large carnivores. These statements ignore scientific evidence and best practices demonstrating that coexistence is the solution.

The vote on the Joint Motion for Resolution on the protection of livestock farming and large carnivores in Europe took place on 24 November. The Resolution has been adopted with highly concerning amendments, calling for the conservation status of wolves under the Bern Convention to be downlisted and mentioning that flexibilities under the Habitats Directive should be explored further. We note that the Resolution does not call the European Commission to downgrade the protection status of wolves under the Habitats Directive from strict protection in Annex IV to protected in Annex V. However, it calls on the Commission to assess populations so that their protection status in particular regions can be adapted as soon as they reach a favourable conservation status. 

These calls, if implemented, would put wolves, large carnivores and other vulnerable species in the EU at high risk. Indeed, these statements ignore the threats on the survival of these species even when their populations increase to satisfactory levels. Downgrading protection of large carnivores has only one objective: generalise culling. However, we know it does not work! Reduction of livestock depredation has been successful thanks to preventive measures such as fencing and guarding dogs, not by killing emblematic species vital to healthy ecosystems. In addition, six out of nine wolf populations in Europe are still vulnerable or near threatened, favourable conservation status has not been reached in six out of 7 EU biogeographical regions.

We ask the European Commission not to implement the problematic measures suggested by the Resolution, and to continue protecting wild animals, including large carnivores, listed under the Habitats Directive for strict protection by promoting coexistence, the only viable solution. This is in line with the results of the European Commission Fitness Check evaluation of the Birds and Habitats Directives that concluded both Directives are sufficient and fit for purpose to achieve the objectives. We also welcome the calls of the Resolution to strengthen funding for preventive measures.

and yesterday …………………………….

Joint Motion for Resolution on wolves and large carnivores will be voted by the European Parliament this Thursday 24 November in the November Plenary session in Strasbourg

23 November 2022

This resulted from campaigns seeking to downgrade legal protection for wolves and large carnivores, and use culling as a strategy to prevent livestock depredation.

The Habitats Directive provides for the strict protection of large carnivores including wolves and provides sufficient flexibility. The European Commission reiterated that the Directive is fit for purpose. Efforts led by the EU and Member States to protect wolf populations are successful and led to an increase in the number of individuals. This is a positive trend since wolves are essential species in keeping their ecosystems healthy and play a key role in maintaining biodiversity in the EU. This conservation success on some populations should be celebrated as an encouraging sign of recovery. Importantly, wolves must still face a number of threats and still need to be protected. Hundreds of wolves are currently killed each year in the EU although some populations are considered as vulnerable and nearly threatened. 

As the European Commission clarified several times, the strategy for wolves and large carnivores management should focus on coexistence measures. Mitigation strategies have proven to be more effective to protect biodiversity, livestock and farmers. For instance, in France and Sweden, the number of attacks is decreasing despite the increasing number of wolves, partly thanks to fencing and other preventive measures. Besides an improved access to such measures such as fencing and guarding dogs, appropriate compensation schemes should be in place across the EU in a view to achieve coexistence. 

We therefore call on MEPs to ensure that the Joint Motion for Resolution does not undermine the conservation and protection of large carnivores, including wolves.

For more information, read our joint letter co-signed by the Humane Society International/Europe, Birdlife, IFAW, the European Environmental Bureau, WWF and ProWidlife and Eurogroup for Animals.

 Regards Mark

Instead of Killing Stray Dogs, the Authorities Should Build Animal Shelters. They Are Homeless Animals, Not Wild !


Instead of killing stray dogs, the authorities should build animal shelters

Read the article via this link:

Saving animals | Shehr |

Regards Mark

In relation to my stray animal campaigning work in the Balkans, I have always argued that current money spent killing strays should instead be put into NO KILL sterilisation and vaccination / health check issues for all strays By sterilisation, over a period of short time, you will see stray numbers REDUCING, not increasing.

Rounding up and killing strays is a very good but very ineffective way for authorities to present the image to0 the public of them ‘doing something’; when in fact they are killing and killing, but not seriously addressing the real issue as it should be addressed.

Strays are homeless animals, NOT wild animals !


Further update – above I talk about work for stray animals in the Balkans.

In 2005 I founded ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ (SAV) and with the support of some Serbian activists, we took on the Serbian government on the issue of stray animal management.

I am giving a link to the old SAV site which I have now closed down but which is still around for archive review purposes.  With  this past, I feel confident that I am in a position to add my voice to positives for stray animal protection and numbers reduction through No Kill sterilisation.

Also below I am showing a few photographs from the site which shows how strays are abused and mistreated by the Serbian authorities.  On the (archive) left of the site, you can gain access to all the work that we attempted in defending the rights of stray animals in

I hope you find it interesting;

Stray animals are homeless, and in need of help; they are not wild animals !

Regards Mark


About Serbian animals – About Serbian Animals. | Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)

Photographs from Serbia:

Above and below – strays are rounded up for killing by ‘Shinter’ (dogcatcher) teams

Above – Dogs captured and to be ‘taken away’ for slaughter, rather than ‘No kill sterilisation’ as we campaigned for.

Below – If you do not want to attract strays to ‘your patch’, then you do not leave your refuse dumps in this condition !

and that includes also dead pigs which are just dumped near the highway;

Images – SAV (Mark)

Article link (SAV):

I am a homeless stray, I live any way I can to survive; I need proper help but ………………………………………

UK: (The New UK) Eco King Charles BANS Foie Gras At All Royal Residences. A Positive Message Against Animal Suffering and Abuse.

King Charles: Foie gras banned at royal residences

King Charles: Foie gras banned at royal residences – BBC News

There will be no foie gras served in royal residences, a letter from Buckingham Palace to animal rights campaigners has confirmed.

King Charles is understood to have been a longstanding opponent of the food, made from the liver of a duck or goose, that campaigners say is cruel.

The King’s household wrote to the Peta campaign group that foie gras was not bought or served in royal residences.

There have been protests about force-feeding used to produce foie gras.

King Charles, when he was Prince of Wales, had been an advocate of higher welfare standards in farming and for over a decade had stopped the use of foie gras in his own properties and had been instrumental in a wider ban across royal residences.

Now as King he has reaffirmed this opposition – with the luxury food staying off the menu.

A letter received by Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) confirms that a foie gras ban is in place across the Royal Household and for all royal residences, which would include Balmoral, Sandringham, Windsor Castle, Hillsborough Castle and Buckingham Palace.

Above – Force feeding in foie gras production.

Ministers drop plan to ban foie gras imports

MPs fail in foie gras import ban bid

Elisa Allen, vice president of the animal welfare group, welcomed this saying others should “follow the King’s lead and leave foie gras off the menu this Christmas and beyond”.

“Video footage of birds being painfully force-fed is enough to make anyone lose their lunch,” she said, describing how the livers of animals are engorged to produce the food.

The animal rights group has backed a “cruelty free” alternative called “faux gras” and is sending some of this to the King, which it says is in recognition of his “compassionate policy”.

There is a ban on the production of foie gras in the UK, but not a ban on its sale or importation.

But it will certainly not be on the menu next week for the first state visit of King Charles’s reign, when he hosts a state banquet in Buckingham Palace for the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Peta group is also campaigning for the use of fake fur instead of ermine for robes at the King’s coronation next May.

Regards Mark

USA: Take Action Against the DAPL – violating Indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights, and posing a constant threat to the Missouri River.

Photo – KeithTurrill/Alamy

Dear Mark,

Each day the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) continues to operate, it violates Indigenous sovereignty and treaty rights and poses a constant threat to the Missouri River — a crucial water source for the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes as well as much of the United States.

Last year a federal court ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate the environmental impacts of the pipeline before the project can proceed. But, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is refusing to make many of their most critical findings public, especially relating to the effects of a potential oil spill and the effectiveness of spill response plans.

Showing the immense risk that this pipeline poses is an important step in the fight to end the threat DAPL poses to people and the environment. This information is crucial to understanding the immense risk this pipeline poses. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has access to data from the Department of Transportation (DOT) — but they won’t make it public.

Urge the Army Corps and the Department of Transportation to reveal the true impacts of a potential oil spill from the Dakota Access Pipeline on frontline Indigenous communities and the environment today.

DAPL crosses the Missouri River one-eighth of a mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation and travels under Lake Oahe, a reservoir that is the primary water source for the Reservation. The risk of a spill poses an immense threat to the Reservation drinking water system as well as crucial fish and wildlife habitats that provide food for residents of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

While the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is assessing the environmental impacts of the pipeline, the results of which will likely be revealed next year, the pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) — a company with a disastrous history of pipeline safety violations — wants to double the flow rate of the pipeline to nearly a million barrels a day . This will inevitably put more pressure on the pipeline, increase the risk of oil spills, and risk the safety of the Tribes’ water sources — and makes it even more vital that the Army Corps produces a fair assessment of the impacts of the pipeline in order to head off this threat.

The continued operation of the pipeline and the lack of transparency that is playing out in the review is an environmental justice issue, as the communities being affected the most by the pipeline’s operation and who would be first responders to a potential spill are being left out of the assessment process.


Matthew McKinzie
Senior Director of Planning and Operations, NRDC

Take Action

Help fight the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect Indigenous rights! | NRDC

Regards Mark

Non Animal, But A Wonderful Story.

Above – Veteran reunited with girl he helped during WWII

Veteran reunited with girl he helped during WWII

A 99-year-old veteran who fed a French girl during the Second World War has been reunited with her 78 years on.

During the Battle of Normandy, Reg Pye served with the Royal Engineers as a driver carrying sappers, mines and ammunitions.

While moving through Normandy, 14 days after D-Day in June 1944, Mr Pye spotted a 14-year-old girl staring at him while he ate his evening meal – a slice of bread with jam and a tin of pilchards.

Aged 21 at the time, Mr Pye handed his bread and jam over to the girl who ran away to eat it.

The following morning he found the girl had half-filled his mess tin with milk and left a handwritten note on the back of a picture of herself, which Mr Pye then kept in his wallet ever since.

Above – The picture Huguette left in Mr Pye’s mess tin

Some 78 years after their initial meeting, Mr Pye reunited with the girl who has been identified as Huguette, now 92.

The pair met in France where Mr Pye showed her the picture he kept, and gave her another jam sandwich.

“Nice to see you again after such a long time. We got older but we’re still the same,” Mr Pye said when meeting Huguette.

With the help of a translator, the pair drank champagne with their extended families.

“The memory of my very brief encounter with this young girl will stay with me forever,” Mr Pye added.

“In the bleakest of times this bit of human interaction made a huge mark on my life, I have carried her picture in my wallet for 78 years always hoping we might meet again.”

The reunion was made possible after Paul Cook, a volunteer from Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, started a social media campaign after hearing the story.

“There are no words to describe how elated I am that Reg has found Huguette, this is like a Hollywood blockbuster and I wouldn’t be surprised if this beautiful story was made into a film,” Mr Cook said.

Sweden: Djurens Ratt Reports Factory Farm To Police Re Animal Cruelty. We Wish Them Success !

Photo – Djurens Rätt

Djurens Rätt reports factory farm to police for animal cruelty

18 November 2022

Djurens Rätt

Our member, Djurens Rätt, has recently taken police action against a Swedish factory farm for animal cruelty.

Djurens Rätt received some harrowing images and footage anonymously, that displays chickens living in atrocious conditions on a factory farm in Sweden.

A supplier of the brand Kronfågel, the material shows:

Chickens in overcrowded quarters

Struggling poultry looking dirty and uncared for

Chickens being trampled over, both dead and alive

While Kronfågel claims to care about animals, the reality of life on their farms shows quite the opposite… and as Djurens Rätt has explored previously, this isn’t the first time they’ve been caught abusing chickens either.

