Category: Environmental

England: Great New Photos From Pauline – 22/5/22.

I have had some new (second set of) excellent photos through from my animal buddy Pauline.

You can view the first pictures she forwarded at:

Pauline has kindly sent some more – and here they are.

Thanks Pauline x; and thanks for the beautiful picture and mouse mat you sent me.

A Coot sits on its nest with a crested Grebe passing by.

Terrapin and Mallard Duck share a log.

Young Crested Grebes take a swim

Swan passes Terrapin.

Squirrel at Danson Park, London.

Regards Mark and Pauline.

Canada: Animal welfare advocates ask court to stop white-tailed deer cull south of Montreal.

MONTREAL — A well-known Quebec lawyer is going before the Superior Court to prevent the cull of white-tailed deer living in a forest on Montreal’s South Shore.

Lawyer Anne-France Goldwater, who has previously voiced her opposition to the plan, has filed a court petition on behalf of herself, a wildlife rescue organization called Sauvetage Animal Rescue, and a local animal-rights activist.

Goldwater is asking the court to prevent Quebec’s Wildlife Department and the City of Longueuil from killing the deer until the case is heard.

Last November, Longueuil Mayor Catherine Fournier said the city would kill all but about 15 deer in order to protect the Michel Chartrand Park, which can’t support the roughly 70 deer living there.

Sauvetage Animal Rescue had proposed to relocate the animals, but the committee said last year the only short-term solution was to kill them.

Longueuil’s previous administration had planned to cull the deer in the fall of 2020, but the city relented after a strong backlash that included a petition, a protest and threats against the former mayor.

Goldwater says the case is expected before a judge next month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Animal welfare advocates ask court to stop white-tailed deer cull south of Montreal (yahoo.com)

Regards Mark

USA: Urge President Biden to Use His Power to Act on the Climate Crisis, Clean Energy & Our Health.



Dear Mark,

The worsening climate crisis. Rising energy prices due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Shameful oil and gas industry exploitation of the war to lock in more drilling. A health crisis in communities plagued by persistent pollution, compounded by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

These are big challenges we’re facing — but a critical part of the solution is to break free from fossil fuels, shift to 100% clean energy, and invest in clean air, safe drinking water, and healthy communities.

Yet, fossil fuel corporations and their allies in Congress are doing everything they can to block progress. That’s why it’s all the more critical for the president and congressional leaders to use the power and the tools at their disposal to crack down on pollution, advance clean energy, and protect our health.

It’s up to us to compel them to use those tools.


So please, act now to send a message to the Biden administration demanding strong executive action on climate, clean energy, clean air, and public health.

In the weeks and months ahead, we expect a raft of important regulatory proposals from the EPA, the Interior Department, and the Department of Transportation. These include plans to:

  • Clean up pollution from cars and heavy-duty trucks and expand zero-emission and electric vehicles, as transportation is the #1 source of climate emissions in the U.S.
  • Crack down on emissions from dirty, outdated, fossil fuel power plants, the #2 source of climate emissions and a major driver of the air pollution affecting public health
  • Stop new offshore oil and gas drilling, which threatens coastal communities with devastating oil spills and keeps us addicted to dirty fossil fuels
  • Eliminate lead in drinking water that’s poisoning children across America, and clean up polluted lakes, rivers, and streams

Together with strong climate legislation from Congress, these safeguards are critical to meeting the nation’s goal of cutting climate pollution 50-52% by 2030 and building a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable world.

This is a leadership moment for Congress and the White House.

NRDC will be working hard to ensure that strong federal climate legislation passes, and that these federal standards are strong enough to address our climate crisis and improve public health. Backed by millions of supporters like you, we will:

  • Keep building massive public support for these policies through grassroots action to counter the destructive influence of fossil fuel industry lobbying power.
  • Turn to the federal courts if necessary to block illegal actions that harm our climate and ensure the law is upheld.
  • Fire up NRDC’s rapid response machine to mobilize our millions of members and supporters like you when the Biden administration releases proposed regulations, most of which will be open for public comment, public hearings, and more, in support of strong action.

We’ll call on you for help in the critical weeks and months ahead — but today, please join us in calling for President Biden to use the full extent of his power to lead on climate and clean energy, and lead boldly.

The science is clear — we don’t have much more time to avert the worst effects of climate change. The impacts of the climate crisis and our dangerous fossil fuel addiction are all around us. Rising temperatures, worsening extreme weather and wildfires, and rising fuel costs hit low-income and middle-class communities the hardest, especially communities of color.

Our leaders in Washington need to hear that the country expects them to stand and deliver on bold action to confront the climate crisis and set the stage for a generation of prosperity.

It’s time to close the deal. It’s time for Congress and the White House to act. And it’s time to let them know we’ve got their back when they do.

