Day: August 20, 2021

Brazil: Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon hits highest annual level in a decade.

Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon hits highest annual level in a decade

Rainforest lost 10,476 sq km between August 2020 and July 2021, report says, despite increasing global concern

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has hit the highest annual level in a decade, a new report has shown, despite increasing global concern over the accelerating devastation since President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019.

Between August 2020 and July 2021, the rainforest lost 10.476 square kilometers – an area nearly seven times bigger than greater London and 13 times the size of New York City, according to data released by Imazon, a Brazilian research institute that has been tracking the Amazon deforestation since 2008. The figure is 57% higher than in the previous year and is the worst since 2012.

“Deforestation is still out of control,” Carlos Souza, a researcher at Imazon said. “Brazil is going against the global climate agenda that is seeking to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

Amazon tragedy repeats itself as Brazil rainforest goes up in smoke

Read moreSouza called for the urgent resumption of government actions to stop the destruction, including the enforcement of illegal agriculture-led deforestation in the region, which has been impaired by budget cuts for the environment ministry and environmental protection agencies.

Even as he faces accusations of systematically dismantling environmental protections, Bolsonaro has deployed thousands of soldiers to combat illegal deforestation and fires.

But the policy has proved ineffective, said Marcio Astrini, the executive-secretary of the organisation Climate Observatory.

“The data shows that it didn’t work,” said Astrini. “No army operation will be able to mask or reverse the attacks of the federal government against the forest.”

Astrini said that the deforestation rates in 2021 are expected to be almost 50% higher than in 2018, before Bolsonaro took office.

In June, then-environment minister Ricardo Salles resigned amid a criminal investigation over allegations that a police investigation into illegal Amazon logging was blocked.

But the ministry’s leadership “hasn’t shown any progress,” Astrini said.

“The measures that benefit the export of illegal timber – the reason why Salles had to leave office – are still in place,” he said.

The new figures were released as lawmakers held a public hearing to push for changes in Brazil’s environmental policies.

“We are going through a very tough moment in Brazilian history. There’s a lot of denialism, and many attempts to weaken our environmental policy,” senator Eliziane Gama told the hearing.

Regards Mark

The Guardian (London) – brill as always.

USA: Breaking 20/8/21 – Six-year-old orca dies unexpectedly at Sea World San Diego just one day after first showing signs that she was sick.

Amaya - whose name means 'night rain' in Japanese - was the youngest orca at SeaWorld, where her mother Kalia and father Ulises still live
Amaya – whose name means ‘night rain’ in Japanese – was the youngest orca at SeaWorld, where her mother Kalia and father Ulises still live

Breaking 20/8/21:

Six-year-old orca dies unexpectedly at Sea World San Diego just one day after first showing signs that she was sick

  • An orca named Amaya, six, fell ill on August 18 and died unexpectedly a day later at SeaWorld San Diego 
  • The cause of death remains unknown and a post-mortem exam is underway 
  • Amaya was the youngest orca at the SeaWorld location, where her mother and father still live
  • According to SeaWorld’s website, a female orca’s life expectancy in captivity is 29 years – versus between 50 and 80 years in the wild 
  • The death comes as the park continues to face controversy over keeping orcas 
  • In 2014 SeaWorld San Diego announced plans to double the size of the orca tank but it never happened and nine whales still live in 6million gallons of water  

Amaya’s death was met with a lot of criticism on social media by users who were unhappy that the orca lived her entire life in captivity.

‘She was meant to be born in the ocean. Captivity kills,’ one user tweeted. 

Peta on Twitter has been a longstanding critic of SeaWorld on both coasts – slamming them for drugging, breeding and not properly caring for the orcas they are keeping at the park and starting the hashtag ‘BoycottSeaWorld’. 

Many used the hashtag – along with ‘EmptyTheTanks’ – after hearing that Amaya died. has reached out to SeaWorld San Diego for comment. 

It’s not the first time animal activists have used the hashtags to band together against SeaWorld. The park has faced a longstanding controversy over keeping orcas. 

According to SeaWorld’s website, a female orca’s life expectancy in captivity is 29 years – versus between 50 and 80 years in the wild – while males are expected to live up to 17 years in captivity and about 30 in the wild.

In 2019 two ex-SeaWorld Orlando trainers claimed that the whales were drugged and deprived of food to encourage them to perform. 

John Hargrove and Jeffrey Ventre alleged the animals ‘self-mutilated’ due to the stress of training and performing hungry by doing things such as grinding their teeth and popping their jaws.

Ventre also claimed that the whales would chew concrete and scratch each other with their teeth purely out of boredom. 

If the whales became too aggressive, the ex-trainer said they were given Valium to calm down. 

SeaWorld Orlando denied the accusations.

