Category: Fur and Fur Farming

Netherlands: Dutch MPs have voted to close all mink farms by the end of the year and pay compensation to fur farmers.

niederländischen-flagge

 

 

Dutch MPs have voted to close all mink farms by the end of the year and pay compensation to fur farmers

Politicians in the Netherlands have voted in favour of closing the country’s mink farms by the end of the year after several outbreaks of coronavirus led to thousands of the animals being culled.  

At least two workers at mink farms in the Netherlands are believed to have been infected with coronavirus in what the World Health Organization said could be the first known cases of animal-to-human transmission of the virus.

Health authorities slaughtered more than 1,500 mink as a precaution this month after coronavirus surfaced in a handful of farms in the southern Netherlands.

The Labour Party and Party for Animals subsequently tabled a vote on banning mink farming, which passed this morning. The motion now has to be approved by the upper house of the Dutch government. 

If it passes the new law will hasten the closure of the country’s estimated 128 mink farms, which were due to be phased out by the end of 2023.

 

The animal rights charity, PETA, described the proposed ban as “common sense” and called on other mink farming nations such as China and Denmark to ban the trade.

“PETA hopes the Netherlands will be the first of many countries to see the writing on the wall and shut down cruel fur farms or risk being the source of the next pandemic,” said the charity’s director, Elisa Allen.

In a statement, Humane Society International urged the Dutch government to pass the motion to ban the country’s mink fur trade: “HSI urges the government to listen to parliament, act now to end cruel and dangerous fur farming for good.”

The Netherlands is not the only country making moves to reduce the trade in animals in the wake of coronavirus. China, where the outbreak began, has since banned the consumption of all wildlife and removed pangolin scales from a list of approved traditional medicines.

Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world and scientists are investigating whether they may have played a role in the virus moving from animals to humans.

 

https://www.positive.news/environment/dutch-parliament-votes-to-end-mink-farming-following-covid-19-outbreak/#.XvUUdz2jrnI.twitter

 

Holland: shutdown of the fur farms, in a hurry: by the end of the year !!!!

For a good start to the day!

niederländischen-flagge

After the coronavirus outbreaks in Dutch mink farms, all of this type of farm in the country should, according to the will of Parliament, be closed by the end of the year.

minkmink-1

A corresponding proposal from the Social Democrats and the Party for Animals was passed yesterday.
The Parliament also called on the government to ban the breeding of animals “susceptible” to the coronavirus.

The Dutch authorities had more than 1,500 minks killed in the past few weeks after the virus appeared in nine farms. At least two employees of the farms contracted the pathogen.
The authorities assume that the virus has been transmitted from the mink to the employees.

According to the animal welfare organization Humane Society International, there are currently 128 mink farms in the Netherlands. The breeding of mink fur was fiercely controversial in the country even before the virus broke out.

VIER PFOTEN_mink pg

https://orf.at/stories/3170818/

 

My comment…And since we have failed miserably as a species, we would like to thank the pandemics for intervening and perhaps doing what we are currently not able to do – namely abolish fur farms.

It would be optimal to abolish the torture farms of ALL breeding animals, and the current mass infections in slaughterhouses can be a good start in this direction.

Over the years we have learned to be patient and therefore we look forward to small successes too.

My best regards to all, Venus

2020: the year the whole world went full retard

Coronavirus deaths in the Netherlands have plummeted. Still, the government has ordered the slaughter of 10,000 captive mink, the first sign of a potential US-style mass cull.

niederländischen-flagge

Bred in captivity for their fur, mink are subjected to some appalling conditions throughout their short lives. However, the coronavirus pandemic has introduced a new threat to the lives of these creatures.

minkmink-1

After their handlers infected mink on Dutch farms with Covid-19 in April, and after at least two farm workers caught the disease off the mink, the Dutch government ordered 10,000 of the animals to be culled on Wednesday.

Farmworkers in protective clothing will gas the mink en masse before a disposal plant takes care of the bodies and the farms are disinfected (!!!)

In the course of the coming days, all eight affected companies should be cleared. There are still around 150 fur farms in the Netherlands.

From 2024, breeding mink is prohibited after a court decision.

pelz tier farmenpg

Animal rights activists say the cull should herald the end of fur farming in the Netherlands for good. The country is one of only 24 worldwide that allows mink farming.

However, it’s not just animals in the fur trade that the coronavirus threatens. In the US, sicknesses at meat processing plants forced some facilities to shut down, leaving farmers with no choice but to cull their herds.

