Day: November 28, 2020

Pakistan: A Happy Ending After 35 Years ! – Kaavan, the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ packs his trunk as he leaves Pakistan horror zoo for a new life at Cambodian sanctuary.

Kaavan, a 35-year-old bull elephant said to be the 'loneliest in the world' is leaving a tiny enclosure in a Pakistan horror zoo for a new life at a Cambodian sanctuary after years of campaigning by animal rights activists. Pictured: Pakistani band Khumaariyan performs at Kaavans leaving party
The plight of Kaavan, an overweight, 35-year-old bull elephant, has drawn international condemnation and highlighted the woeful state of Islamabad's Marghazar Zoo

Kaavan, the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ packs his trunk as he leaves Pakistan horror zoo for a new life at Cambodian sanctuary

  • Overweight Kaavan the bull elephant has languished at Marghazar Zoo in Islamabad, Pakistan, for 35 years
  • Animal-lovers threw a going-away party before he leaves on Sunday after years of campaigning by activists
  • Pakistan’s only Asian elephant is set to be flown to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia on the weekend

 

The world’s loneliest elephant kept in a tiny enclosure in a Pakistan horror zoo is finally leaving for a new life at a Cambodian sanctuary.

With music, treats and balloons, friends of Pakistan’s only Asian elephant threw a farewell party for the creature ahead of his relocation from Islamabad after years of campaigning by animal rights activists.

The plight of Kaavan, an overweight, 35-year-old bull elephant, has drawn international condemnation and highlighted the woeful state of Marghazar Zoo.

Conditions are so bad at the zoo that a judge in May ordered all the animals to be moved.

Kaavan is set to be flown to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia on Sunday, said Saleem Shaikh, a spokesman for Pakistan’s ministry of climate change.

Read the full story, with pictures, at 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8981801/Pakistans-lonely-elephant-Kaavan-packs-trunk-Cambodia.html

 

 

Romania accused of ‘silence’ over ship that capsized killing 14,000 sheep.

Livestock vessel Queen Hind capsized off Romania, leading to the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep.

Livestock vessel Queen Hind capsized off Romania, leading to the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep. Photograph: Animals International

Read our posts on the Romanian live export situation at:

Search Results for “romania live export” – World Animals Voice

 

WAV Comment – the situation is not un expected; “Romania has been accused of “complete silence” over its investigation into the sinking of the Queen Hind last November, which resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep”.

We have reported on some Romanian ‘baddies’ in the past – Romania: Portrays Himself As ‘Jeckyll’, The Child Lover; But In Reality He Is ‘Hyde’ – The Mass Animal Killer. – World Animals Voice

 

But there are some great Romanian animal welfare campaigner friends fighting continuously for the animals; such as a special lady and friend; Carmen.

Remember the name – Carmen Arsene.- a wonderful lady and campaigner who never stops fighting for animals !

Romania: Animal welfare round table – YouTube

Carmen Arsene, president of the National Federation for Animal Protection in Romania, Ruud Tombrock, Europe director of World Animal Protection and Dr. Marlene Wartenberg, animal welfare strategic consultant (Four Paws) discuss the situation in Romania, where corruption and criminal activities in connection with brutality is becoming a health threat to Romanians. Interviewed by EU Reporter’s Strasbourg correspondent, Peter von Kohl (DK).

 Regards Mark

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Romania accused of ‘silence’ over ship that capsized killing 14,000 sheep

An investigation into the Queen Hind sinking a year ago is yet to be published and the live export trade continues to boom

Romania has been accused of “complete silence” over its investigation into the sinking of the Queen Hind last November, which resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep.

Rescuers who rushed to the sinking Queen Hind vessel, which left Romania’s Black Sea port of Midia a year ago, managed to save just 228 sheep out of a total 14,600, but only 180 ultimately survived the ordeal.

Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban vowed on television last year to end live exports in the “medium-term”. However, since the Queen Hind disaster more than 2 million live animals have been exported from Romania – mostly to north Africa and the Middle East.

