Hundreds of green stickerswith this slogan have been sticking for days in a medium-sized town of Neukirchen-Vluyn in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Even election posters did not spare the unknown perpetrators. Corona is a reason for the city.
“In the course of the pandemic, the number of cases of property damage and vandalism has increased overall,” said MayorRalf Köpke.
The local hunters have also been struggling with vandalism for months, a hunter says “We have even found stickers like this on high seats,” says the press spokesman for the Wesel District Hunters’ Association, he assumes that there are juvenile perpetrators.
“The stickers are piling up in front of schools in particular.”
Both the city and the affected hunters have now filed charges against unknown persons.
And I mean…We thank the activists very much.
We would also like to thank the Wesel District Hunters’ Association for the nice photo with the sticker.
Truth is hard to bear, but baptizing it as vandalism is sacrilege
‘All the time they were simply planning to murder him’: Geronimo’s devastated owner blasts DEFRA and demands a witness at alpaca’s post-mortem after he was dragged away from her farm under police escort and executed
Geronimo the alpaca has been executed after Defra officials today seized the animal and drove him away
Police clashed with animal rights protesters defending the alpaca at the farm in Wickwar this morning
The High Court ruled Geronimo must be destroyed for testing positive for bovine tuberculosis twice
But its owner Helen Macdonald has long insisted that the Enferplex test used on the alpaca is flawed
Geronimo the alpaca’s devastated owner has slammed Defra’s ‘bad faith and duplicity’ and demanded an independent witness be present at his post-mortem after he was today seized from his Gloucestershire farm by a Government team in boiler suits and masks and executed.
Helen Macdonald, a veterinary nurse who brought Geronimo to England from New Zealand in 2017, accused Environment Secretary George Eustice and other senior Defra officials of ignoring her pleas for ‘constructive dialogue’ for two weeks.
The four-year battle to save Geronimo after he twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis ended this morning and the sad moment he was tied up and carted away was captured by the live webcam set up to watch the South American mammal a month ago.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed around an hour later they had put the animal down, just days before the destruction warrant it won at the High Court expired.
A post-mortem will be undertaken by veterinary pathologists from the from the premises and euthanised by staff from the Animal. Defra said this will be followed by a bacteriological culture of selected tissue samples, which can take up to three months.
Speaking at her farm in Wickwar, Miss Macdonald said: ‘All the time they were simply planning to murder Geronimo. This is yet another appalling demonstration of bad faith and duplicity by the Secretary of State and everyone at Defra.’
She added that she is ‘absolutely disgusted’ with the Government, which she said had used a ‘falsified test that has no validity’ on the alpaca.
Police clashed with protesters defending the alpaca at the farm this morning as more than 30 uniformed officers and Defra officials tied a rope around Geronimo before dragging him to a trailer and driving him away for destruction.
‘This morning, Geronimo has been manhandled out of my farm,’ Miss Macdonald said. Asked how force was used, she replied: ‘You’ll have to ask the poor witnesses that witnessed him being rounded up and dragged into a horsebox. These are barbaric actions of unscientific, abusive people in Government.’
She called for Mr Eustace and Lord Benyon, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defra, to go to the farm to speak to her, as well as an independent witness to be present when a post-mortem examination is carried out on the alpaca.
‘Over the last two weeks we have tried to engage constructively and persistently with George Eustice, Lord Benyon, George Eustice’s special advisors, senior Defra civil servants and multiple MPs and government scientists,’ she said. ‘Now we know they were not only ignoring our persistent pleas for constructive dialogue, but had no intention of engaging with us.’
Defra said the alpaca was euthanised by staff from the Animal and Plant Health Agency in order to control the spread of TB. Miss Macdonald insists his positive tests were false. A Defra spokesman confirmed that Geronimo has never tested negative for bovine TB, and that another test for the disease will be conducted during the post-mortem.
Webcam footage showed Geronimo make a break for freedom from his ‘captors’ and run into a field with other alpacas. Its supporters – the ‘Alpaca Angels’, who have kept watch over the stud – previously vowed to thwart the executioners by using deploy (think that should be ‘decoy’ – WAV) alpacas.
