Day: June 19, 2020

Albanian restaurant serves bear meat in illegal wildlife trade that’s ‘out of control’.

Image of National Flag



From ‘The Independent’ – London


Click on this link to see photos.


Albanian restaurant serves bear meat in illegal wildlife trade that’s ‘out of control’



A cub kept by a hotel owner to attract tourists - a common practice in Albania


Stop the Wildlife Trade exclusive: Bears, monkeys, wolves and birds of prey sold for hundreds of euros on popular Albanian websites, investigation finds


A restaurant in Albania is offering diners meat from illegally hunted bears – part of an illicit trade in wildlife that is “out of control” in the country, investigators claim.

Researchers said it was the first time they had seen bear meat cooked in Europe, and experts warned that the crude butchering of animals may lead to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases such as coronavirus.


Bears, monkeys and birds of prey are among live animals being sold on popular Albanian online marketplaces, the investigation found, raising fears for the survival of some species in the country.

Animal-protection charity Four Paws discovered that two of Albania’s leading online sites were carrying dozens of adverts selling brown bears and other species that are legally protected.

Many photographs of the animals – along with foxes, barn owls and wolves – showed them with their mouths taped up or their claws chained.

It’s a profitable business: a tiny capuchin monkey was offered for €750 (£675), and a barn owl, a bear cub and a wolf for €500 each.

The buyers are mostly restaurant and hotel owners who keep the animals to attract tourists, or individuals who want the animals as pets and status symbols, charity workers said.

Eagles, the national symbol of Albania, are especially popular with buyers and are often found stuffed as trophies in public places.

But hunting protected species, keeping them captive and selling them is banned in Albania, following a huge decline of native wildlife in the country.

Offenders may be jailed under the law, which was tightened in October, but enforcement of it is lax.

Four Paws said that after its team reported some of the illegal adverts, they were deleted but new ones reappeared.

“A large majority of the photographs displayed severe animal cruelty, such as foxes with sealed muzzles in plastic boxes, bear cubs in chains and birds with their feet tied,” said Barbara van Genne, of the charity.

Monkeys and birds of prey are often kept in bars and restaurants in Albania as a tourist attraction, while foxes are sold for their fur, according to the investigators.

Wolves are bought to be cross-bred with dogs for the puppies to be sold as guard dogs, commonly used in the mountains against wolves. But other animals are killed, stuffed and put on display.

Animals’ mouths are often taped to prevent them biting and their feet chained to stop them running away.



A restaurant in the town of Drilon has also been found advertising bear meat on its menu on Facebook. The listing, for “mish ariu” – Albanian for bear meat – added “ne sezone”, meaning “according to season”.

An online restaurant portal, updated earlier this month, confirms the restaurant offering.

A spokesperson for Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA) said: “What is especially alarming about this is not only the fact that bear meat is being sold, it is also the addition in brackets of “ne sezone”, which gives the impression that there’s a hunting season for bears.

“In fact there’s no hunting season for any wild animals in Albania, there’s a hunting moratorium and hunting ban for years throughout the whole country – passed in 2014 and extended in 2016 until March 2021.

“The massive decline of wildlife in Albania triggered this.”

Bear meat dishes have previously been seen in Asian countries. The meat can trigger disease caused by parasites, with symptoms including diarrhoea, cramps, fever and hallucinations.

Prof James Wood, head of department of veterinary medicine and an infection expert at the University of Cambridge, said Covid-19 and other zoonotic viruses can be carried by contaminated meat from any species.

“However, the risks are far greater from butchering and hunting than they are from simple consumption,” he said.

“Bears are no more likely to act as a source of a zoonotic virus than any other species group.” He added that cooking was a highly effective means of destroying the Covid-19 virus and other infections, but that “eating bears is, of course, highly undesirable for many reasons, including conservation and animal welfare, if they have been kept in captivity before being killed”.


Ms van Genne said: “Four Paws has been active in Albania since 2015 but we have never seen such atrocities before. Until now we have mainly focused on restaurants that keep bears in small cages for entertainment of guests.

“This bizarre new discovery is a further indication that the commercial wildlife trade in Albania is out of control.”

She warned that if the government did not intervene soon, “the few native wild animals left will be history”.

