Day: February 24, 2021

Texas: 4000 sea turtles rescued!

4000 turtles could be saved from freezing to death!

On an island in southern Texas, more than 4000 sea turtles have been rescued from the cooled water in the Gulf of Mexico in the past few days and temporarily housed in a conference center to warm up there.Winterwetter in den USA

Foto: Miguel Roberts/dpa

The severe onset of winter in the US state of Texas triggered a large-scale rescue operation for thousands of sea turtles.

The organization Sea Turtle Inc, which cares for the protection of sea turtles in the region, started the rescue operation.
The animals were spread out on plastic sheets in rooms and corridors of the congress center.

Sea Turtle’s Sanjuana Zavala told the German Press Agency on Thursday that the turtles were in a kind of rigidity in which they could not move, eat and drink until they were warmed up again.

This state lasted for several days. “We just have to wait and see now.”

There are real heavyweights among the turtles

The animals don’t necessarily have to be in the water in this state, emphasized Zavala.
In the beginning, they used the children’s paddling pool for some of the rescued turtles. But given a large number of animals, there weren’t enough such tanks.

As soon as the water temperature in the sea rises above 12 degrees Celsius again, the animals could be brought back there. The rescued turtles would have a weight of up to 180 kilograms.

A severe onset of winter is currently plaguing large parts of the United States and has led to massive power outages. The state of Texas in the south of the country is the hardest hit.

South Padre Island is near the US border with Mexico.
Zavala said that in the past few years her organization had occasionally had to rescue turtles from the sea in winter.
But it was never more than 200 at a time.
“We have never had it to this extent.”

Therefore one had to switch to the congress center. There, too, there were temporary problems with the electricity in view of the snowstorm.
But in the building, the turtles are protected from wind and weather and protected from the cold water in the sea.

Thanks to the helpers from Sea Turtle, Inc. and all of the volunteers 🐢

My best regards to all, Venus

Romania: Secret Decks of Sheep On The ‘Queen Hind’ Which Sank at Midia ??. We Still Wait For EU Action and the Report Promised by the Romanian Government.

Video added late 24/02 – Note ‘Safety First’ at front – pity they did not take their own advice.

Also, live sheep can be seen stuck in the vessel at the end of the video.

A cargo ship carrying sheep that capsized off the coast of Romania

Extra Decks Found on Capsized Livestock Carrier

WAV Comment – we are covering a lot at the moment re live exports.  This is not current news but goes back to November 2019 when the ‘Queen Hind’ sank shortly after leaving the port of Midia in Romania; allegedly carrying 14,600 destined for slaughter in Saudi Arabia.

For information; it would appear that several secret decks were found on the vessel during attempts at salvage; and that in fact, many more sheep had been carried to those declared officially.  Naturally, Romania has denied this, and the EU being the EU, has dragged its heels in every respect with regard to getting official information about this.

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.

Read more at:

We have no faith in the Romanian system or what its government says.  They are certainly not the best animal welfare nation on the planet.  With our experience in live animal transport, we would have no surprise whatsoever that additional (secret) decks were fitted into the vessel; simply to increase numbers and to obtain more profit.  Was overloading due to the secret decks the reason that the Queen Hind capsized shortly after leaving Midia, we ask ?

Have a read of the information and links to that we have supplied below.  If we ever witness the EU taking action against Romania regarding this incident then it could be considered progress.  When everyone keeps quiet and ‘below deck’ about the realities, it could be said that there is a cover up.  Please read the info and make your own decisions.

Despite promises from the Romanian government that the results of the capsize will be published on the Ministry website; our search today (24/2/21) has still revealed nothing.

Life is being a pain in the arse to some;

Regards Mark


Secret decks allegedly found on livestock carrier | Insurance Marine News

Secret decks found on ship that capsized killing thousands of sheep

Discovery by salvage divers off Romania raises new questions over EU exports of live animals

Secret decks for extra animals have been found in a livestock carrier that sank off the Romanian port of Midia in November drowning thousands of sheep, according to the company carrying out the massive salvage operation.

