Month: September 2022

From Vampire To Vegan – Actor Paul Wesley Talks Animals and Veganism.

Paul Wesley, the vegan actor known for starring in The Vampire Diaries, discussed animal rights on the Plant Based News (PBN) podcast.

He spoke to PBN co-founder Robbie Lockie about a range of issues, including factory farming, the challenges of being a vegan actor, and the truth about dog food.

The two also discussed cultivated meat, with Wesley describing it as “the future.” He said that vegans “have a responsibility” to support the industry.

You can listen to the audio version of the podcast, or watch the full interview below:

Regards Mark

Letter: Remembering farm animals.

Letter: Remembering farm animals

I just learned about World Day for Farmed Animals, coming up on October 2nd (Gandhi’s birth date). It has been around since 1983 and is meant to memorialize the billions of animals abused and killed for food each year.

Mahatma Gandhi, (1869–1948)
“To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.
I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.
I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man“.

Like many, I always considered farm animals only as a source of food. But, after recently watching the documentary Speciesism, I realized that farm animals are much like our family pets, deserving of love and respect.

I’ve learned that farm animals get neither on today’s factory farms. Male baby chicks are ground up alive or suffocated in garbage bags. Hens are crowded in small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding pigs spend their lives pregnant in metal cages. Calves are snatched from their mothers upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

The cruelty of factory farming drove me to replace animal products in my diet with plant-based meat and dairy items. I have since learned that my cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Letter: Remembering farm animals | News, Sports, Jobs – Daily Herald (heraldextra.com)

Regards Mark



WAV Archive

WAV Archive

Finger to you too. Photo – Val Cameron.

Switzerland: Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland.

Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland

Washington Examiner

Voters in Switzerland are set to decide whether to ban factory farming and modify laws to grant animals the constitutional right “not to be intensively farmed.”

Under a new proposal that will be considered by Swiss voters over the weekend, the country would be required to implement laws that lower animal stocking rates and limit the importation of intensively farmed meat. The proposal has received mixed support, with national polling showing that 52% of voters oppose the ban, while 47% support it.

Proponents argue a ban would protect the environment by reducing farms’ reliance on soya-based animal feed that has been linked to widespread deforestation. Animal rights groups have also championed the proposal, pushing for more humane conditions in the facilities where animals are held.

“You can keep 27,000 chickens in one barn, and their room to move is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper,” said Silvano Lieger, managing director of Sentience Politics, an animal rights group that proposed the ban in 2018. “Pigs are kept in barns, too, up to 1,500 per farm, with 10 pigs sharing the space of an average parking spot. It is not possible to treat animals in a dignified way in those conditions.”

However, opponents have argued the ban would negatively affect the domestic production of meat and would fail to prevent the cheap importation of intensively farmed animals. Others have argued Swiss law already enforces strict welfare laws.

About 80% of Swiss meat is produced domestically, according to ProViande, the Swiss interbranch organization for the meat industry. However, some industry workers say the rate of importation would increase drastically if the ban is implemented.

Regards Mark

Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland (msn.com)

USA: Animal rights group seeks release of 185 pictures related to the autopsies of animals that died during experiments for Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

Photo – WAV archive – not directly associated with this article.

Animal rights group seeks release of 185 pictures related to the autopsies of animals that died during experiments for Elon Musk’s Neuralink

An animal-rights group says UC Davis has 371 photos showing Neuralink’s experiments on monkeys.

The organization sued the university and filed a complaint with the USDA in February.

An animal-rights group that is suing the University of California, Davis over experiments conducted for Neuralink says the university has 371 photos related to experiments on monkeys that were performed for Elon Musk’s biotech company.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said UC Davis has 185 pictures related to the autopsies of animals that died during Neuralink experiments and another 186 photos of the experiments that were performed on the monkeys, which included cutting holes into the monkeys’ skulls to implant electrodes into their brains.

The group said they learned of the photos through a legal document from UC Davis dated September 7, 2022. Between 2017 and 2020, Neuralink paid the university $1.4 million to use UC Davis’ facilities and animals for testing, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said.

“UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re looking at,” Ryan Merkley, director of research advocacy with the Physicians Committee, said in a press release. “But it’s clear the university is simply trying to hide from taxpayers the fact that it partnered with Elon Musk to conduct experiments in which animals suffered and died.”

