We are in a fight to save our beautiful family dog Sarge from being killed by Sunshine Coast Regional Council in Queensland.
Sarge has been a part of my family for 8 years, and it’s been nothing but pure love since I picked him up at 8 weeks old. Sarge had a very normal life interacting with all kinds of dogs at off-leash beaches and off-leash parks where he had no issues. He has lived happily with babies, children, a rabbit, cats, guinea pigs, and other dogs. He went to puppy pre-school and passed everything and was always well-behaved.
Unfortunately, in 2016 at age 6, Sarge was declared a dangerous dog following an incident where a small dog was killed. There were no visible injuries to the small dog; we were all incredibly devastated as we knew this is not what Sarge had intended to happen, he was just trying to help his pack member who he thought was in trouble. This declaration was imposed by Noosa Council with no objection from me as his owner. There were no further incidents or problems when we lived in the Noosa council area.
Europe’s fur industry is back in the spotlight after Denmark’s mass culling of millions of mink following an outbreak of coronavirus at farms in the country.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that all mink would be slaughtered. Denmark is the world’s biggest mink producer, farming up to 17 million of the animals, and Covid has swept through a quarter of its 1,000 mink farms.
Officials say this “reservoir” of disease poses a significant health risk for humans, and worry that mutations detected in mink-related strains of the virus might compromise a future vaccine.
But images of mink mass graves and farmers in tears were followed by outcry after the government admitted its order had no legal basis. The agriculture minister has since resigned. On Saturday hundreds of tractors drove into central Copenhagen to protest about the handling of the crisis. There have also been protests in the cities of Aalborg and Aarhus.
The proposed ban on mink farming until 2022 now has parliamentary backing but negotiations over compensation are dragging out.
Authorities say all 288 infected herds have been killed and they have put down approximately 10 million animals. It is believed the majority of remaining mink on farms where no infection was detected have also been killed. In a short while, Denmark’s fur industry has almost been wiped out. Around 6,000 jobs are at risk.
“It is a de facto permanent closure and liquidation of the fur industry,” said Danish Mink Breeders Association chairman Tage Pedersen in a statement. “This affects not only the mink breeders, but entire communities.”
Mink farmer Per Thyrrestrup doubts business will ever come back: “To have the same quality of the skins, to have the same colour – it’s going to be 15 to 20 years before that’s possible.”
The world’s largest fur auction house, Kopenhagen Fur, has also announced a “controlled shutdown” over two to three years until this season’s pelts and older stockpiles are sold.
Thousands of buyers, mostly from China, once flocked to auctions held in the Danish capital. It has been a giant in the business, trading 25 million Danish and foreign furs last year.
But even before the pandemic struck, there were signs it was struggling.
A decade ago trade boomed, fuelled by an appetite for luxury goods as Chinese incomes grew. In 2013, Kopenhagen Fur sold about $2bn (£1.5bn) of furs, with global mink production worth $4.3bn.
Mink pelts then cost over $90 (£69) each, but the bubble burst and last year skins fetched only a third of that. Local farmers have struggled to make money – and it is a pattern seen elsewhere. China is by far the biggest fur importer, but it is a major producer too.
Else Skjold, head of fashion at the Royal Danish Academy, says this competition has driven prices down: “A lot of new farmers went into the market and so there was simply an overflow of fur.”
There’s also significant fur farming across Europe. In 2018 there were 4,350 fur farms in 24 European countries, says industry group Fur Europe. Poland, the Netherlands, Finland, Lithuania and Greece are the biggest producers after Denmark – though the US, Canada and Russia also operate farms.
Since the cull began prices have shot up. “People were concerned that there might be a shortage,” says Mark Oaten, chief executive of the International Fur Federation (IFF). Denmark accounts for at least a quarter of the global mink trade.
A week ago, my cat Cordino had an operation, that’s why I have to leave the work on our blog aside.
In order for the wound to heal well, he has to wear a neck collar, and although he is very good-natured and cooperative, he definitely didn’t want that.
We have agreed to only wear the collar at night, and during the day it stays free and happy, but for me, this means that I have to take care of him all the time so that he does not lick the wound.
We both have to complete this task by Sunday, then Sunday is the 10th day after the operation and then the threads are extinguished by themselves and we are all redeemed.
I ask for your understanding.
Soon I’ll be fully active again on our blog.
WAV Comment – Like so many live animal transport issues which is always backed up by hard evidence; the EU ignores the same and continues to live up with the fairies on another planet. Over 8 years ago this issue was covered by NGO’s in Argentina; and the EU has not acted. What is the point of the EU we ask ?
Horsemeat imports in regular breach of EU rules
25 November 2020
Today, the Animal Welfare Foundation, supported by other NGOs, released a new documentary underlining animal welfare abuses in the production of Argentinian horsemeat. Unfortunately, as demonstrated by our report, this is not an isolated case.
The documentary, entitled “A Web of Lies”, (click on title to see video) reveals that eight years after the first investigation carried out by NGOs in Argentina, the severe abuses and neglect of horses destined for slaughter continue, despite claims that the situation has improved. The film also puts the spotlight on key shortcomings in ensuring the traceability of the horses.
