Day: January 15, 2021

The other species also deserve basic rights


The world only changes for animals when we give them back their natural rights, which we, human tyrants, deny them.
The other species deserve basic rights no less than how we claim them for ourselves, and their lives have the same value as ours.

Our fascist attitude towards animals does not change in a few years, because the mechanisms that make it possible to turn us all into perpetrators go very deep.

But the least we should do for the animals is not to eat them!

regards and good night, Venus

Animal Testing in US: Regulatory Use and Routine Production

Terrifying: 111 million mice and rats annually for animal testing in the USA
Rodents, fish, and birds are not considered animals there

Mice and rats, the most common animals used in the laboratory, are not covered by the United States Animal Welfare Act and therefore do not appear in the official statistics of animals used for scientific purposes. A new analysis estimates that around 111 million mice and rats are subjected to animal testing annually in the United States.

The nationwide association Doctors Against Animal Experiments calls for better transparency of the animal experiment figures in the USA and in this country.

Most mice, rats, fish, and birds are not defined as “animals” in the American Animal Welfare Act since 1970.

Because of this, the numbers of these animals do not appear in the country’s official animal experimentation statistics, although mice and rats are the most commonly used in animal experiments.

“The United States plans to end all animal testing for regulatory purposes such as toxicity testing by 2035, which we clearly welcome. In order to be able to estimate at all whether the country is getting closer to this goal, one must at least know how many animals are used for experiments each year, ” says Dr. Dilyana Filipova, a research assistant at Doctors Against Animal Experiments.

A recent study at the University of California San Francisco looked at this problem and found that over 111 million mice and rats suffer annually in American laboratories, in addition to the 780,070 animals from the official statistics.

This includes dogs, cats, monkeys, rabbits, pigs, and sheep. The study author asked for information about the mice and rats used in experiments at 16 of the 30 best-funded research institutions using the Freedom of Information Act. In comparison to the approx. 39,000 “animals” defined in the Animal Welfare Act, around 5.6 million mice, and rats were used at these 16 institutes alone, which corresponds to 99.3% of all animals.

An extrapolation of this data using the animal numbers published in the annual statistics resulted in the staggering number of 111 million mice and rats.

According to the study, over 44 million of them were subjected to painful attempts that would be classified as “moderate” and “severe” in Germany.
Previous projections of global animal consumption for the research came to a total of 17.3 million for the US in 2005 and 14.6 million for 2015, based on the number of publications in relation to countries with known animal numbers such as the EU.

Worldwide, these studies came to 115.2 (2005) and 192.1 million (2015) animals, including those killed for organ and tissue removal.

“When the current study shows the figure of 5.6 million rats and mice in 16 American institutes alone, it becomes clear that the older projections are far too low,” says Filipova.

In Germany, 78% of the total number of 2.9 million animals recorded are rats and mice, while the American study assumes a proportion of 99.3%.

“It is not surprising when the life and death of animals that are not subject to the Animal Welfare Act and therefore not subject to official controls are dealt with much more laxly and there is greater ‘wear and tears’”, the biologist concludes.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that in the USA with at least 900 research institutions over 99% of all animals used for experiments fall through the cracks. The ability of rodents to experience pain and suffering has not been disputed in the scientific community for a long time, ” continued Filipova.

According to the official statistics of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, 2.9 million animals were recorded in Germany in 2019.

2.3 million of them fell victim to animal experiments and about 700,000 animals were killed for tissue and organ removal.

But here, too, there is a large number of unreported animals that suffer and die invisibly in German laboratories: almost all invertebrates, all animals bred in advance, and animals that are not used in experiments due to their age, sex, and genetic characteristics.

An estimate by Doctors Against Animal Experiments comes to about 4.35 million vertebrates that are killed annually unused in German laboratories without appearing in the official statistics.

Doctors Against Animal Experiments are calling for all animal species used for research to be included in the American Animal Welfare Act and Statistics as a minimal first step. In Germany, the number of “committee animals” must be recorded.

The association also demands from the federal government a well-founded plan to exit the “animal experimentation” system with specific milestones and deadlines as well as massive support for innovative, human-based, animal experiment-free research methods.

And I mean… humanity has not yet overcome fascism!
Rats are burned, pigs are suffocated. Mice have to swim for their lives to the point of exhaustion, dogs are broken bones, monkeys are poisoned.
In order to obtain single multiple transgenic animals, which is quite common in current practice, up to 54 animals have to die because they do not have the desired genotype – they are disposed of like garbage.
This “committee” quote underscores how disrespectful and undignified animals are treated and how they are merely degraded to disposable items.

Animals would have to endure all of this suffering under the “guise of research”, although animal experiments do not provide security, but rather resemble a lottery.
Only various branches of the economy benefited from these experiments, but not science and certainly not the patients.

95 percent of the results from the experiments are not transferable to humans.
One wonders how far a person must have sunk in order to inflict such damage on animals in any laboratory.
And these beasts live among us.

The politicians tolerate and support these criminals, who, by the way, should be punished, because the killing of the unwanted animals by the experimenter is a criminal disregard of the established animal welfare, which demands a “reasonable” reason for it.

