Day: July 13, 2022

England: Caged Conditions We Found in the EU Were Nothing Short of Hellish. Ban the Cage Age Now.

WAV Comment – Stick the EU Commissioners and ‘Euro’ politicians into sow cages in Spain, being confined in a cage shut into a shed, suffering conditions and temperatures as they currently have, 44 degrees; lying in their own excrement unable to even turn round;  then load them onto a livestock trailer and haul them across Europe, defecating and urinating all over each other for days;

THEN SEE SUDDENLY HOW QUICKLY THE LAWS WOULD BE CHANGED.

Mark.

Do you expect all mother pigs farmed in countries which claim to be world leaders in animal welfare to be able to move freely and express their natural behaviours? To be free from pain and suffering?

Nothing could be further from the truth. We went undercover on pig farms across four EU countries, including suppliers for world-renowned products like Parma and Bayonne Ham. The caged conditions we found were nothing short of hellish.

This new investigation is yet more strong evidence that there is poor welfare in a cage and no animal should be imprisoned behind bars.

Please take action today and call on EU Ministers to End the Cage Age.

In 2019, we exposed the grim reality for thousands of sows in the UK who were forced to give birth and rear their young in farrowing crates. Today’s findings show this same suffering endured by animals across Europe. And, in the EU, many sows are also trapped in cramped stalls for four weeks of pregnancy.

Last year, the European Commission committed to introduce legislation to phase out caged farming. But they’ve been lobbied hard by opponents of a ban, and the support of all EU member states is vital if we really are to free over 300 million animals from cages. Britain is no longer in the EU, but suffering knows no boundaries so we must urge Ministers across the continent to End the Cage Age.

Ending caged farming in the EU is also crucial to set a precedent for other parts of the world. Not least for the UK, where the Government has promised action but so far not even launched consultations on cages for sows and hens.

Please speak out today to help lead the EU, and the world, out of the Cage Age.

It’s bad enough that, trapped in a space little bigger than their own bodies, caged sows can barely move. But our investigation also exposed other appalling suffering mother pigs can endure in cages. We saw:
Sows forced to lie in their own urine and faeces
Sows performing abnormal behaviours such as repetitively biting the cage bars and chewing without food in their mouth
Painful and preventable injuries
Sows unable to interact normally with their piglets

The European Union is closer than ever to becoming the first cage-free region if the Commission’s legislative proposal is implemented. Every year, hundreds of millions of animals – sows, hens, rabbits, calves, quail, ducks, and geese – could have better lives. But we must act now to defeat the powerful factory farm lobbyists who don’t want to End the Cage Age.

Please email the EU Ministers today. Together, we can achieve a world in which no farmed animal will suffer in a cage.

On behalf of the 300 million caged animals across the European Union you are giving voice to, thank you.

Mandy Carter

Global Head of Campaigns

SEND THIS MESSAGE TO THE EU AGRICULTURE MINISTERS* – URGE THEM TO LEAD THE WORLD AND END THE CAGE AGE!

Every year, caged farming systems cause needless suffering to around 300 million animals in the EU. From sows kept in stalls or crates so small they cannot even turn around, to rabbits unable to perform a single hop, caged animals are forced to endure cruel confinement in a system that does not respect their natural, behavioural needs.

There is no doubt that cages are cruel. An abundance of robust scientific evidence supports this fact and, as a result, over 140 influential scientists backed the End the Cage Age European Citizens Initiative (ECI). Compassion in World Farming’s recent undercover investigation* is yet more shocking evidence that caged farming cannot meet the welfare needs of sentient beings.

As you know, on 30th June 2021, the European Commission pledged to present a legislative proposal by 2023 to phase out cages progressively and definitively throughout the EU, possibly commencing in 2027.† This came as a response to the largest-ever ECI for animals, which collected a record 1.4 million certified signatures and was supported by more than 170 animal, environmental and consumer protection organisations. 