‘The judicial system must act against animal factory farms like these’, says President of Djurens Rätt

After receiving the content, Djurens Rätt promptly filed a police report against the farm for aggravated animal cruelty: which they were able to do so with help from an amendment made in July. The amendment states that those who cause animals to suffer copiously can be prosecuted.

‘The judicial system must act against animal factory farms like these’, says Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt. ‘We will continue to remind legislators, law enforcement and consumers that animals suffer in animal factories. It is beyond all criticism that sentient individuals are treated in this way in a country that claims to have the world’s best animal welfare.’ 

No more animal cruelty – we need stronger animal welfare legislation

After Lidl’s chicken scandal and the recent investigations exposing awful conditions on Italian quail farms (to name just two examples), it’s clear that the poultry industry – and farm animals in general – need our help.

‘Promises’ made by corporations and suppliers to care for animals are not enough. We need tangible action, including robust legislation and more pledges made to the European Chicken Commitment, to see real change in the sector. We must stop suffering from slipping through the cracks.

Learn about the work we are doing to secure better lives for farm animals.

Regards Mark

USA: Animal Rights Activists Will Hand Out ‘Turkey-Free Roasts’ In Newark.

Advocates from Newark Animal Save and PETA said they’ll be handing out free Field Roast Celebration Roasts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 outside the Whole Foods store in Newark, 633 Broad Street.© Shutterstock

NEWARK, NJ — Vegan turkey roasts are coming home to roost in the Brick City this Thanksgiving season.

Advocates from Newark Animal Save and PETA said they’ll be handing out free Field Roast Celebration Roasts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19 outside the Whole Foods store in Newark, 633 Broad Street.

According to a news release, the giveaway event is being held to encourage people to “keep intelligent, inquisitive and sensitive birds off the table” and celebrate “ThanksVegan” instead.

“Turkeys are gentle individuals who love their families, feel pain and fear, and want to live as much as humans do,” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said.

“PETA is encouraging everyone to see the similarities among all sentient beings, eat vegan and spare turkeys – more than 45 million of whom who are slaughtered every year for Thanksgiving alone,” Reiman said.

Regards Mark

Animal Rights Activists Will Hand Out ‘Turkey-Free Roasts’ In Newark (

Enjoy – Shelties play day

I have always had the pleasure of Shelties as my pet dog friends – beautiful, super intellignet, amazing and loyal, devoted animals.

Below are a few pictures of my dog Golda


My wonderful ‘Golda’:

Above – Shelties and I go back a long way !

The amazing and oh so beautiful Sheltie.

Food Systems Transformation is Brewing at UNFCCC COP27.

Food systems transformation is brewing at UNFCCC COP27

17 November 2022

While food systems does not yet have the place it deserves on this year’s COP27 agenda in Sharm el-Sheikh, it was addressed in important side-sessions.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held an event on ‘Climate Resilience in Food Systems – why act now?’ where it was recognised that food systems, despite their significant impact on emissions, have been lacking at the climate meetings. The panel projected that food systems would get a stronger place on the COP agenda next year. 

In fact, COP27 was the first time that the UNFCCC has endorsed food systems pavilions to be set up in the ‘Blue Zone’ and that 12 November was a thematic day dedicated to agriculture. The extensive programme in the Food4Climate pavilion, sponsored by a number of organisations including Eurogroup for Animals’ members’ Compassion in World Farming, FOUR PAWS and World Animal Protection, addressed a series of important topics related to animal agriculture and plant-based diets. 

Compassion in World Farming launched the new global petition ‘End of the Line for Factory farming’, calling on the UN and global leaders for a UN global agreement to end factory farming and reduce the consumption of meat and animal products.

Without ending factory farming, we simply cannot tackle the growing climate emergency” – Ben Williamson, U.S Executive Director of Compassion in World Farming

Above – CIWF Campaign Launch

Compassion in World Farming together with FOUR PAWS arranged the event ‘Tackling Climate Change through better Livestock Management Systems’. Martina Stephany, International Director Farm Animals and Nutrition at FOUR PAWS, gave examples of how the meat and dairy industry seeks to reduce methane emissions through techno-fixes such as feed additives.

It shows that the industry wants to further adapt the animals to a sick system rather than let the animals live the way they normally would live”, she said

Martina Stephany also called on governments to stop financing factory farms and to use public money to help farmers transition to better animal welfare systems or to produce more plant-based food.

World Animal Protection presented the new report ‘Climate change and cruelty – the true impact of factory farming’ in a session that showcased the impact of intensive animal agriculture on climate change in Africa as well as U.S farmers applying the principles of a just transition and showing that there are alternative ways of producing food.

Below – Food 4 Climate Pavillion 

World Animal Protection, together with Eurogroup for Animals, also hosted a side-event on ‘Transitioning agriculture systems for sustainability and climate resistance’ bringing together experts in food, climate and animal welfare to discuss why a Just Protein Transition to plant-based proteins and agroecological farming is critical. James Yeates, CEO of World Federation for Animals, spoke about how improved animal welfare and more plant-based diets have climate change mitigation benefits, stressing also the role of marine animal welfare.

Sophika Kostyniuk, Managing Director of Aquatic Life Institute, spoke at the Food Systems Pavilion event ‘Innovation and Technology in Water and Aquatic Food Systems’, emphasising that 2-3 trillion aquatic animals are killed for human consumption every year and that their welfare must be part of the food system transition.

Above – World Animals Protection and Eurogroup for Animals

Other signs that food systems are gaining traction at the climate talks could be seen in the Nordic Pavilion, hosted by the Nordic Council of Ministers, which had a ‘food systems take-over’ on agriculture day to bring food production, agriculture and diets to the front and centre of climate action. 

On the same day, the Singapore pavilion had an event on ‘Alternative Proteins: Boosting Sustainable Food Security Resilience through Science’ addressing both plant-based food and cellular agriculture. Singapore is the first country to have started serving cultivated meat and Low Teng Yong, Branch Head for Risk Assessment and Communications from Singapore Food Agency, spoke about Singapore’s innovation programme and the regulatory process for bringing cultivated meat to market.

In short, food systems transformation is brewing at COP27 but it still has to make its way up on the agenda to get the attention it deserves in order for the world to limit global warming.

Regards Mark

England: Robin Photos From Pauline.

We were just talking about these – I asked if Pauline had noticed that in one photo the bird has a leg ring fitted.

Pauline did notice and said that these pictures were taken at the Sevenoaks (Kent) wildlife trust nature reserve.

Guessing they may have ringed him for monitoring purposes.

Regards Mark and Pauline.

Some past robin photo links:

Germany: Primates Exposed to Severe Suffering In Brain Research Experiments in Germany.

Primates exposed to severe suffering in brain research experiments in Germany

15 November 2022



Doctors Against Animal Experiments have revealed the severe suffering of non-human primates used for brain research experimentation in Germany, and reveal that eight institutions are currently carrying out similar tests that should be banned under EU law.

In 2009, six dead primates used for scientific experimentation at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen were sent to a governmental pathological institution to investigate their cause of death. The examination revealed severe injuries on the skull, cerebral membranes and the brain which must have caused excruciating pain for months. 

New photo and video evidence obtained by Doctors Against Animal Experiments has exposed the extreme cruelty of the experiments to the public. The footage garnered significant interest and was broadcast on a major German television programme.

Monkeys in brain research are subjected to unimaginable suffering. This is revealed by a dissection report documenting head injuries such as drill holes in the skull bone and stab wounds in the brain of such animals. Official veterinary pathologists found that the monkeys used by the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics (MPI Tübingen) in Tübingen were suffering not only severely, but extremely severely, which was fully known to the competent authorities.

Doctors Against Animal Experiments

This shocking case is not an isolated incident. The MPI Tübingen stopped its primate experiments in 2017 due to public pressure after years of campaigning and an undercover investigation in 2014. However, similar tests are still being carried out in Bremen, Göttingen, Magdeburg, Marburg, Frankfurt, and at three other institutes in Tübingen.

Directive 2010/63/EU sets an upper limit for pain and suffering above which animal testing should no longer be carried out. Recital 23 states that “from an ethical standpoint, there should be an upper limit of pain, suffering and distress above which animals should not be subjected in scientific procedures”, and article 15 states that “Member States shall ensure that a procedure is not performed if it involves severe pain, suffering or distress that is likely to be long-lasting and cannot be ameliorated.”

However, if for exceptional and scientifically justifiable reasons, a Member State deems it necessary to carry out a procedure involving severe pain, suffering or distress that is likely to be long-lasting and cannot be ameliorated, Member States may adopt a provisional measure to allow such a procedure. In that case, the Member State shall immediately inform the Commission and the other Member States, and provide reasons and evidence for its decision to allow a provisional measure. Then, the Commission may either authorise the provisional measure or require the Member State to revoke the provisional measure.

When applying for project authorisation, researchers classify the severity of this type of procedure usually as “moderate” (i.e. short-term moderate pain, suffering or distress, or long-lasting mild pain, suffering or distress). The unveiling of Doctors Against Animal Experiments have shown that primate brain research procedures often involve pain, suffering or distress that is “likely to be long-lasting and cannot be ameliorated”. Therefore, such procedures should only be authorised if they have been the subject of a request for a provisional measure, in accordance with the Directive. 

Call for action in Germany

Doctors Against Animal Experiments are calling for decision-makers to no longer approve such procedures in Germany, and to stop the use of non-human primates in brain research immediately.

Sign their petition to support this demand.

Regards Mark

It was like over 35 years ago that Joanne and I, plus a few other members of our (then) group, went up to the Mauritanian embassy in London to protest against the primate trade. Read more and see photos of that day in the first link below.

I am unsure if the primates associated with the German issue detailed above were originallly supplied from Mauritius; all I can do is try to publicise what is still happening in Europe right now.


Photos – WAV Archive.

England: Touching Tributes to Animal Heroes at Coventry (City) Purple Poppy Service.

Touching tributes to animal heroes at Coventry purple poppy service

PETS and their owners gathered in the War Memorial Park peace garden on Remembrance Sunday to honour the animals that served during all conflicts.

Pet owners and animal rights and welfare groups gathered in the peace garden for the short service, which was led by Coun John McNicholas alongside his wife June.

During his address, Coun McNicholas spoke about the need to honour the ‘faithful animals who served side-by-side with the Armed Forces’, something he feels isn’t done enough.

He also stressed the positive impact animals can have on people’s mental health.

“I have always been a huge advocate of animal rights, and whether it be dogs, horses or other kinds I think they should be remembered for their service, animals are loyal, loving and brave.”

Coventry Central Hall Rev Stephen Willey then gave a brief speech before leading the service in prayer.

He spoke of humans and animals being a part of the ‘marvellous creation of god’ and of the value of the ‘unconditional love’ animals give to owners.

Dr June McNicholas read a poem looking at war from a serving dog’s perspective, accompanied by her new pet dog Stella.

And the service ended with the laying of a purple poppy wreath alongside a plaque in memory of all animals who gave their lives in wars since 1914.

The purple poppy was introduced in 2006 by the charity Animal Aid, which felt animals who died in wars, mostly horses and dogs, should not be forgotten.

The appeal has since been adopted by the Murphy’s Army charity, which has since raised thousands of pounds for causes including K9 Heroes, The Horse Trust and Fireside K9.

Coun McNicholas laid the city’s first purple poppies as Lord Mayor last year and said he will be making this an annual service.

