Day: July 2, 2021

EU: Leading animal protection NGOs call for EU ban on hunting trophy imports.

Leading animal protection NGOs call for EU ban on hunting trophy imports

30 June 2021

Press Release

Marking the sixth anniversary of the killing of Cecil the lion by an American trophy hunter, animal and nature protection NGOs, members of the European Parliament, and conservation experts from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya are calling on the EU to ban the import of hunting trophies.

In a webinar, Humane Society International/Europe discussed a new analysis of trade data revealing that the European Union is the world’s second biggest hunting trophy importer after the United States, importing nearly 15,000 hunting trophies of 73 internationally protected species between 2014 and 2018. 

The issue of trophy hunting has become increasingly controversial over the past decade not simply for the animal cruelty, but also due to concerns about the biodiversity crisis

Momentum is growing to take action to curb hunting trophy imports. France banned the import of lion trophies in 2015 and the Netherlands banned trophy imports of over 200 species in 2016. In Germany two political parties (Greens and Left) have included a trophy import ban in their party manifestos.

The webinar, held in collaboration with the European Parliament’s interest group MEPs for Wildlife, Humane Society International/Europe, Born Free Foundation, Eurogroup for Animals and Pro Wildlife, explored how trophy hunting places unsustainable pressure on endangered and other imperiled species, and whether this practice really does make a significant contribution to wildlife conservation as claimed by its proponents. 

German MEP Manuela Ripa (Greens/EFA), who hosted the event, said:

“It is crucial that Members of the European Parliament address the issue of the killing of wild animals, endangered or otherwise, purely for the purpose of procuring trophies to hang on their walls. Especially in the wake of the EU Biodiversity Strategy it is important to consider the impact that European citizens travelling to far-flung destinations solely to shoot and bring home animal body parts may be having on wild animal populations elsewhere around the world. Instead of having tightly regulated trophy hunting, I pledge for tightly regulated photo hunting, which would have a bigger benefit for species, support ecosystems and the communities involved. I strongly urge the European Commission to address the issue of trophy hunting in its upcoming evaluation of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.” 

Dr Joanna Swabe, Humane Society International/Europe’s senior director of public affairs, noted:

“The shocking role of European citizens in global trophy hunting should not be underestimated. Humane Society International’s new EU Trophy Hunting by the Numbers report reveals that shockingly the EU imported nearly 15,000 hunting trophies from 73 species between 2014 and 2018, despite them being protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It is shameful that the EU is the world’s second largest importer of hunting trophies, bringing in almost 3,000 trophies every year, including African lions and elephants, black rhinos, leopards, zebras, cheetahs, lynx and polar bears. Germany, Spain and Denmark account for 52% of all imported trophies, and the trade data shows that trophy import numbers have actually steadily increased by almost 40% during the period studied despite opinion polls showing that the vast majority of EU citizens oppose the gratuitous practice of killing wild animals for pleasure, display and bragging rights.  The only way we should be shooting wild and endangered animals is with cameras, not guns or arrows.”

Dr Mark Jones, head of policy for the Born Free Foundation, added:

“Born Free is ethically opposed to the hunting or killing of any animal for sport or pleasure. We also challenge the claims made by proponents of trophy hunting that it delivers significant conservation and community benefits, or that it positively contributes to the sustainable use of wildlife. Studies have consistently shown that trophy hunting does not provide a significant source of income to rural people, and certainly pales in comparison to other wildlife-related activities such as ecotourism. The killing of animals by trophy hunters also causes immeasurable animal suffering, and negatively impacts wildlife conservation by removing individual animals that are key to their populations. The trophy hunting industry is wracked by corruption, with excessive quotas being set that are often exceeded. We urge European nations to take action to stop their citizens jetting off to exotic locations to kill and imperil wild animals elsewhere in the world.”

