Today we congratulate Captain Peter Hammarstedt on his 36th birthday.
He has spent almost half of his life onboard our ships. Today, as Sea Shepherd’s campaign director, he leads our missions against illegal, unregulated, and undocumented fishing. And if his time permits, he leads the BOB BARKER as captain.
We wish Peter good luck, health, and strength so that he can continue to fight so passionately for our oceans. ⚓💙
Today, leave your congratulations to Peter Hammarstedt in the comments.
We wish Captain Peter Hammarstedt many more healthy years.
And we are sure, the inhabitants of the sea too
Nature, wildlife, and scarce water supplies in a unique corner of southern Africa are being endangered by a rush to drill for oil. A Canadian company is pushing to explore for oil in the Kavango Basin, an environmentally sensitive area.
Please support the fight against a fossil fuel project that will drive the climate crisis.
“The oil needs to stay in the ground”, says Ina Shikongo.
The Fridays for Future (FFF) activist in Namibia’s capital city Windhoek is fighting a project to exploit untapped oil and gas reserves in the northeast of the country.
“The exploitation would be a catastrophe – not only for the global climate but also for wildlife, water resources and the livelihoods of local people”.
The project Ina rejects so fiercely – together with further FFF activists and a citizens’ coalition – is run by ReconAfrica,a firm based in Canada.
The company claims to have discovered an immense deep sedimentary basin. It obtained a license for oil and gas exploration in the Kavango delta, bought a second-hand oil rig in the US, and shipped it across the Atlantic.
If the drilling of the first three test boreholes – slated for December 2020 – is successful, the company plans to extract two billion barrels of oil before drilling into deeper layers of rock.
Environmentalists fear the company will use fracking despite public statements to the contrary, as its marketing materials refer to “unconventional” methods – an industry euphemism for fracking.
The ecological impacts of the projects are likely to be devastating.
It would not only threaten bodies of water in the dry savannas of Namibia, but also Botswana’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Okavango Delta, with its unique biodiversity and huge populations of elephants, hippos, rhinos, and birds.
Tourism, an important source of income, is in danger while other livelihood strategies of indigenous San and local people also hang in the balance.
We need to stop ReconAfrica’s project for the sake of the climate, biodiversity, water, and the livelihoods of the local people.
And I mean…the head of the farmers’ association Kavango-Ost, Adolf Muremi, says: “Recon Africa says they informed the people here – but we are not aware of anything about this. You can already expect malformations in babies and other diseases that this type of industry leads to agriculture will be just as affected as the groundwater, it will have negative consequences for life for everyone here “
The multinational sells the project as an “exciting future” – for whom?
1) Oil and gas extraction is a menace to wildlife. Loud noises, human movement, and vehicle traffic from drilling operations can disrupt avian species’ communication, breeding, and nesting.
2) The ecosystem will be destroyed by a criminal Canadian Company that harvests 90% of the profits. The state of Namibia is only entitled to ten percent – a hunger share.
3) The construction of roads, facilities, and drilling sites known as well pads requires the use of heavy equipment and can destroy big chunks of pristine wilderness.
4) The underground water will not only be polluted but also depleted. How can the inhabitants giving an overseas company unbridled access to their most precious resource?
There will only be damages to humans and animals, and this harm is irreversible.
After four years of campaigning and negotiations, South America’s biggest grocery chain has finally committed to going 100% cage-free in Brazil by 2028. The company, called GPA, also committed to ban gestation crates for pigs by 2028 and to improve conditions for chicken and cows raised for meat sold in the stores.
MILLIONS OF CHICKENS IMPACTED: GPA is the second-largest retailer in Brazil, so this new policy is a great step in the right direction for farmed animals. We estimate with 5.7 million hens will be impacted by this policy, which was achieved in part by a variety of tactics, including mobile billboards and grassroots actions at 45 different GPA store locations.
“This commitment is the result of a lot of work by animal protection organizations, but it is also the result of the mobilization of consumers who joined us to demand more responsible behavior from Grupo Pão de Açúcar.”, Says Carla Lettieri, new Executive Director of Animal Equality Brazil.
“We hope that GPA’s attitude will inspire other companies because there are still millions of chickens suffering in cages around the world.”
Image: Animal Equality
A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Chickens are sensitive animals who are able to feel emotions and pain, but unfortunately many of them still live confined and crowded into tiny wire cages where they spend their whole lives without ever stepping on the floor or being able to open their wings.
This confinement is not only physically harmful, but is also psychological torture for the birds, and often leads to self-mutilation and even cannibalism.
It is worth remembering that free from cages does not mean free from cruelty. The egg industry is inherently cruel and denies animals everything that’s natural and important to them, and the best way to help hens is by simply avoiding eggs.
However, banning cages is an important step to reduce the suffering of animals and deserves to be celebrated.
YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE: This milestone wouldn’t have been possible without the work and support of thousands of volunteers across Brazil. You can help animals with campaigns in the United States, too, by signing petitions, taking action on social media, and at in-person demonstrations.
Join The Animal Protectors, our online group of volunteers, and assist our corporate outreach team in making changes to our broken food system.
And I mean…It’s a huge industry!
Brazil ranks second among the largest poultry producing countries behind the USA and is the most important force in the international poultry trade.
In 2016, 5.86 billion chickens were slaughtered there. Brazil exports meat to over 160 countries.
And another number: eleven percent of water consumption in Brazil is accounted for by animal breeding.
For the European Union, Brazil is the most important country of origin of imported chicken.