A spokesperson from Neuralink did not respond to a request for comment and a UC Davis spokesperson referred Insider to a previous statement. In February, the institution said “research protocols were thoroughly reviewed and approved by the campus’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee” during the institutions work with Neuralink.

“Animal research is strictly regulated and UC Davis follows all applicable laws and regulations including those of the US Department of Agriculture,” the statement said.

UC Davis issued the statement after the animal-rights group sued the university for not releasing photos and videos of the experiments it has performed for Neuralink from 2017 to 2020. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine also filed a complaint with the US Department of Agriculture, alleging the institution had violated the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton previously reported that the group said it had obtained records showing the monkeys experienced “extreme suffering as a result of inadequate animal care and the highly invasive experimental head implants during the experiments.”

At the time, Neuralink responded to the accusations, denying several of the injuries that the animal rights group reported and saying the company is “absolutely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible.” The company said it has since transitioned to using its own in-house facilities.

Ultimately, Neuralink is working to develop a computer brain interface system that would be able to read and write brain activity. In the past, Musk has claimed the AI brain chips would one day be able to do anything from cure paralysis to give people telepathic powers, referring to the device as “a Fitbit in your skull.”

Last year, the billionaire said the company plans to transition from implanting the chips in monkeys to humans by the end of the year, but the device has yet to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials.

Regards Mark

England: Progress ? – Dont Just Be Sorry – Do Something !

22/9/22

In relation to my recent letter asking who in UK government is right and who is wrong – you can read the letter here; England: Who In Government Is Right, and Who Is Wrong ? – We Write For Clarification (Maybe). Or Are They Confused Just Like Us ? – World Animals Voice

I need to draw your attention to what statements (in my view) contradict each other:

Quote from the DIT

 “the government has made it clear in its manifesto that in all our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”.

Or

Liz Truss has refused to enshrine animal welfare in trade deals;

Liz Truss has refused to enshrine animal welfare in trade deals, says minister | Animal welfare | The Guardian

Wanting to know what is right or wrong relating to government policy; I have now been sent a reply from my own MP stating that on my behalf, he has now written to the Department for International Trade (DIT) asking for ‘policy statements’ to be given and if ‘anything has changed’ – ie a very recent conversion to the Liz Truss view.  Or, do the commitments expressed in their original (DIT) letter ‘remain intact’. ?  – yes, that’s what I want to know !

So; a little progress of sorts but I am still not being given the final government approach now of dealing with international free trade agreements (FTA).  I now wait to be forwarded the response from the DIT to see, as I originally asked, who is right, and who is wrong.

I will publish their (DIT) response when it is provided to me.  In the meantime, I sit twiddling my thumbs and other bits waiting to get ‘a government policy statement’.  Depending on how this is worded (change or no change) will then set the agenda for future actions by WAV on the issue.

Once I have had a response about this, I have further questions lined up regarding several things – the live transport of live animals from the UK being one.  Here again, Truss appears to be changing the goalposts and giving the AR movement a good kick in the teeth for the years of campaigning it has taken to get this stopped.  Read here the great article from Jane who really sums up the situation and attitudes:

UK: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable. – World Animals Voice

The government had a consultation on banning live animal exports and it was clear from the results that the majority of people wanted the trade banned:

Check it all out here – Search Results for “live export consultation” – World Animals Voice

We are used to long drawn out campaigns, and we are used to false promises and being shit on by governments on a host of issues relating to animal welfare and the environment.  Our movement has tenacity on its side; the government changes and relies on the votes of citizens to remain in power, or not !

I am a big badger fan, so badger culling will be another issue being prepared for future letters.

Personally, I have battled the disgusting live export trade for 35+ years; done undercover trails especially relating to British horses going into Europe for meat, and I sure as hell am not going to stop now.  There are too many animals in this sordid trade that require us to be a voice for them.  So we will, however long it takes.

Regards Mark

In the past, Mark worked with television comedy scriptwriter Carla Lane for many years; and had the position of being the investigator for her animal charity (Animaline) throughout the years of the horse export investigations.  Through undercover investigation work, port monitoring, visits to UK horse markets, and trails into Europe, it was shown that British horses were being exported from the UK whilst being declared as ‘going for riding’ to Europe.  In reality, the animals were being exported to Europe for their meat.  What was declared on the export licenses was a complete and utter lie to get around the complexities of exporting sentient animals for one thing when they were actually going to their deaths !

