4.5 Tonnes of Cocaine Found on a Ship Carrying 1,750 Cows. Again, We Call for a Ban to Live Animal Exports.

Photo AIS / Marine Traffic.

4.5 tonnes of cocaine found on a ship carrying 1,750 cows

8 February 2023

AWF

On 28 January, the ORION V, a vessel bound for the Middle East from Colombia, was arrested off the Canary Islands: 4.5 tonnes of cocaine were found on board.

After 9 days at sea, the boat was stopped for over 56 hours and a large part of the crew was arrested. The rest of the crew was authorised to go to Algeria, as the animals were not allowed to stay in the European Union.

The 4.5 tonnes of cocaine were disguised as animal feed. National Police and Customs Surveillance Service have suspect that drugs have been transported on board the ORION V since 2020.

The vessel is closely linked to both drug trafficking and animal welfare/human health issues:

In June 2020, during a drug raid, the police noticed 5,000 cattle from Colombia in alarmingly bad condition.

The ship was overloaded and dirty, the animals were emaciated, and some were already dead. They were exported to Egypt without any veterinarian treatment. The drug raid had to be cancelled because the drug dogs could not work due to the ammonia smell.

In September 2021, three workers inhaled a toxic gas emitted from the cattle feed on board the vessel. Two were injured, one died.

Like most livestock vessels, the ORION V is very old and not suitable for animal exports. The makeshift solutions, sharp edges, sloping sides and dirty bedding pose serious dangers to the animals.

The fact that this trade is being targeted by drug smugglers is yet another wake-up call to ban cruel live exports once and for all.

The European Union needs a fundamental change in its agricultural policy. Long-distance transports of live animals must end. Exporting live animals and accepting their cruel slaughter in third countries is not compatible with the values ​​of the European Union.”

Maria Boada-Saña, veterinarian and project manager at Animal Welfare Foundation e.V.

We have obtained the following additional information:

What kind of ship is this?

ORION V (IMO: 7300992) is a Livestock Carrier that was built in 1973 (50 years ago) and is sailing under the flag of Togo.

Her carrying capacity is 4054 t DWT and her current draught is reported to be 6 meters. Her length overall (LOA) is 97.31 meters and her width is 16.24 meters.

Regards Mark

New Zealand: Fonterra Orders An End To The Killing Of Bobby Calves On Dairy Farms.

I think we have shown in the past that the dairy industry is a grossly sick industry.  Cows, which should produce milk for their baby calves have it stolen from them in order to feed humans.

Above – Male Calf in Veal Crate.

In order to produce milk, cows must give birth to a calf. Male calves are generally considered a low-value waste product by the industry and as they do not replace female animals in the dairy herd are usually slaughtered at around five days of age. The RSPCA is concerned about the potential for poor treatment of these ‘bobby calves’ on farm, during transport and at slaughter.

For years in the past, British male calves were exported to Europe to be incarcerated in the dreaded veal crate system.  Despite the British government not allowing veal crates to be used in the UK; they were banned due to their cruelty, they did allow British calves to be exported and put into such systems in mainland Europe – was that not hypocritical ? !

Calves are normally separated from their mothers within 24 hours of birth, mainly to reduce the risk of disease in the calf and to ensure the calf is fed adequate colostrum. Cow-calf separation is a practice which is very stressful for both cow and calf.

The option: dont support the murder of baby calves.

New Zealand:

One of the world’s biggest dairy companies, a New Zealand-based co-operative orders an end to killing bobby calves on dairy farms

Fonterra has ordered its farmers to stop killing bobby calves on their farms unless there is a humane reason for doing so. The company said they should be raised for beef or slaughtered for calf-veal or the pet food market.

The mistreatment of bobby calves has previously come under scrutiny after being killed on farms because they had no financial value, and mistreated by contractors who picked them up to transport them to meat works.

Continue reading at:

Fonterra orders an end to killing bobby calves on dairy farms | Stuff.co.nz

Regards Mark

Remembering dear John:

England: Another Terrible Loss – John Callaghan. – World Animals Voice

Time out:

USA: The federal government is investigating the possible human trafficking of children who cleaned slaughterhouses.

The federal government is investigating the possible human trafficking of children who cleaned slaughterhouses

There is no indication that the sanitation company is under investigation for trafficking the children who worked there.

Federal investigators are looking into whether 50 children — some as young as 13 — who were allegedly illegally employed cleaning Midwestern slaughterhouses were victims of labor trafficking, three officials from the Department of Homeland Security told NBC News.

Homeland Security Investigations agents have interviewed children who worked cleaning a JBS Foods slaughterhouse in Grand Island, Nebraska, the officials say.

There is no indication DHS is investigating the company that hired the children, Packers Sanitation Services Inc., or PSSI, for human trafficking. Instead, said two DHS officials, DHS is investigating to rule out the possibility that outside traffickers may have forced children to work for PSSI and profited off their labor.

Continue reading at:

The federal government is investigating the possible human trafficking of children who cleaned slaughterhouses (nbcnews.com)

Regards Mark

England: Remembering Vicki Moore –  British Animal Activist – Died 6/2/2000. “The fleece of the lamb could not hide the teeth of the wolf.”

By Danny Penman

VICKI MOORE was a leading light in the animal-rights movement and a tireless campaigner against bloodsports across the world. Even the most vociferous of bullfighters acknowledged her determination and bravery.

Moore first hit the headlines in 1987 when she saved Blackie the donkey. Blackie was destined to be crushed to death in Villa Nueva de la Vera, Spain, during the village’s annual fiesta. Every year, the villagers forced a donkey to carry the fattest man around the streets until the unfortunate creature was crushed and died of exhaustion.

After hearing of the donkey’s plight, Moore vowed to stop the festival. Sensing a fight, Britain’s tabloid newspapers all despatched reporters to the fiesta. Within hours of their arrival, rival newspapers started out-bidding each other to buy Blackie and fly him to a British donkey sanctuary.

Over the ensuing days, television crews and journalists from all over the world arrived in the tiny village. Drama soon descended into farce when Blackie was sold to both the Sun and the Star simultaneously. The resulting confusion led to a fist-fight between rival photographers and bitter exchanges between their editors. Moore settled their claims in characteristic style by declaring that “everyone had helped save Blackie”.

She was born Victoria Seel. Her mother was a club singer and gave birth to her daughter whilst touring Northamptonshire in 1956. Vicki followed in her mother’s footsteps and left home in London at the age of 18 and worked as a bunny-girl at the Kingsway club in Southport. It was here that she met Tony Moore, her future husband. The pair married when she was 20 and formed their own band. In the late Seventies, the couple became involved with the RSPCA and soon had a house full of rescued animals.

The publicity generated by Blackie’s rescue in 1987 turned the spotlight on Spain’s blood fiestas. Moore realised that nations could be humbled by exposing their cruel truth to the outside world. To do this she and Tony set up Fight Against Animal Cruelty in Europe in September 1987 in their Southport home. At great risk to herself, she exposed the scale of animal suffering in the blood fiestas using the simple power of the home video camera.

Her first video expose focused on the village of Manganeses de la Polvorosa in 1989. Every year, the villagers celebrated the feast of St Anthony by dropping a live goat off the church tower. Once captured on video, and shown to a horrified world, the festival was quickly outlawed by the Spanish government. Later she would pose as a tourist at fiestas across Spain, all the while gathering the evidence to shut them down. It was during one of her campaigns that she suffered the injuries which eventually led to her death.

In June 1995, in Coria, she was gored by a bull being chased through the village streets. Argentino inflicted massive injuries and no one expected her to survive. But her spirit refused to be cowed. Her first words after regaining consciousness were, “What happened to the bull?” When she discovered the bull’s name, she giggled: her favourite song was “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina”. In subsequent years, when the pain of her injuries became too great, she would quietly call on the spirit of Argentino to help her.

Despite her ongoing suffering, requiring constant medication, Moore continued to fight for animal liberation. She was a determined campaigner against hunting, and never tired of reminding Labour politicians of their promise to ban blood sports. She also took the fight against bullfighting to Macao.

Vicki Moore’s life was, perhaps, best summed up by a Spanish newspaper after she was gored by Argentino: “The fleece of the lamb could not hide the teeth of the wolf.”

Victoria Lucille Seel, animal-rights campaigner: born Western Favel, Northamptonshire 24 December 1956; married 1977 Tony Moore; died Liverpool 6 February 2000.

Copyright 2000 Newspaper Publishing PLC

Regards Mark

Obituary: Vicki Moore (indexarticles.com)

Russia: Chinese-American animal rights activist has been jailed for walking a young cow near the Kremlin.

A Chinese-American animal rights activist has been jailed for walking a young cow near the Kremlin, state media reported Wednesday.

Alisa Dey, 34, told the state-run TASS news agency she had bought the calf online “so it wouldn’t be eaten.”

Police detained her as she walked with the animal, reportedly chanting “Animals are not food,” on Red Square.

She was sentenced to 13 days of arrest on charges of disobeying police orders and fined 20,000 rubles ($286), while the calf was sent to an animal rehabilitation center.

Continue reading at:

American Animal Rights Activist Jailed for Walking Cow on Red Square (msn.com)

Regards Mark

US: The Carden International Circus is in Springfield February 3-12.

The Carden International Circus is in Springfield February 3-12.

Animal rights activists plan to protest outside the Shrine Mosque Saturday, February 4, as circus goers arrive for the Carden International Circus’s afternoon performance.

Jessica – who gave her last name only as Animal Advocate – is the event’s organizer. She tells KSMU their goal is to convince the circus to retire its animals.

“As the public becomes more aware of the cruelty that the animals endure for the circus industry, they decide, you know, that a circus can be more fun, in fact, if they don’t have to subject that animal to, for example, confinement,” she said.

She claims Carden uses bull hooks to train its elephants and has made them work when they’re sick.