Romanian authorities have claimed the vessel was 10% below capacity and that the animals were “clinically healthy and fit for transport”. But campaigners say the vessel was overloaded and this ultimately led to the thousands of sheep drowning in the Black Sea.

The only information to emerge since the sinking has been the discovery of secret compartments onboard with dead animals inside, by the company hired to remove the ship from the water.

Romania’s transport ministry told the Guardian this week that investigations are concluded and said a summary of the report will be published on the ministry’s website. They also said that the purpose of the technical investigation was to establish maritime safety issues and to prevent future accidents, and “not to establish guilt in people involved”.

EU law stipulates that investigations into maritime accidents should be reported in full within 12 months, but that if a final report is not possible in that timeframe, then “an interim report shall be published within 12 months of the date” of the event.

“They promised a cross-check investigation to find out what happened, and since then – complete silence,” said Gabriel Paun, EU director at Animals International.

The Guardian contacted MGM Marine Shipping, the management company behind the Queen Hind, and they denied any knowledge of secret decks. They said company procedures hadn’t changed since the disaster.

“Nothing has changed, I don’t want to talk any more about this vessel – I want to forget about it,” a company representative said in a telephone call before hanging up.

A European commission audit on Romania between September and October last year, which aimed to evaluate animal welfare during transport by livestock vessels to non-EU countries, raised multiple concerns, including “a general lack of records in the system of controls to ensure animal welfare during transport by sea to non-EU countries”.

“There is no evidence of checks confirming that the animals are fit to continue the journey. The absence of documented procedures, records and support to official veterinarians in checking vessels provide little assurances on the effectiveness of most controls carried out,” the report said.

“The Queen Hind was an iconic example of the intrinsic failures of the system,” said Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Brussels-based Eurogroup for Animals, an EU umbrella group for animal advocacy organisations. “The EU likes to pride itself as a global animal welfare leader, but it still makes its hands dirty with this cruel industry.”

Guardian investigation found that livestock vessels are twice as likely to suffer a “total loss” from sinking or grounding as standard cargo vessels. Livestock ships are often old and originally built for other purposes before being converted to carry animals. The Queen Hind was 39 years old at the time of the disaster.

Mary Pana, president of the association of cattle, sheep and pig breeders and exporters in Romania, said: “EU competition with Australia and New Zealand is acute.”

“Naval accidents have happened to us and to them. But these are accidents … I trust the EC [European commission] will find an efficient way to change the current legislation so that the animals have superior welfare conditions for breeding, transport, and slaughter,” Pana said.

Campaigners have complained that since the disaster little has changed to improve animal welfare standards for live exports.

“These are not five-star cruises,” said Paun. “I’ve spent time on cargo ships and conditions cannot be improved – there are always an enormous amount of problems that occur, and there is not one single [long-haul] shipment where there are no animals dying.”

Vasile Deac, a veterinarian and owner of a live export company, said a ban on live exports would harm the livelihoods of Romanian farmers.

“The live animal export trade is very important for Romanian farmers,” Deac said. “If there was no live export market farmers wouldn’t have anywhere to sell their animals and it would be a big loss for them.”

“As an exporter it’s very important for me to see the ships that the animals are exported on,” he said. “The Queen Hind was an accident, it wasn’t done intentionally.”

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Romania accused of ‘silence’ over ship that capsized killing 14,000 sheep | Environment | The Guardian

Denmark: Escaped Infected Danish Mink Could Spread Covid in Wild.

View all our Danish mink articles at Search Results for “denmark mink” – World Animals Voice

WAV Comment – “Denmark’s health ministry said last week that the C5 mink variant was “very likely extinct”.   Well what else would you expect ? – time will tell over the coming weeks and months.  Denmark is the world’s largest exporter of mink fur, and so we would expect nothing but an ‘all is ok, no need to worry’ from the health ministry.

