Category: Environmental

EU: Positive Progress for Animals! The European Parliament Adopted Ambitious Report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy.

WAV Comment – What with proposed action on the banning of intensive cage systems; maybe the EU is beginning to listen to the wants of its citizens – most who have demands and positive aspirations regarding positives in animal welfare; but who also need authorities to listen and act !Maybe now they start to act after so many years of ignoring the cries; human and animal.

BUT, we still need much better legislation and enforcement of regulations regarding the transportation of live, sentient beings. Here the EU always has failed big time.

14/6/21 – Mr Philip Wollen Becomes The First WAV Patron; We Are (More Than) Delighted, and Welcome Him To The Group. – World Animals Voice

Positive Progress for animals! The European Parliament adopted ambitious Report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy

9 June 2021

Press Release

The European Parliament’s report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy, adopted 8/6/21, demonstrates the clear commitment of the Parliament to ensure the effective implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 by securing adequate financial resources, binding objectives and adopting new legislation. The Parliament is urging European Commission and Member States to turn the present crisis into an opportunity and move away from “economic growth at any cost”, ensuring a real green recovery.

Back in May 2020 Eurogroup for Animals welcomed the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030 as a key delivery of the EU Green Deal, and then wholeheartedly welcomed MEP César Luena’s (S&D) INI Own Initiative Report , which was adopted by the ENVI Committee at the end of May 2021.

Thanks also to our Stop Pandemics? Start here campaign, the joined efforts of our members, and the support of many MEPs, most of our recommendations to block amendments on the ENVI report were taken into account, and yesterday the vote in Plenary clearly demonstrated the European Parliament’s support to ensure the effective implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2030. 

The strategy has the potential to bring the necessary change to protect our planet’s biodiversity, ecosystems and environment, and to prevent future pandemics and spread of zoonotic diseases, ensuring that the tools and resources are made available to make that ambition a reality, with important effects on animal protection:

  • Acknowledging that both the illegal and legal trade in, and use of, wildlife significantly contribute to biodiversity decline, calling on the European Commission (EC) to jointly address legal and illegal trade in the review of the EU Wildlife Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.
  • Highlighting that the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking should receive adequate funding, including assistance to wildlife rescue centres and sanctuaries.
  • Calling on the EC to propose EU-wide wide positive lists of species permitted for import, keeping, breeding and trade as pets as soon as possible, also to prevent the introduction of new invasive alien species.
  • Calling on the EC and the Member States (MS) to lead efforts to end the commercial trade in endangered speciesand their parts.
  • Recognising ecocide as an international crime. 
  • Highlighting that EU agriculture should be transformed to make it sustainable and ensure high animal welfare standards, setting the benchmark in terms of standards for sustainable food systems. 
  • Acknowledging that fur production can significantly compromise animal welfare and increases their susceptibility to infectious diseases including zoonoses, as has occurred with COVID-19 in mink.
  • Calling on the EC and the MS to take adequate measures to facilitate the coexistence with large predators, such as preventive and compensation measures, ensuring their protection.
  • Recognising the importance of cetacean protection, and the need for the EU to take action with regard to whaling.
  • Recognising that catching fish to feed carnivorous farmed fish is a driver of marine biodiversity loss.

We applaud the Parliament for their commitment to animals which comes after a year-long campaign to prevent future pandemics and improve animal protection at the same time. We trust the Commission will listen to the Parliament’s calls and use the Biodiversity Strategy to introduce EU wide Positive Lists for exotic pets which would be a total gamechanger for the animals but also for human health”.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals

ENDS

Notes:


Roadmap for EU biodiversity strategy


The unregulated exotic pet trade in the EU: a threat to health and biodiversity


Analysis of national legislation related to the keeping and sale of exotic pets in Europe 


COVID-19 and the wildlife trade


Think positive – why Europe needs ‘positive lists’ to regulate the sale and keeping of exotic animals as pets


Exotic pet trade: analysis of the problems and identification of solutions


Stop pandemics? Start here.


Scientific statement on public health risks from SARS-CoV-2 and the intensive rearing of mink 
 

Regards Mark

14/6/21 – Mr Philip Wollen Becomes The First WAV Patron; We Are (More Than) Delighted, and Welcome Him To The Group.

