Fur Free Europe – Please Sign and Support the Citizens Initiative. Pass On Link To All EU Citizens You Can; Only They Can Sign This.

Hi all;

Had this through from friend and animal buddy Mark (Glover) at Respect For Animals.

Have put this on the site as it is very important action against fur farming; and 1 Million signatures need to be obtained during the next year for EU action on this citizens initiative.  This can only be signed by citizens of the EU; so if you are one of them, please do it and pass on the link to all your contacts.

Please note –  ONLY EU CITIZENS can sign this – here is the citizens initiative / petition link:

Fur Free Europe | Eurogroup for Animals


Animals on fur farms live in intense confinement, in row upon row of small barren cages. They suffer from self-mutilation, infected wounds, missing limbs and cannibalism. Fur farming contravenes even the most basic concept of animal welfare.

The European Citizens’ Initiative “Fur Free Europe” calls on the EU to:

  • Ban fur farms
  • Ban farmed fur products from the European market

Be part of achieving history! 

Act now by adding your name to the Initiative.

This is not just a petition. Once we reach 1 million validated signatures, the European Commission is obliged to respond and take action.

Respect for Animals website –

Respect for Animals | Campaign against animal fur – Fur for Animals

Fur farming bans around the world – A Guide To Fur Bans Around The World | Respect for Animals – Impressive !

Regards Mark

England: Message From Mark.

Hi all;

This is just a word to let you know that things will be slowing down, or stopping, for a while.

I thank you for your support and kind messages, but as always, there are just a few which arrive and make no serious comment, but do contribute to how one feels about things. 

I have personally suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for over 23 years now; that, plus the constant work of fighting for animal rights, which I have done for over 40 years now, kind of drags you down a bit sometimes – and now is one of those ‘real’ times.  In order to improve my health and get back to a better situation, I need to take some time out.

Please keep sending anything through the normal channels (Stacey (Our Compass https://worldanimalsvoice.com/?s=stacey ) and Erika (Animal Aid Unlimited https://worldanimalsvoice.com/?s=animal+aid+unlimited ) as always); I am not going away, just lightening up for a time.  If and when I want to do posts, then they will be done; but at the moment I cannot go on researching and keeping the site going on a daily basis.

So you will see some reductions for a while; a period of re charging batteries and getting back to strength.  This is not the end for sure; but it is a time for closure until things improve.

There is the ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ site also which you can visit at https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/

This gives an insight into what campaign work has been done in the past; especially huge fighting for the strays and fur bearers of Serbia since 2005; the Russian seal pups fight which was eventually stopped, and as always, live animal transport anywhere ! The Serbian site has been archived now but is still fully open for visitors. Check out some of the videos and our huge work in the archive section links on the left side.

There are also a few memories I share on the site from past campaign days:

A whitecoat pup netted by the Russian seal pup hunters.
Beautiful Whitecoat pup.
Doing our bit outside Downing Street, London (home of the brash, outrageous and free !) – Mark is Russian sealer on left. Read the campaign stories link below for more about this.


The crew hit Brussels to speak for the seal pups.

Thanks for understanding the situation and I will be back with you hopefully in the near future.

Regards Mark

Thailand: 2 Women Arrested After Attempting To Smuggle Over 100 Live Animals In Suitcase.

All pics: Thailand Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation

More than 100 live animals found in women’s luggage

Two women have been arrested after trying to smuggle 109 live animals out of Thailand in their luggage.

Officers discovered 35 turtles, 50 chameleons, 20 snakes, two white porcupines and two armadillos in their bags.

The pair were trying to board a Thai Airways flight to India, and suspicions were raised following what was meant to be a routine X-ray inspection.

Officers discovered 35 turtles, 50 chameleons, 20 snakes, two white porcupines and two armadillos in their bags.

The pair were trying to board a Thai Airways flight to India, and suspicions were raised following what was meant to be a routine X-ray inspection.

Both have been arrested and charged with violations of Thailand’s Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, Customs Act, and Animal Epidemic Act.

The incident happened at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport on Monday.

According to Traffic, a non-governmental organisation that monitors the trade of wild animals, such incidents are a “serious and growing” problem.

“It comprises the fourth-largest illegal trade worldwide after arms, drugs and human trafficking, and frequently links with other forms of serious crime such as fraud, money laundering, and corruption,” a March 2022 report warned.

Common motivations for wildlife smuggling include their use for food, traditional medicines, artefacts, fashion and exotic pets.

Between 2011 and 2020, Traffic’s research claims more than 70,000 wild animals – including their body parts or derivatives – were discovered at Indian airports.

And Chennai International Airport, where the arrested pair were travelling, had the highest number of wildlife seizure incidents in the country.

Well done the Thai authorities;

Regards Mark

More than 100 live animals found in women’s luggage (msn.com)


Time Out – The Musical Box

England – sometime in the distant past.

While Henry Hamilton-Smythe minor (8) was playing croquet with
Cynthia Jane De Blaise-William (9), sweet-smiling Cynthia raised her
mallet high and gracefully removed Henry’s head.

Two weeks later, in Henry’s nursery, she discovered his treasured musical box.

Eagerly she opened it and as “Old King Cole” began to play, a small spirit-
figure appeared. Henry had returned – but not for long, for as he
stood in the room his body began ageing rapidly, leaving a child’s
mind inside.

A lifetime’s desires surged through him. Unfortunately
the attempt to persuade Cynthia Jane to fulfill his romantic desire
led his nurse to the nursery to investigate the noise. Instinctively
Nanny hurled the musical box at the bearded child, destroying both.

England: Plastic Free July – Watch and Try to Do Your Bit.

Yesterday, the Home Office (UK) published the statistics of the number of animal experiments conducted in Britain in 2021. As usual these were shocking: there is no need for Britain to continue animal experiments –better, safer and kinder methods are available. It is very difficult to get access to laboratories due to high levels of secrecy in this cruel industry, and so the use of animation is a good way to give an insight into what happens to millions of animals each year.

Check out our brand-new animated film, for your quick and colourful guide to animal testing in Great Britain. The film explains about animal experiments – and the numerous non-animal methods, all of which are far more reliable than using animals. It is not gruesome or gory – and has lots of useful facts and figures! We hope that it will inspire people: You can take action by sharing our film with your friends!

This month is ‘plastic-free July’, a chance for us to reconsider our plastic consumption, which as we all know, is harming the planet, animals and marine life. With the sea change in public concern about climate change (sorry, couldn’t resist) there is some hope that we can start to repair the damage caused by our plastic habits, but we need to change those behaviours which caused it in the first place! 

It’s also down to big companies to take seriously their responsibilities: You can help by starting up the conversation with local newspapers, TV and radio stations, about how supermarkets, restaurants, businesses, and delivery companies should be reducing their use of plastic.


Get Shopping !

When you make a purchase from our wonderful Animal Aid shop you are also helping to fund our campaigns to protect animals.

We have a great range of plastic-free toiletries, cosmetics, sweet treats and gifts ideas – and we use biodegradable packing chips made from vegetable starch, instead of single-use plastic! Get shopping here

World Chocolate Day

On the 7th July it’s World Chocolate Day, so why not stock up on a few vegan goodies? Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the ‘Conscious’ chocolatiers, a vegetarian hoping to make the switch to vegan, or you’re just looking for gift ideas, browse our delicious chocolate range today! A few favourites from our team include Vego, Love Raw and Booja Booja!

Regards Mark

UK – Australia: UK Trade Deal with Australia Amounts to ‘Offshoring’ Pesticide Use, (UK) Members of Parliament Say.

We have had concerns about the UK – Australia Freer Trade Agreement (FTA) from the start.  We expressed our concerns to UK government in June.  See our original letter and the government response in the following links:

Our original letter of concern;

England: WAV Write To UK Member of Parliament Over UK – Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). – World Animals Voice

Government response:

England: Response From UK Government Over Our Letter Of Animal Welfare Concerns In UK – Australia FTA. – World Animals Voice

Whilst our concerns were based around animal welfare issues and antibiotic usage, pesticide usage has also raised its head as another topic.  Pesticide limits in Australia are 200 times higher than the UK’s. Australia also have 144 licensed pesticides, whereas the UK only licenses 73 of these substances.  So the questions have to be asked to the UK government about its environmental attitude when it appears to be rushing this FTA with Australia through without proper scrutiny from UK Parliament.  The following article outlines the pesticide concerns.

Here is an article from ‘The Guardian’ newspaper in London,

UK trade deal with Australia amounts to ‘offshoring’ pesticide use, MPs say

A wheat crop in South Australia. ‘Pesticide limits in Australia are 200 times higher than the UK’s,’ said the MP Angus MacNeil. Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

Select committee says ministers want to rush through deal allowing food imports that fall below UK environmental standards

The government is rushing through a trade deal with Australia that would allow food produced with pesticides banned in the UK to be imported into the country, campaigners and MPs have said.

The international trade select committee in parliament has called for a vote on the deal, which would result in food produced below British domestic environmental standards being sold in the UK.

The SNP MP Angus MacNeil, who chairs the committee, said there was a risk that the deal would be rushed through without scrutiny by MPs, and that it amounted to “offshoring” pesticide use.

He told the Guardian: “There is no democratic input so far into the debate, and there will be pressure on government members to just push it through at the end of the month. We have asked that the time for approval be extended, that parliament gives us 21 more sitting days for parliamentarians to digest the report before ratification.

“As it stands, the UK could ratify this deal without any parliamentary vote whatsoever.”

The MP is calling for it to be put to a vote in parliament because “it is one of the most liberalising deals we’ve seen on agricultural standards”.

This week, the international trade secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, skipped a session of the trade committee after the MPs accused her department of avoiding scrutiny on the issue.

“We had a fight with her yesterday,” MacNeil said. “The fallout we’ve had this week is the secretary of state not even turning up to the committee meeting.”

The Department for International Trade said at the time that Trevelyan pulled out because she was busy with other commitments.

MacNeil said the deal was far too liberalised on pesticides. “Pesticide limits in Australia are 200 times higher than the UK’s. They also have 144 licensed pesticides, whereas the UK only licenses 73 of these substances. The environmental movement talks about offshoring carbon; you could say that what we are doing is offshoring pesticides.”

Josie Cohen, the head of policy and campaigns at the charity Pesticide Action UK, said: “Australia uses toxic pesticides that are banned here on health and environmental grounds. They also permit residue levels many times more than in the UK. The government’s own advisers have conceded that overuse of pesticides in Australia will put our farmers at a disadvantage but claim existing border checks will keep food with high pesticide residues out.

“However, there is reason to believe that the UK’s border controls on food are nowhere near as robust as the government claims. Government ministers should not be running away from parliamentary committees with legitimate questions to ask – not least, what will the government do to keep consumers safe and why are they breaking their own manifesto commitment to maintain standards in trade deals?”

Orla Delargy, the head of public affairs at the charity Sustain, said: “Government appears to be trying to rush the UK-Australia deal through without giving parliament a chance to examine it properly. The government has yet to respond to the steer from its own advisers that our concerns about pesticides in Australian produce are valid and the food standards agencies have not examined the possible impact of this on public health, which feels like a huge oversight. Ministers have questions to answer about all of this – and parliament should not simply let them off the hook.”

A government spokesperson said: “Our trade deal with Australia does not create any new import permissions, and all agri-food products will continue to comply with our robust import requirements, including on pesticides.

“We have made enhanced commitments to scrutiny and transparency at every stage of negotiations for our agreement with Australia. This includes already giving parliament six months to scrutinise the legal text, in addition to the 21-day period provided by us triggering the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act process. The international trade secretary immediately offered an alternative two-hour slot on 6 July, which the committee has since accepted.”

UK trade deal with Australia amounts to ‘offshoring’ pesticide use, MPs say | Trade policy | The Guardian

Regards Mark


Viva! urgently needs your help to end the suffering of ducks

Over two decades after we first exposed duck factory farming, comes the release of disturbing new footage from inside a filthy Lincolnshire duck egg farm – producers of Quack! Duck Eggs and suppliers of egg giants Stonegate and Noble Foods, who stock their products at major supermarkets Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado. 

Following a tip off from an ex-worker, who reported extreme acts of animal cruelty and horrendous living conditions, Viva! Campaigns took immediate action and launched an investigation of Field Farm.

The undercover footage shows shocking scenes from inside the farm of lame birds dragging themselves over excreta-ridden barn floors using their wings and workers brutally killing ducks by dislocating their necks – a shockingly legal practice – and leaving lame, sick and blind birds to suffer in pain.

Here is a first-hand account of what an investigator found at the scene:


The smell was the first thing to hit me as I entered the farm and trudged through ankle-deep dirty layers of waterlogged straw; wet from leaked drinkers and rife with excreta. It was immediately clear that the conditions that these ducks live – and die – in are utterly appalling. Within seconds of being at the farm, I witnessed lame and injured ducks everywhere, left to suffer.

The drinking points, the only access to water these poor ducks have, were caked in dirt and, as a result, their drinking water was filthy and contaminated by the litter. Mice and pigeons accessed the ducks’ feed troughs.
Viruses and bacteria could spread easily between ducks and wildlife.

I witnessed numerous lame ducks pushing themselves along this squalid litter on their bellies. They were unable to walk, so frantically flapped their wings in a bid to move. One duck I saw, walked with an unusual upright gait, her leg looked like it was rotting and the agony in her eyes was unmistakable. Other ducks had pecking injuries on their wings and the degradation these poor ducks faced, living like this, was almost too much to bear.

Help Viva! to expose the lies British consumers are being sold 

Duck eggs are marketed as a luxury food in the UK, but the way that these intelligent animals are treated is abhorrent – British consumers are being sold a lie! 

Will you help these poor defenceless ducks living in unsanitary conditions, pain and poor health?

We cannot turn our backs on animal suffering, and we will not. But we urgently need your help to support our ongoing investigations.

I am continually inspired by the overwhelmingly generous response that Viva! has from our supporters. Supporters just like you. Despite the cruelty, and horrific acts of senseless violence against animals carried out daily by humans, I never fail to be moved by how compassionate our supporters are. It reinforces my belief in humankind’s potential to improve the lives of animals and make a difference in the world. For this continued support and generosity, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Whatever you can give, small or large, thank you. 
Email Lincolnshire Co-op

We urge you to express your disgust, and ask that they permanently drop them as a supplier.

Please click the link below and sign your name. 

Email Lincolnshire Co-op now »
Yours for the animals,

Juliet Gellatley
Founder and Director

Regards Mark

England: RIP Deborah – Taken Far Too Early.

Check your poo – it could just save your life. Bowelbabe.

The 40-year-old podcast host campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of bowel cancer and was recently honoured with a damehood by Prince William for her remarkable fundraising efforts.

Deborah raised more than £6.8 million for Cancer Research UK through her Bowelbabe fund on Just Giving after announcing she was receiving end of life care in May.

South Africa: Farmgate: Animal Rights Body Takes Swipe at Ramaphosa for Alleged Involvement With Trophy Hunting.

© Provided by Cape Times

Farmgate: animal rights body takes swipe at Ramaphosa (msn.com)

Cape Town – Anyone involved in trophy hunting has some level of moral disconnect, so the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa was potentially involved in other crimes was not surprising.

Farmgate: animal rights body takes swipe at Ramaphosa

This is the view of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a non-profit animal rights organisation, in reaction to criminal investigations into Ramaphosa after millions of US dollars “concealed” in furniture on his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo were stolen – allegedly by a gang of Namibian nationals with the assistance of his domestic worker.

Ramaphosa is being investigated for alleged money laundering, defeating the ends of justice and kidnapping the suspects who were allegedly interrogated and breaching the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, no 121 of 1998 (“Poca”) and the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act No12 of 2004 (“The Corruption Act”).

Ramaphosa has only confirmed that the matter was reported to the head of his security, and not the police.

It remains unclear whether Sars and the SA Reserve Bank have launched their investigations in relation to the breaching of the country’s laws around foreign currency.