Reineke Hameleers, CEO at Eurogroup for Animals, said:

“The trophy hunting practice of primarily removing the largest and most physically impressive animal specimens, puts species conservation in jeopardy, disrupts social herd structures and weakens gene pools of species that are already threatened. In a time of global biodiversity crisis, it is urgent for the EU and Member States to acknowledge that it is irresponsible to allow rich elites to shoot endangered species for pure pleasure, and finally ban the import of hunting trophies. We need to move away from the unethical consumption of wildlife and look at how the EU can instead encourage and reward investment in wildlife so that concrete and significant benefits can be achieved by local communities through its non-consumptive and ecologically sustainable use. Wild animals should be worth more to these communities alive than dead.”

Daniela Freyer, co-founder of Pro Wildlife, added: 

“Germany has the dubious honour of being the top importing nation for hunting trophies in the European Union. It is sickening that a very small minority of my fellow German citizens still enjoy travelling to faraway places to kill animals for fun, pose with their dead bodies for tasteless selfies and hang their body parts on the walls back home. Trophy hunting is not only cruel and unnecessary, but it also poses a significant risk to wildlife conservation and biodiversity. The majority of EU citizens, including Germans, are opposed to the unethical practice of killing wild animals for trophies. It is time for Germany and other EU Member States to act and prohibit the import of hunting trophies.”


Trophy Hunting: Conservation Tool, or a Threat to Wildlife? was organised by MEPs for Wildlife in collaboration with Humane Society International/Europe, Pro Wildlife, Born Free Foundation and Eurogroup for Animals on 30th June 2021 with the participation of the following speakers and panelists: 

  • Dr Audrey Delsink, wildlife director, Humane Society International/Africa
  • Dr. Paula Kahumbu, wildlife conservationist and CEO, WildlifeDirect; Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year 
  • Lenin Tinashe Chisaira, environment lawyer and director, Advocates4Earth, Zimbabwe
  • Miet van Looy, International Relations Officer – CITES and EU Wildlife Trade Regulations,DG Environment, European Commission
  • Dr David Scallan – secretary general, European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE)

Opinion poll results demonstrate that the vast majority of EU citizens (over 80%) oppose trophy hunting and want to end trophy imports.

HSI/Europe’s Trophy Hunting by the Numbers report reveals that Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, France, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the top trophy importing EU Member States, with Namibia, South Africa, Canada, Russia, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan and the US representing the top exporting countries to the EU. Spain, Poland, Hungary, Germany and the Czech Republic are the top importers of captive lion trophies. EU trophy import statistics for individual animals (2014-2018), include:

  • 3,119 Hartmann’s mountain zebras 
  • 1,751 Chacma baboons 
  • 1,415 American black bears
  • 1,056 brown bears
  • 952 African elephants
  • 889 African lions (of which 660 were captive-bred lions in South Africa) 
  • 839 African leopards
  • 794 hippopotamuses
  • 480 caracals
  • 415 red lechwes
  • 297 cheetahs – the EU is the largest importer of cheetah trophies in the world 
  • 65 polar bears
  • Six critically endangered black rhinos 

Regards Mark

Poland: Victory – Fish sellers who kept carp out of water convicted of mistreatment. Criminal Proceedings Lasted 10 Years !

Fish sellers who kept carp out of water convicted of mistreatment

2 July 2021

Green REV

On 29 June, a landmark animal protection case in Poland was settled in court, after criminal proceedings against fish sellers that lasted more than 10 years. The court found the defendants guilty of mistreatment after displaying and selling live carp outside of water.

The case started in December 2010, when a Polish chain store was selling live carp in the run-up to Christmas. Staff at the store displayed fish for sale outside of water in inappropriate conditions, and then packed the live animals into plastic bags without water for customers who purchased them. 

A representative of the organisation Noga w Łapę Foundation filed a criminal complaint in this case. However, such behavior was common throughout Poland. The police and prosecutor’s office therefore twice discontinued the proceedings, concluding that such conduct towards live fish is not a crime. 

