England: After the USA, We Move To England and Dairy Abuse Investigations.

Viva !

And sticking with dairy, after the recent ARM video from Stacey:

USA: First-Ever Cruelty Investigation into an Organic (“Humane/High-Welfare/Certified/LIELIELIE) Dairy Farm. – World Animals Voice

Now we move from US investigations to the UK; and witness something you would never have seen in the UK until (very) recently; young calves being kept independently in plastic crate ‘calf hutches’.  This system has probably been adopted by UK farms after the use and experiences of same in USA.

We have the pleasure of Animal Aid being based here in our (WAV) home county of Kent, England.  They (AA) are one of the UK’s leading animal welfare / vegan organisations and are very well known in British animal rights for their undercover work.  So here is the link to their website where you can read and learn lots. take action, and learn more about their work and campaigns:

Home – Animal Aid

Dear Mark,

Animal Aid recently investigated calf hutches at a Somerset dairy farm. These plastic crates ‘house’ individual calves – and sadly they are commonly used by around 40% of UK dairy farms.

Calves are usually taken away from their mothers within hours of birth, causing immense distress to both mother and infant. Housed alone, unable to feed naturally, they are instead given a timetabled ration of liquid milk.

These young calves spend their first few weeks of life in the isolating hutches, before either being sent directly for slaughter, or reared for their flesh. Females may be reared as a dairy cow – with around 30% of females kept as ‘herd replacers’. This involves repeated pregnancies, with every baby taken away, until the cow’s body is exhausted and spent – at which point she will also be killed for meat.

Our investigation found: 

Calves living in tiny hutches, with their natural instincts to bond, socialise and feed restricted or completely denied.

Calves desperately trying to have full-body contact with one another, despite their confinement, as they naturally would. 

Animal Aid documented a baby calf being physically abused and shouted at by a farm worker, whilst another simply laughed. This has been reported to the relevant authorities.

Animal Aid put the findings of our investigation to Dr. Helen Lambert, an internationally renowned animal welfare scientist and expert on animal sentience. Dr. Lambert’s work has shown that cows are intelligent and sensitive animals, with complex social lives.

In our film of the investigation, Dr. Lambert explains how the separation of cows from their mothers causes both mother and baby immense stress, and how the isolation of calves in these hutches has a terrible impact on their well-being. Calf hutches mean that these babies cannot interact with one another, feed as they naturally would, walk freely, run, jump or play.

“Cows are emotional, complex, intelligent and social beings with markedly different personalities. Research shows us that keeping calves in these small hutches with little room to move, and few opportunities to interact with one another, can have long-lasting and permanent effects on their well-being.” – Dr. Helen Lambert PhD

No mother, and no baby, deserves to go through this horrendous treatment for the sake of products we do not need. Animal Aid urges everyone who is shocked by these revelations to ditch dairy and adopt a plant-based diet.

Take action!

Order a FREE Vegan Pack today

Write to your local paper or radio station, encouraging people to have compassion for animals by going vegan. You can direct people to our website for friendly advice and amazing recipes.

Thank you!

The Animal Aid team

… and here are a few links to our super county – Kent;  ‘The Garden of England’

Regards Mark

Music is ‘iffy’, but …

USA: First-Ever Cruelty Investigation into an Organic (“Humane/High-Welfare/Certified/LIELIELIE) Dairy Farm.

Both photos – Animal Recovery Mission.

With many thanks as always to Stacey for supplying some info from ‘across the pond’;

Regards Mark

Watch the investigation video by clicking on this link:

First-Ever Cruelty Investigation into an Organic (“Humane/High-Welfare/Certified/LIELIELIE) Dairy Farm

Stacey May 23 https://vimeo.com/349213938?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=12159303

Source Animal Recovery Mission

If animal agriculture was so humane and ethical, the actual industry would be offering information and documentation of the slaughter “process”, not undercover investigators/employees; as it is, the industry execs and supporters relentlessly pursue ag-gag and attempt to criminalize the people who expose them.

Needing to continually update it’s PR, anag floats “organic”, “high welfare”, “certified humane”, etcetcetc., human-centric words to define animals’ required suffering and violent death, just so YOU can take their flesh and the calves’ naturally-intended milk instead … as an aging human with teeth…If being “humane” to animals is important, NOT killing/consuming/breastfeeding-from animals is MORE IMPORTANT.

Their repeated violations, fear, pain, and premature and infant violent death are what YOU PAY FOR. If you have to label a violent “process” as “humane” and that still requires violent death, that means it is inherently NOT, just like my plant-based food requires no HUMANE labels. This is an industry that values DEATH, which makes animal lives cost-prohibitive: animals are products, bred-to-be-dead, and as such, NO concern to their care/comfort/emotions/safety is regarded or even necessary as all are precluded by animals’ “worth” as mere products.

And no, animals aren’t treated like trash, they’re treated WORSE than trash since trash lacks the capacity for pain, suffering, fear, and misery. SL

Source Sentient Media By Matthew Zampa

Animal Recovery Mission’s (ARM) investigation at Natural Prairie Dairy stands as the first-ever cruelty investigation into an organic dairy farm in the United States, and the third installment of the largest dairy investigation of all time into Fairlife and Select Milk Producers, Inc.

The first two investigations released by ARM were Operation Fair Oaks Farms and Operation Fairlife. Natural Prairie Dairy is located in Channing, TX, and houses over 25,000 cows between its four locations. Over four months, an ARM investigator documented cows stabbed with screwdrivers, kicked and dragged when unable to stand due to illness and fatigue.

Cows were repeatedly and violently inseminated and mother cows were witnessed being chased while giving birth, and the babies immediately ripped away from their mothers. The following video footage was compiled by the ARM investigative team between March and July 2019.

The farm is still open for business today.

People concerned with buying organic dairy products are being deceived by the animal agriculture industry about the realities of how their food is being produced and the companies they support, which ARM documented and exposed during its latest four-month investigation. Organic dairies, such as Natural Prairie Dairy, are often viewed by consumers and the public as naturally more humane and ethical than non-organic farms. But just because a farm calls itself “organic” does not mean it’s cruelty-free. In most cases, the term “organic” serves a very different purpose, one that has nothing to do with the humane and ethical treatment of animals.

Consumers pay top dollar for organic milk and dairy products, compared to conventional products, and they justify making such expensive purchases because the products are supposedly better for their health, the environment, and for the animals. On organic milk labels, dairy companies reinforce this message, showing images of cows smiling and grazing in green pastures. That could not be further from the truth.

Do these cows look happy to you? The following evidence was compiled by undercover ARM investigators at Natural Prairie Dairy over four months. Investigators who return to the farm – or any farm like it – will witness similar acts of cruelty.

Cows are removed from their holding barns every eight hours to be milked, day and night. It is important to note that Natural Prairie Dairy is equipped with camera surveillance and that the actions of employees are recorded and overseen by management. As the company states on its website, all Natural Prairie Dairy employees receive training in “animal welfare and handling before they begin work on the farm.” “Unfortunately, [Natural Prairie] failed to deter and/or stop the systemic cruelty, torment, and squalid living conditions suffered by the cows,” ARM stated in the Operation Natural Prairie report.

Natural Prairie Dairy promises to “take care of the cow” on its website. “A sustainable farm ecosystem means giving our cows the very best care.” In light of the farm’s commitment to animal welfare, the ARM investigator witnessed extreme and violent animal cruelty within the first few hours of employment.

Daily, cows were tormented, kicked, hit with shovels, and stabbed with screwdrivers by the farm’s so-called animal caregivers. During its grueling investigation, ARM concluded with the same abhorrent conditions – abuse and cruelty towards the dairy cows – that was evident in ARM’s conventional dairy farm investigations. Amongst these criminal acts upon animals, the investigator documented dairy cows being tormented. Downer cows were repeatedly beaten to get up. Cows that couldn’t prop themselves back up were stabbed with screwdrivers, pulled by the head by front loaders, dragged, picked up by the bucket and driven to a holding area where they awaited transport to be sold for slaughter.

Other cows were left to die slowly in barns, some cows taking a whole day or longer to die, all under the supervision of management. Cows were seen falling into cesspools and almost drowning. Many of the cows suffer from infection and lameness and were reluctant to eat, so they were force-fed with metal tubes by untrained employees. The ARM investigator also documented dead calves and cows in a dumpsite. In 2008, Organic Valley terminated its contract with Natural Prairie Dairy for suspected violations of the USDA’s Guidelines for Organic Certification of Dairy Livestock, among other organic labeling standards.

The average size Organic Valley member farm has approximately 65-70 cows, according to an investigation conducted by the Cornucopia Institute at Natural Prairie Dairy in 2008. Satellite imagery indicated that unlike legitimate organic farms, that commonly have one cow per acre, Natural Prairie had as many as 7.2 cows per acre.

Natural Prairie’s website states: “During the warmer months, we graze our cows on acres and acres of beautiful green pastures. When it gets cold, they stay in spacious, open-air, free-stall barns that protect them from the elements.” This could not be further from the truth. According to the ARM investigator, if a cow isn’t being milked, they spend their lives in illegally overcrowded barns where they are forced to lay on cement covered in feces.

Many develop footrot and cannot walk. The farm’s gross violations of the USDA’s organic dairy certification guidelines is a crucial component of this investigation. According to the guidelines, continuous total confinement of any ruminant animal over six months of age indoors is strictly prohibited. Throughout his time on the farm, the ARM investigator found that Natural Prairie Dairy cows well enough and willing to graze only did so for about an hour a day during the grazing months.

Many others never left the barn. Animal Recovery Mission Donald DeJong is the owner and CEO of Natural Prairie Dairy. Soon after ARM began this investigation, it also discovered that DeJong is the vice chairman of Select Milk Producers, and a Board of Directors member of Fairlife and he has strong personal and business associations with Mike McCloskey of Fair Oaks Farms and Fairlife. Natural Prairie Dairy currently supplies raw dairy to Kroger, Costco, and Publix through Aurora Organic Dairy’s bottling plant in Denver, Colorado. The company is in the process of expanding its operations with construction underway in Newton County, Indiana, that will supply dairy to Meijer Grocer, the Midwest, and East Coast.

The undercover investigator was fired after management found photos of animal abuse on his cell phone. They quickly deleted the photos – to no avail. ARM investigators submitted a substantial body of evidence to the Hartley County Sheriff’s Office for review. “Consumer power is the most effective vehicle towards creating change by raising awareness of these criminal findings,” ARM said in a statement. “Leave dairy products out of your cart.”

Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE
Order a FREE vegan kit HERE
Dairy-Free Info HERE
Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE
Click HERE for more Dairy-Free Fish alternatives can be found HERE
Learn about eggs HERE
Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance.

Order a FREE copy HERE Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search. Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE
Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!
Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend: PETA HERE
Vegan Outreach HERE
Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE
Have questions? Click HERE

Regards Mark / Stacey

England: French Footballer Kurt Zouma pleads guilty to kicking cat after video emerged of West Ham star abusing pet.

West Ham’s Kurt Zouma covers himself as he arrives at Thames Magistrate court in London, (Photo: REUTERS/Matthew Childs)

You can read all about (footballer) Kurt Zouma abusing his cat by visiting our reports on this at:

Search Results for “kurt zouma” – World Animals Voice

The centre-back pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act

West Ham star Kurt Zouma has pleaded guilty to kicking and slapping his pet cat.

The defender pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court in east London on Tuesday morning.

Zouma, 27, apologised for his actions after graphic footage was filmed and shared by his younger brother Yoan, 24, on social media.

He admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely a cat.

Yoan, who was accused of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his Zouma to commit an offence, admitted one offence during the hearing.

Two further counts against the men were dismissed.

Zouma arrived at court accompanied by several security guards who emerged from a vehicle holding umbrellas to form a protective shield around him.

In the video, which was widely condemned, Zouma can be seen kicking the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.

Prosecutor Hazel Stevens said the 40-second clip appeared to be carried out after the cats were deemed responsible for damaging a chair in the home.

She said: “Kurt Zouma is determined to chastise or carry out some sort of retribution for the damage caused.”

Ms Stevens told the court Zouma could be heard saying: “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.”

Experts said the cat would have likely suffered soft tissue damage to the head, as well as mental and physical suffering.

Concerns over the cat’s welfare were raised by a woman who saw the footage which was also shared on snapchat.

The woman was so appalled that she cancelled a date with Yoan, saying: “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK – don’t bother coming today.”

The court hearing comes following an investigation led by the RSPCA, which has brought the prosecution against the Zouma brothers.

The animal welfare charity seized two cats belonging to Zouma after the video was circulated online. The cats remain in the care of the RSPCA.

Zouma has agreed for the two male Bengal cats to be rehomed, the court heard.

The two men will be sentenced on 1 June.

Additional reporting by PA News Agency

Kurt Zouma pleads guilty to kicking cat after video emerged of West Ham star abusing pet (inews.co.uk)

For all the press coverage go to:

(2) zouma – Search (bing.com)

Personally, I feel that he should be given a community sentence, working at a cat shelter for 6 months, say 15 hours week; cleaning out cat poo; as a financial fine for his actions is not enough.  He gets tens of thousands £ a week for being a footballer; he needs to give his bit to animal welfare and the community; and working free of payment at a cat shelter is one way to this.

Lets see what the sentencing on June 1st brings; we will report it.

What can be learned from this ? –  in the UK, when you abuse animals, you face the consequences of your actions; and sometimes they are not nice. Brits don’t like animal abusers. Alternatively, we will pay for him to have a one way flight ticket back to France, on the guarantee he remains there.

Regards Mark

England: Great New Photos From Pauline – 22/5/22.

I have had some new (second set of) excellent photos through from my animal buddy Pauline.

You can view the first pictures she forwarded at:

Pauline has kindly sent some more – and here they are.

Thanks Pauline x; and thanks for the beautiful picture and mouse mat you sent me.

A Coot sits on its nest with a crested Grebe passing by.

Terrapin and Mallard Duck share a log.

Young Crested Grebes take a swim

Swan passes Terrapin.

Squirrel at Danson Park, London.

Regards Mark and Pauline.

India: 12th Annual National Animal Rights Day, Hyderabad Actions.

Hyderabad: As part of the 12th annual National Animal Rights Day, animal lovers from across Hyderabad will gather at Prasad’s Multiplex, NTR Marg, on June 5 at 4 pm, to make an emotional plea against animal cruelty and abuse.

Organised by the non-profit ‘Our Planet. Theirs Too,’ the event aims to educate the public about the consequences of society’s cruel treatment of animals while also commemorating the 50 billion animals killed in the United States each year for food, fur and skins, laboratory tests, and entertainment. Similar events have been held in Mumbai, Delhi, and other states, a press release said.

The activities will begin with a public requiem ceremony in which people will stand in a unified formation holding pictures of animals that died as a result of human abuse and exploitation. These posters, will then be arranged on the side as a tomb by the participants.

The Declaration of Animal Rights will be unveiled and signed at the event. This 100-foot-long scroll proclaims the rights of all animals and bears thousands of signatures from people all over the world in multiple languages, in support of animal rights.

There will be talks and poems about animal rights, and a street theatrical performance about animal cruelty. More about the National Animal Rights Day can be checked at http://www.TheNARD.org.

Link – National Animal Rights Day: Activists to make plea on June 5 in Hyderabad (telanganatoday.com)

Regards Mark

Australia: The Australian People Have Given Their Opinion On Climate Change, Live Animal Exports, and More.

I have been personally involved with anti live animal exports for the last 30+ years, probably more like 35+ when I think about it.  It was during the anti export campaigns from English South coast ports that Phil and I became friends all those years ago.  He is now the CEO of Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) – Compassion in World Farming | Compassion in World Farming (ciwf.org.uk)

CIWF Patrons and high profile supporters:

United against factory farming | Compassion in World Farming (ciwf.org.uk)

Part of the SE England anti exports campaign:

England: I Met the Met, and Had The Bruises To Prove It. – World Animals Voice

The live animal export trade has always been top of my real hate listings; and regardless of where it happens; I will try to give additional support to locals who are attempting to make a difference and get the trade stopped.