Continue reading at:

Animal rights group plans to protest the use of animals in circuses outside Shrine Mosque Saturday (ksmu.org)

Regards Mark

USA: Great News – Major Success in the USA: New Drugs NO LONGER Have to be Tested on Animals for Approval.

Major success in the USA: new drugs no longer have to be tested on animals for approval

7 February 2023

DAAE

For the first time in more than 80 years, a change in U.S. law will allow new drugs to be tested using modern, animal-free, human-based methods.

Eurogroup for Animals welcomes this huge step forward and calls on the EU to follow suit by developing and implementing a strategy for human-relevant drug development without animal testing.

The new law, signed by U.S. President Joe Biden at the end of December 2022, allows the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve new drugs without requiring animal data. Previously, pharmaceutical companies were required by law to test the safety and efficacy of their drug candidates in multiple animal studies, including toxicity tests on one rodent species such as a mouse or rat, and one nonrodent species such as a monkey or dog, before testing the drug candidates in human clinical trials.

A large amount of data clearly demonstrates the failure of the outdated system based on animal testing. On average, 92% of drug candidates that successfully pass all animal tests are later abandoned during human clinical trials, mainly because they do not work or cause significant side effects.”

Dr. Dilyana Filipova, scientist at Doctors Against Animal Experiments

Thanks to the new law, modern, human-relevant approaches, such as human mini-organs (“organoids”), organ-on-a-chip and computer-based methods can now be used for regulatory purposes in the U.S. instead of standard animal test methods. Many non-animal methods have already been shown to be more accurate and reliable than animal testing. For example, a recent study used a human-liver-chip to demonstrate the toxicity of several liver-damaging compounds, whereas previous animal tests had incorrectly classified the same compounds as harmless.

Such examples show the potential of this legislative change to not only save countless animals from barbaric testing and a cruel death, but also to ensure better safety for patient.”

Dr. Dilyana Filipova, scientist at Doctors Against Animal Experiments

However, animal testing is not banned under the new law and is still allowed as a possible testing approach. Nevertheless, it is a huge step forward that pharmaceutical companies will no longer be legally obliged to conduct animal tests, and will be free to use accurate, human-relevant, non-animal methods.

While the U.S. is introducing this modern, forward-looking legislation, some animal testing is still required by law  for drug approval in the EU.

Europe must follow the example of the U.S. as soon as possible, and end the use of animals in drug testing. If we want to develop better therapies and not fall behind in the global drug market, we should also rely on the most modern, successful and reliable human-based methods and not on pointless animal testing.”

Dr. Dilyana Filipova, scientist at Doctors Against Animal Experiments

Read more at source

Doctors Against Animal Experiments

Regards Mark

Malta: Quail Hunting Competition Must Not Go Ahead – From 3/2/23). ? More to come when we get info.

Malta – A quail hunting competition scheduled to take place at L-Aħrax, Mellieħa tomorrow (this was Friday 3/2 –  Mark) must not go ahead, three animal rights organisations have insisted.

FKNK, GħKNK Mellieħa and KRPE are organising a ‘field trial’, a competition which will see hunters search for some 180 quails that had been bred in captivity, using their dogs to flush them out before shooting them.

An international jury will judge the kills and issue prizes for a number of categories, with a focus on the dogs’ performance and obedience, in line with international rules for field trials.

Regards Mark

Continue reading at:

‘Stop The Slaughter’: Animal Rights Groups Insist Mellieħa Quail Hunting Contest Must Not Go Ahead (lovinmalta.com)

Brazil: Sinks Warship in Atlantic Despite Maritime Pollution Concerns.

Brazil sinks warship in Atlantic despite maritime pollution concerns

Brazil on Friday sank a decommissioned aircraft carrier, the Navy announced, despite environmental groups claiming the formerly French ship was packed with toxic materials.

Though defense officials said they would sink the vessel in the “safest area,” environmentalists criticized the decision, saying the aircraft carrier contains tons of asbestos, heavy metals and other toxic materials that could leach into the water and pollute the marine food chain.

Read the full article at:

Brazil sinks warship in Atlantic despite maritime pollution concerns (msn.com)

Regards Mark

Canada: Proposal to alter Food and Drugs Act could see animal-tested products outlawed in Canada.

Proposal to alter Food and Drugs Act could see animal-tested products outlawed in Canada

Canada could ban testing of cosmetics on animals, a move which some animal rights activists say makes them “very hopeful” for the future.

“There’s a lot of support from this across parties,” said Camille Labchuk, executive director of the organization Animal Justice.

The ban aims to change the Food and Drugs Act to outlaw the sale of cosmetics that were tested on animals or contain animal-tested ingredients. These include products such as make-up, nail polish and perfume.

Read more:

Canada trails other nations on banning animal-tested cosmetics. A new plan aims to change that | CBC Radio

Regards Mark

USA: Big Wins for Animals At Iditarod As More Sponsors Pull Out.

As the 2023 Iditarod dog-sled race approaches, we have some good news to share:

After hearing from PETA and over 40,000 of our supporters, Cue Health dropped its sponsorship of the deadly race! But that’s not all: Healthcare companies Capstone Clinic and Greenbrook TMS were also removed from the race’s sponsorship page after they heard from PETA supporters.

This is a huge victory for dogs used in the Iditarod, who are forced to pull heavy sleds for about 100 miles a day for nearly two weeks in subzero temperatures. More than 150 dogs have died in the race’s history, not counting all those who died during the off-season while chained outside in all weather conditions or those who were killed because they lacked the rare speed and stamina to make the grade.

Cue Health, Capstone Clinic, and Greenbrook TMS now join other companies—including Alaska Airlines, Chrysler, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, and Millennium Hotels and Resorts—that have already cut ties with the race, and the list will only grow.

Let’s end the Iditarod’s cruelty by urging the remaining sponsors to stop funding dog abuse.

Take action;

The Deadly Iditarod Race Should Be Terminated: Here’s Why (peta.org)

Thank you for speaking up for dogs suffering because of the Iditarod. Please help spread the word by forwarding this e-mail to everyone you know.

Sincerely;

Melanie Johnson
Manager
Animals in Entertainment Campaign
PETA

Regards Mark

England: The True COSTA Dairy – Undercover Investigation By Viva !

I am pushing this issue of future actions for Viva as in the video you can see the disgusting reality of the dairy industry in the UK. 

Viva! Campaigns have uncovered rampant cruelty at Kent’s Home Farm dairy and we need your help to expose the abhorrent reality of dairy farming to the British public.

You may not have heard of Home Farm, but you have heard of Costa Coffee. Home Farm supplies Freshways, who provide milk to Costa Coffee, one of the nation’s largest coffee shop chains.

Viva! Campaigns investigated Home Farm in Kent after a tip-off. We are horrified by what we found there – but what happens here happens on thousands of farms across the UK, every single day. We found cows that were emaciated, lame and struggling to walk, others manhandled, slapped and shoved, and others visibly injured or in shackles.

Below – calf shot in head.

Above – dead calf in wheelie bin.

Above – shackled.

This is modern dairy farming! It’s unacceptable that animals are treated like this in 21st century Britain. Read on to find out how you can help!

Continue reading, with actions you can take at:

The True Costa Dairy | Viva! The Vegan Charity

Join Viva!’s nationwide Days of Action outside Costa Coffee

On 28 January, Viva! supporters joined in across the nation. Viva! received an incredible response from the general public. I’m hoping you’ll join us on our next Day of Action on Saturday 11 March to reach even more people and help them to swap to plant-based alternatives.

When: Saturday, 11 March 2023

Where: Nationwide outside Costa Coffee

Previous Viva! Days of Action have reached thousands upon thousands of people, encouraging many to make more ethical choices and go vegan. This time, situated outside Costa Coffee branches, from the largest cities to the smallest towns, we hope to change the way every single Costa Coffee customer thinks about dairy.

After all, it is no longer just an innocent little dash of milk when it dashes the innocence of a little calf against the hopeless iron bars of Home Farm.

Taking part in Viva!’s Day of Action against Costa Coffee is simple. Hold your own event outside your local Costa Coffee shop. Just fill out the form below! Read our FAQs further down if you have any questions.

The True Costa Dairy | Viva! The Vegan Charity

Regards Mark

and stop this suffering.

EU: Winning the race to the top: ensuring (new) EU animal welfare rules apply to imported products.

31 January 2023

Written by Reineke Hameleers

For the first time in over a decade, on the legislative side things are moving forward for animals in Europe, as the European Commission is working on the much needed revision of its animal welfare legislation.

This is certainly something to celebrate. European citizens have been calling for new or better rules on animal protection for years as we witnessed scandal after scandal, particularly concerning farmed animals. Dozens of exposés by animal welfare organisations and damning reports by the Commission’s own services, demonstrated beyond any doubt that too many of our existing laws on farm animal welfare are anachronistic, blatantly disregarded or only partially enforced. This has caused, and is still causing as I write, unspeakable suffering to billions of sentient beings. 

Besides, as time went by, it became increasingly clear that our animal welfare legislation is based on outdated scientific evidence. The most recent opinions produced by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on animal welfare on farm and during transport, which should inspire the revision of EU legislation, point towards the same conclusion: the science has evolved. It is time for legislation to follow suit. The intention is there, finally. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) “End the Cage Age” was an unprecedented success, which will possibly be mirrored by other ECIs and petitions on animal welfare that are gathering momentum. In its wake, the Commission committed to ending the use of cages in animal farming, which will require a profound rethinking of many existing intensive animal rearing systems (for laying hens, breeding sows, and rabbits, to name but a few). We are ready to use the best available science and defend best practices on animal welfare in the heated debates that certainly await us in the coming months and years. 

We cannot forget that the European Union, much as it is a major global exporter, still imports large amounts of animal products from other geographical regions. In many cases these products are the result of farming practices that would be illegal under EU animal welfare (as well as environmental and labour) legislation. If the EU continues importing animal products from countries with lower or poor animal welfare standards, arguably this poses a moral dilemma for European citizens who in the great majority do not want substandard animal welfare products in the EU market. 