In order for this complaint to reach the courts, the organisation needed to exercise its rights as a subsidiary prosecutor. Karolina Kuszlewicz, the lawyer who initiated the lawsuit, drafted the indictment herself and brought it to court where she read it in place of the prosecutor. However, the court denied all motions and the case was denied in two instances. In 2016, a final judgment of acquittal was passed, in which the judiciary gave a clear signal that keeping carp without water is not against the law in Poland.

The only way to move the case forward was to appeal to the Supreme Court, a difficult move considering this was the first case in history involving the humane protection of fish from suffering.

However, the court upheld the cassation in its entirety, pointing out that “in recent years there has been a radical reevaluation in the relationship of humans to animals. Any legal measures should therefore have their welfare in mind, including their right to exist.” The Supreme Court emphasised that it is grossly incorrect to assume that because carp can survive without water for a period of time, it means they are not suffering. The court overturned both acquittals and ordered a retrial, reaffirming that the general provisions of the Animal Welfare Act also apply to fish.

In 2017, the case was brought back to the court of first instance. In December 2020, after 3 years of legal battles trying to prove that carp suffer, a verdict was finally handed down convicting 3 men (2 salesmen and a store manager) of mistreating the animals. The court pointed out that the verdict, in addition to individual criminal responsibility, also has a general preventive value – it is meant to be a signal to all retail chains that they must not mistreat and mishandle fish. 

The defendants’ counsel appealed, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired and that the defendants’ actions were not illegal. After many months of waiting, the Regional Court in Warsaw heard the appeal on 29 June 2021, finding all defendants guilty of the crime of mistreating carp by causing suffering to them (the sellers) and knowingly allowing them to suffer (the store manager). The court particularly emphasised the responsibility of the manager, who, although she did not physically inflict suffering on the animals, allowed it by arranging for their sale in a certain way.

After 10 years, dozens of hearings, hundreds of hours spent on submitting letters, motions, and attempts to incorporate reliable, up-to-date scientific knowledge into the legal proceedings, Ms. Kuszlewicz finally managed to convince the justice system to take responsibility for the suffering of fish.

This significant case was covered by media in Poland, was cited in scientific articles, and most importantly, gave rise to a landmark Supreme Court ruling in favour of fish protection.

Karolina Kuszlewicz, the lawyer who brought this case to court, serves on the Expert Council of our member organisation Green REV Institute.

Regards Mark

EU: Council Conclusions on live transport by sea: unwelcome, unnecessary and unhelpful.

Council Conclusions on live transport by sea: unwelcome, unnecessary and unhelpful

28 June 2021

Press Release

Member States send all the wrong signals to the Commission, as EU citizens expect a ban on live exports and animals deserve better.

At the insistence of the Portuguese Presidency, Agriculture Ministers from across the EU today adopted formal Conclusions on animal welfare during sea transport to third countries, a formal expression of the opinion of all 27 Member States, but one that risks hindering progress.

Better rules for live sea transport won’t mitigate the serious risks associated with this outdated trade. Recent incidents as well as a recent new study by our member Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) and Robin des Bois on EU- certified livestock carriers proved, once again, that live animal export is not a correct practice with regards to animals, humans and the environment.  

While the fitness check process is still ongoing, today’s Conclusions also demonstrated added impetus for a new Transport Regulation. The Council still “invites the Commission to submit a proposal for a revised regulation on animal welfare during transport, if possible, sooner than indicated in the Farm to Fork Strategy”, which is more than welcome.

At the same time though, the Council stresses the need to prioritise short term improvements and monitoring, in order to improve the implementation of the current Regulation.

While Eurogroup for Animals welcomes short-term improvements to relieve the immense suffering of animals, it believes that the revision of the Transport regulation should introduce a much shorter maximum journey duration for animals as well as a ban on live exports. Such an approach would fit with the objectives of the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy to significantly shorten supply chains. 