Geronimo has been in isolation, but four similar-looking alpacas are in an adjacent field with an open gate in between. Today, several officials followed the alpaca carrying rope and chased the pack around the meadow. Geronimo was then lead back into his barn before he was taken into a horsebox and driven away under police escort.
Supporters had been camping out at the farm to try to prevent officials arriving to destroy Geronimo and some were seen talking to police as the animal was removed. One woman was arrested after spraying officers with a water pistol, but was quickly de-arrested. Others sobbed after Geronimo was rounded up and driven away, and accused Defra of breaking the law.
Miss Macdonald, who previously vowed to stand in front of a marksman to protect him, was nowhere to be seen as the alpaca was taken away.
She claimed she had been ‘duped’ by the Government and had expected Defra vets to give Geronimo a stay of execution. But when police arrived, Miss Macdonald said she had no choice but to leave as she ‘would have been arrested for obstruction’. She also claimed that Defra ‘will try and fudge the post-mortem’, calling it a ‘complete set-up’.
Miss Macdonald insists the Enferplex test is flawed and says Geronimo twice tested positive because he had repeatedly been primed with tuberculin – a purified protein derivative of bovine TB bacteria. She has received support from around the world, with more than 140,000 people signing a petition against Geronimo’s destruction.
Earlier this month, a High Court judge refused her lawyer’s application for a temporary injunction to stop the destruction order and reopen the case.
As well as alpacas, badgers have been a victim of the fight against bovine TB, with mass culling employed to stop the spread since 2013, sparking a huge public backlash. The Government said 27,000 cattle were slaughtered in 2020 to curb the spread of the disease.
Pen Farthing’s friend Dominic Dyer, an animal rights campaigner, tweeted: ‘My thoughts are with Helen Macdonald one of the most bravest & courageous people I know that fought a David & Goliath battle with Defra to save the life of her precious Geronimo’.
Downing Street has expressed sympathy for Miss Macdonald, with the Prime Minister’s official spokesman saying: ‘It’s obviously highly distressing for someone to lose animals to TB and that’s a situation that farmers sadly have to face.
‘Our sympathies are with Ms Macdonald and any others that are affected by this terrible disease.’
In a statement, Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: ‘This is a terribly sad situation and our sympathies remain with all those affected by this devastating disease. No one wants to have to cull infected animals if it can be avoided, but we need to follow the scientific evidence and cull animals that have tested positive for bTB to minimise spread of this insidious disease and ultimately eradicate the biggest threat to animal health in this country.
‘Not only is this essential to protect the livelihoods of our farming industry and rural communities, but it is also necessary to avoid more TB cases in humans.’
The destruction warrant was valid until Saturday, September 4 and Miss Macdonald had previously called on Environment Secretary George Eustice to allow Geronimo to be tested for a third time or let him live to aid research into the disease.
One supporter named Ray Puttock said despite the tragic news, the Geronimo saga has brought many supporters together. He said: ‘We’ve all become very good friends here. People here weren’t my friends when they turned up, now they’ll always be my friends.’
On the heavy police presence, he said: ”I tried coming in two different ways and got stopped at both. I saw five cars and three police motorbikes. That’s without the vehicles that were here.
‘It would be very interesting to ask the Avon and Somerset control room today ‘how grade one many grade one blue shouts were you unable to attend because of all the officers that were at the alpacas?’
‘They are assisting the state, they are not assisting the people, the community they’re supposed to serve. Just disgraceful.’
An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm officers are in attendance at a farm in the Wickwar area of South Gloucestershire this morning to support the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), who are executing a court warrant.
‘We’ll always support our partner agencies to carry out their lawful duties and our role is to prevent a breach of the peace and to ensure public safety is protected.’
A Defra spokesman refused to comment on ‘operational matters’ when approached by MailOnline, but said in a statement: ‘We are sympathetic to Ms Macdonald’s situation – just as we are with everyone with animals affected by this terrible disease.
