Day: November 23, 2021

India and its live animal markets

PETA India exposes Illegal Indian wildlife Markets, dogs sold for meat.

For Immediate Release: 19 November 2021

Contact: Hiraj Laljani;
Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman;

Guwahati – As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and during World Vegan Month (November) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is releasing its latest findings regarding dogs used for meat and wildlife meat markets in northeast India.

The video documentation reveals filthy conditions risking disease transmission and rampant violations of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972;
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; and the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

The video footage is available for download upon request.

“Filthy, illegal meat markets torture animals and act as petri dishes,” says PETA India Advocacy Associate Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman.
“PETA India is calling on officials to do a sweep and shut them down, for everyone’s sake.”

At Nute Bazaar in Manipur, the flesh of barking deer, wild boars, and frogs was illegally sold and buyers and sellers touched the charred animal parts with their bare hands.

At Senapati Bazaar, an illegally hunted deer’s severed head was passed around.
At markets in Nagaland, live eels, mice, frogs, and birds were openly sold and workers handled dead animals without wearing gloves.

Live dogs were also illegally sold for their meat – puppies were caged, and older dogs’ mouths were tied shut as they were offered for purchase and slaughter.
At Itanagar Market in Arunachal Pradesh, meat of mithun – the state animal – was openly sold.
At every market, blood, sinew, and innards were everywhere.

PETA India has sent letters to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change regarding these markets, urging them to take action against them.

Copies of the letters are available upon request.

COVID-19 is largely believed by experts to have stemmed or spread from a live-animal meat market, and SARS, swine flu, and bird flu have also been linked to the practice of confining and killing animals for food.

Last year, PETA India also released video footage of captured dogs killed and sold for meat in Nagaland, sellers in Manipur handling the charred remains of wild animals – including monkeys, wild boars, porcupines, and deer – and other incidents at other animal markets in the country.

A team from Assam University recently found that numerous primate species are being killed in northeast India over medicinal property myths.

The next pandemic could start in India (???)

All such markets are potential breeding grounds for and opportunities to spread zoonotic diseases (diseases that jump from animals to humans).
COVID-19, H5N1 bird flu, SARS, and H1N1 swine flu are among those zoonotic diseases linked back to the treatment of animals used for food.

The only way to make these markets safe is to close them.

Blood, excrement, and other bodily fluids can easily get on sellers’ and customers’ shoes and be tracked into homes. As the video footage shows, workers who handle the animals often don’t wear protective gear.
Flies swarm around decomposing bodies, and the countertops and floors are bloodstained from slaughtering animals.

PETA India has already written to the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare; Environment, Forest and Climate Change; and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying requesting that they close these cruel and dangerous operations immediately.

And I mean…There is an opinion (including among animal rights activists) that the coronavirus originated in the wildlife markets of Wuhan, China.

It’s an opinion – it’s not yet proven. Not because it is not possible, but because these live animal markets in China and Asia have generally not existed since yesterday, and certainly not since December 2019, when the pandemic broke out.

So we do not know whether “the next pandemic could start in India” and whether closing the animal markets alone will remove this risk.

Finally, the biggest problem in fighting the pandemic is the cramped habitat of many Indians. In some large cities, a third of the population lives in slums, and up to 30 people share a toilet or bathroom.
Access to running water is very limited.

What is certain, however, is that dealing with animals in such markets is particularly cruel.
And that such markets, no matter where in the world, are places of horror for animals.
THAT is the main reason why we need to end animal markets for wild or farm animals around the world.

If we don’t stop destroying nature through factory farming, deforestation, species loss, urbanization, climate change, agribusiness and wildlife trafficking (legal and illegal), then we will not win the battle against viruses.

My best regards to all, Venus

UK: No routine checkups on welfare of fish at slaughter, officials admit.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in a salmon farm cage
Campaigners are calling for farmed fish to be given similar rights to other farmed animals. Photograph: Bluegreen Pictures/Alamy

No routine checkups on welfare of fish at slaughter, officials admit

Campaigners say fish farmed in England, Wales and Scotland face cruelty, with no penalty for those who fail to meet welfare needs

The government has admitted there are no routine checkups on fish welfare at slaughter, after an investigation found no department would take responsibility.

