Category: Environmental

USA: Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’.

Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’

Hundreds were marooned in the downpour as the climate crisis increases the likelihood of extreme weather

Recent severe rains in Death Valley that flushed debris across roadways, damaged infrastructure and carried away cars are being described by meteorologists and park officials as a once-in 1,000-year event.

The arid valley was pelted with roughly an inch and a half of rain on Friday, near the park’s rainfall record for a single day.

The storm poured an amount of water equal to roughly 75% of the average annual total in just three hours, according to experts at Nasa’s Earth observatory. Hundreds visiting and working in Death Valley national park were marooned and all roads continue to be impassable, according to park officials.

The waters have receded, leaving behind thick layers of mud and gravel, but those who were stranded were able to exit the park earlier this week, aided by park service personnel.

Daniel Berc, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Las Vegas, described the deluge as a historic “1,000-year event”, with a 0.1% likelihood during a given year.

But events like this one, once thought to be exceedingly rare, are on the rise. Scientists are finding that weather extremes, fuelled by the climate crisis, are becoming more likely in the American west, which continues to be mired in drought. Periods of dryness are expected to be broken with strong, destructive storms as the world continues to warm.

Described as “a land of extremes”, the desert basin is the driest place in North America and is known for temperatures that have climbed higher than any other place on Earth.

No injuries have been reported but aerial searches are being conducted by the California highway patrol and naval aircraft, the National Park Service said in a statement, to confirm that vehicles are not still stranded in remote areas of the park.

In a statement, the park superintendent, Mike Reynolds, said it would “take time to rebuild” and noted that officials were still working to assess destruction from the storm across the roughly 3.4m acres and more than 1,000 miles of roads in the park.

While the storm did not break Death Valley’s all-time record for daily rainfall, it did break records for this time of year, as August generally produces just a tenth of an inch of rain.

Nasa satellites were able to capture the storm’s effects, showing a belt of blue across the typically brown terrain.

“This week’s 1,000-year flood is another example of this extreme environment,” Reynolds said. “With climate change models predicting more frequent and more intense storms, this is a place where you can see climate change in action.”

Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’ | California | The Guardian

Regards Mark

England: What Is More Important – Stopping the Spread of Avian Flu, Or Giving Hunting Parties Their Fun ? – It Seems The Latter !

Pheasant – Getty Images.

‘Immediate ban’ needed on annual release of 50 million pheasants amid bird flu outbreak, says RSPB (msn.com)

‘Immediate ban’ needed on annual release of 50 million pheasants amid bird flu outbreak, says RSPB

An immediate moratorium on the release of tens of millions of birds for shooting is needed to limit the “catastrophic spread” of bird flu, the RSPB has said.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has devastated seabird populations around the UK’s coast this year, leaving hundreds of thousands of birds dead since it arrived last winter in the Solway Firth in the north west.

The RSPB has now said the annual release of around 55 million pheasants and red-legged partridges, and 2.6 million mallard ducks, all of which are reared in captivity to be shot for sport, represents a serious risk to wildlife.

The organisation said large numbers of these gamebirds are imported from across Europe, then held in pens to mature prior to release.

The volume of birds released into the UK each year now represents more than the total biomass of all UK native birds.

Pheasants in the UK have previously tested positive for HPAI – first in Lincolnshire in 2018 and a further 13 times since, on three premises with commercial breeding game for release.

In a statement the RSPB said it believed “that to limit the catastrophic impacts of this outbreak on our wild birds, the deliberate release of captive birds into the countryside must be stopped for this year”.

Jeff Knott, the RSPB’s director of policy, said: “In recent months we have witnessed an unfolding catastrophe taking place on our wild birds.

“It has been emotionally tough to witness, but we are not helpless and there are many positive actions that we can take to help them weather this storm and reduce the risk of exacerbating this crisis.

“This disease originated in poultry in Asia before passing into wild birds. It is another human pressure on beleaguered wildlife across the world and in the UK specifically. We must all now take responsibility and do everything we can to limit the impact in the immediate term, and to implement and fund species conservation programmes to build resilience in our wildlife for the future.”

The RSPB said that although spread from pheasants to wild birds has not yet been confirmed scientifically, this route of transmission has not yet been fully investigated.