In 2020, the same year of the theft of the money, PETA conducted an undercover investigation which revealed Ramaphosa’s alleged hidden connections and investments in the trophy hunting industry, after a hunting Safari owner was caught on video stating that the president had bought a 50% stake in their company.

In 2020, the same year of the theft of the money, PETA conducted an undercover investigation which revealed Ramaphosa’s alleged hidden connections and investments in the trophy hunting industry, after a hunting Safari owner was caught on video stating that the president had bought a 50% stake in their company.

“Footage reveals that Ramaphosa is quietly developing and expanding a trophy hunting property called Diepdrift — stocking it with animals from his own wildlife breeding operation, Phala Phala — and that he owns a 50% stake in Tsala Hunting Safaris. In other words, far from ‘conserving’ wildlife, wild animals are bred specifically to be killed for trophies.

PETA recorded conversations in which Ramaphosa’s managers admitted that he shares equally in the profits from all hunts conducted through Tsal and spoke of the importance of concealing his involvement,” the organisation said at the time.

“One person identified as the manager was quoted saying: ‘We try to keep the president’s name out of the hunting thing because … of all the greenies …. So he wanna spare himself this, how can I say, bad publicity and all of that.”

Following the PETA investigation, Ramaphosa distanced himself from the allegations last January, saying they were “unsubstantiated”.

In a statement he said: “Contrary to PETA’s assertions, neither Phala Phala nor I have a stake in the trophy hunting industry. It is furthermore also patently false that Phala Phala breeds game for the purpose of being sold to trophy hunters. Phala Phala is well known and recognised for its wildlife breeding and management practices that comply with the best ethical and lawful practice in the sector; as well as for its contribution to the racial transformation of the sector.”

PETA Asia Senior Vice-President Jason Baker yesterday told the Cape Times they were not surprised at recent developments concerning possible illegal activity involving Ramaphosa.

“We’re glad to see an investigation into the President’s animal breeding business, however we hope that authorities will also investigate the animal cruelty aspect of this. Anyone involved in trophy hunting has some level of moral disconnect, so the fact that the President is potentially involved in other crimes is not surprising,” said Baker.

“Animals shot by trophy hunters often endure a prolonged and painful death — simply so that hunters can chop off their heads and other body parts. The only solution to this is an end to trophy hunting, and we hope South African authorities will end this industry for good.”

“Animals shot by trophy hunters often endure a prolonged and painful death — simply so that hunters can chop off their heads and other body parts. The only solution to this is an end to trophy hunting, and we hope South African authorities will end this industry for good.”

Approached for comment on Wednesday, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said they had nothing to add.

Meanwhile Ramaphosa is reportedly set co-chair the third session of the Namibia-South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Windhoek from June 28 to July 1, alongside his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob.

Cape Times

Regards Mark

Comments from supporter Jack – thanks Jack:

Hunting in South Africa is out of control. The corruption at all levels of government. The so called “Farmers” 99% white apartheid people are at the core of Trophy hunting and poaching. The Private Rhino Owners Association is part of the Illegal Rhino horn trade. I lived in South Africa and witnessed this going on without any consequences.

All nonhuman must be treated as sentient beings.

Agreed !

Malta: Activists Call For New Animal Rights Department In Malta As Part Of Suggestions For Welfare Strategy.

Activists Call For New Animal Rights Department In Malta As Part Of Suggestions For Welfare Strategy (lovinmalta.com)

Two animal rights NGOs are calling for the assembly of a new department in Malta solely focused on animal rights.

As two of the leading local voices for veganism and animal activism, Veggy Malta and Animal Liberation Malta have teamed up to issue some points for the National Animal Welfare Strategy, which also includes a pet license for owners and the banning of horse-driven carriages.

We believe that we need to have an animal rights department that is totally separate and unconnected from the Agriculture Department,” Veggy Malta Co-ordinator and vegan activist Darryl Grima stated.

This Department would be the voice of all animals, contrary to other Departments like Agriculture and Fisheries, Wild Birds Regulation Unit, Transport Authority and others that put human needs first,” Grima continued.

“We also want to see a switch from pet ownership to pet guardianship. This means a complete change in how we treat companion animals,” Animal Liberation Malta activist Haroon Ali added.

“From being treated like property they become family members and the guardians need to assume the responsibilities of guardianship,” he said.

“The scope of the Animal Rights Department would be the voice of all animals, pets, so-called livestock, and working animals differently from that of animal welfare whose voice is muffled under the lobby and pressure of the meat, fish and dairy industry,” the NGOs stated. 

As it stands, Malta’s Animal Welfare Department is currently responsible for enforcing animal legislation and rescuing animals in need, while in line with Maltese and EU regulations.

This is what the NGOs are calling for:

1. Animal welfare and the EU commitments on animal welfare should be managed by an autonomous unit within the Agriculture Department.

2. Separately and completely unaligned, there should be an Animal Rights Department that does not fall under the remit of Agriculture, nor the same Permanent Secretary which would avoid any administrative and policy conflicts.

3. Education would be a key role within this department. Building a new generation that is brought up to understand the rights all living animals have and that no species is above any other.

4. The administration of the pet carer’s licence would fall under the remit of this department.

5. Promoting the rights of fish would also be within the remit of this Department. Overfishing and overexploitation of fish are having an impact on the marine ecosystem, along with the large levels of plastic pollution most of which is caused by the fishing industry itself.

6. In fact the promotion and support of the lives of all animal biodiversity would be part of the remit, including wild birds.

Veggy Malta and Animal Liberation Malta also brought forward a number of suggestions when it comes to working animals

1. No animal should be made to work in conditions that would not be acceptable for a human.

2. Animal testing in Malta should be banned. Unfortunately, Malta allows animal testing.

Sounds good; people will not accept the status quo – governments need to step up to the plate, and reality !

Regards Mark

USA: Florida Man Crops Dogs Ears Whilst They Are Fully Awake – Please Sign Ear Crop Petition.

A Florida man has been accused of cropping his dogs’ ears while they were fully awake and posting videos of the “procedures” to Facebook.   

Ear cropping is already a form of unnecessary mutilation for purely selfish and aesthetic purposes that does not benefit dogs in any way. But by not administering anesthetic before trimming the dogs ears, this person was clearly engaging in textbook animal abuse. 

Sign now if you agree that ear cropping is harmful and unnecessary! Pledge that you will not crop your dogs’ ears!   

Imagine going in for surgery and being completely awake with no numbing medication used on you — it would be absolutely horrifying, and one of the most painful things you ever experienced. That’s exactly what happened to these innocent dogs.

While this is an obviously egregious case of animal abuse, we can all help protect dogs by pledging to never mutilate them in this way.  

Sign now to pledge that you will not crop your dogs’ ears!

Regards Mark

Columbia: 4 Killed and Hundreds Injured During Bullfight As Stand Collapses.

Picture – ‘Independent’ (London)

Stand collapses during bullfight | Watch (msn.com)

At least four people have reportedly been killed and hundreds injured after a stand collapsed during a bullfight in Colombia.

It happened in the municipality of El Espinal in the central region of the country at about 1pm local time on Sunday during a local festival.

Among the dead were two women, a man and an 18-month-old baby.

Footage has emerged of a wooden stand crowded with spectators collapsing at the stadium.

Mayor Juan Carlos Tamayo said 800 spectators were seated in the sections that collapsed.

The stand was seen toppling forward into the ring, where people were participating in a bull-running event, which is tied to the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul.

According to Major Luis Fernando Velez, director of civil defence in the province, no one remained trapped in the wreckage.

Colombia: At least four dead, including 18-month-old baby, as stand collapses at bullfight | World News | Sky News

He told local media that several people were missing but have since been found.

“The emergency has been overcome at the site of the incident. More or less 70 people were injured,” Mr Velez said.

Injured people were taken to the nearby cities of Ibague and Maelgar in ambulances.

Mr Velez said El Espinal’s hospital was overwhelmed, adding he didn’t know what the stand was made from but it appeared to be wooden boards.

Current President Iván Duque wrote on Twitter: “We lament the terrible tragedy registered in El Espinal, Tolima, during the festivals of San Pedro and San Juan, with the collapse of the stands during a Corralejo.

“We will call for an investigation.”

President-elect Gustavo Petro urged officials to ban such events.

The cultural festival is observed every year on 29 June and the event is the feast day that honours Saints Peter and Paul, who were apostles of Jesus Christ and Christian martyrs.

Colombia: At least four dead, including 18-month-old baby, as stand collapses at bullfight | World News | Sky News

Regards Mark

?? Karma for tormenting animals ??

Israel: Government deal to boost beef industry pilloried as bad for climate and public health.

We have had the following sent through from Ana;  she asks ‘what can we do ?’.

Sadly Ana, probably very little now, as this all appears to already be done and dusted according to the article.  The new deal has already been done.  We agree with the statement in the article:

“Animals Now said the measure would provide an economic incentive to “an industry that abuses animals.”

“To continue to give a customs exemption for the import of live calves is to give benefits to a handful of businessmen, and to transfer hundreds of millions of shekels from the public purse to the meat industry, while humanity is dealing with the climate crisis, is simply absurd,” it said.


Government deal to boost beef industry pilloried as bad for climate, public health

Agriculture minister says NIS 420 million accord will help cut prices, while rights activists say permanent customs tax exemption on import of live calves is a license for abuse

Government deal to boost beef industry pilloried as bad for climate, public health | The Times of Israel

A range of activist groups on Thursday denounced a new deal between the Agriculture and Finance ministries and the Israeli Cattle Breeders’ Association to boost the beef industry.

The agreement, reached Wednesday, commits the government to investing more than NIS 420 million ($122 million) into the local beef industry over the next seven years; removing customs duties on imported beef products; turning a temporary exemption on customs duties for livestock imports — which is renewed annually — into a permanent exemption; and increasing the number of foreign workers that can enter Israel to work in the sector.

Agriculture Minister Oded Forer described the agreement as, “more good news for dealing with the high cost of living,” that would help cut the price of beef, “a product that is in increasing and constant demand from year to year,” while also supporting the cattle breeders and giving the sector certainty.

The Israeli Association of Public Health Physicians and the Israel Forum for Sustainable Nutrition, however, warned in a statement that encouraging beef consumption was bad for public health, the environment and for fighting climate change.

According to UN estimates, livestock is responsible for around 14 percent of human-generated greenhouse gases, especially methane.

“To continue to give a customs exemption for the import of live calves is to give benefits to a handful of businessmen, and to transfer hundreds of millions of shekels from the public purse to the meat industry, while humanity is dealing with the climate crisis, is simply absurd,” it said.

According to Agriculture Ministry figures, a record 856,630 calves and lambs were shipped to Israel in 2021 for fattening and slaughter, an increase of 42% over a year earlier.

Per capita, Israelis are among the highest consumers of beef in the world.

Regards Mark


USA: Rocky the Coyote Paces in a Tiny Cage—Act Now!

Rocky the Coyote Paces in a Tiny Cage—Act Now!

After humans mistook Rocky the baby coyote for an abandoned puppy, they captured him in nature and sent him to an animal shelter in Tennessee before he’d even opened his eyes. 

From there, he was sent to the Forest Preserves of Cook County and relegated—all alone—to a small, bleak corncrib cage at the River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook, Illinois. With a constant view of the forest around him, Rocky now presses his snout against the bars that imprison him.

In nature, coyotes live in packs. Studies done in Cook County show that coyote packs roam territories averaging more than 4 square miles. But at the River Trail Nature Center, Rocky languishes alone and has been observed pacing in apparent distress. This blatant disregard for his needs threatens his health, but sadly, it’s business as usual for the self-proclaimed “nature center.”

Eagles, owls, and hawks are also confined to small, barren cages there, including a kestrel and a screech owl who are kept in 4-foot-by-4-foot boxes with no room to fly and no access to sunlight, fresh air, or foliage.

But there’s hope for Rocky! The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado—which is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries—has offered to relocate him to an expansive naturalistic habitat where he could roam with other coyotes.

Keeping Rocky confined as an “educational” prop for human entertainment, when he could and should be roaming as a member of a pack, is an egregious form of speciesism—discrimination based solely on species.

Please urge Cook County officials and the River Trail Nature Center to give Rocky a chance to live at an accredited sanctuary!

Rocky the Coyote Paces in a Tiny Cage—Act Now! | PETA

Regards Mark

USA: 11 Best Vegan ‘Bits’ In Los Angeles Right Now.


From veganized fast food to indigenous Mexican to flaky, butter-free French pastries—LA’s vegan street food scene is hotter than ever.

There’s a reason why Los Angeles has been named VegNews’ Best Vegan City three years in a row by VN readers. Dining institutions like Plant Food + Wine, Shojin, and Monty’s Good Burger are revered nationwide and have helped cement the City of Angels’ status as the best vegan dining destination in the country. But there’s another plant-based trick up LA’s sleeve: a world-class street food scene of underground pop-ups, ghost kitchens, and food trucks. And it’s proving once and for all that brick and mortars aren’t the only recipe for success.

The 11 Best Vegan Pop-Ups, Food Trucks, and Delivery Kitchens in Los Angeles Right Now | VegNews

Regards Mark

Elephants Shouldn’t Be Taught to Perform Unhealthy Tricks – Petition – Pleae Sign and Pass on.

Elephants Shouldn’t Be Taught to Perform Unhealthy Tricks

Elephants are smart, social, soulful creatures. But there are some things they just should not do. For example: unnatural, unhealthy tricks like headstands.

In a recent video posted to Twitter that’s since gone viral, someone is filming as a handler washes a captive elephant. The animal leans forward onto its trunk and head, moving into a headstand while a man sprays the creature down with water.

The people who posted the Twitter video may have been impressed with the stunt. But luckily most animal lovers on the internet know better — and they’re rightly outraged.   While an elephant standing on its head might seem amusing at first glance, it’s an unnatural behaviour that these majestic beings do not display in the wild.

That means they’ve been forcibly taught to perform these unusual tasks. And the way handlers train elephants is anything but humane. Instead, they employ vicious, horrific tactics like stabbing the animals with bull hooks, or shocking them with cattle prods.

The video has since been removed from Twitter, but it was online long enough for it to amass more than 300,000 views. And when a video like this goes viral, it means more and more people could be lulled into believing such cruel exploitation is normal.

Twitter must implement a stronger system to catch these videos before they go viral! Sign the petition if you agree!

P.S. Elephants should never be coerced or abused into performing for humans in this way — not in circuses, not in zoos, and not anywhere else.

Sign the petition.

Regards Mark

Australia: The Link Between Leather and Live Export – Graphic Footage.

The Link Between Leather and Live Export

More than 1.4 billion cows, sheep, and goats as well as millions of other animals are killed each year to feed the fashion industry’s demand for skin – but how much do we really know about the journeys of the sensitive individuals whose skin is stolen?

The global leather supply chain is complex, making it difficult for consumers to determine the origins and sometimes even the species of the animals used for the items they purchase.

Live export is a process in which trembling animals are pushed onto a severely crowded truck or ship and transported many thousands of kilometres.

A new PETA video tells the story of how the leather trade fuels the live-export industry from the perspective of an investigator who has witnessed it firsthand.

Butchered Alive: Australian Cattle Killed Overseas for Leather Shoes

In 2021, PETA Asia investigators visited seven Indonesian abattoirs at random, some of which were part of the Australian government’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System.

At these facilities, the investigators found botched stunning or sometimes none at all. They witnessed animals being prodded repeatedly with metal rods and gasping for air as blood filled their throats.

The investigators learned that the skins of some Australian cattle were sold to a fashion brand that exports leather shoes worldwide.

Butchered Alive: Australian Cattle Killed Overseas for Your Leather Shoes – News – PETA Australia

Chilling scenes of abuse of Australian animals have been documented at Indonesian abattoirs this year, prompting a fresh set of complaints to be filed against Australia’s live-export industry, but consumers must take action as the government has shown no inclination to lift a finger. 