This moral dilemma is only very marginally reflected in trade agreements. So far, only the Slaughter Regulation has been applicable to imported products. Things are not rosy: enforcing EU rules on the protection of animals at the time of killing has proven to be extremely problematic beyond the EU borders, as shown by several international audits and investigations. Certainly, much needs to be improved, yet this is the only way to go. 

Farmed animal welfare laws exist because the EU has acknowledged that animals are sentient beings deserving lives worth living. In light of this, the double standard that is currently in place for imports is untenable. 

It is often argued that WTO rules prohibit trade restrictions based on discriminatory standards as this could hamper equal chances for every nation to trade with each other on the global market. However, accepting imports from countries that do not comply with EU animal welfare rules arguably equates to violating the moral contract that the EU has established with its citizens. 

The successful precedents of the bans on EU imports of cat and dog fur and, more recently, certain seal products – which were declared compatible with WTO rules – clearly show that matters of animal welfare are primarily of moral concern for European citizens and as such they should be legally treated. If carefully constructed, trade restrictions aimed at protecting animal welfare can be compliant with WTO rules

Incidentally, it is often the case that products from countries with weaker rules for farmed animal welfare are cheaper. In the current scenario, where there is no obligation to label non-EU animal products, especially in processed food and in the hospitality industry, it is often impossible for consumers to determine the origin of what they are buying and eating. We are then faced with the paradox whereby citizens strongly demand even stricter rules for farmed animal welfare in the EU but as consumers they might be inadvertently supporting cruel farming practices elsewhere by buying low animal welfare products. 

One might wonder how big this moral issue can be. Looking at Eurostat data, we can only conclude that it is huge. Among the main exporters of animal products to the EU (beef, pig, poultry and lamb meats, eggs, fish from aquaculture) there are Brazil, Argentina, China, the United States, Ukraine, India, Vietnam and Australia. In these countries, farmed animal welfare standards are either vague, fragmentary, non-binding, or non-existent. And there’s more. 

Intensive animal agriculture is booming in many of these countries, a trend which, besides causing animal welfare problems, is environmentally unsustainable and a threat to public health. This should be all the more reason for the EU to impose its animal welfare rules on imports. Rather than seeing it as a barrier, the EU should approach this as a golden opportunity to promote higher-welfare and sustainable food production globally. Realistically, imposing requirements on imports will not force countries to change their entire animal welfare legislation straight away. However, as companies exporting to the EU are usually big corporations that are also pressured by NGOs to improve their animal welfare practices, their shift might eventually have a trickle down effect on federal and national legislations. 

In this way the EU will lead the race to the top on global farmed animal welfare standards, once again heeding the call from its citizens who clearly indicated they expect leadership on this. Nine out of 10 respondents to the 2016 special Eurobarometer said that they want imported products to comply with EU legislation. Additionally, citizens would like the EU to do more to promote its animal welfare standards worldwide.  

What does this mean in practice? Key aspects of the new and updated EU animal welfare legislation (on-farm rearing, transport, slaughter and labelling) should also be applied to imported products. This is the right thing to do, for so many reasons: it is what citizens want; it is a way to guarantee consumer rights; it will trigger positive changes worldwide; and it is compatible with WTO rules as it concerns the protection of public morals. Last, but not least, it will enable the EU to live up to its ambitions as global leader on animal welfare.

Regards Mark

EU: End animal testing European Citizens’ Initiative validated with over 1.2 million signatures.

26 January 2023

Signed, sealed, and delivered! The “Save Cruelty Free Cosmetics – Commit to a Europe Without Animal Testing” European citizens’ initiative (ECI) has smashed the requirement of gathering 1 million validated signatures, reaching over 1.2 million statements of support from European citizens.

The European Commission must now meet with campaigners and address citizens’ concerns. As over 10 million animals suffer in experiments in the EU every year and new non-animal technologies are being developed faster than ever before, the time for change is now.  

The days of forcing cosmetics ingredients down the throats of defenceless animals, intentionally infecting them with debilitating diseases, or drilling holes into their skulls must end – a radical rethink at the EU level is needed to support the transition.”

Sabrina Engel, chair of the ECI’s organising committee, PETA Germany

This European citizens’ initiative powerfully backs up the demand of the European Parliament to phase out animal testing for good. With the voice of the citizens added to the chorus, the Commission cannot ignore the loud calls to accelerate the transition to non-animal science.”

Tilly Metz, MEP, Greens–European Free Alliance

With the threat that the chemicals strategy poses to animals in laboratories, this ECI could not be timelier. From today, no additional animal tests should be requested to fill information gaps about chemicals. We need to move to safer and more humane safety assessments of chemicals.”

Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP, European People’s Party

The message from citizens has never been clearer or more aligned with the voices of scientists, industry, NGOs, and politicians. Everyone understands that a plan to phase out animal experiments is a win-win situation for humans, other animals, and the environment. Now, the Commission should listen to citizens and finally make it happen.”

Anja Hazekamp, MEP, the Left

European citizens have been asking for cruelty-free cosmetics for a long time. This European citizens’ initiative is another reminder to the Commission that EU citizens will not stand by while loopholes in legislation are not closed to end all animal tests on cosmetics.”

Niels Fuglsang, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats

The ECI’s three critical asks call for robust implementation of the EU ban on animal testing for cosmetics ingredients, a full transition to non-animal methods for chemical safety tests, and committing to a plan to phase out all experiments on animals. 

The ECI was launched in August 2021 by Cruelty Free Europe, Eurogroup for Animals, the European Coalition to End Animal ExperimentsHumane Society International/Europe, and PETA, with the support of global beauty and personal-care companies The Body Shop, Dove. It has since been actively promoted by companies such as Lush and a coalition of groups and campaigners from every corner of Europe. Hundreds of celebrities also supported the campaign, including Sir Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais, Finnish heavy metal band Lordi, Italian singer Red Canzian, French journalist Hugo Clément, and actor Evanna Lynch. 

No other ECI has ever received this level of support across so many different countries. To be successful, an ECI has to collect at least 1 million validated signatures and has to meet a minimum target across at least seven different EU countries. This ECI passed the minimum target in 22 different countries, demonstrating pan-European support for ending animal testing.   

Regards Mark

EU: AGRIFISH: Some Unprogressive Member States Try to go “Business as Usual” On Live Animal Transport.

AGRIFISH: some unprogressive Member States try to go “business as usual” on live animal transport

30 January 2023

While EFSA’s scientific opinions and citizens’ demands drive the conversation towards progress on animal welfare, some Member States don’t want to see serious restrictions on live animal transport in the new Transport Regulation. Luckily several voices call for ambitious change, not least the Commissioner’s.

During today’s Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) several Member States supported an information note tabled by Portugal. The paper states that animal transport is an essential part of the food production chain, and that the primary objective of the upcoming revision of the Transport Regulation should be the continued facilitation of high welfare intra community trade and export of live animals, but not be focussed on measures aimed at prohibiting or limiting certain types of transport.

It’s a completely different scenario compared to July’s 2022 AGRIFISH, when 13 Member States called for an ambitious revision of the Transport Regulation including maximum journey times as well as a shift to a meat and carcass trade.

After the paper was published last week, the Intergroup on Animal Welfare sent an open letter to the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, asking her to take into account the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry on the Protection of Animals during Transport (ANIT), and to ensure that the proposal, which is expected in October 2023, remains focused on alleviating the suffering of millions of animals due to long distance transports.  

Also, during today’s AGRIFISH there were several voices in the room calling for an ambitious revision: The Netherlands was the loudest, clearly opposing the paper and asking for a straightforward ban on live export. Germany, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg opposed the paper too. 

“If science and experience tell us that certain practices in transport are detrimental to the welfare of animals, which could also pose a threat to animal health and consequently to human health, I believe and you would agree with me we must find ways to adjust those practices. Doing nothing is not an option. Change is necessary because animal welfare is a key component of our sustainable food production system”, concluded the meeting Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

“Several Member States are backing citizens in their demands for the animals: cruel transport practices need to stop, specifically live export, as we have witnessed far too many tragedies at sea and on the road. It was good to hear even “opposing” Member States mentioning a trade in meat and carcasses, as this is the only way forward. And it was important to hear that the Commissioner was firm in her defence of the revision”, commented Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals. 

Regards Mark

New report explains urgent need to protect animals in disasters.

New report explains urgent need to protect animals in disasters

31 January 2023

Russia’s war in Ukraine in 2022 caused a myriad of challenges worldwide, but it also provided valuable lessons by highlighting what is missing for animals in the event of a disaster. Today, animals are not legally protected in disasters at EU level, although they play a vital role in people’s lives for economic and health reason

Animals in disasters: the need for protection and coordination across Europe

Browse the publication here:

Animals in disasters: the need for protection and coordination across Europe | Eurogroup for Animals

The imperative of protecting animals in disasters is underpinned by the human-animal bond, which influences human evacuation behaviour, the emotional support animals provide to people, the potential public health risks that disruption of health protocols can bring, and often the economic value of animals to humans. And as a result of the Ukrainian refugees crisis in 2022 by people’s willingness to save their animals in disasters. However, there is still little recognition among policymakers and humanitarian actors of the role that animals play in human life and in rebuilding communities after disaster.

Our new report suggests that the basis for the protection of animals in disasters is their legal inclusion in EU disaster law. It also outlines various actions that could be implemented by the EU and its Member States to better address the plight of animals in such circumstances. These include aligning efforts for people in disasters with those for animals, including animal welfare actors in a coordinated joint coordinated capacity during the disaster response phase, developing national disaster management plans involving animal experts, and establishing animal-friendly refugee camps in the EU, among many other initiatives. 

