Day: August 12, 2020

USA: NRDC; Fighting Hard Against Trump for the People, the Environment and Animal Welfare.

Dear Mark,

A few weeks back, we promised we’d file suit to stop the Trump administration’s new policy that guts the landmark National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Well, we’ve done it.

Last week, a coalition of environmental justice and environmental groups — represented by NRDC attorneys and joined by other civil rights and environmental organizations — sued the Trump administration over its attempt to roll back NEPA.

NEPA is a critical part of our democracy that requires thorough environmental reviews and public input before major federal projects — including dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure — can be approved. It protects the people’s right to speak out against the destructive influence of polluters and hazardous projects that poison communities today and lock us into the climate crisis for decades to come.

The Trump administration’s rollback would eliminate environmental reviews for too many projects, erode government transparency, and thwart public participation.

The courts are our best bet at stopping the Trump administration from gutting this landmark environmental protection. So NRDC rushed to court to defend NEPA alongside environmental justice organizations from around the country, including:

Our litigation partners also include Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Be sure to visit the websites of our partners to find out more about their critical work.

Dear Mark,

A few weeks back, we promised we’d file suit to stop the Trump administration’s new policy that guts the landmark National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Well, we’ve done it.

Last week, a coalition of environmental justice and environmental groups — represented by NRDC attorneys and joined by other civil rights and environmental organizations — sued the Trump administration over its attempt to roll back NEPA.

NEPA is a critical part of our democracy that requires thorough environmental reviews and public input before major federal projects — including dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure — can be approved. It protects the people’s right to speak out against the destructive influence of polluters and hazardous projects that poison communities today and lock us into the climate crisis for decades to come.

The Trump administration’s rollback would eliminate environmental reviews for too many projects, erode government transparency, and thwart public participation.

The courts are our best bet at stopping the Trump administration from gutting this landmark environmental protection. So NRDC rushed to court to defend NEPA alongside environmental justice organizations from around the country, including:

Our litigation partners also include Sierra Club, National Audubon Society, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Be sure to visit the websites of our partners to find out more about their critical work.

And read all about the Trump administration’s disastrous NEPA rollback and what NRDC and our allies are doing to stop it at NRDC.org.

Trump’s rollback is a clear example of environmental racism.

Weakening of NEPA will most directly impact low-income communities and BIPOC communities, who have long faced disproportionate levels of pollution due to industrial facilities placed in or near their neighborhoods.

These are the same communities who have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, which is especially critical as preliminary research shows that long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with higher death rates from the coronavirus.

Predictably, Trump has decided to double-down on exposing them to dangerous pollution and continued health risks. NRDC, our partners in the lawsuit, and our allies across the movement, will do everything in our power to stop attacks on NEPA.

Find out more about Trump’s disastrous attack on NEPA at NRDC.org and from the original email we sent you below.

Earlier this year, NRDC and our sister organization, the NRDC Action Fund, submitted over 100,000 public comments — alongside nearly half a million more from green and environmental justice groups — opposing Trump’s NEPA rollback.

Now, we’ll continue the fight to save NEPA in the courts, alongside our important litigation partners from across the country.

This is NRDC’s 121st lawsuit against the Trump administration — and we’ve won nearly 90% of the cases that have been resolved — an astounding record of success fighting back against illegal actions by this president that harm our environment and public health. And we’re confident that with this lawsuit, we will prevail again.

While America faces the crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and its history of racism and inequity, President Trump is pushing ahead with an anti-environmental assault that would exacerbate both challenges in one fell-swoop.

The Trump administration just finalized its disastrous rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — a landmark law that empowers people to make their voices heard about hazardous projects in their communities and stop pollution in their own backyards.

This attack on NEPA is an attack on democracy, our environment, our climate, and YOUR voice, Mark.

And NRDC will respond immediately, taking the Trump administration to court if that’s what it takes to stop this reckless assault on one of the pillars of environmental law. And we couldn’t respond so effectively without the support of NRDC supporters like you — thank you.

Get all the facts about Trump’s harmful attacks on NEPA, and how NRDC and our allies and partners are fighting back, and more at NRDC.org.

If Trump’s NEPA rollback is allowed to stand, disastrous polluting projects — like coal mines, highways, incinerators, oil and gas drilling operations, and pipelines — could be expedited with little-to-no environmental review, public input, or analysis of long-term impacts on the environment, our climate, or the people who live near these projects.

Make no mistake: this rollback is a clear attempt to silence people and make it easier for industry to pollute our communities.

And it will further marginalize low-income communities, Black communities, Indigenous communities, and communities of color who already suffer disproportionately from the adverse health impacts of industrial pollution — and who have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. This is especially critical as preliminary health studies suggest that long-term exposure to air pollution is associated with higher death rates from the coronavirus.

