Category: Environmental

Filthy ‘Wet Markets’ Still Peddling Animals and Flesh Despite COVID-19 – WHO and World Governments Do Nothing to Resolve A World Issue !




Hi Mark,

After releasing footage taken inside “wet markets” in Indonesia and Thailand in early April – months after the COVID-19 outbreak began – PETA Asia investigators observed more filth, misery, and death at nearly a dozen other animal markets elsewhere in Asia.

At one market, the flesh of wild boars, snakes, dogs, and rats was sold openly, and even cats were slated for slaughter – huddled together, terrified and exhausted, in a crowded, dirty cage.

Since PETA released the initial footage in April, more than 200,000 people have joined PETA and our affiliates in urging the World Health Organization (WHO) to call for an end to deadly live-animal markets around the globe. More than 60 bipartisan congressional lawmakers followed in our footsteps, too, writing their own, similar letter to WHO urging the agency to request the closure of all such markets immediately. And as hundreds of thousands of human lives have already been claimed by COVID-19, it’s more critical than ever that we all take action.

Please join us in urging the World Health Organization to call for an end to live-animal meat markets.

Thanks for all you do for animals.


Simon P-H


After releasing footage taken inside “wet markets” (also called “live-animal markets”) in Indonesia and Thailand in early April—months after the COVID-19 outbreak began—PETA Asia investigators observed more filth, misery, and death at nearly a dozen other animal markets elsewhere in Asia. Despite a growing death toll, calls by world leaders for a ban on such markets, and the continued importance of flattening the curve, they and others like them are still conducting business as usual.

These Live-Animal Markets Could Be Where the Next Pandemic Originates

This new footage, shot just days ago, takes viewers inside live-animal markets in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, where chickens, ducks, fish, and dogs as well as bats, monkeys, and other exotic animals are sold. 

Terrified live animals, bloody carcasses, and rotting flesh were all being peddled for human consumption. At multiple sites, investigators observed marketgoers walking around in flip-flops on floors covered with bodily fluids and handling raw flesh and touching blood-streaked countertops with their bare hands. At two other markets, civet cats and bats were sold for food—even though they’re a reservoir species for severe acute respiratory syndrome (commonly known as SARS), another deadly coronavirus.

Blood and Rotting Flesh Everywhere

Weeks before, PETA Asia investigators had visited wet markets in Indonesia and Thailand and were shocked even back then that any were still operating. At the Tomohon Market in Indonesia, the flesh of wild boars, snakes, dogs, and rats (whose babies like to put their arms around their mother’s neck while being bathed) were openly sold at the market. Gloveless workers and customers were seen handling the body parts of animals who had been killed on site. A mutilated snake was curled up on a table, blood staining the white tiles red. Chickens with open wounds were bound to other birds slated for slaughter.


Enough Is Enough

All wet markets are potential breeding grounds for zoonotic diseases, such as COVID-19, SARS, and MERS. At such markets, feces and other bodily fluids can easily get on traders’ and customers’ shoes and be tracked into restaurants and homes. The workers who handle the animals often don’t wear gloves (as seen in the video footage) and can also spread bacteria. Flies swarm around the bodies of dead pigs and other animals, and the countertops and floors are streaked red with the blood of gutted fish and slaughtered animals.

PETA Asia has written to health officials in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam to call for an end to deadly live-animal markets.

Shutting down foreign wet markets isn’t good enough. To prevent more diseases like COVID-19, we must do more than crack down on these markets only in certain areas of the world. All live-animal markets must go.

Live Birds Caged With Their Dead Companions

Live ducks and chickens (who have their own unique language, with more than 30 different sounds) were kept in cramped, filthy cages, sometimes with the bodies of birds who’d already been purchased and killed. Live turtles (some of whom can hold their breath under water for over 100 days) and other “exotic” sea animals were also available for purchase. Like all animals, they just want to be left in peace, not killed for food.



Suffering and Death in a Thai ‘Wet Market’

At Bangkok’s Khlong Toei Market, PETA Asia’s investigator saw mesh bags jam-packed with live, frightened frogs (some of whom use trees as “drums” to send messages to one another) being plunked down next to the mutilated bodies of other slaughtered frogs.

Cats Are Caged and Sold for Meat, Too

Terrified, exhausted cats—sensitive and intelligent, just like the cats we share our hearts and homes with—were kept in a crowded, dirty cage without food or water until they were purchased for their flesh.





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Amazon Frontlines – A Voice for The Indigenous People of the Amazon Saving Ecosystems. 


Dear Mark,

Today is an important day in the fight for justice in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Victims of a major oil spill, which occurred last month and has wreaked havoc on local ecosystems and the health of indigenous communities, will testify in a virtual hearing before a judge.

