Washington’s stubborn reluctance to create new rules to manage conflicts with livestock flies in the face of common sense and science — and is deeply cruel.
And it leads to more decimated packs and orphaned wolves, who are left to fend for themselves without the skills to survive.
The state isn’t even following its own weak policy guidelines. It’s using a trigger-happy approach and killing wolves instead of enforcing nonlethal procedures that would save both wolves and cattle.
Since 2012 the state has killed 31 wolves. Nearly all were slaughtered for conflicts on public lands, with 26 killed for the same livestock owner. The original Wedge pack was destroyed in 2012. Now a new pack is clinging to survival.
Last week we petitioned Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to order the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft enforceable rules that limit when the state can kill endangered wolves.
We’re seeking a reversal of the commission’s denial, last month, of a formal petition for wolf-management rules.
The senseless wolf-killing has to end. We’ll keep fighting the state until it adopts a new policy. Endangered wolves need to be protected and allowed to thrive in the wild, safe with their families — not shot down from helicopters or while immobilized in painful traps.
The Wedge and Togo packs are depending on us. We can’t give up on them.
Goats punched, hit, kicked and ‘left lame’ at farm supplying milk to Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose and Ocado, video shows
Animals were subjected to a string of brutal attacks at a farm that sells goats’ milk to Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and other supermarkets, footage from hidden cameras has revealed.
Goats were seen on video being punched, kicked, hit with a pole and slammed onto their backs at a plant that supplies St Helen’s Farm, in east Yorkshire.
The animals were also filmed crying in pain as they were held by their necks, had their ears tagged or their tails twisted.
Goat milk, yoghurts, cheese and ice cream sold by the St Helen’s Farm brand are the best-known goat milk products in the UK and are stocked by major supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado. Demand has risen amid a switch away from cows’ milk in recent years.
Tesco immediately suspended the brand when shown the footage by The Independent.Waitrose and Booths, which has grocery stores around the north of England, followed suit.
About an hour’s worth of video was passed to the Surge animal rights group, which then showed it to a vet and to lawyers at Advocates for Animals, who it said “highlighted many serious issues”.
People filming using secret cameras told Surge that at one supply farm, they saw goats being:
Kicked and punched
Hit with a pole
Held by the throat
Having their tails twisted
Shoved and roughly handled
Left lame and struggling to stand or walk after the rough handling
Goats were also slammed onto their backs on a conveyor belt before their hooves were roughly trimmed, the video showed.
One was seen being dragged by one leg along the ground while struggling.
Animal suffering was also prolonged when injuries went untreated, the witnesses said after reviewing the footage.
The people behind the footage also reported seeing workers letting goats fall off an operating bed and become stuck between fences. In one case, a worker “played the drums” on a goat’s stomach after a procedure. The footage also shows farm employees dragging dead animals away in front of live ones, and Surge was told that dead and dying animals had been seen around the farm.
St Helen’s, which is a brand rather than a single farm, also buys goats’ milk from other farms in Yorkshire and the midlands. A spokesperson confirmed the footage was taken at one of St Helen’s supply farms, and as soon as the company was alerted by The Independent to the treatment of the animals, it cut off the supplier.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 states animals, including farm animals, must be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease.
Ed Winters, the co-founder and director of Surge, said: “St Helen’s is the most prominent and well-known goat company in the UK. They are regarded as being the best of the best when it comes to goat farming. But that means nothing to the animals.
“Goats are sensitive, curious and gentle animals, but the animal-farming industries treat them as commodities they can exploit for profit.
“St Helen’s say on their website the milk is a reward for looking after the goats and that their staff have a genuine interest and love for the animals. But it is obvious that the opposite is true at one of their supplying farms.”
He added: “These animals are thrown around and dragged and when they’re no longer producing enough milk to be considered profitable, they’re killed.”
Surge says about 50,000 mostly male dairy kids are slaughtered each year.
St Helen’s Farm told The Independent it was supplied by farms that were expected to comply with a rigorous code of conduct and that it had several animal-welfare accreditations, adding: “Today we have been made aware of allegations that one farm has infringed animal welfare standards, which we would find totally unacceptable if true.
“We have immediately ceased all milk supply from this farm and launched a full investigation to determine the facts of this matter.”
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We require high animal-welfare standards from all brands sold at Tesco, so these claims are deeply concerning. We have immediately suspended supply whilst we investigate the matter further.”
A Waitrose spokesperson said the chain was suspending St Helen’s after reading this article.
The Independent has also asked the other supermarkets to respond.
A spokesperson for the British Retail Consortium (BRC), representing supermarkets, said: “Our members take their responsibilities to animal welfare very seriously and work closely with trusted suppliers so that high welfare standards are upheld.
“They have strict processes in place and will thoroughly investigate any evidence of non-conformity to ensure that any problems are immediately addressed. The BRC continues to support unannounced audits on farms to ensure compliance with all farm standards, particularly animal welfare.”
Brandenburg suspends live transport to third countries
27 July 2020
Until the allegations are clarified, the Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Teltow-Fläming and Prignitz districts will no longer handle cattle transport to third countries. That was coordinated with the Ministry of Consumer Protection.
The media and animal welfare organizations once again highlighted grievances in long animal transports to third countries.
Minister of Consumer Protection Ursula Nonnemacher said: “We will not ignore these grievances. Animal transport can only be carried out if absolutely necessary and if it is carried out in compliance with the requirements of the animal transport law. We must finally end animal suffering. Transport companies must demonstrably ensure animal welfare during transport. Otherwise, animal transport is not possible.”
Brandenburg already tightened the requirement for the handling of long, cross-border animal transports in March of the year. “We will continue to increase the requirements for the plausibility check for handling animal transports using the options available to us, without having any legislative competence in the country,” said Nonnemacher .
In Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley, the world’s first all-female, vegan anti-poaching unit, called Akashinga, is thriving.
The community-driven unit — part of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), founded by former sniper Damien Mander — protects the land and its wildlife from trophy hunters and poachers.
Mander and the Akashinga women were recently the subjects of 2020’s Akashinga: The Brave Ones a documentary produced by Academy Award-winning director James Cameron.
The unit is completely plant-based; everyone is fed by the Akashinga Back to Black Roots Vegan Kitchen and Garden, run by Nicola Kagoro, also known as Chef Cola.
Funded by VegFund since 2018, the kitchen served more than 54,000 meals in 2019. This number is set to grow significantly in the coming years—the IAPF intends to expand its unit by 2025 to 1,000 rangers. Currently, it has 171 rangers, staff, and trainees.
Back to Black Roots Vegan Kitchen and Garden prepares nutritious, tasty camp meals and rations for the Akashinga staff, using locally-sourced traditional foods and, due to its location in the bush, no electricity.
As it grows, the kitchen will use more low-impact tools and technology. It plans to have an orchard for fresh fruit and even intends to construct a cabin to grow mushrooms.
For centuries prior to European colonization, people across many African countries ate predominantly vegetarian meals. Chef Cola wants to encourage a shift back to this way of eating, to not only benefit the rangers, but local food suppliers too.
She told VegFund: “We use a lot of dried grains mixed with fresh produce, both vegetables, and fruits. The focus in sourcing is on empowering the local community and supporting small entrepreneurs (who might have banana farms or tomato gardens).”
Another goal of the kitchen is to teach about the environmental, ethical, and health benefits of plant-based living.
Chef Cola was educated via Cornell University’s T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the 2004 book The China Study is one of the leading physicians in the plant-based movement.
She said: “I took that knowledge and shared it with my team. We all internalized and continue to reference Dr. T. Colin Campbell in our kitchen and garden.”
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