Dairy farmers in Australia are being forced to inject dangerous mRNA vaccines that contain spike proteins into cattle just so they can remain in business. Just like in humans, the jabs are causing severe reactions in many of the animals and a large percentage of them are dying instantly.
Animal rights activists accuse ex-president of abandoning North Korean dogs
‘A commitment to be an animal’s guardian is a commitment for life’
By Jung Min-ho
Animal rights activists are criticizing former President Moon Jae-in for his decision to return his dogs ― given by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a gift following their 2018 summit ― to a government facility, saying that he should not treat the dogs as if they are objects.
“Mr. Moon should not abandon the dogs or be forced to abandon them. As their guardian, it is his responsibility and privilege to care for their physical and emotional needs,” Patti Kim, head of Jindo Love Rescue, an animal rights group, told The Korea Times. “A commitment to be an animal’s guardian is a commitment for life.”
The statement came after Moon decided to give up a pair of white Pungsan dogs ― “Gomi” and “Songgang.” While they are currently undergoing medical examinations at a veterinary hospital in Daegu before being sent to a state facility, which remains undecided, their puppy named “Daun” will continue to live with Moon at his house in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province.
A lack of government support was the main reason behind the decision. In his message on social media, Wednesday, Moon said the Ministry of the Interior and Safety has delayed approving an enforcement ordinance for him ― an agreement made while he was in office.
The administrative rule change would strengthen the legal basis for his right to keep the dogs ― state property as a gift given while in office ― and provide him with the proposed financial support of about 2.5 million won ($1,800) a month.
But given that “an institution” ― the secretary office of a former president, in this case ― is already allowed to manage animals under Article 6 of the current enforcement ordinance on presidential records management, critics believe the key issue was money. After being elected, Yoon Suk-yeol, known as a dog lover, also openly supported the idea of Moon taking the dogs with him. They lived with Moon for more than four years.
“There are people talking about the cost of dog food. I do not know whether they know the retired president (I) paid for all the expenses,” Moon wrote. “I even paid for the expenses of bringing the dogs to Yangsan (from the presidential office) and taking them to a Presidential Archives-designated place (the veterinary hospital). It should be appreciated that I took care of them with affection free of charge over the past six months.”
Moon added he would continue to live with the dogs only if he can gain legal ownership.
Regardless of legal issues, animal rights activists say his view of animals is deeply flawed.
“Animals are not objects, and they are not our property. Gomi, Songgang, and their puppy should never have been misclassified as state property, when in fact, they are part of former President Moon’s family,” Kim said.
Eun-young, lead organizer at the Korea office of Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights organization based in California, lamented that the sorry episode of the Pungsan dogs shows how Korean society as a whole treats animals.
As a presidential candidate, Moon pledged to strengthen animal rights in an apparent bid to appeal to more than 10 million voters living with their animal companions. After a summit in Pyongyang in September 2018, Moon’s office uploaded the pictures of him interacting with the animals from the North on social media from time to time. Many viewed them as the symbol of ― or at least meaningful progress toward ― peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Beagle Rescue Network, a Korean animal rights group, expressed disappointment in Moon, questioning the sincerity of his political steps supposedly for animal rights.
“Regardless of the reasons, giving up adoption is giving up responsibility, which is the virtue of a leader who was once respected as the (South) Korean president,” the group said in a statement. “We are witnessing the leader giving up the responsibility for life due to political reasons. We implore you to end the era in which living creatures are being used for politics. Animals are not objects.”
We (WAV) covered a lot on ex President Moon over the years on our other site, SAV which campaigned for stray animals in Serbia; and his election pledge to do a lot better for animals – especially animals kept on South Korean dog meat farms.
Sadly, like so many election promises, once elected, the politicians turn their backs on the subject in question. Check out our past posts below which show the dire conditions in which S. Korean dog farms operate.
(also SAV founder) – About Serbian Animals. | Serbian Animals Voice (SAV)
RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT.
‘Never have I ever regretted flying the flag for vegans as much as I do now after seeing this pathetic and unacceptable attempt at protesting. Back in my day at least we had the common decency to show some respect and dignity.’