Tens of millions of pigs, cattle, and hens have been or will be slaughtered due to the shutdowns.

schwein we animalsjpg

Moreover, the US recorded its first case of coronavirus in a dog last week.

The disease has been found in tigers, lions, and cats in the US, and early reports of the animal to human transmission in China sparked fears of pet euthanasia and led to hundreds of pet cats and dogs being abandoned in the city of Wuhan in February.

hund in China pg

In the Netherlands, coronavirus infections have closed at least three meat processing plants in recent months. While no herds have been culled yet, the idea is not an alien one to Dutch farmers.

More than 100,000 cattle in the country have been culled since 2016 as a result of EU phosphate regulations.

Hopefully, that day won’t come. Daily coronavirus deaths in the Netherlands have plunged to 15 as of Friday, down from a peak of 234 two months earlier.

A total of 210 new cases were reported on Friday, down from a high of 1,335 in early April.

https://www.rt.com/news/491071-netherlands-cull-mink-animals/

 

And I mean…The authority speaks of the evacuation of the fur farms and the gassing of the animals. As if we were in Hitler’s time.

Has the Dutch government never heard of a release?
Even if part of the mink is run over, the rest will live in freedom.
That would be a humane solution.

But because criminal governments provide support to the mass murderers in the animal industry, the 10,000 mink have to fall a victim.

It looks like a financial bankruptcy of this branch in the Netherlands.
Hopefully, the operators commit suicide..

My best regards to all, Venus

England: Saving Seals – Part 1 of 2 (By Mark – WAV).

gemalt-england-flagge-5d

 

 

Seal Pup

 

People have asked me about some of my past animal campaign experiences. First and foremost; I am a live animal transport person. But as with this site; there are other issues which I also feel strongly about; and the slaughter of innocent baby seal pups in Russia was one of them. So here goes – memories of some of the work revolving around being a voice for the baby seals. It was a long campaign as you can see, but eventually the effort paid off; Russian seal pup slaughter was stopped.

 

https://www.seashepherd.org.uk/news-and-commentary/news/russia-bans-the-slaughter-of-baby-harp-seals.html

 

Revised 30/4/2020:

 

One issue that I was very pleased (and proud) to have been involved with in the past was that regarding the saving of thousands of baby Whitecoat seal pups in the Archangelsk region of Russia. I campaigned with a fantastic animal advocate; and someone who became a very good friend; Robert Mouland, (pictured below) from the town of Folkestone in my home county of Kent which is located directly South East of London.

 

Robert Mouland

 

After many years of intensive campaigning; we finally had a victory for the pups – the Russian authorities stopped the slaughter of all whitecoat pups. My written records of the campaign say nothing more at the end of a massive fight other than a simple ‘Job Done’.   The baby seals were saved.

 

Seal Job Done

 

I vividly remember many things that were done on that campaign; as they are with so many issues; but one in particular was when Bob (Robert) dressed up as Father Christmas in order to get into the Russian Embassy here in London. He made it, got through security and I think he even got to meet the Russian Ambassador here at the time; to give his objections to the hunt.

 

Major I wont save seals

 

We never had any support for the massacre from the then Prime Minister, John Major. He just ignored all requests and literature that was sent to him asking for help. So years later, after John Major had quit politics and instead turned to his memoirs in book form, Bob decided once again to pounce. Mr Major was at a book signing ‘thing’ in Folkestone; and being a good citizen, Bob joined the queue for the book signature. When he got to the table after a while, Mr Major asked him who he wanted the book signed for. ‘For all the baby Russian seal pups you committed to death’ was the response – and Bob let further rip telling John Major that he was ‘evil’.   The whole place turned blue and security arrived en masse to eject Bob from the facility. I thought it was great – all those years on and still John Major was being reminded of his failings for the baby Whitecoats ! – the incident made the local press:

 

Major left red faced after confrontation

 

The following is a part of Mark’s written memories of the Russian seal pup campaign. Photographs show the Russian seal pup farms, Mark and Robert campaigning at Downing St., London, as well as with senior MEP’s from the European Parliament when they took their campaign to Brussels, Belgium. That was another incident which started the day with Belgian police pulling and aiming their guns at us. Things like that sometime happen; as we say in England ‘shit happens’; and after some discussions with members of the European Parliament and the Belgian police; things calmed down and we were allowed to do our protest. Read more later on about this in Part 2.