The footage is a harrowing glimpse into the trade that supplies flesh to dangerous wet markets and skin to the global leather industry. Some of the facilities visited by PETA Asia investigators are even part of the Australian government’s Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), dispelling all doubt about government inaction.

In the same month this abuse occurred, Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council (ALEC) CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton expressed his “full confidence in the standards the Australian industry upholds”. Watch the footage below and decide if you can say the same. If not, please stop buying leather right now!

Botched Stunning or None at All

PETA Asia investigators visited seven randomly selected abattoirs in Indonesia in April and May 2021 and filed an official complaint.

They found steers and bulls being forced into restraint boxes and shot in the head with captive-bolt guns. The cattle were often fully aware of what was happening to them. They slammed their bodies against the metal chute they were trapped in, in a futile attempt to turn around and escape.

Workers repeatedly failed to stun cows adequately. Clearly still conscious after being shot in the head, one steer was jabbed 64 times in the face and on his torso with a steel rod to try to force him to stand back up so a worker could shoot him again.

Workers also violently twisted his tail until it was broken. In a last-ditch attempt to move the struggling, panicked steer, they pulled on his broken tail a dozen times.

Then there were those for whom stunning wasn’t even attempted at all. Some cattle were simply physically restrained before their throats were slit – which, believe it or not, is a killing method approved by the Australian government.

ALEC boasts on its website that 95% of Australian cattle in Indonesia are now stunned prior to slaughter. But based on what investigators saw, that’s not the case.

Butchered Alive

Abattoir workers viciously yanked and deliberately stepped on animals’ tails, apparently in a crude attempt to check for consciousness. Some cattle still kicked, but they were butchered anyway, with no further attempts at rendering them unconscious.

Steers who were still moving and whose heads dangled by only a strip of flesh after their throats had been slit were hung by the neck on metal hooks. Their legs continued to thrash as they were dragged across the bloody floor and then hoisted up.

Investigators saw animals blinking after their throats were cut, gasping for air as blood filled their throats. Some suffered this way for up to 12 minutes after being shot with a captive-bolt gun.

Monica KH Bando, a veterinarian with more than 13 years of clinical and research experience, said the footage captured by investigators depicted “egregious violations of acceptable animal welfare standards for livestock” including “[p]oorly designed facilities, unsanitary conditions, substandard handling, restraint methods that induce stress and distress, lack of stunning and ineffective stunning, and inhumane killing methods”.

10 Years of Failure

Workers told investigators that the cows being slaughtered came from Australia, and most wore Australian National Livestock Identification System ear tags.

These are just a tiny percentage of the millions of animal victims of Australia’s live-export trade. Australia exported more than 1.8 million animals in 2020, and the vast majority of them were cattle.

It’s been a decade since cruelty in the live-export trade to Indonesia was exposed by Animals Australia on national TV in the programme Four Corners, after which a traceability programme – Export Supply Chain Assurance System – was put in place.

The programme hasn’t provided “assurance” of any kind. In fact, it’s been a colossal failure. It was supposed to stop this kind of cruelty. There have been 184 reports of non-compliance (just reports – the number of incidents would be far higher) since it was established.

When this latest footage was filmed, the Department of Agriculture was still investigating cruelty complaints against Indonesian abattoirs made by Animals Australia in 2020.

The Government Ignores This, but We Have the Power to Stop It

The Australian government should be preparing for a future without live exports, but it’s not. Every new exposé is “shocking” to those in power, but are you really surprised? When animals are crammed onto ships as though they were inanimate commodities and then sold for slaughter, how can anyone expect them to be treated as if their pain mattered?

Australia is a nation of self-proclaimed animal lovers, so many of us blame somebody else for the cruelty – the government or people overseas. Never mind that these cattle were slaughtered for meat and leather sold all over the world, potentially even in Australia.

The live-export industry is the meat industry and the leather industry. If you buy meat at an Australian supermarket or purchase a pair of leather shoes, you’re putting money in the pockets of the same people who send these animals to be slaughtered in hideous, painful ways overseas.

And since the leather produced in Indonesia is exported globally, you could be wearing or sitting on the skin of the same animals you’ve just watched in this video. PETA Asia investigators found that the skins of some Australian cattle were sold to a fashion brand that exports leather shoes worldwide.

If you continue to buy the flesh or skin of animals, you send the same message to producers that the government does, i.e. that this industry has a social license to continue and a sustainable future. Please, act now to change the market and spare animals’ lives every time you buy a meal, a pair of shoes, a jacket, or a belt. Personal responsibility will end this trade. Let’s go!


Australia: It’s Time to Abandon Ship

In April 2021, New Zealand announced a ban on all live exports (including breeding “stock”) by sea, citing the need to “stay ahead of the curve in a world where animal welfare is under increasing scrutiny”. New Zealand actually banned export for slaughter all the way back in 2008. In May 2021, the UK announced that it intends to ban the live export of animals for slaughter and fattening.

Meanwhile, Australia is still leaving a bloody trail around the world, causing animals misery en route and in every port they reach.

This investigation shows that no regulations, reviews, or reports are making the barbaric business of shipping and killing live animals more humane


Demand an End to ALL Live Export – NOW! | PETA Australia

Regards Mark

England: Response From UK Government Over Our Letter Of Animal Welfare Concerns In UK – Australia FTA.

Around 8/6/22 we wrote to our (UK) Member of Parliament (MP) expressing our concerns over the UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and animal welfare issues.  We had serious concerns over the UK animal standards being lowered down to Australian levels by this deal, especially with Australia still undertaking the mulesing of sheep, using up to 16 times as many antibiotics on Australian farms compared to those being used in the UK, and of course, the continuation of live animal  exports from Australia to the Middle East.

You can read our letter of concern by clicking here:

England: WAV Write To UK Member of Parliament Over UK – Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). – World Animals Voice

We now have a letter returned to us dated 22/6/22 from Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP; the UK Minister of State for Trade Policy at the Department for International Trade.

I am publishing the letter below for everyone to read if they wish.

Minister Penny Mordaunt (MP)

Today is the 24/6; and I need to inform people that yesterday, the 23rd; the British government led by Boris Johnson, suffered 2 defeats in by elections in the South West of England and also in the North. 

Awful results for the Tories, but there’s something else that party’s ranks should fear (msn.com)

Will others follow Tory chairman out of the door? (msn.com)

We at WAV are non politically biased; we just fight for the better treatment and welfare of living, sentient beings.  These defeats though cannot simply be dismissed as a mid term ‘thing’ that happens in politics; many see this as something deeper, possibly a reflection of a government in crisis which is doing little and expecting the ‘normal working man (and woman)’ to pick up the tab.

Animal welfare deals included in the UK – Australia FTA are a concern to us here in the UK.  Australia has lower standards, the UK has better. We are keen to read in Penny’s letter that things are still moving on to deliver the (UK) Governments Manifesto commitment to end the live export of live animals for both further fattening and slaughter.  We are pleased to announce that despite the Bill not reaching law yet; live animals have not been exported to any degree (when compared to the past) for many months now. The Bill is working its way through both houses of Parliament in order to become law; and as we have campaigned against this sick business for nearly 35 years, we want to see action now !

The second page of Penny’s letter declares that the UK government has “secured ground breaking provisions on animal welfare with Australia, including the first stand alone animal welfare chapter in any signed FTA”.  We welcome the comprehensive partnership with Australia to progress and improve animal welfare standards.  These include a joint working group who will meet regularly to provide a forum to support cooperation on animal welfare issues between the UK and Australia, which includes best practices.

A ‘mulesed’ sheep in Australia.

Time to stop this abuse Australia.

We also welcome and support the UK governments and Australian efforts to stop the use of sow stalls, which were banned in the UK in  1999, 23 years ago !, and the commitments for bilateral cooperation which will see this practice also being stopped in Australia.

I will leave you to read the response to us from Penny, outing the UK government approach  to animal welfare ‘move forwards’ with Australia.  If we can make more efforts to stop live exports, the mulesing of live sheep, get the pigs out of sow stalls, and make differences for caged animals in Australia, then we may be on the road to further progress.

Finally, the massive government defeats in the UK yesterday sent a clear message to government that the common man and woman are not happy; and that things need to change, or else we change you by electing a different government.

So, get on and pass the (UK) animal welfare legislation to give animals a voice.

Forever hopeful ! (and continually fighting);

Regards Mark

Australia – BAN LIVE EXPORTS – NOW !!

China: Yulin Has Begun; and Still Authorities Fail To Stop It. Dog Is Pig Is Cow Is Lamb Is Poultry Is Horse Is Rabbit Is Fish ….. Go Vegan and Make a Massive Difference for Stopping Animal Suffering.

The annual Yulin dog-eating festival has begun – yes, you read that right

Many Yulin restaurateurs believe that adrenaline adds flavour to animal flesh, which means the dogs are typically killed in full view of others

The annual Yulin dog-eating festival has begun – yes, you read that right | The Independent

Dog meat markets and events like the Yulin dog eating festival, which resumes this week, are rightly condemned internationally and by many in China. For most of us, the idea of killing, cooking and eating dogs – animals we often know personally and love – is enough to make us lose our lunch.

Why is it, then, that most of us can pass a fried chicken shop without batting an eyelid? During the festival, which lasts 10 days, up to 15,000 dogs will be bludgeoned and gutted, while during the same period, nearly 29 million other animals, who also value their lives, will be killed here to satisfy British appetites.

There’s no rational justification for this arbitrary double standard, especially as animals killed for the dinner table in the UK face horrors very similar to those endured by the dogs killed and eaten in Yulin, who are commonly transported there from other cities. They’re crammed into small cages and loaded onto lorries, which may then travel for hundreds of miles. The same is true for the hundreds of thousands of terrified animals still exported from the UK to the EU for fattening and slaughter.

Some dogs in Yulin are clubbed over the head. This is certainly grotesque, but it’s also business as usual for commercial fishers, who repeatedly bash in fish’s heads and beat live, intelligent octopuses against rocks in order to “tenderise” their flesh. Many sea animals – all of whom have the same capacity to feel pain as any dog or cat – experience explosive decompression, and their eyes may even burst as they’re hauled up from the depths of the sea.

Many Yulin restaurateurs believe that adrenaline adds flavour to animal flesh, which means the dogs are typically killed in full view of others. This is horrifying, but animal protection group Viva! estimates that in UK abattoirs, approximately one million pigs regain consciousness before they die of blood loss.

Abattoir veterinarian Gabriele Meurer says: “The slaughtermen are in such a hurry that they often don’t put the electric tongs in the correct position on the pigs’ heads. The pigs get only half or insufficiently stunned, wake up while they bleed and are obviously still alive and conscious when they plunge into the boiling water. Sheep are stunned just as badly.”

In the UK, 86 per cent of pigs are gassed with carbon dioxide. It takes them up to 30 seconds to lose consciousness, and during that time, you can hear their frantic squeals as they hyperventilate and try to escape the gas chamber. If the British meat industry did to dogs and cats what it does to pigs, chickens, cows and sheep, it would be prosecuted for cruelty to animals.

No animal wants to suffer and die to end up on our plates, and deep down, we know it. But from a young age, most of us are conditioned to view certain species as worthy of care and compassion and others as unworthy – all based on arbitrary human preferences.

Intentionally or not, parents, teachers, the media, and other influences send children the message that puppies and kittens are “friends”, cows and chickens are “food”, and rats and mice are “pests”. Most children are also taught that human desires, needs, and interests always trump those of any other species.

As a result, we learn to ignore our own consciences, which tell us that it’s wrong to mistreat others. We convince ourselves that we have the right to imprison animals in laboratoriesexperiment on them, and kill them because it might help humans. That it’s OK to eat ice cream made from cows’ milk because our desire for dessert outweighs a mother cow’s instinctual need to nurse and care for her baby. That keeping orcas in barren tanks for profit and entertainment is acceptable. That the enjoyment we get from casting a baited hook into the water to catch fish matters more than the pain inflicted on them when they’re pierced through the lip and yanked into an environment in which they can’t breathe.

I often think of the words of Isaac Bashevis Singer, who wrote of animals: “In relation to them, all people are Nazis.” It’s an uncomfortable notion, but who could argue with it?

We can – and must – overcome our toxic, speciesist mindset. If this pandemic teaches us one thing, surely it’s that all living, feeling beings are connected. It’s time we took an honest and hard look at our own prejudices – our xenophobia, our sexism, our racism, and our speciesism – and took a stand against violence, no matter who the victims are.

Is it too much to dream that we’ll look back and say that 2022 was the year we truly started to see ourselves in others and began treating all sentient beings with the respect and compassion they deserve?

Mimi Bekhechi is Vice President of PETA UK, Europe and Australia

386 dogs rescued from truck heading to China dog meat festival

Activists found creative ways to save dogs being killed for Yulin dog meat festival

Chinese police have intercepted a truck carrying 386 dogs to slaughter at the annual dog-meat eating festival in the southern Chinese city of Yulin, which was scheduled to start on Tuesday – the day of the summer solstice.

Footage from the scene showed the dogs were crammed into wire cages in poor conditions. On discovering the truck last weekend, animal rights’ activists worried that some of them may be suffering from infectious diseases. So they reported the truck to the police, citing the country’s legislations on epidemic prevention.

Lin Xiong, one of the activists who saw the truck being pulled over by the police, said: “It was horrifying to see so many dogs in such an appalling state, it was like a truck from hell for these poor animals … The dog meat slaughter brings shame on our country and so we will keep fighting until we see an end to this suffering.”

Ahead of this year’s Yulin dog meat festival, which draws a small crowd in the city, Chinese activists found creative ways to save dogs from being killed.

Xiao He, a Shaanxi-based animal rights activist, said he had worked for weeks with fellow activists to go through China’s existing laws and regulations to persuade the authorities to stop the event from happening.

“There are regulations that articulate how to deal with animals, for example legally required quarantine inspection certificates. But clearly those who carried the dogs did not comply with the regulations. We have to remind them as well as the authorities [of those regulations],” He said.

In 2020, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said dogs are not “livestock” for eating, but rather companion animals.

Campaigners who have been involved in saving the dogs on board said they were of different breeds, sizes and health conditions. They said they were probably stolen household guard dogs or pets, strays grabbed from the streets, or came from other unknown sources without traceability.

After the police intervention over the weekend, the dogs were sent to be quarantined. Chinese activists told the Guardian that the dogs have now been handed over to Beijing’s Capital Animal Welfare Association, after the traders signed an agreement to relinquish their ownership of the animals.

Peter Li, China policy specialist at Humane Society International, a campaign group, said the Yulin authorities were “duped” by the traders who have falsely argued that dog meat consumption is “traditional” and part of the local dietary culture. “Dog meat consumption is supply-driven, driven by the traders, not consumer-driven. The dog slaughter in Yulin is commercial in nature, not cultural,” he said.

Li said that his team on the ground saw Yulin police trying to prevent business owners from making a show of the “festival”.

“Eaters from outside Guangxi used to be sizeable before 2014. This group has gone down drastically particularly since 2020. Most eaters are local and the number has been dwindling.”

386 dogs rescued from truck heading to China dog meat festival | Animal welfare | The Guardian

Regards Mark

Sick, but as non meat eaters would say:

A dog, is cow, is chicken, is pig, is sheep, is turkey, is lamb, is ….

So who has the right to say that dog cannot be eaten when they stuff their faces with Chicken, Bacon and more.

Go vegan, eradicate animal death from your corner.

England: Ships Captain Strips to His Underpants and Jumps 30 Feet Into Water to Save Drowning Meerkat.

© Provided by Metro Captain Tom Sexton stripped to his boxers to rescue Boris the meerkat (Picture: SWNS)

Ship’s captain jumps overboard to rescue meerkat called Boris in Cornish port

From ‘Metro’ London

Ship’s captain jumps overboard to rescue meerkat called Boris in Cornish port (msn.com)

In today’s episode of headlines you just couldn’t make up we introduce a hero captain and his meerkat cargo.