“The platforms need to introduce preventive measures such as seller identification to stop these ads. However, the main problem for the illegal trade remains – the lack of control and enforcement by the authorities,” she claimed.

In the 1990s, there were still about 200 pairs of eagles in Albania, but today the number has halved.

A wildlife sanctuary that can carry out criminal prosecutions, take in rescues and educate people in species protection was urgently needed in Albania, Ms van Genne said.


Regards Mark



The liberation of Lion Jon

This lion was badly mistreated! The poor animal was released from a circus in France! 🦁

Flag of France, hand drawn watercolor illustration
Usually, a lion between the ages of ten and 15 weighs around 200 to 230 kilograms, but circus lion Jon weighs just 116 kilograms.

Löwe Jojpg
The animal was apparently mistreated for years: he has no longer claws – which is prohibited by law- his teeth are damaged and some of them no longer available, his fur has bald spots, and his body, especially the tail, is covered with scars and fresh, sometimes very deep wounds.

This is Jon, a famous lion, who arrived in St. Martin la Ebene on Friday, June 5th.

Löwe Jo 3 pg
He was entrusted to us by the “One Voice” association after the authorities confiscated him from a circus in Normandy.

The pictures are difficult to bear: Jon is a lion between 10 and 15 years old, weighing 116 kg, which is almost half less than a lion of his age.
His coat is very damaged in many zones.
He is an injured lion, he wears many injuries on the body with old and newer brands, especially on his tail, which has several living wounds, some of which are very deep.

löwe befreiung pg
The condition of his teeth is very bad, they are sawed, and he has no more claws.
We remind you that removing a lion’s claws is prohibited by law.

Muriel Arnal (Chair of the animal rights organization One Voice) says:

“When I saw him for the first time, I was reminded of zoos in war zones
But vets told me “it’s much worse in this circus”!
They would never have seen anything like this in their entire professional life
He is now slowly learning to eat small pieces again because he has no teeth.
He finds joy in life again.
The nurses keep him busy as much as possible to prevent stereotypes. Because he has spent a very long time in the cage.
Animals then make repetitive movements.
It is a sign of madness”

Despite a physical condition that we have never noticed in an animal, Jon has a very gentle character, shows no signs of aggressiveness, and even seeks contact. The main goal for us right now is to give him strength again.

After spending the first few days indoors, he was able to discover his outdoor enclosure. He eats all the food that is offered to him with an appetite.

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This is the beginning of his retirement, which we hope very brightly, everything will be done to offer him the best possible placement later …
Our goal at the moment is to offer him correct living conditions, to provide him with appropriate and adequate food, and to treat the wounds that cause him suffering.

löwe jon 5

🙏 Whether it is “Tonga Terre d’Accueil”, the “Brigitte Bardot Foundation” or “One Voice”, the priority of all those working for animal welfare is to help and save animals and we will respond to the call of circuses which do not have the means to provide for the basic needs of their animals or which no longer use them.

Volunteering to hand over animals has already been done by some circuses and we encourage you to continue. It is not human to let animals die; the world is changing, the time is no longer for their exploitation but for their protection. Give them the retirement they deserve. (Video in French)


My comment: Although the animal rights activists have long had their sights on this circus, the French authorities are not taking action! Finally, Jon and three other lions were confiscated because the license to keep the four animals was lacking.

And nevertheless! The circus was allowed to keep four more lions!!

When will we finally stop torturing animals as if they were objects?
When will we finally consider animal exploitation as a form of slavery?
One day we will look back on all the crimes we have done to the animals and we will be ashamed.

We are fighting for this day to come as soon as possible.

My best regards to all, Venus

China: 19/6/20 – Yulin 2020; To Be or Not To Be ? – That Is The Question.



Yulin Dog Meat Festival 2016: What is it? When and where does it ...


WAV Comment 19/6/20:

We are just as confused as a lot of other people. The question is; what will happen this year (2020) ? – is the Yulin dog meat ‘festival’ on or off ?

With the Chinese government recently changing the classification of dogs a few weeks ago, so that they are NOT now ‘livestock’ and instead are ‘companion animals’; and hence ones which cannot be eaten; we would think that the slaughter and consumption of dog at any facility, such as the Yulin ‘festival’, would now be illegal.

