Day: January 25, 2020

USA: Former Wildlife Park Owner Sentenced to 22 Years for Attempting Murder for Hire Scheme Against Animal Rights Campaigner.



Image: Joseph Maldonado-Passage


A former wildlifepark owner known as ‘Joe Exotic’ was sentenced on Wednesday to 22 years in federal prison for his role in a 2017 murder-for-hire scheme to kill a prominent animal rights activist, plus multiple violations of wildlife laws.

Joseph Maldonado-Passage was found guilty in April of attempting to hire someone to murder Carole Baskin, a prominent animal rights activist, according to the U.S. District Court for the Western District Court of Oklahoma.

Baskin founded Big Cat Rescue, a popular animal sanctuary based in Tampa, Florida, dedicated to abused and abandoned animals such as lions, tigers, bobcats, and cougars. Baskin was an open critic of Maldonado-Passage and secured a million-dollar judgment against him and his business in 2011, according to the indictment.

Maldonado-Passage, who owned an exotic animal park in Wynnewood, Oklahoma, posted numerous threats against her beginning in 2012 on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. He then promised in November 2017 to pay $3,000 for Baskin’s death and promised thousands more after her death, according to the indictment. The person he promised to pay was an undercover FBI agent.

Baskin read a statement in court, posted to the Big Cat Rescue website and her YouTube page, that said she has spent most of the last 10 years “seeing every bystander as a potential threat” due to the barrage of threats Maldonado-Passage sent.

She asked that the court consider what would happen to her family if “this vicious, obsessed man is ever released from jail.”

“If he completes his sentence and is released, we will end up spending the rest of our lives, constantly looking over our shoulders, for a threat to our lives,” Baskin said. “I hope you will give us as many years free of that threat as you can.”

Maldonado-Passage was also found guilty of nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act after he killed five tigers in October 2017 because he “needed empty cages” to house big cats that were going to be boarded at his park.

He was convicted on another eight counts of violations to the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records for “interstate” transactions.





EU: ‘Something is wrong’: why the live animal trade is booming in Europe.

Pro-Brexit supporters burn an EU flag during a UKIP demonstration in central London


‘Something is wrong’: why the live animal trade is booming in Europe


Regulation breaches and fewer, larger slaughterhouses have led to growing numbers of animals travelling further to slaughter

  • High risk of injuries in Denmark’s live piglet export trade, audit warns
  • The live animal export trade has ballooned in Europe while the commission fails to enforce its own regulations, MEPs have told the Guardian.
  • A second attempt to set up an inquiry committee to look into the handling of the problem is now underway, after an earlier proposal was dismissed in 2018.
  • In the past 20 years the EU has become one of the global centres for animal export. Within the bloc animals are travelling ever-longer distances, and a steadily increasing number are now being exported to non-EU countries.
  • The EU has long prided itself on its high animal welfare standards, and has had legislation on animals during transport since 1991. In 2005 the commission introduced regulations on animal transport that were far ahead of the rest of the world at the time. A European parliamentary resolution last year stated: “The EU is where animal welfare is most respected and defended, and it is an example for the rest of the world.”

But in 2018 Jørn Dohrmann, a Danish MEP, was asked to check how well the 2005 regulations were being implemented. His findings were damning. The parliamentary resolution that followed his report listed rough handling, inappropriate vehicles, overcrowding, high temperatures, failures to feed and water, uneven reporting and inspections, widely varying punishments for infringements (10 times higher fines in some states than in others), and no centralised record of operators that perpetrate systematic breaches of regulations.