She protested the fur trade by standing naked outside Harrods almost every day for a year in 2015.
Ms Porter’s activism is often shocking and she wants it to lead to discussion – but she says she did not go out of her way to cause major disruption like current protesters
‘It has almost cost me my sanity’: Animal rights protester who stood naked outside Harrods reveals the true toll of her activism… but her only regret is sharing her cause with ‘pathetic’ modern eco-zealots
- Heidi Porter has no regrets about her activism, despite admitting it has ‘cost me my sanity many times’
- But even she says the current eco zealots wreaking havoc on the streets of London are in the wrong
- She said the new crop of activists turned on her because her own views didn’t align exactly with theirs
- Ms Porter’s comments come amid a month of chaos in the United Kingdom due to repeated protests
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
Eco activists targeted the world famous Girl with a Pearl Earring painting by Johannes Vermeer in the Netherlands in the latest brazen gallery attack
Below – This is the moment a passerby intervened with a paint-wielding protester vandalised the MI5 building on Millbank, London, on Monday morning.
Police intervened after Tez Burns, 34, sprayed orange paint on the exterior of the MI5 building on Marsham Street.
There is right and wrong Direct Action.
Having been involved myself with direct action, you need to get public support on your side by facts and education, not by destruction.
Below – Myself and Barb protest at Dover (England) against the live export of baby calves destined for the veal crates of Europe.
5 November 2022
In what spells as positive news for millions of farm animals, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has declared it will restrict the export of various species used for breeding to third countries from Germany.
What are Germany’s new export rules?
From July 1 2023, German veterinary certificates for the export of cattle, sheep and goats used for breeding to several countries outside the EU will be withdrawn, a recent press release from BMEL states.
This is not the first time Germany has tightened up their export rules to support higher animal welfare, having already withdrawn certificates for animals used for fattening and slaughter purposes to third countries. However, by extending these restrictions to breeding animals, too, the country is taking an even stronger stand against the issues of international animal trade and the cruelties that livestock faces in this system: sending a powerful message about the importance of good welfare at every stage of an animal’s life.
Germany has made the first move… now, over to the EU
Germany has set a compelling precedent at national level… but if we are to address live exports globally, it’s important that the rest of the EU takes the initiative to radically change the rules of this trade.
This is something that Germany’s Federal Minister, Cem Özdemir, understands well. Commenting on their recent decision, he stated “we urgently need better common rules in Europe” to make sure that national restrictions such as theirs “are not circumvented” and undermined. For instance, despite Germany’s new law, suppliers could technically export animals to other countries in the EU to then be re-exported to third countries: taking advantage of a problematic loophole that an EU-wide law could close.
Eurogroup for Animals are campaigning for the EU to ban the transport of live animals outside its borders entirely, and eventually revolutionise the trade to end their live export completely. In the interim, we’re also asking policymakers to devise stricter species-specific requirements for transport as well.
What do Members think of Germany’s new export restrictions?
Several of our member organisations have been concerned with the consequences of live animal exports for years. Germany’s news thus comes as a victory, though it’s clear there’s much more to do.
Animals International has worked tirelessly to expose the conditions animals face while being exported outside of Europe – including, specifically, from Germany, with their investigations into German exports tracing back as far as 2017.
“We want to see the EC listening to the fresh wave that Germany has started, by installing an EU wide ban on live exports,” Director Gabriel Paun states. He adds that despite this, the recent restrictions come as “news worth celebrating” that heeds “the call of millions of compassionate EU citizens who want an end to this cruel and ruthless trade”.
Deutscher Tierschutzbund has also vocalised their support for this change via Twitter, but are conscious of the further developments that are needed. “This is not about the end of transport, and so we still demand that the German ministry bans exports completely from Germany to countries outside of Europe,” states Frigga Wirths, their Specialist for Transport, Slaughter and Cattle.
