Day: July 19, 2020

The “Lohengrin” swan- an unforgettable experience with a film animal.

It was January 2012 if I remember correctly.
At the theater where I work, Richard Wagner’s opera “Lohengrin” had just been, all performances were sold out.
A swan plays an essential role in this opera. He comes with a boar and brings Lohengrin on stage for the first time.

_Lohengrin. schwan jpg

The director really wanted a living swan for this scene.
And it was a film animal that came from a dirty agency 2 hours away from our city.
Every evening, during rehearsals, he sat alone in his cage, silent, and was exposed to very high intensity of sounds coming from the wind instruments that were positioned on the stage and not in the orchestra room in this production.
He looked at me with his keen eyes and trembled every time I tried to stroke him through the bars behind the stage.


The same torture every night, the unbearable noise that definitely tormented him because swans have very sensitive hearing, and then the strenuous journey of 2 hours to a dirty dark hole in the agency where he belonged.
We had received information that this agency was a small, unprofessional one with pigs, reptiles, birds, and lots of dogs.

The agency brokered these animals mainly for German television productions.

The management could not be convinced, a plan had to be found.
I have spoken to animal-friendly colleagues and have promised to help.
My plan was to stage an “accident”, that was the only way to put something in the veterinary office’s hand to ban the swan.

One night it was time.
We are all on stage, choir, soloists, the trombones, and the swan on a pedestal, he was not bound.
He was “trained” to stay where his slave owner wanted it.

With a sudden nudge, I pushed him cleverly towards to the orchestra room, the swan was startled and at that moment he flew over the orchestra, over the audience, he made a big bow in the auditorium and landed on the chandelier in the middle of the big hall.

The performance was interrupted, the maestro was waiting for instructions, what should happen now, with an animal flying freely over the heads of the spectators???
This was forbidden, according to security regulations.
The swan was caught again but everything went on without him.
For this evening and every evening, the swan was no longer with us.

The help of the colleagues came the next day: the telephone at the veterinary office did not remain silent, everyone wanted to report the “accident” and say that animals on the stage endanger safety.

That was the only way for us to reach the goal, the veterinary office saw otherwise no animal cruelty in this case.
The Veterinary Office has banned the swan from being used, and after this incident, the management has stopped bringing animals onto the stage. Until today.

Many have connected the action with my person, but this is not correct.
We have all tried to save the animal at least from this slave function, from this production.
We owed it to him.

I don’t know where our “Lohengrin” swan is today, whether he is still alive …
I often think of him and often see his dark, sad eyes in front of me.

We cannot save all animals when they need it.
But if ONE animal is suffering from our eyes, we have to try to save it.

Regards and good night, Venus

UK / Mauritius: ‘Paradise Lost’ – 35 Years On (for us) and Mauritius Still Supplies Primates to the UK for Research.

UK flagge aquarelljpg

I am going back a long time – around 1985 or near to that.

I was part of a local and effective animal rights group which had been formed by my Joanne – white ‘Paradise Lost’ T shirt; black pants; blonde tied back hair, see photos below.

We decided a few of us (3 or 4) from our group would meet with other campaigners in central London to an impromptu demo for the BUAV ‘Paradise Lost’ campaign at the Mauritanian Embassy, which is located in central London; calling for the Mauritian government to stop the supply of research primates to European laboratories.

GLAD primate 1

We had with us our very impressive ‘sad lab primate’  on the day – a costume worn by one very agile campaigner, the sad face reflecting that it had been torn from the wild and was destined for lab research in another land – far away from its original home in Mauritius.

I was the group photographer on the day; and in my photos you can see Joanne – in a white ‘Paradise Lost’ T shirt; black pants; blonde tied back hair, and ‘Big Malc’ (Malcom) who you can just see the head of behind the big Paradise Lost poster; and Leanne; the dark haired girl between the two of them.  I don’t know who the other folk were; but we all got together and made our voices know outside the embassy.  All the photos are taken directly in front of the Mauritanian embassy.

GLAD primate 4

We attracted lots of Press; and the guys from the papers really loved our human sized sad primate; who ended up climbing and swinging from a few lamp posts for even more attention and media coverage of what was behind the demo.

