Day: November 29, 2019

Romania: Campaigners call for (now 250) sheep saved from capsized ship to be put out to pasture.

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Campaigners call for sheep saved from capsized ship to be put out to pasture

‘They survived all this, they deserve a nice old age,’ says head of rescue team

More of the rescued sheep reach shore

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/28/campaigners-call-for-sheep-saved-from-capsized-ship-to-be-put-out-to-pasture

A comfortable retirement to an all-you-can-eat grassy field seems the least that the 250 surviving sheep from the Queen Hind disaster in the Black Sea deserve. But there is still some debate over their fate, according to animal campaign groups working in Romania.

More than 14,600 sheep were on the ship, heading to Saudi Arabia on a busy animal export route, when it overturned coming out of the harbour on Sunday afternoon. All of the crew got away safely, but most of the animals are now believed to be dead.

Rescue teams, made up of animal groups and Romanian vets and police, are still working in the ship, cutting holes through the walls to reach inaccessible sections. But conditions are getting worse and the chances of finding any surviving animals are diminishing.

“You have to climb along the dark corridors, wade through the water and clamber over the sheep bodies while you search,” says Kuki Bărbuceanu of the Animal Rescue and Care charity and the Four Paws animal welfare organisation. Bărbuceanu is a veteran disaster relief operator who specialises in animal rescue.

“And then you have to get back out, but this time you are carrying a 50–60kg sheep. It is pretty exhausting work.” The smell is getting worse, and although some crew are wearing gas masks, Bărbuceanu says that interferes with the hard physical labour of carrying out sheep.

He has been working on the ship since Tuesday, when he and his crew reached the harbour. Alongside them have been vets from the veterinarian authority ANSVSA, and Romanian emergency workers. As of Thursday afternoon, 250 sheep had been rescued from the ship.

However, the ultimate fate of the surviving sheep is still in question. They are currently in quarantine and being looked after by the export company, Maria Trading. There have been some anxieties expressed by activists that the Saudi import company that bought them will reclaim them, and that they will be put on the next export ship.

Campaign groups are seeking to take the animals and find them sanctuaries where they can munch away to a peaceful old age. A statement from Maria Trading to the Guardian confirmed that they are giving food and shelter to the rescued animals and added: “The Romanian veterinary health authority is the only concerned party which will decide when and where the rescued animals will be transferred.”

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Requests for comment to the veterinary authorities have not yet been returned.

“It’s what they deserve,” says Bărbuceanu. “They survived all this, they deserve a nice old age.”

Legislation currently going through the Romanian parliament would tighten regulations around the country’s live export trade, which has grown fivefold since 2000. Romania is one of the main routes out of Europe into the Middle East.

The live export trade continues to grow both inside and out of Europe, despite continued public opposition. European live animal exports rose from a value of $1bn (£800m) in 2000 to $3.3bn in 2018.

Meanwhile, MEPs in the European parliament have agreed to debate the live export trade in December, Dutch MEP Anja Hazecamp (pictured below) told the Guardian.

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“There has been a lot of talk so far, but not enough action,” said Gabriel Paun of Animals International.

Kopi Luwak: the shit coffee from Indonesia

 

Have you heard of kopi luwak or civet coffee?⁠

Known as the most expensive coffee in the world, civet coffee is made by collecting, cleaning, and selling the excreted coffee beans of the nocturnal animals civets. The civets digest the flesh of the coffee cherries but excrete the beans inside. The excretion supposedly adds to the coffee’s prized aroma and flavour.⁠

 

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Kopi Luwak refers to the most expensive coffee in the world with just one cup costing anything between £30 to £70 with its prices reflecting demand dwarfing supply. The reason for its ridiculous price is due to the unique process the coffee cherries go through passing via the digestive system of a pal civet cat…..(in the most sarcastic voice)…..tasty!

It could also be called the cruellest coffee in the world, as the civets are forced to live in cramped, dirty, lonely battery cages a mile away from their natural habitats of woodland, savanna, and mountains.⁠

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The Indonesian term “kopi” means coffee and “luwak” is the local term for the palm civet cat, which eats the coffee cherries and digests them by excreting the outer fruits of the cherry.

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From here the process continues more conventionally with the shit beans washed and cleaned and prepped for roasting. It is said that the digestive enzymes of the civet enhance and restructure the protein within the coffee beans resulting in a smoother cup of coffee, which is more balanced between acidity and bitterness. But of course that should be with machine help, not with cat help.

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The cruel truth

The civets are denied their natural diet, are constantly overfed coffee beans, and have no opportunity to know freedom.

They squat in their tight cages and eat the sweet day long nothing but coffee cherries. In the wild, they eat beside coffee also jackfruit or mangos, here in their cages they are only allowed to eat coffee.

⁠Many caged civets express characteristics often seen in imprisoned animals, such as biting and gnawing at their cages and obsessive repeated behaviour. Some civets even begin to gnaw at themselves and, due to the overfeeding, will start having gastrointestinal problems, often leading to blood in their faeces.⁠

As a carnivore with omnivorous tendencies, this naturally equates to malnutrition, which inevitably leads to death.
And though all the conditions for animal cruelty and factory farming such as chickens, pigs or cows are met, the world does not give a shit about it. What are some unknown cats in the distant jungle, that nobody finds on the map anyway?

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⁠Even those who label their kopi luwak “wild sourced” are making false claims, as it is impossible to generate profit from exclusively wild-sourced civet coffee.⁠

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⁠This is a luxury product that capitalizes on the captivity of individuals ⁠ for the super rich rather than a true reflection of good quality speciality coffee, which takes into account not just processes but the beans and final taste of coffee.

Cives are a protected species in Indonesia, but due to their high demand and attraction from tourists they’re being farmed commercially and fed coffee cherries purely for economic benefit.

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Although standards restrict the use of cages, there is no real certification system for kopi luwak and so it is too hard to establish whether Kopi Luwak is farmed or produced from wild civets and we have little faith in its enforcement with animal cruelty products still running a mock on supermarket shelves such as Foie Gras.

Do not buy this product! We urge everyone to avoid Kopi Luwak coffee. In addition to the questionable quality, this is a coffee that was born out of stupid curiosity and whose production is associated with animal suffering.

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You can almost completely be sure that a good conscience will be sold to a problematic product here. Price, aspiration and reality move here in a cosmos of pure money making with a myth.

And this myth is stupid to us all from beginning to end. There is no reason why this coffee exists. There are millions of better offers – also from Indonesia – that not only do not exploit animals senseless, but also pay the coffee farmers decent.

My best regards to all, Venus