The experience of Ukrainian refugees bringing their companion animals with them has shown how much these animals are part of their families. Today, the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) is responsible for humanitarian assistance and civil protection in the European Union. Its main instrument – Union Civil Protection Mechanism – recognises in its recitals the need to “reduce the vulnerability of animal welfare and wildlife” as part of disaster risk prevention and management, but there is no obligation to cover animals in terms of protection. Recognising the vital role these animals play in people’s lives could provide a legal basis for DG ECHO to extend its protection efforts to companion animals as family members. Other categories of animals should also benefit from legal protection in the event of a disaster, the legal grounds for which should be examined. 

While achieving protection for all species in disasters remains a long term goal, the immediate solution lies in the legal inclusion of animals into disaster law in the EU with the aim of involving animal welfare actors in the development of disaster management plans, and in a coordinated disaster response mechanism in the EU. There is great potential for the EU, Member States and NGOs to work together to be better prepared for disasters in the long term.

Regards Mark

1/2/23 – Remembering Jill:

England: 1/2/23 – Remembering Jill. A Brief Insight – The Live Exports Battles of SE England to Be A Voice for the Voiceless.

Above – Jill.

On February 1st it will be the anniversary of the death of Jill Phipps; an animal activist who was murdered at Coventry by a truck carrying live baby calves into Coventry airport for export.  I remember it very well as at the time I was entirely involved with animal exports campaigns from the port of Dover, Kent; England.

But the campaigns, protests and anti export feelings at Dover had reached a real fever pitch; as you can see in the following video – a typical day around Dover re live export – and as such, many of the ferry companies which used to take live animal transporters as part of their daily business decided to say ‘no more’ to accepting the trade and thus rejected it.  The exporters were becoming isolated with their sordid trade and were trying every port (big or small) in Southern England to get their animals over the water. 

Video – a typical protest day at Dover and the surrounding area:

At 27+ seconds you can see a ‘Gilder’ export truck – operated by brother GG Gilder – see Peter Gilder below.

The exporters and hauliers were in utter crisis as Dover port turned its back on the trade and would not accept it – aka people power !, and as a result the export industry had to turn to using other ports in Southern England and other means (ie by air) of getting live animals into Europe. 

Also, at the same time, one of the main exporters / hauliers who constantly used Dover, named Peter Gilder, took Dover port to the high court for refusing the trade.  The exporters and hauliers wanted to get Dover open again for their trade of death.

In the meantime whilst Dover was refusing the trade, small port towns such as Shoreham, Brightlingsea, and Ipswich were all used (as well as a few others) as trial ports in which the exporters attempted to continue their business.

In this next video you can see the huge public outcry and resultant protests at Shoreham (near to Brighton) about this small port being used for the export of live animals.  For each shipment, huge numbers of police from London (the Met police) had to be shipped in to join local police for every export consignment – this is where the saying ‘I’ve met the Met, and got the bruises to prove it’ was originated.

This film below (and dedicated to Jill) follows weeks of daily demonstrations by hundreds and, at times, thousands of everyday people, who converged on a small harbour port in West Sussex, England, to protest and show their disgust about the export into Mainland Europe of thousands of calves, cattle and sheep.

Thousands of young calves were also destined for the veal crates, a system which was already banned in the UK where calves are kept locked into tiny boxes, only able to lay or stand, and are chained or tethered, forced to drink iron deficient milk substitute so as to satisfy those who like their flesh (veal) light rose coloured and tender. This system was already banned in the UK and so farmers were exporting these baby (male) animals to Europe where crating was still legal.  How hypocritical !, the UK government banned the crates and then allowed male calves to be exported to Europe for crating !! – it was only the males which were exported, as male calves do not produce milk and thus are not used as replacements in the herd; they are essentially a ‘by product’; one which was used for veal meat production.

The film demonstrates the power of ordinary animal supportive people, when they get together and fight for the rights of those who do not have a voice.

Within weeks, these advocates for animals across Southern England managed to stop in their tracks, the big business who were profiteering from what people saw as a trade in suffering. Other harbour ports across Southern England also saw these exports stopped, due to persistent, big and daily demonstrations. Ordinary folk, from all walks of life, young and not so young, put their own liberty and personal safety at risk to try and protect animals as well as to highlight this issue of live animal exports.

Video – 1995 – the protest at Shoreham.

.

… and also at Brightlingsea,

Daily protests by the entire town folk of Brightlingsea in Essex against live animal exports in 1995, involved the crazy sight of hundreds of police officers (sometimes in full riot gear) forcing trucks full of sheep through narrow streets against a massive human blockade of outraged local residents. This is as good as people power gets, and the trade was eventually banned.

Video – the battle of Brightlingsea:

It was very hypocritical and involved a government exporting live calves from the UK to be incarcerated into ‘veal crates’, a system which the British had already banned.  So here we were, a ban on veal crates, and a government which allowed calves to be exported to the very systems that they had banned – was it any wonder that people were bummed off (to put it mildly !).

Above – crated calves.

The exporters also attempted to air freight animals to Europe.  Coventry airport, where our Jill was murdered, was one such airport.

Above – BJ – Calf Exporter, Arms Dealer and Drug Smuggler – all round no good.

The live calf shipments from Coventry airport were operated by a fellow named Barett Jolley (BJ).  He was operating an aircraft from Coventry, which crashed in bad weather on the return flight, killing all five crew members.  I wrote more about it recently:

England: There Is More To The Jill Story When You Have the Facts. – World Animals Voice

After the tragic events at Coventry which included the death of our Jill, BJ was handed a 20 year jail sentence due to his attempted smuggling of £22 million of Cocaine into Southend airport which is on the SE coast of England.

He smuggled arms, he exported live veal calves; he attempted to smuggle drugs into the UK, and yet he was given police protection constantly at Coventry during the calf export protests, at which our dear Jill was killed.

I include another link to Jill which covers several posts you can read at your pleasure if you wish ::

Search Results for “jill phipps” – World Animals Voice

There is still, and always has been a lot of anger in the AR movement about the death of our Jill.  28 years on and it still hurts bad.

I hope this gives you a very brief insight to activities in Southern England you now know and understand why I fight the disgusting export trade anywhere in the World !

Please remember Jill on 1/2/23 – thank you.

Regards Mark

India: Gearing Up For An Amazing Year For Animals In 2023 – Animal Aid Unlimited.

Dear Mark,     

We’re gearing up for an amazing year ahead for animals, thanks to your incredible support. 

A major area of focus is staff training and development. To this end, we have recently hired and begun training 10 new veterinary assistants to join our medical team. From dressing wounds, to giving medication, to helping with feeding, they will help make sure that animals get all the care they need to recover as quickly as possible. 

We reach higher every year because the animals deserve it, and your support has made so many dreams come true.

Do you know someone passionate about animal protection who’s ready for a new life adventure? 

Animal Aid is NOW HIRING!

Click here for detailed information about a variety of open positions for Indian Nationals and International applicants both, from Veterinarian to Volunteer Coordinator to Videographer!

  

Apollo’s jaw was broken, but not his spirit! 

With his jaw broken in two, this beautiful boy seemed to plead to his rescuers to help him. He couldn’t close or move his jaw, and his face showed utter bewilderment. But he shyly turned on his back in an act of pure submission, his tail wagging as if asking for help to stop the pain.

When we sedated him and saw the full extent of the fractures in his jaw, we were worried we might not be able to save him. But we tried our best. And to our delight, he responded extremely well to the sutures, and by his third day was ready to start slurping up his liquid diet.

From that moment, we knew the incredibly sweet Apollo was going to thrive!

To help someone who wants to live, please donate today.

Casper came home to die.

But we came to his home to save him.

The family who feeds him hadn’t seen him for days and thought he was never coming home again. We can only imagine the difficulty he had making his journey home–perhaps from a great distance, and in excruciating pain and confusion. He must have used every ounce of his remaining strength just to make it home.

When we rescued him, he was too weak to resist, and he quietly endured the removal of maggots infesting his wound despite the pain he must have been in. But as he healed, his eyes and entire face transformed. He always had a few words for us during the weeks of wound dressings that followed, but this was a good sign. It meant he was strong enough to fight for his life. He was also strong enough to start demanding cuddles!

Heal a life-threatening wound for a life-loving sweetheart. Please donate today

From around the world, volunteers are bringing love to their beloved animals.

From Handicapped Heaven, to the Rehabilitation area, to Oldies and up to Peace Place and Sanctuary, everywhere we look we see animals basking in the love and attention showered on them from volunteers from around the world! 

Over there brushing a calf we see Dharmada, who has volunteered many times and especially loves spending time with the cows; over here we see Robin at work with an elderly dog in her arms; and busily refilling water bowls, sweeping, and stopping frequently for a cuddle is Sarah. 

In the Rehabilitation area we see Teresa massaging the shoulders of a road accident survivor; here too is Kitty whose multiple volunteering weeks have brought her loving hands to once again massage the hind limbs of paralysed dogs on a chilly morning. 

And there are first-time-but-not-final-time volunteers Jane and Melanie, who “hit the ground running” with gentle grace and so much loving kindness for the animals.

Learn more about volunteering:

No matter where you are on your life journey, having an up-to-date estate plan is essential. You may think estate planning is complex and expensive, but FreeWill’s online tool is free to use and guides you through the process with ease.

Planning your estate is one thoughtful action that puts you one step closer to achieving your goals, taking care of yourself, and finding peace of mind.

If you choose, FreeWill can help you pay it forward to street animals by naming AAU in your estate plan

Note: FreeWill’s self-help estate planning solutions are valid for the disposition of property
located in the fifty states and DC. Will-makers residing outside of the United States should
consult with a local lawyer before using FreeWill’s tools.

Saving the life of a street animal looks good on you.

100% of the proceeds go to our street animal rescues

Go shopping here:

Animal Aid Unlimited Shop

We thank you deeply for all you do, are, and inspire for animals

Founding family Erika, Claire and Jim, and the Animal Aid Unlimited team.