If this is the case, we wait too see what the authorities are going to do about Yulin; as there is a lot of talk in the circuit that the festival will continue due to pressure from meat traders.


Legally, the case is now as we understand it:

China’s new National Catalogue of Livestock and Poultry Genetic Resources was very recently announced, with dogs not included on the list.

It is extremely encouraging to see this landmark decision that reflects the growing concern for animal welfare in China, following on as it has from the regulations passed earlier this year in Shenzhen and Zhuhai banning the consumption of cats and dogs.

This new catalogue policy means all the dog restaurants, markets and slaughterhouses countrywide selling dogs for food are now illegal.


The Yulin Dog Meat Festival – East Van to Elsewhere



From the Independent; London:


China‘s government has called dogs “companions” and reportedly signalled a wider ban on dog meat consumption was ahead, just weeks before the Yulin dog meat festival.

The announcement today from China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs came as a final Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry was published and omitted dogs from the long list of animals allowed to be commercially bred, raised and traded.

A government spokesperson said that the majority of people who took part in a public consultation process opposed including dogs as livestock, adding that dogs have long been domesticated as “companions” and “pets” who guard the family home; act as search and rescue animals for police and assist those with visual impairment.

The spokesperson said that with the changing times, “some traditional customs about dogs will change too”. He added that more policies regarding dogs would follow but did not elaborate, the Daily Mail reported.

The announcement is in line with draft guidelines drawn up by China in April to reclassify dogs as pets rather than livestock.

The decision comes ahead of the Yulin dog meat festival next month, where thousands of dogs are butchered, skinned and cooked with blow-torches. It is scheduled to run for nine days from 21 June in the city, located in the Guangxi province.

Humane Society International (HSI) estimates that 10m dogs are slaughtered in China annually and said that many are stolen from homes and taken off the streets ahead of the Yulin festival.

The World Health Organisation has warned that the dog trade spreads rabies and increases the risk of cholera.

A 2017 survey revealed that in Yulin, nearly three-quarters of people don’t regularly eat dog meat despite efforts by traders to promote it. A 2016 nationwide survey found that 64 per cent of Chinese citizens wanted the Yulin festival shut down and 69.5 per cent have never eaten dog meat.

Dr Peter Li, HSI’s China policy specialist, said that the Yulin festival was a “bloody spectacle [which] does not reflect the mood or eating habits of the majority of the Chinese people”.

He said: “Now that the Chinese government has officially recognised dogs as companions and not livestock, we are hopeful that China will take stronger step to hasten the end of the dog and cat meat trade for which millions of animals continue to suffer every year.

“The announcement presents cities across China with the perfect opportunity to act upon the government’s words by protecting dogs and cats from the meat trade thieves and slaughterhouses.”

China’s ministry of agriculture noted that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s livestock list does not include dogs and said that internationally, dogs are not treated as livestock.

In April, the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, were the first in China to officially ban the consumption of cat and dog meat.

The finalised livestock list did officially declare a number of wild animals as “livestock” including several deer species, alpaca, guinea-fowl and the three most commonly farmed wild species for China’s fur trade – racoon dog, silver fox and mink.

The coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan, China late last year. Covid-19 is thought to have originated in horseshoe bats and passed to humans via an intermediary species.

In response to the outbreak, China issued a temporary ban on all trade and consumption of wild animals and is considering revising legislation to make the ban permanent.

Last week authorities in Wuhan officially banned the eating of all wild animals and said the city would become a “wildlife sanctuary”. Currently, the ban lasts for five years.


Lychee and Dog Meat Festival - Alchetron, the free social encyclopedia


Further WAV Comment:

We are lucky here in the UK that Carrie Symonds; partner of the UK Prime Minister, is an animal welfare campaigner. As such, she has recently been in the UK press campaigning on the issue of the Yuli dog meat festival – you can read about it and see photos via the following link:


Chinese dog meat festival goes ahead in Yulin | World | The Times


Yulin 2020 We need your Help


London Yulin Demonstration – 19/6.


Dear Friends

We have written letters, we have signed petitions and now we are taking to the streets.

Despite the fact the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture confirmed just a few weeks ago that dogs and cats are not livestock. Despite the fact we are in the middle of a pandemic. There is still signs the disgusting Yulin Dog Meat Festival will go ahead.