NEPA gives people the right to weigh in before a highway project tears up their neighborhood or a pipeline goes through their backyard. Steamrolling their concerns will mean more polluted air, more contaminated water, more health threats, and more environmental destruction — and it will encourage the government to ignore how massive polluting projects contribute to climate change.

We must — and will — do everything in our power to stop the Trump administration’s rollback and save NEPA, including fighting back in federal court if necessary.

This dangerous new rollback comes weeks after another sweeping executive order that prods administration officials to ram through polluting projects without public notice, let alone adequate environmental reviews.

And it comes amid an onslaught of other Trump administration rollbacks over the past few months — including a move that could allow industrial polluters to evade penalties if they unlawfully fail to monitor and report on their pollution during the coronavirus crisis.

NRDC is fighting many of these rollbacks in court — just as we’ll fight to save NEPA as well, if that’s what it takes. NRDC has filed 118 lawsuits against the Trump administration. With the law on our side, we’ve won nearly 90 percent of the cases resolved so far.

Thank you for standing with us at this critical moment.

Sincerely,

Sharon Buccino
Senior Director, Land Division, NRDC

https://www.nrdc.org/

Italy: New Investigation Revealing Horrific Swordfish Harpoon Fishing Practices.

New investigation revealing horrific harpoon fishing practices

6 August 2020

Essere Animali

Every summer in the Strait of Messina, the feluccas (typical swordfish fishing boats) set sail to catch the fish whose meat is sold to fishmongers and restaurants. Although it is considered a more sustainable method than industrial fishing, as there is no unwanted bycatch of other species, harpoon fishing causes serious suffering. This year Essere Animali was on board documenting the horrific practices.

After being pierced with the harpoon, swordfish struggle in vain to free themselves. Once hoisted onto the boat, their flesh is cut in several places with a knife while they are still alive to facilitate the extraction of the spearhead. This procedure causes extreme and prolonged pain to the swordfish.  

After being caught, the swordfish are frequently doused with water. The purpose of this procedure is to keep them alive as long as possible to ensure the freshness of their meat; it does not bring any relief to the animals.

Death comes as a result of asphyxiation after several long minutes of agony, during which the fish remains conscious and gasps for breath, its body riddled with wounds.  

The post ‘New investigation revealing horrific harpoon fishing practices’ is modified from an article published by Essere Animali in their original language.

Chicken farms: “at the end of the day it’s about making money.”

‘Unprofitable’ chicks at a farm supplying Tesco, Ocado, and McDonald’s were deliberately deprived of water and left to die of dehydration, an undercover investigation has found.

Secret filming also shows how other baby birds deemed too small to be worth raising had their necks crushed or snapped by workers, causing a painful death.

Some were left to die because they were too weak to feed themselves, it was claimed.

An undercover activist for animal protection organization Animal Equality, who was employed by the company, shot footage showing that at one farmworker raised the height of the drinkers every day for about 40 days so that the smaller chicks – those considered not profitable – were unable to reach them.

At two farms, workers were filmed crushing chickens’ necks in their hands so the farm did not “waste” food and water on those that would not be profitable. The investigator said that as a result, hundreds were suffering agonizing deaths each day.

One farm manager was reported to have said: “I can look at a day-old chick and say ‘that’s going to make 1.85[kg] at 32 days or it’s not’; if it isn’t, there’s no point feeding it. It’s cheaper to get rid of it and kill it. Because at the end of the day it’s about making money.”

All the farms are certified by Red Tractor, the UK scheme that claims to guarantee high standards of food and animal welfare. And the practices, filmed at farms operated by Moy Park, one of the UK’s biggest chicken processors, flout animal-welfare law and government codes.
Moy Park, which raises and kills more than 312 million birds each year, is the source of nearly a third of all the chicken sold in the UK.

It is one of Europe’s 10 biggest poultry producers, supplying restaurants as well as smaller grocery stores.
The undercover footage, taken at farms in the East Midlands, also suggests:

– Chicks developed raw skin burns on their feet and chests from urine-soaked floors
– Birds bred to grow so huge so rapidly that they suffered from leg injuries and were unable to carry the weight of their own bodies
– Chickens were crammed into barns so overcrowded they were barely able to move or stretch their wings

Birds in sheds were filmed gasping for air because “their hearts and lungs struggled to cope with their unnaturally huge bodies”. Some struggled to walk, and others could not stand up.

Other animal groups have previously said most chickens in UK farming are selectively bred so that they grow to the equivalent of a human baby weighing 28th at just three years old.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/chicken-farms-ocado-mcdonalds-tesco-thirst-moy-park-red-tractor-animal-cruelty-a9661216.html (Video)

 

And I mean…Anyone who would now think that such a company is only the exception is unfortunately wrong. Nowadays these are the standard methods in meat production.
All over the world!