Only 180 sheep survived out of the 14,600 initially believed to have been onboard the Queen Hind, which was carrying them from Romania, the EU’s biggest exporter of the animal, to Saudi Arabia.

But the revelations about secret decks are likely to increase the death toll by several thousands, and raise fresh questions on whether overloading was to blame for the capsize.

The vessel was left on its side in the water as it sank not far from port, with sheep corpses piling up around it. Images of the tragedy made headlines worldwide and led to renewed calls by animal activists to impose a ban on live exports from Europe to non-EU countries, particularly the Middle East and north Africa.

The Romanian national daily Adevărul reported on Sunday that the firm that won the auction to bring the vessel to shore, Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP Offshore), made its first attempt on Saturday but operations were halted after the crane’s cables were unable to bear the load.

Gabriel Comănescu, GSP’s president, was quoted by Adevărul as saying that “during the operation, the divers entered the water, [and] found additional decks.

These additional decks also have animals on board”.

Comănescu added: “There are decks not included in the cargo plan, they are undeclared. It is the problem of the authorities to find out why they were loaded and why they were not included in the cargo plan. It’s a big question. There is a much larger load than over 14,000 sheep.”

Gabriel Paun, of Animals International, said the revelation “confirms our initial suspicion that the vessel capsized because of overloading”. He added: “We are outraged that this came out from the company bringing the vessel back to the shore and not from the Romanian government itself.”

Animals International said it will file complaints to the EU commission and the Romanian prosecutor’s anti-corruption department.

“[GSP] came with the right equipment last week and they tried to lift it up with a crane and bring it to the shore,” Paun said. “They had calculated that the ship was full of water and animals, so they were prepared to lift more [weight] but still the cables broke.”

He had been told that the head of the company had sent down divers to investigate, and discovered secret decks loaded with thousands of animals.

Brian da Cal, UK director at the animal welfare organisation Four Paws, said he feared that the death of thousands of sheep could have been avoided.

“The allegations regarding hidden decks on the ship are of huge concern and strengthens our calls for an outright ban of long-distance transports of live animals and a maximum of eight hours transportation duration. No matter how strict the rules may be and how tragic this accident is, mass deaths like this are becoming more common.”

He said Four Paws was able to rescue 254 sheep from the half-sunken ship but several died later of exhaustion and injuries – 180 survived and are now being kept in a location north of Bucharest.

Paun said: “We’re saying that Romanian authorities are not to be trusted because this vessel has been inspected by the Romanian government [and] they’ve missed the extra decks which were not in the cargo plan.”

Paun said Romania exports about 3 million sheep annually. European live animal exports rose from a value of $1bn (£800m) in 2000 to $3.3bn in 2018.

An official from the Romanian national veterinary and food safety authority, in comments carried by Adevărul, appeared to dismiss the allegations and said the vessel was heavier because “dead sheep do not have the same weight as the live ones”.

A border police spokesman also dismissed the story as speculation.

The Guardian has contacted MGM Marine Shipping, the management company behind the Queen Hind, for comment. The Romanian embassy was also approached.

Secret decks found on ship that capsized killing thousands of sheep | Romania | The Guardian

Exclusive: livestock ships twice as likely to be lost as cargo vessels -  Pehal News


Extra Decks Found on Capsized Livestock Carrier

Salvors working on the capsized livestock carrier Queen Hind claim they have found extra decks on the vessel.

The Palau-flagged Queen Hind capsized shortly after departing the Port of Midia in Romania on November 24 last year. While the crew escaped safely, only 180 of 14,600 sheep were saved. Salvors Grup Servizi Petroliere (GSP) claim that there could have been more sheep lost, as divers found that the extra decks had animals on board.

Divers were sent to investigate after cranes were unable to lift the vessel as planned. Cables snapped under the extra weight which could mean that several thousand more sheep were onboard than previously reported. The salvors claim the extra decks were not documented on the cargo loading plan.

The claim that extra sheep were on board has been disputed. Local media reports cite an official saying that the salvors may not have accounted for the extra weight of water-logged sheep; the salvors dispute this. Additionally, it has been noted that exact counts of sheep are not made at boarding.