Four Paws International is of a similar mind, and have campaigned extensively for change within the live animal export trade in Europe. Livestock Expert Ina Mueller-Arnke commented that “the BMEL withdrawing the bilateral veterinary certificates is a good first step, but insufficient, as it is not equivalent to an export ban.” She adds that, to seal lasting change, “we need to prohibit live animal exports at the European level, including to all third countries.”
The Animal Welfare Foundation is strongly against the long-distance transport of animals across Europe, as well as exports from Europe to third countries. Iris Baumgärtner, their Vice Chair, told us “we expect a national export ban of German animals from our Green Minister of Agriculture”, though their most recent restrictions are “the fastest measure to send a clear signal to the EU Commission.” That being said, they’re concerned that this move “will hardly reduce exports. For this reason, we need a national export ban with better enforcement options for the authorities to stop indirect transports.”
Ultimately, the message is clear: while this restriction is a win for several farm animals in Germany, to make it a win for all animals, we need the EU to step up and create EU-wide legislation to seriously improve the export trade. We hope to see it rise to the challenge.
4 November 2022
In coordination with the End The Cage Age initiative, the investigative team at Essere Animali has just released a shocking video that exposes how quails are being treated across two farms in Lombardy and Veneto, Italy.
Their footage in particular shows a number of disturbing scenes:
Cramped quarters: Quails are being raised in sheds, crammed into bare cages with no source of entertainment or stimulation. Only 1 metre long by 0.5 metres wide, 50 quails are stuffed into each cage, causing emotional and physical issues
Fatal flaws: Cages are floored with wire mesh, which can malform and injure the inhabitants’ legs and risk infections and diseases. It can even be deadly to chicks, as their feet can get stuck
Animals exhibiting physical and psychological distress: Essere Animali’s investigation reveals many quails with plumage loss, and several others dying or dead. Those that are alive are clearly in a great state of anxiety, and when startled, are seen trying to escape – often flying into the upper floor of their cages and risking serious injuries.
What’s more, these issues can cause huge problems across the entire flock… as well as for people. With each day a struggle, the immune systems of these quails can suffer, increasing their chances of catching and spreading diseases in such close quarters. In turn, this can incur the use of antibiotics – which are regularly used on animals in intensive farming systems – spurring on the antimicrobial resistance crisis that is affecting animals and humans alike.
These quails deserve truly cage-free lives
The good news? We’re already on the road to changing the futures of these quails. On 30 June 2021, the European Commission promised to ban the use of cages on farms by 2027, spurred on by incredible results of the End The Cage Age ECI.
But, as our campaigning in this area shows, the fight is far from over. A legislative proposal will be presented by 2023, detailing how cages can be phased out and what could happen next. However, every proposal must be adopted by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Further, getting these proposals right will be critical for farm animals, to ensure that cages are truly banned and not simply replaced by other forms of confinement: for instance, the ‘enriched cages’ that the EU offered as a replacement for battery cages in 2012, that still do not sufficiently enable hens to experience good lives.
The End The Cage Age coalition is now working tirelessly to ensure the Commission delivers on its commitments. On the same hand, EU nations should seize this opportunity to take a stand against cages – showing there’s no place for them in the future of farming.
“The role of Italy and of the new Italian government can be fundamental in this important step,” a representative from the End The Cage Age coalition stated. “We call on Francesco Lollobrigida, Minister of Agriculture, and Orazio Schillaci, Minister of Health, to take a clear position against the use of cages in animal farming, supporting the commitment made by the European Commission, as well as promoting the urgent adoption of legislation at the national level that prohibits their use”.
2 November 2022
In a new white paper, our member organisation Djurens Rätt describes serious animal welfare deficiencies affecting fish in aquaculture and wild capture fisheries, and proposes ten measures for increased fish welfare.
While it is well established that fish can feel pain and suffer, they are often treated as if they were emotionless beings. There are more than 30,000 species of fish, with both common and species-specific behaviours, needs and incredible abilities.
For human consumption, fish are either raised in factories (known as aquaculture or fish farms) or caught in wild capture fisheries. In both these industries, fish are measured in tonnes and not in numbers, which makes it difficult to know exactly how many fish are affected. It is estimated that around one to two thousand billion (one to two trillion) fish are caught and killed each year globally in fisheries. In fish farming, the corresponding figure is 50-150 billion.