After all the investigative work was completed and documented, which involved a lot of work, Carla and Mark teamed up in London one day and made formal presentations to the UK Government Ministry – DEFRA (previously  MAFF) about all the investigation work”.

Wonderful Carla

35+ years of live export tenacity – I do know a little about live exports and hopefully can argue in defence of those who cannot speak.

Fight the fight ! – be yourself no matter what they say.

Regards Mark

A few of my other bits of work:

India: Animal rights activists protest against dog cruelty, hold rally at Jantar Mantar.

Animal rights activists protest against dog cruelty, hold rally at Jantar Mantar

In the wake of recent incidents of cruelty against canines, over 40 animal rights organisations participated in a protest rally at Jantar Mantar on Saturday. The human-canine conflict has been an ongoing debate in the country, with frequent reports of cruelty against dogs and also of dogs attacking people. In Kottayam district of Kerala recently, a canine accused of attacking people, was beaten to death and then publicly strung up. Many stray dogs were killed in the state in a random culling.


“Animal welfare needs to become a strong, confident community. I am happy that so many have come here today to show the power of compassion,” People for Animals (PFA) founder and MP Maneka Gandhi said in a message, adding, “Arm yourselves with courage, knowledge, compassion and common sense. The law protects animals.”

Ambika Shukla, trustee, PFA, told us, “There has been an alarming rise in atrocities against dogs and a campaign of hate is being spread against them. Such acts lead to fear-mongering. This event is a way to demonstrate that there are people who will not shy away from taking a stand for these harmless creatures.” The rally also highlighted that hate cannot be the solution to the issue. “Hate and fear only aggravate the problem. People who have dogs feel stressed because they are often being attacked. This might lead them to abandoning their dogs. This, in turn, will add to the stray dog crisis in the country,” she pointed out.

Feeding stray dogs is also often a bone of contention in residential societies. Stressing on the importance of feeding street dogs and drawing attention to their illegal relocation, Shukla added, “Under the law, nobody can relocate strays. Generally, three causes lead to incidents of dog bites: territorial fights, heat season, which is their mating season, when male canines become excitable, and when female canines become protective about their litters after birth. The Animal Birth Control (ABC) programme addresses these issues. In view of this, WHO recommends dogs be sterilised, vaccinated and retained in their territories under the ABC programme. Feeding street dogs makes them friendly and identifiable for revaccination.”


Divya Seth and Sonam Kapoor sent messages of support to the gathering as well.

Animal rights activists protest against dog cruelty, hold rally at Jantar Mantar | Events Movie News – Times of India (indiatimes.com)

Regards Mark

Check out all our AAU videos of Indian animal rescue by going to:

https://worldanimalsvoice.com/?s=animal+aid+unlimited

Australia: Prime minister’s senior farm adviser an ex-campaigner for GetUp who called for end to ‘cruel’ live animal exports.

Prime minister’s senior farm adviser an ex-campaigner for GetUp who called for end to ‘cruel’ live animal exports

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s chief adviser on agriculture policy previously condemned mainstream animal farming as “inherently cruel” and campaigned to end live exports.

Skye Laris, a senior policy adviser to the prime minister, is a former GetUp campaigner who worked with Animals Australia and the RSPCA calling for a ban to live exports.

According to Ms Laris’s LinkedIn, she has been a senior environment, agriculture, industry, and employment policy adviser in parliament since June 2019, working in the prime minister’s office as a senior adviser since May.

“Animal cruelty is a day-to-day part of farming practices,” she wrote for website Mamma Mia in 2016.

“The uncomfortable truth is that whether it’s live exports or long-haul domestic transportation on trucks without food and water, or the killing of calves in the dairy industry, or factory farming pigs, or chooks living in space the size of an A4 piece of paper … it’s improved over the years, but mainstream animal farming is inherently cruel.

“From paddock to plate, there is almost always a part of an animal’s journey that wouldn’t stack up if we as consumers were prepared to know what had really happened.”

Ms Laris previously worked in the office of then-agriculture minister Tony Burke, whom she later married.

Ms Laris used the Mamma Mia piece to criticise conventional farming practices across the livestock, egg, dairy and pork industries, after vision released by Animals Australia showed what appeared to be Australian cattle being mistreated at a Vietnamese meatworks.