‘It is for this reason that the testing results and options for Geronimo have been very carefully considered by Defra, the Animal and Plant Health Agency and its veterinary experts, as well as passing several stages of thorough legal scrutiny.
‘Bovine tuberculosis is one of the greatest animal health threats we face today and causes devastation and distress for farming families and rural communities across the country while costing the taxpayer around £100million every year.
‘Therefore, while nobody wants to cull animals, we need to do everything we can to tackle this disease, stop it spreading and to protect the livelihoods of those affected.’
Miss Macdonald said: ‘I fled, if I had stayed there they would have arrested me for obstruction. That would have played into their hands because I wouldn’t have been able to keep fighting for him. They took him alive – we’ve been totally duped. It’s an outrage.’
‘We don’t know where they’ve taken him but there are still a few hours to try to save his life. We have got to get this stopped.’
She sent a text message to reporters at the farm which said: ‘They took him alive, get after Defra’. Her Twitter account @alpacapower posted: ‘DEFRA have arrived! We are asking once again for an urgent meeting with George Eustice. Please don’t execute Geronimo.’
Campaigner Graham Edwards, 54, said: ‘They have broken their own laws and protocols – if the animal has TB they are not allowed to move it. It should have been slaughtered here but they wouldn’t do it because there are cameras here to record everything that happened.’
Mr Edwards, from Reading, has spent two weeks camping at the farm, said: ‘They came mob-handed – there were more than 30 police here. They pushed through a fence, they came to do a job and there was no stopping them. I was told the vets were Spanish – not even English.
‘It was supposed to have been put down here, not taken away. We didn’t expect them to take it away. They are a bunch of hypocrites – I’m gutted, we all are.’
More than a dozen leading vets called on the Government to halt the culling of Geronimo after questioning his tuberculosis diagnosis, and instead urged the animal to be studied for science.
The 13 vets – who include a former senior official at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – said they had ‘grave reservations’ about the two positive tests the animal returned in 2017 and they ‘may well represent a false positive’.
Among the signatories to the letter are Professor Ranald Munroe, former head of pathology for Defra’s Veterinary Laboratories Agency and Dr Iain McGill, veterinary scientific adviser to Ms Macdonald.
In the letter, they write: ‘It is our professional opinion that the diagnosis in Geronimo’s case is unsafe, and may well represent a false positive, due to the fact that Geronimo had been repeatedly ‘antibody boosted’ or primed – five times in his lifetime with four injections of bovine tuberculin and one of avian tuberculin in the run up to the final Enferplex blood test which confirmed the ‘positive’ diagnosis of ‘suspicion of disease’.’
They said Mr Eustice had the power to overturn Geronimo’s destruction warrant and order he be observed for scientific research.
‘We could learn a great deal from Geronimo were he to be compassionately studied, but very little from his death,’ they said.
‘We believe Geronimo’s case shines a light on the shortcomings of the current bTB testing policy, and gives an opportunity for a comprehensive review of the bovine TB testing and control policy, based on science and for the health and wellbeing of farmers, cattle, alpacas, badgers, the environment and the public.
‘Given the mental anguish that Helen MacDonald has had to endure these past four years, and the publicity surrounding the case, we would urge Secretary of State for Defra, George Eustice and his team to discuss matters with us and Ms MacDonald to find a way out of this impasse.’
Miss Macdonald had called for an urgent meeting with the Government, pleading: ‘We are requesting an urgent meeting with Environment Secretary George Eustice, and really hope to hear back from Defra.
‘It is naturally a terribly traumatic time for Geronimo and myself, and everyone else who has been supporting us over the last few weeks. But we remain confident that there are ways forward to save Geronimo, and that Defra will find a way to do the right thing.’
Last week, more than a dozen vets said they have ‘grave reservations’ about the two positive tests the eight-year-old animal returned in 2017 and that they ‘may well represent a false positive’.
Earlier this month, a High Court judge refused her lawyer’s application for a temporary injunction to stop the destruction order and reopen the case.