He said: “My wife and I have always been keen to promote the beneficial roles animals can play whether as therapy, assistance animals or those that support our armed services.

“Few Remembrance services recognise the bravery of those animals who endanger or sacrifice their own lives to protect their human colleagues.

“I’m looking forward to next year when we will continue our support for the ceremony”.

Regards Mark

Associated animals in war links:

Search Results for “animals in war” – World Animals Voice

Coventry (England) has a very proud tradition of animal rights – and it was during live export protests that our wonderful Jill was murdered by the savage calf export trade:

Spain: Protestors Take To The Streets As ‘Hunting Dogs’ Excluded From Spain’s Animal Welfare Laws.

Dogs used in hunts are often subjected to horrific conditions

Animal rights campaigners in Spain held demonstrations across multiple cities on October 16 to shine a light on hunting dogs being exempt from new animal welfare laws.

The Spanish government recently lodged a further amendment to its Animal Protection Law, which sought to keep hunting dog breeds exempt from abuse protection.

Barcelona-based animal rights group Paw Portal called the move “a shame,” considering this is the same government that made so many positive steps to help animals previously.

“Do dogs feel less if they are in the hands of hunters than in the hands of people who do not have killing animals as a hobby?” the group asked in a Facebook post. “Indeed: they feel less affection, less attention and less respect.”

Protests were organized in Almeria, Cadiz, and Valencia, amongst others, to encourage people to sign a petition launched by Spanish political party the Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals.

Paw Portal supported efforts and informed its followers about the underlying issues of speciesism and cruelty. “[This is] a reminder that the Spanish government wants to exclude hunting dog breeds from the new animal rights laws,” it wrote. 

“This will allow the biggest perpetrators of the worst animal abuse to continue without facing any consequences!”

Abuse faced by working dogs

Paw Portal claims that dogs used to hunt are kept in abhorrent conditions. Many are reported to be kept on short chains for the majority of their lives, while housed in unsanitary feces-filled kennels, and denied access to clean drinking water.

At the end of hunting season, due to the undomesticated nature of the animals, thousands face abandonment or death at the hands of their owners. Hanging, burning, and being discarded into wells to drown are listed as some common “disposal” techniques.

Under the Animal Protection Law, all of these activities would be deemed illegal and punishable by a prison sentence. However, the government is looking to remove all protection from hunting breeds, apparently on the grounds of “cultural interest.” 

In its petition, the Animalist Party states that: “This was [also] denounced by the Intergroup of the European Parliament on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals in a letter sent to the Government, in which it indicated that the treatment given in our country to animals used as hunting tools is in contradiction with European values.”

The party demands that no species is exempt from protection by the law. It also asks that none be used as “tools” for human profit, as it equates to exploitation, a term it also connects to another Spanish tradition, bull fighting.

Spain cracks down on animal abuse 

On August 1, the Spanish government updated its Animal Protection Law to reduce cruelty, abandonment, and the unnecessary killing of animals. The amendment was brought in by the minister of social rights, Ione Belarra.

“Animal abuse going unpunished and aberrant practices such as cockfighting or shooting pigeons are over,” she said at the time. “Gone are the days when hundreds of thousands of animals were abandoned every year in our country.”

Murcia Today reported that key changes included a zero sacrifice policy, with no animal being euthanized except for in extreme medical circumstances, and a tougher stance on perpetrators of animal abuse. The Penal Code was changed to increase custodial sentences from a minimum of 24 to 36 months for first offenses. 

Zoos and marine parks are also required to transform into wildlife rehabilitation centers.

Following on from the amendments, more animal rights progress was made in December when animals became classified as sentient beings in Spain. Only the far-right political party Vox opposed the move, which saw domestic companions and wild species alike no longer considered as “objects” by law.

Regards Mark

Pakistan: A First Look at Animal Rights Course Content for Schools in Islamabad.

The Head of the Prime Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit, Salman Sufi, announced that the development of the Animal Rights curriculum, which will be taught in schools in the federal capital, is almost complete.

His tweet read: “As part of PM Shehbaz [Sharif’s] Animal welfare reforms, Chapters on Animal rights in curriculum are in final stages of composition”.

He added that he had also had detailed consultations with over 40 academics, the Ministry of Education, the curriculum board, and animal rights volunteers in this regard.

He had stated in September that the course will be introduced in the syllabi of Grades 5 and above at both private and government schools in the federal capital by the end of October.

Sufi also mentioned that the government is working with international organizations and local activists for this project that will educate students about pets, stray animals, and exotic pets.

Detailing the layout of the course, Sufi had said,

Animal rights activists will visit schools and teach children about keeping pets. They will tell kids that pets cannot just be kept for fun, and make them realize that animals are a responsibility.

He added,

They need to understand that you can’t throw stones at stray dogs. That it is better to neuter these animals. That even Islam teaches us to respect every living being and emphasizes how animals should be protected.

Furthermore, the course content will also include the dangers of keeping exotic animals at home.

“We will tell children that if they can afford these wild animals, it is absolutely unfair to keep them at home and that importing exotic animals is a big no,” Sufi said.

The premier’s aide had also previously explained that the course on Animal Welfare will have co-curricular sessions, and after it is launched in Islamabad, the authorities will push for the provincial governments to follow suit.

Regards Mark

A First Look at Animal Rights Course Content for Schools in Islamabad (

Uganda: Brutal Journey To Slaughterhouse Ignites Beef Wioth Animal Rights Activists.

Above – A truck with tightly packed cattle arrives at the unloading yard of Kampala City Abattoir. Animal rights advocates want the government to enforce laws that require humane treatment of animals during transportation.


KAMPALA, UGANDA — As soon as the truck pulls up, Joseph Lubwama jumps out and starts unloading 24 tightly packed cattle he has brought to Kampala City Abattoir. He begins by untangling a web of ropes used to tie the cattle’s long horns to the rails of the truck bed to keep them still. They have been on a 250-kilometer (155-mile) journey from Kiruhura, a rural district in southern Uganda. One by one, the cattle step out of the truck. They look tired.

“For the animals to travel that long tied to one position by the horns and tail, it is uncomfortable,” says Lubwama, as he begins to herd them off the truck.

What seemed like genuine concern vanishes when Gaju, a bull with the majestic horns typical of the Ankole breed, wobbles, falls in the middle of the truck bed and can’t get up.

“Get up, Gaju! Go, go, go, Gaju, go,” Lubwama shouts as he kicks the animal and mercilessly strikes it with a cane.

When Gaju doesn’t budge, Lubwama finds support on the frames of the truck’s cargo cage and kicks the animal hard using both legs with his heavy gumboots. The apparent pain forces Gaju to gather strength, stand up and stagger out of the truck.

Kampala’s steady population growth over the last three decades has created high demand for beef. But the city doesn’t permit raising cattle within its limits, meaning that people like Lubwama have to bring in cattle from ranches hundreds of kilometers from the city’s abattoirs. But the inhumane way cattle are transported has led to a debate between animal rights activists and veterinarians who are calling for government intervention, and cattle dealers who contend that they would lose money if the current laws were enforced.

Since 1992, the capital city has averaged an annual population growth rate of at least 5%, raising the number of residents from around 830,000 to more than 3.6 million in 2022, according to data from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. The average Ugandan consumes about 9 kilograms (20 pounds) of beef a year, with Kampala district accounting for the largest portion, 7% of the country’s annual production of 185,709 metric tons, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

David Kakooza, a veterinarian’s assistant who keeps records of the overcrowded trucks of cattle arriving daily at the abattoir, says he doesn’t feel good seeing animals arrive so fatigued. He wishes the government could enforce existing laws and regulations that are supposed to ensure animals are not tortured during transportation.

“Animals have rights, too,” Kakooza says as he inspects a truck carrying 21 head of cattle.

Standing orders of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards stipulate that trucks “shall have enough space for the comfort of slaughter animals during transit, cattle placed crosswise on a lorry shall allow 50 cm to 60 cm of the truck length for each animal.” Transportation of animals for slaughter “shall be carried out in a way that minimizes stress, pain and suffering,” according to the guidelines. There is also the Animals (Prevention of Cruelty) Act, which states that any person who “cruelly beats, kicks, ill-treats, overrides, overdrives, overloads, tortures or infuriates any animal” is guilty of the crime of cruelty.

Siraj Katangawuzi, the imam of Nansana parish, says he wants to see these laws and regulations strictly enforced to ensure that animals are transported without suffering. He says one simple change the government could make is to require the use of timber instead of ropes to prevent cattle from falling during transportation. The government should also educate Ugandans on the importance of being kind to animals and revoke the licenses of those who refuse to follow the law.

“Ugandans need to realize that everything that breathes has feelings,” Katangawuzi says. “It is impossible for humans to travel all that distance without changing position, but cows, too, have feelings, so they should not be tied so mercilessly.”

Dr. Dickson Tayebwa, an animal welfare advocate and veterinarian who lectures at Makerere University, says existing laws are not enforced because “big men” — powerful government officials who own extensive cattle ranches and many of the trucks that transport animals to Kampala’s abattoirs — dominate the meat industry.

Above – Cattle dealers and herdsmen watch as a load of cattle is led to a resting area at the Kampala City Abattoir. Kampala’s growing demand for meat means cattle must be transported from far away, raising concerns about animal cruelty.

“Their trucks have papers indicating that they are special,” Tayebwa says. “So, the officers manning roadblocks cannot say anything, even when it’s clear that laws are being broken.”

An officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, who wants to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, acknowledges that the presence of powerful people in the industry makes government regulation difficult.

“They are untouchable,” the officer says.

David Kasura Kyomukama, the permanent secretary at the ministry, says he cannot comment on the issue of top government officials impeding the enforcement of laws. But he says the ministry is trying to convince people in the industry that obeying the laws and regulations would be in their best interest.

“Animals are animals, so they can’t be treated like people, but they can be treated well on the journey so that we get money out of them,” Kyomukama says. “If you treat animals in a way that stresses them, you won’t get their full worth, as some might lose weight, or even die.”

Kyomukama says the ministry plans to set up abattoirs in regions across the country so that animals are slaughtered closer to where they are raised and their meat transported to Kampala and other urban centers. He doesn’t say when that might happen.

Dr. Hannington Katumba, a Kampala city council veterinarian, agrees that treating cattle well would benefit the beef industry and consumers because healthy cows produce high-quality meat. He explains that when a cow is reacting to high levels of stress, its body excretes lactic acid, which increases acidity and makes meat fail to settle.

“That is the ugly meat we sometimes see in stalls. It looks beaten,” Katumba says.

The fact that Ugandan culture doesn’t generally value animal welfare has made ending cruelty against animals more difficult. Samuel Bwanakweri, a herder from western Uganda who has been in cattle trade and transportation for 21 years, laughs when asked why animals are treated so cruelly during transportation to the abattoirs.

“What is all the fuss about? They are heading to the slaughterhouse,” he says matter-of-factly. “Isn’t it ironic to feel pity for an animal you are going to kill?”

Bwanakweri says that he spends a lot of money to transport the cattle from as far away as 320 kilometers (almost 200 miles) to the abattoirs and that following the regulations would not make economic sense. To break even, he says he needs to get 23 cows on each truck because he must hire four handlers at 100,000 Ugandan shillings ($26) each. He also pays the truck owner and the bank that gives him business loans.

Although he’s not as dismissive as Bwanakweri about animal welfare, Bonny Katambula, a committee member of Kampala City Abattoir, agrees that if the current laws and regulations were to be strictly enforced, many dealers would be out of business. He says the ideal number for the large trucks should be 20 cows.