The Guardian reports Gabriel Paun, a spokesperson for Animals International, saying the vessel was suspected to have capsized due to overloading. Animals International plans to make a formal complaint to the European Commission about the case.

Secret decks found on capsized livestock carrier off Romania


More than two months after the livestock carrier ‘Queen Hind’ capsized and sank off Romania taking down over 14,o00 sheep, the company tasked with the ship salvage has discovered secret decks that could accommodate a higher number of animals. This has created allegations that the sheep death toll was higher than thought.

Casualties | 05/02/20

The livestock carrier was heading from Romania to Saudi Arabia, when it overturned just off Midia Port, Romania, on 24 November, with approximately 14,600 sheep and 22 crew members onboard. The crew was saved but only 180 sheep survived.

However, the recent revelations by the salvage company on extra decks are likely to increase the death toll by several thousands, and raise fresh questions on whether overloading was to blame for the capsize, The Guardian reports.

In particular, the salvage firm Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP Offshore), halted operations Saturday, after the crane’s cables were unable to bear the load, the Romanian national daily Adevărul reported.

As such, the divers entered the water and found additional decks, which also had animals onboard, Gabriel Comănescu, GSP’s president, was quoted as saying.

There are decks not included in the cargo plan, they are undeclared. It is the problem of the authorities to find out why they were loaded and why they were not included in the cargo plan. It’s a big question. There is a much larger load than over 14,000 sheep,

…he stressed.

Meanwhile, this news re-surges initial suspicions that the incident occurred due to overloading.

In light of this, animal welfare organization Animals International said it will file complaints to the EU commission and the Romanian prosecutor’s anti-corruption department.

EU revealed to be world’s biggest live animal exporter.

Extra Decks Found on Capsized Livestock Carrier

EU revealed to be world’s biggest live animal exporter

“to improve the welfare conditions of the animals transported outside the EU” – “it would “continue to monitor exports of live animals and take all the necessary measures within the remit of its competence in order to improve the implementation of the EU legislation.”

WAV Commentwhat complete and utter EU bollocks as always. EU = animal abuse – full stop.

A European Commission spokesperson said in an email it was cooperating with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) “to improve the welfare conditions of the animals transported outside the EU” and that it would “continue to monitor exports of live animals and take all the necessary measures within the remit of its competence in order to improve the implementation of the EU legislation.”

EU revealed to be world’s biggest live animal exporter | Live exports | The Guardian

Secret decks found on ship that capsized killing thousands of sheep |  Romania | The Guardian

Bloc exported more than 1.6 billion chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle in 2019, but faces criticism over welfare failings

New analysis suggests the EU could be responsible for up to 80% of the global trade in live farm animals, which continues to be linked to animal welfare failings.

Global data provided to the Guardian by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) indicates that 1.8 billion live chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle were moved across a border in 2019. The EU was estimated to be responsible for more than three-quarters of that total.

“A large part of the cross-border movement of live animals takes place in the EU,” said the FAO’s livestock development officer, Anne Mottet.

The global trade in live farm animals – worth more than $20bn (£14bn) a year – was revealed by a Guardian investigation last year to have more than quadrupled in size over the past 50 years. However, inadequate regulation means that animals might be put at risk on some journeys, or exposed to cruelty when they reach their destination.

The (UK) government is proposing to ban the export of live animals from England and Wales, unless it is for breeding or longer-term use – not just for fattening and slaughter.

Concerns about animal welfare during transport led the EU to establish a committee of inquiry last year to investigate alleged failings.

Transport risks for live animals include stress during loading and unloading, injury, hunger, thirst and exhaustion, according to a report published today by animal advocacy organisation Eurogroup for Animals, which also highlighted the potential for lower slaughter standards on arrival and the higher risk of infectious disease spread during stressful transportation.

The Eurogroup for Animals is calling for regulatory reform including shorter journey times and a “shift from live transport to a trade in meat and carcasses as well as genetic material.”