The netted seal pup photo shows how baby seals, if they were not killed on the ice, were transported back to seal farms; to be killed at a later date when their coats had changed colour. This ‘farming’ issue was the biggest difference to the Canadian seal pup murders which are still happening as I write this in 2020. – where young suckling babies are killed on the ice directly rather than being ‘farmed’ for a short period before they were killed.

Pup in net 2

 

 

————————-

 

Harp Seal – sub order: Pinnipedia.

 

There were basically 3 separate major seal populations within Russia; the Eastern, Central and Western herds, with original numbers probably around the 3 million mark, A very limited number of European nations engaged in taking harp seals in the Spring months to supplement their catch of bow head whales during the rest of the year. As seal stocks gradually became depleted, hunting was controlled by the former USSR, Denmark, Norway and Greenland.

In doing this control, the White Sea herds of the Russian White Sea region recovered gradually to its level of around one half of a million. In 1965, commercial sealing was stopped in the former USSR except for the hunting of the seal pups. Harp seals can live naturally for over 35 years; they feed mainly on herring and polar cod, and also crustaceans if possible.

In the January / February months of each year, pregnant females eat heavily due to the requirement to put on large amounts of blubber which is then converted to produce milk for baby pup offspring. Pregnant females give birth to their young pups once they have come onto the winter ice pack during late February or early March, following a gestation period of around 10 months. The new born pups are approximately 80 to 90 cm in length and weigh anywhere between 5 and 11 kg. At first, their coat colouring is yellow rather than a pure white; it is only after approximately 2 to 3 days post birth that the pups fur turns into what we familiarly know as a ‘whitecoat’.

As the milk on which they feed contains up to 45% fat, as compared to approximately 4% from typical cows milk, the young pups almost triple their weight in the first 12 days of their lives. They are nursed for about 12 days by their mothers, before being abandoned. Weaned pups usually weigh anywhere between 34 and 40 kg at 18 days of age; more than half of this weight is comprised of blubber. After reaching 18 days, the young pup completely sheds it whitecoat; this is replaced by a short silvery coat which is flexed with dark spots. At this stage in their life the pups are being called ‘Beaters’.

The beater period usually lasts for approximately one year; with full moulting taking place after around four weeks during early April. By the time it has reached its sixth week, a young pup can swim and take on regular food in the form of crustaceans. Over the next four years up until the age of approximately 5, that the beaters gradually lose their spots.

In the mid-1990s, in the Arkhangelsk region of Russia, were located approximately 19,500 out of a total of 30k to 31,000 seal pups to be hunted. The remainder were allocated to other regions within Russia; however, these quotas were sold back to the Arkhangelsk region, who took the whole quota. of Russia’s 31,000+ quota. Approximately 4,500 pups were taken alive and delivered by helicopter to what was known as ‘seal farms’.

The remainders not shipped to the farms would be killed directly on the ice as baby whitecoats. The size of the annual quota was recommended by scientists at the Arkhangelsk branch of the Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography. One of the key parameters in setting an annual quota for the seal pup hunt was directly related to fish stocks, which had declined to the pre-mid-90s due to overfishing; though not by seals !. The final decision was primarily political, taking in a joint Russian / Norwegian forum style. Any contracts were supposed to be fully enforced by fisheries inspectors with a group of four or five inspectors counting every animal caught. Allegedly, if it was noted that more animals were caught than allowed for under the quota, there were supposedly supposed to be heavy fines. But as the quota enforcement was undertaken by a local fishery collective, it was often the case that it was very difficult to enforce any of the quotas originally set.

 

Seal Farm 1

Seal Farm 2

Above – Typical Seal Pup Farms

 

A typical Russian seal pup farm contained approximately 4,500 pups which were delivered alive to seal farms located on the White Sea coast. The remaining 26,000+ animals were killed directly on the ice as whitecoats. Hunts normally took place in early March, with reconnaissance being undertaken by scientists who identified the optimum time for the hunt. This was when pregnant females had travelled down into the White Sea area and began breeding en masse on the ice flows; hunters were delivered to the ice flows by chartered helicopters belonging to national airline.

Weather permitting, approximately 7-8 helicopters were used, flying on average around 4 to 6 hours each per day. Whitecoats which were killed directly on the ice, were killed by a blow across the top of the head or blows made by the blunt end of a gaff. One blow was usually sufficient to kill the animal, but inexperience on the part of some sealers meant that more than one blow had to be used. The initial blow to the nose or skull was followed by a ‘brain spiking’ which was supposed to prevent a return to consciousness.

