Day: December 12, 2020

England: The end of dairy’s ‘dirty secret’?

WAV (Mark) Comment: 

The issue of unwanted male calves from the dairy industry has been an issue here in the UK for decades; probably even longer.  Female cows have to be in calf in order to produce milk.  When they give birth the female calves are kept to re supply older or less productive females in the heard; who go off for slaughter.  For male calves; they are simply an un wanted ‘by product’ of the dairy business.  When they are born, if it is a male; it is not uncommon for them to be shot in the head immediately by the farmer.

The UK banned the use of veal crates back in 1992; it was a big victory for the AR movement.  Veal crates were individual pens without enough room for the calves to turn round, lie down properly, or groom themselves.  They were; and still are, barbaric devices – living coffins for the animals put into them.

 

Sadly, whilst bleating on about how wonderful it was that crates were banned; the UK government refused to stop young male calves from being exported to mainland Europe to be put into the crates; the very things that were banned because of cruelty in the UK.

In the past, here in the UK, unwanted male calves were exported live to places such as the Netherlands where they were incarcerated into veal crates for 6 months and then taken out and sent for slaughter.  In the older days; calves in the crates never got the iron they needed; they became anaemic over the months; and with no bedding in the crates but only a wooden slatted floor, the calves would become desperately deficient of iron in their little bodies.

But this was fine for the veal producers of Europe as it made ‘white veal’ which is a common type of meat.  Because of the export and treatment of young male calves in the crates; the British public have repulsed the business and ‘veal’ has always had a bad name in the UK because of the exports and the crates.  Not many Brits eat veal – it has a bad name in the UK – simple as that !

Read more from CIWF, London – https://www.ciwf.org.uk/farm-animals/cows/veal-calves/#start

I did a lot of protesting about the export of veal calves at English ports; and checked out places in the Netherlands with John when we took the CIWF intensive farming truck and roadshow there. 

Setting up for another days display

John is no longer with us – England: Another Terrible Loss – John Callaghan. – World Animals Voice

 

Here is a photo (above) I took at Dover of young British male calves being exported to Europe.  You can see their tongues wrapped around the trailer bars where they are wanting to suckle; as they have been separated from their mums.

At some time; I cannot remember exactly when, (but it was cold and windy – hence clothing) we took a veal crate to Dover and put someone pretending to be our Prime Minister; then John Major MP; into the crate.  The calf within was liberated and John Major was stuck in there for him to get a ‘taste’ of what he was doing to the calves.  I am shaking John Major warmly by the throat in this picture at Dover – the place of so many young calf exports over the years.  The lady near me is Barb; a hunt sab even though she was in her 70’s !

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mark-dover-94.jpg

So; moving on to this article from the great ‘Guardian’ newspaper from London; it is great news that there will now be legislation coming in which will stop ‘unwanted’ male calves from being shot after birth.  But; I still have a major gripe with the dairy industry and the way females are treated as mere ‘milk machines’.  I will be glad when the whole dairy industry has to close down; and we can celebrate with a glass of alternative plant based ‘milk’.

When you campaign for improvements in animal rights and welfare; steps are taken small rather than in huge strides.  I guess this is one small step for the better; but we still need to put our attention into the female cows used in the dairy business also.

Regards Mark

Guardian Article:

 

The end of dairy’s ‘dirty secret’?

 

Farms have a year to stop killing male calves

Supermarket support and rising use of sexed semen expected to help UK farmers meet new welfare rules by the end of 2021

WAV Comment –  The brilliant ‘Guardian’ – London:

The end of dairy’s ‘dirty secret’? Farms have a year to stop killing male calves | Meat industry | The Guardian

Dairy farmers have until the end of next year to prove they are no longer killing male calves on-farm under new rules which will apply to nearly all UK farms from January, the Guardian has learned.

The number of male calves being killed straight after birth, known as the “dirty secret” among farmers, has prompted outrage from animal welfare groups and many within the farming sector.

A Guardian investigation in 2018 estimated that 95,000 were being killed every year within a few days of birth. The lack of viable markets for bull calves and public apathy towards consuming British rosé veal had meant it was sometimes cheaper to kill calves rather than rear them.

However, a rise in the use of sexed semen, which dramatically reduces the number of male calves born, and new retailer policies to help farmers find markets for their calves is leading to a fall in animals being killed.

Around 60,000 male calves are now killed on-farm every year, according to industry estimates, which is around 15% of the bull calves born on dairy farms. But this figure is expected to drop significantly with new rules restricting the killing of calves coming into force from next year.

All farms covered by the Red Tractor standards (the scheme applies to 95% of milk produced in the UK) will have to have written breeding and management policies in place and maintain data on all births and deaths, according to new rules due to be announced imminently.

The new standards state farms will be banned from the “routine euthanasia of calves”.

The rules come into force on 1 January, but a spokesperson for Red Tractor told the Guardian this week that farmers would have until the end of next year to meet the standards.