“I don’t think addressing animal welfare it’s as simple as banning live exports [sic],” Ms Laris wrote.

“If we’re upset by live exports we really ought to be looking at what happens here at home too.”

The prime minister’s office would not comment on Ms Laris’s appointment, or whether she still holds these opinions.

In May, Labor made a pre-election commitment to ban live sheep exports.

It was criticised by farm groups when, during the election campaign, its plan to end the $92 million a year live sheep trade was first announced publicly by an animal rights group.

The government has said it won’t ban live cattle exports, and the live sheep ban won’t be introduced in this term of parliament.

Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said any decision relating to live animal exports was the responsibility of ministers, not advisers.

“I’ve only just heard about these reports myself,” Senator Watt told the ABC when asked about Ms Laris’s opinion piece.

“But the important thing here is that the people who make these decisions ultimately around live exports or anything else are the elected ministers like myself. I generally don’t get into issues about what different staff do, staff generally are pretty off limits in politics, and it’s more about ministers.

“I’ve certainly never expressed any views like that one way or another on the issue and I’ll be certainly taking what I think will be a responsible approach on matters involving live exports.

“I’ve had some very productive conversations with all players, whether it be members of the industry [or] activist groups, the approach that we’re taking to all issues as a government is that everyone gets a say, but then we make the decisions as the elected government.”

In 2020, a senior Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade bureaucrat, Julie Delforce, who is also the mother of a well-known animal rights activist, resigned following an investigation into her links to the animal activist website Aussie Farms.

Ms Laris did not respond to the ABC’s written request for comment.

Prime minister’s senior farm adviser an ex-campaigner for GetUp who called for end to ‘cruel’ live animal exports – ABC News

Regards Mark

UK: Up For the Fight ? – Animal Welfare and Environmental Org’s Are. Election On the Horizon, And We Vote.

Dark Times at Conservative Government.

New polling shows voters “more likely” to vote for candidates who support strengthening the Hunting Act

Posted 20th September

New polling commissioned by the League Against Cruel Sports has shown that, nationally, almost eight out of 10 British people agree the Hunting Act should be strengthened.

News | Animal Charity (league.org.uk)

New polling shows voters “more likely” to vote for candidates who support strengthening the Hunting Act (league.org.uk)

Photo – Mark (WAV) / East Kent Hunt Sabs.
Does anything need to be said ?

Five ways Liz Truss has already ripped up the rulebook as Tory PM | Liz Truss | The Guardian

Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation welcomes new Prime Minister the Rt Hon. Liz Truss MP – Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation

New PM Liz Truss urged to push ahead with Kept Animals Bill (animaljournal.co.uk)

Please email Liz Truss today and urge her to make three key pledges for animal welfare in her first 12 months as Prime Minister.

Please call on the new Prime Minister to:

  Ban live exports for slaughter or fattening

  Examine the use of farmed animal cages

  Consult on animal welfare labelling of meat and dairy products

If Liz Truss can deliver on these pledges, it will help to give millions of farmed animals a life worth living.

Please take action now. Send a message to the UK’s new Prime Minister calling on her to put animal welfare at the top of her agenda.

Email the new PM today (ciwf.org.uk)

Eustice: Truss won’t enshrine animal welfare in post-Brexit trade deals | The Scottish Farmer

What can we expect from a Liz Truss government? 

Under Boris Johnson’s leadership, the government made some important strides in animal welfare that enjoyed enormous popular support. It committed to introducing the Action Plan for Animal Welfare (APAW) which included ground-breaking measures to protect wild and farmed animals; it also promised to protect animal welfare standards in farming post-Brexit and its environmental plan put a focus on redirecting subsidies to pay for public goods including animal welfare.  

The Truss government is likely to be less sympathetic to animal welfare issues. As environment secretary, the Prime Minister planned to repeal official guidance on animal welfare standards that would deregulate the farming industry. As Secretary of State for International Trade she prioritised trade deals over animal welfare that will allow imports of meat, produced using farming practices that are illegal in the UK, to be sold to the British consumer.  