Today, 14/6/21 is a special day for us.

Purely coincidental that we had news through, today, on ‘Ban Live Exports Day’ – where global awareness and demonstrations are focussed towards ending this abhorrent trade in the transportation of live, sentient beings.

Philip Wollen is a Badass Vegan.

And the news is:

We welcome the great campaigner, speaker, writer and all round activist for so many causes, especially animal rights – Mr Philip Wollen, as our first WAV Patron.

Philip kindly responded to our request to be our Patron within a matter of hours, after

Like many of you, our friends and supporters; we have respected and admired so much about Philip over the years; the Ex Vice president of Citibank, who decided to get out of the race and put his money, knowledge and efforts into supporting good causes around the world.

We are delighted to have ‘Phil’ on board with us and welcome him into the World Animals Voice team.  We know this friendship will be effective and long lasting; especially as we as anti export campaigners and animal rights activists; like Phil; still have a lot to say and do with efforts to end this trade and so many other global animal abuses.

So, Philip; Venus and Mark warmly welcome you into our WAV fold, and us being welcomed into yours. 

Here is a link directly into the site run by Philip and his wife Trix, Winsome Constance Kindness :

https://www.kindnesstrust.com/

You can read more about the work of the organisation by clicking on the above link; but here below is a summary of Philip Wollen as written for an introduction transcript for an MC (Master of Ceremonies) at a recent charity event:

Introducing Philip Wollen –

Philip Wollen, at 34 was Vice-President of Citibank. The Financial Press named him in the “Top 40 Brightest and Best” executives in Australia.

During his travels, by age 40 he’d witnessed cruelty so egregious he decided to do all he could to alleviate suffering, and give away everything he owned, with warm hands, and die broke. He jokes “So far, we are right on budget!”

Today, he is a “Venture Capitalist for Good Causes”, supporting some 500 mission-critical projects for children, animals and the environment in 40+ countries. Promoting “Ahimsa” (non -violence) and Veganism is his main interest.

He provides money for  Children, Animals, & the Environment with schools, orphanages, animal protection, shelters, clinics, medicines, biogas plants, ambulances, bore-wells and films; sponsored a married couple (cancer survivors) to run one marathon a day for 366 consecutive days around Australia’s coast, funded marine vessels, whale & seal rescue centres, primate sanctuaries, food, disaster relief, homeless people, victims of domestic violence, scholarships, the arts, health, forests and oceans, undercover anti-poaching operations through his operational “silos”, Kindness Farms, Kindness House, Kindness Oceans, Kindness Kids, Kindness Streets, & Kindness Mobile Restaurants for the Homeless.

Philip awards the annual Kindness Gold Medal & $20,000 Cash Prize to people who have devoted their lives in the service of others. Past recipients include Sir David Attenborough (UK), Dr Professor T. Colin Campbell (USA), Dr Ian Gawler OAM (Australia), Dr Jane Goodall DBE, Smt Maneka Gandhi MP (India), Captain Paul Watson (Canada), Dr Jill Robinson MBE (China), Dr Christine Townend (Australia), Captain Peter Hammarstedt (Sweden), Mr Christopher DeRose (USA), Rev. Dr Andrew Linzey (Oxford), Mr Damien Mander (Zimbabwe), Sri Pradeep Kumar Nath (India), Dr Chinny Krishna (India).

He has delivered speeches in the Parliament in The Hague, the Knesset Parliament in Israel, the European Parliament, the Parliament of World Religions, Universities, & international congresses and has discussed ethics with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Members of Parliament, Nobel Laureates & religious leaders from all the major faiths.

He is the Patron and Ambassador for many international groups; he has written Forewords for books by eminent authors on animal rights, health and ethics. His words have been read by millions around the world and his speeches have gone viral on the internet with over 60 million viewers and independently translated into over 20 languages.

Philip likes to be invisible.

  • The National Australia Day Council wrote: “Essentially a private man, Philip seeks no personal publicity. But he is not afraid to step into the limelight for a just cause”.
  • Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers accurately described him as “Reclusive”.