  • Dohrmann’s findings were just the latest of many investigations (including some by the commission) to find that regulations were being breached all over the place
  • Read more
  • “We have known for decades that something is wrong,” Dutch MEP Anja Hazecamp told the Guardian. “We really thought that with the new transport regulations things would start to change. But we see the same old problems as we saw in the 90s.
  • “The member states say they want to do something, but they want a level playing field. And the commission says that they need member states to take action. So the same old status quo continues. This is why I am working together with other members of the Animal Welfare Intergroup to get an inquiry committee set up, to look into what is happening. We cannot wait for two more decades for things to change.”
  • “The commission is not doing its job,” Catherine Rowett MEP said. “It is true that quite a lot of good practice does happen as a result of the regulations, but they are not good enough – and they are not being enforced enough. Yes, it will mean more bureaucracy – but that’s what you have to have in order to make sure that profits don’t take precedence over welfare. It is absolutely crazy, it is bizarre that we can’t get this right.”
  • “What is lacking is political will at European commission and member state level to reconfigure the EU livestock sector to avoid long journeys,” said Peter Stevenson, chief policy adviser at Compassion in World Farming.
  • Over two decades the trade has mushroomed at an alarming pace. The EU’s rapporteur states that “long and very long journeys are increasing”. The value of live animal exports across and out of the EU has trebled from $1bn (£763m) in 2000 to $3bn in 2018, according to UN Comtrade data.
  • The reasons for this growth are complex. The liberation of cross-border trade in Europe, and the growing fragmentation of the farming system has meant that food producers have increasingly taken advantage of cost variations in different countries.
  • So, for example, the Danes can produce piglets more cheaply than the Poles (they have bred their sows to give birth to more piglets than other countries) – but the Poles can rear them more cheaply (their labour costs and welfare requirements are both lower). The result is that five million piglets were trucked from Denmark to Poland in 2018 to be turned into Polish sausage.
  • On top of this the EU has expanded east to include countries that have big rural populations and farming sectors, but limited processing facilities. The EU stamp has made their animals even more attractive to buyers, and Romania, Slovakia, Latvia and the Czech Republic are among those that have built up useful export sectors.
  • The trend for fewer but bigger slaughterhouses is also a key factor. Last year Eurogroup for Animals looked into the sector as part of their call for a shift to a trade in meat and carcasses, rather than live animals. They found there were no centrally held figures – but that where numbers were available the pattern was clear.
  • It’s a similar trend to the US – where the shift to larger slaughterhouses occurred much earlier. According to the Animal Welfare Institute, the number of slaughterhouses fell from nearly 8,000 in 1970 to just under 3,000 in 2018. And in the UK, where the Sustainable Food Trust has been monitoring the situation, the number of red meat abattoirs has fallen from about 1,900 in 1971 to 249 in 2018.
  • But industry figures say that the costs involved in mobile slaughterhouses will make them impossible, given the expectations of the modern shopper. “People aren’t going to buy meat which is three times more expensive – and the labour costs for mobile slaughterhouses will be very high,” Rupert Claxton of international food consultancy Gira told the Guardian.
  • “If you are a big commercial farmer wanting to put lamb into a supermarket chain, you need to keep the bacteria count down on the meat so you can have the shelf life that allows the long supply chain to work, so people can take it home and put it in their fridge for a week or 10 days before they want to eat it. In which case you’ve got to go to a big modern plant that can guarantee all those steps have been regulated and put in place. On-farm kill is not a realistic option in this country, or for most of Europe.”
  • The modern shopper’s expectation of cheap meat, plus issues around labour shortages and regulatory demands, put huge pressure on producers, said Claxton, pointing out that in at least one supermarket chain you can currently buy a chicken for about £1.90 a kg.

AL_SHUWAIKH another 4

  • Hazekamp agrees. “As long as we continue to think that the production of food can’t cost anything, we will not solve this problem.”
  • She is currently pushing for a full official inquiry into the issue. In 2018 Hazekamp and colleagues asked for an inquiry committee to investigate whether the regulations were working. But, despite gathering more than the required number of signatures, the Conference of Presidents instead commissioned the implementation report.
  • But she believes things will be different this time. “The climate has certainly changed,” she told the Guardian. “Animal welfare is no longer a minor issue that can be ignored.”
  • Campaigners believe that under the new commission, headed by Ursula von der Leyen, things look different. “The new team are very different from their predecessors,” points out Joe Moran at the Eurogroup for Animals. “We are obviously dismayed at the growth of this trade, but we are also now more optimistic that new measures will be brought forward by the commission that will begin to address this problem.”
  • A spokesperson for the European commission for health and food safety told the Guardian: “The issue of animal transport is of a major concern for the European commission. Over the past three years the commission has audited member states on road and sea transport to non-EU countries, issued recommendations and is following up on the action plans presented by member states. The commission services are ultimately building evidence to move, if necessary, towards possible proceedings against member states who have systematic non-compliances.”



Sudan: Justice for Lions Starving to Death at Sudanese Zoo – Petition – Attempts to create a GoFundMe campaign have been blocked due to the United States’ sanctions on Sudan.

Image of National Flag



Justice for Lions Starving to Death at Sudanese Zoo – They are Dying – Act Now !


SIGN: Justice for Lions Starving to Death at Sudanese Zoo


Petition link –

PETITION TARGET: Sudan Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife

Emaciated lions, locked in cages with concrete floors that have no resemblance to their natural habitat, are sick and starving to death at a Sudanese animal park.

The malnourished lions’ hips and spines are nearly poking through their skin, and they look weak and lethargic, as Osman Salih’s Facebook post shows.

The park claims the wildlife police are directly responsible for the ongoing lack of sufficient food or medicine, as the park’s monthly income is not enough to feed one lion for one week.

“Food is not always available,” said Essamelddine Hajjar, a park manager, “so often we buy it from our own money to feed them.”

Tragically, one of the female lions died last Monday.

Animals forced to live in captivity are incapable of fending for themselves, making those holding them captive responsible for their wellbeing. Every day, innocent lions are needlessly wasting away. This is a life-or-death situation. 

