Day: August 13, 2018

China: Woman Fights Off Dog Meat Thief with Broom to Save Beloved Pet.


Woman Fights Off Dog Meat Thief with Broom to Save Beloved Pet

china dog saved broom

A quick reaction from a woman in China saved her beloved dog from the clutches of dog-snatchers this week – keeping the pooch safe at home and out of the horrific dog meat industry that is rampant in the nation.

Video footage shows the woman sweeping on the roadside, with her dog happily keeping her company. A white van speeds past and a noose is thrown out in an attempt to lasso the dog – but the woman reacts quickly, using her broom to hit the suspect’s arm and keep her dog safe.

The incident happened in the town of Tangkent, Fengshun county, in southern China’s Guangdong Province, where dog theft is common. In February, residents in this area assaulted a suspected dog thief after they caught him stealing their pets.

China is the world’s largest consumer of dog meat – Animals Asia estimate that around 10 million dogs are killed for the dog meat trade throughout the country every year.

Many of these animals are beloved family pets, snatched from the streets by dog thieves. They undergo extreme suffering as they are transported to the dog meat markets, where they then suffer unimaginable horrors before being beaten to death or boiled alive.

Although some dogs are raised on farms, it is more profitable for sellers to grab animals from the streets.

“You can’t make a profit raising a dog for meat because it costs too much to feed,” says Chinese animal activist Han Yingjie. “But if you steal a dog, then you can turn a profit.”

The popularity of dog meat in China is waning, with only around 20 percent of the population still regularly consuming meat – mostly due to a belief that the flesh is a natural health remedy, particularly related to sexual potency and endurance.

With countless dogs poisoned, killed and snatched by thugs from the dog meat industry, it’s nice to know that this pooch is in safe hands with a vigilant guardian.



USA: Study: Americans Are Ready for Slaughter-Free Meat.


Study: Americans Are Ready for Slaughter-Free Meat

Results of a recent study by Faunalytics show that about two-thirds of American consumers (66.4 percent) are willing to try slaughter-free or “clean” meat – which is produced in a laboratory using animal cells. Of the study’s 1,185 participants, 45.9 percent stated that they were willing to buy clean meat on a regular basis, and 52.8 percent would be happy to eat it in place of conventional meat.

The study, entitled “Messages to Overcome Naturalness Concerns in Clean Meat Acceptance,” addressed issues raised by prior research conducted three years ago, which reported that the primary concern of consumers in eating clean meat was that it was “unnatural.”

The goal of the study was to find effective ways to describe and market clean meat that would address the concerns about naturalness. Participants were asked to read one of three key messages surrounding the production of clean meat and rate their reactions.

Out of the messages trialed, the study found that the best way to persuade people to give clean meat a chance was to discuss how unnatural the mass farming and production industry is, with its use of hormones and antibiotics. The other messages attempting to describe clean meat as a more natural product or arguing that naturalness was unimportant were far less effective.

The majority of respondents agreed that clean meat is more environmentally friendly than conventionally produced meat, with more benefits to society overall.

Clean meat is, in fact, cleaner than traditionally produced meat in every aspect. The production uses far less land and will not have the same catastrophic effects on the environment. It’s also better for human health – farm animals are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones – not to mention that the production of clean meat does not require the suffering or death of innocent animals.

Worldwide, companies like MosaMeat, JUST and Memphis meats are racing to get the first ever clean meat products to market, which is expected to happen in the next two or three years.

Even conventional meat producing companies Tyson Foods and Cargill recognize that cultured meat is the way of the future, and have invested in Memphis Meats.

With technology rapidly developing, companies are searching for ways to reduce production costs to make clean meat affordable for the mass market. It’s only a matter of time before slaughter-free meat is available, hopefully consigning the inhumane agricultural industry to the history books.

India: Rhino Poacher Mortgages His Own Son to Weapons Dealers.



Rhino Poacher Mortgages His Own Son to Weapons Dealers

A man in India offered his son as collateral in exchange for a gun and ammunition. His intention was to kill an Indian one-horned rhinoceros and sell its ivory horn.

Nurjamal Rahman expected to kill a rhino and then sell the horn for ₹50 lakh (about $73,000 USD). But to carry out his plan, he needed a firearm and ammunition. He connected with an arms trader and they set up a deal. The dealer required Nurjamal to pay ₹3 lakh (~$4,500 USD) up front to rent the firearm and ammunition, but then added an additional requirement that he also provide collateral to guarantee the return of the leftover ammunition and firearm. And that collateral had to be in “human form.”

So Nurjamal offered his 12-year-old son for a three-month mortgage period, in which he hoped to kill a rhino in Orang National Park. The area was designated as a sanctuary in 1985 and declared a national park in 1999.  It is home to many animals including great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, elephants, and tigers.

Police caught Nurjamal and two associates before they were able to kill an animal.

India’s northeastern state of Assam, where the park is located, has an estimated 2,610 Indian one horned rhinoceros. Orang National Park has an estimated 68 rhinos left. Also known as the greater one horned rhino, these are the biggest rhinoceros on the planet.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were only 200 greater one horned rhinos left alive. Poaching had decimated their population. The animal was on the brink of extinction. But thanks to strong oversight and law enforcement fighting poachers, their population has recovered (though according to the World Wildlife Fund they are still classified as vulnerable). Today populations have increased to about 3,500 from northeastern India to Nepal.