He has received the following awards:

  • The Order of Australia Medal in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
  • Australian of the Year (Victoria).
  • Honorary Fellow of the Oxford Centre of Animal Ethics, UK.
  • Distinguished Alumni Award from The University of Adelaide.
  • Australian Humanitarian Award, Australia
  • Supreme Master Shining World Hero Award, Asia
  • Cottonian of Eminence Award, India
  • Humanitarian Award McKee Project, Costa Rica
  • Sea Shepherd Volunteer of the Decade, Australia
  • The Albert Schweitzer Award, USA
  • The Peter Singer Prize and Medal, Berlin, Germany

So here we are;  ladies and gentlemen; Mr Philip Wollen – Patron of ‘World Animals Voice’. We look forward very much to working with you in the future to end animal suffering.

EU: Animal Ice Sculptures Left Melting Outside European Parliament To Link Animal Ag And Climate Crisis.

‘Change your plate, not the climate. Animal agriculture is melting the ice caps. Go vegan’

Animal Ice Sculptures Left Melting Outside European Parliament To Link Animal Ag And Climate Crisis

Go Vegan: Animals Melt Outside European Parliament | Plant Based News ‘The climate crisis requires urgent action’ Credit: PETA France

Animal-shaped ice sculptures have been left outside the European Parliament, highlighting the link between animal agriculture and the climate crisis

A pig, cow, and chicken sculpture were constructed in front of the parliamentary headquarters – located in Strasbourg, France. 

‘Go vegan’

They slowly melted over a banner that read: “Change your plate, not the climate. Animal agriculture is melting the ice caps. Go vegan.”

Moreover, the demonstration was spearheaded by vegan charity PETA, ahead of World Environment Day (June 5).

European Parliament

It follows a letter sent by the organization’s French affiliate to European Parliament President David Sassoli. It calls on him to ensure the Parliament serves exclusively vegan meals as well as ‘send a responsible and compassionate message to the whole world’.

“As you know, the climate crisis requires urgent action,” the letter reads.

“The science is clear on this topic: animal-derived products – including chicken, fish, cheese, and eggs – have a much bigger environmental footprint than plant-based foods. 

“The United Nations has considered animal agriculture to be one of the main causes of issues such as deforestation, pollution, dead zones in the oceans, habitat loss, species extinction, and melting ice caps.

“[This] is why it has warned that a change in diet is needed to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis.”

The letter then says representatives must ‘lead by example’. It argues switching to a vegan menu is ‘not only easy but also cuts food-related carbon emissions by 73 percent’.

Regards Mark

China: herd of wild Asian elephants in Yunnan takes a break

A wild Asian elephant herd left the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in southwest China’s Yunnan Province and started marching north in mid-March.

After passing through several counties and occasionally wandering into villages and towns, they have stopped and taken a rest in a suburban area of Kunming City.

The number of elephants in the herd has changed as the their journey progressed. The latest tally is 14, after one male left the group.

What has made these endangered animals leave their habitat and march north remains uncertain. According to some experts, the reason is probably that the environmental protection process in the area has provided a good habitat for the Asian elephants, which enables them to breed more.

The march might be a dispersion of the population, with conditions allowing the group of elephants to leave and look for new habitats.

Image shows wild elephants wandering in YunanThe journey has comprised a mixture of farms, tracks and asphalt and has continued night and day

Local authorities in the places that the elephants visited have all carried out comprehensive response plans to ensure the safety of both humans and the elephants.

In both Yuxi City and Kunming City, contingency plans have been launched with equipment including unmanned aircraft that were used to continuously monitor the elephants’ activities and emergency mucking trucks that were sent to block surrounding roads into the village.
People were quickly organized to evacuate where necessary and food was also used to guide elephants away from urban areas.

Asian elephants are under first-class state protection in China and are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
The population of wild Asian elephants has been increasing in China, from 180 in 1980s to about 300 now.

The migration of the wild elephants in China has already stepped into international spotlight.

Media outlets including TV Asahi, the BBC and the New York Times reported the animals’ ongoing journey, analyzing the possible reasons behind the migration.