We must treat fish as the sentient individuals they are, it is unsustainable to talk about expanding fish factories when there are already so many animal welfare deficiencies. For example, fish raised in Swedish fish factories are still subjected to painful carbon dioxide stunning before slaughter. Action is needed against this suffering and to increase fish welfare.
Camilla Bergvall, President of Djurens Rätt
Djurens Rätt launched the White Paper during a webinar on fish welfare on Wednesday 26th October. The White Paper lists ten of the most important measures that need to be implemented in order to improve the situation for fish:
1. Fish must increasingly begin to be seen and treated as the living, sentient individuals they are.
2. A strengthened animal welfare legislation for fish at EU level.
3. A strengthened animal welfare legislation for fish at national level.
4. A ban on carbon dioxide stunning at fish slaughter.
5. More resources for research on fish welfare at slaughter.
6. Fish caught in wild capture fisheries must be subject to animal welfare legislation.
7. Certifications of fish products must include relevant fish welfare criteria.
8. A ban on bottom trawling and beam trawling.
9. The National Agency for Public Procurement must add animal welfare criteria to their fish standard, for example regarding stunning and slaughter.
10. The EU Commission must establish a European Fish Welfare Reference Centre.
Read more at source
28 October 2022
Written by Maya Cygańska
At the Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) this month, Commissioner Stella Kyriakides announced that the European Commission will put forward a proposal to end the ‘disturbing’ systematic practice of killing male chicks across the EU.
For years, the fate of male chicks has been a key concern at Eurogroup for Animals
As male chicks do not contribute to food production, they have been viewed commercially as both a burden and without value to the food and farming industries. Tragically, the ‘solution’ has therefore been to kill them when they are around one day old: often by grinding or gassing, the focus of the Stop Grinding and Gassing campaign orchestrated by L214.
As the response to their campaign suggests, this issue has been one that many animal advocacy groups have lobbied passionately for, resulting in some powerful isolated actions across the EU. Deutscher Tierschutzbund helped to ensure that chick culling will be banned by the end of 2022 in Germany. Elsewhere, thanks to the tireless efforts of Animal Equality, this routine killing will stop in Italy from 2026, which will curb the death and suffering of an estimated 35 million male chicks per year. Austria, Luxembourg and France have also all outlawed the practice, and are actively looking for alternative – humane – solutions for what to do with male chicks.
Despite these fantastic achievements, however, there has not been an EU legislative ban on their systematic slaughter… yet. That’s why, earlier this year, we at Eurogroup for Animals – along with 17 amazing NGOs – wrote an open letter to the Council of the EU, asking for this to be included in the upcoming revisions to the animal welfare legislation. Judging by the response at AGRIFISH last week, our words have resonated.
Putting male chicks on the EU’s radar
In a public consultation at AGRIFISH on October 17, agriculture ministers from across the EU discussed the nuances of a law to end the killing of male chicks, highlighting the ethical and practical issues of the brutal action and the alternatives that could be pursued.
In the Annex presented to the ministers, it was acknowledged that the culling runs contrary to what EU consumers expect regarding ‘better animal welfare’, though it was agreed at the same time that ending the practice would be ‘a major challenge for the sector’.
Representatives from Member States such as Spain and Sweden stressed that the use of technology will be vital in forging a new future for male chicks, while ministers from Hungary, Ireland and Croatia voiced the need for robust impact assessments to help navigate an EU-wide ban. It was also recognised that countries like France and Germany are paving the way in this field, having already committed to the ban and being in the process of finding alternatives to managing male chicks – potentially providing good models that other EU countries can follow.
Ultimately, our takeaway from the consultation was positive, with attendees broadly agreeing on one major point: that the killing of male chicks is unethical and should be banned. More than being immoral, it is also unsustainable, and does not complement the kind of food systems the EU is working towards. There is no place for the practice in our future.