The baby seals were not bled on the ice as there was a fear that this process would ‘spoil’ the fur; but when a certain number of dead or unconscious pups were collected, these were all loaded into a special net device which was collected by any one of the helicopters. On arrival at the collection point, the helicopter would disperse an empty net, whilst at the same time collecting a full net of dead seals to be delivered back to base.

 

Pup in net 1

A Netted Pup

 

Once the full quota of whitecoats had been taken from the ice, the operation was stopped and the attention turned instead to the catching of the moulders to be taken to the seal farms. The capturing, transportation, confinement and eventual inhumane killing at the farms meant that pups were continually inflicted with a great amount of stress and suffering.. Seal farming was started because there was a market for pelts from beater pups; with these pelts being soft and silver grey covered with black spots. Around this time the coat becomes thicker and stronger and the quality of the fur generally improves. And so some live pups had to be kept until they became beaters; and this was done on the farms.

The basic theory of the seal farming policy is that young pups are captured shortly after abandonment by their mother; they are held in fenced enclosures until they are fully moulted; at which time they are killed and pelted. It is generally agreed that the practice of seal ‘farming’ causes more stress and suffering to the seal pups rather than the direct killing of them on the ice. In the farms, many pups who was still underage and not fully weaned, would try to suckle from other pups.

For the capturing of the farm pups, groups of sealers were taken to the ice flows by helicopter; individual pups were restrained in individual sack type nets, after which they were emptied into larger metal containers. Around 20 pups could be transported in one metal container, which were flown back to the farms where the seal pups were unloaded and restrained in a series of fenced ‘pens’ each about the size of a tennis court. During confinement at the farm the pups were not fed; with many succumbing to disease which was generally attributed to both overcrowding and stress of their capture and transportation.

 

Bleedin g at Mouth

 

Bleeding at mouth 2

Mouth Bleeding – A typical Sign of Stress In Young Seals

 

On the farms many of the pups would suffer from mouth infections which was considered a typical sign of extreme stress. Congealed blood combined with ice was often seen to be hanging from their mouths; something which was never seen under normal circumstances in the wild. On the farms the pups were under constant 24-hour guard, with tall watchtowers and guards overlooking each of the penned / court sized areas. When the coats of the pups had reached the correct stage, the pups were killed, normally in batches of about 50 by injection under the flipper using a drug named Dithyllinum.

This drug produces death by immobilising the skeletal respiratory muscle; in other words the animal suffocated to death because it is unable to breathe. As a sideline, this is fairly typical of the type of drugs and systems used to kill stray dogs in Serbia and the Balkans; something which we have also worked hard on for years. When any animal is given a dose of this drug, it only becomes paralysed in its breathing function, and as such it is impossible to see whether the animal is actually dead or alive.

 

Beater 1

Above – A ‘Beater Coat’ Pup

 

 

Information –  Read more about the Serbian strays at our other site; SAV – https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/about-serbian-animals/

 

As an animal welfare campaigner, there are one hell of a lot of issues that currently involve animals and absolutely disgust m each and every day. Anything and everything to do with the fur industry is just one of those issues; and this was one of the major factors that influenced me to try and help out Robert with his fight for justice for the young / baby seals of the White Sea region of Russia. There is nothing hidden in fact that the fur from beater pups is one of the most popular furs used in both peaked caps (pictured below) and some forms of fur coats. A lot is sold within Russia, but beater further is also popular both in Norway and in Denmark, two nations which regularly take part in Russian fur auctions. The Norwegians were alleged to have processed Russian beater pelts and then sold them on after further processing; most probably within the EU.

 

Hat

 

The pitiful end product of a baby White coat seal is its fur being used in hats and earflaps etc. There were / are allegations that it whitecoat pelts from Russia were reportedly sold direct to Norway. At the time of my deep involvement in this issue with Robert, many whitecoat pelts from the White Sea region of Russia were being dyed in order to improve and develop wider markets. It was really almost an impossibility for anyone at the time to detect the origin of any such furs, as furs from many different sources are mixed at the auctions; combine this with the fact that whitecoats furs were often dyed brown before sale and you have (as low budget animal welfare groups will tell you) an almost impossible task to get any real proof of what you’re after.