So please, help us build a growing chorus and join thousands of NRDC supporters to send your message now.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Manish Bapna
President and CEO, NRDC

Take action:

| NRDC

Regards Mark

England – Why Animal Rights Activists are Protesting in (Southampton) City Centre.

14/5/22

ANIMAL right activists are protesting in Southampton city centre today.

Activists from pressure group Animal Justice Project are taking a stand against the dairy industry to mark National Day of Action.

They have set up stands in Above Bar Street to show a 2020 undercover video titled ‘Dairy Still Kills’ to expose the mistreatment of livestock.

The video showing the slaughter of calves is being shown in 20 cities across the UK.

Hope Weatherell, a volunteer campaigner and a vegan for nearly seven years, said that Southampton was chosen as a location for the campaign due to it being a central hub and having “lots of open minded people and young people”.

The activist group says that action was being taken in order to “educate” the public about thinking ethically and giving out free samples of dairy free options.

Why animal rights activists are protesting in the city centre (yahoo.com)

Regards Mark

Fortunately this is no more from Ramsgate: – finished 2021 due to Brexit.

h

A Mc Antibiotics With Fries, Please.

McDonald’s storm over antibiotics in its beef: Burger giant faces showdown with investors who say it broke promise to tackle health fears

Fast food chain McDonald’s is under fire for its reliance on antibiotics used in beef farming that critics warn is contributing to a public health crisis. 

The burger giant vowed four years ago to publish plans to reduce its use of the drugs amid fears that the practice is putting millions of lives at risk. However, campaigners say the company has still not honoured its promises. 

Now an unlikely alliance of investors led by Trinity College, Cambridge and legendary corporate raider Carl Icahn – the inspiration for Gordon Gekko in the film Wall Street – are preparing to challenge the firm at its annual meeting later this month. 

McDonald’s is one of the world’s biggest buyers of beef and its influence on the use of antibiotics in intensive farming worldwide is substantial. It says it is committed to an ‘overall reduction’ in the use of the drugs. 

There is growing evidence that the excessive consumption of antibiotics is fuelling the rise of drug-resistant superbugs. Trinity College holds shares in the company via its £1.9billion endowment fund. It has tabled a motion to force McDonald’s to disclose the environmental and public health costs of its continued use of antibiotics in its meat production. 

The proposal says antimicrobial resistance (AMR) ‘poses a systemic, global threat to public health and the economy.’ Two-thirds of antibiotics used worldwide are fed to farm animals. 

Other major investors – including Legal & General Investment Management, which is also a McDonald’s shareholder – have also publicly recognised the AMR threat. The pension fund giant, which voted in favour of a similar motion last year, said in a recent report that AMR may be the next global health event and the financial impact could be significant. 

The World Bank has warned that entrenched resistance to antibiotics could cause up to ten million deaths a year by 2050 unless more is done to combat drug-resistant superbugs. The economic impact could be as bad as the 2008 financial crisis, it said. 

The threat posed by these superbugs may have been underestimated. A study in The Lancet medical journal recently revised the number of AMR-linked deaths in 2019 to at least 1.2million, against previous estimates of 700,000 fatalities. 

The Trinity motion says: ‘These appalling numbers characterise a world in which common medical procedures such as caesarean sections, knee replacements, chemotherapy and organ transplantation come with a massively increased risk of untreatable, lethal infection.’ 

The college, which is led by the special envoy on AMR Dame Sally Davies, received a boost when its proposal won backing from billionaire investor and activist Carl Icahn. 

He is behind a separate resolution to appoint two directors to the company’s board in an attempt to hold it to account over a promise to improve the treatment of pigs.

Icahn, 86, is focusing on the use of ‘gestation stalls’ – cages used by pork producers to hold pregnant pigs. This increases the number of animals that can be held in a limited space. Animal rights activists complain that the sows are confined so tightly that they cannot even turn around. 

The Trinity motion notes: ‘Pigs can only survive such grotesquely cramped conditions if they are awash with antibiotics.’ 

McDonald’s is continuing to use suppliers which employ the stalls despite having vowed a decade ago to eliminate them by 2022. Gestation crates have been banned in the UK since 1999.

Icahn’s recent interest in animal welfare stems from his vegetarian daughter, Michelle Icahn Nevin, who has worked with the Humane Society of the United States.

McDonald’s insists it has made ‘commitments and progress across its global supply chain,’ adding: ‘We are engaged in global partnerships across our supply chain to gather data on antibiotic use helping to inform the development and implementation of responsible antibiotic use policies for chicken, beef and pork.’ 

It has rejected the Trinity College proposal, saying it is committed to ‘the overall reduction of medically important antibiotics where appropriate and measurable.’ 