Skipper Tom Sexton stripped to his boxers to rescue a meerkat called Boris confused itself for a Lemming and jumped 30ft off the side of the boat.

Luckily Boris survived the jump from the Gry Maritha when it arrived in port at Penzance, Cornwall.

His escape bid was not alone – his travelling companion Doris had managed to escape their cat cage and made a bid for freedom.

She was caught, but Boris made his bid for freedom.

They were both on their way to Axe Valley Zoo in Axminster, Devon, after being transported from the Isles of Scilly.

Tom, 33, said: ‘I think the owner originally had four of them in a sort of little petting zoo at his council house.

‘Two of them were in this cat carrier style box but managed to figure out how to break out while we were sailing.

‘The two of them were just running around the deck, but there were all kinds of cars and crates they kept hiding under so we decided to leave it until we got into port.

‘Eventually after mooring we all got out brooms and gloves and the five of us started running around the deck trying to catch them.

‘We managed to get the first one, but the second one jumped overboard. I was actually pretty impressed at how good a swimmer he was, but he seemed to be in a bit of trouble.

‘I decided I’d jump in and grab him so I stripped off down to my boxers and put on some gloves to go get him, I knew they could be quite nippy.

‘I was surprised how easy it was to get him though. We then put him back in his box and hoisted him back onto the deck.’

Regards Mark

Similarities of ‘Reworked Rust Buckets’; Resulting In the Deaths of Many Thousands of Live Animals. Disgusting !

Al Badri 1 – Sudan – Maritime Executive

WAV Comment:

The use of vessels which have exceeded their ‘scrap by’ dates and then purchased to be converted into livestock carriers are something which is seen all too much (unfortunately) by those of us monitoring the live animal export industry. 

When the ‘Queen Hind’ sank after leaving the Romanian port of Midia in November 2019, many thousands of sheep also drowned there. Who is pulling one when they paint ‘Safety First’ on the vessel ?

180 out of 14,600 animals survive – Safety First !
Queen Hind

Only 180 sheep survived the ‘Hind’ incident out of the 14,600 initially believed to have been onboard, which was carrying them from Romania, the EU’s biggest exporter of the animal, to Saudi Arabia.

But the revelations uncovered during salvage about the Hind having secret decks only increased the death toll of the sheep carried by several thousands, and also raised fresh questions on whether overloading was to blame for the capsize.

Seems strange does it not, that the Sudan incident happening very recently, included the failure of an official PSC ministry inspection of the vessel over a 10-year gap from 2008-18.  Were the extra 4 decks fitted onto the vessel during this time ? – yes; and could this have been what caused the vessel to become ‘top heavy’ and overturn when fully loaded with animals ?

We are not afraid to say, but we also question if these incidents are about compensation issues.  If you have a very old ship and it is written off, do you not get insurance money which will probably buy you a better one ? – and the livestock ?; somebody somewhere is going to get compensated for the ‘loss’ of the cargo one assumes.

A disgusting business which belongs in the history books.  No doubt it will happen again, what once, twice or more ?

I simply ask the question; how are these old rust buckets allowed to cross the oceans of the world carrying livestock when they have not had an official inspection for over 10 years ? – when I have a car, it has to be inspected and pass rigorous (MOT) testing by the authorities each and every year.  ‘My car’ carries 4 or 5 people, not 15,000 live animals; so should ithe floating death traps not be inspected more regularly to higher standards when operating ? – especially when they are that old in the first place.

Baffled ? – yes I am, just like many others.

Regards Mark


The vessel Al Badri 1 (misreported as the Badr 1) began sinking at the pier at Suakin, Sudan in the early hours of a recent Sunday morning. The vessel capsized slowly, officials told The Guardian, and the crew had enough time to disembark. Only some 700 sheep escaped and survived. 

The loss of the Al Badri 1 may affect the port’s operations, as well as the environment, given the potential for a fuel oil spill and the effluent from the decay of thousands of sheep. The vessel is now submerged next to its berth, interfering with the pier’s use until the wreck is cleared.

The Al Badri 1 (ex name Henry Stahl, Ester 1, Ytong 1, Malak 1) was a stern-ramp ro/ro freighter originally built in 1973 and converted into a livestock carrier later in her lifespan.

She had a history of port state control deficiencies in recent years, as well as a 10-year gap from 2008-18 in which she had no PSC inspections. 

Images from before and after the Al Badri 1’s conversion suggest that four extra decks were welded on above the ship’s main deck level to add more space for livestock. 

Worldwide, livestock carriers are generally older than the average merchant ship, and the average fleet age for the class exceeds 40 years. Almost all are conversions, often from ro/ro vessels.

The ships selected for the conversion process have usually already arrived at the normal age for demolition (about 30) when they begin their new life, based on a 2021 study by Animal Welfare Foundation, Tierschutzbund Zürich and Robin des Bois. 

A similar incident occurred aboard the livestock carrier Queen Hind in November 2019. The vessel capsized off the coast of Romania under unusual circumstances, drowning almost all of the 15,000 sheep on board. 

WAV article on this – Romania: Secret Decks of Sheep On The ‘Queen Hind’ Which Sank at Midia ??. We Still Wait For EU Action and the Report Promised by the Romanian Government. – World Animals Voice

From the Romanian incident – Secret decks for extra animals have been found in a livestock carrier that sank off the Romanian port of Midia in November drowning thousands of sheep, according to the company carrying out the massive salvage operation.

Only 180 sheep survived out of the 14,600 initially believed to have been onboard the Queen Hind, which was carrying them from Romania, the EU’s biggest exporter of the animal, to Saudi Arabia.

But the revelations about secret decks are likely to increase the death toll by several thousands, and raise fresh questions on whether overloading was to blame for the capsize.

The vessel was left on its side in the water as it sank not far from port, with sheep corpses piling up around it. Images of the tragedy made headlines worldwide and led to renewed calls by animal activists to impose a ban on live exports from Europe to non-EU countries, particularly the Middle East and north Africa.

We also understand that the vessel in the Sudanese incident was officially only allowed to carry 9,000 animals; yet 15,800+ being carried drowned. Thus, it would appear as we always suspect with these cheap rate bathtubs which are used in this business, the vessel was carrying twice as many animals as it should have been; which we expect (are very certain of) being the cause of the incident in the first place.

It has happed before – see the ‘Queen Hind’ secret decks data above.

Regards Mark

India: June Rescue Videos and More From The Amazing Crew at ‘Animal Aid Unlimited’.

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

Hi all;

This arrived from Erika and the crew at AAU earlier in the week, but did not arrive through the usual inbox route.  This has happened a few times now, and we are getting our computer people in next week to see if we can sort this, plus some other issues.

Apologies to Erika and the team for getting this out late.

Come on folks, dig deep and after watching the videos, we hope you will consider making a donation to further help the team with future rescues, or additionally you can support (sponsor) one of the special need animals by using this link – https://www.animalaidunlimited.org/how-to-help/sponsor-an-animal/

As with all animal advocates, we give our condolences to the family of Mithu Bai and thank her for being special and giving so much of her time to helping those less fortunate.



Dear Mark,

Ourbeauty salon for sheephas experienced a little bump up of activity with temps soaring into the 40s C (100s F). We’re careful though to leave enough fur to protect from sunburn, and these sweethearts–Barbara, Cashew, Raisin, Bailey and Bertie each love their day in the spa.

One of our recent UK volunteers, Paul, remarked that although there are sheep in so many pastures in his country, they’re often shy; they’re not used to being lovingly touched, so they usually run from you if you try to pet them. But our gentle sheep believe that only good things come from human contact and they’ll often nudge and nuzzle their way in as close as they can. Thank you for the help that enables us to give permanent home to many species of angel!

Suri was stuck in tar, now she’s surrounded in love.

Little Suri was almost lost in hardened tar covering literally every inch of her body. Saving her precious life took 10 loving hands working for hours. We don’t know how long she’d been stuck in the tar, or how she made her way into the yard where the tar had been carelessly dumped in the dirt, but she was almost unconscious from exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke. Her tail was stuck to her thighs and herlegs were stuck together. All she could move were her eyes.

Our team went to work with vegetable oil and soap to loosen up the tar so that it could be washed off. It took hours of gentle massaging to soften the tar and frequent breaks had to be given to allow her to rest and drink water by syringe. When Suri was finally freed from the grip of the tar, she nearly jumped for joy. And so did we.

Sometimes it’s not medicine that does the trick. It’s hours of work, a pinch of luck, blended in love.

Please donate today.

Sukie took Belle’s grief and turned it to love.

Sukie is blind and had been abandoned after a road accident. After we rescued her, and she recovered from her injuries, she was on her own amongst our 100 plus cows as the only horse in hospital. She was surrounded by animals and humans, but she was clearly lonely. Sukie desperately needed another horse, because horses need horses to talk to, to groom, to play with, to take comfort from in their shared language.

In a separate incident across the city, a horse lay dying from a suspected twisted intestine. But she wasn’t alone. Her dearest companion was a little red mare, who appeared out of the blue following the ambulance at full gallop, as we transported her critically ill friend to our hospital.

Back in the hospital, we did everythingp we could to help the suffering horse, but sadly she didn’t have the strength to make it. She passed away quietly within a few hours, with her friend by her side. Her friend circled and seemed to grieve. But then, she saw Sukie.

This video is a tribute to all friends.Belle was the answer to Sukie’s prayers. And Sukie must be the answer to Belle’s in turn.

For the surprise around the corner, please donate today

Please sponsor an animal in need today:

A horrible wound, but Hopeful asked us to try…

Our rescue team must have gasped when they saw the sheer size of this street dog’s gaping neck wound. He couldn’t lift his head and he was nearly unconscious.

We rushed him to our hospital and began work to heal this complicated and horrible wound. At first, we weren’t sure he would have the strength to survive. But he wouldn’t give up hope, and neither would we.

Meet Hopeful now!

Love keeps hope alive, please donate.

After receiving oxygen, puppy bounces back in one day!

This sweetheart was hit by a car and neighbors found himcollapsed, bleeding from his nose.We were relieved to find no fractures but his breathing was labored and we worried he had internal injuries.

After receiving oxygen, soothed with rest and comfort and medicine, this littlelove-magnet has bounced back with adorable enthusiasm.

Thank you for being the reason why we can help when animals need it most.

In loving memory

We sorrowfully share with you that our loving member of staff,

animal caregiver Mithu Baipassed away on May 31st.

She had been a part of the Animal Aid family since 2016. We are deeply saddened, and grateful for the thousands of animals comforted by her loving spirit, and the staff and volunteers whose lives she brightened.

Her memory will be part of Animal Aid Unlimited forever.

New Hydraulic Lift Ambulance is a special gift for big cows and bulls

When a cow or bull needed rescue, it used to take 5-10 people to lift the usually panicking animal into the rescue vehicle, and the stress and risk of injury was high. Now we have 3 ambulances outfitted with hydraulic lifts, thanks to the generosity of several very special donors.

Regards Mark


Amazon Rainforest Murders – ‘Heartbroken’: family pay tribute to Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira.

One of our friends and supporters; Barbara Crane Navarro, is the founder of the Rainforest Art Project, Gold Mining Is Destroying the Amazon and Its Indigenous People. Please Support the Rainforest Art Project. – World Animals Voice

Barbara – Founder – Rainforest Art Project.

It is dangerous out there; trying to speak up for and protect the natural people of the forest.

Check out all our posts at: Search Results for “amazon” – Page 2 – World Animals Voice  as the following article from ‘Thew Guardian’, London, shows.


‘Heartbroken’: family pay tribute to Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

Colleagues call for journalist and Indigenous activist’s work to be inspiration to others

Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41 went missing on 5 June, at the end of a short trip down the Itaquaí River in western Brazil. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

The family of Dom Phillips have spoken of their heartbreak over the murder of the British journalist and the Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira as colleagues said the men’s work would be an inspiration to others.

In a statement issued on behalf of Phillips’ sister Sian, his brother Gareth, and their partners and children, the family offered their thanks to those who had taken part in the 10-day search.

The Repórter Brasil news and investigations website, with whom Phillips collaborated, blacked out the top of its front page. “Mourning”, it said. “Repórter Brasil continues to investigate violence against traditional people in the countryside, as well as against all who defend you”, it said.

Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41 went missing on 5 June, at the end of a short trip down the Itaquaí River in western Brazil.

Pereira was accompanying Phillips on a reporting trip for a book about sustainable development in the Amazon but their boat did not arrive as scheduled at Atalaia do Norte, not far from Brazil’s border with Peru.

At a press briefing late on Wednesday, the regional police chief, Eduardo Fontes, announced that one of the two men arrested in connection with the pair’s disappearance had confessed to killing them.

Philips’ siblings said in their statement that were particularly grateful for the leading efforts of the Indigenous people at a time when the local authorities were widely regarded as having taken a lethargic approach to the men’s disappearance.

With reference to the two men’s partners, Alessandra and Beatriz, the family wrote: “We are heartbroken at the confirmation that Dom and Bruno were murdered and extend our deepest sympathies to Alessandra, Beatriz and the other Brazilian family members of both men. We are grateful to all those who have taken part in the search, especially the Indigenous groups who worked tirelessly to find evidence of the attack.”

The statement went on: “In due course we will offer our perspective on the courageous lives and important work of these remarkable men but for the moment, we request that representatives of the media allow the family some peace to deal privately with what has happened to their beloved Dom.

“We thank the many people who have joined us in urging the authorities to intensify the search and those who have reached out with wards of comfort and sympathy.”

The suspect who confessed to taking part in the murder of Phillips and Pereira informed the police on Tuesday of the location of the bodies and he joined investigators to retrieve them on Wednesday.

The location, an area known as the Lago do Preguiça is 1hr 40min by boat from the river town of Atalaia do Norte and another 1.9 miles by foot into dense forest.

Phillips’ wife, Alessandra Sampaio, had issued a statement on Wednesday evening in which she spoke of her relief that the bodies had been recovered after an agonising week and a half.

“This tragic outcome puts an end to the anguish of not knowing Dom and Bruno’s whereabouts,” she wrote.

“Now we can bring them home and say goodbye with love. Today, we also begin our quest for justice. I hope that the investigations exhaust all possibilities and bring definitive answers on all relevant details as soon as possible.”

Pereira’s wife, Beatriz Matos, tweeted: “Now that Bruno’s spirits are wandering in the forest and spread among us, our strength is much greater.”

Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said she was “deeply saddened”.

“Dom was an outstanding reporter and long-term contributor to the Guardian”, she said. “His brave and humane journalism did so much to bring the stories of Brazil and Latin America to a global audience, through the pages of the Guardian and other news organisations.

“Bruno Pereira was a renowned defender of the rights of Brazil’s Indigenous peoples and totally committed to the traditional peoples of the Amazon. At the Guardian we are so very sorry to hear this heartbreaking news and all our thoughts are with Dom and Bruno’s families and friends.”

Jonathan Watts, the Guardian’s global environment editor, said he hoped that the two men’s lives would be an inspiration to those who cared about the Amazon.

“This is a horror story that will chill anyone who is a journalist, anyone who cares about the Amazon, about Indigenous people, about our planetary life support systems,” Watts said. “But I hope it will inspire rather than deter editors and reporters, so that there is even more attention on the stories that Dom cared about.

“I really hope that the work Dom started can be continued and amplified. And that for me would be the only way something decent could come out of something so utterly monstrous.”

Pat Venditti, executive director of Greenpeace UK, praised Phillips and Pereira as “brave, passionate and determined men”.

In a statement, he said the men “were murdered while doing their vital work of shining a light on the daily threats Indigenous peoples in Brazil face as they defend their land and their rights”.

Venditti accused Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, of giving “political and moral licence for predatory activities in and around Indigenous lands”.