The FAO argues that it does not make sense to aggregate all transported animals in the same way. “Some are very small and other large. One cannot add chicken and cows. For example, 95% of the 1.8 billion animals that crossed a boarder in 2019 are chicken, while cattle represented less than 1% of this total,” said Mottet.

One of the factors driving the EU’s live transport of animals, said Ditte Erichsen, a veterinarian with Animal Protection Denmark, is that countries tend to specialise in producing a particular food animal, often for export.

“Denmark has become the world’s largest exporter of pigs,” said Erichsen. Most of them, she said, are piglets of about three months in age and their journey times are often over eight hours. According to the Eurogroup report, which uses Eurostat data, about 15.7 million Danish pigs left the country in 2019.

“This is the result of a tendency which we have seen over the last decade, where the pig production has specialised to a degree, where the piglets are born in one country, fattened in another and maybe slaughtered in a third country,” Erichsen said.

Particular risks for pigs, she said, are heat stress because pigs cannot sweat, suffocation due to overcrowding, prolonged hunger and thirst and no space to rest.

Iris Baumgaertner, of Swiss-German NGO AWF-TSB, said in Germany the specialty is hatched chicks. The report found that the country exported 312 million head of poultry within the EU in 2019, of which almost 100 million weighed under 185 grams.

“The number of animals being transported around the EU, and the millions of chickens leaving Germany, is the insane result of globalisation and specialisation,” Baumgaertner said.

EU subsidies are another factor driving animal transport, said Gabriel Paun, a Romanian animal advocate and EU director for NGO, Animals International. “In the Middle East and north Africa, they prefer [their] local sheep meat but the Romanian meat is very cheap, partly because of the EU subsidies,” Paun said.

Paun said 2020 data is expected to show that an estimated 3 million Romanian sheep were exported to Saudi Arabia. Transport itself is cheap, with a shipment to Saudi Arabia costing about $25 (£18) per head, or less on larger ships, Paun said.

Romania has recently been accused of “complete silence” over its investigation into the sinking of the Queen Hind in November 2019, which resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep.

Although data on the live transport of fish is limited – and counts fish in weight rather numbers of animals – the Eurogroup report estimates that nearly 54,000 tons of live fish were transported around the EU in 2019. Of those, 75% are trout, carp, eel and bluefin tuna.

Live fish are equally prone to transport stress. “[Fish] are starved for at least a day prior to transport, but sometimes up to two weeks, which can cause aggression between fish as they look for food,” said Christine Xu of the Aquatic Life Institute. Other transport risks include poor water quality and overcrowding.

A European Commission spokesperson said in an email it was cooperating with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) “to improve the welfare conditions of the animals transported outside the EU” and that it would “continue to monitor exports of live animals and take all the necessary measures within the remit of its competence in order to improve the implementation of the EU legislation.”

The following is an old article, but interesting as it still reflects the situation.


EU’s live export trade puts welfare of millions of animals at risk – report

EU’s live export trade puts welfare of millions of animals at risk – report | Animal welfare | The Guardian

This article is more than 9 months old

European commission finds welfare gaps, non-compliance and poor planning in trade of animals to North Africa and the Middle-East

The welfare of millions of cattle, sheep and goats exported from the EU is being put at risk by failings including heat stress, bad planning and a lack of information from the destination country, a new European commission report has found.

Among the systemic problems identified were poor planning for high temperatures, an issue that has been raised repeatedly by campaigners. In summer, the report said, animals “in many vehicles arriving to ports” must sometimes “endure temperatures of over 35C”.

The report criticised the way that, as one campaigner put it, animals “disappear’” at their destination. It noted that most EU countries “do not receive any feedback” from the country of destination about the condition of the animals on arrival. Nor do they get any information, “from the transporter, ship’s Master or vessel operator”.

Also singled out were poor contingency planning, incomplete or incorrect departure documentation, and an inability to prevent recurring compliance problems.

One of the welfare organisations that worked with the commission to produce the report gave it a cautious welcome. “We find it strong even if it pardons Ireland and Portugal where we also found lots of problems,” said Animals International’s EU director, Gabriel Paun.