“A man cannot hire a truck for 1 million shillings [$260], drive it upcountry for cattle and return with only 10 cows,” he says. “That defeats the economic purpose.”

Above – Workers inside Kampala City Abattoir weigh and cut meat to buyers’ specifications.

Lubwama says his goal is to work his way up in the beef industry. As a cattle handler, he earns 100,000 shillings ($26) for each of the three trips he makes weekly. He is working hard to save money and be able to have one of his own cows on the truck.

“My dream is to slowly build my business and be able to fill a truck with my cattle,” he says as he leads Gaju and several cows to the yard for fodder, water and rest.

After 12 hours, he will herd Gaju to the slaughterhouse, where the bull’s journey will end. The meat will be processed, and the health inspector will stamp it to certify that it has been checked for disease and deemed healthy for human consumption. Lubwama will head back to Kiruhura and load the truck with more cattle for his next trip to Kampala to help quell the city’s hunger for beef.

Edna Namara is a Global Press Journal reporter based in Kampala, Uganda.

Regards Mark

Brutal Journey to Slaughterhouse Ignites Beef with Animal Rights Activists (

USA: The Miami Seaquarium Starved Dolphins, Just to Force Them to Entertain Humans. Take Action Here.

A shocking new report confirms many activists’ worst suspicions: animal abuse and cruelty have run rampant at the Miami Seaquarium. According to the report, many of the facility’s dolphins were chronically underfed and deprived of food in an effort to ensure they would perform for guests.

The situation was so dire that the zoo cut nine dolphins’ daily food rations by a whopping 60%, and one dolphin lost more than 100 pounds. These intelligent, social animals should not even be in tanks to begin with, and the fact that they were forced to endure additional cruelty is terrifying.

The Miami Seaquarium has proven that it does not care about animals. It must send its captive animals to sanctuaries now. Sign now to demand that the U.S. Department of Agriculture protect dolphins by shutting down the Miami Seaquarium for good!

There is absolutely no reason this facility should remain open for even one more day. Sign the petition.

petition: The Miami Seaquarium Starved Dolphins for Entertainment (

Regards Mark

Eurogroup for Animals – We’re joining Compassion in World Farming to ‘End of the Line for Factory Farming’

12 November 2022


From Eurogroup for Animals:

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), addressed the attendees of COP27 this morning to call for a Global Agreement on Food and Farming, as part of a new campaign they’re calling the ‘End of the Line for Factory Farming’.

Their goal? To ‘bring factory farming and high meat consumption to the end of the line once and for all’.

It’s an ambition we share. At Eurogroup for Animals, we’ve been lobbying to reduce meat consumption by 70% by 2030 in the EU/UK, as well as for food system transformation that shifts away from industrial agriculture to agroecology: a farming system in which nature is respected and high animal welfare standards are prioritised.

CIWF’s amazing initiative is therefore one that we’re delighted to support… and it’s off to a powerful start. Representatives from the NGO called on policymakers today at this year’s global climate conference to take action urgently, with evidence showing that intensive farming systems pose a huge threat to the planet.

A leading source of suffering for farm animals across the world – not to mention a key driver of greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation – industrial farming systems are at the heart of significant issues that world leaders can no longer afford to ignore.

Use your voice: call for the end of intensive farming systems

A report commissioned by CIWF last month, covering 13 UN regions and surveying over 14,000 participants, indicates that an overwhelming majority of the public has a negative view of factory farming. Among other things, they believe that industrial systems put profit ahead of:

Animal welfare (69%)

The climate and environment (63%).

Rife with cruelties and terrible consequences for our nature and climate, there’s no place for intensive farming systems in our future. Sign CIWF’s petition today and join their global movement to end factory farming, to support:

Higher standards of farmed animal welfare

A ‘shift to nature-positive farming systems’ that focus on building biodiversity, protecting soils and more

A reduction in the consumption of animal products, as well as more ‘secure access to nutritious food’

Fair livelihoods for farmers and protected rights for ‘indigenous peoples, women, and vulnerable communities’

Financial and regulatory support for the transition away from intensive farming to CIWF’s proposed new, nature and animal-friendly model.

Let’s change the farming industry for the better

We’re proud to support CIWF alongside other amazing NGOs, including our members Djurens Rätt and World Animal Protection.

“The science is clear that we need to reduce the number of animals farmed and eat more plant-based products if we are to have a chance to limit global warming to 1.5°C,” says our Political Adviser for Food Policy, Camilla Björkbom. “Ending factory farms is also important for the sake of animals themselves, as they suffer greatly within them. We need a farming system which focuses much more on plants, and respects the needs of all animals.”

We’re excited to help this movement grow. Will you be a part of it?

Regards Mark

Ukraine: New data reveals over 150,000 cats and dogs need humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

11 November 2022

Four Paws

FOUR PAWS conducted the first ever survey in Ukraine on the welfare of companion animals during the war, to help mobilise support for shelters and volunteers in the country. 670 respondents took part in the survey, which revealed that the biggest problems are abandonment of pets, unsterilised animals living on the streets, and a lack of food for pets, strays and shelter animals.

FOUR PAWS carried out the survey to find out where its support is most needed.

The organisations’ local Stray Animal Care team has been active in Ukraine for the past ten years. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 FOUR PAWS, in coalition with other organisations, helped establish UPAW for efficient delivery of humanitarian aid to animals. Despite the challenging logistics in the country, 130 staff and volunteers of UPAW managed to distribute 944 tons of humanitarian cargo to animals over 8 months of their work.  

UPAW is delivering aid based on the urgency of the need: the regions close to the combat zone, temporarily occupied and liberated by Ukrainian Armed Forces, are the areas of priority. But UPAW also covers the rest of the Ukrainian territory, where many animals were evacuated to. In addition to pet food aid, UPAW also distributes veterinary drugs to clinics, supports spay and neuter campaigns, and runs fundraising campaigns for the shelters in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, in-kind donations UPAW receives from international NGOs have decreased in recent months compared to February and March 2022. They are struggling to fill their warehouses, yet the many needs of animals in Ukraine continue to grow because of the prolonged war.

Learn more about UPAW’s work in figures below, and support the animals of Ukraine by donating

Regards Mark

UK / Canada: Remembering The Fallen Animals – Victims Of War That They Did Not Volunteer To Serve In.

Coventry to hold purple poppy service to remember fallen serving animals

COVENTRY will remember the animals lost to war on Sunday with the laying of a wreath of purple poppies.

The special service will get under way at 2.30pm at the War Memorial Park Peace Garden and will see Coun John McNicholas, who laid the city’s first purple poppies as Lord Mayor last year, joined by animal rights and welfare groups.

The purple poppy was introduced in 2006 by the charity Animal Aid, which felt our four-legged friends who died in war, mostly horses and dogs, should also not be forgotten.

The appeal has since been adopted by the Murphy’s Army charity, which has since raised thousands of pounds for causes including K9 Heroes, The Horse Trust, Smokey Paws, Household Cavalry Foundation, Bravo Working Dog Rescue and Fireside K9.

Coun McNicholas said: “This year, as every year, I will be proudly wearing my red poppy to remember all the brave service personnel who have given their lives to protect us, and I will be wearing my purple one alongside to remember our faithful animals of all descriptions that have served in conflicts around the globe, and continue to do so.

“They are a part of our Armed Forces, and their love and loyalty deserve recognition.

“Last year’s event was very well supported, and this year I look forward to seeing even more people and their pets at the service to help our city pay tribute and remember.”

Visit to buy purple poppies from the Murphy’s Army charity.

Animal rights activists hold ceremony at National War Memorial for animals lost in war

Animal rights activists held a memorial ceremony for animals lost in war at the National War Memorial on Sunday, distributing purple poppies in their honour.

Groups such as the Animal Alliance of Canada, which helped organize the memorial ceremony, say they are fighting against the modern-day use of animals in live training and experiments, and condemn their use in wars throughout the world. The purple poppy is meant to mirror the red poppies worn in memory of people who served in war.

Not far from the National War Memorial, in the centre of Confederation Park, there is a smaller memorial honouring the animal casualties of war. A dog sits patiently at its base, tongue permanently stuck out and set in stone. Hoof marks and paw prints are etched into the concrete around the memorial.

So, why did Animal Protection Party member Kimberly LaMontagne hold Sunday’s ceremony for fallen animals half a kilometre away at the National War Memorial?

“I decided to host the memorial service here because although there is a memorial to the fallen pets of war, it does not do justice to the millions of animal victims incurred. I wanted to equate the lives of these animals with the human veterans.”

LaMontagne emphasizes how, in Confederation Park, the South African war memorial overshadows the animal one, setting the dog’s statue at the feet of a soldier with his helmet outstretched.

LaMontagne also states that the animals were victims, not heroes.

“They did not sacrifice their lives for their country, they had no say in the matter. And those who did survive the horrors of war were often discarded on the battlefield after being injured. We are here to honour these animals, and to help prevent more from falling in their wake.”

The animal protection cause has close ties with veganism and some people who were at the service had been in the city for the previous day’s International Vegan Film Festival. Among these was activist Peter McQueen from Toronto.

“When I heard at the film festival that Kimberly was hosting this event, my wife and I knew we had to come here to show our support.

“I really feel as though we need to treat animal veterans as well as our human veterans, finding them placements once they are no longer in service, so they are not just abandoned after they have served their purpose.”

Regards Mark

Coventry to hold purple poppy service to remember fallen serving animals – The Coventry Observer


Animal rights activists hold ceremony at National War Memorial for animals lost in war (

In London, England; there is a beautiful memorial tribute to remember animals that have fallen in war:

The Animals In War Memorial

A major monument designed for London.

This monument is a powerful and moving tribute to all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century.

The trustees of The Animals in War Memorial Fund obtained planning consent from Westminster City Council to erect the memorial at Brook Gate, Park Lane, (map here) on the edge of Hyde Park. It was unveiled by HRH The Princess Royal in November 2004, the 90th anniversary of the start of World War I.

See real animals in war photos here:

England: Leicestershire Pig Farm Fined £4,500 After Pleading Guilty to Breaching the Animal Welfare Act.

The owners of a Leicestershire pig farm have been fined £4,500 after pleading guilty to breaching the Animal Welfare Act.

Siblings Alan and Rachel Elvidge, appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning, charged with a minor breach of the Animal Welfare Act.

The case was brought by Leicestershire Trading Standards over the care of pigs at the farm in Gilmorton, near Lutterworth.

This guilty plea is one of 66 charges following inspections at their father’s farm near Lutterworth in Leicestershire in September 2020, all but one of which were dropped after he died.

The court heard that their father, a pig farmer for 50 years, had been the only operative at the farm during the time of the investigation.

The farm failed to provide suitable flooring, suitable enrichment for the pigs and there was a broken panel on one pig pen.

The Gilmorton pig farm were charged over the care of their pigsCredit: ITV News

How did the pig farm investigation unfold?

In 2020, Flat House Farm, which no longer keeps pigs, was the subject of an undercover investigation by animal rights group Viva! Campaigns.

The animal welfare group released footage it claimed shows “barbaric conditions” at the farm.

Over a four month period, the campaigners placed hidden cameras in sheds at the farm.

They subsequently submitted the footage to the RSPCA, Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards, and Red Tractor.

The farm, which is based in Gilmorton, was then placed under investigation by Trading Standards, with Red Tractor also removing Elvidge Farms Ltd from its scheme and launched its own investigation.

This footage, released by the welfare group, played no part in the court proceedings, which representatives of the charity say is “the perfect example that the law just doesn’t exist to protect farm animals”.