Miss Macdonald said that when Defra officials do attend her farm to euthanise Geronimo, she would not break the law.
Supporters have also been camping out at her farm in case officials arrive to destroy him. They have been receiving regular deliveries of supplies from well-wishers, including tea bags, coffee, sugar, and vegan food.
As well as alpacas, badgers have been a victim of the fight against bovine TB, with mass culling employed to stop the spread since 2013, sparking a huge public backlash.
The Government insists that all the evidence on the animal’s condition has been ‘looked at very carefully’.
Gabonese minister takes part in patrol after terrifying footage of two humpback whales in a fishing net.
On August 4, a Sea Shepherd drone flew over a purse seine net laid out by a European fishing vessel around a school of tuna.
Terrifying images of two humpback whales were captured within the net trying to break free.
Despite repeated requests to open the net, the humpback whales fought desperately for over an hour to escape.
Sea Shepherds inflatable boat and the PONT SAINT LOUIS
The drone was operated from Sea Shepherd’s ship BOB BARKER, which is currently patrolling Gabonese waters for the sixth year in a row.
As part of the partnership with the Gabonese authorities, fishing vessels with a fishing license are inspected in Gabon’s territorial waters to ensure compliance with the law.
When OPERATION ALBACORE – the campaign to end illegal, unregulated and undocumented fishing in Gabonese waters – began in 2015, fishery observers regularly reported of purse seine vessels using whales and whale sharks as live attractants.
The animals were deliberately enclosed with nets in order to catch the tuna that gathered around them.
As a result, the Gabonese government, led by Fisheries Minister Biendi Maganga-Moussavou, banned this practice.
Purse seiners have been required to open the nets immediately if there are whales or whale sharks in them – even if it means losing a tuna catch.
Minister Biendi Maganga-Moussavou and Captain Peter Hammarstedt
“Even if the two endangered humpback whales were ultimately released, every minute of added stress reduces the chances of survival after liberation,” said Captain Peter Hammarstedt, Sea Shepherd’s Director of Campaigns.
In purse seine fishing, a large net is laid out in a ring around a school of fish.
Then the net is pulled together at the lower end and closed.
When Minister Maganga-Moussavou was shown the harrowing footage, he decided to join the Gabonese fisheries inspectors, environmental officers, marines and the Sea Shepherd crew on patrols on board the BOB BARKER for a few days (!!)
Minister Biendi Maganga-Moussavou and Captain Peter Hammarstedt.
“I wanted to see the practices of the purse seine fleet with my own eyes.
At the same time, I wanted to send a clear message that illegal fishing activities in the waters of Gabon will not be tolerated. I drove over 190 kilometers from Libreville to the maritime border with the neighboring country São Tomé and Príncipe to show that the Gabonese government monitors every square kilometer of its territorial waters and that OPERATION ALBACORE has my full support and that of the head of state Ali Bongo Ondimba “ said Minister Maganga-Moussavou
Minister Maganga-Moussavou has also decided to impose penalties on the ship that refused to open its nets.
Minister Biendi Maganga-Moussavou inspects the cargo from a purse seine ship.
“The publication of these shocking imagery, the punishment of the ship and my own participation in the patrol will have a deterrent effect on future illegal activities”, Minister Maganga-Moussavou said.
On traditional farms, chickens live a life of pure misery.
They are bred to grow at an alarmingly unnatural rate, which causes leg deformities, organ failure, and heart attacks in these baby birds.
Each flock, which consists of tens of thousands of birds, are kept in dirty, windowless sheds. They are forced to live in their own waste with ammonia levels so concentrated that many suffer from painful chemical burns.
Then these birds are brought to slaughter, they are violently shackled upside down. Their throats are then slit, often while they’re still conscious.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Over 200 brands in the United States have adopted the “Better Chicken Commitment”, a comprehensive set of welfare reforms that address the worst abuses suffered by chickens on today’s farms.
Even Home Chef’s competitors, including Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Sun Basket, have stepped up and put an end to the most horrific practices.