By the way, we have still NOT had any response from the Danish Ambassador in London re our letter of the Danish mink cull situation.  See:

England: WAV Writes to the Danish Ambassador In London re Denmark’s Mass Mink Murders. – World Animals Voice

We wonder why ? – do they not have answers or are things just so jumbled and up in the air, despite what the health ministry says ?

We also say ‘Karma’ – Denmark is now reaping what it sowed years ago by becoming involved with the fur trade.  We have no sympathy.

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Escaped infected Danish mink could spread Covid in wild

Scientists fear fur farm animals in wild could create ‘lasting’ Covid reservoir that could then spread back to humans

Escaped mink carrying the virus that causes Covid-19 could potentially infect Denmark’s wild animals, raising fears of a permanent Sars-CoV-2 reservoir from which new virus variants could be reintroduced to humans.

Denmark, the world’s largest exporter of mink fur, announced in early November that it would cull the country’s farmed mink after discovering a mutated version of the virus that could have jeopardised the efficacy of future vaccines.

Around 10 million mink have been killed to date. Fur industry sources expect the fur from the remaining 5 million to 7 million mink will be sold.

A number of Covid mink variants were identified by Denmark’s state-owned research body the Statens Serum Institut, but only one, known as C5, raised vaccine efficacy concerns. However, Denmark’s health ministry said last week that the C5 mink variant was “very likely extinct”.

Mink are known to regularly escape fur farms and the risk that infected mink are now in the wild was confirmed on Thursday.

“Every year, a few thousand mink escape. We know that because they are an invasive species and every year hunters and trappers kill a few thousand wild mink. The population of escaped mink is quite stable,” said Sten Mortensen, veterinary research manager at the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

This year, Mortensen said, there was a risk that about 5% of the minks that escaped from farms were infected with Covid-19.

The risk of the escapees infecting other animals was low, he said, because mink were “very solitary creatures”. But, if they did, the animals most likely to catch the virus would include wild animals such as ferrets and raccoon dogs and “susceptible domestic animals” such as cats.

The most likely transmission route, he said, would be by an animal eating an infected mink or via their faeces.

Mink do not normally die from Covid-19, he added. “Once a mink has had Covid it usually recovers well. Some might have a few days of respiratory difficulty, but most recover and develop immunity.”

The risk of Sars-CoV-2 moving into wild populations has drawn concern from other scientists. Prof Joanne Santini, a microbiologist at University College London, said that, once in the wild, “it will become extremely difficult to control its further spread to animals and then back to humans”.

Transmission to the wild meant “the virus could broaden its host-range [and] infect other species of animals that it wouldn’t ordinarily be able to infect”, Santini said.

Prof Marion Koopmans, head of viroscience at Rotterdam’s Erasmus University, in an email to the Guardian, said: “Sars-CoV-2 could potentially continue to circulate in large-scale farms or be introduced to escaped and wild mustelids [weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, minks, and wolverines] or other wildlife” and then “in theory, as avian flu and swine influenza viruses do, continue to evolve in their animal hosts, constituting a permanent pandemic threat to humans and animals.”

In the US, there are hopes a mink vaccine will soon be ready. Dr John Easley, vet and research director at the Fur Commission USA said he hoped “one of three vaccine possibilities” would be available by spring for mink farmers in the US and beyond.

However, a mink vaccine is a contentious issue for animal welfare organisations. “Instead of dealing with the fact that the appalling conditions of high-volume, low-welfare fur farming make mink so vulnerable to disease in the first place, it’s easier to distract everyone with talk of a vaccine that could be used like a yearly sticking plaster to compensate for the consequences of those poor welfare conditions,” said Wendy Higgins of Humane Society International.

Sign up for the Animals farmed monthly update to get a roundup of the best farming and food stories across the world and keep up with our investigations. You can send us your stories and thoughts at animalsfarmed@theguardian.com

Brilliant articles as always: Guardian, London.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/27/escaped-infected-danish-mink-could-spread-covid-in-wild