However, we were pleased that the Prime Minister has committed to pass the long-awaited Kept Animals Bill. The Bill will put an end to the cruel export of live animals for fattening and slaughter and the keeping of primates as pets, among other measures. The new Prime Minister must honour the government’s animal welfare commitments and introduce the Action Plan for Animal Welfare in full. The plan includes several key protections for animals. These are:  

  • A ban on the domestic sale and advertising of unacceptable wildlife practices abroad, such as elephant rides, where elephants are often subjected to repeated beatings with hooks or sticks to learn to submit.  
  • A ban on the importation of hunting trophies into the UK.  
  • A ban on the import and sale of fur and foie gras that would prevent millions of animals being exposed to barbaric ‘production methods.’  

What next? 

Meaningful change for animals must start with honouring the commitments already made by Boris Johnson’s government. 72% of the British public want the Government to pass more laws designed to improve animal welfare and protect animals from cruelty, so our current crises should not be used as an excuse to halt this agenda.

What the new Prime Minister means for animal welfare | World Animal Protection

Dropping promises made last year would be huge let-down for animals and people, says Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation

Mr Foie Gras and Fur – Rees Mogg.

Liz Truss is set to scrap proposed bans on importing fur and foie gras to the UK, according to a Tory insider, sparking outrage from animal lovers.

PMAF

The new prime minister will also reportedly ditch a ban on live animal exports in her first weeks in office.

Liz Truss ‘to scrap proposed bans on fur and foie gras imports’ | The Independent

The charity warns that the natural environment is under threat

“NOWHERE will be safe” if the Government goes ahead with plans for investment zones across the UK, a leading charity has warned.

RSPB England, which represents the views of the UK-wide bird charity, issued a scathing response to the proposals – warning that they could “tear up the most fundamental protections our remaining wildlife has”.

As part of his mini-budget, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced plans for the creation of dozens of low-tax, low-regulation investment zones.

‘Nowhere will be safe’: RSPB in scathing warning over Tory ‘attack on nature’ (yahoo.com)

‘We are angry’: green groups condemn Truss plans to scrap regulations

Nature protection rules in proposed investment zones would in effect be suspendedLiz Truss seems prepared to double down on her liberalisation agenda. Photograph: Maja Smiejkowska/Reuters There was little room for doubt about the reaction to the prime minister’s plans to scrap environmental regulations this weekend. “Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature,” tweeted the RSPB, its most forceful political intervention in recent memory.

Liz Truss’s proposals to create investment zones, where green rules on nature protection would in effect be suspended, represented a step too far for some of Britain’s biggest environment charities. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife is facing one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades,” the RSPB went on.

Swiftly after came the Wildlife Trust, representing another million members and also “incredibly angry … at the unprecedented attack on nature”, and the National Trust, with more than 5 million members.

‘We are angry’: green groups condemn Truss plans to scrap regulations | Environment | The Guardian

Regards Mark

Update 2027 hrs GMT 26/9/22

Senior Tory claims MPs are already writing letters of no confidence in Liz Truss

Some Conservative MPs have already submitted letters of no confidence in Liz Truss over fears the new prime minister will ‘crash the economy’, a former cabinet member has said.

The anonymous ex-minister reportedly told Sky News Ms Truss was ‘f*****’ following her disastrous handling of last week’s mini-budget, and suggested a number of Tory MPs were already plotting to bring her down.

UK: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable.

WAV Comment – I am sticking a bit with the issue of the new UK Prime Minister, Liz Truss, as although it is a matter of weeks since she was elected (by Conservative Party members only rather than the national majority) into the position of PM, we (the animal rights movement) are already at war with her for her attitude to changing policy in both animal rights and with environmental issues; much of which was originally promised as positive / progressive law changes in the last Conservative manifesto !

If she wants war, she is going to get it. Simple.

I think in the last few days alone we have seen the RSPB (for example) come out and declare that they are not happy.

With more time, I will try and check some other animal rights groups and publish here what they are saying.

The following ‘voices’ article by Jane sums up the situation and feeling of many in the AR movement.

Lets face it, Boris Johnson (despite other faults) was attempting to move forward with animal welfare improvements – putting them formally into national legislation (law).  The Conservatives currently have a fairly large majority of MP’s in Parliament, (that is why they are in government) over other parties.  It should be relatively easy for them to push through legislative actions relating to animal welfare and a host of other important issues – planning, disabled people legislation etc.

