Y’ know, ever since I was a little boy, I had something inside of me in which wanted to help animals and their welfare.
When I was 8 years old I was out on my bike one Sunday and saw a 3 tier livestock transporter loaded to the max with sheep, heading down to the Kent ports and a Channel cross where they would be slaughtered in Europe (something I did not know at the time).
It was raining, it was cold, and I could see all the sheep were suffering a lot; there was little space for them and they were unable to move around.
There and then that day; I made a pledge with myself that when I grew up; if I could, I would do something to try and stop the suffering of those innocent, sentient beings.
Decades and decades later I am still fighting the fight against live animal transport. I became very involved when I was around 17 to follow up that pledge I had set myself earlier to do something – over the years I worked as a volunteer with several animal organisations; doing legal work, investigation work, and becoming the EU rep associated with live transport for one organisation. It became an obsession really, crazy busy; and only after 35 + years of campaigning have we now stopped all live animal shipments to Europe for either slaughter or further fattening. The little kid made the pledge when he was 8 and only now has the dream become fruition and worked for better for hundreds of thousands of farm animals.
My (proper) work took me to many places – as I say
“I had a bloody good time doing military fast jets for 24 years; ‘down and dirty’ with the best – ‘RAF Tornado’.
.. but to be honest, the animal rights / welfare person in me has always been just as strong as the ‘proper’ day job Marky ever since I was 15 or 16 years old, and the creation of SAV and WAV is a kind of ultimate destination for me really; there is nothing quite like the satisfaction to be gained by anyone, anywhere, helping to save the lives of, and improving the welfare of animals in need; no matter how big or small their dedication, contribution or effort; everyone simply does what they can to make things better – and slowly they win !
– I am delighted to be an animals voice; one of many, in this crazy, cruel, (and unfortunately) money-driven world”
Today, nothing has changed – the animal rights / welfare person in me has never drifted. I say that because I know the bloke quite well !
In 2005 I set up ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ to try and fight for the stray animals against the government of Serbia; and the rest of the Balkans. You can visit the site here to see what was taken on:
The biggest win was for Serbian animals in the fur trade rather than strays which we fought for. Working with buddy Mark Glover at ‘Respect for Animals’ here in England, we finally achieved the aim of getting Serbia to impose a fur ban which commenced on 1st January 2019 – check it out: serbia | Search Results | Respect for Animals
Please, no more bad hug nights like this; the right night hug is wonderful and sexy, but only when you get it from someone special; and it is not done by un unseen ‘thing’; then it becomes a bastard.
Fortunately, there are brilliant bands like the Cure; so they bring some solace when things are down.
Sorry folks for not posting recently, but have been having REAL BAD fights with my MS over the last few weeks – we all enjoy a hug, but not this kind.
As the guy says here, it is NOT a nice hug:
Regardless, have been doing a little with a friend still about live animal transport.
Anyway, things a little better today so will try and catch up with a few things; here we go.
Joint letter urges EU Chief Veterinarians to put animal welfare issues on the agenda
3 April 2023
Together with Djurens Rätt, Eurogroup for Animals and eleven other organisations have sent a letter to the EU’s Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) asking to put important animal welfare issues on the agenda at the upcoming CVO meeting in April.
Ahead of the EU Chief Veterinary Officers’ (CVOs) planned meeting in Varberg, Sweden, on 25-28 April this year, Djurens Rätt has sent a joint letter along with twelve other animal protection organisations to the chief veterinarians.
The meeting’s theme is sustainability and will address current issues in the fields of animal health, welfare and food safety.
The letter outlines key animal welfare issues to be addressed at the meeting and urges the group to actively participate in the ongoing legislative process at EU level. They are also invited to participate in a meeting with signatory organisations to further discuss the content of the letter.
The letter addresses the following issues:
Reduced meat consumption and improved welfare for safe and sustainable food production
A Fur Free Europe
An end to caged animals (End the Cage Age)
Strengthened animal welfare for fish
An end to the distressing and cruel transport of animals
With this letter, a significant part of the international animal rights and welfare movement is sending clear messages to the EU Chief Veterinary Officers ahead of their meeting on sustainability in Varberg in April. Animal welfare is an important part of sustainability and I do hope that the entire CVO group is inspired by the content of the letter, to put the best interests of animals on the agenda and to use the opportunities they as a CVO group have, to contribute to strengthened animal welfare at EU level.
Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt
Hope to be posting more today, but please just accept things have been and are difficult at the moment.
On February 1st it will be the anniversary of the death of Jill Phipps; an animal activist who was murdered at Coventry by a truck carrying live baby calves into Coventry airport for export. I remember it very well as at the time I was entirely involved with animal exports campaigns from the port of Dover, Kent; England.
But the campaigns, protests and anti export feelings at Dover had reached a real fever pitch; as you can see in the following video – a typical day around Dover re live export – and as such, many of the ferry companies which used to take live animal transporters as part of their daily business decided to say ‘no more’ to accepting the trade and thus rejected it. The exporters were becoming isolated with their sordid trade and were trying every port (big or small) in Southern England to get their animals over the water.
Video – a typical protest day at Dover and the surrounding area:
At 27+ seconds you can see a ‘Gilder’ export truck – operated by brother GG Gilder – see Peter Gilder below.
The exporters and hauliers were in utter crisis as Dover port turned its back on the trade and would not accept it – aka people power !, and as a result the export industry had to turn to using other ports in Southern England and other means (ie by air) of getting live animals into Europe.
Also, at the same time, one of the main exporters / hauliers who constantly used Dover, named Peter Gilder, took Dover port to the high court for refusing the trade. The exporters and hauliers wanted to get Dover open again for their trade of death.
In the meantime whilst Dover was refusing the trade, small port towns such as Shoreham, Brightlingsea, and Ipswich were all used (as well as a few others) as trial ports in which the exporters attempted to continue their business.
In this next video you can see the huge public outcry and resultant protests at Shoreham (near to Brighton) about this small port being used for the export of live animals. For each shipment, huge numbers of police from London (the Met police) had to be shipped in to join local police for every export consignment – this is where the saying ‘I’ve met the Met, and got the bruises to prove it’ was originated.
This film below (and dedicated to Jill) follows weeks of daily demonstrations by hundreds and, at times, thousands of everyday people, who converged on a small harbour port in West Sussex, England, to protest and show their disgust about the export into Mainland Europe of thousands of calves, cattle and sheep.
Thousands of young calves were also destined for the veal crates, a system which was already banned in the UK where calves are kept locked into tiny boxes, only able to lay or stand, and are chained or tethered, forced to drink iron deficient milk substitute so as to satisfy those who like their flesh (veal) light rose coloured and tender. This system was already banned in the UK and so farmers were exporting these baby (male) animals to Europe where crating was still legal. How hypocritical !, the UK government banned the crates and then allowed male calves to be exported to Europe for crating !! – it was only the males which were exported, as male calves do not produce milk and thus are not used as replacements in the herd; they are essentially a ‘by product’; one which was used for veal meat production.
The film demonstrates the power of ordinary animal supportive people, when they get together and fight for the rights of those who do not have a voice.
Within weeks, these advocates for animals across Southern England managed to stop in their tracks, the big business who were profiteering from what people saw as a trade in suffering. Other harbour ports across Southern England also saw these exports stopped, due to persistent, big and daily demonstrations. Ordinary folk, from all walks of life, young and not so young, put their own liberty and personal safety at risk to try and protect animals as well as to highlight this issue of live animal exports.
Video – 1995 – the protest at Shoreham.
… and also at Brightlingsea,
Daily protests by the entire town folk of Brightlingsea in Essex against live animal exports in 1995, involved the crazy sight of hundreds of police officers (sometimes in full riot gear) forcing trucks full of sheep through narrow streets against a massive human blockade of outraged local residents. This is as good as people power gets, and the trade was eventually banned.
Video – the battle of Brightlingsea:
It was very hypocritical and involved a government exporting live calves from the UK to be incarcerated into ‘veal crates’, a system which the British had already banned. So here we were, a ban on veal crates, and a government which allowed calves to be exported to the very systems that they had banned – was it any wonder that people were bummed off (to put it mildly !).
Above – crated calves.
The exporters also attempted to air freight animals to Europe. Coventry airport, where our Jill was murdered, was one such airport.
Above – BJ – Calf Exporter, Arms Dealer and Drug Smuggler – all round no good.