Efforts to turn them around have failed, and scientists may have to try and find them a suitable place to live nearby.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-06-08/Herd-of-wild-Asian-elephants-in-SW-China-s-Yunnan-takes-a-break-10VugLV1sli/index.html

We wish the travelers a lot of strength and good luck in their new home

My best regards to all, Venus

England: EU Must Stop Paying For Adverts For Animal Products. CIWF London.

From Compassion In World Farming (CIWF), London:

 

EU must stop paying for ads for animal products | Compassion in World Farming (ciwf.eu)

 

The EU gives millions of euros each year for marketing campaigns with the purpose of increasing our consumption of animal products made in the EU.

This poor use of public funds unfortunately hampers efforts to reform our food systems and tackle issues related to environmental degradation, animal welfare and human health. We are calling on the European Commission to revise this absurd policy, in line with its recent plans to reform food production and beat cancer.

The EU is now in the process of revising its advertising scheme for European agricultural products. The current scheme funds marketing campaigns that present a false image of how animals are raised and may mislead consumers about the health and the environmental impacts of animal products.

In one notorious example, the ‘Beefetarian’ marketing campaign, the EU awarded €3.6m to ‘incite the consumers not to have a stereotyped idea about red meat and to enable them to be again confident about their consumption decision.’

The funding that the EU allocates for advertising animal products is simply not aligned with the latest ambitions of EU strategies to tackle issues such as unhealthy diets, poor animal welfare, climate change, pollution of air, land and water and the associated decimation of biodiversity.

In February this year, the Commission published a new plan to fight cancer, which includes a commitment to encourage a ‘shift to a more plant-based diet, with less red and processed meat and other foods linked to cancer risk and more fruit and vegetables.’

Earlier, in May 2020, the Commission released its new food policy vision – the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, which recognised that our ‘food consumption patterns are unsustainable’, and that the EU average consumption of whole-grain cereals, fruit and vegetables, legumes and nuts ‘is insufficient.’

The EU rears and slaughters 9 billion terrestrial animals each year.[1] Insufficient legal protection of their welfare condemns billions of these sentient beings to short and brutal lives on factory farms and to suffering at slaughter. In addition, over half a billion fish spend a life of misery in underwater factory farms in the EU. Cruel methods of capture and slaughter are commonly used for farmed and wild fish.

To protect our health and our one and only planet, scientists are recommending that Europeans reduce their consumption of red meat and poultry by two thirds.

EU-funded ads should no longer incite an increased consumption of animal products. Instead, they should support plant-rich foods and thus facilitate a transition to healthier and more environmentally friendly diets. Fewer animals raised for food also means that we can more easily transition away from intensive methods of production, which cause animals tremendous suffering.

[1] Estimates based on FAO data.

Regards Mark

USA: Howl Like Hell ! – Be A Voice For Idaho’s Wolves – Take Action Here – Project Coyote Action Alert.

Dear Mark,

Now that the heinous legislation SB 1211 allowing the slaughter of 90 percent of Idaho’s 1,500 wolves has become law effective July 1, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game is seeking public comment on regulations to align with SB 1211 and allow wolves to be killed with traps, snares, dogs, and in dens along with pups.

What we are witnessing is a return to an old form of brutal wolf hatred and it is clear that Idaho is on a warpath to eradicate wolves by any means. We must speak out against this hatred. Even if you don’t live in Idaho, you can still speak up. This action will take less than a minute and the deadline is June 13, so please take action NOW!

Tell Idaho Fish and Game You Stand with Wolves!

1. Go to this ID Fish and Game page and scroll to the bottom.

a. Indicate whether you are a resident

b. Select NO for the second question.

c. Complete the contact information (all fields are required).

TAKE ACTION NOW red Rubber Stamp over a white background.

2. Email the Director of Idaho Fish and Game, Ed Schriever, and the Commission, using the talking points below and copying the following emails:

rules@idfg.idaho.gov, ed.schriever@idfg.idaho.gov, MagicValley.Commissioner@idfg.idaho.gov, tim.murphy@idfg.idaho.gov, brad.corkill@idfg.idaho.gov, clearwater.commissioner@idfg.idaho.gov, lane.clezie@idfg.idaho.gov, derick.attebury@idfg.idaho.gov, salmon.commissioner@idfg.idaho.gov

3. Sign our Petition and share this action alert and infographic with friends and family and on social media!

Talking points to craft your message (and please personalize):

The majority of Idahoans and Americans support wolf recovery at levels where wolves can fulfill their ecological functions. Almost no one supports wasting tax dollars to recover wolves, just to exterminate them again.