Regards Mark

Above – My Golda waits in the snow.

UK: Crab and Lobster Welfare Takes a Step Forward With First UK Supermarket Benchmark.

Crab and lobster welfare takes a step forward with first UK supermarket benchmark

27 January 2023

Crustacean Compassion

Following the inclusion of decapod crustaceans (such as crabs, lobsters and prawns) – in the UK Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act 2022, Crustacean Compassion have launched the first UK industry benchmark ‘The Snapshot’ to assess welfare standards for decapod crustaceans within the UK food supply chain.

30 UK companies – including all major supermarkets – were evaluated in the benchmark, revealing that only 50% of companies have developed formal policies on some aspect of decapod crustacean welfare, and only one is promoting decapod welfare to consumers.

On average, retailers are leading the way in areas of welfare policy, management and reporting.

The Snapshot report is the first assessment of leading seafood producers, processors, retailers and wholesalers in the UK on welfare standards for decapod crustaceans such as crabs, lobsters and prawns.

Commissioned by our member organisation, Crustacean Compassion, and facilitated by Chronos Sustainability, The Snapshot was released this week. 

Each year, more than 420 million crabs, lobsters, langoustines and prawn/shrimp are caught in the UK with a further 5 billion prawns and other crustaceans being imported from overseas. The Snapshot looks at their welfare at all stages of the supply chain: capture and handling, holding and storage, transport, mutilations, stunning and slaughter.

The Snapshot assessed 30 UK seafood companies, including household name brands, all major supermarkets and more localised seafood specialists. The report reveals that 70% of companies consider the welfare of crustaceans to be a business issue, in part due to growing consumer concerns. Contrary to this, only 50% have developed formal welfare policies.

While retailers are leading the way across several key areas, including policy commitment, enforcing their policies and reporting of welfare standards, only one company assessed is promoting decapod crustacean welfare to their customers – and this is a producer, not a retailer.

The benchmark will be repeated later in 2023 and will show which companies are taking decapod welfare seriously and making improvements in this vital area. Whilst this initial report does not share company scores, subsequent reports will publish all company scores and a ranking table, allowing consumers to make informed choices for higher-welfare products that avoid inhumane practices such as eyestalk ablation and slaughter through drowning, asphyxiation and boiling alive.

The development of The Snapshot involved consultation with industry, and this continued engagement will ensure that decapods, companies and consumers will all benefit.

You can watch the webinar launch recording here.

Since animals like crabs and lobsters were legally recognised as sentient and able to feel pain, companies have rightly been under increased scrutiny about how their practices impact the welfare of the animals involved. The Snapshot will show how decapod welfare is currently being addressed across the industry right now and will drive welfare improvements across the sector. Customers expect to be able to buy seafood that has been produced to high standards of animal welfare and we have been asked which brands and companies have the most humane practices. The food industry has a responsibility to both meet those expectations and provide the necessary information to enable consumers to make informed choices.

Claire Howard, Director at Crustacean Compassion

Read more at source

Crustacean Compassion

Regards Mark

USA: Animal rights group names Kansas City Zoo among worst for elephants. Zoo CEO disagrees.

Animal rights group names Kansas City Zoo among worst for elephants. Zoo CEO disagrees

Kansas City has one of the worst zoos for elephants in the country, an animal rights group claimed this week.

But the zoo’s CEO called that assertion false, and disagreed with all accusations leveled against them.

In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection organization based out of California, published its latest “worst zoos for elephants” list Tuesday, ranking the Kansas City Zoo at No. 2.

Continue reading at:

Animal rights group names Kansas City Zoo among worst for elephants. Zoo CEO disagrees (aol.com)

Regards Mark

Spain: ‘Galgos’ Hunting Dogs – A Bill Designed to Strengthen Animal Rights in Spain Could Outlaw Hunting With Dogs.

Hunting dogs in Spain are known as ‘Galgos’.

Check out some of our past Galgos posts by clicking here:

Search Results for “galgos” – World Animals Voice

It is estimated that between 50,000 to 100,000 Galgo hunting dogs are killed in Spain every year in what has come to be known as the “Holocaust of Greyhounds”, but it’s difficult to know for sure, because nobody knows exactly how many are bred every year.

Regards Mark

A bill designed to strengthen animal rights in Spain could outlaw hunting with dogs.

The proposal would reform the treatment of domestic and wild animals in captivity. It includes plans to ban the sale of pets in stores, turn zoos into wildlife recovery centres, and impose prison sentences for animal abusers.

However, Spain’s ruling Socialist party, which introduced the bill in 2022, was forced to backtrack last month following protests in rural areas. With elections looming later this year, the party is cautious of upsetting this key voter base.

Continue reading at:

Hunters and animal rights protestors clash over amendments to Spain’s pet protection laws (msn.com)

And …

Spain animal laws: Pet shops to close and dog owners to be trained under proposed changes

A law aimed at strengthening animal rights in Spain plans to ban the sale of pets in shops, convert zoos into wildlife recovery centres and make training compulsory for dog owners.

Continue reading at:

Spain animal laws: Pet shops to close and dog owners to be trained under proposed changes (msn.com)

Regards Mark

EU: Male Chick and Female Duckling Culling to be Banned? – Recent Euro Parliament Event Wins Interest From EU Policymakers.

18 January 2023

Eurogroup News

On January 10 2023, an event at the European Parliament was held by the European Institute for Animal Law & Policy and L214 to discuss the future of male chick and female duckling culling. Positive feedback from the policymakers in attendance – as well as general support for and interest in alternatives to the practice – suggest an EU-wide ban could be within our grasp.

The fate of male chicks and female ducklings in Europe is, generally speaking, a very dark one. As they are deemed ‘useless’ by the industry for their inability to produce eggs or big livers, a huge number of them are routinely culled at just one day old by gassing or maceration.

It’s a senseless practice that must be stopped. That’s why we at Eurogroup for Animals, along with several NGOs including L214 – the creators of the ‘Stop Grinding and Gassing’ campaign – have been battling to get the issue recognised and banned at EU level.

Nationally, there have been a lot of victories so far for male chicks in particular. Germany, France and Austria already banned their systematic killing last year – in some instances, following the tireless work of our members and several other NGOs to put the issue in the political spotlight. However, millions of male chicks and female ducklings across Europe are still vulnerable, and EU-wide legislation is therefore required to end the cruelty of this type of culling once and for all.

To explore the potential of a ban further, L214 together with the European Institute for Animal Law & Policy organised an EP event to discuss alternatives to male chick and female duckling culling, and what steps we could take to phase it out across Europe over the coming years.

Envisioning the end of male chick and female duckling culling

Over 100 people attended the EP event both in-person and online, including representatives from COPA COGECA, researchers, and MEPs like Tilly Metz, Caroline Roose and Sirpa Pietikäinen.

Our own Farm Animals Programme Leader, Inês Grenho Ajuda, delivered a talk to highlight the NGO’s asks, as well as the unique opportunity presented by the upcoming revision of the EU’s animal welfare legislation to obtain an EU-wide ban on male chick and female duckling culling. Alternatives to the practice were also discussed like in-ovo sexing: a type of technology that can determine the sex of eggs before they hatch (thus eliminating the ‘need’ for culling). Further alternatives such as the use of dual-purpose breeds and sourcing more plant-based egg options, along with ample evidence to show a ban could be successfully carried out in the EU, has additionally been explored in a brilliant report by Animal Society published recently.

Feedback on the event and the topics discussed was positive. Pietikäinen, who represented the conservative European People’s Party, said she would like to see whether the European Parliament would support a ban on chick culling in the coming months. Independent Portuguese MEP Francisco Guerreiro emphasised that animal welfare will be important in next year’s elections, too, suggesting a ban would be timely.

While she was not present, European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has implied she is on a similar wavelength, having already expressed being in favour of a ban on male chick culling at an AGRIFISH meeting last year.

With the animal welfare legislation to be revised in the coming years and the elections around the corner, now is a critical opportunity to end this horrible process, and implement new and innovative solutions that are devoid of needless pain and suffering. 

After an excellent event and promising words from policymakers and the other parties in attendance, we at Eurogroup for Animals are now working on making that happen. Stay posted for updates. 

Regards Mark

Scotland (UK): Scottish Farmed Salmon Dying in Droves Before Slaughter.

Scottish farmed salmon dying in droves before slaughter

23 January 2023

Animal Equality

Animal Equality UK are raising the alarm as salmon mortality rates on Scottish salmon farms are rocketing.

Every year in the UK, up to 77 million fish are farmed and slaughtered, but many more don’t even make it to slaughter.

According to a report from industry membership body Salmon Scotland, 2.8 million farmed salmon died on-farm in Scotland in September 2022 alone. 

Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) data shows that nearly 15 million salmon mortalities were reported by farms in Scotland from January to November 2022, compared with 8.58 million in 2021 and 5.81 million in 2020.

Farmed salmon suffer from overcrowding inside cages. Others are bitten by sea lice which eat their skin while they’re alive. Animal Equality reports that instead of fixing the root cause of the issue, fish farmers use chemical treatments and other rough treatments which cause the salmon even more suffering.

Drone footage collected by Animal Equality UK shows workers using a “mort sock” to dredge dead fish from the bottom of pens.

The data doesn’t lie. It’s undeniable that early fish mortality is a rapidly worsening issue. Over recent years deaths in fish pens have reached record levels for a number of reasons, including a sharp rise in infectious diseases among the fish who are packed into unnaturally overcrowded cages, as well as poor gill health and rough treatments to remove lice from the infested waters.

As the industry grows, so do these issues. We must take back the power and boycott farmed fish, it’s the only way that we can begin to curb this ever-worsening problem.

Abigail Penny, Executive Director of Animal Equality UK

Don Staniford, of the Scamon Scotland campaign said the FHI figures on salmon deaths were likely to be an underestimate because not all mortalities need to be recorded.