Another representative added: “I was horrified and I’ve been working with animals for a long, long time and you do get used to it.

“The horrors at that pig farm stayed with me for a long, long time.”

Sentencing District Judge Nicholas Watson told the court the case had started with a large number of wide ranging charges against the company, Elvidge Farms Ltd.

These include:

  • Pigs being kept in unsuitable conditions
  • Too high a density of animals in areas
  • Dark and dirty conditions as well as insufficient water and stimulus

He said the charges suggested the problems had been long standing but that these had been discontinued at Crown Court because the prosecution had either failed to provide enough evidence or it was no longer in the public interest.

The court heard that Elvidge Farms Ltd had once enjoyed an annual turnover of £1 million, but now no longer trade as a pig farm business as they have no money.

The siblings left court today by a back entrance to avoid reporters, Alan and Rachel Elvidge have been told they have just three months to pay the fine.

Siblings Alan and Rachel Elvidge, appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday morning Credit: ITV News

Leicestershire pig farm fined £4,500 after pleading guilty to breaching the Animal Welfare Act | ITV News Central

Regards Mark

Australia: From ‘Free Online’ – Farmers Injecting Vaccines To Stay In Business – But Animals Dying Instatly As A Result !

Dairy farmers in Australia are being forced to inject dangerous mRNA vaccines that contain spike proteins into cattle just so they can remain in business. Just like in humans, the jabs are causing severe reactions in many of the animals and a large percentage of them are dying instantly.

South Korea: Never Trust Politicians – Especially If They Propose To Help Dog Meat Farm Animals As Was Stated Pre Election All Those Years Ago !

Animal rights activists accuse ex-president of abandoning North Korean dogs

‘A commitment to be an animal’s guardian is a commitment for life’

By Jung Min-ho

Animal rights activists are criticizing former President Moon Jae-in for his decision to return his dogs ― given by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a gift following their 2018 summit ― to a government facility, saying that he should not treat the dogs as if they are objects.

“Mr. Moon should not abandon the dogs or be forced to abandon them. As their guardian, it is his responsibility and privilege to care for their physical and emotional needs,” Patti Kim, head of Jindo Love Rescue, an animal rights group, told The Korea Times. “A commitment to be an animal’s guardian is a commitment for life.”

The statement came after Moon decided to give up a pair of white Pungsan dogs ― “Gomi” and “Songgang.” While they are currently undergoing medical examinations at a veterinary hospital in Daegu before being sent to a state facility, which remains undecided, their puppy named “Daun” will continue to live with Moon at his house in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province.

A lack of government support was the main reason behind the decision. In his message on social media, Wednesday, Moon said the Ministry of the Interior and Safety has delayed approving an enforcement ordinance for him ― an agreement made while he was in office.

The administrative rule change would strengthen the legal basis for his right to keep the dogs ― state property as a gift given while in office ― and provide him with the proposed financial support of about 2.5 million won ($1,800) a month.

But given that “an institution” ― the secretary office of a former president, in this case ― is already allowed to manage animals under Article 6 of the current enforcement ordinance on presidential records management, critics believe the key issue was money. After being elected, Yoon Suk-yeol, known as a dog lover, also openly supported the idea of Moon taking the dogs with him. They lived with Moon for more than four years.

“There are people talking about the cost of dog food. I do not know whether they know the retired president (I) paid for all the expenses,” Moon wrote. “I even paid for the expenses of bringing the dogs to Yangsan (from the presidential office) and taking them to a Presidential Archives-designated place (the veterinary hospital). It should be appreciated that I took care of them with affection free of charge over the past six months.”

Moon added he would continue to live with the dogs only if he can gain legal ownership.

Regardless of legal issues, animal rights activists say his view of animals is deeply flawed.

“Animals are not objects, and they are not our property. Gomi, Songgang, and their puppy should never have been misclassified as state property, when in fact, they are part of former President Moon’s family,” Kim said.

Eun-young, lead organizer at the Korea office of Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights organization based in California, lamented that the sorry episode of the Pungsan dogs shows how Korean society as a whole treats animals.

As a presidential candidate, Moon pledged to strengthen animal rights in an apparent bid to appeal to more than 10 million voters living with their animal companions. After a summit in Pyongyang in September 2018, Moon’s office uploaded the pictures of him interacting with the animals from the North on social media from time to time. Many viewed them as the symbol of ― or at least meaningful progress toward ― peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Beagle Rescue Network, a Korean animal rights group, expressed disappointment in Moon, questioning the sincerity of his political steps supposedly for animal rights.

“Regardless of the reasons, giving up adoption is giving up responsibility, which is the virtue of a leader who was once respected as the (South) Korean president,” the group said in a statement. “We are witnessing the leader giving up the responsibility for life due to political reasons. We implore you to end the era in which living creatures are being used for politics. Animals are not objects.”

Animal rights activists accuse ex-president of abandoning North Korean dogs (

We (WAV) covered a lot on ex President Moon over the years on our other site, SAV which campaigned for stray animals in Serbia; and his election pledge to do a lot better for animals – especially animals kept on South Korean dog meat farms.

Sadly, like so many election promises, once elected, the politicians turn their backs on the subject in question.  Check out our past posts below which show the dire conditions in which S. Korean dog farms operate.

moon south korea | Search Results | Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)

Regards Mark

(also SAV founder)  – About Serbian Animals. | Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)

About Us. | Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)

England: Right and Wrong Ways To Make Your Voice Heard. Show Some Respect and Dignity.


‘Never have I ever regretted flying the flag for vegans as much as I do now after seeing this pathetic and unacceptable attempt at protesting. Back in my day at least we had the common decency to show some respect and dignity.’ 

She protested the fur trade by standing naked outside Harrods almost every day for a year in 2015, paid upwards of £10,000 to advertise for her cause and lost her hair as a result of her vegan diet

She protested the fur trade by standing naked outside Harrods almost every day for a year in 2015.

The mother and childcare worker has done everything in her power to promote veganism. But even she says the current eco zealots who are wreaking havoc on the streets of London need to be stopped. Or at the very least, redirected

She fears she won't see the end of the fur trade in her lifetime, but remains hopeful for change

Ms Porter’s activism is often shocking and she wants it to lead to discussion – but she says she did not go out of her way to cause major disruption like current protesters

 ‘It has almost cost me my sanity’: Animal rights protester who stood naked outside Harrods reveals the true toll of her activism… but her only regret is sharing her cause with ‘pathetic’ modern eco-zealots

  • Heidi Porter has no regrets about her activism, despite admitting it has ‘cost me my sanity many times’
  • But even she says the current eco zealots wreaking havoc on the streets of London are in the wrong
  • She said the new crop of activists turned on her because her own views didn’t align exactly with theirs 
  • Ms Porter’s comments come amid a month of chaos in the United Kingdom due to repeated protests 


Eco activists targeted the world famous Girl with a Pearl Earring painting by Johannes Vermeer in the Netherlands in the latest brazen gallery attack

Below – This is the moment a passerby intervened with a paint-wielding protester vandalised the MI5 building on Millbank, London, on Monday morning.

Police intervened after Tez Burns, 34, sprayed orange paint on the exterior of the MI5 building on Marsham Street.

There is right and wrong Direct Action.

Having been involved myself with direct action, you need to get public support on your side by facts and education, not by destruction.

Regards Mark

Below – Myself and Barb protest at Dover (England) against the live export of baby calves destined for the veal crates of Europe.

Germany: To tighten up export rules in 2023, sparing countless animals from suffering.

5 November 2022

In what spells as positive news for millions of farm animals, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has declared it will restrict the export of various species used for breeding to third countries from Germany.

What are Germany’s new export rules?

From July 1 2023, German veterinary certificates for the export of cattle, sheep and goats used for breeding to several countries outside the EU will be withdrawn, a recent press release from BMEL states.

This is not the first time Germany has tightened up their export rules to support higher animal welfare, having already withdrawn certificates for animals used for fattening and slaughter purposes to third countries. However, by extending these restrictions to breeding animals, too, the country is taking an even stronger stand against the issues of international animal trade and the cruelties that livestock faces in this system: sending a powerful message about the importance of good welfare at every stage of an animal’s life.

Germany has made the first move… now, over to the EU 

Germany has set a compelling precedent at national level… but if we are to address live exports globally, it’s important that the rest of the EU takes the initiative to radically change the rules of this trade.

This is something that Germany’s Federal Minister, Cem Özdemir, understands well. Commenting on their recent decision, he stated “we urgently need better common rules in Europe” to make sure that national restrictions such as theirs “are not circumvented” and undermined. For instance, despite Germany’s new law, suppliers could technically export animals to other countries in the EU to then be re-exported to third countries: taking advantage of a problematic loophole that an EU-wide law could close.

Eurogroup for Animals are campaigning for the EU to ban the transport of live animals outside its borders entirely, and eventually revolutionise the trade to end their live export completely. In the interim, we’re also asking policymakers to devise stricter species-specific requirements for transport as well. 

What do Members think of Germany’s new export restrictions?

Several of our member organisations have been concerned with the consequences of live animal exports for years. Germany’s news thus comes as a victory, though it’s clear there’s much more to do.

Animals International has worked tirelessly to expose the conditions animals face while being exported outside of Europe – including, specifically, from Germany, with their investigations into German exports tracing back as far as 2017. 

“We want to see the EC listening to the fresh wave that Germany has started, by installing an EU wide ban on live exports,” Director Gabriel Paun states. He adds that despite this, the recent restrictions come as “news worth celebrating” that heeds “the call of millions of compassionate EU citizens who want an end to this cruel and ruthless trade”. 

Deutscher Tierschutzbund has also vocalised their support for this change via Twitter, but are conscious of the further developments that are needed. “This is not about the end of transport, and so we still demand that the German ministry bans exports completely from Germany to countries outside of Europe,” states Frigga Wirths, their Specialist for Transport, Slaughter and Cattle.

Four Paws International is of a similar mind, and have campaigned extensively for change within the live animal export trade in Europe. Livestock Expert Ina Mueller-Arnke commented that “the BMEL withdrawing the bilateral veterinary certificates is a good first step, but insufficient, as it is not equivalent to an export ban.” She adds that, to seal lasting change, “we need to prohibit live animal exports at the European level, including to all third countries.”

The Animal Welfare Foundation is strongly against the long-distance transport of animals across Europe, as well as exports from Europe to third countries. Iris Baumgärtner, their Vice Chair, told us “we expect a national export ban of German animals from our Green Minister of Agriculture”, though their most recent restrictions are “the fastest measure to send a clear signal to the EU Commission.” That being said, they’re concerned that this move “will hardly reduce exports. For this reason, we need a national export ban with better enforcement options for the authorities to stop indirect transports.”

Ultimately, the message is clear: while this restriction is a win for several farm animals in Germany, to make it a win for all animals, we need the EU to step up and create EU-wide legislation to seriously improve the export trade. We hope to see it rise to the challenge.

Regards Mark

Italy: End the cage age: Investigation by Essere Animali reveals suffering on quail farms in Italy.

4 November 2022

Essere Animali

In coordination with the End The Cage Age initiative, the investigative team at Essere Animali has just released a shocking video that exposes how quails are being treated across two farms in Lombardy and Veneto, Italy.

Their footage in particular shows a number of disturbing scenes:

Cramped quarters: Quails are being raised in sheds, crammed into bare cages with no source of entertainment or stimulation. Only 1 metre long by 0.5 metres wide, 50 quails are stuffed into each cage, causing emotional and physical issues

Fatal flaws: Cages are floored with wire mesh, which can malform and injure the inhabitants’ legs and risk infections and diseases. It can even be deadly to chicks, as their feet can get stuck

Animals exhibiting physical and psychological distress: Essere Animali’s investigation reveals many quails with plumage loss, and several others dying or dead. Those that are alive are clearly in a great state of anxiety, and when startled, are seen trying to escape – often flying into the upper floor of their cages and risking serious injuries.