“Given the current scale of the outbreak in wild birds, ongoing losses of wildlife from other human pressures and the context of the wider nature and climate emergency, it is necessary to employ a precautionary approach to all possible vectors of this deadly new virus to our wildlife populations,” the organisation said.

The disease has already taken a heavy toll on great skuas, gannets and terns, but numerous other species are also affected, including puffins, white-tailed eagles, red kites, guillemots and black-headed gulls.

The RSPB said last week it was calling on Defra to put together a task force of experts including vets, virologists, ecologists and policy makers, just as occurred in 2005 when the first spike in bird flu occurred.

This would allow appropriate testing to understand what is happening and inform how to deal with it.

The RSPB’s Martin Fowlie told The Independent: “Over the last five months we’ve just seen an escalation in terms of the numbers and in terms of the geographic spread. Initially it was all concentrated up in north east Scotland and then we’ve seen cases spread south.”

The disease has now reached south west Wales, home to globally important populations of seabirds such as gannets and puffins.

Regards Mark

Animal Equality: What Are We Doing To Stop The Transport Of Live Animals?

Many of you know that live animal transport (exports) are one of our main issues. 

Here are some stories and links, and videos, from ‘Animal Equality’.  There is a lot to take on, and so at the end I have given a link for you to complete the reading.

The top right ‘wire globe’ (in the link) allows you to convert translation into several languages if you desire.

Regards Mark

.

What are we doing to stop the transport of live animals?

The transport of live animals is one of the topics on which our team of researchers has focused the most in the last 10 years of research.

After a miserable life on a farm, every animal destined for human consumption ends up in the slaughterhouse.

But first, he is forced to endure another intolerable injustice: the transport phase.

A suffering that can last for days, weeks, months: an absurd journey towards death.

How many times have you traveled next to a truck from which you could glimpse, through small slits, animals crowded inside?

If you’ve ever encountered their eyes, you know what it means to see a living being suffer and not be able to do anything to ease their pain.

Because that is our job, what we have been doing tirelessly for more than 15 years around the world: we fight to end the suffering of animals raised for food.

To combat the transport of live animals, we are moving on several fronts: research is not enough, we need a precise strategy and that the institutions perceive us as authorised partners.

Here’s what we’re doing to counter the transport of live animals:

We have filed a complaint with the Directorate-General for Health of Agricultural Production;

We have filed a complaint that “is valid for an entire country”;

We have denounced and sanctioned non-compliant carriers whenever possible;

We have conducted 10 investigations in 10 years;

Thanks to our research work and political pressure, the Committee of Inquiry into the Transport of Live Animals (ANIT) was set up in the European Parliament;

We are working with ENPA and the Ministry of Health to increase roadside inspections.

THE LAWSUIT FOR IRREGULARITIES IN THE TRANSPORT OF LAMBS TO SAUDI ARABIA


Thanks to the images obtained during the shipment of lambs in the Port of Cartagena bound for Saudi Arabia that revealed acts of mistreatment, we were able to file a lawsuit with the General Directorate of Health of Agricultural Production.

The workers resorted to violence to force the lambs to move.

These practices are in breach of the European Union Regulation on the protection of animals during transport.

In addition to this demand, we also initiated a petition addressed to the European Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries demanding the end of long-distance transport that has already been signed by more than 46,000 people.

THE COMPLAINT AGAINST SPAIN


THE CASE OF DRIFTING BOATS

The case that has led us to the decision to file a complaint with the European Commission against Spain is the one that affects the ships Elbeik and Karim Allah, which left the Spanish ports of Tarragona and Cartagena, respectively, in the spring of 2021.

On board these ships were hundreds of thousands of animals, specifically 895 cattle in the Karim Allah and 1789 calves in the Elbeik. The animals were to be sold in Tripoli (Libya), but once they were denied disembarkation due to an alleged animal disease, the boats were leftadrift and remained so for more than two months.

During these very long weeks, the animals traveled locked in pens in chilling hygienic conditions, going back and forth from one country to another, without the possibility of being unloaded in a port or even being able to rest or feed.

TheSpanish authorities – which would be responsible for enforcing EC Regulation 1/2005 regulating the protection of live animals during transport – did not take any measures to put an immediate end to the extreme suffering of animals on board.