Thank you for acting TODAY to protect Idaho’s wolves and their ecosystems!

For Wild Nature,

Camilla Fox
Founder & Executive Director
Michelle Lute, PhD
National Carnivore Conservation Manager

Howl like hell – make the difference;

Regards Mark

Light In A Dark Forest – Animal Photojournalism – Exposing The Reality The Business Does Not Want You To nSee.

Hidden book Jo-Anne McArthur listing image

Above – Award-winning photographer, journalist and campaigner Jo-Anne McArthur – author of Hidden: Animals In The Anthropocene (Image credit: © Animal Equality)

WAV Comment: 

Every photographer, professional, amateur, or simply casual, hopes that maybe one day, one of their images will have that ‘something extra’ that makes it so special in different ways for so many people to view with awe or amazement.  As a youngster, I can remember one such image from the Viet Nam war showing a little girl who’s village had just been bombed with napalm.  Decades on, this image is one of those which captured my sesnse into the reality of war and what it does to people – do you remember it ?

Or, as an activist, one of my all time favourite photos (below); Watson and Hunter on the ice; stoopping the seal hunter ship from continuing with its disgusting business. 

Or the very recent article by Venus, showing the suffering calves in Austria – Calf fattening in Austria: Animal suffering and fraud – World Animals Voice  – different images which all show the viewer the reality of the issue; often in the case of animal abuses, which are so different to the yukspeak the industry pumps us with; now we see the ‘reality’, as opposed to the spin and ‘happy cow’ images churned out by the trade and industry.

Thanks to those involved with Animal Photojournalism, the tightened lid of the abuse and suffering of so many animals is now being unscrewed and the contents of reality are being exposed to the world.  We thank all animal Animal Photojournalists in so many locations for making our work easier, by supporting what we say and have always said with the images.  Now, the abusers can run but they cannot hide – their cruelty is being exposed every minute of every day, and long may ‘normal’ people continue to be shown the real side of their dinner; or their clothes, or how their handbags are produced.

The lid has been taken off and the world is being educated for the better.

Regards Mark

One of my photos which hopefully puts the hunters claim of a ‘quick kill bite on the back of the neck’ into the disgusting reality it really is – fox hunting does not know the term ‘quick kill’:

New book Hidden shows why animal photojournalism really matters right now | Digital Camera World

New book Hidden shows why animal photojournalism really matters right now

By Graeme Green April 15, 2021

This emerging genre focuses on humankind’s relationship with nature – and these images are not for the faint-hearted

“Animal Photojournalism is extremely urgent and relevant to the issues of today,” says Jo-Anne McArthur, an award-winning Canadian photographer, journalist and campaigner. 

She has coined the term Animal Photojournalism (APJ) for an emerging genre of photography that focuses on people’s relationship with nature and highlights the suffering of billions of animals on the planet from human activities, including factory farms, breeding facilities and animal experimentation. 

The abuse of nature isn’t just bad for animals; it’s impacting all of our lives, from climate change to the global pandemic (said to have come from bats or pangolins in China’s wildlife markets). McArthur is also the author of Hidden: Animals In The Anthropocene and the founder of We Animals Media. 

We sat down with her to discuss animal photojournalism, and why it is so important. 

How do you define Animal Photojournalism? 

I call it an emerging genre, coming out of a number of different kinds of photography. Wildlife photography became a lot more about conservation photography, but conservation photography still excludes a number of animals, namely domestic animal and the billions of animals in labs and factory farms. 

Because these animals are sentient and relevant, Animal Photojournalism likes to include all of them. That’s why we call them the ‘hidden’ animals, – they’re hidden from the public conscience, hidden from the media. We’re trying to bring those animals and stories forward.

It’s also a mix of a bit of conflict photography and street photography.

Animal issues are affecting everyone on the planet. Do you see APJ as a growing area?  