Check out some/all past posts here if you wish:

Search Results for “live exports” – World Animals Voice

So, personally the very recent news in from Australia can only be positive for animals as far a I am concerned.  I am English, not Australian, but follow the happenings in the Aus export trade very closely through the work of Animals Australia and others.  The election results for Australia have only just started to arrive in the last day or so; but with a change in government now, it would appear that the (fed up) people are having their say about issues such as climate change, by putting ticks in boxes to attempt change.  The feelings of most Australians about live animals exports was obviously another issue which influenced how some people voted.

Mr Philip Wollen is our WAV Patron; and he is an avid vegan and anti export campaigner; you can see him speak about the trade here:

Kindness Footprints – Phil Woolen – WAV Patron. – World Animals Voice

Lets kick off with a video from our friends and fellow (anti live export) campaigners at Animals Australia to show you a little about the Australian live export business;

Live Export Ships Exposed – Animals Australia

Here below I am supplying you with some links relating to the trade and the recent election in Australia.  Some are pre election articles, but they are all associated with the trade in some way.  I quoted our good friends at Animals Australia earlier, and by being involved like them as an activist against the suffering, cruelty and abuses, I know they have the tenacity and never give up approach to getting a positive result for Australian animals.  I wish them more than the very best; their work is tireless.  Good victories never arrive overnight, and the live export trade is one of those massively long and drawn out battlefields.  I am confident that in this year the UK will pass legislation that will completely stop the trade overseas in live animals.  I know that the same will happen in Australia very soon due toy the endless endurance and work of good Australian citizens, some politicians and the masses of ‘normal’ citizens who have the balls to get up and speak out against the trade.  People vote, and they have in the last few days made their feelings clear about animal exports and the very important issue of climate change.

The battle in Australian exports is nearly over; it is now simply a matter of time to submit this abysmal record of suffering and abuse into the history books where it should have been placed many years ago.

Be yourself, no matter what they say !

We have presented the undercover footage; we have taken to the streets and we have put our tick in the voting box.  Governments either act and change things, or like the coal digger, you get removed by the electorate.  They have a choice, listen and act on it, or maintain the status quo and face the consequences.  Anyone with anything between their ears will listen to the people and act.

Regards Mark

Labor confirms plan to end live sheep exports if Albanese becomes PM – ABC News

Australians taking a stand against live animal export this election | World Animal Protection

Australia Might Be About To Ban Live Sheep Exports For Good (plantbasednews.org)

Live sheep export is cruel, unpopular and unsustainable. | RSPCA Australia

Live export policy position of Labor not clear say WA livestock producers – ABC News

In memory of Mike Tucker and our beloved Jill:

The brilliant Mike Tucker – devoted anti export campaigner.

Jill – murdered attempting to save British calves being exported.

With Liza and Ellie at Dover; fighting the calf export business.

With Nanda and Monica on a well below freezing day in the Netherlands ! – cold, very cold.
Warmer ! – Summer tour against intensive animal farming in the Netherlands.
The tour truck parked up in central London.

EU: Fur Free Europe ECI – a final stop to fur cruelty.

Can only be signed by EU member state citizens – go here to sign if you are:

https://www.eurogroupforanimals.org/fur-free-europe

18 May 2022

Press Release

Eurogroup for Animals, along with its members and other organisations, today supported the launch of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI) Fur Free Europe: in one year they will have to collect one million signatures to finally end fur in Europe.

The Fur Free Europe ECI calls on the EU to ban fur farming and the placement on the market of farmed fur products, since fur is unethical, unsafe and unsustainable:

  • The complex behavioural needs of wild animals cannot be met in fur farms: keeping them in small cages and killing them solely, or mainly, because of the value of their fur cannot be legitimised for domestic species either. 
  • Fur farms pose a risk to animal and human health, as proved during the COVID-19 pandemic, when hundreds of mink farms were affected by coronavirus outbreaks, and new variants of the virus were transmitted from animals to humans.
  • Fur farming has a significant environmental impact since the dressing and dyeing of fur involves the use of toxic chemicals. In terms of land pollution by toxic metals, fur production is ranked in the top five highest pollution-intensity industries

The fur industry also poses a serious threat to native biodiversity, with some farmed species, like American mink and raccoon dogs, which escaped from fur farms and are now considered Invasive Alien Species (IAS) causing significant adverse impacts on European native wildlife. 

At a meeting of the Council of the European Union (Agriculture and Fisheries) the Netherlands and Austria tabled an information note, supported by Belgium, Germany Luxembourg and Slovakia, calling on the European Commission to ban fur farming. The call to end fur farming in the EU on the grounds of animal welfare, public health and ethical considerations, was backed by a total of twelve Member States during the deliberations on this paper. 

The ECI Fur Free Europe was officially registered by the European Commission on 16/03/2022 and will run from 18/05/2022 for one year. 

We have an unprecedented opportunity to finally put an end to this cruel and unnecessary practice. European citizens have been asking for it for a long time, and their wishes started changing the fashion system, with many historic brands going fur free. Last year’s AGRIFISH Council proved that now there is also a political will. We call on the public to help us make history and ban fur once and for all, and on the European Institutions to support the public demand.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals

Notes

The ECI Fur Free Europe  

The European Commission Implementing Decision on the Fur Free Europe ECI

More information on fur farming in Europe 

Recent news on fur farming

The 2021 request to end fur farming in the EU from Twelve Member States

Regards Mark

Italy: New investigation documents the conditions of rabbits bred for meat in Italy: crowded and injured in battery cages.

Image NOT directly associated with this article.

19 May 2022

Essere Animali

The Italian coalition in support of End the Cage Age – the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) calling for an end to the caging of animals reared for food – released a new investigation today carried out in seven Italian rabbit farms. The coalition calls on the Italian government to urgently introduce a national ban on cage farming and support the EU Commission’s commitment.

The footage was filmed between September 2021 and April 2022 by investigators from our member organisation Essere Animali, on farms located in Veneto (the region which accounts for over 40% of national rabbit production), Lombardy, and Emilia-Romagna, with the aim of giving a complete picture of the living conditions of rabbits reared for meat in Italy.

Italy is one of the largest producers of rabbit meat in Europe, with around 20 million rabbits reared in cages like those documented by Essere Animali. Breeding males spend about two years of their lives in these conditions before being sent to slaughter, females are discharged after one year, usually after giving birth to six litters, while puppies raised for meat are killed after 70-90 days, when they reach an average slaughter weight of 2.7 kg.

The animals are bred in sheds and confined in battery cages, inside which there are 2 or 3 adult rabbits or 6-7 young rabbits. The cages are made entirely of wire, including the flooring, and lack adequate environmental enrichments.

The footage shows:
The presence of bodies of dead rabbits inside the cages;
The presence of animals with injuries to their legs, caused by continuous rubbing against the wire, but also to their ears and head, due to the aggression that the animals express towards each other when they are forced to live in a high-density environment with few opportunities to move;
– The display of stereotypes – repetitive behaviour with no apparent function – such as making frequent movements in circles along the cage walls or repeatedly biting the wire.

The End the Cage Age coalition emphasises that these problems can be traced back to cage farming and the resulting lack of living space and positive environmental stimuli for the animals, as demonstrated by the scientific literature.

There is no law regulating minimum cage dimensions: adult rabbits have a space as big as an A4 sheet of paper. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the biggest issue for farmed rabbits is movement restriction. A standard cage provides only 1% of the space needed by a group of rabbits that, under natural conditions, would cover an area of at least 50 square metres. Even in enriched, larger cages with a raised platform, the space available to each rabbit remains very limited.

In cages, rabbits cannot fulfil their needs and express their natural behaviour, or even stand upright on their hind legs. Furthermore, rabbits are prey animals, shy in nature, and the absence of shelters or hiding places creates additional stress.

On 30 June 2021, the European Commission pledged to phase out and permanently ban the use of cages on European farms through dedicated legislation – an extraordinary achievement made possible by 1.4 million people who signed the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) End the Cage Age. Once presented, though, the legislative proposal will also have to be evaluated and approved by the Council of the European Union, composed of Member State ministers. Therefore, it is crucial that Italy unreservedly supports this transition.

In every farm visited, cases of injured, dead animals or animals with obvious behavioural problems were documented, and this is an unequivocal sign that cage rearing is not compatible with animal welfare. The Italian government is at a crossroads: in the coming months it will have to decide whether to endorse an anachronistic breeding system, which forces sentient beings to live in conditions of severe deprivation inside cages, subjecting them to physical and mental suffering, or whether to support the prohibition of this abominable practice and be a European bulwark of positive change in favour of increased protection of farmed animals.

Italian End the Cage Age coalition

Read more at source

Essere Animali

Regards Mark

UK: ‘Fox Day’ 2022 At the ‘League Against Cruel Sports’ (LACS.

Photo – Mark (WAV)

WAV Comment:

Its still not too late to sign up for the ‘League Against Cruel Sports’ (UK) Fox Day 2022.

Get all the information at  Fox Day brought to you by the League | League Against Cruel Sports

TAKE ACTION FOR FOXES 

You can show your support for foxes across the UK, by supporting our campaigns to protect foxes in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

How will you show your support to our UK foxes? 

Foxes are beautiful and intelligent creatures, deserving of a peaceful life without fear. And yet they still face persecution by hunters and their dogs.

Sadly, this issue remains controversial. That’s why foxes need your voice right now.

Photo – Mark (WAV)

This Fox Day, add your name to show your support for the abolition of fear for Britain’s foxes.

Fox Actions | League Against Cruel Sports

SUPPORT OUR WORK

From buying fox themed gifts, supporting our amazing fundraisers taking on personal challenges, to supporting future foxes, your kind support will help us protect more foxes now and in the future to ensure we end fox hunting once and for all.  

Fox Day brought to you by the League | League Against Cruel Sports

Photo – Mark (WAV)

Share your support for the foxes with all your friends and contacts:

Share your Support | League Against Cruel Sports

Regards Mark

PS – I have a real admiration and respect for foxes; so much that I spend time photgraphing them often.  Here are a few of my shots – Enjoy ! – Mark

Photo – Mark (WAV)

Before the move a few years back, a wild fox used to pop into the office; climb the stairs and chill out with me while I did computer work. I would never touch him as he was wild. After an hour or so gazing out the window, he would go down and vanish into the undergrowth to return to the wild. I told many friends about it, but they never believed; so I had to get photographic proof – so here is one of many shots of him sitting at my office window:

Photo – Mark (WAV)

These little monkeys are stealing all my berries !:

Photo – Mark (WAV)
Photo – Mark (WAV)

Shoot them with Cameras; NOT GUNS !

Mark

Dont you just love these girls – the ‘Anadin Brothers’ !

Canada: Animal welfare advocates ask court to stop white-tailed deer cull south of Montreal.

MONTREAL — A well-known Quebec lawyer is going before the Superior Court to prevent the cull of white-tailed deer living in a forest on Montreal’s South Shore.

Lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, who has previously voiced her opposition to the plan, has filed a court petition on behalf of herself, a wildlife rescue organization called Sauvetage Animal Rescue, and a local animal-rights activist.

Goldwater is asking the court to prevent Quebec’s Wildlife Department and the City of Longueuil from killing the deer until the case is heard.

Last November, Longueuil Mayor Catherine Fournier said the city would kill all but about 15 deer in order to protect the Michel Chartrand Park, which can’t support the roughly 70 deer living there.

Sauvetage Animal Rescue had proposed to relocate the animals, but the committee said last year the only short-term solution was to kill them.

Longueuil’s previous administration had planned to cull the deer in the fall of 2020, but the city relented after a strong backlash that included a petition, a protest and threats against the former mayor.

Goldwater says the case is expected before a judge next month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Animal welfare advocates ask court to stop white-tailed deer cull south of Montreal (yahoo.com)

Regards Mark

USA: Urge President Biden to Use His Power to Act on the Climate Crisis, Clean Energy & Our Health.



Dear Mark,

The worsening climate crisis. Rising energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Shameful oil and gas industry exploitation of the war to lock in more drilling. A health crisis in communities plagued by persistent pollution, compounded by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

These are big challenges we’re facing — but a critical part of the solution is to break free from fossil fuels, shift to 100% clean energy, and invest in clean air, safe drinking water, and healthy communities.

Yet, fossil fuel corporations and their allies in Congress are doing everything they can to block progress. That’s why it’s all the more critical for the president and congressional leaders to use the power and the tools at their disposal to crack down on pollution, advance clean energy, and protect our health.

It’s up to us to compel them to use those tools.


So please, act now to send a message to the Biden administration demanding strong executive action on climate, clean energy, clean air, and public health.

In the weeks and months ahead, we expect a raft of important regulatory proposals from the EPA, the Interior Department, and the Department of Transportation. These include plans to:

  • Clean up pollution from cars and heavy-duty trucks and expand zero-emission and electric vehicles, as transportation is the #1 source of climate emissions in the U.S.
  • Crack down on emissions from dirty, outdated, fossil fuel power plants, the #2 source of climate emissions and a major driver of the air pollution affecting public health
  • Stop new offshore oil and gas drilling, which threatens coastal communities with devastating oil spills and keeps us addicted to dirty fossil fuels
  • Eliminate lead in drinking water that’s poisoning children across America, and clean up polluted lakes, rivers, and streams

Together with strong climate legislation from Congress, these safeguards are critical to meeting the nation’s goal of cutting climate pollution 50-52% by 2030 and building a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable world.

This is a leadership moment for Congress and the White House.

NRDC will be working hard to ensure that strong federal climate legislation passes, and that these federal standards are strong enough to address our climate crisis and improve public health. Backed by millions of supporters like you, we will:

  • Keep building massive public support for these policies through grassroots action to counter the destructive influence of fossil fuel industry lobbying power.
  • Turn to the federal courts if necessary to block illegal actions that harm our climate and ensure the law is upheld.
  • Fire up NRDC’s rapid response machine to mobilize our millions of members and supporters like you when the Biden administration releases proposed regulations, most of which will be open for public comment, public hearings, and more, in support of strong action.

We’ll call on you for help in the critical weeks and months ahead — but today, please join us in calling for President Biden to use the full extent of his power to lead on climate and clean energy, and lead boldly.

The science is clear — we don’t have much more time to avert the worst effects of climate change. The impacts of the climate crisis and our dangerous fossil fuel addiction are all around us. Rising temperatures, worsening extreme weather and wildfires, and rising fuel costs hit low-income and middle-class communities the hardest, especially communities of color.

Our leaders in Washington need to hear that the country expects them to stand and deliver on bold action to confront the climate crisis and set the stage for a generation of prosperity.

It’s time to close the deal. It’s time for Congress and the White House to act. And it’s time to let them know we’ve got their back when they do.

So please, help us build a growing chorus and join thousands of NRDC supporters to send your message now.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Manish Bapna
President and CEO, NRDC

Take action:

| NRDC

Regards Mark

Ukraine: Team Making 12,000-Mile Trip To Save Nine Lions From Ukraine.

© Provided by Metro The pride of lions behind a cage at a zoo in Ukraine (Picture: Warriors of Wildlife/Daron Mann/YouTube/#behindenemylions)

An animal rescuer is due to travel from South Africa to Ukraine this week to rescue nine lions from a zoo in a city that is under attack.

Lionel De Lange is today preparing to travel to the war zone via Romania in a convoy of vehicles to save the pride from Russian fire as well as the possibility of starvation as funds for their upkeep run out.

They will be temporarily relocated to a municipal zoo in Romania awaiting paperwork for relocation to a ‘forever home’ abroad, which could mean being flown out to Mr De Lange’s reserve in South Africa.