All this despite the fact that the authorities were aware of the situation.

Already on February 18, 2021, when the karim Allah ship was near the port of Cagliari, Animal Equality – in collaboration with ENPA and the Foundation for Animal Welfare – sent a petition to the Italian Ministry of Health requesting an immediate inspection of the ship and livestock on board.

Following our request, the Ministry had scheduled an official inspection, but the ship left Italian territorial waters before it could be done.

In addition to this report, Animal Equality, again in collaboration with ENPA, sent two petitions to the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture requesting urgent action to safeguard the health of animals still alive in karim Allah.

However, the Spanish Ministry did not react with the speed required by the case and did not immediately force the animals to be docked and unloaded, despite the fact that EC Regulation 1/2005 considers that it is a perfectly legitimate measure in case of infringement.

This decision came much later: the Karim Allah was forced to dock in the port of Cartagena after weeks of travel and the Elbeik, also in the same port, after three months of its departure.

In both cases, all the surviving animals were sacrificed, while others, in both the Karim Allah and the Elbeik, died on board. Some animals were also torn to pieces and thrown into the sea, according to the sources.

The condition of the animals was terrible: the cattle were injured, hungry, in obvious pain and dehydrated; some were in a state of stupor, unable to open their eyes or respond to stimuli.

Equally shocking were the conditions of the boats: the pens were overcrowded, in sanitary conditions so extremely inadequate that the animals could not even lie down; the pens were built with iron pipes with rusty and broken areas; the drinking troughs were closed and fodder and straw were totally absent, with numerous rodents present on the decks.

THE COMPLAINT

Animal Equality, in collaboration with ENPA, filed a complaint with the European Commission against Spain, pointing out the incorrect procedures and omissions carried out by the authorities of the ports of Tarragona and Cartagena, which should have controlled compliance with the minimum standards of protection of animals on board the ships Elbeik and Karim Allah.

We have asked the European Commission for an audit on the correct application of the Regulation on the protection of animal welfare during transport by the Spanish authorities and the possible opening of a procedure for infringement of European legislation.

In addition to bringing these testimonies to light, we have done much more:

We protest against the Spanish and port authorities, even filing a complaint with the European authorities against Spain for incorrect procedures and omissions on the part of the port authorities, which should have monitored compliance with the minimum animal protection standards. These practices are widely in breach of the EU regulation on the protection of animals during transport, which explicitly prohibits excessively long journeys without adequate veterinary care, food and water;

We have also submitted a petition to the European Parliament, asking MEPs to take the measures they deem appropriate to ensure compliance with EU legislation on the protection of animals during transport, with particular reference to their export by sea from Spain, and other affected Member States, to third countries.

UPDATE: THE COMMISSION HAS RESPONDED TO US!

A year has passed since our complaint against Spain to the European Commission and the sending of the petition to the European Parliament, which followed the case of the ships Elbeik and Karim Allah, left adrift for months by the omissions and incorrect procedures applied by the competent authorities.

A news that has confirmed, for the umpteenth time, the serious violations that the Spanish authorities continue to commit of European legislation on the welfare of live animals transported.

The Commission has finally responded to the comments we included in the petition to the European Parliament, specifying some measures it has taken or intends to take.

The European Commission has informed us that:

It will carry out 4 new audits, i.e. in-depth assessments, during 2022, including one in Spain;

The Commission has carried out audits in the Member States responsible for the authorisations granted to the Elbeik and Karim Allah vessels, namely Romania and Croatia, in order to clarify possible shortcomings related to the approval of the two vessels. What is clear from these findings is that these two vessels are not currently authorised to transport live animals;

The Commission is developing rules to step up official controls on cattle ships and at exit points from EU ports.

The Commission also gave us important news about Spain’s intentions:

“Spain has submitted to the Commission a series of corrective measures, including its protocol on the protection of animals during the export of livestock by ship, its new national legislation on the welfare of animals during transport and its working agreement with the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine of the Ministry of Transport to help the competent authority to carry out official controls for the granting of authorisations to ships.”

We are sincerely pleased that our request has been accepted and that Parliament has asked the Commission for explanations: although on this occasion the demands of animals have been taken into account, our work does not end there.

In fact, we have requested a copy of this document to know the deadlines and to be able to verify that these actions are really executed by Spain.

PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANT CARRIERS


The work of denouncing that we have carried out over the years has been crucial not only in paving the way for inspections by the authorities and obtaining sanctions, but also in supporting political and media pressure, in denouncing those responsible for animal offences and – very importantly – also in calling on the European Parliament to shed light on infringements of transport legislation.

What are we doing to stop the transport of live animals? | Animal Equality (igualdadanimal.org)

THE FIRST COMPLAINT

With our latest investigation at the Slovenian border to document animals destined for Italian slaughterhouses, we managed to denounce and fine two transporters.

After constant surveillance to intercept suspicious vehicles, our investigation team discovered a truck from Hungary, chased it and quickly reported it to the traffic police.

And the following irregularities were found:

The drinking fountain system did not work and lost water, but not only that, the system was prepared for pigs and not for sheep;

The temperature control system inside the vehicle was damaged;

The space for the lambs was insufficient: the animals could not even stand;

The carrier was sanctioned for the first two points with a total fine of more than 3000 euros.

In addition to those “officially” recognized by veterinarians called by the police, there were many other problems:

There were animals of different species and ages in the same transport;

The vehicle had metal parts and internal obstacles, a possible risk to the animals transported;

The lambs were in an obvious state of stress.

We have a duty to show and document everything, even what escapes inspection and what is not taken into account by the authorities, because every detail represents real suffering for these animals.

THE SECOND COMPLAINT

Continue reading at  What are we doing to stop the transport of live animals? | Animal Equality (igualdadanimal.org) 

Regards Mark

9/8/22 News.

All the wording links below in BLUE take you on to another area where you will get more information about the particular issue in question; Mark

News;

With thanks to our friends at ‘The Guardian’, London.

Europe’s mega farms and pollution crisis

The heavy concentration of mega farms, and millions of pigs, cattle and chickens in a small number of areas across Europe, has created a pollution nightmare, according to a new Guardian investigation.

In the UK, a hotspot for chicken farming is Herefordshire, with a major deal to supply chicken to Tesco now being linked to the pollution of one of the UK’s favourite rivers, the Wye.

In Germany, the “pig belt”, a hotspot of meat production in the northwest state of Lower Saxony, has been blamed for excess ammonia emissions and nitrates in groundwater.

There is frustration in Canada over plans to reduce fertiliser use to combat the climate crisis. The government wants a 30% reduction in emissions, and farm producer groups say that cutting nitrous oxide emissions can’t be done without reducing fertiliser use.

Meanwhile, Ireland has committed to a 25% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 2030 after a bitter political battle between farmers, business groups and environmentalists.

IMPORTANT –  Indonesia is dealing with its first major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in almost 40 years. Since May, more than 300,000 cases have been recorded across 21 provinces, prompting the Indonesian government to roll out a vaccine programme to inoculate healthy cattle.

French health authorities have confirmed a link between nitrates added to processed meat and colon cancer, dealing a blow to the country’s prized ham and cured sausage industry. The national food safety body, Anses, said its study of data published on the subject supported similar conclusions in 2015 from the World Health Organization.

A major US chicken company, Mountaire Farms, is reportedly asking its contract farmers to oppose a Biden administration proposal aimed at improving their conditions because the company says it would ultimately reduce farmer pay.

In Australia, eggs have become the latest food caught up in supply chain woes. Reduced production on a number of farms affected the supply of locally produced eggs in some regions, a major retailer admitted.

China has seen a significant decrease in pork imports after its own meat production rose by 8.2% to 29.4m tonnes compared to the same period last year.

UK news

More than a million meat chickens are dying every week in the UK before reaching slaughter weight, according to a new report. An analysis of government figures by the animal welfare charity Open Cages reveals that about 64 million chickens die prematurely each year in the UK.

Poultry farmers should prepare for bird flu numbers to remain high over the winter and prepare accordingly, according to UK animal health officials. “We cannot drop our guard,” said Ian Brown, head of virology at the Animal and Plant Health Agency. “Prospects for the immediate future are not great.”

Bird flu has managed to do what animal rights activists have been trying to achieve for decades – with a little help from Brexit.

Dozens of pheasant and partridge shoots have been called off ahead of the shooting season after an unprecedented outbreak of avian flu in France left gamekeepers in the UK with few birds to rear.