GLAD primate 2

GLAD primate 3

‘Big Malc’ (behind and holding the poster / banner) was a member of the group and a great mate.  I last met him about eight or nine years ago in a supermarket.  He had all these Mauri type tattoos over his arms and face; and him and I were the only 2 people in the aisle.  I think all the shoppers had been frightened off by his appearance; but we stopped and had a really good chat.  He was the only guy I have ever seen eat a whole, raw Cauliflower when we did a stall in our local town.  Despite his big size and tattoos everywhere; he was one of the gentlest and lovely people you could ever wish to meet.

So, what, 35 years later, I was very annoyed (to be politically correct) to see this article in the national press a day or so ago.  Still primates are being imported into British labs which had their original home in Mauritius.  They are the long-tailed macaques –  6,120 from this (usually) paradise place.  35 years on since our demo in London, and STILL primates are being used in crap experiments.- now I guess the researchers have another excuse for their justification – and its called Covid,

35 years later and Mauritius is still giving innocent primates to the labs of the world. 

What do you do except produce a post like this to try and get a point across.

The figures are based on permits issued by the government-run Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). But activists say that more primates may also have been imported for lab tests from within the EU.

As the article says:  Britain has banned tests on wild primates but still allows them to be brought in and sold as pets and allows their offspring to be imported for research.  In other words, nothing has changed from when were on the streets of Ol’ London town all those years ago.

Here is the article for you to read more about the disgusting lab primate trade.  35 years ago it was ‘Paradise Lost’ for the primates; sadly, today it still is !

Regards Mark

Article Link:

Article:  from ‘The Independent’, London.

Primates imported to UK for laboratory experiments ‘triple in a year to 6,752’

The number of primates and primate parts imported into the UK for laboratory animal experiments has nearly tripled in a year to more than 6,700, figures suggest.

Experts warned the steep rise risks spreading diseases that could be fatal to humans. Monkeys can pass viruses including avian flu, Sars and vCJD to people.

Authorities handed out permits last year for an “unusually high” 6,752 monkeys and monkey tissue parts to be flown in and sent to laboratories, where chemicals or drugs would be tested on them. Primate-welfare workers are demanding to know why numbers shot up.

The animals – long-tailed macaques – were mostly from Mauritius (6,120), and another 632 were flown in from Vietnam.

The figures are based on permits issued by the government-run Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). But activists say that more primates may also have been imported for lab tests from within the EU, where there are several primate-breeding companies, but the agency does not have to record them.

Britain has banned tests on wild primates but still allows them to be brought in and sold as pets and allows their offspring to be imported for research.

In 2018 – the most recent data available – the number of experiments on primates in the UK rose by 8 per cent, to 3,170. Most of these – 2,900 – were carried out on long-tailed macaques, of which four-fifths were testing the toxicity of chemicals or drugs.

Sarah Kite, of Action for Primates (AfP), said the level of imports was unusually high, calling for the APHA to provide reasons for the sudden increase.

In 2018, 2,666 long-tailed macaques were imported to the UK from Mauritius and Vietnam, Cites data shows. In 2017, it was about 1,000. But last year, APHA permits were given for 6,790 imports, including 38 for “breeding”. Of these, 25 were squirrel monkeys and seven black lion tamarin monkeys.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said a number of tissue samples, such as blood or saliva, could be taken from one animal, but each sample could have a permit so the actual number of live animals imported was lower than 6,790.

Ms Kite said: “The UK has, over the years, continued to perpetuate a trade that centres on the cruel trapping of wild animals.”

Importing the offspring of wild animals for tests helps fund the capture of monkeys from their habitats, AfP says.

“The capture of wild monkeys inflicts significant suffering and distress. Primates are highly social animals, and trapping and removing them from their habitats, families and social groups is cruel. It can also result in injuries or even death,” she said.

Globally, the long-tailed macaque is the most heavily traded primate and the most widely used in research. Experiments on them to assess their reactions to drugs or chemicals involve restraining the animals and injecting them with the drugs or force-feeding them through a tube down to the stomach.