In this respect, we applaud the German, Dutch and Luxembourgish Ministers who presented a paper stating that these Conclusions can only be considered as short term measures, but want to see live exports ended through the forthcoming legislative revision.

As stated in the Conclusions, “animal welfare during transport is a priority at EU level and should be ensured at all levels and stages of the journey during the international long-distance transport of live animals including to third countries, while favouring, and supporting, as far as possible, the transport of genetic material and meat”.

We trust the European Commission will keep working on the revision of the Transport Regulation and towards phasing out live exports. The shift to meat and carcasses trade is the only way forward to protect animals, people and the environment. The Council Conclusions are simply unwelcome, unhelpful and unnecessary.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals.


Regards Mark


Dulce Ramírez. All photos by Jo-Anne McArthur.

WAV Comment – Full respect and love to our wonderful, Mexican campaigner frieds.

Dulce Ramírez,


Dulce Ramírez – Unbound Project

The first time that I meet Dulce Ramírez, I compliment her on her name – Dulce means ‘sweet’ in Spanish. “I am the opposite,” she says resolutely.

Those who know her agree. A colleague described her as “Persistent and tenaciously persuasive.” She’s also undeniably brave and focused. All valuable qualities when you are leading an animal rights organization in Mexico, a country where culture and national identity are so firmly rooted in food. In Mexico, food is about family, history and culture – and it is dominated by meat and cheese.

For Ramírez, it all started 13 years ago when she found a kitten on the patio behind her house. By caring for this kitten, “I began to understand the emotional world of animals, their needs, and their intelligence,” she explains. “I began to search for information and question more and more the relationship of subjugation we impose on other animals.” The more she learnt, the more it became clear to her that she wanted to advocate for animals.

Fast forward to June 2011, when the Spanish government arrested 12 animal rights activists linked to Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality) in Spain, labeling them ‘eco-terrorists’. Hearing this news, Ramírez contacted the founder and president of Igualdad Animal, Sharon Núñez, to express solidarity with the activists. The following year, the Mexico chapter of Igualdad Animal was founded, with Ramírez at the helm.

“The first thing we did was to show how Mexican industrial farming works.”

In the six years since, Igualdad Animal Mexico has achieved big things. Their first campaign brought animal groups in the state of Jalisco together to successfully end the use of animals in circuses. The organization has developed educational programs, petitioned for legislative changes, and conducted corporate outreach, encouraging companies to adopt policies that benefit animals, such as offering more plant-based options.

For the last two years, the organization has focused on improving the lives of farmed animals. As is the case in most countries, Mexico has virtually no legal protections for farmed animals. But while in some other regions the conversation about farm animal welfare is already well-established in the public discourse, that isn’t the case in Mexico. Given the victories coming for farm animals worldwide and the number of farmed raised and killed in Mexico each year, Ramírez believes this makes Mexico a prime target for bold campaigns and big changes. “For that reason, the first thing we did was to show how Mexican industrial farming works.”

At the foundation of this is investigative work, which Ramírez says is without doubt the most powerful ingredient for creating change. It is these investigations that, by documenting the lives of animals in factory farms, bring focus and strategy to the animal rights movement, she says. Without this footage, animal groups would struggle to develop hard-hitting public campaigns and educational resources telling the true stories of animals in animal use industries.

“I deeply admire women who have done investigations.” 

Ramírez is one of only a few female investigators in the country. The work carries huge risks to personal safety, as well as the emotional toll of witnessing the intense suffering of animals.

“The challenge is always when, at the end of the day, you arrive home and the images come back into your head, you have the smell impregnated on your clothes and body, and it all takes you back.”

What inspires her to do this difficult work? “I deeply admire women who have done investigations, who take pictures of the most terrible situations and who transform it into struggle and activism to change the lives of the animals,” she says.