Lamb, pork and beef production in Britain is returning to pre-Covid levels, according to the latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. With the impact of the pandemic subsiding, prime lamb slaughterings for each of the first five months of 2022 were higher than the previous year.

Regards Mark

A veterinarian inspects a cow for foot-and-mouth disease ahead of Eid al-Adha. Indonesia is dealing with its first large-scale outbreak of the disease in almost 40 years. Photograph: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images


England: The Prettiest Star !

I liberated a wasp this morning.  It was in the bird bath and would not have survived had it not been fished out of the water.

This afternoon (4/8/22), and it has kind of broken me at the moment; I have had to have my prettiest star, Sally the cat, put to sleep. She was 22 years old, which makes her around 110+ in human years (if we have to do a comparison).  She was my one shining light on many depressing days and dark corners, and believe me, there are many now days.  She wanted nothing but affection, love and (plenty of) food, which she enjoyed a great deal; simply giving back love and enjoyment, entertainment, in return.  She had love and affection, and comforting voices right up to the very end, the moment she passed.  Most animals in the current ‘systems’ do not experience this.

What about the millions of male chicks that are thrown alive into the crusher and turned into mincemeat every day because they are considered a waste product in farming  – Chick Culling Laws – Global Map. – World Animals Voice .  What about the animals in intensive farming systems (cage systems) across the world – England: Caged Conditions We Found in the EU Were Nothing Short of Hellish. Ban the Cage Age Now. – World Animals Voice;

What about the bile bears that spend their entire lives crammed into tiny cages, and milked for their bile every single day ? – Search Results for “bile bears” – World Animals Voice ;

What about all the millions of animals that are reared to be blasted by shooting parties ‘enjoying’ a day out ?. 

What about all the animals who are live crammed into transport trucks or death ships as they are hauled all over the globe for a few pennies more ? – Live Transport – World Animals Voice

What about all the animals in the labs that are abused and injected with god knows what; having their skulls sliced off in the name of something which has gone on for decades and yet, never really brings anything in the way of medical advancement or progress ?. 

What about the badgers who are being culled by the tens of thousands in the UK to simply win votes from the farming community ? – Search Results for “badger culling” – World Animals Voice.  What about the Krebbs report which said that culling badgers was unnecessary ?. 

What about the dogs and horses that are bred to be raced against each other so that humas can win a tenner on a bet ?. 

What about all the animals abused and tormented in slaughterhouses ? – Search Results for “slaughterhouse” – World Animals Voice

What about the day old dairy calves taken from their mothers in order that humans can consume a glass of milk – My Story – Please Do Not Do Dairy. – World Animals Voice

What about the dogs held in Korean cages for their meat; what about the animals who are farmed (the poor bitches)and skinned alive for their fur to adorn the body of some fur hag who is sometimes known as a rich bitch ? – Search Results for “fur” – World Animals Voice

Lots of ‘what abouts’; and by no doubt I have missed many other subjects who deserve just as much.

Yup; all issues constantly and thankfully getting a lot of campaign attention by the mob that goes under the umbrella of animal rights.  If that pigeonholes you as part of the mob, then am glad, no very glad, to have been part of the mob for 45+ years.

Sally was fortunate; she had a loving environment.  Many animals as shown above suffer nothing but abuse from the moment of birth through to the moment of death.  They never experience a kind hand, only abusive ones.

For Sally:

Remember when you were young?
You shone like the sun
Shine on, you crazy diamond

Nobody knows where you are
How near or how far
Shine on, you crazy diamond

Pile on many more layers
And I’ll be joining you there
Shine on, you crazy diamond

Then we’ll bask in the shadow
Of yesterday’s triumph

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Pink Floyd

You will be my rest and peace child
I moved up to take a place, near you
The prettiest star
One day though it might as well be someday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The prettiest star
One day though it might as well be someday
You and I will rise up all the way
All because of what you are
The prettiest star

The Prettiest Star

 By David Bowie

Shine on you animal saving diamonds !

Be yourself, no matter what they say.

Regards Mark

Sally

USA: How one US senator’s dramatic U-turn finally gives Biden a chance to confront the climate crisis.