The live calf shipments from Coventry airport were operated by a fellow named Barett Jolley (BJ). He was operating an aircraft from Coventry, which crashed in bad weather on the return flight, killing all five crew members. I wrote more about it recently:
After the tragic events at Coventry which included the death of our Jill, BJ was handed a 20 year jail sentence due to his attempted smuggling of £22 million of Cocaine into Southend airport which is on the SE coast of England.
He smuggled arms, he exported live veal calves; he attempted to smuggle drugs into the UK, and yet he was given police protection constantly at Coventry during the calf export protests, at which our dear Jill was killed.
I include another link to Jill which covers several posts you can read at your pleasure if you wish ::
well there have been a few computer updates (and the rest) happening over the last few weeks, but now hopefully things are finally getting more resolved.
Many thanks to Susie for her very kind supportive words and also her appreciation of the ‘MS’ issue. Yes, it can be difficult often.
You will notice now that rather than give lots of information in individual posts, I am mainly supplying a direct link which will take you to another source of information. Hopefully this will cut the time taken on compiling each post and may increase the amount if issues I cover. It is a trial but I think this will be the way forward; and only when I deal with personal campaigns and issues, for example (live transport investigations, – https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/about-us/
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.
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.
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.
Reproduced from ‘Voices’, The Independent newspaper, England.
WAV Comment – as Di says, we (her and I) have worked together on many animal issues in Germany and the UK for years. Di has saved many heavy horses from going into the meat trade, and being slaughtered in the past, and now sadly, Same, her own horse, has to be found a new home. Di provides details below for you. We need to get Same re homed within the next few weeks if at all possible.
‘Same’ currently lives in the Greater Stuttgart Area, North; Germany.
I seek a new home for my 6-year old Noriker gelding “Same Silver Elmar” due to, sadly, financial difficulties after repeated job loss. “Same” has been with me since he was a foal, coming from Kaernten, in Austria, in 2016 – that is, directly from the breeder near Jenig (“Leopard” only breeder).
He is not yet trained, but knows a little groundwork, likes going for walks. Hooves, leading, transporting are no problem. He is a good-natured, inquisitive, non-aggressive, human-oriented and very willing. Much like a big dog, who follows his Human around and is willing to please 🙂
I would like, for him, the right person, a friend and partner for life. Someone who can devote time and love into his careful training, and the building of a lasting friendship with him. He deserves no less.
Unfortunately, I am under pressure timewise (end of September – stable notice), after various parties abandoning their “very keen interest in that beautiful horse” recently, and hence I am stuck for options. I want to find the right place and people for him, as he is such a sweet guy, and handing him on to a trader will simply not do.
I have been involved with animal welfare, like Mark here, for many years, and “Same” is my 10th horse, saved from slaughter. I had hoped to be able to keep him, at least, but sadly that is not an option anymore.
The pot. price is a matter of discussion if the right offer comes along. I am also, of course, interested in other options, if someone can offer to help.
Thank you very much.
We are looking for a safe forever home for Same – please pass this link
I have given the link to this in the past, but for newer visitors you may wish to drop by and check it out sometime.
Back in 2005 I founded ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ (SAV) to try and get a lot more attention in the way that the Serbian government was abusing and killing stray animals (dogs and cats).
We had many long battles with the government over this issue of abuse and killing; and often it resulted in us taking our issues to the EU, as Serbia (was not and still is not) a nation which wished to become an EU member state. Basically, Serbia is unable to implement the rule of law (relating to its own national legislation) which is one of the core fundamentals for any nation wishing to become an EU member state.
So, I decided to close the site months ago due to the requirements of WAV, but you can still access all the site and read up on all our issues and fights by visiting the archive section on the left hand side.
Don’t forget that you need to go to the archive section on the left to get a month by month documentary of our fight for Serbian strays; and other issues such as farm animals and live exports from Serbia.
For example, you can see our expose of Serbian sheep being exported live to Israel here:
18/8 – well back home tonight as I have been released from hospital which I have been in for the past week. It relates to an old accident I had with a motorbike and rider when I was on my bike about 40 years ago doing some time trials.
Some of you have commented that that you are not getting ‘new data’ through – well there has been none due to situation described. Venus has moved on now so resources are limited and posts stop or are minimal until thins get back on track. I think this is the main issue with people as they think something has happened.
It is simply that circumstances over the last week have caused issues. I hope to start pushing out posts for you very soon; in the next day r so.
Sorry for the delay but hopefully tings are now getting back to more normal;