But it all kind of came tumbling down during the Covid crisis, and the failures of Johnson to act in stopping the Downing St ‘Partygate’ issues where Conservatives seemed to think they were different to ‘the ordinary people’ and could still get together for drinks whilst the law abiding citizens had to stay at home and could not even say goodbye to relatives dying of Covid in hospital.

Well, probably they are different to most normal people, and the removal of Boris by his own MP’s; and the subsequent election of Truss to the position of MP simply shows how ineffective Boris and the others in his cabinet had / were.  Boris did not address the issue from the very start; now he is out as a result and we are all blighted with a Truss led government.

By now taking on the animal rights movement, let alone pushing aside all the other issue in her in tray, she has already annoyed so many of the voting public.

WAV is not affiliated to any political party; we don’t ever want to be; we just attempt to tell what we know and hear, and then let you, our loyal supporters, take it further.

Personally though, I think with the current situation, the Tories have as much chance of winning the next General Election as a chocolate fireman becoming the firefighter of the year – rather remote I would say.

As Jane;s article below portrays, the Conservatives are in a perfect position to improve welfare and most importantly, do big moves to help improve the environment.  But they are not; Truss is ensuring that; with support from Foie Gras Rees Mogg and the rest of the anti environmental cabinet.

They want a war ? – they are gonna get it.  It almost makes you feel like standing at the next general election as an animal rights / environmental rights campaigner.  I think we are going to witness this feeling rising up all over the country.  Brits are big time animal welfare supporters, they are big environmental campaigners; and they detest what this government is now doing to put them down.  Lets see what the next few months brings.

Regards Mark

Photo – Mark

Phot – Mark – Be good or Mrs plod will have you !

Voices: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable

By Jane Dalton

The new prime minister, Liz Truss, has a funny relationship with animals. She says she’s a cat lover, but she has previously called for the return of foxhunting.

As a former environment secretary, she should be aware of animal sentience – the capacity non-humans have to feel emotion, pain and suffering. But as a Tory leadership candidate, Truss held up a vision of a neoliberal administration that she was convinced would appeal to the party faithful.

Now, as part of that single-minded deregulation mission, she looks set to embark on the greatest betrayal of people and animals anyone could ever have imagined. At a stroke, the new prime minister is reportedly set to arrogantly ditch reforms that would have eradicated the suffering of thousands of animals in the UK and abroad.

Party insiders believe she will axe the Kept Animals Bill, which bans primates as pets, tackles puppy smuggling and gives livestock greater protection from dangerous dogs. It also bans live exports.

Years ago, I joined protesters at Dover docks who were horrified by how sheep were crammed into lorries in the most appalling conditions, for hours on end, without water, only to be shipped abroad for slaughter. In 2019, at least 6,000 animals were exported this way – a monstrous toll of misery.

As outrage snowballed, even Boris Johnson spoke out against live exports. The ban was pretty much the only benefit of Brexit. Now it looks set to be sacrificed on the great altar of Truss free-market capitalism.

But it’s not just animals that will suffer. Some people have spent literally decades working to achieve the reforms in the bill, and to have that thrown back in their faces is more than frustrating – it’s offensive.

To make matters worse, the Kept Animals Bill was probably only days or weeks away from becoming law. The day it was due to be debated in parliament became that of the Queen’s funeral, and the chances of Truss reviving the bill seem remote.

Given that a live export ban was promised in both the Tory manifesto and the party’s grand animal welfare action plan, scrapping it is an enormous, symbolic breach of trust – and a disaster for progress.

Truss showed her colours in 2016 when she tried to dump statutory farm animal welfare codes. Her idea fizzled out, but now she has rewarded Mark Spencer, one of the MPs who this year blocked measures to halt elephant torture abroad, with a job in Defra. You couldn’t get much more farcical.

Then there are the foreign deals she negotiated as trade secretary that fund cruelty that would be illegal here. Instead of helping the UK to become more self-sufficient in food, she signed up to financing systems that use 48-hour transport, barren battery cages and sow stalls among other things.

Boris Johnson, together with Zac Goldsmith and before that Michael Gove, achieved more than any previous government for non-human creatures: introducing compulsory CCTV in slaughterhouses, increasing sentences for cruelty to five years and banning the ivory trade.