By Oliver Milman

First of all – apologies for the delay to this week’s newsletter. You can blame Joe Manchin for that.

The disintegration of President Biden’s climate agenda was playing out almost perfectly in sync with new, graphic reminders of why such an agenda is necessary, with extreme heat and wildfires scorching the US, UK, France, Spain and several other countries.

Biden had vowed he “won’t back down” in tackling the climate crisis, even though in the past month the conservative-leaning US supreme court restricted his administration’s options to do so and a sweeping renewable energy bill appeared to suffer a protracted, inglorious death in Congress.

Then, suddenly, unexpected hope. On Wednesday night Manchin, the West Virginia senator who also happens to own a coal trading company, decided, after all, he was going to support a $369bn package to boost renewable energy rollout, proliferate electric vehicles and aid the direct victims of fossil fuel pollution.

The U-turn by Manchin, a crucial swing vote in an evenly divided US senate and until now a nemesis of Biden’s agenda, provoked both shock and jubilation. Al Gore said it could prove an “historic turning point”. The US, after decades of denial, delay and dysfunction, may finally have policies in place to deal with the climate crisis, giving the world a chance to avoid truly disastrous heatwaves, droughts, floods and other climate impacts.

There are major caveats. Manchin is in favour of expanded oil and gas drilling, citing fears over inflation, and so new leases on public land will be pushed by the bill, giving it a rather contradictory status as a lifeline that also locks in fossil fuel production for decades to come.

But it at least provides a glimmer of hope of addressing a crisis that is unfolding in real time. Temperatures have soared to 46C (115F) in parts of the US over the past week, placing about a third of the population under dangerous heat conditions. At least 20 people have died due to the heat, while so many livestock have died that farmers have resorted to shoving them into landfills.

Wildfires, now a year-round threat in the US west, have chewed up land with such ferocity the federal government has scrambled emergency interventions to save California’s sequoias, the largest trees on Earth, from burning. A fifth of these enormous trees, previously seen as virtually indestructible, have been lost to fire in just the past two years, with officials setting up a system of sprinklers in desperate bid to save Grizzly Giant, a fabled tree that dates back to the time of Jesus and stands more than 200ft tall.

Many climate activists want Biden to do more, urging him to declare a climate emergency that would unlock new presidential powers, as well as ban new oil and gas drilling on public lands. Even with the prospect of long-overdue legislation, these calls will only grow as the climate crisis takes a worsening toll on America.

Regards Mark

EU: Animal Welfare Included in Geographical Indications (GI) Revision Proposal.

21 July 2022

Eurogroup for Animals welcomes the European Commission’s proposal on the revision of the geographical indications scheme for agricultural products, which identified that consumer concerns about animal welfare and sustainability are not adequately protected at present.

In March, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal on revising the EU geographical indications (GIs) scheme and quality schemes for agricultural products. This followed a commitment in the Farm to Fork strategy to revise the framework to improve its contribution to sustainable production and to strengthen the position of farmers and producers.

Eurogroup for Animals provided feedback on the proposed revision during a recent public consultation, in which we welcomed the proposal’s identification of the lack of sustainability and animal welfare considerations in the existing framework. This is an important recognition, as the current GI scheme’s exclusion of animal welfare standards means it does not cohere with the EU’s animal welfare or sustainability ambitions. 

The proposal aims to lay down requirements on animal welfare and environmental concerns in light of the growing integration of these issues in GI value chains, validating those producers who have already integrated sustainability actions into their product specifications. As the GI system has been promoted globally through EU trade policy, this could also lead to GI producers around the world incorporating animal welfare dimensions.

Increased attention to animal welfare can also help to protect the quality of GI products. Although GIs are commonly viewed as high quality by consumers, many producers do not even respect the EU minimum animal welfare standards.

Indeed, investigations into GI products have uncovered illegal practices, such as brutal violence on farms breeding pigs for Parma Ham (Essere Animali, 2018 investigation), cows farmed to produce Parmigiano Reggiano unable to graze on pasture (Compassion in World Farming, 2017 investigation), and dead calves and serious hygienic/sanitary neglect on farms producing Grana Padano (Essere Animali, 2021 investigation). 