Campaigners have said this means fish face cruelty with no repercussions for those who fail to meet their welfare needs, and have asked that fish are given the same oversight as other farmed animals.

An undercover investigation by Animal Equality into a Scottish salmon slaughterhouse this year showed fish having their gills cut while conscious and being repeatedly and painfully clubbed, with it taking up to seven blows to stun the animals.

Campaigners said the fish faced “vicious and imprecise bludgeoning”, and many fell to the floor to suffocate. Unlike farmed land animals, which have legislation for them to be slaughtered as humanely as possible, the fish farming industry sets its own standards regarding humane slaughter.

A government spokesperson admitted that in England and Wales, there was no routine animal welfare inspection programme at farmed fish processing premises.

While they claim the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha) did checkups in Scotland, freedom of information requests submitted by the Humane League to the Scottish government reveal there is no established process for regular welfare inspections at fish processing sites. The Humane League did not include Northern Ireland in the scope of its investigation.

Apha confirmed that it did not have “a routine programme of official inspections at fish processing sites”.

Scotland is the third biggest producer of farmed salmon in the world. The biggest, Norway, has a law mandating the pre-slaughter stunning of farmed fish. Scotland, England and Wales do not. The most recent estimate, from 2017, was that 22-52 million farmed salmon are farmed and slaughtered in the UK each year.

The same issue applies to trout farming in England. The trout industry has its own certification scheme, Quality Trout UK (QTUK), including standards for pre-slaughter stunning, but these are not enforced by the government and there are no routine checks.

Responses to freedom of information requests show not one public body has a clear understanding of what regime is in place, with the Food Standards Agency, the Fish Health Inspectorate, local government environmental health departments and Apha all confirming they do not conduct checks on fish farms in England. This means no government officials are monitoring fish welfare at the time of killing.

Cordelia Britton, the head of campaigns at the Humane League UK, said: “It is alarming that apparently zero government officials are inspecting fish welfare at slaughter. From our correspondence it seems clear that no relevant agency knows what’s going on, with each institution passing the buck to another. Without proper oversight, cruelty goes unnoticed. It is time for the government to take responsibility for how farmed fish are slaughtered, as they do for other farmed animals.”

Campaigners are calling for farmed fish to be given similar rights to other farmed animals. In the last few years there has been debate among scientists over the extent to which fish can feel pain, which is a growing area of research. In 2018 the science writer Ferris Jabr found that “the collective evidence is now robust enough that biologists and veterinarians increasingly accept fish pain as a reality”.

Dr Vicky Bond, the managing director of the Humane League UK, said: “Fish are often forgotten in discussions and decisions on animal welfare, and this is wholly unjustified. The scientific and public consensus is that they feel pain, so refusing farmed fish the same protections afforded to land animals is completely irrational. The government animal welfare committee suggested the law be updated with detailed stunning requirements back in 1996, and 25 years later farmed fish still have the same inadequate safeguards. This needs to change.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “The UK has some of the highest animal welfare protections in the world, including when animals are slaughtered or killed. We are carefully considering issues raised in the review of the welfare of animals at the time of killing (England) regulations, including detailed protections for the welfare of farmed fish.”

No routine checkups on welfare of fish at slaughter, officials admit | Fish | The Guardian

Guardian – England.

Regards Mark

UK: UK Ministers Accused of ‘Dithering’ as Trophy Hunting Law Delayed Again.

A taxidermy workshop in Namibia, where animal trophies are stuffed.
A taxidermy workshop in Namibia, where animal trophies are stuffed. Photograph: Ton Koene/Alamy

UK ministers accused of ‘dithering’ as trophy hunting law delayed again

‘Animals abroad bill’ aimed at clamping down on trophy hunting and harmful animal experiences pushed back

A law that will clamp down on trophy hunting and prevent people buying harmful animal experiences such as elephant tours meant to be introduced in parliament this autumn been delayed, the Guardian has learned.

The measures should be contained in the animals abroad bill – one of several new pieces of legislation the government has planned to improve animal welfare standards.

However the start of its passage through parliament has been postponed, with ministers accused of “dithering”. The bill was first hoped to be published before the summer recess in July, but has since been pushed back repeatedly.