A lot remained to be done – especially after Jacob Rees-Mogg sabotaged bans on fur and foie gras – but credit at least where it’s due. It’s clear that sacking Lord Goldsmith, who was perhaps just too effective for the new PM’s liking, is a taste of what’s to come.

After all, even George Eustice, a former environment secretary not especially beloved of animal rights supporters, admitted he had difficulty in getting Truss “to recognise the importance of animal welfare in particular” in trade talks.

Hard-right Tories are ideologically opposed to banning things, but they fail to understand that often things are banned for good reasons. After all, we no longer send children up chimneys or let people carry guns in the UK.

In the current climate, however, the future for all sorts of animals looks bleak in Truss’s Britain. Campaigners for their welfare are counting the days until the general election in the hope of ousting this tin-eared leader. Three quarters of respondents in one survey wanted more laws to improve animal welfare and prevent cruelty, not fewer.

As Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International UK, puts it: “Animals are so important to the electorate, and will matter at the ballot box; [it is] mystifying if Downing Street fails to see that.”

It’s hard to believe Truss actually wants animals to suffer, but unless she pulls some surprises out of her hat, she’s doing an extremely good impression of it.

Regards Mark

Reproduced from ‘Voices’, The Independent newspaper, England.

Voices: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable (msn.com)

Below – me fighting the live animal export trade at Dover, England. 35+ years of this, to now have it thrown back in my face. Yes, insulting.

UK: Make No Mistake, We Are Angry. This Government Today Has Launched An Attack On Nature. And By The Way, WE Vote !

From our environmental friends at the ‘Guardian’, London.

In a forcefully worded statement posted on Twitter on Friday, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in England said plans for changed rules in investment zones “potentially tears up the most fundamental legal protections our remaining wildlife has”.

“Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature.

In a statement on Sunday, the head of the National Trust, Hilary McGrady, said that it was “a crucial moment for our natural environment”.

She wrote: “Nature is in decline and we need bold action on climate change. These concerns are shared by the public. Poll upon poll show that further ambition on net zero and nature are widely supported.

“Rather than ramp up action to support our environment, this government appears however to be heading in the opposite direction. Environmental protections are dismissed as ‘burdens’, whilst investment and growth are pitted against nature and climate action.

Conservation groups brand mini-budget an ‘attack on nature’

RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and National Trust criticise plans to create 38 ‘investment zones’ across England

The government has been accused of launching an “attack on nature” with its mini-budget, which conservationists warn could roll back environmental rules.

Groups including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Wildlife Trusts and the National Trust have criticised plans, announced on Friday, to create 38 “investment zones” across England.

The announcement of the new areas by the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, where planning rules will be loosened to release more land for commercial use and housing, will act as a “carte blanche” for development, leading conservation charities warned, and represent an “unprecedented attack on nature”.

“Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature,” the RSPB tweeted. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife is facing one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades.”

Making reference to a new bill introduced to parliament on Thursday, which could lead to the removal of EU environmental protections such as the Habitats Regulations, the charity added: “What the government has proposed in today’s mini-budget on top of yesterday’s announcements potentially tears up the most fundamental legal protections our remaining wildlife has.”

Beccy Speight, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Nature is already in trouble. Taken together, these announcements, combined with the rumoured watering down of the new land management schemes for farming, could be the final nail in its coffin.”

She added: “Our economy and our health depend on a thriving natural world.”

In a strongly worded tweet in support of the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts said: “Make no mistake – we are also incredibly angry.

“We stand with RSPB England in calling out the unprecedented attack on nature launched by UK government over the last few days. We’ll be challenging this together and asking for our supporters to stand with us.”

Craig Bennett, the trust’s chief executive, said environmental organisations were previously reassured over nature protections lost through Brexit, but now nature is in “catastrophe”.

“Farming reform was supposed to be the silver lining but now the government looks set to renege on that too,” he said, adding: “We need more nature.”

Sharing the RSPB’s tweet, the National Trust pledged to work with other nature charities and supporters to “defend important protections for nature long into the future”.

Labour also joined criticism over the planned investment zones, calling it “reckless”.

Lisa Nandy, the shadow levelling up secretary, said: “Slashing standards, destroying the environment and scrapping affordable housing is reckless and offers no prospect of sustainable growth. For most people, that’s levelling down, not up.