A steady increase in the use of sexed semen since the early 1990s has recently seen sales jumping from 18% in 2017 to more than 50% of total semen sales in 2020. Industry figures expect it to completely replace conventional semen within five years.

“It’s been a gamechanger,” said Andrew Suddes, a farm consultant for Promar. “Farmers are able to produce heifer [female] calves more easily. You can now produce the replacement heifers that you need with sexed semen, and use beef semen on the rest [of the cows] to produce calves that can be better kept and reared for beef.”

Although sexed semen increases costs for farmers, it can reduce the proportion of male calves being born to less than 10%.

A number of retailers have already banned the killing of male dairy calves or their export overseas from farms in their supply chains. Retailers including Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons now have calf schemes in place to help ensure rearing dairy bull calves is economically viable for farmers.

In the case of Morrisons, farmers are required to rear the calves to a certain weight until 15–40 days of age, at which point they will be bought by a beef-rearing company. The retailer also committed to buying calves born on farms under bovine tuberculosis restrictions, which leave farmers with few markets to sell to.

Beaked whales of a new species discovered in Mexico

NEW WALMART DISCOVERED IN MEXICO?

A previously unknown species of the whale may have been discovered in the waters north of Islas San Benito during Sea Shepherd’s research.

Ensenada, Mexico – December 8, 2020: On the morning of November 17, scientists aboard the Sea Shepherd ship MARTIN SHEEN observed three beaked whales in nearby waters.

Elizabeth-Henderson-Sea-Shepherd

The expedition, led by the renowned beaked whale researcher Dr. Gustavo Cárdenas Hinojosa (National Commission for Nature Reserves, Marine Mammal Research), Dr. Jay Barlow and Dr. Elizabeth Henderson, director of the NIWC PAC’s Whale Acoustic Reconnaissance Program in collaboration with Sea Shepherd’s research division, set out to investigate a species of a beaked whale that could be the cause of a previously unidentified acoustic signal previously recorded in the area.

Scientists and the Sea Shepherd crew took photos and video recordings of the animals and used a special underwater microphone to record the acoustic signals from the whales. The beaked whale experts, who are leaders in their field, are “extremely confident” that the photographic and acoustic evidence shows the presence of an entirely new species of whale.

“We saw something new. Something we didn’t expect in this area. Something that doesn’t match anything in appearance or acoustics that is known to exist, ”said Dr. Jay Barlow.

Eine wahrscheinlich neue Schnabelwalart. Foto: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd

“I get a chill when I think about the fact that we might have done something that most people would consider absolutely impossible – to find a large mammal that exists on earth that is completely unknown to science. Like finding a unicorn”!

Further information on our website: https://sea-shepherd.de/news/neue-walart-in-mexiko-entdeckt/

Comment and Information: Beaked whales live in deep waters and therefore mostly far from the coast. They dive long and deep, and rarely spend time on the surface, usually, they are usually very shy and avoid ships and people, so the sighting of beaked whales (Ziphiidae) is extremely rare.

It is extremely rare for them to be so close to a boat.

That is why Jay Barlow raves about this phenomenal encounter to the press: “It was just the phenomenal encounter. It’s very rare to even see a beaked whale and to find a friendly group of beaked whales, it’s even rarer ”.

These three toothed whales came across a boat full of sharp-eyed marine biologists on a survey who were already using their binoculars and cameras – the video shows that the survey is in progress.

This enabled them to observe the rare marine mammals immediately, take photos, film them above and below the water and record their sounds with the hydrophone.

In addition, the scientists were able to take water samples from the vicinity of the whales that appeared. They are now being searched for traces of DNA.
Due to the technological development of the last few years, it is now possible to recognize the DNA of the animals that have swum through it from a water sample and to prove it.
Even in the complete absence of the DNA donor.

I mean…It is better not to trumpet such news through the media so loudly.
There are certainly many zoo owners who are already thinking about the money that would bring such a “sensation” into their coffers.

My best regards to all, Venus

USA: Pet food maker Bravo Packing has long, sordid past of filthy conditions, contaminated products.

Animal Outlook Demands Investigation of Bravo Packing

 DECEMBER 11, 2020 ANIMALS INVESTIGATIONS NEWS LEAVE A COMMENT

Pet food maker Bravo Packing has long, sordid past of filthy conditions, contaminated products

Animal Outlook’s legal team filed a complaint with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDH) regarding Bravo Packing. Bravo Packing (not affiliated with Bravo Pet Foods) produces and distributes food for dogs and exotic animals. The company has a long history of troubling animal abuse allegations and food safety concerns. Yet it has failed to resolve dangerous contamination issues despite complaints, FDA warnings and at least one recall. 

Past violations include exotic animal food made from horses that was contaminated with the euthanasia drug Pentobarbital as well as repeated instances of Salmonella contamination in the plant’s Performance Dog Diet food. Government inspection reports cite egregious violations of food safety protocol, threatening the health and welfare of thousands of people and animals exposed to Bravo’s tainted products. 