 

seals iin box

Boxed Beaters Delivered for Skin Processing

 

Dead seals in box

Dead Seal Pups in Box

 

Processing skins

Processing Skins

 

Processed skin 2

Processed Skins

 

At the time in the mid-90s, Norway itself had a ban on the killing of seal pups of the year; ie. those being under six months of age; and yet it, Norway purchased furs from Russia for sale. Denmark was bound by the European Commission (EU) ban on the import of whitecoats furs, and yet at the time really took no action to prevent the purchasing of beater furs which are generalised as causing even more suffering. There was always a question of, unknowingly, the fact that Denmark had purchased whitecoat furs at auctions and imported them into the EU by this method. This was our gripe with the EU and we wanted to change it !

At the time in the mid-90s, the effectiveness of the EU was up for question, (it still is in 2020) as it was possible that Russian seal pups could be captured and moulted, and then their whitecoat furs be dyed colours such as Brown; only then to be traded within the EU by nations such as Denmark. Back in Russia, the blubber from these farmed seals was used as feed for poultry farms, with meat being sold on to fur farms where it was rendered down and used as food for other captive fur bearing animals. Investigations found out that some of the meat from Russian seal pups was used to manufacture a product known as ‘Backtophoc’; which was a medium used for medical purposes. Little was really known about this as the product was labelled as ‘commercial in confidence’, and as such, very little was available for further investigation. However, it was known and documented that the drying equipment for the process of ‘Backtophoc’ production had oddly enough, been provided by Denmark.

It was not uncommon for the capacity of ‘normal’ Russian fur farms to be able to deal with over 20,000 Arctic foxes and over 120,000 mink. Some Russian experts were open in admitting that the killing of seal pups on both the ice and in seal farms were inhumane, and that the development of ecotourism was viewed as much more viable alternative. Ecotourism also gained widespread local support as an initiative from many sectors of the Russian communities. And so, having knowledge of this information and the real expertise on the subject from Robert, the view was taken that something further had to be done at EU level.

Cut to late Summer 1996 – I (Mark) am in the back garden of a friend and fellow campaigner (Clare and her husband David) who runs a cat sanctuary at Kingsdown which is near to Deal on the Kent coast – it still exists to this day – https://www.kingsdowncatsanctuary.org/ .

It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon and a group of us are having tea and biscuits (how very typically English !) whilst discussing possible routes to be taken for further Russian seal pup actions. Robert is there and very much casually directing us through his thoughts and views on where we go and what we do. After a short while we have basically produced an action plan – firstly, we tackle the UK government at Downing Street (London) to try and get the (then) Prime Minister John Major to bring up the issue of Russian sealing when he either visits Russia, or he uses the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office for communications directly with the Russian authorities, or also, when he has Russian diplomats to visit him at Downing Street.

Secondly, we take our campaign directly to the heart of Europe; the EU in Brussels, Belgium, with the hope of meeting a Commissioner to discuss the trade and the import of pelts (into the EU) from non EU states such as Norway.

Whatever we were to do, we need some publicity; as anything good and decent always does. So, what was it ? – to cut a long story short, we end up planning the Downing Street efforts into something for Easter the following year.

By planning ahead we can take a few months to produce and obtain signatures for the thousands of individual petition cards which we would personally deliver to PM Major. And as it will be Easter, what shall the cards all be delivered in ? – a very large Easter egg; that should go down well with the ever present mass of media photographers in ‘the Street’, and obtain a much needed boost to our fight for the Russian baby seals. After the London efforts we can then divert our campaign into Europe and hopefully with the support of Members of the European parliament (MEP’s), get a foot in the door towards a meeting with the EU trade commissioner.

It is going to be hard work and the timescale for producing and printing the petition cards was short, as well as getting them all individually signed (by people on the street) was rather a tall order; but we were committed and decided without hesitation to go for it. Robert gets full backing from all present ‘in the garden’ to move ahead with his plans. Mr. Mark Watts MEP; a great guy and animal advocate had volunteered his time to support Robert and us with our presentation of all the cards in Downing Street in an attempt to try and make the subject a little more attractive to all the photographers who wait directly opposite Number 10.

I decided that for the day in London I would try and take on the role of a Russian seal pup Hunter. To do this I borrowed a couple of Roberts life-size soft seal pup models, who had their backs covered in a substitute fake fur (by my mum) which I then covered with fake blood obtained from a local theatrical shop. It looked okay and, in our opinion, would have been quite good for gaining attention of the photographers; who once had given you their attention, often followed up with interviews and reports on the particular issue that you were dealing with.