Our Activists our on the ground ready to stop trucks and we will offer sanctuary in our China shelter to dogs saved.


What else can you do?

Keep pushing the Mayor of Yulin

Donate to help our work and help us safe dogs

There is a demo in London today, 19/6, on the issue of Yulin. Our van is already there. Our lovely rescue Anastasia facing the Embassy saying loud and clear Dogs are not food.


Read it all at:


Yulin Festival: China Dog Meat Eating Event Sparks Backlash | Time


WAV last comment – as we say, the Yulin festival should not now take place; but despite the petitions and the demos; as per one in London today; there is no guarantee that the festival will stop next week – it is due to start for 9 days on 21/6.

All we can hope is that the Chinese authorities enforce the ban on the slaughter of dogs for consumption, and as such stop the Yulin festival. We are watching the situation and will further report when we have news. 21/6 is going to be a very important day; a Go or NOGO situation for the mass slaughter of many dogs at Yulin.

We will report more when we have further news;

Regards Mark.

Australia: Live Export Update From RSPCA Australia – 19/6/20.




From RSPCA Australia:


Dear Mark,

For those of us who care about the welfare of Australian farm animals, it has been a tough couple of weeks

The live animal export issue has reared its ugly head once again. Is there any industry that’s as disaster-plagued as this one?

Once again, the Government has decided in favour of supporting this volatile industry, over our own laws and against the will of the majority of Australians.

Once again, animals will suffer in the hands of this industry, and pay the price for their reckless approach to animal welfare.

Time and again, we are disappointed, and frustrated, and gobsmacked by what this industry is allowed to get away with. Unfortunately, the Government (and the very elected politicians who fought for those basic safeguards) backflip whenever the carrot of live exporter profits follows the stick of animal cruelty.

But there are some silver linings to this dark cloud.

Every incident that happens, and every action you take, is another chip away at this industry, adding to its horror public track record, of decades of repeated evidence of suffering and cruelty.

We had a measure of success in the northern summer ban, a measure we could not possibly have foreseen before the notorious Awassi Express journeys of 2017 blasted a long-overdue spotlight on the routine heat stress, suffering and death this industry was willing to inflict upon Australian sheep.

There were no plans or intentions to include an independent observer on this ship, but thanks to your efforts, there is one on board now. With your support, we wrote to politicians to urge attention to this issue, we kept phoning and emailing the department, and we saw multiple people speaking out in favour of our call (including the WA Premier himself).

While we sadly weren’t able to stop the ship from leaving, at least there’s someone on board now who can record the consequences of this absurd decision. We’ll be keenly awaiting their reports, images and video evidence.

And now we can also let you know that we’ve submitted a formal animal welfare complaint to the West Australian Government. The evidence of the suffering these sheep are likely to endure is overwhelming, and we believe it may be in breach of WA’s animal protection legislation.

This ship should never have been allowed to leave.

This has been an extraordinary chain of actions and decisions by the regulator, and we will continue to work over the coming weeks and months to find out how it has unfolded and to ensure it can never happen again.

Finally, regardless of the outcome for this shipment, we believe that – much like those five disastrous journeys of the Awassi Express in 2017 – this latest debacle may be a turning point for this disaster-plagued industry.

The failure of the federal government to uphold even its own regulations, despite its knowledge of the dangers;

The failure of live exporters to adhere to their own promised moratorium, introduced as a last-ditch measure to avoid a total ban;

And the strange chain of events that led to this surprise exemption decision, may prove to be the final blow to any remaining public trust or confidence in the industry or the regulators.

Industries cannot survive without community support, and the RSPCA believes this latest live export fiasco is likely to have significant long-term consequences for the industry, and may in fact expedite the inevitable end to live sheep exports.

As always, thank you for your efforts.

The RSPCA Australia team.

What is the problem

Zitat über Fleischindustrie o

In 2014, 346 million kilograms of meat ended up in the trash.

13 million pigs don’t even reach the slaughterhouse

Up to 80% of the workforce are contract workers who live in collective accommodation and often earn less than the minimum wage.

The meat industry has no Corona – Problem.

The meat industry is THE problem.

My best regards to all, Venus