New study examines for the first time the seaworthiness of 78 EU-certified animal transport vessels.
European NGOs call for a ban on exports of live animals
The EU is exporting its surplus live animal production to third countries in livestock vessels.
Specifically, Spain is one of the main exporters of the EU and its shipments of live animals to third countries do not stop increasing.
In 2020, it exported 193,085 cattle; 9.2% more than the previous year and 906,517 sheep; 20% more than in 2019.
The recent study carried out by the organizations Robin des Bois(France), Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF, Germany) and Animal Welfare Association Zurich (TSB Zürich, Switzerland) examines for the first time the seaworthiness of the 78 certified livestock transport vessels operating in the EU and reaches devastating conclusions:
“Livestock ships are the most dangerous in the world. At an average age of 41, the ships are too old, contribute to the pollution of the seas, cause enormous animal suffering, drive mostly under black flags of convenience, and have been approved for navigation by companies doubtful »
(Conclusions of the authors of the report).
Only 6% of the approved vessels were built to transport animals.
Of the 78 ships certified by the EU, only five were built expressly for the transport of live animals.
73 ships were previously used as container ships, ferries or freighters (!!)
‘The global average age of shipbreaking ships is 30 years. However, the 78 vessels evaluated were already an average of 29 years old when they became EU approved livestock transport vessels. They already had a useful life behind them »
(Conclusions of the authors of the report).
Furthermore, these conversions do not take into account the behavior and needs of the animals during sea transport, or which species are to be transported.
Only 6% of EU approved vessels were originally built to transport animals, which means that 94% of vessels were built without taking into account the specific needs of each species.
The retrofitting of old ships involves greater safety risks as they were not originally designed for additional cargo.
Increasing additional cargo decks is a problem as they shift the ships’ center of gravity further up.
In heavy seas and with moving cargo, like animals, the ship loses stability more quickly.
In fact, this has been the cause of several accidents in recent years, the authors report.
Usual practice: Changes of ownership and flags of convenience to avoid responsibilities
Superbug fears as supermarket pig farms escalate use of crucial antibiotics
WAV Comment – Excellent ‘Guardian’ article as always.
An investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Guardian has also uncovered instances of mass medication and apparently routine use of drugs on some UK pig farms, despite industry drives to combat the overuse of antibiotics. Andrew Wasley and Susannah Savage report
The use of certain antibiotics deemed critical to human health has surged on British pig farms supplying major supermarkets, prompting fresh concerns about the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
Previously unpublished industry data seen by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Vet Record and the Guardian shows the use of a class of antibiotics prescribed for various infections in humans more than doubled on UK pig farms between 2015 and 2019, with experts warning of a potential further rise because of impending changes to the sector.
The Bureau’s investigation has established the drugs are in use on pig farms supplying pork to food retailers Tesco and Waitrose.
The increase in usage of this class of drugs, known as aminoglycosides, came even as livestock farmers in the UK cut back on the overall use of antibiotics following stark warnings that the drug resistance crisis could lead to the deaths of millions of people around the world by 2050.
Antimicrobial resistance was seen as a priority under David Cameron’s government but has received less attention from Downing Street in recent years.
Jim O’Neill, who chaired the UK government’s review into superbugs, said the Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the need to put the issue of drug-resistant bacteria back on the global political agenda. He said: “There needs to be much stronger international agreement, and discipline following those agreements, that we will dramatically reduce the use of antibiotics in animals — especially those that are critical for human health.”
Tesco and Waitrose acknowledged they allow the use of the drugs by pork suppliers but insisted they are used responsibly.
Intensive pork production
Antibiotics are widely used in livestock production to treat and prevent disease, particularly on factory farms where pigs and poultry are often reared in overcrowded conditions in which bacteria can flourish. These farms can act as incubators for potentially fatal drug-resistant diseases in humans.
Aminoglycosides are a class of drugs that includes gentamicin, a medicine used in humans to treat for meningitis and infections of the blood and abdomen. They are deemed “critically important” to human health by the World Health Organization (WHO) . Despite this, they are used on pig farms to combat scour, an intestinal disease in young piglets, and other illnesses.
This description covers drugs that are the sole option or one of a handful of choices to treat infections caused by bacteria transmitted from non-human sources (such as food poisoning) or bacteria carrying “resistance genes” from non-human sources such as farm animals.
Data compiled by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, an industry body, shows the use of aminoglycosides jumped from 2.6mg per kilogram of body weight in 2015 to 5.9mg in 2019.
Cóilín Nunan, the scientific adviser at the pressure group Alliance to Save our Antibiotics, said: “Reductions in antibiotic use can be achieved if pigs are kept less intensively and husbandry is improved.”
He added that farms should not be permitted to take piglets away from the sow at an early age — a “stressful” practice associated with large increases in antibiotic use.
According to industry experts, the recent jump in the use of aminoglycosides is likely due to the phasing out of other antibiotics such as colistin — a measure specifically designed to tackle antimicrobial resistance — and changes on farms in preparation for an EU ban on the use of zinc oxide, also commonly used to control scour.
Grace Webster, a vet from the Pig Health and Welfare Council, which brings together the industry and government, said the sector had made progress by reducing overall usage, but added: “We do have great concern about losing zinc oxide because there’s a chance it will increase our antibiotics use.
Musician Annie Ko of LOVE X STEREO worked as a translator for Humane Society International in South Korea.