“Vivisection is the greatest and meanest cultural disgrace of the present day, morally and intellectually it is to be equated with the delusional delusion of witch trials, and no people who tolerate it have the right to call themselves a people of culture.”
Manfred Kyber (German writer, 1880-1933)

My best regards to all, Venus

The link between biodiversity loss and the increasing spread of zoonotic diseases presented in new Euro Parliament report.

Photo – Mike Jeffries

The link between biodiversity loss and the increasing spread of zoonotic diseases presented in new Euro Parliament report

15 January 2021

In December 2020, the European Parliament published a new report on the link between biodiversity loss and the increasing spread of zoonotic diseases. The report, requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, aims at informing EU policy makers and introducing policy options to reduce risks originating from wildlife trade.

Although the document does not represent the official position of the EU Parliament, it introduces encouraging policy options including the following: a trade ban on live animals at wet markets as proposed by the United Nations ; adequate regulatory and enforcement mechanisms at national and international levels to prevent hunting and commercial trade of some species ; a revision of the illegal wildlife trade action in the EU and at EU borders. 

The wildlife trade – illegal and legal – drastically increases the risk of zoonotic diseases spreading by pushing humans and wildlife o closer than ever before.  In his speech at the One Planet Summit on 11 January 2021, European Council President Charles Michel reminded that illegal and commercial wildlife trade are important factors of zoonosis development in nature and among humans, stating that there currently are 1,6 million non-detected viruses in nature.

The European Union must act fast against the threats of future pandemics in the coming years. In June 2020, Eurogroup for Animals, and our 70 Member Organisations in 25 EU Member States, launched the ‘Stop Pandemics Start Here’ campaign, calling MEPs to undertake concrete actions to regulate wildlife trade in the EU to prevent the spread of further zoonotic diseases, as part of the EU Biodiversity Strategy. Eurogroup for Animals is also calling for a clear commitment by the European Commission to step up efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade and to adopt  a full  EU-wide ban on the trade in ivory, as well as for the EU and Member States’ financial support to wildlife rescue centres and sanctuaries.

Mink farms not only cause immense animal suffering, these coronavirus reservoirs put human lives at risk, say animal welfare groups.

Photo – Vier Photen

COVID-19: Why the EU must end mink farming

11 January 2021

Mink farms not only cause immense animal suffering, these coronavirus reservoirs put human lives at risk, say animal welfare groups

By FOUR PAWS, Eurogroup for Animals and Fur Free Alliance 

A year ago, no one would have imagined that the coronavirus pandemic would hit the world, affecting more than 91 million people, and killing more than 1.9 million. People are looking forward to a better 2021 for their countries, their families and themselves. However, worries about the long-term impact of COVID-19 persist.

In 2021, urgent action must be taken to halt the spread and to eliminate potential sources of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Farms where mink (Neovison vison) are bred for fur production, beside causing immense suffering to animals, are coronavirus reservoirs.

Risk to humans and animals

Farmed mink are highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. They catch it from humans, pass it on to each other and spread it back to humans.

“The poor living conditions on fur farms, which keep animals In unnatural close proximity facilitate the spread of the disease.”

The first cases were identified in the Netherlands in April 2020. Since then, more than 390 mink farms have been infected by the virus in Denmark, Sweden, Greece, Spain, Italy, France and, most recently, new infections have been identified in Poland and Lithuania. More mink farms are affected in the U.S. and Canada.

The poor living conditions on fur farms, which keep animals in unnatural close proximity, facilitate the spread of the disease.

“Clearly, this issue causes significant danger for humans and terrible suffering for animals. On fur farms, mink are crammed into tiny cages. Specifically, 0.255 square meters are available for each animal,” said Thomas Pietsch, fur expert at FOUR PAWS. “Stressed or weakened animals, crammed closely together with thousands of conspecifics, provide the ideal breeding ground for infectious diseases.” 

Affected countries have taken drastic measures. The Netherlands moved up its ban on fur farming to 2021 from 2024 and has culled all its mink. Ireland decided to cull its farmed mink population pre-emptively, likely ending the industry in the country. Hungary also announced a ban on mink and other species farming as a precautionary measure.

The issue has turned the corner after Danish public health authorities found new virus variants of COVID-19 originating from mink in a number of infected humans. This new variant could make vaccines less effective, as it may potentially reduce the effect of antibodies. Consequently, the Danish government decided to cull up to 17 million farmed mink and suspended mink farming until 2022. 

The example of Denmark is a warning: spillover of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to mink, and mink to humans is not a new finding and could have severe public health implications.  

It has had a considerable resonance in Brussels. A few days after the mutation was detected, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) highlighted the fact that new strands of coronavirus could potentially undermine the international efforts to combat the virus. An EU Rapid Risk Assessment has been conducted by the ECDC, the European Medicines Agency and the European Food Safety Authority. Moreover, EU agriculture ministers agreed that this is a European health issue, which needs a harmonized response. During the Agri Council meeting in November, the German Minister of Agriculture and former president of the Council, Julia Klöckner, questioned whether mink keeping still has a future at all.