“This country needs a serious plan to get jobs and investment into every nation and region, money back into people’s pockets and locally driven growth, not more Amazon warehouses and deregulation.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) dismissed the claims, tweeting: “We have a plan for economic growth. It is not true to claim we are attacking nature nor going back on our commitments.

“We have legislated through the Environment Act and will continue to improve our regulations and wildlife laws in line with our ambitious vision.”

A Defra spokesperson added: “Farmers are brilliant at producing high-quality food for consumption at home and for export and now we need them to go further, as productivity gains have been flat for many years.

Conservation groups brand mini-budget an ‘attack on nature’ | Wildlife | The Guardian

Government poised to scrap nature ‘Brexit bonus’ for farmers

Defra (the Badger killers – WAV) accused of ‘all-out attack’ on environment by wildlife groups

The government is to scrap the “Brexit bonus” which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups are calling an “all-out attack” on the environment, the Observer can reveal.

Instead, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sources disclosed, they are considering paying landowners a yearly set sum for each acre of land they own, which would be similar to the much-maligned EU basic payments scheme of the common agricultural policy.

The Environment Land Management Scheme (Elms), devised by the former environment secretary Michael Gove, was constructed to encourage farmers to create space for rare species including wading birds and dormice, as well as absorbing carbon to help England reach its net zero target. Pilot schemes have created rare habitats and brought back species including nightingales, beavers and white stork.

Now, landowners and land managers who have been part of Elms have told the Observer that meetings with the government about their land have been removed from the diary as the scheme goes on pause.

Defra sources confirmed that Elms measures are under review and area-based payment is on the table.

Daniel Zeichner, the Labour MP for Cambridge and shadow farming minister, said this was a “complete betrayal of something that they said would be one of the key benefits of Brexit”. Many farmers had changed how they use their land because of the forthcoming Elms requirements.

He added: “Any reversal of the scheme would be highly disruptive to the sector; we agreed with the broad direction of it, although we did think the government was moving too quickly.

“This is a complete step back from their promises, and to tear it up without any consultation would be nothing short of mindless vandalism.”

The prominent Conservative Ben Goldsmith, a former Defra board member, said he was disgusted by the plans. He commented: “There are rumours that the government is considering resuscitating an old subsidy scheme in which landowners across the country will be paid per acre of land that they own, no matter how well they care for it. In 2022 – surely not.

“A system governed by the principle of public money (only) for public environmental good is a much better idea than unconditional subsidies for landowners. Let’s hope the government sticks to the course.”

Wildlife groups are set to revolt over the move.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, which has 860,000 members, said: “They have no democratic mandate to do this, it was in the election manifesto. What you’ve seen in the space of the last week is Liz Truss’s government basically trashing all the environmental commitments that were in the 2019 manifesto.

“If now, this government is going back to area-based payments, then it will have dumped the one silver lining around Brexit that perhaps might have been good for the environment. It seems there is an all-out attack on the environment under Liz Truss’s government.”

Shaun Spiers, executive director of Green Alliance, said: “I cannot believe a government committed to ‘the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on Earth’ would do anything as reckless with taxpayers’ money. It would make the budget look like a model of caution and prudence.”

Isabella Tree, who runs the Knepp Estate in Sussex, was supposed to operate one of the government’s flagship landscape recovery schemes. Her area is pioneering nature-friendly farming and is a recipient of nature recovery funding, and she is the author of perhaps the world’s best-known rewilding manual, Wilding.

She said: “Elms has been four years of deep thinking about the future, millions of hours spent by thousands of people from all sectors, about how we can reform land management so we don’t destroy the systems we depend on, so we have an agronomy, a land base and natural resources that will sustain us for generations to come.

“For once there was long-term vision from government. And to think that all of that effort and all that time and dedication and deep understanding is just being tossed aside beggars belief..”

The National Farmers’ Union has been pushing back against plans to pay farmers for nature schemes rather than food production.

Minette Batters, the NFU president, welcomed the departure from Elms. “My absolute priority is ensuring that farmers can continue to produce the nation’s food – so I do support maintaining direct payments in order to build a scheme that really will deliver for food production and the environment,” she said.

A Defra spokesperson did not deny the change was to take place, and said:

“To boost the rural economy, food production and our food security, we will continue to support farmers and land managers by reviewing farm regulation, boosting investment and innovation in the sector.”

Regards Mark

PS Truss – we remember the on going badger cull also.