During that time she discovered horrors of the dog meat industry. On one visit to a dog meat farm, she met and rescued DeeJay and their lives changed forever.
We are working tirelessly to fight the dog meat trade across Asia but change only manifests when it comes from within the hearts and minds of locals like Annie.
The majority of South Koreans are AGAINST the dog meat industry and with their support and activism, the end to this trade is in sight.
Together, we can and are making a difference for animals in Asia!
HSI is working tirelessly to fight the dog meat trade but change only manifests when it comes from within, which Annie exemplifies. Together, we can and are making a difference for animals in Asia and beyond.
Ask China to end dog and cat meat trade horrors including the Yulin festival
Yulin Dog Meat Festival 2021 will take place between 21 – 30 June (06) 2021.
Yulin Dog Meat Festival (or Lychee and Dog Meat Eating Festival) as it is sometimes known, is a controversial festival held in Yulin, Guangxi, China, during the summer solstice – the longest day of the year, in June. Even though the festival started as recently as 2009, eating dog meat is believed to be an ancient Chinese tradition.
Chinese practitioners of folk medicine thought that dog meat is the best solution against the summer heat, although there is no physiological or medical evidence to support it. Some also believe dog meat can ward off diseases and heighten men’s sexual performance.
Cat meat, fresh lychees and liquor are also available at the 10-day event.
During the 10-day festival, dogs and cats are exhibited in metal cages and wooden crate before they are skinned, cooked, and eaten by visitors of the event.
It is a terribly disgusting event as you can see from the photos we are publishing here. As many as 15,000 dogs are tortured, killed and cooked to be sold every year.
On the eve of the festival, many activists are protesting in China or in front of Chinese embassies, while hundreds of volunteers make an effort to stop the trucks transporting the dogs to the festival and rescue the animals.
Activist groups in China can legally intercept dog meat trucks and confiscate dogs if the drivers don’t have the paperwork proving that they own them. The dogs which are found in these trucks often turn out to be stolen pets and are returned to owners, others are made available for adoption in China and other countries.
For example, a shelter from the state of New York took in 200 dogs, a San Diego rescue center took 18 dogs to Southern California, while the center in Massachusetts saved five animals.
Yulin is a major campaign issue across the world with animal rights people. Thanks to international pressure the number of dogs slaughtered during Yulin Dog Meat Festival has dropped considerably, and there is hope the festival will be banned completely.
End Yulin 2021 Notodogmeat is Sending Activists to Yulin This Weekend
Yulin Dog Meat ‘ Festival’ is likely to take place next week (21 – 30 June) 2021. Our hearts are broken. We have been campaigning for ten years to end this cruelty and saved hundreds of dogs and cats.
New animal welfare regulations and also concerns about the pandemic gave us hope Yulin City will see sense. People eat dog meat in this south China province all year round, and tourists love to come on Summer Solstice, get drunk and feast on dogs. They don’t care.
As soon as we got word that trucks were on the move, we knew we had to act. Our activists, led by Mr Zhao, who runs our big China shelter, will make the 3000 km trip to the region in the next few days.
They will attend and protest, documenting all health violations and produce a report that the Ministry of Agriculture cannot deny.
We will also rescue whatever pups we can (without paying high prices) and shame traders and revellers.
This action is powerful because our team is made up entirely of Chinese animal lovers and volunteers.
They know how hard you have all worked signing petitions and writing letters, and they are ready to make sacrifices in the boiling heat to do their bit.
Like us, they cannot bear the idea of dogs packed in cages, no food, water, or shelter. Blood, urine, faeces everywhere. It is a horror show. Terrified eyes, pleading for their lives.
We need your help to make this happen. As a small charity, we rely on your donations. Please chip in what you can to help pay for the activists trip and cover veterinary and associated expenses so we can save as many lives as we can.
There are some wonderful, brilliant animal activists in China trying to stop this, and we wish them every success with ALL thier work. Here below are some from ‘Notodogmeat’.
We are putting out this info now; and hope to publish more reading / action links later;
Hi all; I have tracked down the following video clips for you to see if you want. They are disturbing for animal people, any normal person; here they are in case you want to know more – Mark
Dog Is Sheep Is Cow Is Pig Is Boy Is Girl Is Cat – None should be abused for the want of the human tastebud !
Other articles related to Yulin – the first below from the ‘New York Post’ is very interesting – I have reproduced courtesey of the NYP and outlined the main in RED. – Regards Mark
New York Post – New law could end China’s infamous dog meat festival, says advocacy group
Animal activists are celebrating a new law in China that regulates the mass trafficking of feral dogs into Yulin, in the Guangxi region, which has an annual dog meat festival.
Yulin’s agricultural officials confirmed the news on May 1, Jam Press reported. The new law would ensure that animals are raised and quarantined together before being transported and sold for slaughter — a move that will ultimately strengthen public health efforts, and potentially save thousands of dogs.
…. That and the country’s “wet markets” have long been regarded as sources of disease and, indeed, linked to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Last year, China cracked down on the nation’s wildlife trade, including a move to reclassify dogs as “companion animals” instead of their previous “livestock” designation, in response to what was then still an emerging pandemic that many experts believe originated in a Wuhan meat market.
The plan ensured that dogs would no longer be found on the legal meat trade, though the law does little to mitigate the animal black market.