Igualdad Animal Mexico isn’t done setting precedents for the country.

New investigations are planned and the group’s corporate campaigns continue. Their current legislative push — ending the use of cages for laying hens — is in full swing. They also plan to launch LoveVeg, a public education platform focused on changing consumer habits, in Mexico.

Leading the way, and with so many hearts and minds to change, Ramírez knows she is exactly where she needs to be.

Brilliant !

Regards Mark

Canned Hunting: million dollar business for terrorists

“Canned Hunting” – the hunting of wild animals in enclosures – has become a million dollar business.
A total of 160 South African hunting farms now hold huge populations of lions.
The stock estimates vary widely.

Those familiar with the scene speak of a total of 8,000-10,000 lions. There are also extremely endangered big cats from cheetahs to leopards to Bengal tigers.

The said population of 12,000 captive lions now outnumber the wild population by almost four to one. Each day, around 50 lions get killed in one particular lion farm.
They are all just for profit.

For a high fee they can be shot or slaughtered by wealthy tourists.
The victims of the hunt very often experience their end in delirium.
So that they represent the easiest possible target for the often completely inexperienced shooters, they are injected with a mix of drugs before they are shot.
With the bullet, the execution works at least reasonably quickly.

The trend is towards crossbows or bows and arrows.
This is particularly trendy in the nouveau riche circles.
There is a feeling of Robin Hood.

One can easily imagine the torture when the first arrow does not hit properly, when the wounded animal flees and is hunted.

Continue reading “Canned Hunting: million dollar business for terrorists”

England: New Post On Vegan Trainers; But Then Their Past Animal Abuses Got Me Running !

Kangaroo Joey High Res Stock Images | Shutterstock

I was going to do a post on the launch of a new Vegan sneaker range by one of the manufacturers listed below which is made from harvested pineapple leaves.  After all, are we not here to promote veganism and animal rights ?

Then I thought back to issues relating to these same sportswear manufacturers, and their past production processes, which have been in the AR ‘inbox’ for many years.  As a result of my own involvement in AR and past knowledge on this subject, I decided not to promote the product after all; as I am completely against all animal slaughter; but regardless of my personal views, I shall give you more information which you can then use to decide on the way forward. To buy or not to buy ?, that is the question.

The issue that concerns me is:

Nike and Adidas Among Brands Blasted For Selling Kangaroo Leather Shoes — Species Unite

Around 2 million kangaroos are hunted every year to help produce shoes made from kangaroo skin,

The world’s biggest sport brands including Nike, Puma, and Adidas, have been condemned for selling kangaroo leather shoes, as U.S. lawmakers introduce a bill to outlaw their sale.

Kangaroo skin is currently used by the companies to produce soccer shoes known as “cleats”.

The slaughter of 2 million kangaroos every year, and their Joeys !!

But campaigners warn that the kangaroo leather trade is helping to fuel the slaughter of around 2 million kangaroos every year.

Consumers are likely to be outraged to hear that kangaroos – including their joeys – are shot or bludgeoned to death, especially after the global community came together to show their support for Australia’s wildlife during last year’s devastating wildfires. 

“[We] worked with so many teams on the ground in Australia in 2020 rescuing and rehabilitating kangaroos injured by the devastating bushfires,” said SPCA International Executive Director Meredith Ayan. “Kangaroos do not deserve to go through that trauma, be nursed back to health and released to the wild only to be killed in a brutal commercial hunt.”

Nike, Puma, Adidas, Mizuno, and New Balance are among the companies said to be supporting – and profiting – from the cruel kangaroo slaughter which campaigners say is “the world’s largest commercial slaughter of terrestrial wildlife”. 

The hunt results in entire families of kangaroos being shot in the dead of night with night-vision rifle scopes. And according to Australia’s kangaroo killing guidelines, slaughtered female kangaroos should be checked for joeys in their pouches – who should be bludgeoned to death if found. 