The intention is to move the pride to the temporary holding facility over the border in Radauti, north-eastern Romania, where another two lions rescued since the outset of the Russian invasion are also awaiting relocation.

One of the creatures, Simba, was driven to safety from close to the frontline in eastern Ukraine by two British humanitarian volunteers after they loaded him into the back of a van.

Mr De Lange, who is due to fly to Romania tomorrow, is the founder and director of non-profit group Warriors of Wildlife (WoW) and runs the large, open-air sanctuary in the Eastern Cape. He has so far relocated 28 lions and a tiger from Ukraine in rescues carried out since 2019.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘We know that we are going into an area where there could be attacks at any time, but this is what I’m committed to do, we have to get these animals out.

‘Hopefully we’ll be able to go in and out without any issues. We will check the latest intelligence and speak to people on the ground and the safest time of the day to go, when there are no attacks.

‘Then our intention is to take them back over the border. It’s going to be a long, long journey.’

The mission involves first going to the zoo in Romania, where Mr De Lange will check if the crates are ready and get the vehicles together, before driving on into Ukraine.

He is being joined by videographer Daron Mann, who will be providing content and updates on his YouTube channel as they embark on a round trip which will involve more than 12,000 air and road miles.

The route involves a complex navigation of border posts and checkpoints, with the team travelling in around six to seven vehicles to and from the city, which Mr De Lange is not publicly naming for security reasons. The largest truck will handle about four crates each containing a lion.

As well as the mortal danger from Russian guns, which also creates stress and restricts the animals’ movement, the big cats face food shortages from the private zoo’s lack of funds. On average, an adult lion needs five kilograms of meat a day, roughly equivalent to a bag of potatoes.

© Provided by Metro Simba is due to be relocated from Romania to a haven in South Africa (Picture: Warriors of Wildlife/Facebook/@wowukr)

‘Everyone is worried about these lions while the place where they live is under attack,’ Mr De Lange said. ‘No one knows what will happen.

‘The other problem is these parks are no longer open to visitors, so they are not generating money to feed the animals.

‘So if they are not killed by the shelling they could very well die from starvation because there is no funds to provide food for them.’

The pride will remain at the zoo in Romania while Mr De Lange seeks new homes for the creatures in the US, Europe or South Africa.

The holding facility is already the temporary home for two lions that have already been rescued from Ukraine since the Russian invasion began 82 days ago. Metro.co.uk previously told how one of the pair, Simba, was saved after British volunteers Tim Locks and Jonathan Weaving drove the adult male over the border in the back of a van.

Racking up 2,600 road miles, they spent five days on the road, which involved using a crane to place the living cargo in the Ford Transit.

The big cats are set to be repatriated to Simbonga Game Reserve and Sanctuary, with Mr De Lange in the process of securing paperwork to give the pair a home at the 14,000 square metre haven.

The fate of zoo animals has been a side note to the unfolding horrors of the invasion, which has included a massive exodus of refugees and widespread evidence of war crimes by Russian troops.

However, Mr De Lange has said that, compared to humanitarian groups, there are few organisations dedicated to rescuing animals, and humans have a responsibility to animals in captivity that are in the line of fire.

He has told Metro.co.uk that he would ‘never, ever’ contemplate leaving the creatures in Romania, because there are no open-air havens in the country that could recreate their natural habitat.

In a Facebook update, WoW said: ‘The rescue is a go. We have our visas to enter Romania and then travel by road into Ukraine with a convoy of vehicles to evacuate 9 lions from a zoo in an area that is under attack.

‘We will then relocate the lions to a temporary holding facility in Romania while we wait on permits for them to travel to their forever home.

‘We will not divulge the zoo’s name or city in Ukraine for security reasons but will keep you informed of our progress all the way.

‘We have to complete the mission before the 30th May but hope to do so in the week before. It’s logistics and paperwork that we are now waiting on.’

*For more about Warriors of Wildlife and to donate click here

See all the pictures at:

Team making 12,000-mile trip to save nine lions from Ukraine (msn.com)

Regards Mark

EU: Eurogroup for Animals calls the European Commission to stop the production, import and use of eCG in the EU.

Photo – Act for Equines.

16 May 2022

WELFARM

Equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG), also called Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG), is a hormone extracted from the blood of pregnant mares. It is used in intensive agriculture to increase the reproductive performance of farm animals such as pigs, sheep, goats and cattle.

Repeated investigations by our member organisation Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) since 2015 have shown that the production of eCG entails serious welfare issues: up to a quarter of an animal’s blood is routinely extracted at one time, resulting in weakness and anaemia.

The blood is taken by force, which causes stress and fear. eCG used in the EU is mainly imported from Iceland, Uruguay and Argentina. In Iceland, semi-wild mares are repeatedly traumatised by violent handling and tight fixation in small boxes. In Uruguay and Argentina, mares are kept constantly pregnant and aborted to speed up the next pregnancy, as eCG is only produced in the early stages of gestation.

In Germany, where a Haflinger stud farm has been extracting blood from pregnant mares for 40 years, 16 litres of blood are extracted per week, which poses serious health risks to the mares.

The use of eCG on farm animals also raises a number of concerns. In Europe, eCG is mainly used in pigs, to increase fertility and to stimulate and synchronise oestrus. The sows have no time to recover in between pregnancies, which leads to early slaughter. In addition, the use of eCG leads to bigger litter sizes. If the sows have more piglets than teats, surplus piglets often starve or are killed.

In an Open Letter, Eurogroup for Animals, AWF, Welfarm, Green REV Institute, Dier&Recht, Deutscher Tierschutzbund, Animal Protection Denmark, DSPCA, along with 12 other animal welfare organisations call on the European Commission to:

Recognise and communicate that the production of eCG in the EU is in breach of EU legislation,

Build on future opportunities to ban the production, import and use of eCG.

Procedures such as blood collections are classified at European and international level as animal experiments. Several alternatives to eCG are available on the European market making this hormone dispensable and in breach of the Three Rs principle (3Rs: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) as provided by Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes that applies in the EU and in the European Economic Area (EEA). Production of eCG in Germany and Iceland, both EEA countries, therefore violates EU law. 

In brief, eCG production and use is cruel and unnecessary! To put an end to this practice, the EU must include strong animal welfare standards for the production of veterinary medicines in the revised Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Such provisions will ensure that eCG exporters into the EU, and domestic producers, must comply with these minimum standards. The revised animal welfare legislation should also introduce a clear ban on the use, import and production of eCG.

Regards Mark

Associated WAV articles:

Iceland: Animal Welfare Violations On Blood Farms – 5 Litres Of Blood Taken Each Week From Pregnant Mares. – World Animals Voice

The blood business with the mares in Iceland – and Germany – World Animals Voice

PMU mares – dirty million dollar business – World Animals Voice

Blood farms in Iceland – official EFTA complaint filed. – World Animals Voice

Germany: dirty blood business with PMSG – World Animals Voice

The blood farms in South America – World Animals Voice

England – Why Animal Rights Activists are Protesting in (Southampton) City Centre.

14/5/22

ANIMAL right activists are protesting in Southampton city centre today.

Activists from pressure group Animal Justice Project are taking a stand against the dairy industry to mark National Day of Action.

They have set up stands in Above Bar Street to show a 2020 undercover video titled ‘Dairy Still Kills’ to expose the mistreatment of livestock.

The video showing the slaughter of calves is being shown in 20 cities across the UK.

Hope Weatherell, a volunteer campaigner and a vegan for nearly seven years, said that Southampton was chosen as a location for the campaign due to it being a central hub and having “lots of open minded people and young people”.

The activist group says that action was being taken in order to “educate” the public about thinking ethically and giving out free samples of dairy free options.

Why animal rights activists are protesting in the city centre (yahoo.com)

Regards Mark

Fortunately this is no more from Ramsgate: – finished 2021 due to Brexit.

h

A Mc Antibiotics With Fries, Please.

McDonald’s storm over antibiotics in its beef: Burger giant faces showdown with investors who say it broke promise to tackle health fears

Fast food chain McDonald’s is under fire for its reliance on antibiotics used in beef farming that critics warn is contributing to a public health crisis. 

The burger giant vowed four years ago to publish plans to reduce its use of the drugs amid fears that the practice is putting millions of lives at risk. However, campaigners say the company has still not honoured its promises. 

Now an unlikely alliance of investors led by Trinity College, Cambridge and legendary corporate raider Carl Icahn – the inspiration for Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street – are preparing to challenge the firm at its annual meeting later this month. 

McDonald’s is one of the world’s biggest buyers of beef and its influence on the use of antibiotics in intensive farming worldwide is substantial. It says it is committed to an ‘overall reduction’ in the use of the drugs. 

There is growing evidence that the excessive consumption of antibiotics is fuelling the rise of drug-resistant superbugs. Trinity College holds shares in the company via its £1.9billion endowment fund. It has tabled a motion to force McDonald’s to disclose the environmental and public health costs of its continued use of antibiotics in its meat production. 

The proposal says antimicrobial resistance (AMR) ‘poses a systemic, global threat to public health and the economy.’ Two-thirds of antibiotics used worldwide are fed to farm animals. 

Other major investors – including Legal & General Investment Management, which is also a McDonald’s shareholder – have also publicly recognised the AMR threat. The pension fund giant, which voted in favour of a similar motion last year, said in a recent report that AMR may be the next global health event and the financial impact could be significant. 

The World Bank has warned that entrenched resistance to antibiotics could cause up to ten million deaths a year by 2050 unless more is done to combat drug-resistant superbugs. The economic impact could be as bad as the 2008 financial crisis, it said. 

The threat posed by these superbugs may have been underestimated. A study in The Lancet medical journal recently revised the number of AMR-linked deaths in 2019 to at least 1.2million, against previous estimates of 700,000 fatalities. 

The Trinity motion says: ‘These appalling numbers characterise a world in which common medical procedures such as caesarean sections, knee replacements, chemotherapy and organ transplantation come with a massively increased risk of untreatable, lethal infection.’ 

The college, which is led by the special envoy on AMR Dame Sally Davies, received a boost when its proposal won backing from billionaire investor and activist Carl Icahn. 

He is behind a separate resolution to appoint two directors to the company’s board in an attempt to hold it to account over a promise to improve the treatment of pigs.

Icahn, 86, is focusing on the use of ‘gestation stalls’ – cages used by pork producers to hold pregnant pigs. This increases the number of animals that can be held in a limited space. Animal rights activists complain that the sows are confined so tightly that they cannot even turn around. 

The Trinity motion notes: ‘Pigs can only survive such grotesquely cramped conditions if they are awash with antibiotics.’ 

McDonald’s is continuing to use suppliers which employ the stalls despite having vowed a decade ago to eliminate them by 2022. Gestation crates have been banned in the UK since 1999.

Icahn’s recent interest in animal welfare stems from his vegetarian daughter, Michelle Icahn Nevin, who has worked with the Humane Society of the United States.

McDonald’s insists it has made ‘commitments and progress across its global supply chain,’ adding: ‘We are engaged in global partnerships across our supply chain to gather data on antibiotic use helping to inform the development and implementation of responsible antibiotic use policies for chicken, beef and pork.’ 

It has rejected the Trinity College proposal, saying it is committed to ‘the overall reduction of medically important antibiotics where appropriate and measurable.’ 

McDonald’s dismissed Icahn’s claims, saying to source all of its pork from suppliers that never use gestation crates is ‘completely unfeasible’ since such companies represent a tiny fraction of the pork industry. 

A spokesman for the company described Icahn’s intervention as ‘distasteful contortion’ and ‘a thinly veiled, opportunistic attempt to gain relevancy.’

Regards Mark

McDonald’s storm over antibiotics in its beef: Burger giant faces showdown with investors who say it broke promise to tackle health fears (msn.com)

Denmark: Report Concludes Public Health Still at Risk From Mink Farms in Denmark.

12 May 2022

Dyrenes Beskyttelse

The Statens Serum Institut has published their long-awaited health assessment regarding the reopening of Danish mink farms. The government of Denmark currently has a temporary ban on mink breeding in place until 2023 following a COVID-19 outbreak in several hundred mink farms, which resulted in the country’s entire mink population being culled.

The health risk assessment from the Statens Serum Institut was commissioned by the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Rasmus Prehn. In the report, the potential dangers to public health in various scenarios following the reopening of the mink industry in Denmark are assessed.

The report concludes that, in principle, public health is not in imminent danger, but variants of COVID-19 could arise in mink populations, resulting in viral “reservoirs” which vaccines may not effectively protect against. This scenario presents a high public health risk. 

Earlier this year the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a joint statement confirming the risks of “animal reservoirs” of SARS-CoV-2. Farmed mink have been shown to be capable of infecting humans with the virus.

Although the probability of a new variant of concern is very low, why take the chance at all? Mink production will be reopened, where predators will be locked in small cages to use their fur. Why run a risk at all when there are so many good reasons not to take it.

Britta Riis, Director, Animal Protection Denmark

According to Animal Protection Denmark, mink breeders themselves have little incentive to continue production: only 15 mink breeders, about one percent, have chosen the dormancy scheme, where they can reopen their mink farms following the temporary ban. The remaining Danish mink breeders have chosen expropriation. 

1243 mink breeders have applied for compensation for shutting down their operations completely, while 15 have applied for the dormancy scheme. The latter may still change their decision and opt for expropriation until 21 December 2023. 

Animal Protection Denmark has long argued that mink production is unethical. The organisation points out that mink are active predators, which in the wild defend territories, often covering several kilometres and stretches of water. On mink farms, however, they spend their entire lives in very small and barren wire cages, where they are deprived of their basic natural behaviour.

Our past links relating to the Danish fur situation:

Search Results for “denmark fur” – World Animals Voice

Regards Mark

Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day on June 14th.

Celebrate the ban of live exports from Great Britain | Compassion in World Farming (ciwf.org.uk)      

Dear Mark,

Get your banners at the ready! Join us for Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day on 14th June 2022.
The UK Government has promised to ban live exports from Britain for slaughter or fattening. But the Bill that would end this trade has stalled in Parliament. What are they waiting for?
So, on the seventh annual Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day, we’ll be demanding the Government keeps its promise and ends this cruel trade.
Add Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day on June 14th to your diary now.

Over the last two years we’ve been unable to meet in person due to restrictions on gatherings, so we’re excited to tell you we’re going to be organising a rally in Central London.

But don’t worry if you’re not able to get to London. We plan to live stream at the event as well as having other activities you can take part in online.

We hope you’ll be able to get involved in any way you can in June. I’ll be back in touch soon with more news on our Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day.

I look forward to marking this important date with you this year. Best wishes,
Sarah Moyes
Senior Campaign Manager

PS: Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook event and let us know if you’re able to join us for this day of action.

Regards Mark

India: May 2022 Videos From The Wonderful ‘Animal Aid Unlimited’.

Dear Mark,

India is experiencing an unusual and dangerous heat wave.

It’s 42 degrees Celsius (107° F) and it’s sweltering.

To keep the animals as cool as possible we have air coolers, tubs full of water for animals to lie in, fans and wet towels all around the shelter.

Our amazing staff are working harder than ever,despite the exhausting weather, to protect our animals from over-heating.

Working in Rajasthan’s climate extremes takes perseverance, creativity, material resources and ready helpers.

Thank you for giving us what it takes to make this season bearable, and as much as possible sweet for the animals.

Just-Wouldn’t-Quit Kenny!

When a veterinarian in a nearby government hospital called us to rescue a dog someone had dropped there after finding him unconscious on the road, we hurried to help.

And so lucky that we did, because this sweetheart didn’t have much longer to live.We rushed him back to Animal Aid where we gave him emergency treatment for shock, dehydration and difficulty breathing.

He seemed to have a broken jaw but otherwise no broken bones. With so much blood loss, we weren’t sure he would ever fully wake up. But within a few hours, his eyes brightened and ever so slowly he seemed to absorb the idea that he was in a new place, and that he would be safe here, beginning a second chance at life. This boy’s road to recovery included 2 months of daily therapy to learn to walk again, eat and regain his cognition.