Brazilian chickens make up about 60 percent of imports, of which 76.2 percent are processed and salted poultry. The majority of deliveries in the EU go to Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain.
However, these European countries are not necessarily the countries where chicken meat is ultimately sold and consumed.
The Brazilian poultry industry is dominated locally by two multinational corporations: BRF and JBS. BRF is the largest poultry company in the country, with 105,000 employees, and is largely owned by a mutual fund. JBS is a Brazilian public company, the largest company in the country, but also the largest meat producer in the world.
In March 2017 there was the so-called rotten meat scandal: the Brazilian federal police uncovered hygiene violations in 21 industrial plants for the slaughter of cattle, pigs, and chickens.
According to the police, the investigation found that corrupt health officials and inspectors from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture covered the sale of rotten meat in some slaughterhouses.
The largest poultry exporting companies BRF and JBS were also involved in the scandal.
However, just a few weeks after the allegations became known, most of the major import markets – including the European Union – had resumed trading with the Brazilian poultry industry.
When you consider these meat production conditions in the country, it is really a big step that GPA abolishes the cages.
Even in 7 years, better later than never.
Undercover footage published on Thursday appears to show pig cannibalism and other serious issues at a supplier for a Nestlé-owned brand of frankfurter sold by most major supermarkets.
Waitrose has suspended the pork products by bestselling French brand Herta while it investigates.
Herta is being sued by campaigners for animal mistreatment and misleading consumers. The brand, which is sold in UK supermarkets, is 60% owned by Spanish food company Casa Tarradellas and 40% by Nestlé.
The video footage published by French animal welfare group, L214, appears to show pig cannibalism, dead animals lying in pens, and pigs in overcrowded pens climbing over one other. In one section a sow, which appears to be struggling to stand in a narrow farrowing crate with no bedding, slips and squashes at least one piglet.
L214 has now begun legal action against Herta in France, based on the undercover videos which it said it filmed in June and September this year. The case, according to L214, will centre on Herta’s animal mistreatment and the way it misled the consumer with promises of better welfare.
In its press release L214 said: “Contrary to the commitments made by the brand, the images show deplorable conditions for the pigs that do not comply with regulatory requirements. L214 is filing a complaint for mistreatment of the animals against Herta, the most purchased brand in France, and for misleading the consumer.”
More than 20 pharmaceutical products are shown in the video, including a “last resort” antibiotic called colistin. Colistin is widely used in the pig industry, often to prevent or treat a piglet sickness known as post-weaning diarrhoea.
Waitrose has said it does not permit suppliers to use colistin. It told the Guardian: “We pride ourselves on our high animal welfare standards and our standards around the use of antibiotics. We have therefore taken the decision to suspend all pork products from this brand while we urgently investigate the video footage.”
The World Health Organization has recommended that colistin’s preventive use in healthy animals be halted to preserve the antibiotic as one of the “essential … last-resort treatments for multidrug-resistant infections in humans”.
EU funding from the common agricultural policy for the Herta pig supplier farm, which grows crops and keeps other livestock, totalled about €150,000 (£135,000) in 2018 and 2019, according to the French government website, Telepac.
The pigs in the video appear to have had their tails docked, a practice outlawed in the EU, other than in exceptional circumstances. No straw or other bedding is seen and the sheds do not appear to have any natural light. The pigs and piglets appear to be covered in faeces. Additional footage by L214 seen by the Guardian appears to show a pig chewing after biting a dead pig’s stomach.
EU law governing pig welfare stipulates they “must have permanent access to” rooting materials “such as straw, hay, wood, sawdust, mushroom compost, peat or a mixture of such … ”
A worker loading the pigs for slaughter appears to use an electrical prod and to hit pigs’ backs with a plastic panel. One half-escaped sow is trapped by her hips in the bars of her crate. A piglet appears to have its foot trapped in the slatted floor.
In an email, L214 co-founder Sébastien Arsac accused Herta of “lying” to consumers about pig welfare, and described the pig housing conditions as “squalid … [where] animals spend a life of suffering”.
In an email to the Guardian a spokesperson for Herta said almost 350 French breeders hold a filière préférence contract that commits them to “a continuous improvement process based on animal welfare criteria such as the use of antibiotics, animals restraining conditions or better housing conditions”.
It also said: “Herta has a rigorous purchasing policy with its 40 meat suppliers in Europe. These partners are regularly audited by the company. These companies are, themselves, in contractual links with various groups of European breeders who have the obligation to respect European legislation.”
In 2019, it said: “More than 120 farm audits were carried out by Herta teams in France. A Herta farm audit includes 42 control points and 17 are specifically dedicated to animal welfare.”
Casa Tarradellas referred the Guardian to Nestlé for comment. Nestlé said: “We strongly condemn any mistreatment of farm animals. Consumers trust us to hold our suppliers to high standards. Nestlé is a minority shareholder in the Herta joint venture.” The company stated that an audit has been carried out which found no issues at the farm in question. This confirmed the findings from a previous audit earlier in the year. “Herta will now send additional investigators to the farm and continue to follow up these allegations to determine if the images were taken there.”
Nestlé added: “We will ensure Herta reviews its audit process to identify necessary improvements. Nestlé is strongly committed to improving animal welfare in its supply chain.”
The Guardian approached one of the owners of the farm but he did not wish to comment.
• Footnote added 3 December 2020. On 3 December 2020, after this article was published, Nestlé announced that supply from the farm to Herta had been suspended pending an investigation to determine the appropriate next steps.