 

mark-and-robert-downing-street[1]

Myself  – Mark- (Left), Mark Watts (Centre) and Brilliant Bob (Right) – at the entrance to Downing Street, London with ‘that egg’ !.

 

 

I had a black beanie hat, and made up a Russian flag which was stuck across the front. Using this theatrical blood once again, I spattered it all over a white T-shirt which was going to be worn over another shirt typical of those which I had seen on photographs taken of the Russian hunters. My Black ‘tank trousers’, thick black knee length socks and a good sturdy pair of veggie boots completed my outfit. As I had expressed some concerns at the ‘garden meeting’ about being dressed like this and carrying a pick (typical of that which was used to kill the pups) through the streets of London, I decided that a large wooden baseball bat was probably the better thing and kind of just as effective, whilst still getting the message across.

So the big day was finalised and Number 10 accepted our request to deliver all of the petition cards.

Cut to Charing Cross station sometime around Easter 1997. – I had made the short journey up to London from my home in North Kent, to the place where everybody on the campaign that day had planned to meet, which was just outside the entrance to Downing Street. Once off the train, I shot down into the underground toilets at Charing Cross station, where I changed from my travelling clothes into those of this ‘Russian seal hunter’.

I must admit, the walk from the station through Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Downing Street did get me a few glances from all sorts of people going about their normal business in the city area. The fact that I was dressed as a Russian sealer, carried a baseball bat, and had two life-size whitecoat seal pup models splattered with blood and wrapped in transparent plastic bags under my arm sort of added to my ‘interest appeal’ from the city goers.

But what the hell, I was there to get attention for the campaign to stop Russian seal pups being butchered, so what did it matter how I personally looked like walking the streets of London ?; After all, there are probably many people who walk around the city dressed in similar kind of garb every day.

 

London is known as the home of the Brash, Outrageous and Free, so I guess this day was my turn to be a little ‘outrageous’.

But who cares; there was a job to do ? – I did not give a hoot how I looked. I got to the entrance of Downing Street where I met up with Robert, Mark Watts MEP and a few of the girls who travelled up on the train with Bob from SE Kent.

We posed in Whitehall for a few photographs with some of the guys from the press, and then made our way up to the (security) gates of Downing Street for the ritual inspection and verification by the Met. police that we had an official invite to present our petition. Once the police saw us coming with our giant Easter egg full of petition cards, things took on a negative approach. After some discussions, the police informed that we were not allowed to take the Easter egg into Downing Street; and that instead, all of the petition cards contained within it would have to be instead placed into carrier bags which could then be manually transported up to the door of number 10 for presentation.

This was, in our opinion, just a feeble attempt to destroy everything that had been planned and agreed on with the authorities prior to the day. But it was really nothing new to us – animal campaigning delivers bad times sometimes.

With a giant egg being involved I guess you could say that someone did not want to be left and with yolk on their face, but it could also be argued that in going through the process of having to take all of the postcards out of the egg in order to place them into the many bags, the police were in a position where they could verify / certify that a bomb or something in their fantasy dreams was not hidden away at the bottom and would not blow the PM to kingdom come – God forbid !! -so reality proved that it was effectively ok to use; but they said ‘no’ regardless.

Regardless of being able to see the complete interior of the egg before we even entered Downing St., the police refused to accept our argument and insisted that the egg be left at the entrance gates. And so, in a rather undignified manner, the postcards forming the Russian seal pup petition were delivered to the steps of number 10 by several campaigners each carrying as many plastic bags full of petition cards as they could. At the entrance to Downing Street, the police also took me aside and told me that I would not be allowed into Downing Street carrying a large baseball bat such as I had on my person. “You might try and get through the door (of No. 10) and bash somebody’s brains out with it” was the rather pathetic argument that was put forward by the police on duty Oh, don’t tempt me, Mr Major had tried all in his power to cull us, how about I start here ?, was the feeling that I had deep down inside; knowing just how much Robert had been ignored and pushed aside by the British government and Prime Minister John Major over many years regarding this issue of the seal babies.

 

met

 

The ‘Met’ Badge we used to wear during live animal export proitests

 

 

And so thanks to the Metropolitan police that day, things went a bit pear shaped and to a point, our presentation of the petition at the door of number 10 was dealt a blow that made it rather less effective than it should have been. Regardless of their attempts to cause us problems, plastic bag after plastic bag of petition cards against a Russian seal pup cull, and more importantly, 10,000 signatures calling on the British government led by Mr Major to act, were delivered unceremoniously in through the door of number 10.