Meet our awe-inspiring little hero, Kenny, today! For angels who just won’t give up,

please donate today

Magic is about to change your idea of The Possible

When we rescued this little love, we found the biggest wound on a small cat we’ve ever had the challenge to treat. During his first days, it was incredible that he would even eat. As the large and complicated wound closed, Magic’s mind-blowing recovery gave new life to the phrase “I can’t believe my eyes.”

Just click on ‘Watch on You Tube’ to see.

For medical treatment, plus the magic wand of love: Please donate today

Out with the pain and starvation, and in with an Ocean of love.

Maggots had made an enormous wound on his neck. His pain must have been so gripping that he couldn’t eat, and malnourishment had weakened him. His striking blue eyes were bright with pain and worry. We hurried him to Animal Aid and started his treatment immediately. We boosted him with a hydration drip and started a vigorous feeding schedule, delighted that he loved his food and gained strength rapidly.

With such a large wound, it took two months for him to heal, but long before his healing was complete this loving angel had made friends with every staff member in his area, and most of the dogs too! As he recovered, his amazing eyes revealed intelligence deep as the ocean. And that’s what we’ve called him.

Pain can turn into an ocean of love. Please donate today

Earth Day 2022, for Extraordinary Earthlings

Happy Earth Day 2022, to all the animals, people, forests, seas and all who live within them, may we be lucky enough to be happy.

And may all who are strong and happy extend ourselves in the service of those who are not. Earth Day 2022, for Extraordinary Earthlings

animalaid_india on Instagram: What a wonderful world we have! Let’s try our best to protect it and all of the wonderful beings within it! Happy Earth Day 🌎…

Go shopping here;

Animal Aid Unlimited Shop

Regards Mark, and ….

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

Belgium: GAIA calls on Flemish animal welfare Minister to free caged hens.

10 May 2022

GAIA

GAIA have sent an open letter in Flemish newspapers calling on the Flemish Animal Welfare Minister to finally ban caged systems for laying hens in Flanders. They also launched a poster campaign throughout the region to raise extra visibility for the issue.

In the previous legislature, Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts announced his intention to introduce a ban on cages for laying hens. Under the Flemish coalition agreement (animal welfare policy note, 2019-2024) the government undertakes to phase out these cage systems. Frustrated by these empty promises, GAIA sent an open letter to the Minister yesterday, urging him to introduce the ban:

You hold the key to open those thousands of cages and give millions of chickens a better life. Let them breathe, stretch their wings and lay eggs without a bad taste. “Think out of the box”, as you’ve done before, and put an end to this misery. The 3,000,000 Flemish chickens thank you.

In Flanders, more than 3.2 million laying hens are housed in so-called ‘enriched’ cages. In such cages, the space per chicken is approximately 1 A4 page with little free-range material. Conventional battery cages, in which chickens only have two-thirds of an A4 space, have been banned in the EU since 2012, but the so-called enriched cages, with about an A4 space per chicken, are still allowed. Wallonia already banned enriched cages in 2018. 

More than 70% of Flemish people agree that keeping chickens in cages should be banned. Only 8% disagree with the ban, with the remaining 20% being neutral. This is shown by the opinion poll by Ipsos, which was conducted in April 2022.

“Come on Ben. Think out of the box. Free caged hens in Flanders too.

Read more at source

GAIA

Regards Mark

England: Man jumps fully-clothed into canal in to rescue drowning fox cub. He does, but sadly it later dies at Wildlife Centre of pneumonia.

Great story but with very sad ending.

See the video of the rescue here:

Man jumps fully-clothed into canal in to rescue drowning fox cub (msn.com)

A man jumped fully-clothed into a canal in Leicestershire to rescue a drowning fox cub. Russ Bellamy dramatically saved the baby fox after swimming into the Grand Union Canal in Market Harborough yesterday.

The 57-year-old from Desborough said he “didn’t think twice” after spotting the animal in the water and leapt straight in. A video of his heroic actions was uploaded to Tiktok with the voiceover “not all heroes wear capes”, gaining more than 8,000 likes on the platform.

The devoted animal lover said the cub showed its gratitude once out of the water by nipping him on the finger. Russ shared how the wildlife drama unfolded near Union Wharf as he walked by the canal with his wife Sharon, 52, and his Yorkshire terrier Bonny, 13.

Speaking to the Harborough Mail after the incident, he said: “Luckily I was in the right place at the right time. I didn’t think twice as soon as I saw the poor thing in the water.

“I leapt straight in because the fox cub could have died. And I’d like to think that the vast majority of people would have done exactly the same as me.

“Bonny hadn’t been very well so we thought we’d get her out for a lovely walk in the country by the canal in Market Harborough. I do a bit of fishing and like to keep an eye on the water.

“Suddenly I noticed a ripple. I saw the fox cub swimming up and down by the opposite bank. He was struggling, he was getting weaker and he had no chance of getting out because the bank was too steep. So I waded straight in in my T-shirt and shorts.

“The water wasn’t too cold but it did get deeper in the middle and I had to swim towards the cub. He came straight to me, he was puffing and panting. I got him out and we dried him off and Bonny had a sniff. He then nipped me on the finger and drew blood before going back to sleep!

“My wife rang the RSPCA because we weren’t sure where to take him. Then a lady walked along and told us about Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital in Kibworth, We were parked up near the town’s police station.

“So I jumped in the car soaked to the skin and wrapped the tiny fox in a blanket in the back. The staff at the fantastic wildlife hospital took him from us and they are caring for him now.

Russ who has worked Joseph Cheaney shoe factory shop in Desborough for 40 years said they have since checked on the baby fox and he’s doing well.

He added: “I am just pleased that I was there to save this little fox’s life. It was a spontaneous thing to go walking by the canal in Market Harborough – usually I’m watching or playing football and Sharon’s shopping on a Saturday afternoon.

“So maybe this was just meant to be. I got checked out for the bite and luckily my tetanus jabs are up to date. I’m an animal lover as so many people are and it feels really good to know that I saved this tiny fox’s life – even if he did bite me!”

Update: Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital confirmed that the fox cub sadly passed away on May 10. They suspect the cub contracted pneumonia which led to heart failure and ultimately caused his death.

Regards Mark

UK: Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) ‘dumps animal cruelty pledges’ and makes another U turn from Queen’s Speech to please right-wingers – Rees Mogg and Co.

Leading the way or being led by the tail of the dog ? – Boris Johnson does another U turn this time on Fur imports and Foie Gras. Wonder he can walk in a straight line without making a U turn !

WAV Comment – well we all know how to vote at the next General Election don’t we ? – as if the grilling of the Tories in the local elections in the last week is not sending them the message that people don’t trust them; now we seem to have this; a U turn on animal welfare issues and anti cruelty campaigns as supported by the vast majority of the British public; issues now in doubt due to a gutless PM swayed by self opinionated snob Tory MP and his no doubt Foie Gras eating cronies who just stick their middle finger up to the millions of British voters who want to see a drastic change on these issues.

Does the dog wag the tail, or the tail wag the dog ? – something wags Boris Johnson.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, we hate you and everything about you.

7/5/22

Boris Johnson ‘dumps animal cruelty pledges’ from Queen’s Speech to please right-wingers

The Prime Minister had pledged to ban imports of foie gras and fur – but both are said to have been dropped from the Animals Abroad Bill ahead of the speech, after the PM caved to complaining Tory ministers

Boris Johnson has dumped his promise to tackle animal cruelty in the Queen’s Speech, it has been reported.

The Prime Minister had pledged to ban imports of foie gras and fur.

But both are said to have been dropped from the Animals Abroad Bill ahead of the speech, after the PM caved to complaining Tory ministers.

Jacob Rees Mogg – Tory MP and ANTI Foie Gras ban leader – probably eats a lot with his ‘supper friends’.

It’s claimed Cabinet ministers, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, Commons leader Mark Spencer and Scotland Secretary Alister Jack, moaned banning cruel food and clothing was “fundamentally unconservative”.

It’s already illegal to produce foie gras and farm fur in the UK.

But the UK imports around 200 tonnes of the pate a year, mainly from France and Spain where it is made by force-feeding geese and ducks until their liver grows to several times its normal size.

Campaigners – including a recent intervention by After Life starts Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan – have long called for a ban on products coming from overseas.

In February, Gervais and Egan wrote to the Government, branding foie gras a “cruel and unnecessary product”.

And today Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger backed the Mirror’s campaign to ban fur sales in the UK.

The Hollywood star has urged Boris Johnson not to “betray the animals”.

Kim, 68, called on the Prime Minister not to ditch the proposed ban on fur imports.

She said: “Please, Boris, listen to the British people. Please ensure the Animal Abroad Bill is in the Queen’s Speech next week.

“Be the voice of the majority of your people. Stop the cruelty and suffering in the name of vanity and greed.

“The UK has to stop buying from Finland, China and the US to stop the bloodbath. It is so antiquated. Until we stop exchanging blood between countries, the suffering won’t stop.”

The Batman star also urged the Prime Minister to consider how he would feel if his dog, Dilyn, was confined to a cage.

It’s said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has also raised concerns about banning imports of black bear fur, used by military Guardsmen.

Last month, it was revealed that Mr Johnson had backed the use of real black bear fur to make ceremonial hats worn by the Queen’s Guard.

Animal rights campaign group PETA last year named Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie – a passionate campaigner for animal rights – their “person of the year.”

A government spokesperson told the BBC no final decision had been made on imports.

They said the government was “united in its commitment to upholding its world-leading standards in animal welfare”.

Regards Mark

Boris Johnson ‘dumps animal cruelty pledges’ from Queen’s Speech to please right-wingers – Mirror Online

Above – European Foie Gras Production, as supported by Boris Johnson, Rees Mogg and others who don’t give a toss.

England: Various News Issues.

Please note that if you want more info on many of the articles below, you can click on text to read more. Scroll over text until you see a hand with pointer finger – then click for more reading.

Mark

Animals Farmed: bird flu hits the US, superbugs in pigs and the sheep with an enormous fleece.
Welcome to our monthly roundup of the biggest issues in farming and food production, with must-read reports from around the web

News from around the world

Millions of birds have been culled in the US after outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza or “bird flu”. The outbreaks have led zoos to temporarily close aviary exhibits and move birds away from the public. As we have reported, vets and animal advocates have called for restrictions on “cruel” methods of culling birds using extreme heat and steam.

A giant leap in global food prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has helped three members of the super-rich Cargill family, who majority-own one of the world’s largest food companies, join the ranks of the world’s 500 richest people.

Scientists have uncovered evidence that dangerous versions of superbugs can spread from pigs to humans. The discovery, made in Denmark, underlines fears that intensive use of antibiotics on farms is leading to the spread of microbes resistant to them. The Clostridioides difficile superbug infects the human gut and is resistant to all but three antibiotics in use today.

An increase in the use of feedlots – as opposed to grass-fed production – in Brazilian beef production is being driven by China, according to reports. China buys about 50% of Brazil’s exported beef. Meanwhile, Uruguay’s beef production could hit record levels this year.
A merino sheep named Shrekapo who grew an enormous fleece while evading capture in New Zealand is now 18.6kg lighter after its first shave. Shrekapo was spotted hiding in the rocks, and was caught later that day, carrying nearly half its bodyweight in wool. The animal had probably been roaming the hills alone for the past three winters.


UK news

The UK’s free-range egg sector is on the brink of collapse because of sharply rising costs, the British Free Range Egg Producers Association has warned. In a recent poll, more than 70% of members said they would quit if price rises were not forthcoming.

Meanwhile, an estimated 10% of the UK’s pig breeding herd has gone, as the National Pig Association (NPA) warned of significant gaps between the costs and pig prices. British food producers warned that perishable goods were losing their value due to congestion around the port of Dover caused by disruption to ferry services and customs operations. Fresh meat has reportedly been stranded for one to two days and possibly longer due to the current problems.

One of the UK’s biggest food retailers has warned chicken could soon cost as much as beef as production costs soar. Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-op, said that feed costs had become a huge challenge for the poultry industry.

Welfare campaigners now fear the cost of living crisis could stall the campaign to phase out the faster-growing broiler breeds associated with higher mortality, lameness and muscle disease than slower-growing breeds.

A vet whistleblower has been awarded a £1.25m payout after losing her job at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) when she raised concerns over meat traceability in Northern Ireland. She had also highlighted serious breaches of animal welfare legislation within the meat supply chain, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

The number of documented violations of legislation designed to reduce water pollution caused by agriculture in England has hit record levels as the rules remain largely unenforced. Last year had the highest number of recorded violations of the farming rules for water since the legislation was introduced in April 2018.

From the Animals Farmed series An H3N8 strain of bird flu has been detected in humans for the first time, in China’s central province of Henan. The four-year-old boy infected had been in contact with chickens and crows raised at his home, according to reports from China’s National Health Commission.

Northern Ireland will need to lose more than 1 million sheep and cattle to meet its new legally binding climate emissions targets. The large-scale reduction in farm animals comes after the passing of the ​​jurisdiction’s first ever climate act, requiring the farming sector to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Organic dairy, for so long the sector’s success story, is facing a crisis of confidence, with fears about whether people will keep buying organic milk, butter and cheese as food prices soar. Some UK organic farmers are being paid a milk price that is lower than the price some of their non-organic competitors get.

A loophole in government regulations meant that chickens could still be called free-range even though they were no longer allowed outside because of repeated outbreaks of bird flu across the UK. The ban on birds being allowed outdoors was lifted at the beginning of May.

And in the US, Charlie Hope-D’Anieri and photographer Danny Wilcox Frazier have reported on how factory pig farms are hollowing out rural communities in the state of Iowa. The state is responsible for producing almost one-third of US hogs.

With help from our friends at The Guardian, London.

Regards Mark

England: I Met the Met, and Had The Bruises To Prove It.

I said recently that I would try and write a little more about live animal exports from England.

‘I’ve met the Met, and got the bruises to prove it’.

The history of live animal exports from the UK has been a long and troublesome one; with most Brits supporting a ban on the export and consequent suffering of animals, whilst the exporters, hauliers and those involved in the business / trade sat strongly on the other side of the fence.

I (Mark) come from Kent county (SE England); and with Dover port being in Kent, it was for years a battleground for anti export campaigners and the pro export lobby.  At one point, due to relentless and very effective campaigning by good people, Dover harbour banned the export of live animals.  As a result, hauliers and exporters turned their attention to other facilities in Southern England to try and get the animals into Europe.  Live calves were even flown out of Coventry airport to be crated in Europe; what with the UK boasting a ban on the use of veal crates, was it somewhat hypocritical for UK farmers to then send their calves to Europe to suffer a fate that had been banned in the UK on cruelty grounds ???

Live calves being exported to mainland Europe – Mark (WAV).

and the crating that resulted …

Banned in the UK on cruelty grounds, UK calves were still exported to Europe for crating ! – hypocritical ??

It was during the anti export protests at Coventry that Jill was run down and killed by an export truck:

February 1995:

Exporter Christopher Barrett-Jolley

Exporter Christopher Barrett-Jolley was behind the calf flights from Coventry; he was later jailed for being a Cocaine dealer which resulted in him being given a 20 jail sentence – read about it here:

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

I personally journeyed many times to Shoreham to take part in anti export protests whilst Dover (my patch) was closed down.  There was a massive opposition to the trade as you can see in the film; the Met police from London had to be transported down to the SE port (at huge costs) every time there was a shipment – and in the end, it was these massive costs that stopped the trade from Shoreham.  There is an old saying in animal rights protester circles that they met the Met (police) and have the bruises to prove it – please watch the video and decide for yourselves.

In the end after the High Court ruling which was undertaken by live animal exporter Peter Gilder; the trade returned to Dover.  But, Shoreham and the unity of locals and the anti export protesters has and will always go down as one of the great stands by the Brits to defend the animals that cannot defend themselves.