The black lion tamarin, native to Sao Paulo in Brazil, is officially endangered.

Permits last for up to six months so some of the 6,790 animals may have been imported this year.

Monkeys bought for breeding will have gone to zoos or the pet trade, it is believed, after previous surveys found thousands of primates are kept as pets in the UK.

Ms Kite also warned of the disease risk, pointing out that the US banned imports of primates for the pet trade as long ago as 1975 because of the risk of disease.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention states: “Non-human primates may carry infectious diseases that are dangerous and sometimes fatal to humans.”

It says they include Ebola, yellow fever, monkeypox and “other diseases not yet known or identified”. Last year a case of monkeypox was found in southwest England.

China has long been the key supplier of macaques for international research but the country’s ban on the trade and transport of wild animals following the coronavirus outbreak, along with the USA-China trade war, has effectively ended its trade, prompting countries such as the US to look for other sources for lab monkeys.

Africa and Mauritius are the next biggest suppliers of long-tailed macaques for research. But hundreds of primates are also captured each year from tropical rainforests in South America.

Action for Primates is part of the Campaign to End Wildlife Trade, a coalition calling on the UK government to fight for a global ban in wildlife trade at the G20 meeting in November and to end the import and export of wild animals into the UK.

The Independent’s Stop The Wildlife Trade campaign was launched by its proprietor Evgeny Lebedev to call for an end to high-risk wildlife markets and for an international effort to regulate the illegal trade in wild animals to reduce our risk of future pandemics.

A government spokesperson said: “The UK has one of the most comprehensive animal welfare systems in the world, and we are committed to the proper regulation of the use of animals in scientific research.

“All research must implement the 3Rs – replacement, reduction and refinement – which require that animals are replaced with non-animal alternatives wherever possible and the number of animals used is reduced to the minimum needed to achieve the results sought.

“For those animals which must be used, procedures are refined as much as possible to minimise their suffering.”


The cruel animal film industry

UPDATE: Based on PETA’s evidence, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected Birds & Animals Unlimited (BAU) and cited it for violating the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

The USDA cited BAU for failing to provide two pigs with skin conditions with adequate veterinary care. The agency also cited BAU for failing to provide dogs who were left outdoors with bedding when overnight temperatures dropped below 50 degrees (!!!)

BAU, operated by Hollywood animal trainer Gary Gero, provides animals for use in film, television, and advertisements.
BAU has rented out animals to hundreds of productions, including The Hangover, Marley and Me, Game of Thrones, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

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An eyewitness who worked at BAU documented chronic neglect, including sick and injured animals who went without adequate veterinary care, filthy enclosures, and animals who were denied food so that they would be hungry when being trained to do tricks.

BAU has a training facility near Acton, California, and its “retirement” facility is in Lake Wales, Florida.

Dogs, including one who BAU staff said, was used in the movie Hotel for Dogs, were kept outside, and denied bedding, even when temperatures dropped into the low 40s.

Those who staff claimed were used in The Solutrean and CBS’ Zoo was housed alone in kennels on hard concrete floors.

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Snoop, a geriatric, ailing dog believed to have been used in the film “Marmaduke”, was frequently left outside overnight in temperatures below 50 degrees.

Continue reading “The cruel animal film industry”

Brazil: Beyond Meat Enters Brazil As Country’s Meat Plants Blamed For COVID-19 Outbreaks.




Beyond Meat Enters Brazil As Country’s Meat Plants Blamed For COVID-19 Outbreaks



The announcement caused Beyond Meat's shares to increase 3 percent (Photo: Beyond Meat)


Beyond Meat said the launch is an ‘important step in furthering our mission of increasing accessibility to plant-based meat globally’


Plant-based company Beyond Meat has entered the Brazilian market as the country’s meat plants have been blamed for the spread of coronavirus.

The company’s meat-free sausages, burgers, and beef, will debut in 19 stores owned by retail giant  St. Marche in Sao Paulo.

Beyond Meat’s shares jumped three percent after it announced its partnership with St. Marche.