Going forward, the references to animal welfare in the Commission proposal must remain. This includes a mention in the introduction and in the preamble, as well as the statement in Article 12 that producer groups can choose to adhere to sustainability undertakings higher than EU requirements. Crucially, the delegated acts that will have to be adopted to define the sustainability standards must include animal welfare requirements based on appropriate animal welfare schemes.

At a minimum, this should include enriched indoor conditions, no cages or restrictions, access to fresh air, lower than standard stocking densities, and an end to mutilations and forced early weaning. Where GIs do adopt animal welfare criteria, pressure must be applied to ensure that they are respected, and assistance should be provided to farmers to support this transition.

Regards Mark

Spain: New Investigation Exposes the Harsh Reality of the Spanish Aquaculture Sector. Disturbing Video.

19 July 2022

Investigation

The Franz Weber Foundation has released footage from an investigation carried out between 2020 and 2022 in 12 Spanish fish farms. Using a hidden camera and drones, images were taken at fish farms of the most commonly produced fish species in Spain: sea bream, sea bass, trout and turbot.

Suffocating in ice for an hour and a half, pressed hard in the stomach to extract their eggs, bled to death while still conscious, or sucked out of water by an industrial pump. 
This is the what thousands of fish on Spanish fish farms are exposed to every day. 

Spain is the EU’s second largest farmed fish producer and the EU’s top aquaculture producer by volume, with over 175.5 million finfish bred in hatcheries in 2019. 

The investigative footage shows slaughtering on ice, a widespread practice in most Spanish fish farms (and in other European and Mediterranean countries), which is undergone without prior stunning. It consists of immersing live fish in a mixture of ice and water, or in ice directly, which results in the slow death of the animals by hypothermia or asphyxia. When asked how long it takes for fish to die from ice slaughter, one of the workers at a trout farm in Granada replied that it takes an hour and a half.

The video also shows the overcrowding of fish in the tanks, premature deaths due to poor production conditions and inadequate handling of the fish by the fish farm staff. At one farm, a worker reported that 1,823 trout had died that day alone, and the previous day there had been 1,300 casualties.

Another practice shown in the investigative report is the process of forced spawning, where, every seven months, the animal is anaesthetised and its stomach is pressed hard to extract the eggs. The manager of one of the farms filmed explains that the spawning process can lead to injury or even death of the fish.

A very disturbing video – WAV.

Regards Mark

Global: 136 NGOs Around the World Call for a BAN on Hunting Trophy Imports.

WAV Archive Photo
WAV Archive Photo

Hi all;

Have been dealing with specific animal issues over the last few days, but here now there is some good news for you all to read about.  I will put each story on as an individual post in order that you can read and copy link if you wish.

6 July 2022

Press Release

In a joint position paper, 136 conservation and animal protection organisations from all around the world, including 45 NGOs from African countries, speak out against trophy hunting and urge policy-makers to ban imports.

Dr Mona Schweizer of Pro Wildlife said: “Trophy hunting stands out among the worst forms of wildlife exploitation and is neither ethical nor sustainable. In the face of the man-made global biodiversity crisis, it is inacceptable that exploitation of wildlife simply for acquiring a hunting trophy is still permitted and that trophies can still be legally imported. It is high time that governments end this detrimental practice.” 

Trophy hunting can adversely affect the survival of species Between 2014 and 2018 almost 125,000 trophies of CITES protected species were imported globally, with the US and the EU featuring as the biggest importers.

and undermine conservation efforts. Trophy hunters often target rare and imperilled species or animals with impressive physical traits and remove individuals who are essential for reproduction and stabilising social groups. By targeting such animals, trophy hunters directly and indirectly contribute to population declines, disrupted social structure, and reduced resilience. The industry drives demand for parts and products of endangered species and incentivises and prioritises their killing through award schemes and other promotions.

Furthermore, shooting animals of protected and endangered species is often a privilege of foreign hunters, while access to wildlife and land is often restricted for locals. This disenfranchisement of local communities coupled with the social destabilising effects of trophy hunting on many species can fuel human-animal conflict rather than mitigate it. Such situations are further exacerbated by the fact that the trophy hunting industry fails to deliver meaningful economic benefits to local communities, contrary to what is claimed by the pro trophy hunting narrative. In fact, as most hunts are conducted on private land and the hunting sector is plagued with corruption, trophy hunting revenues usually end up in the pockets of hunting operators, private farm owners and local elites.   