Please, sign this petition urging Sudan’s wildlife officials to find these lions the care they need before it’s too late.

Attempts to create a GoFundMe campaign have been blocked due to the United States’ sanctions on Sudan.

In the meantime, Salih’s efforts have generated a rapidly growing online campaign. You can get involved by following the hashtag #SudanAnimalRescue


Malaysia: Nature reserve and 350 elephants in acute danger!

More than 350 pygmy elephants still live on the Kinabatangan River. However, a road construction project threatens their living space. The bridge had sparked international protests, and even the famous rainforest protector Sir David Attenborough raised the alarm. After Sabah’s government changes, the danger is acute again.



So far, elephant poaching has been almost unknown in the species-rich rainforests of Sabah, where rhinoceros, malay bears and orangutans live.
However, criminals have discovered the Malaysian state for themselves in recent years.
They are now not just about ivory, but also about the skin, nails and other body parts of the animals, with which a lot of money can be earned on the Chinese market.

tote elefanten pg

Between 2010 and autumn 2019 alone, 145 killed elephants were registered by the wildlife authorities in Sabah. The elephants were poisoned, shot, or caught in snares. If this continues, the species will soon be eradicated.

sabah-pygmy-elefantenSaba Pygmy elephant baby tries to wake his dead mother


But the bloody craft of the poachers could even be eased if the government pushes the construction of a bridge over the Kinabatangan River.
It is only the first section of a new road through the forest of the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, which was previously difficult to access.
A gateway for poachers, but also for illegal settlers, wood thieves and the palm oil industry.

The walking routes of more than 350 elephants would be cut up and the herds crowded into ever smaller fragments of their original habitat. The animals would increasingly invade villages and plantations and many would be killed when crossing the new streets.

The construction project should officially serve the economic upswing of the region. In addition, some politicians apparently promise personal benefits. In the meantime, it damages the currently developing ecotourism beyond nature.


Please help protect the elephants and other endangered species in Sabah and sign our petition!

And I mean…For once again we have to reanimate our hope and optimism that with this petition some peaceful animals keep what belongs to them and some criminals lose the chance to destroy all life.
We sign, we hope and keep fighting.

My best regards to all, Venus

Sabra Hummus parent company ends animal testing


Hummus does not form a separate category in the vegan food pyramid, but it is hard to imagine everyday life for every gourmet. Unfortunately, our beloved dip has had a cruel connection to animal abuse.

The Strauss Group is the second largest food and beverage company in Israel and the parent company of the Sabra Hummus brand, which is also popular in Germany.
After discussions with PETA USA, the Strauss Group has now published a new company policy that experiments on animals are now a thing of the past.


Hummus fans can therefore be happy!!
The purchase of Sabra-Hummus will no longer help to starve, poison and kill animals.

In the past, experimenters funded by the Strauss Group at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem had conducted various animal experiments.
Mice were fed a low-fat, high-fat or ketogenic diet and had to starve for 12 hours at the end of the trial before being killed and dissected.
Some animals starved the experimenters 20 hours a day for eight weeks.

Maus mit verstecktem Kopf_o

Instead of animal experiments, animal-free methods could also have been used for the desired findings, and studies with volunteers also make sense here. The tests were only about common, non-toxic food ingredients – various studies carried out in this way have already been published.

PETA appeals to all food and beverage manufacturers who still rely on cruel, archaic animal experiments to follow the pioneering example of the Strauss Group. There are far better methods out there than these cruel practices.

With the decision against animal testing, the Strauss Group is now part of a growing list of dozens of large food companies that have also ended the horror in the laboratory in cooperation with PETA USA.

PETA USA contacted many of these companies because documents showed that animals were starved, poisoned, mistreated and killed. In such cruel experiments, thousands of animals have suffered and died over the decades. And all that so that companies could advertise with certain marketing terms. The products for which animal experiments were made ranged from pasta and chocolate bars to breakfast cereal or alcohol.


And I mean … The laboratory industry has not let animal testing out in any field. And in the case of foodstuffs in particular, it should be taken for granted that the results are not transferable.

Aspirin was developed 100 years ago, and if it were tested on animals today, it would fail. Because it causes embryonic damage in dogs, cats, monkeys, mice and rats.
The penicillin that saved humanity would not get approval even after animal experiments today, because it is deadly for guinea pigs and other nail animals.

Animal experiments feign security that does not exist.

Most experimenters still adhere to the stupid teaching of the French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650), who became known with the motto “cogito ergo sum” = I think therefore I am.
He claimed that animals are senseless and insensitive reflex automatons. He explained cries of pain from animals with mechanical processes like the squeaking of a machine.

Today, we know that there is no direct relationship between animal testing and saving a human being.
Animal experiments are false science and senseless cruelty.

My best regards to all, Venus