It is said that animal suffering is systemic.
But what kind of system is that?
The answer is: the operators of the so-called “meat industry” brutally exploit everything and everyone in a kind of “back room” of our society. Although our lives are made of meat, the meat mafia goes to great lengths to keep their criminals secret and invisible to society.

The situation in the German slaughterhouses is not any better. The same grievances or similar situation has existed for over 20 years and maybe it has gotten worse.

By the way, and of course, all of this applies not only to the chicken farms, but also to cattle, pigs, sheep, etc. The (dismantling) personnel, called dismantling columns (!), mostly from third countries, are usually housed in a way that could well be described as ‘barracked’!

But the German government is proud to take the top places in the export world championship league with this criminal industry too.

TODAY we know more about nutrition than ever before, which is why there are no longer any arguments in developed industrial countries why animals and their hormone products MUST be part of a diet. Only the power and the law of the stronger allow us to act in this way.

Animals have a consciousness and the same feelings as we humans, such as grief, pain, fear, wanting to stay alive, wanting to live with their family.
And we can all understand that without any scientific evidence, videos and undercover investigations, right?

I cannot take seriously people who exploit others and also kill them for their own enjoyment or profit and cannot regard them as my friends.

kleines Kücken am Fließbandn

There are many good reasons not to eat meat. But actually one is enough …!

My best regards to all, Venus

England: Running for Their Lives – Hare Hunting Exposed – League Against Cruel Sports (London).

Produced with massive help from the ‘League Against Cruel Sports’ (LACS) – London.

https://www.league.org.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsKblx5mV6wIVA-ztCh0UTAoMEAAYASAAEgJm_PD_BwE

Much of the information is reproduced from their site at  https://www.league.org.uk/hunting-act

The Hunting Act 2004 is the law which bans chasing wild mammals with dogs in England and Wales – this basically means that fox hunting, deer hunting, hare hunting, hare coursing and mink hunting are all illegal, as they all are cruel sports based on dogs chasing wild mammals.

The introduction of the Hunting Act followed an extensive and often exhausting campaign spanning 80 years, with the League Against Cruel Sports and its supporters (including us) at the forefront since 1924. In Scotland, hunting with dogs was banned earlier by a different law, the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.

Securing the Hunting Act was a key moment in the history of animal protection legislation in the UK and public polling consistently shows it is a popular law. Yet, since its introduction, the Hunting Act has been the target of considerable attack from the pro-hunt lobby which has waged an on-going campaign to try and undermine the Act with the aim of getting it scrapped or weakened, and defied the Act by developing and promoting methods to circumvent it in the form of false alibies or illicit exploitations of its exemptions.

This sabotage of the law continues today, despite the legislation of 2004.

Prosecutions and Exemptions

Official figures demonstrate that the Hunting Act has protected animals, with people being convicted for crimes covered by the law. However, far too many allegations of illegal hunting have not been properly investigated and far too many illegal hunters have got away with it unpunished, which means that the Act has a serious enforcement problem. Because of the weak enforcement by the authorities the successful prosecution of registered hunts was spearheaded by the League when we took private prosecutions against illegal hunters.

While many people have been convicted under the Hunting Act, most of these are in fact poachers rather than hunters. Unfortunately we believe that illegal hunting with dogs by organised hunts is very common across the country, while there are very few prosecutions. The problem is that considering the defiance of the hunting fraternity and how they have created sophisticated alibies and illicitly exploited the exemptions of the Act, it is often hard to catch hunts in the act of chasing and killing a fox, and even if they are caught, it is hard to prove in court.

The Act contains ‘exemptions’ built into its Schedule, which were designed to prevent the ban affecting activities which Parliament did not intend to prohibit. Unfortunately, hunts often use these exemptions as an excuse if they are caught hunting. For example, staghunts use the ‘Research and Observation’ exemption that was designed for researchers and not hunters, and some fox hunts carry birds of prey in order to claim that they use the ‘falconry’ exemption, which was designed for falconers.

However, the most common way illegal fox hunters use to avoid prosecution is with ‘trail hunting’. Most registered fox and hare hunts now claim to be trail hunting – an activity that was not in existence or envisaged when the Hunting Act was drafted, and which should not be confused with ‘drag’ hunting.

Trail hunting is an entirely new invention which purports to mimic traditional hunting by following a scent trail (using fox urine, according to the hunters) which has been laid in areas where foxes are likely to be. Those laying the trail are not meant to tell those controlling the hounds where the scent has been laid, so if the hounds end up following a live animal scent the hunt can claim that they did not know.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is lacs-hare-2.jpg

Having looked over 4,000 hunt monitoring reports of over 30 hunt monitors from different organisations covering the majority of hunts in England and Wales (157), since the Hunting Act 2004 was enacted these hunt monitors have reported witnessing someone laying a possible trail only in an average of around 3% of the occasions they monitored hunts, but they believed that only an average of around 0.04% of the occasions they may have witnessed a genuine trail hunting event, rather than a fake one.