McDonald’s dismissed Icahn’s claims, saying to source all of its pork from suppliers that never use gestation crates is ‘completely unfeasible’ since such companies represent a tiny fraction of the pork industry. 

A spokesman for the company described Icahn’s intervention as ‘distasteful contortion’ and ‘a thinly veiled, opportunistic attempt to gain relevancy.’

Regards Mark

McDonald’s storm over antibiotics in its beef: Burger giant faces showdown with investors who say it broke promise to tackle health fears (msn.com)

Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day on June 14th.

Celebrate the ban of live exports from Great Britain | Compassion in World Farming (ciwf.org.uk)      

Dear Mark,

Get your banners at the ready! Join us for Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day on 14th June 2022.
The UK Government has promised to ban live exports from Britain for slaughter or fattening. But the Bill that would end this trade has stalled in Parliament. What are they waiting for?
So, on the seventh annual Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day, we’ll be demanding the Government keeps its promise and ends this cruel trade.
Add Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day on June 14th to your diary now.

Over the last two years we’ve been unable to meet in person due to restrictions on gatherings, so we’re excited to tell you we’re going to be organising a rally in Central London.

But don’t worry if you’re not able to get to London. We plan to live stream at the event as well as having other activities you can take part in online.

We hope you’ll be able to get involved in any way you can in June. I’ll be back in touch soon with more news on our Ban Live Exports: International Awareness Day.

I look forward to marking this important date with you this year. Best wishes,
Sarah Moyes
Senior Campaign Manager

PS: Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook event and let us know if you’re able to join us for this day of action.

Regards Mark

UK: Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) ‘dumps animal cruelty pledges’ and makes another U turn from Queen’s Speech to please right-wingers – Rees Mogg and Co.

Leading the way or being led by the tail of the dog ? – Boris Johnson does another U turn this time on Fur imports and Foie Gras. Wonder he can walk in a straight line without making a U turn !

WAV Comment – well we all know how to vote at the next General Election don’t we ? – as if the grilling of the Tories in the local elections in the last week is not sending them the message that people don’t trust them; now we seem to have this; a U turn on animal welfare issues and anti cruelty campaigns as supported by the vast majority of the British public; issues now in doubt due to a gutless PM swayed by self opinionated snob Tory MP and his no doubt Foie Gras eating cronies who just stick their middle finger up to the millions of British voters who want to see a drastic change on these issues.

Does the dog wag the tail, or the tail wag the dog ? – something wags Boris Johnson.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, we hate you and everything about you.

7/5/22

Boris Johnson ‘dumps animal cruelty pledges’ from Queen’s Speech to please right-wingers

The Prime Minister had pledged to ban imports of foie gras and fur – but both are said to have been dropped from the Animals Abroad Bill ahead of the speech, after the PM caved to complaining Tory ministers

Boris Johnson has dumped his promise to tackle animal cruelty in the Queen’s Speech, it has been reported.

The Prime Minister had pledged to ban imports of foie gras and fur.

But both are said to have been dropped from the Animals Abroad Bill ahead of the speech, after the PM caved to complaining Tory ministers.

Jacob Rees Mogg – Tory MP and ANTI Foie Gras ban leader – probably eats a lot with his ‘supper friends’.

It’s claimed Cabinet ministers, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, Commons leader Mark Spencer and Scotland Secretary Alister Jack, moaned banning cruel food and clothing was “fundamentally unconservative”.

It’s already illegal to produce foie gras and farm fur in the UK.

But the UK imports around 200 tonnes of the pate a year, mainly from France and Spain where it is made by force-feeding geese and ducks until their liver grows to several times its normal size.

Campaigners – including a recent intervention by After Life starts Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan – have long called for a ban on products coming from overseas.

In February, Gervais and Egan wrote to the Government, branding foie gras a “cruel and unnecessary product”.

And today Oscar-winning actress Kim Basinger backed the Mirror’s campaign to ban fur sales in the UK.

The Hollywood star has urged Boris Johnson not to “betray the animals”.

Kim, 68, called on the Prime Minister not to ditch the proposed ban on fur imports.

She said: “Please, Boris, listen to the British people. Please ensure the Animal Abroad Bill is in the Queen’s Speech next week.

“Be the voice of the majority of your people. Stop the cruelty and suffering in the name of vanity and greed.

“The UK has to stop buying from Finland, China and the US to stop the bloodbath. It is so antiquated. Until we stop exchanging blood between countries, the suffering won’t stop.”

The Batman star also urged the Prime Minister to consider how he would feel if his dog, Dilyn, was confined to a cage.

It’s said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has also raised concerns about banning imports of black bear fur, used by military Guardsmen.

Last month, it was revealed that Mr Johnson had backed the use of real black bear fur to make ceremonial hats worn by the Queen’s Guard.