As a resident of the UK, I welcome the Commission’s historic decision, and am pleased that the EU is closer than ever to becoming the world’s first cage-free region for farmed animals. I urge you to support this commitment to phase out cages, and to set an example for the UK Government and governments globally. The cruelty of caged farming cannot continue.

Regards Mark

TIME TO EVOLVE

Take Action for Tortises Now.

The most mind-blowing photos you will ever see of the universe (msn.com)

Take actions for Tortoise.  Be the hare now.

Staying one step ahead of the illegal tortoise trade 

These tortoises are tinier than most – no bigger than a small loaf of bread. They inhabit the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, spending their days ambling over the grassy foothills, barely visible amongst the vegetation they graze on.  

But despite their small size, steppe tortoises are hugely sought after.  

And this demand is killing them.  

These treasured tortoises are being stolen from the wild to keep up with the rampant illegal pet trade in nearby countries, as well as demand for their eggs for use in traditional medicines.

They’re being smuggled out, and are so small that it’s disturbingly easy for them to be hidden among produce like cabbages and tomatoes.  

Recent surveys by FFI have shown an alarming decrease in the number of steppe tortoises – in 1962 there were around 30 individuals per hectare; there are now only one or two. 

For a species with a relatively low reproduction rate, this is extremely worrying. Whilst a few juvenile tortoises are being found, it is probably not enough to sufficiently maintain the population in the future.  

And for the lucky few that manage to remain hidden from the collectors, it’s still not safe. 

Habitat destruction is rife – new roads are ripping through the country and intensive development is smothering the once-lush land. Extensive livestock grazing and competition for food is having a devastating effect.

We must help these captivating creatures, before it is too late.  

With your donations, we can increase investigations into the illegal tortoise trade and work with the government to raise awareness of the problem. We are also looking to begin a significant new project working with sniffer dogs to detect smuggled tortoises.  

Please, give today and help us give this vanishing species a second chance. Their future depends on the help of people like you – with your support we can stop them disappearing forever.

Conserving Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan – Fauna & Flora International (fauna-flora.org)  

AND:

A Giant Tortoise Was Thought to Be Extinct. One Was Just Found Alive on the Galapagos Islands.

For more than a century, scientists have thought that a rare species of giant tortoise was extinct. But a lone tortoise was found on an Ecuadorian island, and just a few weeks ago lab results proved that the two specimens are related — meaning the species could live on and come back from presumed extinction after all!  

Sign now to tell the Ecuadorian government to invest in research and conservation efforts to help recover this iconic turtle species!

The Galápagos Islands are crucial hotspots of biodiversity, and studying the conservation of this turtle will inevitably protect other species bound up in the area’s ecosystem, too. We must tell the Ecuadorian government: invest funds into the research and conservation of this species of tortoise immediately!

We have a unique opportunity to bring this incredible species back — sign the petition to help make it happen!

P.S. Tragically, all 14 different species of giant Galápagos tortoise are listed on the IUCN Red List as either vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered or extinct. Sign to help!

Regards Mark

With thanks to our friends at ‘The Guardian’ newspaper – London.

Brazil: Brazil’s Meat Plants Could be Putting Pregnant Workers at Risk, Health Experts Have Claimed.

Employees prepare jerked beef at a plant of JBS SA, the world’s largest beef producer, in Santana de Parnaíba, Brazil. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters
Poultry production at JBS in Paraná state, Brazil, March 2017. Repetitive tasks and bacteria in meat are among the risks to pregnant women. Photograph: Eraldo Peres/AP

Brazil’s meat plants could be putting pregnant workers at risk, health experts have claimed, with rates of maternal disorders appearing higher than in any other employment sector.

Between 2016 and 2019, more than 2,600 pregnant women working in meat plants were reported as suffering maternal disorders.

Rates of maternal disorders appear higher than in any other employment sector, with thousands of women suffering as meat exports hit record highs.

At five months pregnant, Ivone* was cutting poultry on a conveyor belt when she started feeling ill.

“I went to the locker room and took some painkillers. That’s when I started to have some strange loss of fluid,” she says. She was rushed to a hospital where she was diagnosed with an infection, and had to go on leave.