April 1995 – Fury as live exports ban is lifted

Wednesday 12 April 1995

Dover is facing the threat of major disruption by protesters against the livestock export trade after a decision yesterday by the High Court that the port authority had acted illegally by banning the live animal traders from the port.

The court also ruled that Coventry airport and Plymouth City Council must allow live animal exports.

The landmark judgment, which in effect ensured the future of the trade for the foreseeable future, was greeted with glee by exporters and horror by animal rights campaigners. Mark Glover, of Respect for Animals, who orchestrated the original mass protests which led to the recent ban, predicted civil disobedience would close Dover to all traffic.

“The judges were calling for the rule of law to be upheld but they’ve wholly ignored the consequences of their judgment. We’ll be calling on all our supporters to take part in all the demonstrations against the trade and that will include Dover,” he said.

Jonathan Sloggett, managing director ofDover Harbour Board, said that when the trade restarted – probably after Easter – he feared there would be disruption for 99 per cent of Dover’s customers for the sake of the 1 per cent of animal export traffic.

He added: “The board has been, and remains, very concerned that the admission to the port of Dover of the trade in live animals for export will cause considerable disruption to all the other users of the port.

“The board very much hopes that all those who sincerely object on moral grounds to the exportation of live animals for slaughter will accept that Dover has a legal duty to admit this trade and cannot lawfully refuse to do so.”

Kent police have previously warned Dover that, in the event of any serious disturbance, the A2 and A20 approach roads to the port would have to be closed, causing widespread disruption. They are now drawing up plans for dealing with fresh protests.

Lord Justice Simon Brown and Mr Justice Popplewell ruled that Dover, Coventry and Plymouth had no right to surrender to “mob-rule” and they must accept the trade regardless of the protests that will ensue.

The judges ruled that the port and airport authorities must accept all lawful trade despite their determined opposition to accepting livestock exports.

The judges severely criticised the authorities for acting out of “narrow self-interest”. Dover and Coventry had warned the court that their operations would be severely hampered or halted by animal welfare campaigners, who would take their protest wherever the trade was conducted.

The authorities argued that the interests of existing port and airport users must take precedence over newcomers. Dover warned specifically that a 250-strong demonstration could be capable of closing Britain’s busiest port.

The judges said the demonstrators should now recognise it was “impossible” for the ports to submit to unlawful protest and accept “the limitations upon their lawful right to protest”.

Lord Justice Simon Brown said: “If ever there were cases demanding the courts’ intervention in support of the rule of law, these are they.

“It may indeed be doubted whether there remains any logic in protesting at the ports: the only body properly able to ban this lawful trade is Parliament itself – unless indeed the Secretary of State is advised that even that would be unlawful under Community law, in which event the only solution lies across the Channel.”

The decision marked a victory for the livestock exporters Peter Gilder & Sons and Russanglia Ltd, who argued that Dover’s decision to ban the trade was unlawful because the port was duty bound to accept all lawful cargoes.

Their victory was shared by Phoenix Aviation, which argued that Coventry City Council acted unlawfully by trying to block the trade, and by Associated British Ports, owner of Plymouth’s Millbay docks, which argued that it had no power to unilaterally ban the trade despite the claims of the city council.

Liberty, formerly the National Council for Civil Liberties, also joined in the criticism of yesterday’s judgment.

Andrew Puddephatt, its general secretary,said: “A Private Member’s Bill to stop live animal exports was introduced into Parliament in February but ran out of time when one of William Waldegrave’s aides spent 24 minutes reading chunks from the Encyclopaedia Britannica to furious MPs.

“In the face of antics like that, it seems both ludicrous and insulting to claim that people should trust in the parliamentary process rather than engaging in protest that has been largely peaceful.

Fury as live exports ban is lifted | The Independent | The Independent

Shoreham – the film:

This film follows weeks of daily demonstrations by hundreds and, at times, thousands of people, who converged on a small harbour port in West Sussex, England, to protest about the export into Mainland Europe of thousands of cattle and sheep.

Thousands of young calves were also destined for veal crates, a system 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 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 animals to Europe where it was still legal.

The film demonstrates the power of ordinary people, when they get together and fight for the rights of those who do not have a voice. Within weeks, these advocates for animals managed to stop in their tracks, big business who were profiteering from what many people believe is a trade in suffering. Other harbour ports across the UK also saw these exports stopped, due to persistent 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. Watch this film and be inspired.

View the film – Shoreham live export demonstrations 1995

 By watching directly.

Live animal exports have been a subject of tension between animal rights and welfare groups, the public and the farming community since the late nineteenth century. Alun Howkins (1947-2018), a founding editor of History Workshop Journal, and Linda Merricks explored changing attitudes towards live animal exports, drawing extensively on material from the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex which aims to record the everyday lives and opinions of ordinary people. They found that campaigns against the transport of live animals had their origins in the late nineteenth century, corresponding with the growth of the antivivisection movement and environmental activism in Britain. Eight animal protection groups had been established in Britain by 1900 and another eight by 1944. While only one more group was formed before 1960, there were a further fourteen by the end of the 1980s. This suggests that interest in animal protection peaked in the late nineteenth century and then, again, after 1960 with the advent of modern animal rights. In the nineteenth century, concern about animal welfare in Britain was associated with religious-inspired moral reform which raised awareness of animal cruelty, whereas from the 1960s it reflected growing public consciousness of the relationship between humans and animals. Interest in animal welfare and animal rights has since become more central to public and political debate in Britain, but it is important to distinguish between the two. Animal welfare permits the use of animals by humans as long as they are provided with adequate food, shelter, veterinary treatment and other needs to prevent suffering, whereas animal rights advocates share the belief that it is morally wrong to exploit animals.

The past and future of live animal exports – History Workshop

Moving on to current times; live animal exports to be banned in England and Wales

Published 3 December 2020

Live animal exports to be banned in England and Wales – BBC News

STILL remembering Jill, and for the animals;

Regards Mark

Shaking him warmly by the throat – Mark (WAV) and Barb protest at Dover against live calf exports – a liberated calf and the Prime Minister (then John Major) is shoved in the veal crate; for experience type of thing !!!

Ukraine: Young Lad (15) Murdered By Russians At Zoo Whilst Trying To Help Evacuate Animals.

Ukrainian teen, 15, killed in artillery fire while trying to evacuate animals from zoo.

Kharkiv area has seen heavy fighting during Russia’s invasion of Ukraineents

A 15-year-old teenager reportedly has been killed in eastern Ukraine while trying to help evacuate animals from a zoo. 

The Feldman Ecopark outside the city of Kharkiv – which has seen rampant fighting during the war – said Wednesday that “during the evacuation of buffaloes… the team of our employees and volunteers got under fire.” 

“One person died. Two people were seriously injured. Doctors are fighting for their lives,” it posted on Facebook

“The deceased boy was only 15 years old,” the zoo added, noting that “he helped his parents to feed and evacuate the animals.” 

“The blessed memory of the hero will always remain in our hearts,” Feldman Ecopark also said in a statement. “This is the sixth victim from among members of our team.” 

Two evacuated white lions from the Feldman Ecopark are seen in an enclosure at the zoo in Odesa, Ukraine, on April 14.  (STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Dnipro deputy city head Mykhailo Lysenko stands by a cage with a tiger evacuated from the ruined Feldman Ecopark in Dnipro, central Ukraine, on April 8. (Mykola Miakshykov/Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

https://www.foxnews.com/world/ukrainian-teen-killed-trying-to-evacuate-animals-from-zoo

May 5 (UPI) — A 15-year-old volunteer was killed in Russian shelling at the Feldman Ecopark zoo in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday as rescuers worked to evacuate animals.

Dennis Selevina died 30 minutes after arriving at a local hospital after the Russians shelled the zoo.

Oleksandr Feldman, Ukrainian MP delivered the news of the boy’s death on Facebook.

According to Ukraine media outlet Ukrinform, Russian troops almost completely destroyed the Feldman Ecopark.

Efforts to move the animals to safety have been going on for weeks. At least five employees have died in the invasion, along with 100 animals.

Feldman Ecopark said in statement on its website that a team of employees and volunteers came under fire from the Russians as they worked to evacuate animals.

Two people were also seriously injured in the shelling. Doctors worked Thursday to save the lives of the two wounded, according to Feldman Ecopark.

The zoo said the boy helped his parents to feed and evacuate the animals.

“The blessed memory of the hero will always remain in our hearts,” the Feldman Ecopark statement said.

The zoo said this is the sixth victim among workers at the zoo.

On April 21, Feldman Ecopark said two employees who had gone missing in March were found dead.

The zoo has been working to evacuate animals since Russian military attacks destroyed enclosures and other infrastructure.

Ukrainian forces appear to have had some success in a counteroffensive near Kharkiv in recent days, taking several small towns in the area. On Monday Ukrainian troops retook the city of Staryi Saltiv, roughly 30 miles east of Kharkiv.

Ukraine Armed Forces Commander Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said in a Telegram post Thursday that he had briefed U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley on Ukraine’s counter-offensive efforts in Kharkiv and Izium.

In the post, General Zaluzhnyi said Russia is using cruise missiles to try to destroy “logistical routes to provide military and technical assistance to Ukraine.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/15-year-old-killed-while-evacuating-animals-from-zoo-in-ukraine/ar-AAWXxSy?ocid=uxbndlbing

Regards Mark

Canada: When it comes to animal rights, report finds Canada’s legal system needs improvement.

A new report from Humane Canada shows gaps remain when it comes to how animals are recognized in the law.

“All animals have a life worth living,” says Toolika Rastogi, the senior manager of policy and research at Humane Canada.

The organization’s vision is to have a society that not only embraces its responsibility for animals but also has legal accountability for them. (Humane Canada is a federation of SPCAs and human societies across the country.)

Their latest legal framework — titled The Legal Keystone Report — looks at 12 different indicators. Those indicators range from the the way laws are enforced and the way crime statistics for animal abuse are gathered and tracked to ethical questions like how animals are recognized in the law.

The report’s findings concluded: 

  1. In Canadian legislation, animal sentience is almost entirely unrecognized.
  2. A standardized animal welfare legislation across federal and provincial governments is needed for consistency.
  3. Policies for prosecution of animal welfare offences are absent and most provinces lack a formally-recognized Crown prosecutor who specializes in animal abuse.
  4. Across provinces, definition of offences, powers, and obligations can be inconsistent. Therefore, consistent and comprehensive approaches are needed in provincial legislation. 
  5. Except for bestiality cases tracked in the national sex offender registry, other crime reporting systems don’t incorporate cases of animal cruelty, or specifically identify them.
  6. Violence link is the relationship between violence toward humans, and violence toward animals, which should be addressed together. Few Canadian laws have started to address the violence link, but more provinces need to do so.
  7. Violence link training is being delivered to justice stakeholders through police organizations, non-governmental organizations, and provincial Crown association initiatives.
  8. The development of violence link training programs is crucial but so is the participation of justice stakeholders. 
  9. At the provincial level, there is little information about public allocation of funds for animal protection enforcement.
  10. Of the charges laid in animal abuse cases, there is little information on the number of cases where prosecution was pursued.
  11. Canada lacks an animal welfare advisory body that can support ethical decision-making that reflects Canadian values.
  12. Canada lacks a central body to coordinate on animal welfare issues, or ensure animal welfare and interests are considered.

Through its analysis, Humane Canada found that only one indicator ranked well, or was headed in the right direction: training of justice stakeholders, specifically in their knowledge of the violence link.

The violence link is the connection between interpersonal violence and violence against animals. 

“Many report that their animals are also impacted by that violence, so whether they are also being threatened or they are being harmed to essentially be used for coercion purposes by the perpetrator,” says Rastogi.

She also notes that one in two domestic abuse victims delayed leaving their abusive partners, and one in three women who are impacted by intimate partner violence considered returning to the violent situation for their animals.

“It’s a really important area of violence affecting all family members, whether the human or animal family members. Everybody is at risk in those kinds of violence situations,” she says.

There are some indicators that couldn’t be assessed due to a lack of information, she adds.

“There’s a need to prioritize this area more strongly. In areas that we care about where we want to ensure that we’re doing a good job, we’re tracking information,” says Rastogi.

“And where if there isn’t that interest or drive to ensure that something is working, then resources aren’t typically put into measuring. So, a lack of information in that context means it’s not being prioritized.”

A path to a more humane Canada

When the world shut down in 2020, many Canadians sought companion animals to get through the isolation periods. In fact, three million pets joined Canadian homes.

In B.C., people were more likely to get a dog than a cat.

Rastogi attributes the interest in animal rights to the pandemic pet boom.

“That really increased and resulted in people being a little bit more sensitive to how important animals are in our families and in our lives. They’re members of our families, and members of our community,” she says.

As Humane Canada continues the research project, exploring more than 40 indicators, Rastogi hopes that it will help people see where Canada could be improving on in regard to becoming a more humane Canadian society.

“There’s a great need for further work and in terms of becoming a humane country in terms of our legal system, being reflective of a humane Canada.”


Regards Mark

How humane is Canada towards animals? – Richmond News (richmond-news.com)

India: Animal rescue group endeavours to stop illegal sale of dogs in Dimapur.

Dimapur, May 4 (EMN): Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Dimapur, an animal rescue group, along with the Dimapur Municipal Council (DMC), Veterinary department Dimapur and Dimapur Police conducted a surprise checking on illegal sale of dogs at Supermarket on Wednesday.

The first surprise checking was carried out in the presence of Gaon Bura Union (Sardar) president and general secretary.

The rescue team at Supermarket in Dimapur on Wednesday.

[Also read: Pet lovers in Nagaland campaign against animal cruelty]

A member of SPCA told Eastern Mirror that the exercise was planned a few days ago but most of the vendors, who used to openly sell dogs at Supermarket, were not around when the team visited on Wednesday.

“We supposed that they may have received the information on the checking as there were very few in the market with puppies,” said an animal rights activist.

As it was the first day of checking, the vendors were let off with stern warning against selling of dogs openly on the streets and within the market, said the animal rescue group, adding that most of the vendors were not aware of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 under Section 11(1), enacted to prevent cruelty to animals including stray dogs.

The vendors were made aware of the law; that if anyone is found openly selling dogs, cruelly tied up in sacks, they will be fined INR 500 or imprisoned for a period of three months and the dogs will be taken away to shelter home.

It may be mentioned that 90% of the dogs are sourced from Assam to the market in Nagaland especially in Dimapur and there are around minimum of 10 vendors selling the dogs at Supermarket unaware of the laws against it.

The rescue group said that although the fine amount was INR 500, which may be a lesser amount compared to the amount they may receive by selling a dog, the vendors may not risk to be imprisoned for three months.

It may be recalled that the DMC in coordination with the State Animal Welfare Advisory Board Nagaland (SAWAB-N) and Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) had cautioned any person dealing in any inhuman manner towards animals could be prosecuted as per the provision of the Act on April 21.

Also, the DMC administrator had notified all the concerned that the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act 1960 under Section 11 (1) protects all animals whether domestic or wild, which requires them to be treated in a humane way during transportation, rearing or even while being slaughtered for meat.

The SPCA informed that the surprise checking will be done at regular intervals and requested everyone to immediately inform them if they come across anybody selling dogs openly in the market in Dimapur through – 9774020656, 9884993292, 8837493971.

Animal rescue group endeavours to stop selling of dogs in Dimapur – Eastern Mirror (easternmirrornagaland.com)

Regards Mark

Italy: Investigation into the hidden trade of tigers in Italy.

Picture – LAV

6 May 2022

LAV

A new investigation from LAV has revealed that Italy is a leader in Europe in the trade and breeding of tigers, with an estimate of 85% of the existing big cats on the continent.

Tigers are severely endangered, currently reduced to about 12,000 individuals worldwide. Of these, only 3,900 are in their natural environment, while the remaining 8,100 are held in captivity.