One good thing which had been planned in advance by us anyway, and which did happen as a result of events at Downing Street, was that the giant empty Easter egg was afterwards taken by us to one of the nearby London children’s hospital where it was handed over to one of the children’s wards to be used as, I think, a big storage container for their toys on the ward to go into. There were no quibbles at the hospital regarding special security activities and the egg was simply accepted for what it was, which was a gift for the sick children in the hospital ward. At least we had no problems there. Who are the real children in this case, you have to ask ! – the Met police; those in government in Downing St. or the sick youngsters at the hospital ? – I say the former two.

 

Thinking ahead, we also had plans for action in Europe. Surely things will go better there – wont they ? – hopefully !

 

Regards Mark

 

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/about-us/ 

 

 

‘Europe’ is in Part 2 – to be published soon.

 

Making Animals Matter

Seal Pup

 

 

 

 

 

After all that; Enjoy a few tracks from one of my favourite English bands – ‘The Cure’:

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t have many ‘Heroes’ – and if I do, they are animal people:

In memory of Robert Hunter – Seal Man and campaigner – taken way too early !

 

 

bob hunter 1

Hero – Robert Hunter RIP

 

 

US: Brooks Brothers bans exotic skins

After hearing from PETA, Brooks Brothers—the oldest retailer in the country—confirmed that it has stopped ordering products made of exotic-animal skins!

To show our gratitude for making a compassionate change, PETA sent the company a box of delicious vegan chocolates.

-Brooks-Brothers-Logo

The decision means a huge victory for animals used for their skins. In the exotic-animal trade, sensitive alligators and crocodiles are kept in dank pools and barren, concrete pits while snakes and others are kept in dirty, crowded cages that are stacked on top of one another—creating a breeding ground for many pathogens, including zoonotic ones (those that can be passed on to humans) such as salmonella, E. coli, and West Nile virus. Filthy, cramped conditions such as these are similar to the ones in the “wet market” where scientists believe the virus that caused the COVID-19 outbreak originated.

Krokodilfarm-Exotenleder-Zimbabwe-01-c-PETA-USAcrocodile farm Zimbabwe – PETA

 

Just like humans, these animals experience fear and pain and want to be free. Crocodiles communicate with each other using a complex series of vocalizations, and alligators spend years raising their babies. These fascinating animals want to enjoy life, not be confined to cages and killed for their skin.

2016-03-17-Hoa-Ca-Krokodil-Schlachthaus-Saigon-Vietnam-Screenshot-1-c-PETA-D

Brooks Brothers—which stopped purchasing mohair in 2018 in response to PETA Asia’s investigation of angora goat farms in South Africajoins Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, HUGO BOSS, Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, and many others in banning exotic skins.

krokodilbrooks-brothers-bans-exotic-skins

https://www.peta.org/blog/victory-after-hearing-from-peta-brooks-brothers-bans-exotic-skins-2

 

And I mean…It is a nice feeling when you turn on the computer in the morning and don`t  read horror reports about animals, but appears a little success.

We are happy about this decision by the fashion company Brooks Brothers, we say thank you, and hope that soon any fashion company will no longer cooperate with the bloody animal farms of this world.
Small steps often have big effects.

We will continue to fight for the abolition of animal cruelty, we have promised it the animals.

My best regards to all, Venus

Netherlands: Mink found to have coronavirus on two Dutch FUR farms: ministry.

-hollandvlag

 

Mink found to have coronavirus on two Dutch farms: ministry

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-netherlands-mink/mink-found-to-have-coronavirus-on-two-dutch-farms-ministry-idUSKCN2280FZ

 

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Two mink farms in the Netherlands have been put into quarantine after animals were found to be infected with the new coronavirus, the agriculture ministry said on Sunday, urging people to report any other likely cases in the animals.

The mink, which were tested after showing signs of having trouble breathing, were believed to have been infected by employees who had the virus, the ministry said in a statement.

The possibility that they could further spread the virus to humans or other animals on the farms was “minimal”, the ministry said, citing advice from national health authorities.

However movement of the ferret-like mammals and their manure was banned and the ministry said it was studying the outbreak carefully, including testing the air and soil. People were advised not to travel within 400 meters of the farms.