Change is on the horizon
“It is real progress to hear Commissioner Kyriakides say that this unethical practice is going to be banned at EU level and that, although economic factors should be part of the decision, the ethical arguments are the most important ones,” our Farm Animal Programme Leader, Inês Ajuda, commented. “These declarations clearly demonstrate how the new animal welfare legislation needs to be based on ethical grounds, and built on the consideration that kept animals are sentient beings.”
Creating a law to end the senseless slaughter of male chicks would be a major win for animals across the EU, and we’re dedicated to doing our part to make sure it happens. Watch this space!
20 October 2022
World Animal Day was celebrated on 4 October, a day to reflect on the incredible animal kingdom and all of the unique species we share our planet with. Mink, foxes and chinchillas, species typically found on fur farms in Europe, are inherently wild animals that have fascinating lives in their natural habitats.
This month, we are delving deeper into how these species live in the wild, and how their natural instincts are stifled on fur farms.
A dog’s life for foxes
Red foxes mainly live in pairs or in family groups of up to ten adults and pups, digging dens with many tunnels. Their Arctic cousins roam for dozens of kilometres. But on fur farms, both species are condemned to solitary confinement in wire-mesh battery cages measuring 0.8-1.2m2.
Mink are restricted to even smaller cages, whereas in the wild they climb and jump between trees across a territory of up to 3km2 a day – that is when they’re not diving to depths of up to six metres and swimming underwater for over thirty.
Even the humble chinchilla can jump up to four times the 50cm height of the cages where they are imprisoned on farms. Used to living in colonies of over 100 yet forming breeding pairs, they find themselves constrained to small groups.
The failure to satisfy the most essential needs for the animals’ physical and mental wellbeing leads to distressed behaviour, such as pacing and circling, fur-chewing and tail-biting. Self-inflicted injuries, infected wounds, missing limbs and even cannibalism are recurrent on fur farms, as are high levels of reproductive failure and infant mortality.
Being wild animals, they are naturally fearful of humans. When heavy gloves do not provide adequate protection, handlers resort to metal neck or body tongs, and even traps placed in the cage.
No animal fares well on fur farms
The WelFur programme claims to assess animal welfare on fur farms in Europe. But as its protocols were developed to apply to housing in cages, this means the results of their studies only tell us that all fur farms are basically the same, not that the animals live in adequate conditions.
Animal welfare can only be looked at properly through the prism of the Five Domains, which assesses the balance between positive and negative experiences and feelings – a paradigm shift from the previous Five Freedoms model focused on the elimination of negative experiences. Using this animal-centric approach, fur farming is clearly an utterly unacceptable cruelty. It needs to be stopped.
If you agree that no animals should be punished for having fur, but that instead keeping animals on farms to be killed for their fur should be illegal, don’t hesitate before signing our Fur Free Europe European Citizens’ Initiative to ban fur farms and farmed fur products on the European market.
“Fur Free Europe”, our latest report, goes into more detail about the ethological needs of species farmed for their fur, and how the conditions these wild animals are subjected to make it impossible for their behavioural needs to be met.
While the fight to create sweeping change on the justice issues we care about can sometimes seem hopeless, California’s Prop 12, which prevents animals from being held in “a cruel manner” has been a source of optimism in the realm of animal rights.
“Prop 12 is the strongest farm animal protection law in the United States and possibly in the world,” according to The Human League. “When it goes into full effect on January 1, 2022, it outlaws the use of cages — and stands to free millions of animals from the cruelest forms of confinement.”
However, big agriculture — in this case the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation — has been fighting this law, bringing a case to the U.S. Supreme Court claiming Prop 12 “overstepped its bounds by placing regulations on other states over how they raise their animals.”
For those concerned about animal welfare, there is a great deal at stake with this court case as the battle between impactful lawmaking and the big-agriculture lobby comes to a head.
For me, the matter of preventing animal cruelty is a moral and religious one. Even the Mishnah, the earliest rabbinic text, articulates how badly confined animals want freedom of movement.
“If a man brought his flock into a pen and shut it in properly and it went out and caused damage, he is exempt,” it says in Tractate Bava Kamma, 6:1. “If he had not shut it in properly and it went out and caused damage, he is liable. If the pen was broken through at night, or bandits broke through it, and the flock came out and caused damage, he is not liable. If the bandits brought out the flock, the bandits are liable.”