Italy has no restriction on the reproduction of tigers and other big cats in captivity for sale, transfer, or rental.

The current regulatory system leaves circus and travelling entertainment companies free, or with very few prohibitions, to breed almost any type of animal, and to rent, sell, lend, hold them in cages and much more. However the draft law on wild and exotic animals, that was recently approved by the Italian Council of Ministers, must introduce a positive list of animals allowed to be kept as pets and strongly regulate the trade and keeping of these animals.

After discovering the plight of several tigers featured in the investigation, LAV immediately contacted AAP, which decided to start an animal recovery operation. AAP was able to move five tigers (Softi, Toph, Aqua, Merida, and Sanson) to their Primadomus rescue centre located in Villena, Spain. The tigers are fully recovering, thanks to the work of AAP’s dedicated staff.

Investigation into the hidden trade of tigers in Italy | Eurogroup for Animals

Regards Mark

England: 5/5 – Various Animal Photos From The South East.

Hi all; lots of wildlife photos taken yesterday; from animal buddy and campaigner Pauline; and the badger in my own back garden. There is a Shoreham sheep – I may write about Shoreham live exports when I get time.

Regards Mark (and Pauline).

Photo – Sparrow in nest box – Pauline.
Photo – Female Coot Feeding Youngsters – Pauline
Photo – Water Vole – Pauline
Photo – Pauline
Photo – Water Vole – Pauline
Photo – Pauline – Sheep at Shoreham.
Photo – Pauline (who says note leg ring) – Blue Tit.

Rained on Badger enjoying nibbles in the garden – Photo – Mark

The heartbreaking story of Europe’s brown bears.

It is deeply sickening.

The way brown bears have been treated across the planet – over thousands of years – is one of the most damning examples of humanity’s disdain for the natural world.

Across the globe – and especially across Europe – their homes have been carved to pieces and their populations culled en masse. They’ve been baited, beaten and slammed into cages to spend their lives tortured and performing for grim human amusement.

A simple map of Europe paints the picture in gory detail. In the UK, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, Ireland there is not a single surviving wild bear. Not one.

And every casualty behind each of those bloody extinctions was a creature who was truly, undeniably marvellous.

Brown bears are remarkably intelligent – cubs spend years with their mothers learning everything from fishing to finding the plant foods available in each season. They possess one of the most complex brains relative to their size and have more muscle than they know what to do with – allowing them to thrive in forests or steppes or tundra.

But that muscle was futile against human traps, guns and persecution. Almost every bear that wasn’t hidden in deep forests is now dead. The final few in Europe are clinging on in shrinking scraps of habitat and – without help – their chances of surviving this onslaught look slim.

If we want a natural world with brown bears – real bears free from metal cages – then we must help save them. We must not lose them from Europe.

Around a third are hidden away in Romania’s forests, and it’s here that turning their fate around is feasible. Despite centuries of devastation, we now have a realistic hope, with realistic plans. Local people are on board with our project, and we’ve got the expertise to protect the bears.

We just need to secure the forest.

And – through your donations today – we could help do that. We want to help purchase vital land and put up strategic fences to keep the forest and the people who live by it safe. That way we can protect these bears, and give them the safety they’ve needed for generations.

Humanity is irrefutably the villain of this centuries-old tragedy but – with the help of local communities and people like you – we have one last chance to change that, and be the heroes who come through at the end.

Please help save brown bears. If everyone reading this donates just £3, you could help end centuries of suffering and keep bears free and thriving in the wild. Thank you. 

Donation link – Please donate and help protect our planet’s species (fauna-flora.org)

UK: Animal Advocate Oldies, and Still Getting Stronger.

LEAGUE AGAINST CRUEL SPORTS (LACS).

The League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), formerly known as the League for the Prohibition of Cruel Sports, is a UK-based animal welfare charity which campaigns to stop blood sports such as fox hunting, hare and deer stalking; game bird shooting; and animal fighting. The charity helped bring about the Hunting Act 2004 and Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which banned hunting with hounds in England, Wales and Scotland.

Thanks to our friends at Wikipedia:

  • 1924 – The League was founded by Henry B. Amos to oppose rabbit coursing[7] – he was successful in achieving a ban. This resulted in the organisation expanding its remit to include other blood sports – such as fox, hare and deer hunting.
  • In 1935, Amos was jailed briefly for throwing a copy of Henry Stephens Salt‘s Creed of Kinship through a stained glass window at Exeter Cathedral during evensong
  • He first became interested in vegetarianism in about 1886.
Henry Brown Amos (24 May 1869 – 22 October 1946) was a Scottish animal rights activist, humanitarian and vegetarian.
  • 1975 – A bill seeking to ban hare coursing, supported by the League, was passed through the House of Commons, but did not receive approval in the House of Lords.
  • 1978 – The League secured legal protection for otters, including a ban on hunting them. The aquatic mammal was up until that point hunted with packs of hounds, one of the reasons for their numbers declining.
  • 1992 – The League helped secure the Protection of Badgers Act, which expanded the protection of the mammals themselves to their setts. The homes of badgers are illegally targeted for several reasons, including being blocked by fox hunts to stop animals being pursued by hounds fleeing underground.
  • 2002 – Fox, hare and deer hunting and hare coursing was banned in Scotland under the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which was introduced by MSPs following campaigning by the League and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2004 – Fox, hare and deer hunting and hare coursing was banned in England and Wales under the Hunting Act 2004. The legislation was introduced by MPs following campaigning by the League and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2005 – The Hunting Act 2004 came into force – making fox, hare and deer hunting and coursing illegal across England and Wales.
  • 2005 – The Waterloo Cup hare coursing competition held its final meeting at Great Altcar in Lancashire, closing after 169 years following passage of the Hunting Act.
  • 2006 – A huntsman with the Exmoor Foxhounds was found guilty of illegally hunting foxes with dogs in a private prosecution brought by LACS, but the case was overturned on appeal.[8][9]
  • 2007 – Two members of the Quantock Staghounds were successfully prosecuted by the League following chasing a deer across Exmoor.[10]
  • 2008 – Two members of the Minehead Harriers pleaded guilty to chasing a fox with a pack of hounds in a private prosecution by LACS.[11]
  • 2009 – The League announced a new campaign against dog fighting, amidst news reports that there is an increase in dog fighting in London.
  • 2014 – The League celebrates 90 years of campaigning against cruelty to animals in the name of sport. Figures from the Ministry of Justice show that there have been 341 convictions under the Hunting Act 2004.
  • 2015 – Prime Minister David Cameron offered a free-vote on repealing the Hunting Act, backing down shortly afterwards following pressure form the League, MPs and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2015 – Cross-channel ferry companies stop shipping pheasants and partridges from French factory-farms to British shooting estates, following an investigation and lobbying by the League.
  • 2018 – Conservative Party drops its manifesto commitment to offer a free-vote on repealing the Hunting Act following pressure from the League, meaning no Westminster party any longer supports repealing the hunting ban.
  • 2018 – Scottish Government announces intention to strengthen the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, which bans hunting with hounds in Scotland, following pressure from the League and other animal protection organisations.
  • 2018 – Welsh Government bans pheasant and partridge shooting on public land following campaigning and pressure from the League and Animal Aid.
  • 2018 – The Labour Party backs calls made by the League to strengthen the Hunting Act – including prison sentences for those who chase and kill wild mammals.
  • 2019 – University of Wales suspends pheasant shooting on its countryside campus at Gregynog Hall following campaigning by the League.
  • 2020 – In January 2020, an employment tribunal in Britain ruled that ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” and therefore protected in law. This is the first time an employment tribunal in Britain ruled this. This case was in regards to vegan Jordi Casamitjana, who stated he was fired by the League due to his ethical veganism.[12

Web link: Home | League Against Cruel Sports

Photo – Mark (WAV) / East Kent Hunt Sabs.

ROYAL SOCIETY for the PROECTION of CRUELTY to ANIMALS (RSPCA)

The society was the first animal welfare charity to be founded in the world.

Founded on the 16th June 1824, by Richard Martin, William Wilberforce and the Reverend Arthur Broome, at the Old Slaughter’s Coffee House, near Trafalgar Square, London, who together agreed that the neglect, cruelty and abuse of animals was unacceptable.

William Wilberforce – One of the RSPCA founders and anti slavery staunch campaigner.

Now very close to its 200th anniversary; and going stronger than ever.

Wilberforce was an advocate and staunch campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade; which he achieved shortly before his death:

William Wilberforce – Wikipedia

This proves that animal welfare campaigners are also strong supporters of human welfare issues, as we show with our support for ‘Free Tibet’ who are based in London:

 

Search Results for “free tibet” – World Animals Voice

Read a lot more about the RSPCA history at:

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Wikipedia

Web site link:  The Largest Animal Welfare Charity in the UK | RSPCA

Above are a few links to enable you to read and learn more about these wonderful animal advocate organisations;

Regards Mark.

Enjoy

Guns and Roses at London:

USA: Victory for Free Speech as U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Kansas Ag-Gag Law.

 

With thanks to Stacey at ‘Our Compass’ as always – very interesting.

Victory for Free Speech as U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Kansas Ag-Gag Law | Our Compass (our-compass.org)

Regards Mark

MAY 2, 2022

Imagine thinking this standard, normalized abuse, is “acceptable” while ignoring how animals feel having to literally experience it …

Source ALDF

The original title, which I took liberty to “modify”, was Victory for Animals and Free Speech as U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Review Kansas Ag-Gag Law

I changed it because, no, this isn’t a “victory” for animals as it doesn’t benefit animals who all suffer on farms (and labs, entertainment, fur farms, zoos, etcetcetc) regardless of a human court decision. A “victory” for animals would be a vegan world.

And it really wasn’t a “victory” for free speech either as ag-gag should NEVER have been considered much less implemented.

And to be fair, it really wasn’t a victory for “transparency” either, as “transparency” would be the actual anag industry publicizing the torture they inflict on animals versus aggressively trying to illegalize OTHER NON-ANAG PEOPLE from sharing undercover footage of the torture the anag industry effortlessly inflicts on animals.

(I’m not criticizing ALDF, they do excellent work, but many in the tiny minority of vegans who actually care about animals, often view even the meager crumbs of a SCOTUS decision upholding an already-legal-and-required constitutional right, as an “animal victory” in the face of global socially-accepted and celebrated normalized violence and suffering.)

But it’s pathetic how anag cheerleaders can’t get their stories straight, always inviting people to, “COME SEE THE FARMS!!!”, or, “HAVE YOU EVER EVEN VISITED A FARM???” while simultaneously relentlessly pursuing ag-gag to criminalize exposure of THEIR criminally inhuman, abusive acts perpetrated on defenseless, vulnerable animals. So much for “transparency”! (And by the way, I’ve never personally witnessed FGM, seeing someone mutilate a child in person, though, is not going to inspire me to change my mind and support FGM.)

But I wanted to share it anyway as it’s worth noting that a conservative SCOTUS has refused to reconsider a lower court’s decision that ag-gag is INDEED unconstitutional (while of course acknowledging that SCOTUS, along with billions of other humans, still don’t care about animals whatsoever; this wasn’t about animal “rights” or animal “freedoms”, this was about privileged human supremacists who don’t care about human animals OR non-human animals and want to hide their animal cruelty while infringing on the rights of humans).

Oh, and the excuse dejour of – it goes something like – maintaining a disease-free perimeter/area due to “biohazard risks” is based on YOUR actions of confining literally tens/hundreds-of-thousands of animals, not people who are exposing your deviant, shameful behaviour. And your track record sucks as diseases – pandemics – are in the news practically daily. But do pretend that you care about all animals while creating hellishly-zoonotic conditions where suffering, death, and disease thrive….

I won’t be holding my breath waiting for SCOTUS to determine that socially-accepted slavery, rape, and murder inflicted on billions of animals yearly in just the USA, should also be abolished based on the inhuman acts of violently exploiting and destroying animals. In the meantime, however, you can be vegan TODAY rather than wait for others to judicially enforce YOUR ethics.

Oh, and for those who experience moral outrage at my word choices of “slavery, rape, murder”, I don’t like your literal actions – condemning animals to such horrific fates – that inspired my words. You should be more concerned with the violent consequences of your choices versus how I accurately describe them with my word choices.

But people love to define the suffering of others in manners that makes them comfortable causing the suffering of others. SRL

Source Animal Legal Defense Fund/ALDF

In a major victory for animals, workers, and transparency In the animal agriculture industry, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit that struck down Kansas’s “Ag-Gag” law for violating the First Amendment. The decision follows a lawsuit filed in 2018 by an Animal Legal Defense Fund-led coalition of animal, environmental, and food safety advocacy groups challenging the law’s constitutionality.

The Kansas law in question made it a crime to engage in activities that are essential to conducting undercover investigations that have in the past revealed horrific treatment of farmed animals and food workers to the public. The appeals court held that Kansas may not silence views critical of industrial animal agriculture. The court’s decision affirmed that videos, articles, advocacy, and public dialogue generated by whistleblowing and undercover investigations of factory farms and slaughterhouses relate to a matter of public concern: The treatment of animals and workers on factory farms and slaughterhouses, and manner in which food is produced. Such speech lies at the core of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court’s decision leaves that important ruling in place.

The 2021 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit’s decision notes: “[T]he text and legislative history of the Act evince Kansas’s desire to limit the ability of [the Animal Legal Defense Fund] and like organizations to engage in true speech critical of animal facilities.. . .. We reject this approach because it elevates form over substance and permits Kansas to do just what the First Amendment prohibits: ‘license one side of a debate to fight freestyle, while requiring the other to follow Marquis of Queensberry rules.’”

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to disturb the lower court decisions is a victory for farmed animals, factory farm and slaughterhouse workers, and food and public safety — as it leaves intact the public’s constitutional rights over protecting corporate interests and profits. Until there are cameras publicly broadcasting the conditions within factory farms and slaughterhouses, investigations are the country’s only opportunity to see the horrific ‘industry standard’ conditions under which food is made,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The industry works hard to keep its practices secret, knowing consumers won’t accept the intense confinement and other inhumane treatment of animals, as evidenced by the passing of California’s Proposition 12 and other proposed state legislation.”

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to California’s Proposition 12 ballot initiative, which outlaws the sale of animal products from pigs held in gestation crates, calves held in veal crates, and eggs from hens kept in battery cages. The measure passed after undercover investigation footage exposed the cramped and cruel conditions in which pigs, calves, and chickens spend their lives at industrial animal agricultural facilities.

Source ALDF

“The Supreme Court’s refusal to review the Tenth Circuit’s decision leaves in place important constitutional protections for investigators working with animal rights groups to expose misconduct in the industrial animal agriculture industry,” says Alan Chen, a University of Denver law professor who helped lead the lawsuit against Kansas. “This is a big win for the national campaign against Ag-Gag laws.” Enacted in 1990, the Kansas Ag-Gag law was the oldest in the United States. Kansas is a major agricultural producer with the third-most cows of any state, and until being struck down, its Ag-Gag law had successfully prevented whistleblowers from investigating the conditions that millions of pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals endure.

There have been nine lawsuits challenging state Ag-Gag laws around the country. Earlier lawsuits have resulted in courts striking down similar laws or portions of laws in Iowa, North Carolina, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon consider the constitutionality of Iowa’s second law, after striking down Iowa’s first law and recently clearing the way for an Animal Legal Defense Fund-led coalition’s lawsuit challenging Arkansas’ law to proceed. A decision concerning North Carolina’s law is pending in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Animal Legal Defense Fund is also currently challenging a third Iowa law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

The Kansas coalition is comprised of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Food Safety, and state farmed animal organizations Shy 38, Inc. and Hope Sanctuary. The coalition is represented by Public Justice, leading First Amendment scholars, the law firm Foley & Mansfield, and attorneys with the plaintiff organizations, with assistance from Joshua Rosenkranz and the Supreme Court & Appellate practice at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:

PETA HERE

Vegan Outreach HERE

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE

Regards Mark

Northern Ireland: Greens Pledge To Continue To Fight For Animal Rights.