“The greatest tribute we can pay Bruno and Dom now is to continue their vital work until all of Brazil’s peoples and their forests are fully protected,” the Greenpeace official added. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to support the families of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira. Donate here in English or here in Portuguese.

Regards Mark

‘Heartbroken’: family pay tribute to Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira | Brazil | The Guardian

England: CIWF Awards 2022 – Although Personally Vegan; You Must Support International Organisations Trying To Better Animal Welfare.


WAV and its founder have been involved with CIWF for several decades now.

It was in the campaign fighting against the live animal export trade that CIWF CEO Phil Lymbery and Mark of WAV first met, what 35 (or more) years ago.

As someone who does not exploit animals in any way through diet, it is always difficult to give credit to organisations which do use animal flesh, or eggs etc in their production methods.

But only through awards such as those given globally by CIWF today can we encourage and better animal welfare standards by putting those who are making improvements for better welfare to be the recipients of the awards presented today. There is no way forward other than conversion to better animal welfare methods – and I hope these awards will do this.

The world is not completely vegan; nor unfortunately will it ever totally be; I think we all have to accept that whilst doing what we can to throw the bad boys out of the bus and encourage those who are doing better to improve their standards even more. That is the basis of these awards. We all want a perfectly cruelty free world, but it takes a long time to get anywhere even near this.

It is through award schemes such as this; and recognising those who are making efforts, can we move on even more and persuade them to throw more into animal welfare.

Please click here to read lots more from CIWF on the awards given today:

Compassion celebrates 2022 Award winners | Compassion in Food Business

Regards Mark

Time Out.

The Anadin ‘Brothers’ !

‘So What’ ?

Don’t you just love the girls ? – real hot – saw them live here in England several times – the Anadin ‘Brothers’. Anything but !!

Denmark: Great – Danish Mink Breeders Turn Their Backs En Masse.

No, we have still never had a response from the Danish Embassy, London, After our letter. It takes up to 40 dumb animals to make a fur coat – but only one even dumber one to wear it.

Danish mink breeders have turned their backs on the industry en masse after being forced to cull their animals over fears a Covid-19 mutation could pose a risk to humans. In November 2020, Denmark announced it would cull approximately 15 million animals, with the government temporarily banning mink farming and breeding for fur until 2023.

Danish mink breeders have turned their backs on the industry en masse after being forced to cull their animals over fears a Covid-19 mutation could pose a risk to human health.

In November 2020, Denmark, at that point the world’s largest mink producer, controversially announced it would cull approximately 15 million animals due to fears a Covid-19 mutation moving from mink to humans could jeopardise future vaccines.

The Danish government temporarily banned mink farming and the breeding of the animals for their fur, later extending the ban until 2023.

Officials have now said just a handful of producers in the country have chosen to resume business if the ban lifts in 2023. Greece, Poland and North America are now expected to increase production to make up the shortfall.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (FVST) told the Guardian only 13 breeders had applied for the compensation that would allow them to potentially continue breeding mink in 2023. Another 1,246 breeders applied for the compensation to end their mink farming.

The FVST said, since the cull, it had found three cases of illegally farmed mink, two in December 2021 and one in February 2022. It added that £2.1bn had been paid out in compensation to the industry after the ban.

Denmark’s State Serum Institute (SSI) confirmed that the mutated virus that sparked the cull, known as Cluster 5, is now considered extinct. It has not been detected since September 2020.

The Danish government is expected to issue a decision later this month on whether mink breeding can safely restart next year. It remains possible that limited breeding may be allowed.

International Fur Federation CEO, Mark Oaten, was upbeat about global mink farming, pointing out that all North American mink have now received Covid-19 vaccinations, and that a European vaccination programme is under way. He was pessimistic, however, about Denmark. Even if breeding is allowed to continue next year, Oaten sees three barriers to its resumption.

“The first problem is that the infrastructure has disappeared in Denmark, so it’s very hard to get hold of the feed,” he said. The second difficulty is that the government’s decision on a restart is being made only after the compensation deadline, making any restarts “a huge gamble”. A third factor, he said, is a generational issue, with many farmers reaching retirement age.

More broadly, Oaten said it was a “hugely complex time” for the fur sector, with sanctions and lockdowns in two of its biggest markets, Russia and China, coming on top of the Danish mink shortfall of about 10 million pelts.

In the longer term, Oaten said: “We are expecting countries like Greece and Poland and North America to help fill that shortfall [of pelts] but that will take a few years.” Nor does Oaten fear further bans in Europe, partly, he said, because of the negative fallout the Danish government faced for its mink cull.

Animal welfare campaigners said legislative proposals to ban fur farming are now under consideration across Europe, including in Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria, with compensation being a key issue.

Danish farmers turn their backs on mink after Covid mutation cull | Environment | The Guardian

Check out our many Danish Mink posts here:

Search Results for “denmark mink” – World Animals Voice

Regards Mark

USA: 3,000 Cows Culled In New Mexico After Water Contamination From Nearby US Military Base – But They Fail To Take Responsibility !

More than 3,000 cows in New Mexico have been culled after toxic pollution from a nearby US military base was found to have contaminated their water source. The New Mexico Environment Department said it was helping clean up the waste and criticised the Department of Defense   https://www.env.nm.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-05-19-COMMS-New-Mexico-assists-Clovis-family-dairy-farm-with-PFAS-contamination-Final.pdf?utm_term=62a70e2fdfd35b0c839354a5a495d962&utm_campaign=AnimalsFarmed&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=animalsfarmed_email  for poisoning the local farm’s cows, but failing to take responsibility for the pollution.

2022-05-19-COMMS-New-Mexico-assists-Clovis-family-dairy-farm-with-PFAS-contamination-Final.pdf (nm.gov)

Regards Mark

EU: Ministers Pushing for Avian Influenza Vaccination.

European agriculture ministers are pushing for acceptance of a vaccination against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in poultry. The disease, also known as bird flu, has spread widely across the continent during the past two years, with the EU set to explore the potential of using vaccines to prevent the spread, rather than culling.

Further reading:

Europe pushes for acceptance of HPAI vaccination | WATTPoultry (wattagnet.com)

Regards Mark

Sudan: 2 Days Prior To ‘Live Export International Awareness Day’ (Today); Livestock Vessel Sinks in Sudanese Port. Over 15,000 Sheep Drown. Links Given.

Added 1650GMT – https://splash247.com/15000-sheep-perish-as-overloaded-sudanese-livestock-carrier-capsizes/

The loss of the Al Badri 1 may affect the port’s operations, as well as the environment, given the potential for a fuel oil spill and the effluent from the decay of thousands of sheep. The vessel is now submerged next to its berth, interfering with the pier’s use until the wreck is cleared’. 

‘Originally built in 1973 and converted into a livestock carrier later in her lifespan. She had a history of port state control deficiencies in recent years, as well as a 10-year gap from 2008-18 in which she had no PSC inspections. 

Images from before and after the Al Badri 1’s conversion suggest that four extra decks were welded on above the ship’s main deck level to add more space for livestock. 

Worldwide, livestock carriers are generally older than the average merchant ship, and the average fleet age for the class exceeds 40 years’

Maritime Executive


A similar incident occurred aboard the livestock carrier Queen Hind in November 2019. The vessel capsized off the coast of Romania under unusual circumstances, drowning almost all of the 15,000 sheep on board. 

Is that always the first thing you hear ? – the monetary value that has been lost due to the incident; never mind the thousands of sentient beings who have died in the worst way for the want of humans wanting a few pennies more.

We also understand that the vessel was officially only allowed to carry 9,000 animals; yet 15,800+ drowned. Thus it would appear as we always suspect with these cheap rate bathtubs which are used in this business, the vessel was carrying twice as many animals as it should have been; which we expect (are very certain of) being the cause of the incident in the first place.

Due to the number of animal deaths, it appears that the port will now suffer a major environmental impact. Great, lets hope it is a very major environmental impact.

14/6/22 – Today, Tuesday, is Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day,

Today is the day.

On Sunday (12/6/22) we all had the disgusting news that more than 15,000 sheep had drowned in the Sudanese port of Suakin when a livestock carrying vessel – the Badr 1, sank in the Red Sea port.  We understand that the sheep were being exported to Saudi Arabia. This incident has prompted main environmental concerns for the port area.

Here I am giving several links from around the world relating to this incident.

And this, just 2 days before the ban live exports international awareness day – yet another nail in the coffin for the live trade; we only hope that the port suffers a massive loss of business due to this and its involvement with a disgusting business. 

Regards Mark

More than 15,000 sheep drown after live export ship sinks in Sudan | Sudan | The Guardian

15,000 sheep drown in freak accident as live export ship sinks in Sudan | news.com.au — Australia’s leading news site

15,000 sheep drown in the Red Sea after ship crammed with livestock sinks in Sudan port  | Daily Mail Online

Red Sea port of Suakin: Sudan Ship With Thousands Of Sheep Sinks (ndtv.com)

badr 1 sank in red sea port of suakin – Bing images

Livestock Vessel Sinks in Red Sea, Drowning More Than 15,000 Sheep – EcoWatch

Sudan: Over 15,000 sheep drown in Suakin port | Middle East Eye

Thousands of sheep drown as Sudan ship sinks (gulf-times.com)

USA: USDA releases years of slaughterhouse records following lawsuit.

As always, with thanks to Stacey at ‘Our Compass’ for supplying this article;


USDA releases years of slaughterhouse records following lawsuit

Veterinary neglect is common to all farms visited. Animals that suffer from innumerable health problems are not treated for reasons of economic profitability. / October, 2019. Castilla la Mancha, Source Tras Los Muros

No laws can protect animals bred to be dead, why people champion regulations or laws that REQUIRE violent death, is bizarre. In slaughterhouses, where animals are violently killed after brief existences of suffering, there is NO REGULATION that can protect animals – it’s a SLAUGHTERHOUSE.

I disagree with the “transparency” term for the above reasons, same as I don’t praise CCTV in slaughterhouses: slaughterhouses are where animals go to violently die, how anyone can praise a recording of animals violently dying, is bizarre. If people are so happy to use CCTV as demonstrative of animal “protection”, what is more protective of animals than NOT KILLING ANIMALS?

Following a lawsuit, the USDA released the below records establishing the frequent torture that occurs IN ADDITION TO animal violation and suffering and violent death. It’s almost as if, despite the “humane-treatment-of-animals” mantra of anag cheerleaders, they’re admitting to the abject horrors defenseless animals are forced to endure: if killing animals is so “humane” there would be no reason to try to withhold slaughterhouse “violations”.

Veganism is the ONLY humane and the ONLY logical protection for animals. SL

USDA source links, all records below following article:

Source Sentient Media

By Jennifer Mishler

Marking a step towards transparency in food production, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has disclosed on its website records revealing the handling of farmed animals in slaughterhouses. The records, dating back to January of 2017, were made publicly available following a settlement between the federal agency and animal protection organizations Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and Farm Sanctuary.

In a complaint filed in 2018, the nonprofits alleged that the USDA had violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by failing to release requested records showing its enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act. These laws govern the treatment of billions of animals killed for food in the U.S. each year as well as food safety.

“This is the biggest step in improving government transparency at slaughter since the USDA began disclosing these records pursuant to [the Freedom of Information Act],” said Erin Sutherland, a staff attorney with AWI’s farmed animal program. 

The release of the USDA records, despite a failed attempt by the agency to have the case dismissed, offers what AWI calls “a rare window into a heavily guarded aspect of food production.” The group believes that the proactive disclosure of animal handling records could boost transparency and safety in the U.S. food system.

While traditional FOIA requests require federal agencies to release information upon request, the process can be lengthy. “The delay associated with fulfilling these requests renders the records almost useless by the time they are received,” AWI’s farmed animal program director Dena Jones said in 2018. But according to the law, FOIA also requires federal agencies to “proactively” disclose records subject to frequent FOIA requests.

In the fiscal year 2019, the USDA received a total of 26,458 FOIA requests, the majority—77 percent—going to its Farm Production and Conservation program which includes such agencies as the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service. That year, the USDA reported that it is taking steps to increase its proactive disclosures, including making FOIA information more accessible on its websites and publishing monthly APHIS FOIA logs.

The settlement brings an encouraging step. Yet there is much to be done when it comes to transparency in animal agriculture. The industry is protected by industry favoring ag-gag laws that silence investigators and whistleblowers who often provide the public’s only insight into the realities faced by animals and workers inside factory farms and slaughterhouses. Corporations also wield immense power over their supply chains, compounding the secrecy in food production and complicating the role of government oversight. 

While there is a long way to go, Farm Sanctuary general counsel Emily von Klemperer said the agreement by the USDA to publicly post slaughter records constitutes “a huge victory.” 

“These records routinely expose inhumane treatment of animals at slaughter facilities and are critical to our efforts to educate the public and hold the agency accountable to enforce what minimal legal protections farm[ed] animals have,” she says.





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Regards Mark and Stacey

USA: Congressional investigation reveals the lengths meat industry went to downplay risks to workers …….

Officials under former US president Donald Trump “collaborated” with the meatpacking industry to downplay the threat of Covid to plant workers and block public health measures that could have saved lives, a new investigation has found. Internal documents describe how industry representatives lobbied government officials to stifle “pesky” health departments from imposing evidence-based safety measures.

Trump officials and meat industry blocked life-saving Covid controls, investigation finds | Meat industry | The Guardian

Congressional investigation reveals the lengths meat industry went to downplay risks to workers and lobby receptive Trump officials

Trump officials “collaborated” with the meatpacking industry to downplay the threat of Covid to plant workers and block public health measures which could have saved lives, a damning new investigation has found.

Internal documents reviewed by the congressional select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis reveal how industry representatives lobbied government officials to stifle “pesky” health departments from imposing evidence-based safety measures to curtail the virus spreading – and tried to obscure worker deaths from these authorities.

At least 59,000 workers at five of the largest meatpacking companies – Tyson Foods, JBS USA Holdings, Smithfield Foods, Cargill and National Beef Packing Company which are the subject of the congressional inquiry – contracted Covid in the first year of the pandemic, of whom at least 269 died.

According to internal communications, the companies were warned about workers and their families falling sick within weeks of the virus hitting the US. Despite this, company representatives enlisted industry-friendly Trump appointees at the USDA to fight their battles against Covid regulations and oversight.

In addition, company executives intentionally stoked fears about meat shortages in order to justify continuing to operate the plants under dangerous conditions.

The fears were baseless – there were no meat shortages in the US, while exports to China hit record highs.

Yet in April 2020, Trump issued an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act to keep meat plants open following a flurry of communication between the White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, the vice-president’s office, USDA allies and company executives.

The order, which was proposed by Smithfield and Tyson (whose legal department also wrote the draft), was an overt attempt to override health departments and force meat plant workers – who are mostly immigrants, refugees and people of color – to keep working without adequate protections while shielding the industry from lawsuits.

James Clyburn, chairman of the subcommittee, condemned the conduct of the industry executives and their government allies as “shameful”.

“Trump’s political appointees at USDA collaborated with large meatpacking companies to lead an administration-wide effort to force workers to remain on the job during the coronavirus crisis despite dangerous conditions, and even to prevent the imposition of commonsense mitigation measures. This coordinated campaign prioritized industry production over the health of workers and communities, and contributed to tens of thousands of workers becoming ill, hundreds of workers dying, and the virus spreading throughout surrounding areas.”

The meatpacking industry, which includes slaughterhouses and processing plants – is one of the most profitable and dangerous in the US. It is a monopoly business, with just a handful of powerful multinationals dominating the supply chain which, even before Covid, was bad news for farmers, workers, consumers and animal welfare.

As Covid spread, the industry was warned about the high risk of transmission in their plants. For example, a doctor near the JBS facility in Cactus, Texas, wrote to a company executive in April 2020 saying “100% of all Covid-19 patients we have in the hospital are either direct employees or family member[s] of your employees”, warning that “your employees will get sick and may die if this factory continues to be open”.