Animal rights campaign group PETA last year named Mr Johnson’s wife Carrie – a passionate campaigner for animal rights – their “person of the year.”

A government spokesperson told the BBC no final decision had been made on imports.

They said the government was “united in its commitment to upholding its world-leading standards in animal welfare”.

Regards Mark

Boris Johnson ‘dumps animal cruelty pledges’ from Queen’s Speech to please right-wingers – Mirror Online

Above – European Foie Gras Production, as supported by Boris Johnson, Rees Mogg and others who don’t give a toss.

England: Various News Issues.

Please note that if you want more info on many of the articles below, you can click on text to read more. Scroll over text until you see a hand with pointer finger – then click for more reading.

Mark

Animals Farmed: bird flu hits the US, superbugs in pigs and the sheep with an enormous fleece.
Welcome to our monthly roundup of the biggest issues in farming and food production, with must-read reports from around the web

News from around the world

Millions of birds have been culled in the US after outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza or “bird flu”. The outbreaks have led zoos to temporarily close aviary exhibits and move birds away from the public. As we have reported, vets and animal advocates have called for restrictions on “cruel” methods of culling birds using extreme heat and steam.

A giant leap in global food prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has helped three members of the super-rich Cargill family, who majority-own one of the world’s largest food companies, join the ranks of the world’s 500 richest people.

Scientists have uncovered evidence that dangerous versions of superbugs can spread from pigs to humans. The discovery, made in Denmark, underlines fears that intensive use of antibiotics on farms is leading to the spread of microbes resistant to them. The Clostridioides difficile superbug infects the human gut and is resistant to all but three antibiotics in use today.

An increase in the use of feedlots – as opposed to grass-fed production – in Brazilian beef production is being driven by China, according to reports. China buys about 50% of Brazil’s exported beef. Meanwhile, Uruguay’s beef production could hit record levels this year.
A merino sheep named Shrekapo who grew an enormous fleece while evading capture in New Zealand is now 18.6kg lighter after its first shave. Shrekapo was spotted hiding in the rocks, and was caught later that day, carrying nearly half its bodyweight in wool. The animal had probably been roaming the hills alone for the past three winters.


UK news

The UK’s free-range egg sector is on the brink of collapse because of sharply rising costs, the British Free Range Egg Producers Association has warned. In a recent poll, more than 70% of members said they would quit if price rises were not forthcoming.

Meanwhile, an estimated 10% of the UK’s pig breeding herd has gone, as the National Pig Association (NPA) warned of significant gaps between the costs and pig prices. British food producers warned that perishable goods were losing their value due to congestion around the port of Dover caused by disruption to ferry services and customs operations. Fresh meat has reportedly been stranded for one to two days and possibly longer due to the current problems.

One of the UK’s biggest food retailers has warned chicken could soon cost as much as beef as production costs soar. Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-op, said that feed costs had become a huge challenge for the poultry industry.

Welfare campaigners now fear the cost of living crisis could stall the campaign to phase out the faster-growing broiler breeds associated with higher mortality, lameness and muscle disease than slower-growing breeds.

A vet whistleblower has been awarded a £1.25m payout after losing her job at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) when she raised concerns over meat traceability in Northern Ireland. She had also highlighted serious breaches of animal welfare legislation within the meat supply chain, the Belfast Telegraph reported.

The number of documented violations of legislation designed to reduce water pollution caused by agriculture in England has hit record levels as the rules remain largely unenforced. Last year had the highest number of recorded violations of the farming rules for water since the legislation was introduced in April 2018.

From the Animals Farmed series An H3N8 strain of bird flu has been detected in humans for the first time, in China’s central province of Henan. The four-year-old boy infected had been in contact with chickens and crows raised at his home, according to reports from China’s National Health Commission.

Northern Ireland will need to lose more than 1 million sheep and cattle to meet its new legally binding climate emissions targets. The large-scale reduction in farm animals comes after the passing of the ​​jurisdiction’s first ever climate act, requiring the farming sector to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Organic dairy, for so long the sector’s success story, is facing a crisis of confidence, with fears about whether people will keep buying organic milk, butter and cheese as food prices soar. Some UK organic farmers are being paid a milk price that is lower than the price some of their non-organic competitors get.

A loophole in government regulations meant that chickens could still be called free-range even though they were no longer allowed outside because of repeated outbreaks of bird flu across the UK. The ban on birds being allowed outdoors was lifted at the beginning of May.

And in the US, Charlie Hope-D’Anieri and photographer Danny Wilcox Frazier have reported on how factory pig farms are hollowing out rural communities in the state of Iowa. The state is responsible for producing almost one-third of US hogs.

With help from our friends at The Guardian, London.

Regards Mark