What’s more, these issues can cause huge problems across the entire flock… as well as for people. With each day a struggle, the immune systems of these quails can suffer, increasing their chances of catching and spreading diseases in such close quarters. In turn, this can incur the use of antibiotics – which are regularly used on animals in intensive farming systems – spurring on the antimicrobial resistance crisis that is affecting animals and humans alike.

These quails deserve truly cage-free lives

The good news? We’re already on the road to changing the futures of these quails. On 30 June 2021, the European Commission promised to ban the use of cages on farms by 2027, spurred on by incredible results of the End The Cage Age ECI

But, as our campaigning in this area shows, the fight is far from over. A legislative proposal will be presented by 2023, detailing how cages can be phased out and what could happen next. However, every proposal must be adopted by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Further, getting these proposals right will be critical for farm animals, to ensure that cages are truly banned and not simply replaced by other forms of confinement: for instance, the ‘enriched cages’ that the EU offered as a replacement for battery cages in 2012, that still do not sufficiently enable hens to experience good lives.

The End The Cage Age coalition is now working tirelessly to ensure the Commission delivers on its commitments. On the same hand, EU nations should seize this opportunity to take a stand against cages – showing there’s no place for them in the future of farming.

“The role of Italy and of the new Italian government can be fundamental in this important step,” a representative from the End The Cage Age coalition stated. “We call on Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister of Agriculture, and Orazio Schillaci, Minister of Health, to take a clear position against the use of cages in animal farming, supporting the commitment made by the European Commission, as well as promoting the urgent adoption of legislation at the national level that prohibits their use”. 

Regards Mark

England (London): Remember, Remember the 5th of November, 1605. A Gunpowder, Treason and Plot.

Like all good plots; this one starts in a pub !

Today is the 5th on November – or as it better commonly known in the UK, ‘Bonfire Night’.

In 1604 a plot was made to blow up the houses of parliament, the King, and al those within

On 5th November 1605 at the very last stages of the gunpowder plot, Guido Fawkes, or Guy Fawkes as he is more commonly know, was an English explosive expert who had previously been fighting in Spain. He was captured with all the barrels of gunpowder under the House of Lords. He was tortured in the Tower of London – confessed the names of the other plotters under torture; who were quickly all caught and suffered terrible executions as you can see in one video below.

Bonfire night is still celebrated here today, many centuries later.

We have a poem which says:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November,

Gunpowder, treason and plot.

I see no reason

Why gunpowder treason

Should ever be forgot.

And it is not.

With the current political system here, many say we need another Guy Fawkes.

I will let the videos tell you the rest.

Regards Mark

In memory of the brilliant Joe Strummer of ‘The Clash’.

EU: Digital Services Act: how does it protect animals from the illegal online trade?

3 November 2022

On the 19th of October 2022, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Digital Services Act (DSA), a precious tool to tackle the illegal online trade. But what does it mean concretely for the animals victim of this trade?

What is the DSA?

The Digital Services Act (DSA), along with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), are new legislation that aim to better regulate online services to ensure a safer digital environment. In this context, the DSA contributes to tackling the dissemination of illegal and harmful content on online platforms and clarifies the liability and accountability of these platforms.

How is it relevant for animals?

The large majority of cats and dogs and exotic wild animals destined for the pet market (from cross-border illegal trade), are sold online and their lucrative trade is booming. This situation has serious consequences on the welfare of animals bred and sold to fuel this trade.

The Illegal Pet Trade: Game Over


During transport, many welfare issues arise such as risk of dehydration and heat stress, lack of enough space to be able to stand/lay down, high potential for spreading of infectious diseases among the transported animals and beyond, and a higher likelihood of pregnant dogs & cats transported too close to their estimated due dates to name but a few.

During transport, many welfare issues arise such as risk of dehydration and heat stress, lack of enough space to be able to stand/lay down, high potential for spreading of infectious diseases among the transported animals and beyond, and a higher likelihood of pregnant dogs & cats transported too close to their estimated due dates to name but a few.

In relation to breeding practices, cosmetic and convenience surgeries vastly performed outside the EU, resulting in severe pain and impairing of social communication (through tail docking, ear cropping, debarking, declawing,…), lack of socialisation resulting in extreme fearful and anxious animals, lack of genetic variation as a consequence of inbreeding leading to poor health and unfitness to carry a normal life.

In addition, it represents a high risk for the health of European consumers due to the potential introduction of parasites and diseases such as rabies. 

Acknowledging this situation, the DSA’s recitals refer to animals twice. Illegal sale of live animals is expressly mentioned in the list of illegal content (recital 12), and Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) must assess risks related to the dissemination of illegal content, including illegally traded animals (recital 80).

Although recitals are not legally binding and aim to contextualise the legislation, they give strong indications on the objectives of the text and clarify that the trade of animals falls within the scope of the legislation.

What are the obligations of online platforms?

Very Large Online Platforms (VLOPs) must strengthen checks to prove that the information provided by sellers is reliable and accurate. In particular, they must “make reasonable efforts to randomly check in any official, freely accessible and machine-readable online database or online interface whether the products or services offered have been identified as illegal”.

It is uncertain at this stage what such checks entail in relation to animals but we will continue to work with the European Commission and Member States to ensure that they are appropriately and efficiently conducted. With regards to companion animals, such controls should ideally aim to verify that only dogs and cats that are microchipped, registered and offered by their owner, or registered breeder, can be sold online. 

VLOPs must also assess and mitigate systemic risks (including dissemination of illegally traded animals content) each year, implement “effective mitigation measures”, including moderation processes and advertising and recommendations systems/algorithms and be subject to annual independent audits. 

It is important to note that these obligations only apply to VLOPs:  platforms with more than 45 million active users in the EU. The text indeed exempts Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from these provisions. This means that smaller online platforms where a lot of animals are traded remain out of the scope of these obligations and traders can potentially simply move to smaller platforms to get around these rules. It also remains unclear whether content published on closed groups, that require the intervention of a human to access, are concerned by these provisions.

However, all online marketplaces must annually publicise reports on content moderation, in particular the number of orders received from Member States’ authorities. Courts and competent authorities (administrative, including law enforcement) of the Member States may indeed issue orders to marketplaces if they identify illegal content. Such orders must detail the reasons why the content is suspected to be illegal. The scope of orders is in principle limited to the Member State in which it was issued. However, it is possible for the authorities to communicate the information to other Member States.

What are the obligations of Member States?

Member States must appoint an authority that will act as the Digital Services Coordinator and will be in charge of overseeing the enforcement of the regulation. Among other things, the Coordinator is in charge of designating trusted flaggers, who are entities that will be able to identify illegal content and inform online platforms through “notice and action” mechanisms. Trusted flaggers should demonstrate that they have expertise to conduct this mission in a diligent, accurate and objective manner and be independent from online platforms but it remains to be seen if NGOs comply with such requirements. These trusted flaggers should also publish reports of their notices. It is expected that this information, coupled with reports from online platforms and independent audits, will help inform the status and trends of illegal animal trade on VLOPs.

It is also worth noting that a platform will be set up by the European Commission so that all Digital Services Coordinators can exchange information, which is especially relevant for cross-border investigations.

What can Animal protection organisations do?

Although it remains uncertain whether Animal Welfare Organisations (AWOs) can be trusted flaggers, as specified above, there are a number of actions that can be undertaken. First, AWOs can investigate to identify illegal sales advertisements of animals and:

Report the content to the platform;

Transfer the information to competent authorities, including the national Digital Services Coordinator.

Based on this information, the services provider will be able to remove the content or/and the authorities will be able to issue orders to such providers so that the content can be removed.

It is also important to raise awareness of national authorities on the possibility to maximise the efficiency of controls, especially for VLOPs for which checks are mandatory, thanks to microchips and identification of cats and dogs.

Eurogroup for Animals will continue to exchange with the European Commission to clarify implementation mechanisms of the DSA with regards to the illegal animal trade. We will also monitor and communicate on reports published by platforms, as well as audits.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that the European Commission is currently conducting a Coordinated Control Plan on the illegal pet trade until the beginning of 2023. In this context, AWOs can report illegal pet trade cases to national fraud units or the Health and Food Safety Department by email at 

When will the DSA be applicable in Member States?

The DSA will enter into force on 16 November and will be directly applicable in Member States from February  2024.

Regards Mark

Sweden: Djurens Rätt proposes 10 measures for increased fish welfare.

2 November 2022

Djurens Rätt

In a new white paper, our member organisation Djurens Rätt describes serious animal welfare deficiencies affecting fish in aquaculture and wild capture fisheries, and proposes ten measures for increased fish welfare.

While it is well established that fish can feel pain and suffer, they are often treated as if they were emotionless beings. There are more than 30,000 species of fish, with both common and species-specific behaviours, needs and incredible abilities.

For human consumption, fish are either raised in factories (known as aquaculture or fish farms) or caught in wild capture fisheries. In both these industries, fish are measured in tonnes and not in numbers, which makes it difficult to know exactly how many fish are affected. It is estimated that around one to two thousand billion (one to two trillion) fish are caught and killed each year globally in fisheries. In fish farming, the corresponding figure is 50-150 billion.

We must treat fish as the sentient individuals they are, it is unsustainable to talk about expanding fish factories when there are already so many animal welfare deficiencies. For example, fish raised in Swedish fish factories are still subjected to painful carbon dioxide stunning before slaughter. Action is needed against this suffering and to increase fish welfare.

Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt

Djurens Rätt launched the White Paper during a webinar on fish welfare on Wednesday 26th October. The White Paper lists ten of the most important measures that need to be implemented in order to improve the situation for fish: 

1. Fish must increasingly begin to be seen and treated as the living, sentient individuals they are.
2. A strengthened animal welfare legislation for fish at EU level.
3. A strengthened animal welfare legislation for fish at national level.
4. A ban on carbon dioxide stunning at fish slaughter.
5. More resources for research on fish welfare at slaughter.
6. Fish caught in wild capture fisheries must be subject to animal welfare legislation.
7. Certifications of fish products must include relevant fish welfare criteria.
8. A ban on bottom trawling and beam trawling.
9. The National Agency for Public Procurement must add animal welfare criteria to their fish standard, for example regarding stunning and slaughter.
10. The EU Commission must establish a European Fish Welfare Reference Centre.

Read more at source

Djurens Rätt White Paper: Ten measures for increased fish welfare

Regards Mark

England: Pictures Of the (Now) Rare Red Squirrel From Animal Buddy Pauline.

These beautiful pictures of the Red Squirrel were sent to me by animal buddy and good friend Pauline, who captured these shots during a recent break.  Sadly, outnumbered and dominated by the larger Greys, the Red is rather a rare sighting in the UK now days.  Here below is some info and links I have gathered associated with the red.

Red squirrels need woodland to survive and can be found in coniferous, broadleaved and mixed woodland. They were once found across the UK, but have disappeared from most of the country due to the introduction of grey squirrels. Now red squirrels are confined to Scotland, pockets of northern England and Wales and small islands off England’s south coast. The species can still be found across much of Ireland, but its range is shrinking there too.

Red squirrels have undergone one of the most drastic declines of all UK mammals. This is largely due to the introduction of non-native grey squirrels in the early 20th century. The larger greys are able to outcompete reds and they also carry the squirrelpox virus, which they are immune to, but which is fatal to reds.