“Allowing the continuation of mink farming by putting niche economic interests over public health should not be an option.” 

“The Commission is expected to draft a working paper on the issue of COVID-19 and mink production,” said Pierre Sultana, director of the FOUR PAWS European Policy Office. “We hope the Commission will adopt a precautionary approach and recognize that the issue can have severe consequences on human health. Allowing the continuation of mink farming by putting niche economic interests over public health should not be an option .”

The Commission issued an implementing decision on December 21 2020 on protective measures in relation to reporting SARS-CoV-2 infection in mink and other Mustelidae and raccoon dogs. The Commission asks member states to monitor and report susceptible animals for SARS-CoV-2 infection, including mink and raccoon dogs, and acknowledges the need to take urgent, harmonized action on this issue. However, it falls short of addressing effectively the serious public health risks linked to mink farming. 

Urgent and proportionate action is needed

In an open letter to the Commission published on December 15 2020, 47 Eurogroup for Animals and Fur Free Alliance member organizations from all EU member countries called for an end to fur farming. We cannot afford the risk that the production of fur impedes efforts to eradicate this disease by preserving a reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 or undermining the efficacy of future vaccines. 

To tackle the issue effectively, the EU must adopt emergency and proportionate measures by suspending all mink farming, including breeding — and all in-country and cross-border transportation of live mink and their raw pelts, both inside and outside the European Union. As part of such a measure, the EU should play a key role in making ‘One Health’ a reality — a concept that acknowledges how tightly interknit human, animal and environmental health are —  and further promote the comprehensive “One Welfare” approach.

“It is more urgent than ever, in times where new mutations of this deadly virus are starting to emerge in animals and humans.”

Joh Vinding, chair of the Fur Free Alliance

First, the EU must prevent the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs. From a public health perspective, the continued presence of mink farms in Europe would serve to maintain coronavirus reservoir within human communities. Despite enhanced biosecurity, early warning surveillance and immediate culling of animals in infected farms, experience in Denmark and the Netherlands has shown that it has been impossible to stop the transmission of the virus. 

Second, the EU must avert the spread of an emerging virus in a new host which may lead to an accumulation of mutations and resistance to developed vaccines. Given the devastating impacts caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, we cannot afford to take this risk.

The upcoming meeting of the EU Agricultural Ministers on January 25 will offer the perfect opportunity to discuss COVID-19 and mink farming.

“We ask the Ministers of Agriculture of all EU Member States to call on the Commission to take effective action to suspend the breeding of mink in fur farming across the EU,” said Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals.

“It is more urgent than ever, in times where new mutations of this deadly virus are starting to emerge in animals and humans,” said Joh Vinding, chair of the Fur Free Alliance.

Fur farms cause massive animal suffering and now we know that they also pose an enormous health risk for humans. A large majority of EU citizens reject fur farms and support a ban of this outdated industry which is already illegal in a growing number of member countries. 

According to the United Nations, the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 outbreak will cost at least $8.5 trillion to the world economy over the next two years and the EU needs to provide financial assistance of up to €100 billion to avoid a major economic crisis. There is hope in 2021 thanks to vaccination programs, but the battle is not over. COVID-19 in mink farms is a pressing issue: there is no better time to end fur farming.

Let’s make animal welfare count in 2021.

Let’s make animal welfare count in 2021

15 January 2021

With the European Commission breaking a decade of stalemate on animal welfare legislation in 2020, 2021 looks bright and full of opportunities to create a better future for billions of animals.

Looking back on our major success stories for animals in 2020, we are looking at 2021 with a lot of excitement and determination to make the lives of billions of animals better.

We are dedicated to fully exploit the window of opportunity opening in 2021 and 2022 by joining the “building back better” movement and striving for a Green Recovery.

Here’s a small glimpse of our major opportunities and activities for animal welfare in EU legislation and in Member States in 2021:

The Green Deal: One of our major lobby campaigns this year will be focusing on the  farm animal welfare legislation and its fitness check. We will join forces with new and existing partners to pursue our long-term goal of sustainable food, agriculture and fishery sectors that respect animal welfare and are aligned with the EU Farm-to-Fork and the Biodiversity 2030 strategies.

Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing our resilience: We demand a positive list for the trade of wild animals and an EU wide ban on fur farming, measures that will increase our resilience towards future pandemics and contribute to healthy societies and economies, and the well-being of people and animals. We call on the EU to develop a strategy for human relevant science without the use of animals, building on the experiences gained in the rush for a COVID-19 vaccine.  

Strengthening the EU’s role as a global actor in trade relations: We are putting animal welfare on the agenda in the context of EU-China and EU-India relations and keep working on blocking the ratification of the EU-Mercosur Trade deal

To further improve the well-being of animals in Europe and in the world we engage on:

Our EU-wide flagship campaign for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses is aimed at eliminating species-inappropriate treatment of animals.

We are demanding species-specific rules for the transport of horses and donkeys and call for the end of long-distance transport. We ask for a harmonised mandatory identification and registration for cats and dogs. Many people have adopted companion animals during the lock-down period so that these measures are more crucial than ever.