Ivone, who works for the world’s biggest meat company, JBS, in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, is in her third pregnancy and says she was losing weight because she was unable to eat properly while she was at work. For hygiene reasons, she was not allowed to eat on the meatpacking plant’s premises, not even in the locker room.

“If you count it, you have a 10-minute break – you won’t be able to take off all the clothes you have to wear and go outside to eat, and then come back. It’s impossible,” she says.

Processing sausages at a German plant

Between 2016 and 2019, more than 2,600 pregnant women working in meat plants were reported as suffering maternal disorders, including infections, bleeding and excessive vomiting, according to Brazil’s National Institute of Social Security (INSS).

The excess risk of maternal disorders for the pig and poultry sectors, where most women work, was at least twice as high compared with all other employment sectors in Brazil between 2000 and 2016, according to data collated by labour prosecutors, who are now arguing for safer working conditions.

There are about 220,000 women working in country’s meat sector.

Potential risks for pregnant women may include small leakages of ammonia (a gas used in the refrigeration system), inappropriate postures at work stations, exposure to low temperatures and viruses or bacteria present in animal meat, says Dr Roberto Ruiz, a health consultant at Contac, a federation of food workers’ unions.

Karina Calife, a professor at the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Santa Casa de São Paulo, says: “Pregnant women are more sensitive to almost everything.” As well as the discomfort caused by very low temperatures, the constant noise may worsen nausea and dizziness, she says. Spending a lot of time standing can also lead to thrombosis and embolisms.

Another issue is a risk of urinary infections, says Calife. Pregnant women feel the urge to urinate more often, as the expanding uterus puts pressure on the bladder. But a potential lack of toilets close to work stations and the required use of multiple protective clothing may discourage women from using them.

“One of the main causes of preterm birth and neonatal ICU care is urinary infections,” she adds.

Until a few weeks before her “scare”, Ivone and other pregnant women had been on leave from their jobs at the production lines of two JBS factories.

A court had granted an injunction to their union in late March, ordering that pregnant employees without full vaccination against Covid-19, or working in jobs subject to harmful agents, be put on leave.

JBS appealed against the decision and, due to a change in ministry of health protocols, the women returned to work in April. “But the part that says that pregnant women can’t work in a place with harmful, dangerous and painful agents was upheld,” says Samuel Remor, a lawyer for the union.

Remor says pregnant women should avoid activities that demand intensive repetitive movements, such as the poultry thigh cutting belt. That is where Ivone was when she felt sick. “It’s a cold place, with noise above the [recommended] limit,” he says. Calife agrees: “Ideally, these women should spend their pregnancy period in administrative environments.”

Historically, meat companies have argued their activities should not be classified as “unhealthy”. “They want to avoid extra costs [such as hazard pay],” says labour prosecutor Lincoln Cordeiro.

Cordeiro, who heads a group of prosecutors specialising in meatpacking plants, wants a reduction in the working week – currently 44 hours – to stem what he describes as “alarming rates of illness due to repetitive movements”.

This applies particularly to pregnant employees. “Shorter work days would drastically reduce exposure to any risk inherent in work, thus providing more safety to employees and unborn children, but also to employers,” he says.

JBS says it does not comment on ongoing lawsuits, “but reinforces that all pregnant employees who returned to work at the Forquilhinha and Nova Veneza units and who previously worked in environments with temperature variations, for example, were reassigned to other activities”.

The company also says it has invested more than £50m “in health and safety measures, systems and processes in all its facilities”.

The Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), which represents the poultry and pig industries, disputes the possible correlation between maternal disorders and the environment in abattoirs.

Abiec, the Brazilian beef exporters association, declined to comment on the “internal procedures” of companies.

Brazil is producing increasing amounts of meat – exports were worth a record $17bn (£14bn) in 2020, with chicken exports alone worth $900m in May – but there are concerns about deforestation and working conditions.

Names have been changed to protect identities

Regards Mark

With thanks to our friends at ‘The Guardian’ newspaper – London.