Rhinoceros are beautiful, playful creatures. Unfortunately, humans have decided their horns are worth a substantial amount of money. This story is encouraging in that it illustrates the strong work by the Indian government, but it is also sad as it shows the extreme choices some individuals make in seeking to kill an animal for profit.

USA: Tump Has Sights On More Environmental Damage.


trump en3

Take Action 2

trump en4

First it was the Paris agreement. Then the Clean Power Plan.

Now the Trump administration has its sights set on dismantling

yet another crucial climate policy: fuel-efficiency and tailpipe-

pollution standards for cars and light trucks.

Fossil-fuel vehicles are the nation’s largest source of greenhouse

gases, and clean car standards are our best tool to fight climate

change yet. We’ve been fighting for years to stay on the right

track — but now Trump’s trying to ditch the plan.

Tell the EPA it must strengthen, not weaken clean car standards.

This reckless proposal would lock us into decades of toxic,

planet-warming emissions. An additional 2.2 billion tons

of carbon dioxide would be pumped into the air by 2040,

hastening climate catastrophe and threatening humans,

polar bears and countless other species already struggling to survive.

And that’s not all. The Trump administration also wants

to strip California of its ability to set stricter standards,

which are currently followed by 12 other states and D.C.

And the president’s bizarre claim that people driving

dirty vehicles are safer and drive less is just wrong.

America’s cars are more fuel-efficient and safer every year.


Take Action 2

Take action now. Insist that the EPA withdraw this damaging

policy reversal.




Monsanto Ordered to Pay Out $289 Million To Weedkiller User In Cancer Trial.

bees win monsanto

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages in Roundup cancer trial

Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer.

In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers.

It’s the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling.

“The jury got it wrong,” vice-president Scott Partridge said outside the courthouse in San Francisco.

§  EU settles dispute over weedkiller glyphosate

§  UK ‘will support’ pesticide ban

§  The villagers who fear herbicides

The claimant in the case, groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson, is among more than 5,000 similar plaintiffs across the US.

Correspondents say the California ruling is likely to lead to hundreds of other claims against Monsanto, which was recently bought by the German conglomerate Bayer AG.

Mr Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. His lawyers said he regularly used a form of RangerPro while working at a school in Benicia, California.

The implications of this verdict will be felt far beyond Monsanto’s headquarters in Missouri.

Glyphosate is the world’s most common weedkiller and the science about its safety is still far from settled.

In 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, concluded that it was “probably carcinogenic to humans”. but the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to insist that glyphosate is safe when used carefully.

Campaigners question how the EPA assessment was reached, citing evidence of what they say was inappropriate industry involvement in the decision.

Some Democrats have even called for a Department of Justice investigation into alleged collusion between government officials and Monsanto.

In California, where a judge recently ruled that coffee must carry a cancer warning, the agriculture industry sued to prevent such a label for glyphosate even though the state lists it as a chemical known to cause cancer.

In Europe, too, the battle over glyphosate has been fierce. French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to ban it despite the resistance of some French lawmakers and the fact that the European Commission recently granted the weedkiller another five-year licence.

Jurors found on Friday that the company had acted with “malice” and that its weedkillers contributed “substantially” to Mr Johnson’s terminal illness.

Following an eight-week trial, the jury ordered the agricultural multi-national to pay $250m in punitive damages together with other costs that brought the total figure to almost $290m.

Mr Johnson’s lawyer, Brent Wisner, said the jury’s verdict showed that the evidence against the product was “overwhelming”.

“When you are right, it is really easy to win,” he said, adding that the ruling was just “the tip of the spear” of future legal cases.


Bayer shares tumble after Monsanto payout in weedkiller case

Shares in German pharmaceutical group Bayer have dropped sharply following a US verdict linking a product to cancer.

By mid-morning on Monday, Bayer’s shares had lost 10.4% of their value.

Bayer owns agriculture giant Monsanto – which was ordered by a California judge on Friday to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who said ingredients used in a weedkiller had caused his cancer.

Bayer says the product – glyphosate – is safe. It completed its $66bn takeover of Monsanto in June.

The landmark lawsuit was the first to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer.

The claimant, groundsman Dewayne Johnson, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. His lawyers said he regularly used a form of RangerPro while working at a school in Benicia, California.

The Californian jury said Monsanto should have warned users about the dangers of its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers.

Mr Johnson is among more than 5,000 similar plaintiffs across the US.

Glyphosate is the world’s most common weedkiller. The California ruling could lead to hundreds of other claims against Monsanto.

A Bayer spokesperson told the BBC on Saturday that the two companies operated independently. In a statement the company said: “Bayer is confident, based on the strength of the science, the conclusions of regulators around the world and decades of experience, that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer when used according to the label.”

Monsanto said it intends to appeal against the verdict.

What is glyphosate and is it dangerous?

Glyphosate was introduced by Monsanto in 1974, but its patent expired in 2000, and now the chemical is sold by various manufacturers. In the US, more than 750 products contain it.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency, concluded that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

However, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) insists it is safe when used carefully.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also says glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans.

Last November 2017 EU countries voted to renew the licence of glyphosate despite campaigns against it.

BBC North American correspondent James Cook reported that in California – where a judge recently ruled that coffee must carry a cancer warning – the agriculture industry sued to prevent such a label for glyphosate, even though the state lists it as a chemical known to cause cancer.

§  What do we know about glyphosate?

What happened in the groundsman case?

Jurors found on Friday that Monsanto had acted with “malice” and that its weed killers contributed “substantially” to Mr Johnson’s terminal illness.