But others pointed out that the report also raised many issues. Peter Stevenson, policy adviser for Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) , said: “The new report reveals a disturbing picture of non-compliance by member state authorities and exporters.”

Romania, a major breeder and exporter of sheep, comes in for particular criticism following the drowning of more than 14,000 sheep last November. The sheep were on board Romanian-approved livestock ship, the Queen Hind, which keeled over shortly after leaving the Romanian port of Midia. Only 180 sheep survived.

The report identified gaps in animal welfare regulations, which, it said, “are not geared to detect issues that could cause vessels to tilt and overturn”.

Ireland and Portugal are praised for having comparatively better systems in place for livestock approval and health inspection prior to loading, helping to minimise welfare risks.

Uncertainty as to who is legally responsible for the proper care of livestock at different points on their journey – particularly in ports or during sea journeys – is another weakness, the report said.
Delays at ports are another problem, as many thousands of animals arrive for the same shipment. Of Europe’s 13 exit ports, only six, the report said, “have facilities in the port or arrangements nearby where, in case of need, the transporters can unload, rest, water and feed the animals”.

The report found that ships are also rife with problems, with only 24% of livestock vessels licensed by “white list” countries. Ships that fly the flag of a white list countries are recognised as having a consistently low rate of port detentions for regulatory failings.

Asked what action the commission would be taking following the report, a spokesperson said it would “explore the feasibility of harmonising and strengthening, through a legal act, the inspections of livestock vessels into an EU database in cooperation with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)”.

The spokesperson added that the commission was “cooperating with the OIE [World Organisation for Animal Health] to develop a network of contact points dedicated to animal transport in third countries. The objective is to reinforce our collaboration with these countries on this issue”.

More than 30 EU welfare organisations wrote to the European commission last week arguing that cattle exports to Libya by Ireland, Spain and Romania were in breach of EU regulations. The letter said that under EU Article 13 the commission and member states are obliged “to take animal welfare into account in a thorough and serious manner in formulating and implementing policies in specified fields”.

The EU’s live animal export welfare failings are laid out in the Welfare of Animals Transported by Sea report, circulated this week and based on information gathered by thecommission from EU countries including Spain, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Portugal and Ireland in 2017 and 2018.

The European Union exports around 1 million cattle and 2 million sheep each year to non-EU countries, mainly in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2019, the value of the EU’s live animal export trade was more than €12bn (£10.6bn).

The goodness of animals

❄️ It was -21 degrees that day. Then suddenly, a passerby saw a goose stuck to a post.
Troubling, the passerby wanted to help him but a detail irritated him.

As he approaches, he notices that the goose was covering a puppy under its wings to keep him warm 🐶
A pretty scene full of love and tenderness 😍

Again, we have a lot to learn from our animal friends.

My best regards to all, Venus

Australia / Namibia: People power stops new live export business in its tracks.

 Below – Romanian Live Export Protesters

Protesters in Romania gather to demand an end to live export from the country
Namibian sheep
Above – Namibian Sheep

From our campaigner friends at Animals Australia.

People power stops new live export business in its tracks

A plan to begin exporting live animals from Namibia to Kuwait has been quashed thanks to a united, global effort drawing attention to the suffering caused by the trade.

The idea that when one door closes another opens, is mostly reassuring. But when it comes to the global live export trade, this universal truth is the reason we need to remain ever vigilant. You see, as countries have become clued-up to the cruelty inherent to live export — and widespread opposition to it — live exporters have found it harder to shore up business.

When Australia restricted sheep exports during the dangerous northern summer months, exporters knocked on Romania’s door. And Animals Australia was there. When Romania began questioning the trade, they went to South Africa. Again, we were already there. When South Africa’s NSPCA took the battle to stop the trade all the way to the High Court, it was abundantly clear: this global trade in animal cruelty is well and truly matched by a global effort to stop it.

From Australia to New Zealand to Brazil to South Africa and to dozens of countries throughout Europe — there is a powerful, international collaboration of groups and individuals working together to save animals from this ruthless industry.