Trail hunting is not the same as drag hunting, a legitimate sport created in the 1800s which is not intended to mimic animal hunting, but instead is a sport using hounds to search for a non-animal scent without the pursuit or killing of wild animals.

In drag hunting, or in bloodhounds hunting (or hunting the ‘clean boot’ as it is also known) where the scent of a human runner is followed instead of a drag, the trail never contains animal scent, is never laid in areas likely to have foxes, and those controlling the hounds always know where the trail was laid.

This is why in drag hunting, ‘accidents’ when live animals are chased are very rare, while in trail hunting they are very common.

The League believes there is no such a thing as the ‘sport of trail hunting’ and it is simply a temporary, false alibi to cover for illegal hunting while the hunting fraternity hopes for the hunting ban to be repealed or weakened.

For more information visit our trail hunting page and read or download our detailed report on trail hunting, drag hunting and the ‘clean boot’.

Hare hunting and hare coursing

Hare hunting is the lesser known cousin of fox hunting and deer hunting, but in the days before hunting was banned in England and Wales, one in three hunts were actually hare hunts. Despite the ban, when hunting with dogs was made illegal, most of these hunts still exist, and are chasing and killing hares in the name of ‘sport’.

Hare coursing is a different ‘sport’, involving two fast dogs being set loose to chase a hare. Traditionally, this could take place on a small scale but also as a large-scale, organised event, such as the famous Waterloo Cup event which attracted thousands of spectators who came to watch and place bets. Hare coursing was banned, along with hare hunting, by the Hunting Act 2004, and is illegal, but coursing still takes place

According to the Hare Preservation Trust, the number of brown hares in the UK has declined by 80% since the late 1880s – that’s a devastating drop. While modern farming practices are thought to be the main cause of this decline, hare hunting and hare coursing also had an impact. A return to these cruel sports could see brown hares wiped out in many parts of Britain. The brown hare is listed as a conservation priority in the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan, meaning we should be doing all we can to protect this vulnerable species.

There is nothing ‘natural’ about a hare being chased with a pack of dogs. Hares have evolved to sprint at high speeds for short periods to escape predators. They cannot match the stamina of hunting hounds who will continue the chase until the hare is exhausted and can run no more. When talking about hares and hunting with dogs, the Government’s Burns Report published in 2000 concluded that ‘this experience seriously compromises the welfare of the hare.’

Ref – https://www.league.org.uk/hare-hunting-and-hare-coursing

Watch the reality of the Hare hunt:  https://youtu.be/Xrhkt0EOGx4

Regards Mark

In many ways it is still a bloodbath !

Australia: Italian Fashion Giant Prada Bans the Use of Kangaroo Skin. But States of Victoria and New South Wales Still Allow Kangaroo Killing. Take Action Here. Has Australia Not Killed Enough Wildlife Rcentl;y ?

Image shows a dead kangaroo

Great news,

Italian fashion giant Prada has banned kangaroo skin.

The Prada Group – which includes Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s, and Car Shoe – has confirmed that it will no longer purchase any new kangaroo leather. The decision will spare these remarkable Australian animals immense suffering.

Prada joins the likes of Versace, Victoria Beckham, Chanel, and Paul Smith in banning leather made from kangaroos.

Some 2.3 million kangaroos are reportedly killed every year for their skin. To produce leather, the animals are first shot. Then, the injured kangaroos – as well as orphaned joeys – are decapitated or hit sharply on the head to “destroy the brain” before their skin is torn off so it can be exported and made into accessories often labelled as “k-leather”.

As you read this, state governments are approving permits to hunt kangaroos.

Please join our campaign urging the New South Wales and Victorian governments to stop issuing permits for the mass slaughter of kangaroos

While wildlife carers are still working day and night rehabilitating burned, otherwise injured, and starving animals, the Victoria and New South Wales governments are allowing permits to be issued for the mass slaughter of kangaroos – often simply because they compete for food with introduced farmed animals raised for meat, leather, and wool.

It’s outrageously easy to get a permit to kill kangaroos in these states – in fact, in New South Wales, it’s called a “Licence to Harm” and applicants can even renew over the phone. 

Meanwhile, Queensland’s commercial slaughter has been halted and the South Australian government has stopped plans to slaughter wallabies on Kangaroo Island after one-third of the island caught fire. 

More than 1 billion animals perished in Australia’s recent fires. The death toll is high enough. 
Join us in urging the New South Wales and Victoria governments to stop issuing permits to kill wildlife.

Take Action Here:

https://secure.peta.org.au/page/56507/action/1?utm_source=PETA%20AU::E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert&utm_campaign=0820::skn::PETA%20AU::E-Mail::Prada::::aa%20em&ea.url.id=4858960&forwarded=true

Regards Mark.