In 2014 SeaWorld San Diego announced plans to double the size of their killer whale tank – in a project dubbed the Blue World Project – in response to a wave of backlash they experienced after the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish.

SeaWorld detailed plans to build 100million-gallon tanks that covered 1.5 acres and were 50 feet deep and 350 feet in length. 

The habitat was supposed to include stimulating features for the whales such as a foe fast water current. 

The original announcement said the facility was slated to open to the public four years later, with similar changes to be made at its Orlando and San Antonio locations to follow.

However, the new facility was never constructed and their tanks still only hold six million gallons of water for nine orcas.

Six-year-old orca dies unexpectedly at Sea World San Diego | Daily Mail Online

Regards Mark

Time to shut down all these shit holes and return the animals to where they belong – the wild.

The dirty tricks of the transport mafia

Report from the Animals ‘Angels organisation

Animals ‘Angels inspects animal transports during a heat wave in northern Greece. We meet an “old friend” – a transporter whom we have already observed repeatedly – and in whose transports we have repeatedly found the same violations: too many lambs cooped up on four loading areas, at far too high temperatures.

We are all the more astonished at the first moment when he drives over the Romanian border to Greece early in the morning.

The temperatures are still mild and the lambs are only loaded on three loading levels (as has been required by the veterinary offices in Romania since this year).
The lambs have more space above them, which should allow better air circulation.
But appearances are deceptive.

Our faint hope is soon shattered when the truck pulls off the freeway and parks on a remote street.
The drivers load additional animals in a stall.
The Romanian lambs are meanwhile being squeezed into four loading levels to make room for the new animals.

The Romanian arrangement is thus boldly bypassed, much to the suffering of the lambs: They are now standing close to each other on four loading levels, can neither lift their heads nor reach the drinking troughs, let alone regulate their body temperature. They suffer from enormous heat stress.

If this is not enough, the newly loaded sheep, lambs and goats are not even identified as required by law.
We immediately alert the authorities to have the transport checked.

After countless calls, he is stopped by the police at noon. Shortly afterwards, two vets arrive. We describe the incidents, the control by the authorities is quick.

Because at temperatures of 38 ° C, the confinement in the vehicle quickly becomes a death trap for the animals.
We accompany the animals to their destination and measure up to 40 ° C outside temperature.
The heat, combined with the narrowness, the accumulation of ammonia gases and the lack of access to water must have been unbearable for Raluca, Barbala and their fellows.

Our complaint is already written. We are committed to ensuring that this carrier is no longer allowed to transport animals.

And I mean…Always new tricks to cover up their criminal offenses; this only shows that no transport company is afraid of the law.
A fine is useless, it could be paid from the postage account.
Professional ban for the transport company, that could be useful

My best regards to all, Venus

Major UN biodiversity summit delayed for third time due to pandemic. Another Reason To Ignore The Pending Catastrophe ? – Covid Is A Good Excuse For Everything Now.

Major UN biodiversity summit delayed for third time due to pandemic

Cop15 negotiations to set this decade’s targets on nature to be split into two, with face-to-face meetings delayed until 2022.

A key United Nations biodiversity summit has been delayed for a third time due to the pandemic, the Chinese environment ministry has announced, as environmentalists pledged the delay would “not mean taking our foot off the pedal”.

In a statement, the Chinese ministry of ecology and environment confirmed that Cop15, the biggest biodiversity summit in a decade, would be delayed, and that negotiations for this decade’s targets will be split into two phases so that governments can meet face-to-face in Kunming, China, in the first half of 2022.

The talks had been scheduled for October this year after two previous delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first phase of the meeting, which will be largely procedural, will be held in the Chinese city between 11 and 15 October, with most people attending virtually. Countries will then negotiate the targets for the global biodiversity framework that governments will aim to meet by the end of the decade in Kunming from 25 April to 8 May 2022.

The draft text of the framework includes proposals to reduce pesticide use by two-thirds, eliminate plastic pollution and protect 30% of the Earth’s land and sea.

In a statement, the Chinese environment ministry said it would continue to work with the UN to overcome the impact of the pandemic and fulfil its obligations as a host country.

Li Shuo, a policy adviser for Greenpeace China who has been following the biodiversity negotiations closely, said: “Given the urgency of the biodiversity crisis, the decision to delay talks is not ideal. But in light of the global pandemic and the need for face-to-face negotiations, it is an inevitable choice.

A cow standing on one of the largest disposal sites in north-east India, in Guwahati, 5 June 2020.

“Today’s decision does not mean a negotiation holiday. In light of the flaws in the recently released first draft, much work still needs to be done to address the implementation and support deficit in the CBD.

“The partial convening of Cop15 in October must demonstrate ambitious leadership. It should be a high level opportunity to provide real impetus to the Kunming process.

“China needs to understand that much of the responsibilities for the success of Cop15 are on its shoulder now. It needs to rise up, otherwise the global nature protection agenda will fall.”