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Dr Mark Jones, Head of Policy at the Born Free Foundation commented, “Trophy hunting causes immense animal suffering while doing little or nothing for wildlife conservation or local communities. Indeed, in many cases trophy hunters remove key individual animals from fragile populations, damaging their social and genetic integrity. It’s time to bring trophy hunting to a permanent end, while seeking alternative, more effective and humane ways of resourcing wildlife protection and local community development.”

In addition to hampering conservation efforts and minimal economic benefits, the practice of trophy hunting also raises ethical and animal welfare concerns. Shooting animals for fun simply to obtain a trophy as a status symbol is ethically unjustifiable, disregards their intrinsic value by reducing them to commodities and puts a ‘price tag’ on death reflecting the amount foreign hunters are willing to pay for the kill. Moreover, trophy hunters frequently employ and incentivise hunting methods that increase the suffering of the animal, such as the use of bows and arrows, muzzle loaders, handguns or dogs chasing animals for hours to exhaustion.

WAV Archive Photo
WAV Archive Photo

“Economic benefit – which is minimal at best in the trophy hunting industry – is no excuse to allow the inhumane killing of animals for entertainment or to make up for the often irreversible biological and ecological damages it causes to protected species when there are alternative, more lucrative revenue streams available for development and conservation efforts,” said Dr Joanna Swabe, senior director of public affairs at Humane Society International/Europe. “As the largest importers of hunting trophies in the world, the US and EU have a moral obligation to stop contributing to this harmful industry through hunting trophy imports and to institute policies that support ethical forms of foreign aid, tourism and industry”, added Swabe.

In many countries around the world, citizens oppose trophy hunting and the import of hunting trophies. Surveys in the EU, Switzerland and the U.S. confirm that between 75 and 96 percent of respondents oppose trophy hunting and support import bans for trophies. In South Africa, the major African exporter of hunting trophies of protected species, a majority of 64 percent disapproves of trophy hunting.

With the unethical practice of trophy hunting harming species conservation and the economy for decades, a policy shift is long overdue. Together, with a united voice of 136 NGOs from all around the world, we call on governments to take responsibility towards the protection of species and biodiversity, and to ban the import of hunting trophies.

Reineke Hameleers – Eurogroup.

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Note

Joint position on trophy hunting

Press contacts 

Agnese Marcon, Communications Manager, Eurogroup for Animals 

Dr Mona Schweizer, Pro Wildlife

Dr Mark Jones, Head of Policy, Born Free Foundation 

Adeline Fischer, Senior Communications Manager Europe, Humane Society International/Europe

 
Eurogroup for Animals represents over eighty animal protection organisations across the EU, UK, Switzerland, Serbia, Norway, and Australia. Since its foundation in 1980, the organisation has succeeded in encouraging the EU to adopt higher legal standards for animal protection. Eurogroup of Animals reflects public opinion through its members and has both the scientific and technical expertise to provide authoritative advice on issues relating to animal protection. Eurogroup for Animals is a founding member of the World Federation for Animals which unites the animal protection movement at the global level. 

Pro Wildlife is a non-profit organisation that works internationally to protect wildlife and its habitats with the aim to preserve biodiversity and to save animals. Thus, the survival of species in their habitat, but also the protection of the individual animal is of key importance. Pro Wildlife advocates for better laws and effective protection measures for wildlife. In various countries, the organisation supports aid projects for animals in need, helps to preserve habitats and works to ensure coexistence between people and wildlife.

Born Free is a UK-based international wildlife protection charity. We promote compassionate conservation to enhance the survival of threatened species in the wild and protect natural habitats while respecting the needs and safeguarding the welfare of individual animals. As a leading wildlife charity, we oppose the exploitation of wild animals in captivity and campaign to keep them where they belong – in the wild.

Advancing the welfare of animals in more than 50 countries, Humane Society International works around the globe to promote the human-animal bond, rescue and protect dogs and cats, improve farm animal welfare, protect wildlife, promote animal-free testing and research, respond to natural disasters and confront cruelty to animals in all its forms.

Joint position on trophy hunting

Joint position trophy hunting July 20221.67 MB

Regards Mark

Yes Please !