Pat Vihtelic has the power and responsibility to address the animal cruelty allowed in Home Chef’s chicken supply chain. Please join us in calling on him to eliminate the worst abuses for animals by publicly committing to higher chicken welfare.
Modern chickens are bred to grow so large, so quickly that their legs and organs cannot keep up. Heart attacks, organ failure, and crippling leg deformities are a common result. Many birds die from not being able to reach their food or water.
As standard industry practice, chickens are forced to live in a completely barren environment.
Because there is no set standard for cleaning the substrate on which they live, ammonia from the urine and feces covers the floor and causes burns on the chickens’ bellies and feet.
They are subjected to near-constant, low-intensity artificial lighting with short periods of continuous darkness and virtually no stimulating resources or ability to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching, and foraging.
Most chickens spend their entire lives packed in sheds with tens of thousands of other birds. Such poor stocking density leads to numerous welfare issues, especially when coupled with low cleanliness standards.
An animals rights activist raised concern on deaths of 300 stray dogs dumped near a lake in southern India’sAndhra Pradesh state.
Srilatha Challapalli, a treasurer of the Challapalli charitable trust and Fight for Animals activist alleges poisoning among the street in dogs by Lingapalem village authorities in an attempt to reduce their population in the area.
Challapalli claims that the local authority hiredanimal killers to poison the strays on 24th of July, in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district, instead of sterilizing them.
“After receiving the information, I visited the spot and found many dog carcasses. They were in a semi-decomposed state. In my inquiry I found that the Lingapalem local village officials hired some animal killers and injected the dogs with poison and killed them,” she said.
A heartbreaking scene was discovered near a lake in southern India — the bodies of 300 dogs had been cruelly disposed of in a mass grave in the village of Lingapalem. Local animal welfare activists have reason to believe that someone individually injected each of these poor pups with poison before disposing of them so callously.
Police from Dharmajigudem, a neighboring village, have already started an investigation.
But the poisonings were apparently ordered by local Lingapalem authorities themselves, so we need to make sure this investigation is thorough, accurate, and free from any corruption (?)
Show police that the world is watching by adding your name!
These 300 dogs were actually meant to be humanely spayed or neutered, and then released. Those are India’s official government guidelines on how to deal with an overpopulation of stray dogs.
But according to Challapalli charitable trust, a local organization that works on all sorts of animal issues, Lingapalem local authorities hired “animal killers” to do away with the defenseless dogs completely, breaking with official protocol — and the law itself.
The Animal Equality Foundation has sent a letter to the National Association of Porcine Veterinarians requesting their involvement to put an end to the practice of “tail-tapping” on Spanishfarms.
The EU ban on routinely tail docking is now included in Directive 120/2008 / EC (Pig Directive). However, it first came into force almost 27 years ago. Despite this, the vast majority of piglets are still routinely mutilated.
A presentation by the European Commission last year reported on the audits they carried out in nine Member States in 2017-19.
The Commission said that 99.5-100% of pigs still have their tails docked. This constitutes a violation of the specific provisions of the Directive.
In the letter, Animal Equality also states that the European Commission has recently confirmed that the enforcement measures adopted by the Member States in relation to the requirements of the Pig Directive for the prevention of tail biting are unsatisfactory.
In particular, even the action plans submitted to date by most Member States do not address one or more known risk factors for tail biting.
In such a bleak context, their role as pig veterinarians becomes even more vital in educating, mentoring and providing solutions to avoid routine tail docking.
Animal Equality demands the involvement of the National Association of Swine Veterinarians to put an end to this cruel practice.
This practice causes suffering to the animals and infections derived from its execution, often carried out by untrained workers.
It is done because due to the crowded conditions that the pigs endure, bite each other.
Animal Equality denounces that it is carried out routinely and that the focus should be on the extreme hygienic-sanitary and overcrowded conditions that animals endure, which cause them to attack each other.
