Day: April 7, 2022

EU: European Commission criticised for biased survey on EU chemicals regulation REACH.

7 April 2022

H2020 scientific consortia have criticised the European Commission for conducting a “biased” survey on the REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), where non animal methods are undermined.

The European Commission is currently holding a public consultation on the revision of the REACH Regulation, as part of ambitions to achieve a “toxic-free environment” by 2050.

The survey implies that reducing and replacing traditional animal testing with non-animal testing methods, or NAMs, will weaken protection from chemical hazards. 

In a statement, the consortia suggests that the questionnaire can potentially damage confidence needed to further support the development and uptake of NAMs by the private sector. This could impact Europe’s leading position worldwide in creating a safer chemical market for industry and citizens.

The language of the survey is misleading because it contradicts the tremendous scientific progress in a wide range of fields developing and using NAMs for precision medicine and safety sciences.

The ASPIS Cluster

There are a number of non-animal approaches that ensure the safety of chemical products, including computer-based modelling, stem cell technology and organ-on-a-chip. The use of animals as models in chemical testing is out of line with Europe’s aim to move towards humane, innovative and animal-free science. 

Stakeholders and citizens have until 15 April 2022 to

 provide their inputs 

on how to better protect human health and the environment from harmful substances while reducing and ultimately replacing animal testing.

Regards Mark

UK: 7/4/22 Your Victory – A Massive Day For UK Animals and Their Welfare; After Losing Their Protection Post Brexit, The Updated Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill Has Been Voted Through In Parliament Today; Which Means That Animals are Legally Recognised as ‘Sentient Beings’ Once Again.

WAV Comment:  Often in animal welfare, there are not immediate solutions to concerning animal welfare problems.  Tenacity (the quality or fact of being very determined; determination.) has to be something; and is something, which all of us in the rights / welfare movement need to have and show.  To put it simply, if you give up, you lose.

Myself campaigning with CIWF in the Netherlands against animal factory farming.

UK animal people did not give up; in fact, their resolve strengthened.  Why:

Despite the huge success in getting animal sentience recognised in EU law, the recognition of animal sentience in the UK took a big step backwards following the Brexit referendum in 2016.

The following year, Compassion in World Farming discovered that the UK Government’s European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which formally enacted Brexit, would not carry across provisions from EU Treaties – including Article 13 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU.

This meant that reference to animal sentience would disappear from UK law when the UK formally left the EU on 31st December 2020. Both the recognition of animals as having the capacity to have feelings, including pain and joy, and the requirement for governments to pay “full regard” to their welfare when formulating and implementing policy, would be lost from UK law. Read more about what Brexit meant for Animal Sentience in this news article.

Campaigning on animal sentience in the UK starts again
We (CIWF) had to start campaigning immediately to ensure that this cornerstone of animal welfare law was not lost when the UK left the EU. We mobilised supporters to lobby the Government, contacted Members of Parliament, and liaised with other NGOs to alert them to the threat to animal welfare. Unfortunately, it faced strong Government opposition and was narrowly defeated when it was put to the vote in Parliament.

And finally, on the 12th of December 2017, following the media furore over the vote in Parliament – and under pressure from a 155,000-strong Compassion petition, the UK Government announced a new Bill would be introduced. This was a momentous moment as the Bill would permanently incorporate the legal recognition of animal sentience into UK law post-Brexit.

2018: Campaign setback as Government delays sentience legislation
Despite the positive announcement from the Government at the end of 2017, the campaign to recognise that animals are sentient beings faced even more setbacks in the following years.

Firstly, Parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee published a report which suggested the Bill should be redrafted. The Committee raised concerns that, as the Bill was worded, paying regard to animal sentience would lead to the slowing down or freezing of policymaking and result in widespread Judicial Reviews. Following that report, the UK Government announced in September 2018 that the legislation relating to animal sentience would be delayed.

2019: Over 100,000 calls for animal sentience recognition

In September 2019, our Senior Policy Manager, James West, handed in a 103,000-signature petition to Downing Street, alongside other members of the #BetterDealForAnimals coalition. The petition called on the UK Government to introduce legislation recognising animal sentience and require that full regard be given to animal welfare in UK Government policies.

2020: MPs debate animal sentience

As a result of the 2019 petition reaching over 100,000 signatures, MPs debated the issue in March 2020. Watch the highlights of the debate.

Then, following continued inaction from the Government, in September 2020 dedicated Compassion campaigners took action again.

Thousands of people urged their MPs to call on Ministers to introduce animal sentience legislation before 1st January 2021. This was the day after the UK would formally leave the EU, at which point EU laws recognising animal sentience at the time were due to run out.

2021: UK Government introduces Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill
As the clock struck 11pm on 31st December 2020, despite persistent campaigning, animals in the UK were, for the first time in almost a quarter-century, no longer recognised as sentient beings under the law.
Then, on 13th May, the efforts of compassionate people around the country finally worked in British animals’ favour. The UK Government announced it would introduce the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill as part of its ‘Action Plan for Animal Welfare’.

During the summer and autumn of 2021, the Bill progressed through the House of Lords, completing all its stages by December 2021.