This hearing will give the Amazon Frontlines team and our partners an official venue to make a strong case in our lawsuit against the government and oil companies. Although we can’t pack an actual courtroom today in solidarity, we want to make sure the voices of indigenous communities harmed by this disaster resonate across the world.

We have recorded their “virtual testimonies” for you, and now we need your help amplifying their stories.

Please listen and share these audio testimonies to ensure that justice is served!


Around 120,000 people living along the Coca and Napo Rivers have been impacted by the spill, a tragedy that could have been avoided if the State and oil companies had heeded warnings from experts months before the pipelines broke.
In Kichwa indigenous communities along the river, mothers and fathers have been documenting mysterious rashes and irritation on their children’s skin since the spill. Massive flooding has sent the oil into creeks and gardens where families grow food, making it nearly impossible to avoid contact with the contamination. Emergency supplies dropped off by the oil companies have been woefully insufficient, so we have been organizing alongside our indigenous partners to deliver humanitarian aid.

Share these first-hand accounts from the plaintiffs to hold the government and oil companies accountable today.

Hear plaintiff Carlos Jipa, President of the regional Kichwa peoples’ indigenous federation, FCUNAE, describe the impact of the oil spill on the river and his people, as well as Monsignor Adalberto Jímenez, a Catholic bishop who joined the lawsuit to defend the rights of affected indigenous peoples and rural communities.

You will also hear Amazon Frontlines’ head lawyer for the case, Maria Espinosa, describe our simple and clear demands: that the government conduct environmental remediation, provide relief to impacted communities, and take steps to ensure this never happens again.

Please stand with indigenous communities today in their fight for justice.

Thank you,

Brian Parker
Senior Attorney, Rights Defenders
Amazon Frontlines



















China: Wild animal trafficker is jailed for smuggling 107 endangered turtles by freezing them in his refrigerated van.



The picture is believed to have shown the wild animal trader, Shen, standing next to the turtles with another resident who was caught selling four of the animals to Shen on October 18, 2018


Wild animal trafficker is jailed for smuggling 107 endangered turtles by freezing them in his refrigerated van


Shen was arrested by police who found his lorry packed with 107 frozen turtles


The wildlife trafficker was given a nearly 13-year sentence for his illegal trade


Officials said the seized animals were estimated to be worth over £345,000


The case was reported by local court to raise awareness for wildlife protection


A Chinese wildlife trafficker has been jailed after being caught by police transporting 107 protected sea turtles with his refrigerated truck.


The resident, known by his surname Shen, was tracked down by police after the officers seized found his lorry packed with frozen turtles in the woods in Zhoushan city, Zhejiang province of eastern China.


Mr Shen was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison and handed a fine of 150,000 yuan (£17,287). Two other residents who sold four of the sea turtles to Mr Shen were also imprisoned.

The crime case took place in 2018 and was revealed this week by a local court in Zhejiang to warn the public against wild animal trafficking.


Read the rest of the story by clicking on the above link.



Nature: Bumblebees’ ‘clever trick’ fools plants into flowering.



Hannier Pulido


Nature: Bumblebees’ ‘clever trick’ fools plants into flowering


Scientists have discovered a new behaviour among bumblebees that tricks plants into flowering early.

Researchers found that when deprived of pollen, bumblebees will nibble on the leaves of flowerless plants.

The damage done seems to fool the plant into flowering, sometimes up to 30 days earlier than normal.

Writing in the journal Science, the scientists say they have struggled to replicate the bees’ trick in the laboratory.

With their fuzzy appearance and distinctive drone, bumblebees are hard to miss in gardens all over the world.

Their dense, hairy bodies make them excellent pollinators for crops like tomatoes and blueberries.

They are among the first bees to emerge each year and work a long season. Some colonies remain active through the winter in southern and urban areas of the UK.

But despite their key role, bumblebees, like many other pollinators have seen their numbers tumble in recent decades.

One recent study pointed to climate change, reporting that an increasing number of hot days in Europe and North America was boosting local extinction rates.

But researchers have now made a discovery about bumblebees that could have relevance to their long-term survival.

Scientists in Switzerland found that when the bees were deprived of pollen, they started to nibble on the leaves of plants that hadn’t yet flowered.

The bees used their proboscises and mandibles (mouthparts) to cut distinctively-shaped holes in the leaves.

But the creatures didn’t eat the material or use it in their nests.

The damaged plants responded by blooming earlier than normal – in some cases up to 30 days ahead of schedule.

“I think everything that we’ve found is consistent with the idea that the bees are damaging the plants and that that’s an adaptation that brings flowers online earlier and that benefits the bees,” said Dr Mark Mescher, one of the authors from ETH Zurich, told BBC News.


The bee-damaged plants flowered 30 days earlier than undamaged plants and 25 days earlier than ones damaged by the scientists.