Amid the outrage, U.S. lawmakers have now introduced a new bill that will outlaw the sale of kangaroo body parts in the U.S. 

February 2021 – The Kangaroo Protection Act, introduced last week by Representatives Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn, would ban kangaroo leather products, and encourage brands to construct ‘cleats’ from the many alternative fabrics available. 

“Commercial shooters kill roughly two million wild kangaroos a year to profit from the trade in their skins, despite the availability of alternative fabrics that are of similar or better quality. While California has banned the sale of kangaroo products, enforcement of this inhumane practice is lacking,” said Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif. “I’m proud to stand against kangaroo trafficking and have introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act to make it illegal to exploit kangaroos in the United States and impose penalties for violations.”

Nike and Adidas Among Brands Blasted For Selling Kangaroo Leather Shoes — Species Unite

So, decision made – I cannot promote a manufacturer, or any other manufacturer, which has such past animal abuse ghosts hidden in their coffin, regardless of their changes now.  Some of us are old enough to remember what these organisations did in the past as shown above – we remember, we don’t forget !

As I have said, if ‘top trainers’ are your thing, then you will probably be aware of what is now on the market anyway.

For me personally, it is simple, I remember what animal abuses have been undertaken in the past relating to these ‘top brand’ products; and I remember the millions of innocent, sentient animals that were slaughtered to make the top, past products. 

And as a result, I cannot support their ‘new, vegan products’, regardless of the better intentions of these manufacturers to get on the vegan gravy train now by going vegan. Animal abuse used to be undertaken by them same people in the name of fashion; and so for me, they have been no better in their sordid past than still those involved now in the fur trade. We are all individuals and it is our right to make our choice.

I leave it to you to read, learn and decide.

Regards Mark

USA: N.J. could soon ban new cosmetics that are developed or tested on animals.

WAV Comment – Excellent news, and what a vote result ! – Well done NJ, looking towards progress.

N.J. could soon ban new cosmetics that are developed or tested on animals –

N.J. could soon ban new cosmetics that are developed or tested on animals

By Matt Arco | NJ Advance Media for

State lawmakers took another step Thursday to beef up the New Jersey rules against selling cosmetics that have been tested on animals.

Both houses of the state Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that bans the sale of any cosmetics that have been developed or tested on animals beginning January 2020. The prohibition applies even when tests were performed outside of New Jersey.

PETA protests treatment of animals being used in drug testing
New Jersey lawmakers said they want to discourage all companies from testing products on animals. They passed a bill Thursday that would ban the sale of new cosmetics in the state that were developed or tested on animals.NJ Advance Media for

The state already bans animal testing on cosmetics when there’s an alternative testing method, such as using engineered human tissue or computer models. But lawmakers said they want to totally end the practice and send a message to companies that still engage in the practice.

“Cosmetic testing on animals is not only unnecessary and oftentimes ineffective, but it contributes to the serious suffering of animals,” state Sen. Joseph Lagana, D-Bergen, said.

“It is heartbreaking to know what these animals endure for days or weeks,” Lagana added. “This bill will make it illegal for any product that was animal tested to be sold in New Jersey, incentivizing companies to stop this unethical practice.”

The legislation (S1726) was sent to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk by a 74-0 vote in the state Assembly with one abstention and 35-0 in the state Senate.

Violators can get hit with a $1,000 fine.

“Animal testing for cosmetic products was instituted in the 1940s,” the Assembly prime sponsors — Anthony Verrelli, D-Mercer; Lisa Swain, D-Bergen; and Andrew Zwicker, D-Middlesex — said in a joint statement

“Since then we have made many testing advancements and the procedures once used are now very outdated,” they said. “We are able to ensure products are safe by using modern methods that do not include harming animals.”

There’s an exception if testing on animals is required by federal or state regulator authorities, according to the bill.

Positive thinking; positive vote, positive moves for the future.

Regards Mark