The Green Party NI has pledged to continue to work on animal welfare and animal rights in the next Assembly mandate.

Making the party election pledge, North Down candidate Rachel Woods said: “It is incredibly disappointing that Northern Ireland is still the only part of the UK without a ban on hunting with dogs. The Green Party NI was the first party to introduce a law to ban hunting, but this was voted down by Stormont, in 2011, and again when another ban was proposed last year. It is long overdue that these horrific practices are outlawed.

Rachel Woods.



“I submitted a public petition to the Assembly in December 2020 calling for the creation and implementation of Lucy’s Law, regulations which puts limits the sale of puppies and kittens. We have a lot still to do on puppy farming and the illegal breeding and sales of animals.

“I am also working with the Justice for Reggie campaigners in England who campaign on closing the loopholes in the roll out and enforcement of Lucy’s Law – something we should consider looking at now, rather than waiting and repeating the same mistakes.

“I would like to see more powers and resources given to local councils across Northern Ireland to allow the monitoring and enforcement of breeding standards.

“A key priority for me is fighting against the DUP Minister’s badger cull included in the new Bovine TB Strategy. Badgers are a protected species, and the evidence is clear that culls do not work. I am deeply concerned with the proposal, and I am supporting the legal action which is now being taken against this. I would also like to see reform of Animal Welfare legislation, and the reform of planning legislation with regard to protected species and animals, which is currently not fit for purpose.

“We also need to empower police forces to develop and implement local wildlife-crime strategies and provide resources to enable the courts to develop expertise in animal cruelty cases and adopt sentencing guidelines for wildlife crime.”

Regards Mark

Source:

Greens Pledge To Continue To Fight For Animal Rights | Northern Ireland News, 26/04/2022 (4ni.co.uk)

How the Netherlands is leading the global food revolution.

29 April 2022

On 14 April, the Dutch government announced that it would allocate € 60 million to support the formation of an ecosystem around cellular agriculture. It represents the largest public funding into the cellular agriculture field ever, globally.

Cellular agriculture, with cultivated meat as its emblematic product, is the technology to produce animal products directly from cells outside of an animal: it is therefore a product derived from an animal, with the same characteristics and nutritional value, but without the need to kill or maintain large numbers of animals in industrial conditions. 

The funding is awarded under conditions by the National Growth Fund, which aims to create structural economic growth by investing in the public domain to support innovative economic sectors.

This financial impulse represents a first step towards funding a larger growth plan proposing to invest € 252 – € 382 million in cellular agriculture, specifically stimulating cellular agriculture education, academic research, publicly accessible scale-up facilities, societal integration (including farmers and consumers) and innovation. The broader growth plan is projected to generate an incremental €10 – €14 billion in Dutch GDP growth per year by 2050, with considerable benefits for animals, the environment and global health.

The National Growth Fund Committee said about cellular agriculture:

Although the products are not yet on the shelves, the science is promising and the first companies are already active. The committee is pleased with the potential and the parties involved.”

The proposal for funding was made by a newly created consortium of 12 organisations (academia, NGOs, startups, industry) called Cellular Agriculture Netherlands. The group is currently shaping the executive teams and governance structure to start executing the proposed growth plan as soon as the funds become available, which is expected to be towards the end of 2022 after meeting a specific set of conditions. The team will also reach out to potential partners in the Netherlands for execution of the programs.

The Netherlands has a strong history of innovating food production. This public investment in cellular agriculture is a demonstration of the Dutch government’s commitment to building an agricultural ecosystem that is healthy and sustainable for both humans and animals. In combination with reforms to traditional farming, cellular agriculture can be an additional tool to satisfy the world’s growing appetite for protein.

While individual cellular agriculture companies have been successful in attracting private funding, the National Growth Fund financing is explicitly aiming to support the public part of the ecosystem. The expectation is that this impulse will attract more companies, more funding, and more collaboration across the cellular agriculture field in and with The Netherlands over the next few years. 

Mosa Meat

Read more at source

Regards Mark

Northern Ireland: USPCA calls on public to challenge election candidates on animal welfare issues.

USPCA calls on public to challenge election candidates on animal welfare issues

21 April 2022

USPCA

Ahead of the upcoming election, Northern Ireland animal welfare charity, the USPCA, has launched its ‘Act for Animals’ campaign which calls on the public to challenge their prospective political representatives on their views regarding animal welfare legislation.

The campaign highlights four areas of animal welfare which are in need of urgent address including greater enforcement and regulation of the puppy trade, the introduction of a banned offenders register, the impending indiscriminate badger cull, and the introduction of a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs. 

The outgoing Assembly voted against introducing a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs, did not afford time to consider a private members bill which would have enhanced the regulations around the cruel puppy trade and the DAERA Minister announced a cull of badgers – a protected species. Our incoming Assembly needs to do better, and we all now have the opportunity to use our vote to enhance animal welfare in Northern Ireland.

Brendan Mullan, USPCA Chief Executive

The USPCA are asking the public to challenge election candidates to commit to:

Better enforcement and regulation of the puppy trade

Voting against an indiscriminate badger cull

Supporting a ban on hunting wild mammals with dogs

Supporting the introduction of a banned offenders register

A recent Lucidtalk poll commissioned by the Northern Ireland Companion Animal Welfare Group (NICAWG) reinforces this with 83% of respondents agreeing that there needs to be improvement in the enforcement of current animal welfare law in Northern Ireland. 

Animals play an essential role in our community and natural environment, enhancing our quality of life – but at the same time, can be taken for granted or worse still, abused. As a compassionate society, we must recognise our duty to protect all animals – be that our much-loved companion animals or our native wildlife. The public has demonstrated time and time again, their appetite to see real change in animal welfare here in Northern Ireland. We thank our supporters for rallying behind our campaigning work and look forward to their continued support in the months ahead. We all play an important role in shaping Northern Ireland’s political landscape for the next five years – we hope Northern Ireland has a future in which animals are afforded the protections they deserve.

Brendan Mullan, USPCA Chief Executive

For further information visit the USPCA’s website

Regards Mark

France: Justice is served for pigs as French court case condemns routine tail docking.

We Animals.

20 April 2022

In an unprecedented move, a French criminal court has condemned the practice of illegal routine tail docking of pigs and issued a fine of 50,000 euros, including 25,000 suspended, against the owners of a pig farm.

On Wednesday 6 April, the owners of a pig farm in Limoise, France supplying the Herta brand were sentenced a fine of 50,000 euros by the Moulins criminal court. The court considered the systematic docking of animals’ to be an act of abuse. 

Tail docking is the practice of shortening a pig’s tail to prevent tail biting.

Tail biting usually occurs when pigs are bored or stressed due to their poor quality environment, poor health or lack of stimulation. The procedure is normally carried out without pain relief on piglets younger than 7 days. Although banned since 1994, routine tail docking is carried out in 99% of French pig farms.

The farm in question, which holds over 9,000 pigs, was put under the spotlight thanks to undercover footage released by French association L214 revealing terrible conditions in which the pigs were raised. 

This condemnation marks a real turning point! An offense tolerated for 20 years is finally condemned by justice. Tail docking is practiced routinely in almost all farms, with the complacency of state services. France was even called to order by the European Commission in 2020. The message sent today by justice is clear: the regulations concerning the conditions of animal breeding cannot be negotiated. It must apply to all farms, whether the breeding sectors like it or not, and the State is required to apply it.

Brigitte Gothière, co-founder of L214

Read more at source

Press Release from L214

Regards Mark

Italy: New research calls for a reconsideration of ritual slaughter without stunning in Italy.

28 April 2022

ALI

Animal Law Italia urges Italian policymakers to seek a balance between the respect of religious freedom and the essential need to protect animal welfare.

Our member organisation “ALI” (Animal Law Italia) is calling on the Italian Government and Parliament to urgently review the legal framework allowing slaughtering without stunning for religious purposes. The request is supported by a comprehensive paper (see English summary here) written by legal experts and university professors of law and veterinary medicine, with the purpose of better understanding ritual slaughter and raising public awareness on the neglected issue of animal slaughter without stunning. 

The research analyses the current context and the regulatory framework in force in Italy and in Europe, explaining the reasons supporting the proposed regulatory revision according to science, bioethics and consumer protection, accompanied by a feasibility plan. The association also consulted the interested religious communities, whose positions were duly noted and reported in the document.

The pledge is supported by an open letter that is accepting signatures by academics and veterinarians and a petition to the Italian policymakers.

Ritual slaughter has been considered a fundamental issue by animal welfare advocates for decades. During the last few years, different solutions have emerged throughout Europe, such as “reversibile slaughter” in Belgium, allowing a dramatic reduction of suffering for slaughtered animals, yet respecting the freedom of religion, as the Court of Justice of the European Union evaluated in December 2020.

The jurists and veterinarians therefore ask that the Italian policymakers make the use of pre-cut reversible stunning in ritual slaughter mandatory, as an effective compromise solution between the necessary protection of freedom of religion and a better consideration of the interests of consumers and the protection of animal welfare. This does not mean that other technical solutions could not also be explored in the future, as soon as they have been scientifically validated.

Animal Law Italia is confident that a dialogue can be established with religious communities, in order to quickly identify a shared solution capable of safeguarding the welfare of animals during ritual slaughters.

The review of the Italian regulatory framework for ritual slaughter is urgently needed, in light of the growing consideration towards better treatment of food-producing animals. The recent amendment of the Italian Constitution, which now includes animal protection amongst its fundamental principles, requires a comprehensive reform of all the previous legislation concerning animals.

Alessandro Ricciuti, lawyer and chairperson of Animal Law Italia

Read more at source

Animal Law Italia

Regards Mark

Italy: Three trucks carrying lambs sanctioned by traffic police in Italy following investigation.

Three trucks carrying lambs sanctioned by traffic police in Italy following investigation

22 April 2022

Essere Animali

During Essere Animali’s roadside checks with MEP Eleonora Evi, three trucks carrying lambs were sanctioned by the traffic police. The conditions were not adequate to guarantee that the animals could move naturally. In one case, a lamb traveled for hours with one leg stuck between the bars of the truck.

Organisation Essere Animali recently carried out checks of the trucks used to transport live animals that pass through the border with Slovenia to Italy. 

Two vehicles from Hungary and one from Romania, each carrying over 700 lambs across four floors, were identified at the border with Slovenia. They were reported to the authorities and followed at a distance for a total of over 2,500 km, until the traffic police intercepted them. The vehicles were sanctioned under Legislative Decree 25 July 2007, n. 151 which provides for the sanctions for the violation of the provisions stipulated in European Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport and related operations.

In particular, the violations concerned the insufficient height of the compartments, which did not allow the animals to move naturally. The lambs’ heads touched the upper floor of the compartment, a condition that can cause bumps, bruises, and burns, as well as preventing adequate ventilation of the compartments. For violations of the provisions on animal welfare during transport, penalties can reach up to 6,000 euros.

Essere Animali’s activists also filmed a lamb that traveled for hours with one leg stuck between the truck bars, as well as issues related to the watering system installed in the vehicles, which several organisations have denounced as unsuitable for some time as it puts lambs at risk of suffering from thirst and potentially dehydration.

Last January, the European Parliament approved a series of recommendations drawn up by the ANIT Committee which do not place animal welfare at the centre of the revisions. In fact, the text approved by the majority of MEPs does not propose adequate solutions to numerous urgent problems, including the transport of animals over long distances (over 8 hours), and that of unweaned animals.

We thank MEP Eleonora Evi for her valuable collaboration, and police forces for their timely intervention. We will inform the European Commission and the Minister of Health of the outcome of the violations, providing images that document this alarming reality. The European Regulation, in addition to being frequently violated, is unable to concretely protect animals. Today it is legal to transport lambs less than two months old for journeys lasting up to 30 hours, subjecting them to conditions that cause them great stress and suffering. Together with other NGOs from all over Europe, we are calling for greater animal protection, such as a ban on the transport of live animals over long distances and unweaned animals. The European Union has the opportunity to really improve the conditions of animals; it shouldn’t betray the demands of its citizens.

Simone Montuschi, President, Essere Animali

Regards Mark

England: One Of My Daily Visitors.

Shots from my garden yesterday (28/4) and today; one of many vulpines (foxes) who come round and chill; get some scoff, and then vanish.

I love foxes; some (Limited numbers) folk still hate them; considering them pests; but I welcome them with open arms and some snacks to enjoy. Why persecute them ? – is finding food and daily survival not difficult enough for them ? – if I can help with a few food snacks and ensuring they are mange free then I will.

Taken through the window so not brill quality.

Regards Mark.

Above – Chilling 29/4.

Below – Sun in England – wow ! – 28/4.

USA: Animal welfare activists want Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to relinquish role as governor.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Activists who have disrupted three Minnesota Timberwolves games in two NBA arenas over the past two weeks are demanding that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor relinquish his role as governor and contribute $11.3 million to various entities on behalf of animal welfare.

The activists, members of the organization Direct Action Everywhere, are targeting Taylor for his ownership of Rembrandt Farms, a large-scale factory farm that produces tens of millions of eggs each year. Rembrandt’s facility experienced an outbreak of bird influenza in March.

“To have Taylor and other extremely powerful factory farming businessmen getting these taxpayer bailouts flies in the face of the values of ordinary Americans,” Direct Action Everywhere media contact and activist Matt Johnson said. “Taylor should set a powerful example by stepping away from NBA ownership and refusing to take any subsidies related to the HPAI outbreak, and donate funds previously received to help repair some of the harm of the most destructive industry on the planet.”

To combat the highly pathogenic avian influenza epidemic, the company killed more than 5 million birds with a method called ventilation shutdown plus at one of its primary facilities in Iowa. Under the method, air flow into the industrial sheds where the birds reside is closed off. Activists deem the practice inhumane.

Protester Alicia Saturio glued her hands to the court during live play in the Timberwolves’ play-in game against the LA Clippers on April 12 at Target Center in Minneapolis, the first of the three incidents. Security quickly lifted her from the court and ejected her.

“I was nervous,” Saturio told ESPN. “I had never super-glued myself to anything. I wasn’t sure how the fans were going to respond. I most certainly didn’t want any of the players to be hurt, so I made sure to do it when they were down at the other end of the court.”

In Game 1 of Minnesota’s first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, activist Zoe Rosenberg chained herself to a basket stanchion near Taylor’s seat during the game at FedExForum in Memphis. She was quickly unchained by police and carried out of the arena. Rosenberg faces charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Johnson attended Game 3 at Target Center with the intention of disrupting play. He was apprehended and tackled by security before he could reach the floor. He was placed under arrest and banned from Target Center for one year.

In Game 4 of the series in Minneapolis, activist Sasha Zemmel rushed the court just in front of Taylor, interrupting live play. She was dressed in an NBA official’s uniform. Her intention was to approach Taylor, whose net worth was estimated at $2.5 billion by Forbes magazine in 2020, and call a “technical foul” on the Timberwolves and Rembrandt Farms owner.

Security personnel immediately tackled her to the floor and removed her before she could make the gesture. The referee’s jersey number was 5.3 to represent the 5.3 million birds killed at Rembrandt. Zemmel faces charges of disorderly conduct and fifth-degree assault.

“I didn’t even know what that was,” Timberwolves young star Anthony Edwards said following Minnesota’s Game 4 win. “Y’all got to stop running on the floor in Minnesota. Do that in Memphis. We don’t need it.”

Direct Action Everywhere performs public acts of civil disobedience as well as what it calls rescue missions at farm factories. Though the recent actions are in response to the killings at Rembrandt, the group more broadly opposes factory farming.