Reds have now disappeared from most of England and Wales. There are an estimated 287,000 red squirrels in Britain, compared to 2.7 million greys. The Woodland Trust is helping to conserve the red squirrel by protecting its habitat. We support grey squirrel management in red-squirrel areas  

We have also backed research that suggests the recovery of pine martens could help boost red squirrel numbers.

Check out all you need to know about Red Squirrels by visiting:

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) – Woodland Trust


More info from Wikipedia:

Red squirrel – Wikipedia

I only get Greys into my garden, which is located in SE England.  Here is a picture of the Grey so that you can compare.  They are larger in size.

The red squirrel has a typical head-and-body length of 19 to 23 cm (7+12 to 9 in), a tail length of 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in), and a mass of 250 to 340 g (9 to 12 oz). Males and females are the same size. The red squirrel is somewhat smaller than the eastern grey squirrel which has a head-and-body length of 25 to 30 cm (10 to 12 in) and weighs between 400 and 800 g (14 oz and 1 lb 12 oz).

Compare to the pictures of the larger Grey:

Regards Mark (and Pauline)

EU: Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski visits a horse shelter to discuss the protection of equines in the horse meat trade.

Photo – Act 4 Equines.

On 26 October 2022, Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski visited the animal rescue centre Animaux en Péril to discuss the issues surrounding horse meat imported and consumed in the EU.

In 2020, Eurogroup for Animals published the report “From Stable to Fork” which highlights the traceability problems of the horse meat trade and reveals that the challenges of the 2013 horse meat scandal have not yet been addressed. In 2022, an updated version of this report provides a better overview of the current state of horse meat imports and trade in the EU, pointing out the current regulatory gaps.

From stable to fork: EU Horse Meat Imports (updated version) | Eurogroup for Animals

Numerous investigations and audits conducted by the EU, local authorities and NGOs have highlighted the poor conditions under which horses destined for the EU market are raised, bred, transported and slaughtered in Argentina, Uruguay, Canada and Australia. They also showed the lack of traceability, with no documentation to prove the origin or health status of the horses. This is of particular concern as the horse meat trade involves very long supply chains with animals not even intended for meat production, such as mares used for eCG hormone production.

Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski accepted Eurogroup for Animals’ invitation to discuss these issues at the animal rescue centre Animaux en Péril. As representatives of Eurogroup for Animals and Animaux en Péril presented the animal welfare and traceability issues raised by the horse meat trade, Commissioner Wojciechowski acknowledged the terrible conditions faced by these animals and the need to act to ensure their protection.

Horses have accompanied humanity for centuries, putting their faith, health and welfare into our hands regardless of their roles. They served in the field, at war, on an estate, in sports, in a village, and in a city, they served poor and rich, always with the same dedication, silence and docility. It is high time to ensure their best protection.”

Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski

We call on the EU to ensure that animal welfare requirements applicable in the EU also apply to imported horse meat. It is also essential that EU consumers can make informed decisions through the introduction of country of origin labelling requirements for horse meat. Almost 10 years after the horse meat scandal, it is high time that the EU finally acts to ensure the protection of horses and consumers.

Regards Mark

EU: About Time – Better Late Than Never – The EU Commission To Propose the End Of Male Chick Culling.

28 October 2022

Written by Maya Cygańska

At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) this month, Commissioner Stella Kyriakides announced that the European Commission will put forward a proposal to end the ‘disturbing’ systematic practice of killing male chicks across the EU.

For years, the fate of male chicks has been a key concern at Eurogroup for Animals

As male chicks do not contribute to food production, they have been viewed commercially as both a burden and without value to the food and farming industries. Tragically, the ‘solution’ has therefore been to kill them when they are around one day old: often by grinding or gassing, the focus of the Stop Grinding and Gassing campaign orchestrated by L214. 

As the response to their campaign suggests, this issue has been one that many animal advocacy groups have lobbied passionately for, resulting in some powerful isolated actions across the EU. Deutscher Tierschutzbund helped to ensure that chick culling will be banned by the end of 2022 in Germany. Elsewhere, thanks to the tireless efforts of Animal Equality, this routine killing will stop in Italy from 2026, which will curb the death and suffering of an estimated 35 million male chicks per year. Austria, Luxembourg and France have also all outlawed the practice, and are actively looking for alternative – humane – solutions for what to do with male chicks.  

Despite these fantastic achievements, however, there has not been an EU legislative ban on their systematic slaughter… yet. That’s why, earlier this year, we at Eurogroup for Animals – along with 17 amazing NGOs – wrote an open letter to the Council of the EU, asking for this to be included in the upcoming revisions to the animal welfare legislation. Judging by the response at AGRIFISH last week, our words have resonated.

Putting male chicks on the EU’s radar

In a public consultation at AGRIFISH on October 17, agriculture ministers from across the EU discussed the nuances of a law to end the killing of male chicks, highlighting the ethical and practical issues of the brutal action and the alternatives that could be pursued. 

In the Annex presented to the ministers, it was acknowledged that the culling runs contrary to what EU consumers expect regarding ‘better animal welfare’, though it was agreed at the same time that ending the practice would be ‘a major challenge for the sector’. 

Representatives from Member States such as Spain and Sweden stressed that the use of technology will be vital in forging a new future for male chicks, while ministers from Hungary, Ireland and Croatia voiced the need for robust impact assessments to help navigate an EU-wide ban. It was also recognised that countries like France and Germany are paving the way in this field, having already committed to the ban and being in the process of finding alternatives to managing male chicks – potentially providing good models that other EU countries can follow. 

Ultimately, our takeaway from the consultation was positive, with attendees broadly agreeing on one major point: that the killing of male chicks is unethical and should be banned. More than being immoral, it is also unsustainable, and does not complement the kind of food systems the EU is working towards. There is no place for the practice in our future.

Change is on the horizon

“It is real progress to hear Commissioner Kyriakides say that this unethical practice is going to be banned at EU level and that, although economic factors should be part of the decision, the ethical arguments are the most important ones,” our Farm Animal Programme Leader, Inês Ajuda, commented. “These declarations clearly demonstrate how the new animal welfare legislation needs to be based on ethical grounds, and built on the consideration that kept animals are sentient beings.”

Creating a law to end the senseless slaughter of male chicks would be a major win for animals across the EU, and we’re dedicated to doing our part to make sure it happens. Watch this space!

Regards Mark

UK: New UK Prime Minister ‘Cops Out’ Of Attending COP27 Summit On Global Climate Issues, But He Is Alleged To Be ‘Absolutely Committed’; Although Not Enough To Attend ! Summary – Cop Out Rishi.

WAV Comment – I am ‘absolutely committed’ to getting a new government which IS concerned about animal welfare and global environmental issues – and acts rather than talk yukspeak. Rishi the COP out !

Rishi Sunak accused of ‘massive failure of leadership’ as he rules out attending Cop27

Rishi Sunak accused of ‘massive failure of leadership’ as he rules out attending Cop27 (

Rishi Sunak will not attend next month’s Cop27 summit, No 10 has said.

Green Bx ?? – Rishi you are a COP Out – get a brown one !

Downing Street announced that the Prime Minister will not be heading to the global gathering in Egypt, which Liz Truss had intended to be present at.

A spokesman said he remains “absolutely committed” to tackling climate change, but will stay at home because he needs to tackle “pressing domestic commitments”.

Alok Sharma, who was the minister responsible for overseeing Cop26 last year in Glasgow, will negotiate on behalf of the UK at the summit in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Mr Sunak will be working on plans for the Autumn Budget statement, which has been delayed from its initial Halloween publication date until November 17.

But his decision not to attend the gathering was criticised by political opponents, who said it demonstrated a “massive failure of leadership” on the world stage.

Ed Miliband, Labour’s shadow climate change secretary, accused the Prime Minister of not “even bothering to turn up” to the landmark conference.

“What Rishi Sunak obviously fails to understand is that tackling the climate crisis isn’t just about our reputation and standing abroad, but the opportunities for lower bills, jobs, and energy security it can deliver at home,” he said.

The annual presidency of Cop, which has been held by Britain for the last year, will be formally handed over to Egypt at the summit. 

Caroline Lucas, a Green MP, said the fact the Prime Minister will not be there was “a shameful way” to end the UK’s tenure in charge of the global green drive.

The new Prime Minister’s decision not to attend Cop27 makes a mockery of any Government claims on continued climate leadership,” she said.

Her criticism was echoed by the campaign group Greenpeace, which said the decision suggested Mr Sunak does not take the environment “seriously enough”.

“The UK Government is supposed to hand over the Cop presidency to their Egyptian counterparts at next month’s summit,” said Rebecca Newsom, its head of politics.

“For Rishi Sunak not to show up is like a runner failing to turn up with the baton at a crucial stage of the relay.”

Downing Street defended the decision not to attend and said senior ministers would go to the summit, which will run from November 6 to 18.

A spokeswoman said: “We remain committed to net zero and to leading international and domestic action to tackle climate change. The UK is forging ahead of many other countries on net zero.

“We will obviously continue to work closely with Egypt as the hosts of Cop27 and to make sure that all countries are making progress on the historic commitments they made at the Glasgow climate pact.”

It is not uncommon for world leaders to skip the annual Cop summits, which have been running since 1995, and to send large teams of officials in their place.

It came after No 10 also confirmed that Mr Sunak had reversed the decision of his predecessor to upgrade the role of environment minister to a Cabinet position.

Graham Stuart was reappointed to the role on Thursday, but was stripped of his entitlement to attend meetings of the Prime Minister’s top team.

In his reshuffle, Mr Sunak effectively replaced him in the Cabinet by promoting the status of immigration minister, held by his close ally Robert Jenrick.

Regards Mark

England: Christmas Card ‘Pin Up’ – In My Garden 27/10.

Photo – Mark (WAV)

Robin tops poll to find UK’s ‘national bird’

Ornithologist David Lindo – who launched the campaign – said the robin was “entwined into our national psyche” as a “Christmas card pin-up”.

He now plans to ask the government to officially recognise the robin as the national bird.

Check our some of my other breakfast buddy photos by going here:

Regards Mark

Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Should Make Better Use of Established Best Practices – Public Consultation Link.

Photo – Act 4Fish

26 October 2022

Until the end of October the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is inviting public participation in a consultation on the development of new fish welfare indicators. The indicators will become requirements in the ASC certification scheme, applied in the production of 10+ fish species in aquaculture all across the globe.

Knowledge and best practices on fish welfare have been developing at an exponential rate for twenty plus years. Major certifiers, including the ASC, taking up the topic offers a turning point for fish welfare in aquaculture. It should be a turning point in terms of improving the quality of life of fish, and a turning point in terms of tackling health and product quality challenges in a sector that is continually innovating on the intensive production of undomesticated animals.

The indicators that the ASC has out for consultation now aim at the widespread implementation of the immediate stunning of fish at slaughter. This would be a step change in the sector, pushing technologies that have become standard in the salmon sector from occasional use with other species to implementation widely across aquaculture. With most farmed fish currently killed either by asphyxiation or by simply processing them alive, the introduction of immediate stunning would go a long way towards ending the terrible suffering of fish slaughter.

Farmed fish live long lives on farms. A salmon is probably 3 years old before it is slaughtered, and many other species are reared for 1 to 2 years. It’s a very different scenario from chickens that are raised for a little over a month, or pigs for four to seven months. Unfortunately, the ASC has held back from introducing welfare standards during farming. Instead they propose a framework of monitoring and documentation around many aspects of welfare, but without the measurable specifics that would, a) guarantee consumers something about the standard of life experienced by the fish, b) give aquaculture workers tangible procedures that raise their attention on fish welfare while improving the lives of the fish, and c) provide the basis for the equal application of standards across certified farms.