In late May 2020 – well after the importance of prevention measures such as testing, social distancing and personal protective equipment was widely recognized – an executive told an industry lobbyist that temperature screening was “all we should be doing”. The lobbyist agreed, replying: “Now to get rid of those pesky health departments!”

The report, Now to get rid of those pesky healthy departments!, reveals how USDA Trump appointees did the industry’s bidding in order to carry on with business as usual. The report is based on more than 151,000 pages of documents collected from meatpacking companies and interest groups, as well as interviews with meatpacking workers, former USDA and CDC officials, and state and local health authorities among others.

The documents show that:

In March 2020, the industry aggressively lobbied USDA officials, who in turn escalated their wishes to Vice-President Mike Pence’s office, to ensure states were advised to designate meatpacking workers as “critical infrastructure” employees who could be exempt from social distancing and stay at home orders. This conduct was “particularly egregious considering that the nation’s meat supply was not actually at risk”, the subcommittee found.

Mindy Brashears, the undersecretary of food safety, was considered the go-to fixer, who could stop health departments enforcing Covid safety measures at local plants. Brashears “hasn’t lost a battle for us”, said one lobbyist.

Career USDA staff told the congressional subcommittee how they were sidelined, while Brashears and her deputies communicated with industry officials on their personal phones in order to avoid leaving a paper trail.

Meatpacking companies also successfully lobbied USDA officials to advocate for Department of Labor policies that deprived their employees of benefits if they missed work or quit, while also seeking insulation from legal liability if workers then fell ill or died.

As reports of Covid clusters at meatpacking plants increased, industry officials and the USDA jointly lobbied the White House to dissuade frightened workers from staying home or quitting. For instance in April 2020 the CEOs of JBS, Smithfield and Tyson among other companies asked the secretary of agriculture, Sonny Perdue, during a call to “elevate the need for messaging about the importance of our workforce staying at work to the POTUS or VP level”.

It worked. At a press briefing soon after, Mike Pence told meatpacking workers that “we need you to continue … to show up and do your job”, admonishing recent “incidents of worker absenteeism”.

The report concludes: “Meatpacking companies knew the risk posed by the coronavirus to their workers and knew it wasn’t a risk that the country needed them to take. They nonetheless lobbied aggressively – successfully enlisting USDA as a close collaborator in their efforts – to keep workers on the job in unsafe conditions, to ensure state and local health authorities were powerless to mandate otherwise, and to be protected against legal liability for the harms that would result.”

The trade association for meat and poultry packers and processors rejected the report’s findings and accused the subcommittee of “cherry-picking data”.

“The report ignores the rigorous and comprehensive measures companies enacted to protect employees and support their critical infrastructure workers,” said Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute.

In addition, a spokesperson for JBS said the company “did everything possible to ensure the safety of our people who kept our critical food supply chain running”. In a statement Cargill said: “We’ve worked hard to maintain safe and consistent operations to feed families during the pandemic, yet we did not hesitate to temporarily idle or reduce capacity at processing plants in the interest of our employees’ wellbeing.”

A spokesman for Smithfield said: “The concerns we expressed were very real and we are thankful that a food crisis was averted and that we are starting to return to normal … Did we make every effort to share with government officials our perspective on the pandemic and how it was impacting the food production system? Absolutely.”

Tyson said collaboration with the government was crucial to the supply chain and for worker safety: “Over the past two years, our company has been contacted by, received direction from, and collaborated with many different federal, state and local officials – including both the Trump and Biden Administrations – as we’ve navigated the challenges of the pandemic.”

The subcommittee investigation into the meatpacking industry’s response to the pandemic was launched in February 2021 following reports that meat companies had refused to take adequate safety measures precautions to protect workers during the first year of the pandemic. Last year, the subcommittee found that the illness and death toll at plants owned by the five big meatpackers had been grossly underestimated, and that the companies put profits over worker safety.

A USDA spokesperson said: “The content of the report was deeply disturbing and many of the decisions made by the previous administration are not in line with our values.”

The Guardian has contacted the former Trump administration officials for comment.

Trump officials and meat industry blocked life-saving Covid controls, investigation finds | Meat industry | The Guardian

Regards Mark

New Zealand: Introducing Taxes On Sheep and Cattle Burps.

New Zealand is to introduce a tax on sheep and cattle burps in an attempt to tackle one of the country’s largest sources of greenhouse gases. It would be the first country in the world to charge farmers for the methane emissions from the animals they keep. There were more than 36 million sheep, beef and dairy cattle in New Zealand in 2020.

New Zealand has unveiled a plan to tax sheep and cattle burps in a bid to tackle one of the country’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

It would make it the first nation to charge farmers for the methane emissions from the animals they keep.

New Zealand is home to just over five million people, along with around 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep.

Almost half the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, mainly methane.

However, agricultural emissions have previously not been included in New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, which has been criticised by those calling for the government to do more to stop global warming.

“There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key part in how we achieve that,” New Zealand’s climate change minister James Shaw said.

Under the proposal farmers will have to pay for their gas emissions from 2025.

The plan also includes incentives for farmers who reduce emissions through feed additives, while planting trees on farms could be used to offset emissions.

Andrew Hoggard – who is a dairy farmer and the national president of Federated Farmers of New Zealand – told the BBC that he broadly approved of the proposals.

“We’ve been working with the government and other organisations on this for years to get an approach that won’t shut down farming in New Zealand, so we’ve signed off on a lot of stuff we’re happy with.”

“But you know, like all of these types of agreements with many parties involved, there’s always going to be a couple of dead rats you have to swallow,” he added.

Mr Hoggard also highlighted that the fine details of the plan’s rollout have not yet been agreed.

“There are still the nuts and bolts to be hammered out, like who actually implements the scheme, so there’s still stuff to work through with the government.”

The money raised from the scheme will be invested in research, development and advisory services for farmers, the country’s environment ministry said.

Last month, New Zealand’s finance minister committed NZ$2.9bn (£1.5bn; $1.9bn) for initiatives to tackle climate change, which would be funded by an emissions trading system that taxed polluters.

Meanwhile on Thursday, investors managing $14tn of assets urged the United Nations to create a global plan to make the agriculture sector sustainable.

In a letter to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation’s director-general – which was first reported by the Reuters news agency – the FAIRR Initiative said the agency was best-placed to take the lead on creating a road-map to curb one of the biggest sources of climate damaging emissions.

Methane is the second most common greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2).

It is one of the most potent and responsible for a third of current warming from human activities. Individual methane molecules have a more powerful warming effect on the atmosphere than single CO2 molecules.

At last year’s COP26 environmental conference in Glasgow the US and the EU agreed to cut emissions of the gas by 30% by 2030. More than 100 countries, including New Zealand, have also signed up to the initiative.

How is methane emitted?

Around 40% of CH4 comes from natural sources such as wetlands but the bigger share now comes from a range of human activities, ranging from agriculture, such as cattle and rice production, to rubbish dumps.

One of the biggest sources is from the production, transport and use of natural gas and since 2008 there has been a big spike in methane emissions, which researchers believe is linked to the boom in fracking for gas in parts of the US.

In 2019, methane in the atmosphere reached record levels, around two-and-a-half times above what they were in the pre-industrial era.

What worries scientists is that methane has real muscle when it comes to heating the planet. Over a 100-year period it is 28-34 times as warming as CO2.

Over a 20-year period it is around 84 times as powerful per unit of mass as carbon dioxide.

However, there is much more CO2 than methane in the atmosphere and individual molecules of it can remain there for hundreds of years.

Climate change: New Zealand’s plan to tax cow and sheep burps – BBC News

Regards Mark

France: Puts 18 People (Including Vets) On Trial Over Their Alleged Involvement In Europe’s Horsemeat Scandal.

France is putting 18 people, including two veterinarians, on trial over their alleged involvement in Europe’s horsemeat scandal. Defendants are accused of participation in the supply of horsemeat unfit for human consumption across the continent, with those accused coming from France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.

Defendants are accused of participation in supply of horsemeat unfit for human consumption across Europe

When Aline Oudin was forced to find a new home for her beloved 28-year-old chestnut horse Ténor du Pluvinage, she placed an advert asking if anyone could offer him a new field to see out his final days.

A man in his 60s responded saying he was looking for a calm companion for the young mare he had bought his daughter, so Oudin let him take the horse away with the promise she could visit him regularly.

“Everything happened very quickly. I didn’t have time to think. The gentleman liked Ténor and I gave him my trust … I was in great distress at having to separate from my companion of 23 years,” she said afterwards.

“Seeing me in tears, the man comforted me and assured me that my horse would be well cared for and that I could come and see him whenever I wanted. That same evening, the man phoned me to tell me that the return journey had gone well. But when I called him back to ask for his name and address, his phone was on voicemail and then the line was disconnected.”

Oudin placed appeals and adverts to try to discover what had happened to her animal. Months later she discovered the horse had been sent to an abattoir.

Nine years on, 18 people, including two veterinarians, are appearing in court in Marseille on Monday accused of involvement in a vast illegal trafficking network across Europe that allegedly supplied horsemeat unfit for human consumption to wholesalers and butchers.

The defendants, from France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, are thought to have bought and sold thousands of retired draft horses and racehorses, and even ponies, that were exported to Belgium where they were allegedly given fake identification and tracking documents before being sent back to abattoirs in the south of France.

They have been charged with fraud as part of an organised gang, or supplying false and deceptive goods liable to be a danger for human health, and face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Eight of the accused have been in custody since 2015 after European police smashed the continent-wide network.

Mathilde Bloch, the investigating judge, said detectives had shown “negligence or positive action showing the complicity of the two vets” accused of falsifying documents.

Oudin, from Meurthe-et-Moselle in eastern France, is one of more than 150 horse owners thought to have handed over their old animals believing they would be looked after in their final years.

“I learned after lengthy research that my horse had been killed when he had been given insecticide, worming and anti-inflammatory treatments that would have made him totally unfit for eating,” she told French journalists. “I have been profoundly hurt. I had this horse for 20 years and he was part of the family.”

Lionel Febbraro, a lawyer for one of the veterinarians, blamed confusion over “incredibly complex” European rules for his client’s involvement. “Even if I admit it can’t be pleasant to learn that your horse has ended up at the abattoir, a priori, nobody died poisoned,” he said.

France puts 18 on trial over alleged involvement in vast horsemeat scandal | France | The Guardian

Regards Mark

Welfarm’s new campaign exposes the suffering of farm animals in hot weather.

10 June 2022



As the summer season approaches, Welfarm launches its new campaign to end the suffering of farm animals in hot weather.

Climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of heat waves, posing increased risks to farm animal welfare. The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report recently showed that climate change is causing a steady increase in temperature. This increase is not without effect on farm animals.

For several years, Welfarm has been reporting on the suffering of animals transported by extreme temperatures. On 19 May, Welfarm decided to go one step further by alerting the general public and institutional actors to the consequences of global warming for farm animals whether on farms or in trucks and boats. 

With this new campaign Welfarm calls on authorities to radically change the conditions under which animals are kept and transported to put an end to the suffering they endure during heat waves.

Welfarm’s demands are as follows:

With regard to livestock

  • Reduce densities,
  • Ensure an appropriate environment for the animals (access to open-air for terrestrial animals, shaded ponds for fish).

With regard to transport

  • No transport of animals at temperatures above 30°C,
  • Ban on export of live animals to non-EU countries.

Regarding transport, Welfarm has relaunched its Truck Alert application, which makes it possible to report trucks transporting animals during hot weather. 

For more information on the campaign or to sign the petition: click here

Read more at source


Regards Mark

China: Yulin Starts 21/6 – Despite All The Talk, It Appears It Will Continue.

Dear all;

You can read all of our past posts relating to Yulin by clicking on the following link:

Search Results for “yulin” – World Animals Voice

11/6 – we are not really able to get any positive news about what is happening this year; but it does look likely that the Yulin festival WILL go ahead.

I am providing a few links here for you to read if you wish:

Dog Meat Trade – Humane Society International (hsi.org)

Controversial 10-day Yulin Dog Meat Festival set to kick off amid cancellation, rescue efforts (yahoo.com)

Yulin Dog Meat Festival 2022: When Is It, Why Is It Held and What Happens? (msn.com)

Rescuers save dogs from being sent to Yulin meat festival to be ‘made into soup’ – Daily Star

Regards Mark

England: ‘Hell Tours’ – Your No. 1 Animal Travel Agency.

Hell Tours – your No. 1 Animal Travel Agency.

There’s just LESS THAN A WEEK TO GO until Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day!

Will you stand up for animals on Tuesday 14th June?

This year we’re going all-out to highlight the horror of the ‘once in a lifetime’ trips that sheep, cattle, and pigs are forced to ensure during live export.

At CIWF UK, we’re all set for our ‘Hell Tours’ London Rally, which is taking place at Parliament Square, on June 14th from 12.30pm-2pm. And today we are launching a brand-new action to end the horror of live exports.

Action – send an e card to the secretary of state at Defra – Act to ban live exports (ciwf.org.uk)

Print off a placard and share a selfie online with #BANLIVEEXPORTS on June 14th!

I look forward to standing up, with you, for animals this Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day.

Share the event (20+) Ban Live Exports London Rally | Facebook

Join the Hell Tours rally in London (20+) Ban Live Exports London Rally | Facebook

Sarah Moyes
Senior Campaigns Manager UK

Regards Mark

EU: Join the online consultation on Sustainable EU food system.

9 June 2022


The European Commission has opened a new consultation to inform the drafting of a Framework Sustainable Food Systems law.

Due end 2023, this law will be the key piece of legislation under the Farm to Fork Strategy whose objective is the sustainable transformation of the EU’s food system.

According to the Commission, “this framework law should promote policy coherence at EU and national level, mainstream sustainability in all food-related policies and strengthen the resilience of food systems.” 

Although animal welfare is part of the Farm to Fork strategy, it is not yet fully envisaged as an integral part of a food system’s sustainability. Furthermore, the Farm to Fork strategy recognises the need to move towards a more plant-based diet. However, few concrete measures have been proposed to date. It is, therefore, important for the Commission to receive numerous responses highlighting the importance and role of animal welfare in a sustainable food future and supporting a transition towards a more plant-based diet to keep the food system within planetary boundaries.

** The consultation is available here and is open until 21 July at midnight CET. **


Sustainable development

Regards Mark

EU: EU grinds and gasses hundreds of millions of chicks and ducklings every year.

1 June 2022


18 European NGOs have formed a coalition to demand the end of the killing of chicks and ducklings. This cruel practice is currently allowed under EU law but could be prohibited as part of the revision of EU legislation on farm “animal welfare,” which is slated to take place in 2023 – 2025.

In an open letter to the Council of the EU sent on 1 June 2022, the animal advocates urge the EU Ministers of Agriculture to support a ban on the systematic gassing and grinding of male chicks and female ducklings. EU citizens can also reach out to their Agriculture Minister with prepared draft messages via a new website launched today

For every hen raised for egg production purposes, one male chick is ground or gassed. Male chicks are deemed “unproductive” for the egg industry, as they do not lay eggs, and their meat has no economic value for the meat industry. For this reason, 330 million day-old male chicks are eliminated annually. As early as a few hours after hatching, male chicks are first sorted by workers, and while female chicks are sent to lay eggs on farms, the males are killed. Tens of millions of female ducklings suffer the same fate, given that the liver of female ducks is less desirable for foie gras production, and as a result, foie gras producers only raise and force-feed male ducks.

The killing of young animals at such a massive scale remains a secretive industry practice, which explains why images are so rarely disclosed, although they are shocking. These images show the elimination of male chicks by grinding or gassing, the two killing methods allowed under EU law, with some countries preferring one method over the other.

In 2015, following the publication of images displaying the systematic killing of chicks, the French government committed to support the development of in-ovo sexing technologies, which allow the detection of the sex of chicks before they hatch. In 2020, the French government announced a ban on the killing of day-old chicks. Similarly, the German government also committed to ban this practice.