It is later evening here in England now (2130hrs), but I have just been watching the badgers in my garden having something to eat. There were 2 this evening; probably a boar (male) and a sow (female). I give them something to eat every night; as it gives me the pleasure of having the visit, and by now, I feel confident that they know through instinct that they will have a nice feed, and also, they are safe and free from injury in my garden.
I am lucky, I know, as a lot of people never even see a live badger, let alone have them in their garden every night. They arrive by way of a pathway, or ‘run’ located in woodland at the rear of the house. They normally live as family groups in ‘setts’, homes which are handed down through the generations; sometimes being centuries old. Under British law, they are a protected animal, and any person must never interfere with a sett or the animals which live in it. Quite right too.
Each night I set out food for them to come and enjoy – they love savoury little cheese flavoured savoury nibbles, crunchy peanut breakfast cereal, loads of chopped up apples from the garden trees, grapes (their favourite I think); and a chocolate covered peanut bar finely cut up into small bits. I throw it all into an area of about 2 square metres, so that can forage for the food, as well of giving them both an equal share in what is on offer. Sometimes, when I feel extra good, I make and cut up a peanut butter sandwich for them, as badgers and peanut ‘things’ go well together.
Badgers are also known as ‘Brocks’; but you find that 99 people out of 100 still refer to them simply as the ‘badger’. Badgers are members of the ‘Mustelid’ family, and are closely related to weasels and otters. Mustelid comes from the Latin word for the weasel; or ‘mustela’; which is from the word for mouse. But they are anything but a mouse; they are normally about (I would estimate) 50-60cm in length, and are utterly distinctive by having a beautiful black and white striped head.
Badgers don’t drink a lot, despite water being available for them. Instead, they get their fluid intake from the huge amount for earthworms that is their favourite food. In dry spells this can be a problem for them to find worms; but hey, this is England; and it is almost always raining here; which brings the worms to the surface of lawns etc.
If really pushed, badgers will also eat mice, rats, toads, wasps, beetles and even hedgehogs. I love seeing hedgehogs as they are more rare nowdays; but you either have one or the other, as hedgehogs and badgers do not mix ! If a badger does eat a hedgehog, it only leaves the skin and prickles; a kind of baked potato leftover.
The wonderful black and white stripes down their head lets other animals know that they are fierce and strong; and will defend themselves. As a pair foraging in the garden; I have never seen any aggression by them to the 5 or 6 foxes which visit every night. In fact, they sometimes are within easy reach of each other; but my own experience is that they take each other without any problems or showing signs of aggression.
Badgers of one family group have a ‘clan odour’; and they communicate with others in their clan by means of a musky smell which is secreted from a gland located under their tail. Every badger has its own clan odour, which is used for used for establishing family identity as well as scent marking. ‘Clan odours’ are made by all the badgers in any sett continually swapping scents with each other; just like us having a perfume or after shave which is regular to others about us as individuals.
Female badgers, or ‘sows’; can mate with several ‘boars’, or males of the species, even in just one year. They can mate at any time of the year, which is a little unusual, as Spring tends to be the normal time for wildlife. Spring is when all the multi fathered young are born to the sow. She is unique in that she can ‘hold’ fertilized eggs in her body, switching off her pregnancy until there is adequate food source available for the young – now is that not amazing ?
Most badgers die before they reach the age of seven years; and only 60% of the young cubs will make it into a second year of life. The UK has the highest concentration of badgers of any country; with over 300,000; the 80’s seeing a rise of around 70%. This is despite a culling programme organised by the government on this ‘protected species’, in the belief that they spread Bovine tuberculosis in cattle. This is really a policy to please farmers, but is something which is shown by all the scientific studies to have no real effect. Culling badgers causes the family group to break up, and they spread far and wide, which is not the way to control disease spread, even if they were to carry it, which many (including myself) say is utter rubbish. Culling is undertaken simply to get votes from landowners and farmers; nothing else.
Well I hope you have enjoyed a few facts about the badgers of Britain; I will always act in their defence, especially where the culling is orchestrated. I hope to continue watching and enjoying ‘my badger’ visits every night; and long may it continue.