Zac Goldsmith, Britain’s minister for the environment, said: “We need to tackle the biodiversity crisis head on, and this delay will not mean taking our foot off the pedal. As president of the recent G7, we are encouraged to see major progress on finance for nature, on cleaning up global supply chains, on efforts to tackle deforestation and with the global commitment to protect 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030. The upcoming G20 meeting gives us a chance to build on that momentum ahead of Cop26 later this year. We will continue to press countries to join us in ramping up efforts to protect and restore nature.”

Brian O’Donnell, director of Campaign for Nature, said: “It is critically important for all parties and civil society to equitably participate in the development of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and we must stand in solidarity with all people battling the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. There is no pause button for biodiversity loss. Human destruction of nature continues unabated, and governments do not need to wait for a global deal to take action and redirect finance to urgently protect our planet.”

Beccy Speight, chief executive of the RSPB, said the delay was understandable but the crisis in the natural world had not been put on hold. In November, the UK will host the UN Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.

Speight said: “Our leaders must take this opportunity for the UK to live up to our ambition to show global leadership on the environment … and use this time to start to put the words and commitments of the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature into domestic action. This will send a powerful message to the international community that our words are being backed by urgent action to revive our world with clear, legally binding targets to halt and reverse the wildlife decline in the UK by 2030.”

Find more age of extinction coverage here, and follow biodiversity reporters Phoebe Weston and Patrick Greenfield on Twitter for all the latest news and features

Regards Mark

‘The Guardian’ (London) – Brilliant as always.

New Kate Winslet-Narrated Film Set To Explore Ecological Impact Of Diets.

Eating Our Way To Extinction Film
Eating Our Way To Extinction: Both Entertaining and alarming, this powerful documentary will change the way you look at the food industry – forever! Credit: Eating Our Way To Extinction

New Kate Winslet-Narrated Film Set To Explore Ecological Impact Of Diets

‘Time is running out’, pleads Kate Winslet in the film dubbed to deliver ‘hard truths’ about food production

A new documentary narrated by academy award winner Kate Winslet and featuring Richard Branson is unraveling the impact of diet on the ecological and climate crisisEating Our Way To Extinction specifically focuses on animal agriculture to deliver ‘hard truths’ about our global changing landscapes.

Eating Our Way To Extinction

It takes audiences on a journey around the world from Scotland to the Amazon Rainforest, hearing stories about food production and its effect on the environment.

Throughout the documentary, people at the very forefront of the climate crisis relay their experiences. It also features local activists and celebrities, as well as scientists who add their verdicts on ‘the most pressing issue of our generation’.

Its goal is to create conversations and help people, industry leaders, and governments question their ‘everyday choices’.

‘When food costs the earth, who pays the price?’

The trailer, which was released this week, depicts shocking examples of natural disasters and human destruction  – among pictures of farmed animals. And it’s dubbed to ‘make you never look at your food or the food industry in the same way again.

‘Time is running out’, Winslet – who is also executive producer – exclaims. The film is directed by Ludo Brockway and Otto Brockway.

Moreover, renowned actor Leonardo DiCaprio says it’s is the film future generations ‘will be wishing everyone watched today’.

Eating Our Way To Extinction is out on September 16 via a limited theatrical release for one night only.

To book tickets visit the website here

The digital release will be coming this Autumn, on multiple online platforms. We will release more information as we get it. You can sign up for more information here

Regards Mark

Mississippi: Simmons’ Cruelty Catfish slaughterhouse

Simmons’ Cruelty supplies Cracker Barrel and Kroger, among others

In the fall of 2020, Animal Equality investigated Simmons Farm Raised Catfish slaughterhouse, located in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Simmons is one of the largest USDA inspected catfish slaughterhouses in the U.S., supplying grocery stores Kroger, Save a Lot, and Piggly Wiggly, as well as restaurant chains Cracker Barrel and Captain D’s.
Our investigative team found numerous instances of animal abuse and suffering—incidents that are in violation of existing state animal cruelty laws.
For example, we documented fish kept out of water for prolonged periods up to an hour before they were finally beheaded while conscious.

Contrary to the investigator’s findings, Simmons claimed the fish are processed “within 30 minutes” and in a “swift {and} sterile” manner.
Animal Equality filed complaints with state attorneys general in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, alleging that Simmons’s false and misleading claims about its products and production practices constitute unfair or deceptive trade practices under those states’ consumer protection laws.

In response, Simmons agreed to remove from its website the claim that the fish are processed “within 30 minutes.”

Simmons Farm Raised Catfish slaughterhouse kills 21,000 catfish per day—animals who are raised in the company’s intensive confinement ponds

Continue reading “Mississippi: Simmons’ Cruelty Catfish slaughterhouse”