In France, hatcheries have until the end of 2022 to transition to using in-ovo sexing devices and to end the systematic killing of male chicks. To ensure producers comply with the law, hatcheries have received 10 million euros in public funding to aid in transitioning to alternative methods. The cost of this new technology is estimated to increase the retail cost of eggs by only 1 cent per egg.

There are several reasons why a ban on the systematic killing of male chicks is attainable: the societal demand in support of a ban is high, alternatives to the systematic killing of male chicks exist, and two countries have already prohibited this practice. Last but not least, the revision of the EU legislation on the “welfare of farmed animals” represents an unprecedented opportunity to ban this practice throughout the EU.

The EU is currently revising its legislation on “farm animal welfare.” This revision is paramount. The European Commission, which is tasked with proposing a new legal act in 2023, is considering the possibility of prohibiting the systematic killing of chicks in the EU. Stella Kyriakides, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, who retains competence on the issue, said that “The killing of large numbers of day-old chicks is, of course, an ethical issue.”

Such a statement is largely supported by the results of the public consultation launched by the European Commission on the topic, as more than 94% of the almost 60,000 respondents declared they were in favor of a ban on the practice. Furthermore, these numbers resonate with public opinion, as only between 9 and 18% of citizens support grinding and gassing chicks and ducklings. 

The European Commission will propose new legislation to better regulate practices in animal agriculture; however, the Council of the EU will decide on the adoption of the reform. It is therefore crucial that each of the ministers of agriculture from all 27 Member States support this reform, to ensure it is adopted.

For this reason, 18 animal protection organisations are asking each of the ministers of agriculture from the Member States to support the efforts undertaken by France and Germany. Specifically, the organisations ask the ministers to extend the prohibition on the killing of male chicks to all of the EU, and to ensure that the new law also prohibits the killing of female ducklings, who, so far, have been unfairly excluded from these reforms.

Read more at source

Ask your Agriculture Minister to support a ban on chick & duck culling in EU law

Watch the video here:


Regards Mark

Bulgaria: Well Done ! – Bulgaria bans the breeding and import of mink.

2 June 2022



Live mink can no longer be legally imported or bred in Bulgaria, following concerns over threats to native ecosystems and biodiversity from escaped animals.

On 1 June, the Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov announced that he had signed the order to bring the ban into effect.

The decision was taken based on concerns over the environment and biodiversity, as the risk of American mink (Neovison vison) escaping from fur farms poses a serious threat to native species.

Conditions at the only mink farm in our country are unfavourable and are the reason that in recent years mink have escaped to enter territories of wildlife and cause damage.

Borislav Sandov, Minister of Environment and Water

The American mink is now widespread throughout the European Union and has caused significant adverse impacts on native wildlife, after individuals escaped from fur farms. 

According to the Ministry, the species is included in the list of 100 most dangerous invasive alien species in Europe and is a priority invasive alien species for Bulgaria.

We thank Minister Sandov for this really important and very useful decision for the nature of Bulgaria. This decision is based on scientific and expert data on the damage from the breeding of the species American mink. At the same time, it is a solution that will prevent huge damage to wildlife and end the suffering of millions of American minks that are bred for their fur in cruel conditions! It’s just a ban order, but it’s so important to nature and the animals.

Petya Altimirska, head of CAAI

Whilst this ban will effectively render mink farming impossible in Bulgaria, it does not cover other species commonly farmed for their fur such as foxes, chinchillas and raccoon dogs.

Our member CAAI is calling for a wider ban on the breeding and keeping of any species for the purpose of fur farming in the country. 

The European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe asks for a ban on all fur farming and the placement of farmed fur products in the European Union. 

Citizens are invited to add their signature here.

Regards Mark

England: Latest Bird Photos From Pauline – 8/6/22.

Here are the latest bird photographs from Pauline which she took during her recent travels in Kent, England.

You can view all of her previous pictures by clicking and then further selecting from:


With a beak full of food flies

A Male Linnet
A Warbler

A young Great Tit ?

A Blackbird

Thanks Pauline as always for your great photos to share with us;

Regards Mark

England: WAV Write To UK Member of Parliament Over UK – Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Hi all; I have now completed and sent my letter today 8/6/22 (by e mail) to my Member of Parliament (England); you can read it below.

I have also sent him several pictures of sheep in Australia which have undergone ‘mulesing’ without any form of anaesthetic.

I hope the letter explains my position of the issue of a UK – Australia FTA;  and I now await response, which I will publish upon receipt.

Regards Mark

Dear Mr. Holloway Member of Parliament for Gravesham, Kent.

            You and I have met in the past, and you have also had letters from me relating to an issue that is very close to me – that of stopping live animal exports / transportation.  In lieu of the vote relating to Boris Johnson on 6/6/22; I now feel then need to write once again.

I have had the pleasure of knowing, working, and campaigning with Mr Philip Lymbery, Global CEO of Compassion In World Farming International, for over 30 years.  I recently met up with Phil at Ramsgate, when we joined the anti live export campaigners at a public meeting opposing the trade through the harbour.

There are two issues that I wish to bring to your attention; for me, important issues that will have a major influence on how I vote in future – and they are:

  1. Post Brexit Government promises to end live animal transport from the UK.

In June 2021, the UK government put forward legislation to ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening.  There was a Defra consultation on the issue; for which I personally submitted responses.  This consultation set the backdrop for the proposed legislation to ban animal exports.

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill reached the House of Commons last autumn (2021), following massive public support and receiving cross party support from a number of MP’s.  BUT, despite intense lobbying since, the Bill has not been seen in Parliament since last November; and consequently it ran out of time to be passed in the 2021/22 Parliamentary session.

The dithering actions of the Conservative government and possibly opposition parties, means that today, 8/6/22, it is still legally possible for the export of live farmed animals to be undertaken from anywhere in the UK.  Exporter individuals such as Mr Onderwater, the Dutch exporter and haulier who has used Ramsgate so often in the past are effectively still legally able to use Kent ports for this sordid trade if they so wish.

Thus, I consider that the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill needs to be given priority in the new Parliamentary session in order that UK live animal exports can be confined to the history books which is the only place they now deserve.  I call on Mr Johnson, Mr Eustace and many other MP’s to give this issue the priority it deserves and get the legislation passed.  There are other issues which parliament should be acting on despite heating costs and the price of food; so please look at these other important issues and get the legislation through parliament.

On 14th June, there is yet again another ‘Ban Live Exports’ International Awareness Day, which will be supported in London by several MP’s. The issue of the day is to (continue) to raise the disgusting trade in live animals being shipped and transported by various means all over the world – Ban Live Exports International Awareness Day | Compassion in World Farming (ciwf.org.uk)  and Ban Live Exports | Compassion in World Farming (ciwf.org.uk)

Campaigners against the trade from all over the planet will be taking part and demanding their governments do not just ‘talk the talk’, but actually pass legislation to stop this abhorrent business for once and all.  Recent actions on awareness days have seen NGOs and campaigners in over 40 countries – from Brazil, to Australia, to South Korea – global actions have included solidarity marches through Kathmandu, a petition launch in New Zealand and a giant projection on the white cliffs of Dover here in England.

I request the action of Mr Boris Johnson MP; Prime Minister, to live up to his promise of ‘the best is yet to come’; and to thus get the Bill relating to live animal exports passed to prevent future sufferings from here in the UK; hopefully setting a standard to which other nations will adhere.

  • The UK Government has now signed a trade agreement with Australia – which one can only consider as bad news for British farmers and British animals.

We all saw how Liz Truss MP thought it, the agreement, was the best thing since sliced bread.

But, in its 2019 Election Manifesto, the Conservative party asserted us voters that:

“In ALL of our trade negotiations, we will NOT compromise on OUR high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”.

So, possibly you can write and tell me where you Conservatives subsequently went wrong; keeping in mind the following issue on the deal with Australia.  Do I need to state:

  • Australia still allows pigs to be kept in cages during early pregnancy, whilst sow stalls have been illegal in the UK since 1999.
  • Confining hens in barren cages is still legal; and common in Australia, when the UK banned such systems in 2012.
  • The use of antibiotics on farm animals is rife in Australia.  Australian farmers are known to use up to 16 times as many antibiotics on farms as we use here in the UK. 

In Australia, sheep are mutilated every year through ‘mulesing’; a process undertaken on sheep stations, and without anaesthetic for the animals involved, where large chunks of its skin at their rear end, under the tail, are cut away.  Please refer to attached pictures and see how abusive this is and the suffering endured by every animal involved – “we will not compromise on animal welfare standards” ! – it looks as if you have failed by not getting Australia to act on this as part of the trade negotiations just as one example.

Around 40% of Australian beef comes from cattle fattened on cruel, intensive feedlots; unlike those systems used in the UK.

Yet the new UK-Australia FTA fails to prohibit imports that don’t meet UK standards.  Liz Truss can smile and consider herself good at trade deals; but when it comes to those between the UK and Australia, I personally think otherwise.

Even before tax parries are removed, Australian products like beef and lamb will have huge tariff-free quotas.  The latest UN Food and Agriculture Organisation data shows UK imports of Australian beef are currently around 1,600 tonnes a year.  In the first year after the FTA is implemented, the tariff free quota on beef alone will be almost 22 times higher than this.

If this deal is ratified by the UK Parliament, higher welfare farming methods used in the UK, when compared to Australia, could immediately be undermined by cheap, factory farmed imports.  Remember Conservative promises – “we will not compromise on animal welfare standards”.  Cheap factory farmed imports from Australia will encourage low welfare standards and practices to continue over there.  These actions by Australian producers will thus put additional pressure on British producers to cut their standards as a result; which begs the question, where will the UK be in relation to very high standards that it always preaches.

The UK – Australia trade deal is a betrayal of us all; and of our high welfare British farmers who have improved standards throughout these islands.  Of course, it will be the farm animals that will suffer most as a result of this Conservative policy in which we were all informed by government, In ALL of our trade negotiations, we will NOT compromise on OUR high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”.

As a voter and animal welfare campaigner, I feel the need to inform you that I consider you have already failed in standards with your actions for a FTA with Australia.

I hope to hear from you in the near future;

Yours sincerely

Mark Johnson.

Sent by e mail 8/6/22.

Thanks to CIWF (London) for the following data:

England: ‘Political’ Day 7/6/22.

Hi all;

Today I am doing ‘political’; hopefully giving MP’s a difficult time re live exports and the UK- Australia Trade deal.

Will put out my letter on the site for all to see when I have completed it.

May do other posts later, but depends on time;

Regards Mark

Remember –

Dover, Kent, England Protest Action.

Canada: Poppy Barley’s New Accessory Collection Features First Vegan Products.

Poppy Barley’s new accessory collection features the Multitasker Backpack, Convertible Belt Bag, and Card Holder.

Canada-based luxury footwear and accessories brand Poppy Barley recently announced the launch of its first vegan line, PB Plant. The brand’s new line debuted with a new accessory collection—featuring the Multitasker Backpack (CAD$348), Convertible Belt Bag (CAD$158), and Card Holder (CAD$48)—made with Laguaro, Poppy Barley’s environmentally conscious cactus leather. Lined with cotton canvas, each accessory is ethically-crafted in solar-powered Mexican factories in line with the brand’s environmental and sustainability efforts. 

Founded by sisters Justine and Kendall Barber, Poppy Barley plans to introduce more innovative plant-based leathers in future collections. “Our customers have been asking for a leather alternative since day one, but there was never an option that we could stand behind—until now,” Justine Barber said. “After years of researching and testing, we discovered cactus leather basically next door to our manufacturing facility in Mexico. We finally found a leather alternative that wouldn’t compromise quality or our values when it comes to environmental impact. 

Made from cactus, not cows or plastic

Unlike traditional vegan leathers, Poppy Barley’s Laguaro is not made using plastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyurethane (PU). Instead, the leather is produced using harvested Mexican cactus leaves, leaving the rest of the cactus intact. Although the brand’s Laguaro leather is currently 80 percent biodegradable, Poppy Barley aims to reach 100 percent sustainability in the near future. “We believe the future of fashion has no choice but to consider the Earth and humanity, and we want to lead the way,” Justine Barber said. 

Plant-based vegan leathers 

Cactus leather made its global debut in 2019 after Mexican entrepreneurs Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez launched Desserto, the first organic leather made entirely from the nopal (or prickly-pear) cactus. Since then, Desserto has been used to make the world’s first cactus-leather boxing gloves with plans in motion for handbags.

With an estimated worth of $85.05 billion by 2025, the faux leather industry has seen an increase in sustainable vegan leathers in recent years. Popular fashion brand Hugo Boss and retailer H&M have both introduced pineapple leather in their merchandise. In 2017, H&M also named “wineleather” made by Italian company Vegea Vegetal Leather a global changemaker. Vegan leather is also making its way into home decor. Last year, Canadian furniture designer Gus* Modern launched couches and lounge chairs made with Vegan AppleSkin Leather as part of its Fall 2020 collection.

Regards Mark

These New Luxury Vegan Leather Handbags Are Made from Cactus, Not Cows | VegNews

Beef Production Is Destroying The Amazon – Turns Out, Leather Is Too !

Beef Production Is Destroying the Amazon. Turns Out, Leather Is, Too. | VegNews

Beef production is a known driver of deforestation but a new report outlines the links between leather and Amazon destruction.

More than 100 fashion brands have been linked to deforestation by a new report compiled by Slow Factory with data provided by research group Stand.Earth. While the cattle industry has been the top driver of deforestation in the Amazon region, the link between leather and deforestation is less known. 

The group examined data from public or government sources—including 500,000 rows of customs data, websites, and annual reports—to find that due to a lack of transparency in various supply chains, leather products sold by more than 100 companies, including Zara, Asics, Adidas, and Clarks, could contribute to deforestation. 

“​​The Amazon rainforest is fast approaching the tipping point of irreversible ecosystem collapse, according to scientists,” the report states. “We’re calling on the world’s leading fashion brands to act immediately to protect the Amazon rainforest, its people, and our global climate future.”

Leather and deforestation

In the last decade, 16.5 million acres of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest biome have been lost, mostly due to the cattle industry. Brazil is home to the largest cattle herd in the world at 215 million animals and its leather products—80 percent of which are exported—accounted for $1.1 billion of slaughterhouse revenue in 2020. 

JBS is the largest cattle producer in the region and has been linked to illegal deforestation multiple times. Many of the 100 named companies source leather from JBS, either directly or indirectly, therefore contributing to deforestation. The report found that this issue is endemic to the Brazilian leather industry and tanneries such as Minerva and Fuga Couros, among others, are also contributors to deforestation. “Although none of these brands are deliberately choosing deforestation leather, they are working with manufacturers and tanneries that source from opaque supply chains and companies that have known links to cattle raised on recently deforested Amazon land,” the report states.

The report assessed the deforestation risk of the 100 named companies based on the number of links they had to Brazilian leather producers. One such company was Coach, which has a high risk of supporting deforestation with its 10 connections to the Brazilian leather industry. The company is also one of the 74 companies that have anti-deforestation policies in place and the report suggests that 30 percent of these companies are in breach of their own policies. 

According to the report, the Leather Working Group (LWG)—the world’s leading nonprofit in environmental certification of the leather industry—only links leather to tanneries and not farms or supply chains, making it incapable of guaranteeing that leather products are deforestation-free. “If you’re wearing leather shoes, a leather belt, or carrying a leather handbag, it’s highly likely that it was made from cowhide that contributed to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest,” the report states.

Vegan leather: a sustainable, compassionate choice 

Opacity in leather supply chains means that just about any leather product, regardless of brand, can be linked to deforestation. However, vegan leather—particularly the type made from plants and not plastic—is increasingly becoming a more accessible and sustainable option. And the choices are vast. 