The organization has filed a complaint to local and state authorities in Iowa alleging that Rembrandt’s conduct violated state law. It demands that Taylor expedite the pending sale of the team to Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez, who have agreed to terms. Direct Action Everywhere also is demanding that Taylor Corp., parent company of Rembrandt, donate the $11.3 million it received in federal funds to aid in a 2015 outbreak to public health and animal welfare organizations.

Neither the Timberwolves nor representatives of Taylor provided comments by the time of publication.

Regards Mark

Animal welfare activists want Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to relinquish role as governor (espn.co.uk)

UK: ‘A good week for animal welfare’ as UK’s world leading animal protections become law.

Protections for animals have been boosted this week as pieces of legislation banning the use of cruel glue traps and introducing fines for people who fail to provide the proper levels of care to their pets, zoo animals and livestock became law.

The Glue Traps (Offences) Act bans the use of inhumane glue traps which are a widely available method of rodent control but can cause immense suffering.

Animals can remain alive for 24 hours or more, eventually dying of stress, exhaustion, dehydration or self-inflicted injuries. Wildlife and domestic pets can also get stuck to the traps.

Under the Animals (Penalty Notices) Act people who fail to properly care for their pets, zoo animals and livestock could face fines of up to £5,000.

The measures in the Act will help drive up animal welfare standards closing the gap between warnings and criminal prosecution, and acting as an important deterrent alongside the current five-year maximum prison sentence for animal welfare offences, which was increased through the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act passed last year.

Under this new legislation, fines could be handed out by enforcement authorities to pet breeders who fail to microchip puppies before being rehomed, horse owners tethering their animal in a way that neglects their basic needs or a farmer transporting livestock that are not fit for travel.

In addition, the Government’s Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill has this week also gained Royal Assent. This will create a new Animal Sentience Committee made up of experts from within the field.

Animal welfare minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said:

We are a nation of animal lovers and the passing of today’s legislation is a significant moment for the health and welfare of the country’s animals.

The UK, since leaving the EU, has been able to further strengthen its position as a global leader on animal rights. The penalty notice measures being introduced today will act as a powerful deterrent, building on measures we have already taken such as increasing prison sentences for cruelty offences. We will also be protecting wildlife and domestic pets from falling victim to inhumane glue traps, and we have delivered on our manifesto commitment to put animal sentience provisions into law.

The Glue Traps (Offences) Act will ensure licences to use glue traps are only issued to professional pest controllers on an exceptional basis, to preserve public health or safety where there is no suitable alternative. Licence holders would then need to follow conditions set out in the licence to ensure the welfare of any rodents is upheld, such as regular monitoring of set traps. This means those found to have used a trap without a licence could face up to six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine.

RSPCA Director of Advocacy and Policy Emma Slawinski said:

It’s a good week for animal welfare; the RSPCA has been campaigning on these issues for a long time. Glue traps inflict awful injuries on wildlife, pets and other animals; it’s high time they were banned.

Recognising that animals experience feelings and emotions is vital to help protect them and Fixed Penalty Notices will help to bridge the gap between advice and prosecution.

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s Head of Policy & Public Affairs, Michael Webb, said:

As a leading animal welfare organisation, we welcome the steps made today to further protect all animals. We hope that the new Penalty Notices Act will be an effective tool in clamping down on minor offences, including breaching microchipping regulations, alongside the continued use of the Animal Welfare Act to punish those who commit an offence that harms animals.

We look forward to working with Defra to establish in greater detail which offences will be subject to the use of Fixed Penalty Notices, to ensure the Act is as effective as possible.

A statement from the Government says these three acts will help build on their “commitment to provide leadership on animal welfare and revolutionise the treatment of animals in the UK and introduce measures to protect the health and welfare of animals at home and abroad, as set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare.”

Regards Mark

‘A good week for animal welfare’ as UK’s world leading animal protections become law – The Rugby Observer

Enjoy a non Abba Waterloo; I saw the doctor back in 1981 – featuring the Anadin brothers (2 girls) who sing here – I am sure that 1-03 ‘So What’ is Lemmy from ‘Motorhead’ ? – and Roy Wood (Wizard) on sax ?

USA: Joaquin Phoenix Acquires Film Rights to ‘Free the Animals’ (Exclusive).

Joaquin Phoenix has optioned ‘Free the Animals’ by PETA founder and president Ingrid Newkirk. PHOENIX: ROBERT SUD/COURTESY OF SUBJECT. FREE: COURTESY OF LANTERN PUBLISHING.

Phoenix also penned the foreword for the 30th anniversary paperback edition, out May 5, for PETA founder and president Ingrid Newkirk.

Oscar winner and longtime vegan Joaquin Phoenix could soon be taking his animal activism to the big screen.

The actor has acquired film rights to Free the Animals, the 1992 book by PETA founder and president Ingrid Newkirk, about the militant group Animal Liberation Front. Phoenix also penned the foreword for the 30th anniversary paperback edition, out May 5.

The tome’s full title is Free the Animals: The Amazing, True Story of the Animal Liberation Front in North America. It follows “Valerie,” a young police officer whose world is turned upside down when she comes face to face with a group of monkeys removed from an animal testing laboratory. Along the way, she encounters people who are willing to risk freedom for the cause, and she joins them in living on the run from the law that she swore to uphold.

In a bid to inspire the next generation of activists, Phoenix writes, “Yes, Free the Animals is about the balaclava-wearing heroes who break windows and laws to save animals, but it’s also about everyone. It’s a call to us all to take action. Whether it’s wielding crowbars and bolt-cutters or picking up a pen or a protest sign, every one of us can and must fight injustice and push for animal liberation every chance we get.”

Phoenix’s foreword adds more context to a high-profile stop he made during his awards season run for his Oscar-winning turn in Joker. After picking up a Screen Actors Guild prize, Phoenix, still in his tuxedo, accompanied activists from LA Animal Save for a vigil outside a slaughterhouse in Vernon, California. “We offered a sip of water, comforting words and a gentle touch to the pigs on the transport trucks that stopped before passing through the gates,” he writes. “It’s heartbreaking to look into these individuals’ eyes and imagine what they must be feeling, to realize that we were likely offering them the only kindness they’d ever known, and that in a few moments, their lives would come to a violent end.”

Phoenix continues by addressing a question that he’s asked about why he attends such vigils and why he doesn’t buy animal products. The answer is simple, he writes. “I’ve seen the torture and killing that occurs when someone takes — steals — what rightly belongs to another living being. Strips what’s theirs right off their back or kills them so that parts of their body can be eaten or worn. I’ve seen what horror and fear animals in laboratories live in simply because they aren’t protected from human curiosity and there’s money in caging them to test things, like how they will react when frightened by a rubber snake or when their babies are torn away from them. Knowing all that, I have a moral obligation to act. And I know that’s how the heroes of this book, Free the Animals, felt, too.”

THR checked in with the author, Newkirk, for her response to Phoenix acquiring the feature film rights, and she said that she fielded “considerable interest” from two other stars. But she went with Phoenix in the hope that he not only directs the film but also stars in it. Newkirk has even zeroed in on the role he could play.

“I’m convinced he would win another Oscar for playing Josh, the Navy whistleblower who risked a court-martial to get help for a little dog about to die in a deep-sea diving experiment and who then went on to lead the West Coast Animal Liberation Front teams that freed many more animals who faced certain death,” she says. “Joaquin understands what animals go through and lives and breathes animal rights — it’s part of his very being. I also have his word that he would never allow the use of real animals, who often spend their lives in cages and are shipped to Hollywood sets to perform what to them are stressful, nonsensical, repetitious acts. Instead, he would use computer-generated imagery or domestic animals who live as companions — and of course, he would have access to PETA’s photo and video vaults, which contain footage from the raids described in the book.”

Phoenix, who last starred in Mike Mills’ C’mon C’mon, next toplines Ari Aster’s Disappointment Blvd. and Ridley Scott’s Napoleon.

Regards Mark

Joaquin Phoenix Acquires Film Rights to ‘Free the Animals’ – The Hollywood Reporter

USA: Animal rights group wants transparency for captive orca at Miami marine park. Animal rights lawyer said USDA has “washed its hands” of Lolita.

© Antonio FinsA sign advertises the parks killer whale show

The animal rights group that unearthed reports of poor treatment of Lolita the Killer Whale, and later revealed the orca’s illness, has appealed to Miami-Dade County officials for transparency about her current status and care.

“In addition to Lolita’s potential transfer, we want to ensure that Miami Seaquarium has already made substantial changes to ensure that she is currently receiving appropriate care,” wrote Jared Goodman, general counsel for animal law of the PETA Foundation, in a letter sent Monday.

The letter from the animal rights group comes as activists and advocates of the famed orca, whose plight has captivated a global following, grow concerned over the scarcity of information about her. In the void, recent social media posts have generated anxious buzz.

Dark waters, dark secret: Untold story of failed bid to free South Florida orca Lolita

Lolita the Killer Whale: South Florida activists pray for orca Lolita’s release, but back home it’s up for debate

Related: Killer whale Lolita will not perform again. But will she be moved to sanctuary?

“Hopefully this is nothing to worry about but there is a crane at MSQ today,” read a post on Facebook last week with a photo of a lift over Lolita’s stadium at the marine park.

Goodman’s letter, sent to county Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Commissioner Raquel Regalado, followed weeks of virtual silence about Lolita. Last month, Levine Cava and Regalado announced an arrangement with the orca’s owner, Miami Seaquarium, for an assessment of her health by independent veterinarians.

That agreement, plus the Seaquarium’s decision to retire Lolita as an entertainer, renewed a frenzy of speculation and optimism about the potential release of the orca that has been a captive performer at the marine park for more than half a century.

The actions followed PETA’s divulging, a month earlier, that the orca, believed to be in her mid 50s, suffered from pneumonia. The Seaquarium never denied the report, but at the time only acknowledged Lolita was “under the weather.” 

In his letter, Goodman also referenced even more damning disclosures by PETA last fall. That’s when the animal rights advocacy organization revealed allegations by a former Seaquarium veterinarian that the orca was “fed her rotten fish, required her to engage in behaviors that harmed her, and held her in such poor water quality that it injured her eyes.”

With federal and state agencies choosing not to exert regulatory watchdog authority over the Seaquarium’s care of Lolita, it’s up to Miami-Dade County officials, PETA says. In the regulatory vacuum that now exists, PETA said it is calling on county officials to “act immediately and transparently concerning Lolita’s care and their plans for her future,” which the organization said it supports transferring her to a seaside sanctuary 

“The agencies that could exercise jurisdiction are not doing so,” Goodman said. “So we are left with the county, which has assured us they will do the right thing, but then has been pretty much silence.”

USDA exempts Miami Seaquarium orca, Pacific porpoises from oversight

Lolita, known as Tokitae by U.S. orca advocates, is now in the hands of a different managerial team at the Miami Seaquarium.

The new company in charge, The Dolphin Co., also owns three other Florida marine animal attractions, including Gulf World in the Panhandle and Marineland in St. Augustine. The company’s CEO, Eduardo Albor, has not responded to numerous requests for an interview about the company’s plans for its Florida parks.

The Dolphin Co.’s license to run the Seaquarium, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, carved out the orca and the Pacific porpoises that share her tank from the federal agency’s regulatory authority.

More: Orca family of Miami Seaquarium’s Lolita on path to extinction as feds mull whale watch ban

Marine life: Why The Whale Trail is greenest way to see marine life in wild

‘Under the weather’: Miami Seaquarium acknowledges killer whale Lolita has been ill

After the county unveiled the agreement with the Seaquarium for the independent health exam for Lolita, PETA sent a list of recommended veterinarians to Commissioner Regalado.

Goodman said Regalado has not responded. So far, however, it does not appear that independent exam has taken place. Regalado did not respond to a request last week from the Palm Beach Post and the USA Today Florida Network for comment.

Animal rights lawyer said USDA has “washed its hands” of Lolita

© ANTONIO FINS/palmbeachpost.comLolita performing in February at the Miami Seaquarium

USDA officials declined to be interviewed for this article. The agency did say it would answer written questions. But after the questions were submitted, the agency chose not to provide answers.

Instead, it simply issued this blanket statement: “Lolita is currently not being used for any activities covered under the Animal Welfare Act. USDA inspections will continue at the facility for all covered species and activities. Inspection reports, including animal inventories, will be available through the public search tool.”

Delcianna Winders, professor and Animal Law and Policy Institute Director

at the Vermont Law School, said the USDA has for a decade neglected its oversight responsibility for Lolita under the federal Animal Welfare Act.

The 1966 law set national standards for humane care and treatment of animals used for commercial purposes, including for display or entertainment at zoos and marine parks. Winders said, in Lolita’s case, the small size of her tank at the Seaquarium, the lack of protection from the sun and the absence of social companionship from other orcas all amounted to serious Animal Welfare Act violations.

“Under the law, the outcome here should have been no exhibitor license whatsoever,” said Winders, who argued an Endangered Species Act case on Lolita’s behalf as well as a challenge to the Seaquarium’s license while she worked as a PETA attorney.

Winders, who directed PETA’s captive animal law enforcement division, said exempting Lolita from the Seaquarium’s license is a “novel” regulatory approach. Doing so, she said, should at least prompt the USDA to put in a place safeguards for her care and needs, and to make sure that the third party team of veterinarians is truly independent and not tied to the attractions industry.

“The USDA apparently wants to wash its hands of the situation after a decade of being complicit in creating it,” Winders said. “It puts a tremendous burden on the USDA to make sure that, in light of the novel approach they’ve taken, they are going to ensure her well being is accounted for given that they are saying they are not going to take responsibility going forward.”

It also obligates the USDA, Winders added, to take a proactive approach in working with other federal agencies to seek a better and more appropriate home for her.

“USDA is the agency that was supposed to have been protecting her for all of these years,” she said. “It’s the least they can do for her, and they owe her at least that much.”

Congress oversight of USDA animal welfare missing “piece of the puzzle”

Florida’s zoos, marine parks, aquariums and theme park meccas are major draws for many of the 100 million-plus tourists that visit the state every year.

The Florida Association of Zoos & Aquariums, a nonprofit that sets “high ethical standards” for animal care, lists 21 members. They include titans like Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.

The organization also includes as members the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, Lion Country Safari, Brevard Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, Mote Marine Laboratory, Naples Zoo and St. Augustine Alligator Farm.

Despite the presence in Florida of so many zoos, marine parks and aquariums, and their valuable role in the state’s all-important tourism industry, the state has limited representation in the Capitol Hill committees that oversee the USDA and its animal welfare law compliance.

The state has just two congressional representatives — out of 50 — on the House Agriculture Committee. And neither of the two, U.S. Reps. Kat Cammack, a Republican, and Al Lawson, a Democrat, come from districts in major tourism centers.

Moreover, neither of Florida’s U.S. senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, serve on that chamber’s agriculture committee. 

Lack of congressional oversight, and little participation from Florida’s Washington delegation partly explains the lack of scrutiny on the USDA, according to Winders.

“That is a really big piece of the puzzle,” she said. “The Florida situation is unique but there is woefully insufficient congressional oversight of the Animal Welfare Act overall.”

Winders said the congressional committees have not held an Animal Welfare Act oversight hearing for many years. Even though, she noted, the USDA’s own inspector general has issued reports chiding the agency for failing to enforce the law.

“This is our most important animal protection statute. It impacts millions of animals in every state,” she said. “They are just not stepping up. They are letting the USDA get away with not doing the job. And animals are suffering for it, and people, too.”

Winders said it’s time animal welfare protection is place din a separate agency, as was done on environmental issues through the Environmental Protection Agency.

“The larger problem is that we have asked the Department of Agriculture to protect animals,” she said. “Animal protection is very low on their list, if it is on their list at all. It’s just a really poor fit for the responsibilities under this statute.”

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Animal rights group wants transparency for captive orca at Miami marine park

Animal rights group wants transparency for captive orca at Miami marine park (msn.com)

Regards Mark – as the saying goes…….