Yes, that’s why I wanted Animal Photojournalism to mean something in its own right. Journalism is usually newsy and timely. I wanted to define it as its own thing and as something that overlaps with other current important issues. 

For example, factory farming contributes to climate change, it overlaps with labour rights, it overlaps with human health issues and with the pandemic right now, which is caused by our animal use. That’s all part of the definition. 

Who would you flag as great examples of animal photojournalists? 

There’s a Spanish photographer who goes by the pseudonym Aitor Garmendia. He’s won a number of awards and won in the World Press Photo awards this year in the Environment category for his investigations of pig farms. 

And there’s a Polish photographer, who also uses a pseudonym, Andrew Skowron. These guys are absolutely relentless and tireless in their work. They produce a lot of investigative work that’s been used by NGOs globally.

Many photos by you and other animal photojournalists are disturbing to look at and many people will want to turn away. How challenging is it as an area to work in?

Yes, we’re not producing images for people’s walls. They sometimes end up on walls at exhibits on the topic. 

But these images are largely for campaigners. They’re for the education of the general masses. We want them to end up in major media outlets. 

That’s our piece of the puzzle, when it comes to changing things for animals. Journalists are out there to show the public what’s happening behind closed doors. We often provide material evidence for NGOs to show the public.

These photos need to communicate a story or a message and need to be visually striking. What is your creative approach and how do you balance those elements? 

We can talk about an individual image or a narrative. Photojournalists are working on both. We want a storyline. We want to show the big picture. 

What’s really interesting about animal industries is that these animals are being farmed in the billions every day. We can go into a hen farm or a boiler chicken farm, and we might meet 900,000 birds in all the barns. It’s absolutely insane. So we want to show scale, whether that’s with a drone or with the wild angle. 

But then we also want to show the individuals who make up those millions. As with war photography, we can relate much better when we make eye contact with an individual, seeing their suffering up-close through the lens. 

A lot of my most relatable images have been ones where I’m actually up-close with an animal, with a wide angle, so I’m showing the individual looking at me, but also showing the context and situation this animal is in. 

Is this photography that’s all about having an impact?

I wish I could hold up an image of animal torture to people and have them say, “Oh my God, I’m never doing that again.” 

But people don’t do that. People are defensive and very attached to the way we do things. I understand that. 

That’s why it’s important to have context and narrative, working with NGOs, giving solutions… It’s not just about the field work.

‘Hope In A Dark Forest’, your photo of an Eastern grey kangaroo and infant in Australia’s forest fires, won the Man & Nature category in Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020. Was that a difficult photo to get? 

I knew that photo was going to be a killer picture before I shot it. It’s in an eucalyptus plantation, so everything was in rows. 

Through the diagonal rows I could see that the kangaroo was there, and I started walking towards the angle I wanted. 

I wanted to shoot straight down through the plantation. I could see the colours and the quality of the light, her fur, and I was thinking “Oh no, oh no”, in case she moved. I got to where I needed to be and she stayed there and just watched me. I took a picture but I knew the picture I wanted was if I was more eye-to-eye, so I crouched down. I had time to get a few photos, then she bounced off. 

It was one of those moments when you want to put that image on your hard drive and in the cloud and back it up a few times because you know you captured a poignant moment. 

Sure enough, other people agreed. That photo is quite well-known now. It has been used and printed the world over. 

Hidden: Animals In The Anthropocene is on sale now

Featuring images by 40 animal photojournalists and a foreword by Joaquin Phoenix, Hidden: Animals In The Anthropocene by Jo-Anne McArthur, is on sale now and is published by We Animals Media.

For more about Jo-Anne’s work, click here

Jo-Anne also co-founded Unbound, a multimedia documentary project highlighting women in conservation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urge the COP26 Climate Summit to Serve a 100% Vegan Menu.

Urge the COP26 Climate Summit to Serve a 100% Vegan Menu

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) climate summit is fast approaching.

Urge the president of COP26 – Alok Sharma – to set a meaningful example during this time of climate emergency by serving a fully vegan menu at the event.

Eating Vegan Is Better for the Environment

The fishing, meat, dairy, and egg industries are not only cruel to animals but also cause catastrophic damage to the environment. For decades, the United Nations has identified animal agriculture as a leading cause of deforestation, pollution, ocean dead zones, habitat loss, species extinction, and zoonotic disease spread.