And it’s a compassionate effort that has just paid off in Namibia, with new plans to begin live export from the Southern African nation put on hold indefinitely.

The business plan put forward by Tradeport Namibia proposed to import 70,000 live sheep, 50,000 goats and 5,000 cattle from South Africa and Botswana for live export from Namibia to Kuwait.

As exposé after exposé has revealed — it’s a sea journey fraught with risk for the animals who would be confined in cramped and stressful conditions for weeks before facing terrifying fully conscious slaughter upon arrival.

A rapid-fire public and media education campaign was launched in Namibia to highlight the reality of live export for the animals. In its submission objecting to the business plan, Namibia’s SPCA noted that the trade undermines Namibian laws and standards and that allowing live export would:

And the warnings have been heeded. In announcing that plans to export live animals would be ‘put on ice’, Tradeport Namibia noted the strong opposition, locally and internationally, to the export of live animals and that the company did not want to be involved in a business that will attract widespread outrage.

A united global front is turning the tide on live export. We don’t always win, but we are always there. And every action you take to support these efforts takes us another step towards shutting the door on this industry, for good.

Check it out in full via:

People power stops new live export business in its tracks | Animals Australia

Power to the people !

Regards Mark

People power stops new live export business in its tracks

New Zealand: more than 20 pilot whales saved!

Again it is the “death trap” Farewell Spit in New Zealand, where several pilot whales ran aground within one day. Volunteers formed a human chain to drive the whales into deeper water.

More than 20 pilot whales have been returned to deeper waters after a second stranding off New Zealand.
“The whales are currently swimming freely off the coast and are monitored by a boat from the nature conservation authority,” said the organization Project Jonah on Tuesday.

Project Jonah volunteers tried to pull the pilot whales back into the water on Monday Source: AFP / HANDOUT

Volunteers formed a human chain to drive the whales into deeper water.

On Monday, February 22nd, around 50 animals were stranded on the Farewell Spit headland. Many of them died, but about 28 survived the night.
Numerous helpers were on duty to cool the whales until the tide set in, as the broadcaster Radio New Zealand reported.

Why the marine mammals were stranded was still unclear. For the group it seemed to be the first time, the animals showed no abrasions, the station quoted the ranger Amanda Harvey

The scientists suspect that the animals have orientation problems as a reason for stranding or that animals want to come to the aid of their previously stranded conspecifics. Source: dpa / New Zealand Doc, Matt Nalder

Scientists are still trying to find out why such incidents are more common at Farewell Spit, it said.
In February 2017 alone, between 600 and 700 whales were stranded there, 250 of them died.

Whales are repeatedly stranded on the coasts of New Zealand.
Why marine mammals lose their bearings is unclear.

Presumably, they follow a stray or sick animal into shallow water. The animals may have responded to calls from their conspecifics who were stranded on Friday, as Daren Grover of the animal welfare group Project Jonah involved in the rescue said.

The largest mass stranding of pilot whales in New Zealand occurred in 1918 when a thousand mammals landed on the remote island of Chatham.
In 1985, 450 pilot whales stranded in Auckland.
At the Farewell Spit headland, which is around 150 kilometers west of the tourist town of Nelson, there have been at least nine mass strandings in the past ten years.

And I mean … Scientists don’t know, nor do we know why the animals were stranded.
We can only be happy about the survivors and would like to thank the people from the bottom of our hearts who have contributed with all their might to the rescue

My best regards to all, Venus

South Korea: Broken Political Promises – Meat Dogs Freeze To Death During Korean Winters; DISGUSTING, and Shame On Korean Politicians !

Watch the video below:

South Korean Meat Dogs.

View the latest newsletter and actions to take via the following links.  \Please watch the video above as it shows the reality of what a disgusting animal abuse situation this is. So much for action and promises by people in power !! – they do nothing.

There are 2 newsletters here, not 1:!_&utm_medium=email!_&utm_medium=email

Regards Mark

Promises, Promises, from the man who does nothing.