The assumption here is that animals inherently don’t want to be kept locked up. It goes against their natural state of being. All life yearns for freedom.
Further, according to Karen M. Morin of Bucknell University, the confinement of animals, while a morally distinct problem from human incarceration, shares commonalities with the inhumanity involved in the imprisonment of people. These include:
Emotional and physical harm
Tightly restricted movement
Removal of dignity
Disregard for life
Despite all of the challenges to the protections we try to enact for the liberation of animals and human beings, we must continue to stand up for the abused among us. While I certainly don’t advocate for the end of all prisons, which are sometimes necessary to keep society safe from those who have a history of violence, the mass incarceration prison system absolutely must at least be seriously reformed, through the elimination of a level of confinement that strips people of mobility and is a form of physical and psychological torture.
Central to Kabbalah is the notion that the sparks of God are confined. A particularly grotesque instance of this is the way human souls and animal spirits are often literally trapped in human-made cages. A key takeaway we must learn from the Jewish tradition is our obligation to help free those in need of liberation from narrow places. We are called by Torah values to fight modern-day Pharoah in whatever form he takes.
The Maharal of Prague taught: “Love of all creatures is also love of God; for whoever loves the One, loves all the works that He has made.”
We must work to create a country in which big agriculture does not have the power to overturn animal protections. In the near term, we should educate others on Prop 12 and how much is at stake, so that, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, we’ll be prepared to respond with clarity and action.
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the Founder & President of Shamayim: Jewish Animal Advocacy and is the author of 23 books on Jewish Ethics.
Hidden camera footage captured workers shocking pigs in the face with electric prods and repeatedly hitting and kicking the animals
Two animal rights activists have been given 30-day jail sentences after exposing animal cruelty at a Canadian hog farm.
Amy Soranno and Nick Schafer entered Excelsior Hog Farm in 2019. They were convicted on one count of break-and-enter and mischief.
Along with activists Roy Sasano and Geoff Regier, Soranna and Schafer were arrested after a mass protest at the farm. Together, they were known as the Excelsior 4, but Regier and Sasano were cleared of their charges.
Speaking to Plant Based News (PBN), Soranno said that they found pregnant pigs crammed inside metal cages unable to move. They also found dead pigs rotting in pens with other live pigs who were eating their bodies. The dumpsters were full of dead pigs and piglets.
Cruelty at the farm
The hidden camera footage also captured workers shocking pigs in the face with electric prods, repeatedly hitting and kicking the animals, and cutting off the tails and testicles of screaming piglets with no pain relief.
At the trial, the defense was blocked from showing footage of the animal cruelty at the farm. They were also prevented by the judge from arguing that the hog farm had engaged in unlawful animal abuse.
“This case shows in stark terms the utter failure of the animal agriculture industry and law enforcement to protect farmed animals from abuse,” said acquitted Excelsior 4 defendant Roy Sasano.
“The Crown is more interested in criminalizing and jailing nonviolent activists than holding animal abusers accountable. Excelsior Hog Farm has never had to answer for its well-documented criminal animal cruelty.”
A hidden industry
Despite the fact that the majority of the public buys animal products, most are unaware of how they are produced.
“As it stands right now, the public does not have the right to know what the conditions inside any animal farm in British Columbia looks like,” Schafer told PBN.
“There is a severe lack of transparency within the animal agriculture industry, and they continue to propagate misinformation of quaint, happy, clean farms. We hope that this case has shed some light on exactly what these farms look like and how animals are housed and treated within this industry.
Ag-gag laws, which make it illegal to expose conditions in farms, are being passed in a number of provinces in Canada. British Columbia, where this protest took place, doesn’t have any such legislation, but the activists were prosecuted nevertheless.
“This demonstrates just how much the animal agriculture industry has to hide, which should be of concern to everyone,” said Sorrano.
Soranno and Schafter’s sentence will begin on October 21 at the Okanagan Corrections Centre. They are both appealing their convictions.