Plant-based foods have a far smaller carbon footprint than their animal-derived equivalents, even when comparing imported plant proteins to flesh from grass-fed, locally farmed animals. And a switch to vegan eating can reduce food-related carbon emissions by 73%. Quite simply, eating meat and dairy is part of what got us into this mess.

The COP26 Climate Summit Should Set an Example

Given everything we now know about the devastating impact of animal agriculture on the environment, serving meat, dairy, or eggs at a climate change summit would be like distributing cigarettes at a health convention.

Plants are the way forward, and a vegan menu would not only allow attendees to dine with a clear conscience but also set an important example for the world to follow.

Take action and tell Alok Sharma, president of COP26, to set an example and only serve vegan food at the event:

ACTION:

Urge the COP26 Climate Summit to Serve a 100% Vegan Menu | People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (peta.org.uk)

Regards Mark

Asia: Bear paws, pangolin scales: Wildlife trade flourishing in Mekong.

Pangolin scales for sale in a market in Mong La in Myanmar [Courtesy of Chris R Shepherd/TRAFFIC]
Pangolin scales for sale in a market in Mong La in Myanmar [Courtesy of Chris R Shepherd/TRAFFIC]

Bear paws, pangolin scales: Wildlife trade flourishing in Mekong

Investigation finds thousands of illegal animal parts and products at markets across five countries

A new study by TRAFFIC, a group that monitors the illegal trade in wildlife, has found thousands of animal parts and products – from pangolin scales to ivory and bear bile – for sale in five countries in mainland Southeast Asia, underlining the region’s struggle to address wildlife crime and the need to intensify anti-trafficking efforts.

The group says its researchers found close to 78,000 illegal wildlife parts and products for sale in more than 1,000 outlets in select towns and cities in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar throughout 2019 and 2020.

The parts and products originated from a wide array of animals including bears, big cats, helmeted hornbills and pangolins, but TRAFFIC said ivory products were among the most prominent.

Laotian Giant Flying Squirrel in a market in Muang Sing, Laos [Courtesy of Agkillah Maniam/TRAFFIC]

Individual species, many of them endangered, were found to have been used for multiple products. Researchers found pangolin scales both raw and ground for medicinal use, as well as made into jewellery or talismans. The pangolin is said to be the world’s most trafficked mammal.

“The variety and prevalence of illegal wildlife trade in several locations emphasised that the circumstances facilitating illegal trade have not only remained but, in some cases, proliferated,” Agkillah Maniam, a TRAFFIC consultant said in a statement.

The lower Mekong region has long been recognised as a hub for the illegal wildlife trade and has been a focus of efforts to improve enforcement and policy interventions, as well as providing officials with the tools to effectively combat such crimes.

In 2019, the nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency found Vietnam’s “out-of-control, illegal wildlife trade” had helped drive demand globally, and that the Southeast Asian nation was now “the leading destination for illicit ivory”.

Poachers operating in Malaysia’s forests, often from Vietnam or Cambodia and working for buyers in China and elsewhere in the region, are blamed for helping push the Malayan tiger to the brink of extinction.

Wildlife parts for sale in Mong La market in Myanmar [Courtesy of Chris R Shepherd/TRAFFIC]

TRAFFIC’s research found that wildlife markets across the five Mekong countries continue to operate in the open, including in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) that governments have set up to boost foreign investment and create jobs.

Although restrictions associated with COVID-19 did have some effect on the illegal trade, TRAFFIC says surveys carried out late last year showed illegal products remained easily available.

In December 2020, Vietnamese authorities seized 93kg of African rhino horns from a warehouse near Ho Chi Minh City’s international airport.

“It would be naïve to think that the pandemic alone will dampen wildlife crime in the long term,” said Kanitha Krishnasamy, director for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia. “Monitoring and investigations must continue.

“There’s also a need for strengthening collaboration and public commitment from all governments in the region. The illicit wildlife trade problem here is not something countries can tackle on their own.”

Bear paws, pangolin scales: Wildlife trade flourishing in Mekong | Crime News | Al Jazeera

Regards to all

Mark