About 25% of the salmon in sea cages are dying, so that’s about one in four. If ramblers saw one in four cows or sheep dead in a field they’d be horrified, but because it’s underwater it’s out of sight, out of mind.

Don Staniford, Scamon Scotland campaign

Regards Mark

UK: UK RESIDENTS ONLY – This weekend (27 to 29 /1/23) is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch for 2023.

This weekend (27 to 29 /1/23) is the RSPB big garden birdwatch for 2023.

This is only open FOR UK RESIDENTS.

Give just 1 hour of your time this weekend to take part.

The Big Garden Birdwatch is free to anyone and everyone but the information sent in by people all over the UK helps the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) build up a very accurate register of how the national bird population is doing; what species are flourishing, what are in decline, stable etc.

This birdwatch makes it an ideal family activity at the end of January.  Best of all taking part is easy. All you need to do is sign up online to take part and get a free guide.

You don’t even need a garden. You can count birds from a balcony or even your local park.

Which common garden birds will you see?

Participants are asked to spend an hour counting the birds they see and then submit their results online. Also, it’s good idea is to add a bird feeder to your garden. Watch how a wide variety of different types of birds will pop in your garden for a snack!

As you know, we have many wild bird visitors to our garden; and thus have just signed up for this years watch.  Looking forward to counting the visitors to the garden, submitting the data to the RSPB and helping to get a good overall view of the status of birds in the UK.

I hope you can sign up and take part also.

Regards Mark

Go here for more and to sign up:

Big Garden Birdwatch | The RSPB

https://worldanimalsvoice.com/?s=breakfast+buddy

Below – Breakfast Buddy.

Below – Reed Bunting photo from Pauline.

BelowStarlings enjoy their morning bath in my garden.

Norway: Brilliant News – Fur Farming Ends in Norway as Remaining Farms Close Doors Two Years In Advance of the Legal Ban ! – Victory !

20 January 2023

Dyrevernalliansen

The last two fur farms in Norway will be closing permanently by the end of January 2023 according to the country’s Fur Farmers Association, bringing the industry to a close two years before a legal ban comes into force in 2025.

On 13 June 2019, the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) passed a law banning fur farming. The ban was initiated by the Norwegian Liberal Party. In the years before this, fur farming had been fiercely debated by many parties, including the Norwegian Labour Party and the Norwegian Conservative Party.

Dyrevernalliansen report that in 2001, there were more than 1,000 fur farms operating in Norway, declining to only 80 by early 2021. The organisation has lobbied since 2001 for a ban on fur farming.

Together we won in the end, and it is wonderful to know that no new fox pups or mink kits will be born in cages in Norway. Dyrevernalliansen will continue our work for the animals who need it the most. Our next goal is a ban on the import of fur products into Norway. Fur farming is animal cruelty no matter where in the world it takes place. Now that production has been discontinued in Norway, it is deeply unethical that we continue to import products from fur farms in other countries.

Anton Krag – CEO, Dyrevernalliansen

The European Citizens Initiative Fur Free Europe is calling for a ban on fur farming and the sale of farmed fur products across the European Union.

Do you support this ban? Add your name now

Regards Mark

EU: Working Group for the ECI Fur Free Europe Successfully Launched at the European Parliament – 25 January 2023.

Working group for the ECI Fur Free Europe successfully launched at the European Parliament

25 January 2023

Today, a kick-off meeting was held at the European Parliament to launch a working group dedicated to the European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe. With over 1.3 million signatures collected in 8 months, the ECI Fur Free Europe clearly reflects the wishes of a majority of European citizens for a Europe without exploitation of animals for fashion.

The working group, announced last year during a meeting of the Intergroup on animal welfare and conservation, will be coordinated by Eurogroup for Animals in close collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance. 

The working group hosts representatives from the main political groups, and will work to support the Fur Free Europe initiative by coordinating amongst those groups and collaborating with civil society organisations involved in the ECI. The goal is to ensure the Parliamentary process which follows every ECI, and to adopt a resolution for a ban on fur farming and the sale of farmed fur products in Europe.

In addition, the working group, in conjunction with members of the Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, will aim to foster discussion and raise awareness in the European Parliament about the serious cross-cutting issues related to fur farming and the fur trade. The group will also participate in public campaign activities to apply further pressure and draw attention to the issue.

This is not the first time that the European Parliament has addressed problems connected with fur production. In May 2020, it adopted the Report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which acknowledged that fur production significantly compromises animal welfare and increases the susceptibility to infectious diseases, including zoonoses, as it has occurred with COVID-19 specially in mink:

Above – Brilliant Anja !!

[…] fur production, which involves the confinement of thousands of undomesticated animals of a similar genotype in close proximity to one another under chronically stressful conditions, significantly compromises animal welfare and increases their susceptibility to infectious diseases including zoonoses […]. The coming years will be crucial to end the enormous suffering of animals in the EU. In light of the Commissions’ strong commitment to revise the EU Animal Welfare legislation, this working group represents a crucial and timely initiative. We will work together to secure strong support from the European Parliament on the European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe. The only possible outcome, as demanded by European citizens, is a ban on fur farming and a ban on the sale of farmed fur products on the European market.

Anja Hazekamp, chairwoman of the Fur Free Europe working group

Fur free Europe – browse the publication:

Fur Free Europe | Eurogroup for Animals

Regards Mark

Lidl’s Chicken Scandal: a Glimpse of the State of Animal Welfare in the EU.

Lidl’s chicken scandal: a glimpse of the state of animal welfare in the EU

Essere Animali

Press Release

NGOs are pressuring Lidl to sign the European Chicken Commitment, following the release of investigations that reveal shocking conditions for broilers on their supplier’s farms in Germany, Italy and Spain.

In a campaign led by Equalia and the Albert Schweitzer Foundation Germany, NGOs are telling Lidl that enough is enough, after footage was released showing broiler chickens being abused and neglected on their supplier’s farms. 

‘Lidl’s chicken scandal’, as it’s being called, began when Equalia released footage revealing hideous circumstances for broiler chickens on a factory farm in Germany. Shoved together in the dark and with barely enough room to breathe, the video shows droves of malformed broilers suffering and dying in the worst of conditions. 

While that was enough to spark outrage among animal protection organisations across Europe, the scale of the problem was revealed to be much worse shortly after.

Just a few weeks later, further footage published by Equalia highlighted similar abuses being extended to broilers connected to Lidl in Spain. Chickens are being thrown to the ground from high up, slammed against buckets, and made too miserable and exhausted to move, with many of them spending their days lying on the floor being trampled over.

Below – Click on ‘Watch on YouTube’.

Above – This is happening on farms supplying Lidl in Spain

Regards Mark

EU Parliament Shows Positive Commitment Toward Systemic Change to Regulate the (Exotic) Pet Trade.

EU Parliament shows positive commitment toward systemic change to regulate the (exotic) pet trade

25 November 2022

AAP Press Release

Yesterday, the EP adopted a resolution on improving EU regulation through an EU positive list of (wild and exotic) pets. This was the direct result of a petition and subsequent debate at PETI Committee from Eurogroup for Animals and AAP and Dyrenes Beskyttelse.

Excitingly, it’s the second EP Resolution in as many months with encouraging language on an EU positive list. It’s a strong message to the Commission to expand upon their initial commitment for a feasibility study on the EU positive list in the revised Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.

This resolution is the icing on the cake of a very successful year in political calls for the EU positive list, such as the May AGRIFISH position paper supported by 19 Member States, and the October EP resolution on the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which provided the EP’s opinion on the position the Commission should take at CoP19. Incidentally, the exotic pet trade has been front and centre of the debates at this important meeting of the Parties to CITES. 

Finally, the text cites the EP’s June 2021 resolution on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: bringing nature back into our lives, which includes reference to a white (positive) list.

An EU-wide positive list is a tool to more effectively and efficiently regulate the pet trade, by producing a list of animal species that are allowed to be traded as companion animalsany species not on the list is de facto illegal to keep.

The resolution stresses that the European trade policy needs to ensure that pet trade practices do not compromise the welfare of wild and exotic animals or contribute to biodiversity loss, and that the keeping of such animals as pets does not jeopardise the welfare of the animal and the owner.

Moreover, it expresses the Parliament’s concern that current regulations in Member States are fragmented and not consistent, often failing to encompass much of the animal kingdom.

Additionally, it notes that the EU legal framework is currently insufficient to tackle animal welfare, public health and safety, and invasiveness risks associated with the trade and keeping of wild and exotic animals as pets.

Of vital importance, the Commission recently released a revised Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, which had and action to “Explore the need for, added value of, and feasibility of revising existing measures or creating new tools to reduce unsustainable trade in wildlife (e.g. a ‘positive list’ of species whose specimens taken from the wild can be traded and kept as pets)”.

It’s our view that this action does not go nearly far enough, but that this resolution comes at the perfect moment to urge the Commission to expand on their initial commitment. The resolution calls “on the Commission to carry out an impact assessment of the added-value and feasibility of establishing such a list, using a science-based set of criteria to determine which species are suitable as pets, and to include a careful analysis of various criteria already used in national positive lists, in order to establish the most effective ones to be possibly adopted in an EU-wide positive list”. 

It is vital that the European Commission hears the strong message of the Member States through the Council, and the continued calls from the Parliament, to ensure a timely and strict implementation of the Action Plan, especially its feasibility study on the EU Positive List. The Commission is now mandated to be flexible in its impact assessment approach, to seek out feasible ways that an EU Positive List can fit with, and add value to the current legislative framework. It should be conducted with a view to ease the establishment of the Positive List. If not, an important and viable tool to protect animals, humans and the environment could be missed out on. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals

Regards Mark

Italy: Lambs Transported From Eastern Europe to Italy Face Gruelling Journeys This Winter.