Fish and their immune systems are especially vulnerable to stress, and will take several days to recover from an instance of routine handling. Aquaculture producers commonly have mortality rates around 20% and for the sake of the fish, and the feed and resources lost when farmed fish die, minimising stress during farming should be a priority for everybody. The RSPCA has been evolving its standards for salmon and trout for over 20 years, the Council of Europe published widely applicable guidelines in 2005, the World Organisation for Animal Health published standards in 2009, the EU Platform on Animal Welfare published guidelines in 2020, and other expert groups and producer organisations have developed many species-specific and regional guidelines. By leaving aside the best practices developed across so many projects, the ASC is passing up the chance to implement the knowledge meaningfully for the benefit of fish and fish farmers.

Aquaculture experts and scientists are now uncovering how to create variety and mental stimulation in fish’s lives. Certification schemes, including the ASC, should have moved further on the basics of avoiding suffering and be better positioned today to provide a good life for farmed fish.

Take part in the public consultation before 31 October 2022

Regards Mark

EU Parliament Committee on Petitions Calls for an EU-Wide Positive List to Regulate Exotic Pet Trade,

25 October 2022

Today the PETI Committee voted to call on the European Commission to regulate the exotic pet trade through an EU-wide Positive List of animals that can be kept as pets. The vote was overwhelmingly in favour, with 20 MEPs voting in favour of the motion, only one voting against or abstaining.

The issue

An enormous number of animals are traded in the EU for the purpose of being kept as companions in people’s households, but many of these species are not and cannot ever be suitable for life in captivity. The motion adopted today highlights the impact of the exotic pet trade on animal welfare, the potential of zoonotic disease risk, and the risk to biodiversity from animals being taken from the wild in their country of origin and also of being released or escaping and becoming invasive species.

The motion states that the current regulations in Member States and provision in the EU do not go far enough, are inefficient in ensuring the welfare of animals traded as pets in inappropriate conditions, and fail to account for the vast majority of species. The lack of sufficient data on the pet trade is mentioned, and Positive Lists already adopted in some countries were highlighted to solve these problems at Member State level, from which lessons can be learnt.

The solution

The motion highlights that an EU-wide positive list is the solution to the plethora of problems caused by the exotic pet trade. A Positive List is a list of animals that are allowed to be traded, meaning that any animals not on the list are illegal to trade. This system is succinct, precautionary, and provides clarity on what species are allowed to be traded in the EU. The motion provides flexibility on the criteria on which the Positive List would be built to ensure the most effective and feasible criteria are used. Importantly, it calls for the strict and timely implementation of the revised EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, set to be released at the end of this week. Following the success of the motion, the Parliament are calling on the European Commission to carry out an impact assessment of the added-value and feasibility of establishing such a list.

Eurogroup for Animals are thrilled that this strong motion has been adopted by the PETI Committee and calls on all MEPs to vote to adopt this important resolution in the Plenary.

Regards Mark

Australia: Australian Government hides behind kill industry as EU considers kangaroo product ban.

24 October 2022

The Federal and New South Wales governments are being accused of turning a blind eye to the commercial killing of kangaroos, while Europe considers a ban on kangaroo meat and skin imports.

A New South Wales parliamentary report into the Health and Wellbeing of Kangaroos and other macropods examined the way the NSW government manages the commercial kangaroo industry, with the inquiry recommending there be greater transparency of kangaroo management plans, programs and practices.

“There was unanimous agreement from the inquiry that there was an appalling inability from both the NSW government and representatives from the commercial kangaroo industry to answer basic questions about their methods,” Kangaroos Alive co-founder Mick McIntyre said.

“Despite the inquiry handing down 23 recommendations to the New South Wales government, only two were accepted in full,” he added.

McIntyre said the inquiry proves Australia has dropped the ball when it comes to monitoring the commercial killing of kangaroos, missing an opportunity to get on the front foot to try to fix issues raised by this New South Wales parliamentary inquiry.

“The government will be left red faced over its dismissive response to the inquiry into kangaroos which found evidence of an unsustainable animal welfare crisis in the commercial kangaroo industry.”

Both the NSW and Federal Government were forced to admit that no one is monitoring this commercial killing at the point of kill and that no records are kept on the number of baby joeys killed each year.

“It is Australia’s shame that we cannot tell our colleagues in Europe how many baby joeys are killed each year in Australia within the commercial kangaroo industry. Nor can we have any faith in the so-called ‘codes of practice’ on kangaroo killing if no-one is monitoring how the animals are actually killed in the field.”

New evidence presented to the parliamentary inquiry shows that up to 40% of kangaroos killed in the commercial kangaroo industry are mis-shot and forced to die slow deaths from secondary trauma.

“The fact is, Europe will act first by banning the import of products, which will in turn cripple this industry,” he said.

A European Parliamentary committee will hold a parliamentary debate in Brussels this month to discuss petitions submitted by three European animal welfare organisations: LAV, World Animal Protection and Eurogroup for Animals. The petitions highlight the numerous issues raised by the kangaroo trade for animal welfare, consumer protection and the environment and call for a ban on imports.  

The NSW parliamentary inquiry heard new evidence shining a light on the number of areas in Australia that have declining kangaroo populations. Again the NSW government was unable to answer basic questions on why there were such big discrepancies in the kangaroo population numbers from one year to the next.

“Kangaroos are shot for their meat and the skins then exported, but it happens with little monitoring and now with new evidence that points to a massive loss of kangaroo bio-diversity, that’s going to be a problem for the European Union,” McIntyre said.

“Kangaroo body parts are sold across Europe and the US for pet food, sausages and soccer boots, but we are seeing push back against the inherently cruel slaughter.”

McIntyre says it is compelling that the European Parliament debate on the import of kangaroo products will coincide with World Kangaroo Day on October 24th.

“We are pleased this is happening on World Kangaroo Day, an international day of celebration. It’s sending a strong message that the EU cares about the future of our national icon.”

“EU countries are the largest importers of kangaroo products – for pet food, handbags and soccer boots.”

Australian export data shows the EU remains the first destination of Australian exports of kangaroo meat, with Belgium accounting for 775 tonnes or about a third of the total export.

“Supermarket giant Carrefour has already banned kangaroo meat from its stores, while luxury brands like Gucci, Prada and Versace have also stopped using kangaroo skins in their bags, belts and shoes because of the way the animals are killed.”

“English soccer icon David Beckham even stopped wearing Adidas shoes made from kangaroo skins after watching a video of a young joey and a mother being killed.”

McIntyre and other advocates from Kangaroos Alive and a coalition of 78 other animal welfare groups and NGOs from Europe will be observers at this important debate at the EU.

KA will also meet representatives of the Netherlands Government, as they are a country considering a national ban of kangaroo products.

The US could also follow suit. A bill presented to Congress has already proposed a ban on the sale of kangaroo products. It would mean major manufacturers of football boots, who are believed to buy hundreds of thousands of kangaroo skins a year, would need to find another way of making them.

Australia has the highest rate of mammal extinctions in the world, with 54 native animals becoming extinct and an additional 400 listed as threatened.

“Many Australians are appalled by Japan’s slaughter of whales and dolphins or Canada’s killing of fur seals, but what we are doing to our kangaroos is far worse than that,” McIntyre said.

“We need to learn to value these international icons and acknowledge that they are worth much more to Australia alive. Our tourist industry relies on them and World Kangaroo Day highlights this.

“It invites us all to stop and celebrate this magnificent icon alive.”

About World Kangaroo Day

Monday, 24 October 2022 is World Kangaroo Day. A day to celebrate one of the world’s great icons and recognise the importance of kangaroos to our nation. Despite the kangaroo being such an integral part of Australian culture they are also victims of the largest terrestrial wildlife slaughter in the world. Kangaroos Alive, the not-for-profit organisation behind World Kangaroo Day aims to rally support from around the world for a moratorium on the commercial killing of kangaroos.

Legendary Australian Test Cricketer Jason “Dizzy” Gillespie is lending his support as an ambassador.

The World Kangaroo Day Photo Competition has attracted hundreds entries. Professional and amateur photographers from across Australia have sent in photographs. Wildlife photographers Robert Irwin and Steve Parrish will judge the competition. The winner will be announced on WKD.

World Kangaroo Day is supported by Animals Australia, World Animal Protection, Australia Zoo, Animal Welfare Institute, IFAW, Eurogroup for Animals,  among other wildlife warriors.

 About Kangaroos Alive

Kangaroos Alive is a global movement for the ethical treatment of kangaroos. It is the brainchild of the producers of the award-winning film Kangaroo: A love hate story.

They joined forces with Diane Smith and Greg Keightley to create Kangaroos Alive, who provides funds for; emergency response and ongoing care for kangaroos injured from commercial shooters, fires, road and fence accidents. They have launched World Kangaroo Day to lobby for a moratorium on commercial kangaroo killing.

Read more at source

Kangaroos Alive

Regards Mark

Against all instincts: how living on fur farms affects the daily lives of wild animals.

20 October 2022

World Animal Day was celebrated on 4 October, a day to reflect on the incredible animal kingdom and all of the unique species we share our planet with. Mink, foxes and chinchillas, species typically found on fur farms in Europe, are inherently wild animals that have fascinating lives in their natural habitats.

This month, we are delving deeper into how these species live in the wild, and how their natural instincts are stifled on fur farms.

A dog’s life for foxes

Red foxes mainly live in pairs or in family groups of up to ten adults and pups, digging dens with many tunnels. Their Arctic cousins roam for dozens of kilometres. But on fur farms, both species are condemned to solitary confinement in wire-mesh battery cages measuring 0.8-1.2m2.

Mink are restricted to even smaller cages, whereas in the wild they climb and jump between trees across a territory of up to 3km2 a day – that is when they’re not diving to depths of up to six metres and swimming underwater for over thirty.  

Even the humble chinchilla can jump up to four times the 50cm height of the cages where they are imprisoned on farms. Used to living in colonies of over 100 yet forming breeding pairs, they find themselves constrained to small groups.

The failure to satisfy the most essential needs for the animals’ physical and mental wellbeing leads to distressed behaviour, such as pacing and circling, fur-chewing and tail-biting. Self-inflicted injuries, infected wounds, missing limbs and even cannibalism are recurrent on fur farms, as are high levels of reproductive failure and infant mortality.

Being wild animals, they are naturally fearful of humans. When heavy gloves do not provide adequate protection, handlers resort to metal neck or body tongs, and even traps placed in the cage. 

No animal fares well on fur farms 

The WelFur programme claims to assess animal welfare on fur farms in Europe. But as its protocols were developed to apply to housing in cages, this means the results of their studies only tell us that all fur farms are basically the same, not that the animals live in adequate conditions.

Animal welfare can only be looked at properly through the prism of the Five Domains, which assesses the balance between positive and negative experiences and feelings – a paradigm shift from the previous Five Freedoms model focused on the elimination of negative experiences. Using this animal-centric approach, fur farming is clearly an utterly unacceptable cruelty. It needs to be stopped. 

If you agree that no animals should be punished for having fur, but that instead keeping animals on farms to be killed for their fur should be illegal, don’t hesitate before signing our Fur Free Europe European Citizens’ Initiative to ban fur farms and farmed fur products on the European market. 

“Fur Free Europe”, our latest report, goes into more detail about the ethological needs of species farmed for their fur, and how the conditions these wild animals are subjected to make it impossible for their behavioural needs to be met.

Regards Mark