Similar issues can be witnessed in several countries providing horsemeat to the EU, like Australia, Uruguay and Canada. Consumption and trade of horsemeat in the EU has overall declined between 2000 and 2015; yet, since 2017, EU imports of horsemeat from foreign countries have started to grow again, especially from Argentina.
It is thus high time for the European Commission to address the concerns around these imports.
Eurogroup for Animals launches today a report presenting an overview on animal welfare and traceability-related issues encountered in key producing countries. The report puts forward the following recommendations in order to ensure better equine protection:
All imported equine meat must comply with EU animal welfare standards at slaughter (which are currently the only applicable animal welfare requirements for imported meat).
All imported equine meat should also respect other animal welfare standards applied in EU horse meat production (e.g. related to transport, in assembly centres and in horse feedlots). This means trade agreements should contain provisions on conditional liberalisation of horse meat imports (e.g. liberalised access to the EU market would be contingent on meeting equivalent welfare standards).
Suspension of imports from countries if EU audits demonstrate a lack of enforcement of the applicable provisions of the regulation on welfare at the time of killing and traceability requirements.
Allowing for the possibility of unannounced audits.
Suspension of imports (e.g. from Mexico and Brazil) are not reversed unless the production meets the required EU animal welfare standards as confirmed by EU audits.
Working to improve equine welfare outside the EU through cooperation on animal welfare with relevant partner countries (at present Argentina, Australia and Canada), using technical assistance where required.
Greater traceability of horse meat products by introducing Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for fresh and frozen equine meat.
Reduced consumption of equine meat and derived products (through member organisations reaching out to retailers and consumers).
Leading Animal Protection groups join forces for animal testing bans
23 November 2020
Following calls from EU authorities for cosmetics ingredients to be tested on animals, Europe’s leading animal protection groups have sent a joint statement to MEPs urging them to uphold the groundbreaking cosmetics testing and marketing bans.
Even though the testing of cosmetics ingredients on animals is banned under the EU Cosmetics Regulation, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Commission (EC) argued that even ingredients used exclusively in cosmetics may still be tested on animals under the REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) if there is a possibility of workforce exposure during the manufacturing process. For cosmetics ingredients also used in other types of products, tests on animals may, they say, be required regardless of any potential for workforce exposure.
It is imperative that the purpose of the Cosmetics Regulation – that cosmetics products are safely brought to market using only non-animal data – be met without compromising the bans. For ingredients marketed under the Cosmetics Regulation that have a history of safe use by consumers and of controlled handling on the factory floor, robust protection of both workers and consumers is already enabled through a variety of non-animal assessment methods and the careful application of exposure assessments. When regulators decide that a new ingredient cannot be brought safely to market without animal testing, its introduction should be delayed until additional non-animal test methods are available.
The recent administrative decisions are not the end of the road for the cosmetics testing and marketing bans. We maintain that new safety assessment data for cosmetics substances imported into, manufactured or sold within the EU may only rely on non-animal assessment methods. The wishes of citizens and legislators are clear: ECHA and the European Commission must be held accountable and compelled to uphold the terms of the EU cosmetics animal test and marketing bans as originally intended.
As animal protection organisations, we call for the European Parliament and the European Commission to ensure that the following mandates are urgently carried out:
• The EU bans on animal testing for cosmetics and the marketing of ingredients tested on animals must be fully upheld and implemented as intended by the legislators.
• EU test requirements – including requirements set out in REACH – must not undermine the bans but instead must apply a substance-tailored approach to ensure consumers, workers, and the environment are protected without further tests on animals.
• The European Commission must devise a robust testing strategy for cosmetics ingredients using only available non-animal assessment strategies so that the implementation of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability reflects the overwhelming support for strengthening – rather than weakening – the protection of animals in Europe.
The joint statement and list of signatories can be seen here.
20,000,000 waterbirds dead. 400,000 tonnes of lead. The poisoning continues despite legal obligation to phase out lead shot in wetlands 20 years ago, when the 2000 African Eurasian Waterbird Agreement deadline passed. This week MEPs have the opportunity to ban lead with a workable proposal that benefits people, animals & nature and help banning lead gunshots.
The health of European citizens, biodiversity and the environment is at stake as a result of the use of toxic lead gunshot. The Commission is seeking to repair this through a ban on the use of lead gunshot in wetlands.
A very small proportion of EU citizens release 1000s of tonnes of toxic lead gunshot into the environment year on year. This is despite excellent non-toxic alternative gunshot types being available which are comparably priced and in common usage in many Member States.
The price of the toxic pollution is currently being borne by:
One million waterbirds poisoned to death annually, millions more suffering;
People exposed to lead gunshot in their food – of particular importance to children and pregnant women due to impacts of lead on the developing brain;
Soils contaminated and then poisoned for future agricultural use.
Wetlands International, together with Conservation without Borders, Eurogroup for Animals, European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Migratory Birds for People and WWT urge you to end this old-fashioned polluting habit and support the proposal from the Commission to ban use of lead gunshot in wetlands as a significant step to a toxic-free future.