Evidence of Salmonella

In October 2020, Animal Outlook obtained a sample of Performance Dog Diet food from one of Bravo’s distributors in California. A laboratory test revealed evidence of Salmonella. This makes four times in as many years that Bravo products intended for animal food were found to contain dangerous contamination.

In addition to food safety issues like those discovered at Bravo Packing, many consumers are unaware that farmed animals suffer immeasurably within the loosely regulated pet food industry. One study found the DNA of eight different species of animals present in a selection of commercial pet foods, including cows, pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, geese and turkeys. Many of these animals—often sick, injured, or unable to walk—were deemed unfit for human consumption and their bodies, including “blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, and stomach and rumen contents” make their way into pet food. 

For years, Bravo has used the bodies of horses and cows to produce food in filthy, squalid conditions with utter disregard for the safety of humans and animals alike. Animal Outlook’s complaint urges the FDA and the NJDH to penalize Bravo to the fullest extent of the law, including criminal charges, fines and a permanent suspension of operations. The agencies must act swiftly to protect consumers and their cherished animal family members from Bravo’s reckless disregard for health and safety. 

Animal Outlook Demands Investigation of Bravo Packing | Animal Outlook


As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, all donations made will be matched by a group of generous donors. Your donation today to support our legal team and brave investigators will have double the impact in helping animals. Please visit animaloutlook.org/celebrate25.

Germany: 13 Hunting stands eliminated!

ALF Destroys 13 Hunting Stands in Germany
Via local media:

According to local media, four hunting towers were set alight in Gödenstorf (a small community in the district of Harburg) during the evening of the 22nd November, causing total damage of 5000 EUR.

On the 19th, in Viernheim (a middle industrial city north of Mannheim) nine more towers were destroyed, legs sawed off, ladders were broken or overturned.

Some of them had been tagged with ALF.

ALF Destroys 13 Hunting Stands in Germany

And I mean…Eliminating 13 Murder Stands in 4 days … is an above-average achievement.
Animals will no longer be shot from these execution towers, that is safe.

And so we send a big “THANK YOU” to the activists

…and my best regards to all, Venus

England: Live Animal Transport Consultation – 12/12/20 Progress Report.

Hi all;

Just to let you know that I am doing fine putting together a response to the UK government (Defra) consultation which we hope will see the end of live animal exports.  There is a great deal of contribution to be made, as I personally have over 30 years involvement with live animal transport – it is one of my top hates.  But it is going very well and things are on track for an early finish – maybe by the end of this year.

Check out the issue more at About Us. | Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)

I am still trying to get posts for this site completed also; but at the moment the consultation is the main thing. It is a massive opportunity to make a huge difference and it has to be fully taken.

The consultation is open until the end of January 20121.  I am posting below our links to this, which include a link if you wish to take part.  From what we can find out, the consultation is also open to non UK residents.

Here are the links:

England: UK Consultation To End Live Animals Exports. It Appears to be Open Also For Contributions From OUTSIDE the UK. Read On if you Wish to Take Part. – World Animals Voice

England: Full Info on the UK Ban Live Exports Consultation. Finishes End of Jan 2021. – World Animals Voice

UK: Live Exports (Ban) Consultation. – World Animals Voice

Fingers crossed for a ban during 2021.

Regards Mark

England: Huge Farm Fire in Sussex: Firefighters do a Brilliant Job – Animals Rescued from Blaze.

Turkeys were among the animals to be saved from a farm fire in Slinfold, West Sussex
Turkeys were among the animals to be saved from a farm fire in Slinfold, West Sussex

WAV Comment – well done and big thanks to all the crews at West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service – they did a brilliant job !

Turkeys were among the animals to be saved from a farm fire in Slinfold, West Sussex
Turkeys were among the animals to be saved from a farm fire in Slinfold, West Sussex
Turkeys were among the animals to be saved from a farm fire in Slinfold, West Sussex

Huge farm fire in Sussex: animals rescued from blaze

Animals have been rescued by firefighters from a blaze at a farm in Sussex.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said they were called at 9.30am last night (December 10) to a farm in Five Oaks Road, Slinfold, near Horsham, West Sussex, to reports of a barn fire.

When crews arrived, the blaze had spread to several buildings, and firefighters spent hours battling the flames.

Six fire engines and two water carriers attended the blaze.

With Christmas around the corner, the animals to be saved reportedly included turkeys, pigs and cows. A fire service spokesman said firefighters rescued livestock and moved them to safety in unaffected buildings.

No people needed to be rescued.

It is currently unknown if any animals perished in the fire.

Police and the ambulance service were on scene as part of the routine response to this size incident.

At around 2am today (December 11) the majority of crews left the scene with one fire engine remaining.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, the fire service said.

Huge farm fire in Sussex: animals rescued from blaze | Eastbourne Herald