‘Significant opportunity’

According to Yahoo Finance, Beyond Meat said: “Our Brazil market entry marks an important step in furthering our mission of increasing accessibility to plant-based meat globally.

“As the third-largest market in the world in terms of animal meat consumption, Brazil offers significant opportunity for plant-based meat adoption.”


Meat plants in Brazil have remained open during the pandemic – resulting in nearly 5,000 workers testing positive for Covid-19 (as of June 23) in Rio Grande do Sul alone.

A recent study showed that Covid-19 cases in the country were ‘clustered around towns where meat plants were located and workers lived’. Researcher Ernesto Galindo, who produced the study, told The Guardian“There is a direct relationship.”


Regards Mark


India: Watch the Life Saving Work of Our Friends at ‘Animal Aid Unlimited’ – and Celebrate – Better Still, Donate !




AAU June


Dear Mark,

Two of the happiest dogs alive, Rocky and Ranis video below is a heart-warming look at the lives of two orphaned puppies whose mama died in childbirth. Nurtured and adored by foster parents, they survived dangerous viruses, which orphans like these are especially vulnerable to because they’re too young to vaccinate and don’t have the natural protective immunity that comes only with their mother’s milk (cow’s milk does not provide this, and can be harmful for puppies and species other than cows.)

When they were old enough to eat on their own, they were adopted by a tremendous village family with children, elderly neighbors and a steady stream of friends.

Wherever you are in the world, when it’s time to bring a new best friend into your home, adopt a rescued dog from a shelter. Or better yet, two!



Joy’s extraordinary recovery after her lower lip was terribly injured



When we got the call that a puppy was covered in blood we had no idea how bad it could be. Her entire lip was missing. As soon as we examined her we realized that she would need urgent surgery but we didn’t know if she could fully recover from such a horrible injury.

We’ve called this little hero Joy.

And Joy is alive and well and–extraordinary. Please donate



Tiggy’s ravaging wounds and astoundingly FAST recovery

 Multiple wounds tore open Tiggy’s neck, shoulders and ear. We rescued him as he sat trembling and woozy with pain. We hurriedly gave the beautiful little victim pain medicine, hydration, bandaging and food, but the best part of his rescue was holding him close. Within days, Tiggy’s incredibly playfulness and boundless affection took over.



There’s nothing better than a happy ending. Please donate


Puppy love! There’s simply nothin’ like it!

 Rocky and Rani were orphaned when their poor mama died in childbirth. The sweethearts were immediately fostered by two devoted Animal Aid staff who cheerfully went through the midnight feedings stage, the “is this poop looking normal to you?” stage, and then to the fantastic open-road of their great health and multiple growth spurts.



With glossy coats, bright white smiles and absolute trust of humans, this pair was lovingly adopted by Animal Aid care-giver Mangi bai and her family, and their growing up has continued with play, love, and then more play.


Life should be, at times, hilarious.

Wherever you live, adopt a shelter dog. And if you live in India, click here to meet the beautiful dogs ready for adoption at Animal Aid.


Sponsor Barbara or one of her friends today!

As Barbara and 80 other sheep were being herded across a highway by an old shepherd in 2017, a truck rounded a blind corner and slammed into them, killing all but 8 souls. Barbara was one of the survivors. Badly injured with an open fracture, the shepherd could no longer care for her and brought her to Animal Aid. Shy and frightened at first, Barbara has blossomed into one of the world’s biggest sweethearts and if you sponsor Barbara, we think you’ll feel her magic. She’s way too big to curl up in your lap, but she tries to!

Click here to sponsor – or any other animal: 


Celebrate the staff: Bhavna




Bhavna’s eyes twinkle like ferry lights in a party. Since 2017 she has served with dignity, kindness and efficiency as front-of-hospital cleaning supervisor. Bhavna keeps offices inviting and tidy, cooks the meals for the dogs, and whether she’s defrosting the fridge or moving a heavy portable kennel, she always keeps us smiling.


Regards to you all and thanks for your comments and ‘thumbs up’; sorry but it impossible to write to all involved, but thank you, it means a lot to Venus and I  – Mark.