Innovators worldwide are proving that just about anything can be turned into leather without the need to slaughter animals for their hides. In Mexico, entrepreneurs Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez developed Desserto, a vegan leather made from nopal cactus leaves. Spanish designer Carmen Hijosa tackled the leather issue by looking to the pineapple industry, discovering that the would-be wasted leaves could be turned into a sustainable vegan leather she called Piñatex. In the fashion capital Milan, innovative startup Vegea is turning waste from the Italian wine industry into vegan leather that has been used in place of animal hides across industries. 

Fashion heavyweights are also getting into vegan leather, including Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès. Earlier this year, Gucci unveiled three shoe styles made with its own vegan leather. Inspired by Greek goddess of harvest Demeter, the new material (dubbed “Demetra”) is made from 77-percent plant-based raw materials, including wood pulp and viscose, and is tanned in the way leather would be but without animal cruelty or environmental harm.

Even brands named in the Slow Factory report are working to develop plant-based leathers to minimize their environmental impact, including Adidas. The athletic brand worked with eco-designer Stella McCartney to develop vegan versions of its iconic Stan Smith sneakers. Adidas and McCartney are also part of the Mylo Consortium, a group of fashion brands working with startup Bolt Threads to use its innovative Mylo vegan leather—which is made from mycelium, the fast-growing root systems of mushrooms. The partnership will result in new mushroom leather product launches in the coming months and hopefully, contribute to a shift away from Amazon-destroying animal leather in the years to come. 

Regards Mark

Beef Production Is Destroying the Amazon. Turns Out, Leather Is, Too. | VegNews

Environmental Benefits of a Vegan Diet.

4 Major Environmental Benefits of a Vegan Diet

World Environment Day? First established by the United Nations in 1973, this global holiday aims to raise awareness about the planetary challenges we face in our fight against the climate crisis. Wondering how you can do your part? Read about how you can fight waste with recycling and composting, learn how to welcome bees into your garden, and enjoy easy, low-waste recipes. Plus, read about the vegan brands working to keep plastic bags out of landfills, how mushrooms can help reduce deforestation, and the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. Eat vegan and live sustainably today and every day.


Twenty plant-based brands are taking action to reduce plastic waste in their supply chain while creating a positive socio-economic impact for marginalized waste workers.  

Twenty plant-based food brands from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are coming together to tackle plastic pollution. In partnership with plastic action platform rePurpose Global, brands such as Outstanding Foods, Myvegan, The Very Good Butchers, and V-Dog are working to remove plastic waste equalling over 27 million plastic bags, or three million plastic bottles, in weight from the planet.

Focusing on the value chain, rePurpose helps people and companies calculate, reduce, and offset their plastic footprint and advance a circular economy. To make their own impact, the 20 plant-based brands that signed on to rePurpose are reducing the plastic in their packaging and supply chains and financing the recovery of nature-bound plastic waste through rePurpose’s social enterprise waste projects, creating additional income streams for more than 10,000 waste workers and community members across three continents. 

According to rePurpose, of the 5.8 billion metric tons of plastic waste generated globally over the past 70 years, only about nine percent has been recycled, leaving the rest to be incinerated, sent to landfill, or littered in the environment. 

“Time is running out,” Peter Wang Hjemdahl, Chief Advocacy Officer and Co-Founder of rePurpose Global, said in a statement. “We are living in a plastic epidemic, where there is no single solution. Now more than ever, there is a critical need for like-minded brands to come together and use their collective strength to help tackle plastic pollution head-on.” 

Improving vegan sustainability efforts

Although vegan and plant-based products are already reducing carbon footprints and helping mitigate climate change compared to their animal-based counterparts, their climate action can be stunted by the use of plastic packaging that is frequently non-recyclable and ends up in landfills or oceans. According to Our World in Data, plastic packaging is the leading contributor to plastic waste, generating an estimated 141 metric million tons of plastic waste each year. 

“By using only plant-based ingredients in our products, we’re having a positive impact on the environment by reducing greenhouse gasses associated with meat and dairy products,” Bill Glaser, CEO and Co-Founder of Outstanding Foods, told VegNews. “We also want to be a steward for the environment with our packaging and have partnered with rePurpose Global to be certified plastic neutral. That means that we’re helping to take plastic out of the oceans and removing other plastic waste before it goes into the oceans. Outstanding Foods is committed to making a positive environmental impact in all we do and our partnership with rePurpose is a big part of it.”

rePurpose also offers a Plastic Negative certification, which is awarded to brands with ambitious plastic reduction commitments in their supply chains, enabling the elimination of at least twice as much plastic waste from nature as they create through their own plastic footprint. To produce products as a plastic negative business, companies help fund the recovery of low-value plastic waste through rePurpose’s Anant Pranay impact project in Aurangabad, India, while also supporting the waste workers working at the project, providing a living wage to fight plastic pollution.

“Many of our members are mission-driven and want to use their businesses to have a positive impact on our planet,”  Sabina Vyas, Senior Director of Impact Strategies at Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA), said in a statement. “They are already doing an incredible job to help consumers lighten their footprint by making delicious plant-based foods and sustainable packaging solutions are at the forefront for our membership.”

Repackaging to reduce plastic waste

Other brands have also taken initiative in reducing their plastic packaging. Last year, food and beverage brand Chobani repackaged its vegan oat milk-based yogurts in paper cups to make the product even more sustainable. The new cups, made from 80 percent paperboard, replace most of the plastic on its oat yogurt packaging, with the exception of a thin plastic lining that preserves the integrity of the yogurt. Chobani already packs its oat milk carton, cold brew coffee, and creamers in paperboard and is continuing its journey toward reducing plastic by repacking its oat yogurts in more sustainable cups. 

“We all have a role to play in protecting our planet,” Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya said in a statement. “People have been asking for a paper cup, and we welcome this challenge to start reducing our plastic use, and to spark a conversation about how we can drive change together.”

Additionally, plant-based beauty brand Alpine Provisions has switched over all of its products to plastic-free packaging in an effort to support the plastic-free movement and inspire the body care industry to do the same. The company created aluminum body care bottles, paper deodorant tubes, paper lip balm tubes, and paper bar soap wraps because aluminum can be recycled an infinite number of times. According to the company, 84 percent of all the aluminum ever made is still in use today. And because the material is so lightweight, shipping aluminum saves millions of pounds of carbon emissions each year. 

Going plastic-free in fashion

A similar plastic-free movement is taking shape in the fashion industry. Last year, VH Corp.—the parent company of fashion brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger—joined the plastic-free vegan leather movement by partnering with biotechnology company Ecovative. The partnership gives PVH priority access to Ecovative’s sustainable vegan leather made from fast-growing mycelium (mushroom root systems). PVH is also working directly with Ecovative to co-develop custom mycelium materials to bring a range of products to retail, from soft vegan leather accessories and garments to thick, durable belts and shoes.

Similarly, biotechnology startup Bolt Threads created the Mylo Consortium in 2020. This partnership includes major fashion brands Stella McCartney, Adidas, Lululemon, and Kering—which owns the luxury brands Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent. Under the Mylo Consortium, these brands have exclusive rights to “mylo,” Bolt Threads’ mycelium-based vegan leather. McCartney already previewed the Frayme Mylo bag made with the innovative material during Paris Fashion week last year and will be releasing it to consumers through her ready-to-wear Spring 2023 collection. 

Mycelium-based vegan leather helps solve the sustainability challenges in the fashion industry by reducing the reliance on both animal-based leather and plastic vegan leathers like polyurethane. It also makes materials production vastly more efficient. While it takes months or years to raise animals for their skins, this process takes a matter of days and yields a ready-to-finish material free from plastic and petroleum.

For more on sustainable vegan brands, read:
Why South Carolina is the New Hub of Sustainable Vegan Mushroom Leather
Vegan Fish to Be Recognizes as “Sustainable Seafood”

Regards Mark

20 Vegan Brands Join Coalition to Keep the Equivalent of 27 Million Plastic Bags Out of Landfills | VegNews

USA: Petition – Workers Rights; We must stand up to the meat industry now!

American meat corporations have bad reputations, and for good reason. These companies have reached near-supervillain status for their inhumane treatment of cattle, pigs, and chickens. Not only do animals that suffer in meat-packing plants — these corporations abuse their workers, too. New reports indicate that this industry quite literally doesn’t care if its workers live or die, and it is time Congress did something about this.

In fact, a new report by the U.S. Congress reveals that even when meat companies knew their workers were at extremely high risk of catching COVID-19, they lobbied to keep their plants open anyway.

These corporations even went so far as to fabricate letters that falsely claimed America’s meat supply was at dire risk if plants temporarily shut down. As a result, former President Trump signed an executive order classifying meat plants as critical infrastructure, forcing their doors open amidst grave danger. Given what we know so far, upwards of 59,000 meat-packing workers caught COVID-19, and nearly 300 died. That’s not even counting the family, friends, and community members they spread COVID to after contracting it at the plants. On top of that, many meat-packing workers are immigrants, low-income, uninsured, or some combination of the three. These are communities that are already at an extremely high risk of contracting severe COVID, yet the industry decided profit was more important than human lives. The government must never allow this deadly manipulation to happen again.

Sign the petition now to put pressure on Congress and tell it: all workers deserve dignity and protection! We must stand up to the meat industry now!

P.S. The industry has blood on its hands — both from the animals mistreated, and from the workers it pushed into the COVID frontline.

Regards Mark

UK: A Party At ‘Buck House’. 70 Years As Queen.

The front of the palace portraying images of the Queen.

There was a party this weekend (4/6/22) at ‘Buck House’; or Buckingham Palace as it is better known.

Why ? – because Her Majesty the Queen is celebrating her platinum jubilee – a celebration held to mark an anniversary. Among monarchies, it usually refers to a 70th anniversary.  So 70 years as the head of the British Commonwealth and all its people.  There have been big events all over the UK and many other commonwealth nations to celebrate this rather amazing event.

Her majesty joined in the fun by having Paddington Bear to tea, complete with marmalade sandwiches !!

Our great animal advocate Brian May of ‘Queen’ started the party as always; and it was especially great to see him in his Badger suit; having done so much in recent times to help stop the badger cull.

Setts, Drugs and Rock n Roll by Dr Brian May:

Here is Brian in his badger jacket – right hand breast pocket area:  https://youtu.be/RvNYGDQiNWg

As the darkness arrived, the palace became a huge ‘screen’ showing an amazing record of the life of the queen, and a section given by Prince William on the environment and the importance of working to stop climate change and help protect the animal species of the world.

See the princes speech here – and you can see how the palace became an environmental screen for a few minutes on this issue – it was impressive !

Personally, for me, there was just one person who was missing; and that was Princess Diana, the people’s Princess.  If she were still here today then she would have played a major part in the protection of the environment and animals – that was the kind of person we had in her.

Regards Mark

A Badger enjoys his visit to my garden – Photo: Mark (WAV).

USA: ‘Bees are fish!’ Judge issues bizarre animal rights ruling amid row ‘great day for bees’.

A US Judge has ruled that bees can legally be classified as fish, in a bizarre move to protect endangered bees.

‘Bees are fish!’ Judge issues bizarre animal rights ruling amid row ‘great day for bees’ | Science | News | Express.co.uk

According to the decision made by a California appeals court, bees in the US can now be legally called a fish. While odd, this move will now allow the government in California to protect endangered bee species, many of which are under threat from climate change. The ruling came on Tuesday after agricultural groups sued California wildlife officials for attempting to list four bumble bee species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

The judge reversed a previous ruling by a lower court, which then noted that threatened or endangered species of bees could be listed under the CESA category of fish as the definition of “fish” is broad and includes invertebrates.

Pamela Flick from Defenders of Wildlife, one of the case’s intervenor defendants said: “It is a great day for California’s bumble bees.

“Today’s decision confirms that California Endangered Species Act protections apply to all of our state’s imperilled native species and is critical to protecting our state’s renowned biodiversity.

“Bees and other pollinators are integral to healthy ecosystems and the crucial pollination services they provide serve all of us, making this decision exponentially more consequential.”

According to Xerces Society, a conservation group, this decision will pave the way for critical protections that are needed for four endangered bumble bee species that occur in California.

It will also allow the Commission to protect other imperilled insects under CESA, which provides protection for some of the most vulnerable plants and animal species in the region, providing a pathway for these species to boost their populations to ensure they don’t go extinct.

CESA rules define an “endangered species” to include a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, or plant.

The issue arose when activists pointed out that this definition could leave out a number of other threatened species, such as insects.

Regards Mark

The weird reason dolphins drink each other’s pee.

For dolphins, friendship is a matter of taste.

Dolphins get to know their friends by tasting their pee, a new study finds. By sampling sips of each other’s urine, dolphins demonstrated a type of social recognition that begins with an exchange of whistles that are unique to specific individuals — much like human names. 

Scientists have long known that dolphins identify themselves using so-called signature whistles that are different for each dolphin and that they address one another by imitating such whistles. But researchers were uncertain if this copying showed that dolphins associate signature whistles with individual identity or with a more general concept such as “friend.” 

Recently, scientists learned that not only do bottlenose dolphins demonstrate name recognition, they also replicate this recognition with another sense: taste. 

By tasting each other’s urine and recognizing the source, the dolphins showed that they could keep track of dolphin identities using two types of sensory input. This means the animals could create and store a mental concept of other dolphins, according to the new study.

Flavorful friends

Researchers discovered that dolphins do this kind of identification via pee-tasting while investigating if the animals are truly calling each other by name when they copy whistles. The scientists conducted what is known as a cross-modal study, in which experiments test if an animal can recognize an object or another animal across multiple cues received from different senses. 

Scientists have previously used such experiments in a wide array of animals, including fish and monkeys. But communication systems in most animals lack sounds that are recognizable as labels for individuals, such as dolphins’ signature whistles, the researchers wrote.

However, finding a second sense in dolphins that was testable under laboratory conditions was challenging. Testing dolphin sight or echolocation would “involve moving giant monitors or even the dolphins themselves around, which is impossible,” said lead study author Jason Bruck, a biologist at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. But dolphins are known to swim through other dolphins’ urine plumes, mouths agape, and they may do so to get social information “the way a dog sniffs a hydrant,” Bruck told Live Science. 

“Except dolphins would have to do that with taste, not with smell,” as the cetaceans lack olfactory bulbs, he added.

A question of identity

Researchers found that dolphins spent roughly three times as long sampling urine from unfamiliar dolphins as they did from familiar ones. This suggested that the animals could identify known fellows by taste.

To test for persistence of identification across senses, researchers paired recordings of signature whistles with urine from dolphins: in some of the pairings, the urine came from the whistler, while in others it was produced by a different dolphin. The scientists then introduced dolphins to the sound of a whistle and the taste of a urine sample.

Related: This whale-dolphin hybrid is not a ‘wholphin.’ Here’s why.

When the pee matched the whistle, listening dolphins lingered closer to playback speakers. This indicated that the animals recognized the consistency in signals perceived by two senses — taste and hearing — and that both taste and sound came from the same dolphin.

These findings mean that for dolphins, whistles represent the specific dolphin’s identity in other dolphins’ minds, including the taste of that dolphins’ pee.

“We now know that when a dolphin produces that signature whistle, they really are referring to that dolphin they’re copying,” Bruck said. “They are using those whistles in much the same way that we use names.”

Lipid mechanisms?

Future studies could investigate the mechanisms behind this newly discovered dolphin ability, Bruck said. Dolphins’ taste-driven identification may be driven by lipid recognition; if so, dolphin research may reveal a lipid-sensitive taste bud that’s bigger and more robust than the human variety and therefore easier to study. Such a discovery could inform research into obesity in humans, Bruck said.

More fundamentally, these findings could open new avenues of dolphin research, Bruck added. “Transmitting social information from dolphin to dolphin [is] as easy as [using] an underwater speaker” and could offer insights into “how dolphins perceive each other as individuals,” he said.

The findings were published May 18 in the journal Science Advances.

Original article on Live Science.

Regards Mark