Lambs transported from Eastern Europe to Italy face gruelling journeys this winter

December 2022

Essere Animali Investigation

Several roadside checks have been carried out by our member organisation Essere Animali in the Gorizia area, northeast Italy. Seven trucks from Eastern Europe were identified transporting animals in overcrowded conditions, without proper watering systems, or adequate partitions and heights for transport.

As the Christmas season approaches, the number of trucks importing lambs into Italy from Eastern Europe rises, with long, gruelling journeys for the animals.

Last year, in the days leading up to Christmas, more than 600,000 lambs were slaughtered in Italy (source: National Livestock Registry Database), which is about a quarter of those slaughtered per year, and of these, one in four is imported from abroad. 

The lambs range in age from not even 2 months to 3 months old, transported mainly from Romania and Hungary to slaughterhouses located mainly in Latium and Apulia, enduring journeys that could last from 24 to 30 hours.

In recent days, Essere Animali carried out an inspection of live animal transport trucks at the border between Italy and Slovenia, documenting the conditions of 7 four-floor trucks, with insufficient heights that did not allow the animals to stand upright, leading to several problems, including restricted movement. The lambs’ heads were touching the top floor of the compartment, a condition that can cause bumps, bruising and injury, as well as not allowing adequate ventilation. 

Activists from Essere Animali also found: 

Overcrowding: densities were too high, it is impossible for all the animals to reach the watering systems positioned only on one side, with the risk of them stepping on each other in case someone wants to sit down to rest; 

Dangerous gaps: lambs get stuck in gaps created between floor and wall or interior partitions and shelves;

Inadequate beverage systems: they were found to be inactive during transport, only activated during travel breaks, and some were not functional anyway. Moreover, even when functional, they were not suitable for lambs since due to their young age they are unable to use them. 

The inadequate and unsuitable watering system is a prime example of the current regulatory gaps, which, combined with the high transport densities, cause suffering and thirst in lambs, putting them at serious risk of dehydration. 

These are conditions also denounced by Essere Animali in Easter 2022 and for which the organisation had managed to get sanctions issued under the Legislative Decree No. 151 of July 25, 2007, which provides penalties for violating the provisions of European Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.

In 2021, only 3% of trucks carrying lambs from Romania were checked. The same fate also befell the one million cattle transported from France and the more than 800 thousand pigs that arrived from Denmark, with 4.6% of consignments checked. Of the more than 66 thousand live animal consignments that arrived in Italy, only 152 sanctions were imposed.

The control activities of Essere Animali also aim to document the conditions of transports that, while complying with current regulations, present critical aspects for animal welfare and highlight the need to implement European laws that better protect animals during the delicate phase of transport, which often causes animals additional stress and suffering. 

The European Commission is currently engaged in a comprehensive review of laws on animal husbandry, transport and slaughter, with the aim of aligning them with the latest available scientific data, expanding their scope and ensuring a higher level of animal welfare. The new legislative proposal is expected in 2023, and Member States can play an important role by supporting an ambitious proposal for the protection of farmed animals. 

We will inform the European Commission and the Minister of Health of the outcome of the inspections we carried out at the border again this year, providing images that document an alarming reality. The European Regulation, besides being frequently violated, is not able to protect animals concretely, and this is the most serious fact that shows how important the revision of the legislation is.

Today it is legal to transport lambs as young as two months old for journeys lasting up to 30 hours, subjecting them to conditions that generate them great stress and suffering. Together with other NGOs from across Europe, we are calling for greater protections, such as banning the transport of live animals over long distances, decreasing travel hours, and banning the transport of unweaned animals.

The European Commission has a chance to really improve conditions for animals. Do not betray the demands of your citizens!

Simone Montuschi, President of Essere Animali

Read more at source

Essere Animali

Regards Mark

EU: Great News – Fur Free Europe Reaches 1,000,000 Signatures, But More Needed to Ensure Validation Checks.

Fur Free Europe reaches 1,000,000 signatures

December 2022

The European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe has reached 1,000,000 signatures of support in little over 6 months. The initiative, which aims to ban fur farming and the sale of farmed fur products in the European Union, is well on its way to becoming a record breaking ECI for animals. But what happens now, and why will the campaign continue to gather signatures?

On 6 December, Fur Free Europe topped 1,000,000 signatures from citizens across the European Union. The campaign also confirmed successfully reaching the signature threshold in 14 Member States; Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, France, Belgium, Greece and Austria.

What happens now?

Every European Citizens’ Initiative requires one million validated signatures in order to succeed. 

Once the Fur Free Europe initiative closes, it will undergo a stringent verification procedure: governments from each Member State will check that signatures were gathered from real persons, that each person has added their support only once, and that their personal details such as name and ID number are registered and correct.

Due to this important verification procedure, it is possible that a large number of signatures could be invalidated and discounted, leaving the final figure below the required one million. 

For this reason, we will continue to collect signatures from citizens across Europe who share our belief that fur farming and the placement of fur products on the market are cruel, unnecessary and unethical. 

How many more signatures do we need?

Fur Free Europe will be pushing on at full force to gain as many signatures as possible, amplifying our call for a Europe without fur farming and ensuring there is no possibility our ECI can be invalidated. 

The most successful European Citizens’ Initiative for animals?

Fur Free Europe has collected one million names faster than any other European Citizens’ Initiative. This fantastic success is sure to increase the urgency for the European Commission to take action and finally bring the European fur industry to a close. 

Would you like to join over one million citizens to make this happen? 

Add your name to Fur Free Europe now, and follow the progress of our incredible movement.

Regards Mark

EU: Successful Shark Finning Citizens’ Initiative Presented to the Commission.

Successful shark finning Citizens’ Initiative presented to the Commission

11 January 2023

The ‘Stop Finning – Stop the Trade’ initiative has become the eighth successful European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI), reaching over 1.1 million statements of support from EU citizens.

The European Commission now has six months to decide on political actions to end the EU shark fin trade.

The initiative calls on the Commission to propose legal measures to end the trade of fins in the EU, including the import, export and transit of fins other than if naturally attached to the animal’s body.

The Commission will meet the ECI organisers to discuss the initiative in detail in the next weeks. A public hearing will then be organised by the European Parliament.

The Commission has until 11 July 2023 to present its official reply, outlining the actions it intends to take: whether to propose legislation, take other non-legislative actions or not act at all.

This initiative is the eighth ECI to have successfully passed the threshold of one million signatures from at least seven Member States, demonstrating that European citizens can help create European policies. 

Today the initiative officially entered the political process, and campaigners publicly delivered the 1.1 million statements of support from EU citizens to the EU institutions in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

The EU has to implement a trade ban immediately. Sharks are important to marine ecosystems and populations recover very slowly from industrial fishing. Hunting such important animals for their fins is the epitome of senselessness. We are counting on the European Commission to implement a strong trade regulation in addition to existing regulations to finally end the shark fin trade in the EU. 

Nils Kluger, spokesperson of “Stop Finning – Stop the Trade”

On Thursday 19th January, the Animal Welfare Intergroup will hold a hybrid meeting where Nils Kluger, Spokesperson and Coordinator of the ECI, will discuss the political process of the validated ECI and the demands to the European Parliament. 

Read more at source

Stop Finning EU

Regards Mark

Vegan Brain Food – Good For Us and Animals.

The ambitious goal that rapper/activist turned entrepreneur Gaia’s Eye (real name Gabriel Nadler) is working to advance with his new Animal Rights-dedicated company, vegan brain food .

But the primary vision of the “Animal Rescue Life” brand, for which Vegan Brain Food is the first manifestation, is to push the entire multi-billion dollar vegan food industry towards a new paradigm and a new realm of competition, where customers actually expect their favorite brands to give a meaningful percentage of profits back to the animals who inspired the global rise of veganism in the first place.

The Animal Activist-Turned-Entrepreneur Working To Re… | MENAFN.COM

Regards Mark

France: Paris Couture House Promotes Hunting ? – and Naomi (I would rather go naked) Lost the Plot Many Years Ago. Carrie Johnson Says “Grim! Real or fake this just promotes trophy hunting. Yuck”.

Kylie Jenner at Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2023 collection with a huge lion’s head attached to her dress.Credit: AP

WAV comment – I wonder if any of these ‘oh so’ couture houses have ever donated any money to the preservation of wild animals such as lions and wolves ? – very much doubt it.

And Naomi Campbell; was she not once heard to say that she would rather go naked than wear fur ? – ok, this is not real fur, but in our opinion, it is promoting the use of fur and as a result, either the breeding or killing of animals for their fur.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3954568/Naomi-Campbell-continues-wear-fur-arrives-JFK-airport-20-years-claiming-d-nude-PETA-s-famous-anti-cruelty-campaign.html

Click ‘watch on YouTube’

We agree with Carrie, all of this does nothing but adding to “promoting trophy hunting” by using the fake animal heads.  Well done Carrie for speaking out.

Regards Mark

Naomi Campbell (I would rather go naked than wear fur !!) does her bit to promote fur ? –  – Estrop© Provided by The Telegraph

Kylie Jenner criticised by animal rights groups for wearing lion’s head to Paris couture show

Reality TV star Kylie Jenner has caused an up-roar after appearing in a dress accessorised with an uber-realistic life-sized lion’s head at Schiaparelli’s couture catwalk show in Paris.

The wild accessory was pinned onto the shoulder of a black strapless dress as she took her front row seat at the legendary fashion house’s label’s spring-summer 2023 couture collection.

Ms Jenner’s lion’s head – replete with fangs and bushy mane – was a preview of the collection, and was joined on the runway by other beasts’ heads, including a wolf, modelled by Naomi Campbell, and a snow leopard.

Kylie Jenner criticised by animal rights groups for wearing lion’s head to Paris couture show | ITV News

The creations were part of the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2023 collection – Michel Euler© Provided by The Telegraph

Also;

Carrie Johnson attacks ‘grim’ fake animal head couture dresses

Carrie Johnson (wife of ex UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson) has accused an Italian fashion house of promoting trophy hunting after supermodels wore life-sized fake animal heads on the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week.