Today – 7/4/22.

On Thursday 7th April, we achieved a momentous victory for animals. 

The updated Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill was voted through by the House of Lords which means that animals are legally recognised as sentient beings once again.

Thank you to everyone who emailed politicians or signed petitions, donated in response to this campaign, shared posts on social media, and asked friends and family to take action.

It’s official. UK law will now recognise that animals can feel joy, pain, and fear once again.. 

Read about the highs and lows of sentience over several decades:

Animal Sentience: the highs and lows | Compassion in World Farming (

In the end, positive results always come to those who have the tenacity to fight and continue fighting.  Never ever give up the fight(s) for your issues;

Regards Mark

Sentient Beings – Protected In the UK Once Again.

Ukraine: Kharkiv zoo prepares to kill lions and tigers in case Russian shelling lets them loose in city.

Please also see –

The owner of a zoo in the war-torn Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has taken a heartbreaking decision to put down all the large animals including tigers and lions.

Although several animals at the Feldman Ecopark survived the incessant bombing by the Russian forces for over five weeks, the facility was devastated leading to risks of the predators venturing in the city.

He says the animals who survived can escape at any time, and must be put down, though he holds out hope some adolescent big cats may be saved and transported elsewhere.

“Feldman Ecopark doesn’t exist anymore. The enclosures have been destroyed, the entire infrastructure has been destroyed,” the zoo’s owner Alexander Feldman said in a video, which was posted on Facebook.

He warned that the enclosures were badly damaged which could lead to animals, including big cats, entering the streets. Mr Feldman said it was a “miracle” that the tigers and lions were still alive despite their cages being destroyed.

“By tonight we will decide whether to put them all down or transport them somewhere else… Maybe we will save baby jaguars, baby panthers, but all adult animals will probably be euthanised,” he said.

The zoo’s team was working in the Chutovo region to find a way to save the animals, the owner said. “Failing that, the only option left to us is to put the predators to sleep. It is unimaginably painful to talk about this, but the main priority now is the lives of people,” the caption of the video read.

Three members of the staff were reportedly killed and dozens more were wounded while trying to feed the animals.

The staff were able to visit the chimpanzees and orangutans on 4 March for the first since the war began. According to reports, the monkeys had been sheltered by the Kharkov Zoo.

Earlier on Tuesday, a man rescued Ukraine‘s only family of tapirs and eight kangaroos from the Felman Ecopark, which was on fire because of Russian shelling.

Meanwhile, more than a month after Russia’s unprovoked invasion, the United States and its allies are preparing to impose new sanctions on Moscow over civilian killings in Bucha.

Regards Mark

USA: Wind energy company kills 150 eagles in US, pleads guilty.

A wind energy company was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed over the past decade at its wind farms in eight states, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved Eagles Killed Wind Turbines – Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act during a Tuesday court appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was charged in the deaths of eagles at three of its wind farms in Wyoming and New Mexico.

In addition to those deaths, golden and bald eagles were killed at wind farms affiliated with ESI and NextEra since 2012 in eight states, prosecutors said: Wyoming, California, New Mexico, North Dakota, Colorado, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois. The birds are killed when they fly into the blades of wind turbines. Some ESI turbines killed multiple eagles, prosecutors said.

It’s illegal to kill or harm eagles under federal law.

The bald eagle — the U.S. national symbol — was removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act in 2007, following a dramatic recovery from its widespread decimation due to harmful pesticides and other problems. Golden eagles have not fared as well, with populations considered stable but under pressure including from wind farms, collisions with vehicles, illegal shootings and poisoning from lead ammunition.

The case comes amid a push by President Joe Biden for more renewable energy from wind, solar and other sources to help reduce climate changing emissions. It also follows a renewed commitment by federal wildlife officials under Biden to enforce protections for eagles and other birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, after criminal prosecutions were halted under former President Donald Trump.

Companies historically have been able to avoid prosecution if they take steps to avoid bird deaths and seek permits for those that occur. ESI did not seek such a permit, authorities said.

The company was warned prior to building the wind farms in New Mexico and Wyoming that they would kill birds, but it proceeded anyway and at times ignored advice from federal wildlife officials about how to minimize the deaths, according to court documents.

“For more than a decade, ESI has violated (wildlife) laws, taking eagles without obtaining or even seeking the necessary permit,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in a statement.

ESI agreed under a plea agreement to spend up to $27 million during its five-year probationary period on measures to prevent future eagle deaths. That includes shutting down turbines at times when eagles are more likely to be present.

Despite those measures, wildlife officials anticipate that some eagles still could die. When that happens, the company will pay $29,623 per dead eagle, under the agreement.

NextEra President Rebecca Kujawa said collisions of birds with wind turbines are unavoidable accidents that should not be criminalized. She said the company is committed to reducing damage to wildlife from its projects.

“We disagree with the government’s underlying enforcement activity,” Kujawa said in a statement. “Building any structure, driving any vehicle, or flying any airplane carries with it a possibility that accidental eagle and other bird collisions may occur.”

Wind energy company kills 150 eagles in US, pleads guilty (

Regards Mark