Frustration at the delay has further been compounded given a public consultation on restricting the import of hunting trophies closed in February 2020, and sources said it was unlikely the government’s response and the bill being published would happen before February 2022.

he hold up was blamed on the pandemic by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which said the final bill would be informed by “continued discussions” with experts.

There are understood to be technical rather than fundamental policy disagreements remaining.

Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting group, said he had been assured the bill is “still alive” but expressed concern there appeared to be “no timetable or target date for bringing it to parliament”.

He said: “The pledge has been in every Queen’s speech since 2019, the prime minister confirmed it at the dispatch box, there’s been an extended public consultation, so the question is how much longer is this going to take?

“Every week that goes by means more animals being senselessly slaughtered for a sick souvenir. There’s a feeling of deja vu among the more sceptical observers. They point to the fact that the government said it would ban lion trophies after the Cecil furore, and then quietly dropped it …

“The government has put in a lot of work to develop appealing policies on conservation and animal welfare, and deserves to get the credit for it. There’s a risk, though, that its reputation could take a hit if it’s seen to be dithering without clear cause.”

Luke Pollard, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, called the delay “another broken promise from this government” and warned it would mean more endangered lions, tigers and other precious wild animals would die.

He said ministers were “failing to deliver” having “abandoned” their initial timetable for passing the bill, and added: “Labour would consign trophy hunting to the history books.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “Our recently published action plan for animal welfare sets out the government’s vision to introduce a range of world-leading reforms to improve the welfare and conservation of animals at home and abroad.

“This year we have already introduced our animal sentience and kept animals bills to parliament and we intend to legislate further to protect animals abroad as soon as parliamentary time allows.”

UK ministers accused of ‘dithering’ as trophy hunting law delayed again | Wildlife | The Guardian

Regards Mark

Wales (UK): Wales Landowner Bans Trail Hunting After Use As Foxhunting Cover.

Dogs follow the trail of wild boar through a wooded area in south-western France.
Dogs follow the trail of wild boar through a wooded area in south-western France. Photograph: Valentine Chapuis/AFP/Getty

Wales landowner bans trail hunting after use as foxhunting cover

Natural Resources Wales says it cannot be sure trail hunting will not be used as smokescreen for illegal activity

One of the biggest landowners in Wales has banned trail hunting after a court ruled that a leading huntsman had encouraged the practice as a smokescreen for illegal foxhunting.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW), a government-sponsored body, said it could not be sure that trail hunting was not still being used as a “cover” for illegal activity so had decided to ban it completely.

The decision was welcomed by hunt saboteurs and animal rights campaigners who say the conviction in October of Mark Hankinson, the director of the Masters of the Foxhounds Association (MFHA), showed that trail hunting was a “fiction”.

Hankinson (below) was found guilty of encouraging or assisting others to commit an offence over his comments in two webinars in front of an audience of more than 100 MFHA members.

In trail hunting, devised after the Hunting Act banned the hunting of foxes with dogs, a “trail layer” goes out ahead of the hunt, dragging a rag coated in an animal scent. Huntsmen cast the hounds to this scent, and follow it to the end of the trail.

Dominic Driver, the head of land stewardship for NRW, said: “The outcome of the court case against a senior leader of the MFHA has resulted in a loss of confidence in the organisation’s ability to ensure its activities are carried out within the law and terms of its agreement.

“In order to assure ourselves properly that trail hunting on our estate wasn’t being used as a cover for illegal activity, we would have to invest in skills and resources that we currently don’t have, to police it properly.

“Given what has historically been a minor use of the land we manage, this does not represent good use of our limited resources. All trail hunting activity on the NRW-managed estate will end with immediate effect.”

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “The fallout from the leaked webinars continues and these landowners now realise they’ve been duped by the hunting community. It’s only a matter of time before more large landowners follow suit leading to the loss of millions of acres of land and the total demise of some hunts.”

Chris Luffingham, deputy chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “For such a major landowner like Natural Resources Wales to permanently end trail hunting on its land is hugely significant.”

The League is urging other major landowners such as Forestry England, United Utilities, the Church of England, the crown estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, local authorities, the national parks authorities, and the Ministry of Defence to permanently end hunting on their property.

NRW was formed in April 2013, largely taking over the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and the Environment Agency in Wale

Wales landowner bans trail hunting after use as foxhunting cover | Hunting | The Guardian

Regards Mark