But the show caused environmentalists, including Carrie Johnson, to accuse the fashion brand of “promoting trophy hunting” by using the fake animal heads.

Ms Johnson posted online about the show, with the message: “Grim! Real or fake this just promotes trophy hunting. Yuck”.

Read it all with pictures at:

Carrie Johnson attacks ‘grim’ fake animal head couture dresses (msn.com)

Regards Mark

My dog wears real fur, and so it should; I wear only skin, like I should !

Mark

China: Pig Dishes Out Dose of Karma by Killing Butcher Who Tried to Slaughter It.

Pig dishes out dose of karma by killing butcher who tried to slaughter it (msn.com)

A spokesperson said: ‘The Labour Department is saddened by the death of the person and expresses its deepest sympathy to his family.

A World Animals Voice (WAV) spokesperson said:

Well some people will still eat meat and things like this happen sometimes.  We really only have concerns for the pig and hope very much that the Karma pig escaped slaughter and will end up being taken in for a happy life free from abuse by the activist organisations.

A Chinese butcher was killed by his own pig in what appears to be a tragic case of karma.

While detectives are yet to determine the cause of death, it seems the pig caused the butcher to stab himself with the knife.

It is unclear whether the pig managed to escape its fate.

Read more at:

Pig dishes out dose of karma by killing butcher who tried to slaughter it (msn.com)

Regards Mark

England: Police in England Arrest Six Men Over Suspected Illegal Fox Hunting.

Kent (The county of the White Horse) is our home county.

Am trying to get more on this – will update if successful.

YUP –

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent/news/disturbing-video-shows-fox-attack-by-hounds-280458/

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/pack-of-hounds-appear-to-savage-fox-in-illegal-hunt/ar-AA16poRZ

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/footage-appears-show-pack-hounds-173146677.html

Regards Mark

Police in England arrest six men over suspected illegal fox hunting

Six men have been arrested and 22 dogs seized in police raids over suspected illegal fox hunts across several English counties.

The men were arrested in dawn raids on Wednesday by police from Kent, Norfolk, Sussex, and Thames Valley, in one of the UK’s largest ever fox hunting investigations.

RSPCA officers who took part in the raids seized 10 dogs near Canterbury and Folkestone in Kent, three near Farringdon in Oxfordshire, and nine near Wisbech, Norfolk.

Police in England arrest six men over suspected illegal fox hunting (msn.com)

Time out:

Finland: More Fur Farm Abuse Exposed.

Above – The animal rights group Oikeutta Elaimille (Justice for Animals) revealed footage of animals left to sit in their own waste whilst suffering from infections and other physical ailments, such as this white fox with an infected ear

Forced to eat their dead siblings, left to suffer painful infections and bred to become hugely obese… then killed to make coats: Finnish fur farm horrors revealed in undercover video

Watch the video and read more by clicking on:

Footage shared of appalling animal cruelty within Finland’s fox farms | Daily Mail Online

Regards Mark

Below – Animals are bred to the point of obesity which causes many health side-effects such as painful eye infections and damaged skin

above – A fox cub eats a dismembered skull in a cage with many of the animals lying next to or even eating their dead siblings

England: The Jill Phipps (Murder) Story – End of January.

At the end of January I will be publishing a post on an issue which I hate more than just about anything else – live animal transport – specifically the death of Jill.

For me, February 1st is always a bad day; as it was the day we (anti export campaigners in England UK)  lost our beloved jill who was murdered by the live export industry.

More to come and plenty of information at the end of the month to remember Jills death of 1st February 1995.

Regards Mark

Australia: A New South Wales Council is Considering a Licence for Rodeos at the Local Showground – We Want to Halt Any Future Potential Animal Abuse – Please Sign the Petition BEFORE End of January Thank You.

At rodeos, calves are yanked violently with ropes and pinned down; bulls and horses are jolted with electric prods, spurred, and viciously kicked; and straps are tightened around the animals’ abdomens to provoke them to bolt and buck – all in the name of putting on a show.

A New South Wales council is considering a licence for rodeos at the local showground, which means now is the perfect time to tell it that rodeos are a relic of a cruel, bygone era.

Please sign our petition, which we’ll enter as our submission to the public consultation before it closes on 31 January at 10 am.

TAKE ACTION – Please sign the petition to stop this animal abuse:

This is action immediate – the PETA Australia submission to the public consultation before it closes on 31 January at 10 am.

Stop the Moruya Rodeo’s Licence to Harm Animals | PETA Australia

Regards Mark

India: UPDATE: The Betrayal of India’s Elephants from ‘In Defense of Animals’.

All photos and text from ‘In Defense of Animals’.

For 50 years India has had legislation in place to protect elephants from commercial exploitation in the form of a ban on trading and transporting elephants. That protection ended with a devastating vote by the Indian Parliament, which recently amended the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act with the Wildlife Protection Bill, allowing elephants to be “transported or traded for religious or any purpose.”

A betrayal of advocates

In India, activists who have dedicated much of their lives to ending the brutal treatment of Asian elephants were heartbroken by this news. In Defense of Animals has been fighting along with them to call attention to the plight of these endangered animals. This law passed despite elephants being given the highest protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Our alert was signed by thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters to urge the Indian Parliament to stop this bill from proceeding. But on December 8, 2022, all hopes were dashed and all concerns for the protection of elephants were dismissed.

Betrayal of a sacred tradition

Elephants are revered as India’s national heritage animals. Since 300 B.C. killing a sacred elephant has been declared an odious crime. Where is this reverence when captive elephants are shackled so mahouts can inflict deep gashes on their legs with machetes, when boiling water is poured into their mouths, when they are beaten with bullhooks, forced to stand for hours on hot tarred streets, and subjected to the deafening roar of thousands of boisterous parade goers and the exploding fireworks that they set off that can blind and kill the elephants? Reverence for elephants has taken a back seat to the demand of brokers, religious temples, and private “owners” who put pressure on Parliament to protect their selfish desires to grow their elephant populations at the expense of the elephants themselves. This bill opens the door wide open for the capture of wild elephants to be used as indentured servants for life.

Not only that, but beaten and traumatized elephants rampage, causing injury and death. Keeping and parading elephants is touted as culturally critical, especially in the southern state of Kerala. But it’s also financially profitable. Temple elephants are rented out for Rs 7 lakhs ($10,500) a day so the rupees start to quickly stack up. Ganesha, the elephant-headed god is one of the most loved and feared gods throughout India. It’s believed that Ganesha’s penchant is to place obstacles in the paths of those who need to be checked, so it’s too bad that those who are exploiting them for religious reasons don’t seem to notice the contradiction.

A path forward to protect India’s treasured heritage

One temple has taken a step to protect India’s sacred elephants. Nalapathenneeswaram Sree Mahadeva Temple in Cherthala has introduced life-like robotic elephants to take the place of live elephants in temple parades. This is a vital move towards progress for the nation’s brutalized elephants. Let’s hope more temples side-step Parliament’s unfortunate decision to weaken protections for elephants, by also adopting this bold, innovative and humane action.

Learn more about what we’re doing to help elephants here, and please consider making a donation to support our work.

UPDATE: The Betrayal of India’s Elephants (idausa.org)

Regards Mark

New Zealand: Thank You Jacinda For Stopping Live Animal Exports From 30/4/23.

Following the suprise announcement on 19/1/23,

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/jacinda-ardern-driven-from-office-by-constant-abuse-and-unprecedented-hatred-politicians-say/ar-AA16y1qV

We wish New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern the very best for the future; and say ‘Thank you’ to her and her government for being the first nation which introduces official legislation to stop the export of live animals.  Thank you Jacinda.

The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill to ban live export has passed its third and final reading in Parliament in Aotearoa (New Zealand)!

The live export of cattle, deer, goats and sheep from New Zealand by sea will stop on 30 April 2023.

Now all eyes are on Australia to follow suit.

News reports suggest the New Zealand government delivered a letter to the Chinese Embassy on 31 March signalling the end of the trade.

New Zealand announced a ban on live exports, which will see the trade being phased out over a two-year period, stopping 30/4/23.

SAFE, an animal rights organisation in New Zealand that has long campaigned for a ban on live exports, praised the Government’s decision to ban all live exports by sea for cattle, sheep, deer and goats for slaughter, fattening and breeding.

This decision followed a government consultation to which we submitted a briefing, highlighting the suffering inherent in the practice and explaining viable alternatives, including reducing journey times and exporting semen instead of live animals.

New Zealand’s announcement drives home the point that the welfare of farmed animals can and should be a top priority. Now it time for the UK to follow suit and implement a ban on this awful practice.  Whilst making its way through Parliament at the moment, the British people are hearing endless government excuses as to why things are taking time; not enough time for further debate etc, etc.  Great to see that New Zealand stepped up to the plate and passed all the legislation without all the excuses and delays as seen in UK government.

Hopefully this year, 2023; we will see all legislation passed in the UK which will also ban the export of live animals.  This will then put huge pressure on the EU and also Australia to stop the sordid trade involving mass suffering to millions of sentient live farm animals.

Regards Mark

Further reading:

NZ bans cattle exports by sea, with two-year phase out – Beef Central

USA: Texas Sicko Blood Lust Hunter Eliminates Hundreds of Feral Hogs. But They Dont Go To Ukraine To Fight and Kill, Do They ? – They Pick on Those Which Cannot Fight Back.

‘Feral swine are not considered game animals in Texas and may be hunted by any means or methods at any time of year’.

Sounds like the blood lusters are getting to have things just the way they want them.

No doubt all dressed up in their camo gear looking real tough – why dont they dress up and go help the Ukranians kill Ruskies ? – no, cos they are not real men, only pretend men; and they want it all their way, without the risk of being shot back at by Russian military !.