The research team believes there may be something else going on here apart from nibbles.

“We really tried to replicate with the best of our ability,” said Prof Consuelo De Moraes, also from ETH Zurich.

“It’s possible that the bees also have some cue that they are providing to the plants that is specific to the bee.”

“And that could be secretions that we don’t know about but it’s something that we plan to investigate.”

The researchers say the damage has a particular pattern that the scientists have learned to recognise, even in the most unlikely places.

“You see these semi-circular sort of incisions, often in the leaf,” said Dr Mescher.

“One of the students was saying that they were eating a salad the other day, and they saw that kind of damage on the leaf that was probably from a bumblebee.”

The researchers say that when pollen is available the bees don’t damage plants. They’ve also found this behaviour is in wild bees.


However the team are keeping an open mind on whether the plants might be the ones in the driving seat.

It is vital for plants that depend on pollination to have their flowers on display when the pollinators are buzzing around.

It could be that some plants have evolved a strategy to push out their flowers when they recognise the bee doing damage to their leaves.

Ultimately, though, knowing more about the relationship between bumblebees and flowering might have implications for the resilience of these creatures in the face of a changing environment.

“I think it’s fascinating how much we still don’t know about organisms that we think we know really well,” said Prof De Moraes.

“It absolutely increases our sense of wonder at the cleverness of nature in all its many forms.”



Taiwan: Whale shark added to protected species list.



Aquarium of the Pacific | Online Learning Center | Whale SharkPhoto – Aquarium of the Pacific.


Whale shark added to protected species list


The whale shark has been added to the nation’s list of protected species, the Ocean Affairs Council said on Tuesday, adding that offenders face fines and imprisonment.

The whale shark, along with the giant oceanic manta ray and the reef manta ray, were on Tuesday last week added to the list, making the disturbance, abuse, slaughter or capture of any of the three species punishable by up to five years in prison, and a fine of NT$300,000 to NT$1.5 million (US$10,033 to US$50,164), the council said.

Whale sharks have been sighted in waters near Hualien for a few years now, and in March this year a roughly 6m whale shark swam into the Port of Hualien looking for food, it said.

The capture of the three species has long been prohibited by stipulations in the Fisheries Act (漁業法), which require fishers to return the animals to the sea if accidentally caught, alive or dead, Hualien County Bureau of Agriculture Director Lo Wen-lung (羅文龍) said, but changes were made to enhance protection of the species by increasing the severity of punishments for offenders.

People who have whale sharks or manta rays in their care, or possess products made from any of the three species before Tuesday last week, must register them with the county government between June 1 and Aug. 31, according to Article 31 of the Wildlife Conservation Act (野生動物保育法) or face a fine of between NT$10,000 and NT$50,000, Lo said.

The three species are popular pets among fish enthusiasts due to their gentle temperament, Lo said. Whale sharks in particular are an oddity among sharks as they swim slowly, and feed on small fish and plankton, he said.

Vietnam: A woman jailed for illegal trade in wildlife has her prison sentence increased from two to five years.

viet nam flag


A woman who was jailed for illegal trade in wildlife in Vietnam had her prison sentence increased from two to five years this week.

Pham Thi Thuan, 58, was given more jail time following a hearing by an appeals court on 12 May in the central province of Quang Nam.

She had originally been sentenced to two years and a fine of 60m Vietnamese Dong ($2,560 USD). However prosecutors pushed for a harsher sentence.

Ms Thuan was found in possession of 13 king cobras, eight Bengal monitor lizards, nearly 300 turtles and other rare species without any documentation at her home in August 2018. The home was registered as a wildlife breeding facility, according to Vietnam Plus. The 58-year-old had been subject to administrative sanctions twice before in 2011 and 2013 for the unlawful possession of wildlife, the site reported.

The case was first reported by the Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), a non-governmental organisation which has tackled the illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam for the past 20 years.

ENV Deputy Director Bui Thi Ha commended the investigation while urging authorities to revoke Ms Thuan’s wildlife breeding licence.

The conservation group also reported that on 13 May, Tran Quy, director of company Hai Dang Ltd, received 13 years in prison and a 100m VND ($4,283USD) fine by the Provincial People’s Court of Ca Mau for operating a pangolin trafficking network through the ruse of an ecotourism business. Several accomplices also received jail time.

A recent report by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) found that Vietnam faces a huge wildlife trafficking problem ”with large-scale consignments of ivory and pangolin scales from Nigeria and other countries continuing to enter the country and vast quantities of tiger products available for sale”.

The country is taking steps to address the illegal wildlife trade.

In 2018, penalties were increased for trafficking in endangered species. Criminals now face up to 15 years in prison and fines up to US$660,000, WildAid reported.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered a directive on banning wildlife trade and consumption in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.