They were the first reported cases in animals in the Netherlands of the disease, which has been found in some pets and zoo animals around the world after spreading among people. [nL3N2CA4PU]

The towns where the farms are located, Germert-Bakel and Laarbeek, are both in the southern Noord Brabant province of the Netherlands which has seen the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

The mink are bred for their fur, which is sold in China, Korea, Greece and Turkey.

After pressure from animal rights activists, the Dutch government banned new mink farms in 2013 and said existing ones would have to close by 2024.

The World Health Organization has said bats in China, where the new coronavirus emerged last year, were a likely reservoir of COVID-19 and that an intermediate animal host that is yet to be identified had then infected humans. [nL5N2C901F]

 

 

Coronavirus identified on two mink farms in the Netherlands

 

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2020/04/coronavirus-identified-on-two-mink-farms-in-the-netherlands/

 

Covid-19 has been confirmed in mink at two fur farms in the Netherlands, the agriculture ministry confirmed on Sunday.

The animals were tested after developing a variety of symptoms including breathing difficulties and because there was a higher than normal death rate, the ministry said in a statement.

Officials decided to test the animals after several workers at the two farms were also found to have coronavirus symptoms, although they had not been tested for the disease.

The farms, with over 20,000 mink between them, are in Beek en Donk and in Milheeze, both of which are in Noord-Brabant, the epicentre of the Dutch outbreak and the heart of the Dutch mink industry.

The public health institute RIVM has sealed off an area some 400 metres around each farm to walkers and cyclists as a precautionary measure, while saying there is no risk that the virus could be spread to humans. However, air and other samples are being take to check if the virus is spreading and to find out more about it has moved among the animals themselves.

‘There are currently no indications that pets or farm animals have a role in spreading Covid-19,’ the ministry said.

Farm minister Carola Schouten has introduced a reporting requirement for all mink farmers and vets, which means any suspicious illnesses must be reported to the authorities.

According to the ministry statement ‘earlier research’ has shown that ferret-like animals such as mink are susceptible to coronavirus infections.

There have been a few other reported cases of coronavirus in animals, including a tiger in New York and two cats in Hong Kong.

According to Wageningen University, coronaviruses do occur in various animal species but these are different strains to Covid-19, mostly species-specific and non-zoonotic – which means they cannot be transferred to humans.

 

Fur farming

The Netherlands introduced a ban on fur farming in 2013 which includes an 11-year changeover period and Noord-Brabant is the centre of the Dutch industry.

In 2016, the Netherlands had some 160 fur farms producing five million pelts a year and the country was the third biggest fur farming nation in the world behind Denmark and China.

the perverse fish industry

Imagine if this process happens with human animals…

Today we know, and it’s even scientifically proven, that fish feel stress and pain and therefore should be treated and protected as sensitive beings.

Only they cannot scream.

Fish in aquaculture are crammed together in a confined space and “swim” in the cloudy water of their own excrement. Diseases can only be combated by antibiotics and chemical cocktails.

But we still consume animal corpses here and now, even though we’re locked up at home because of a pandemic caused by factory farming!

970-2.700 billion fish are killed each year.

netzt mit Fische

Some may not be able to write the number, but they have no difficulty in being one of the culprits in this mass crime!

My best regards to all, Venus

Switzerland: pioneer in animal welfare

 

Arosa village prohibits advertising for fur products.

 

switzerland pg

The sophisticated holiday resort in Graubünden, Switzerland, known for guaranteed snow and wonderful ski slopes is now making headlines because the municipality has decided to ban all advertising in the village for fur products in the future.

FOUR PAWS congratulates the Arosa municipal board on this decision and congratulates on this courageous, innovative and far-sighted action. Arosa is a holiday resort in the Alpental Schanfigg in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. The place is known for its lakes, ski slopes and hiking trails such as the “Squirrels Way”.

arosaexklusiv-jpg

This means that Arosa has a lot of tourism all year round.

arosag

The holiday destination is therefore very trendy. Because even large luxury brands such as Chanel, Burberry and Gucci have been doing without furs for some time.

FOUR PAWS sees the ban on advertising fur products as an important signal for other tourist locations to do the same to Arosa.

Pascal Jenny, Arosa’s tourism director, explains the decision for fur-free advertising in the village as follows: «Arosa is a pioneer and already shows with the Arosa Bear Country how animal welfare and tourism work together in an exemplary manner. This advertising ban is a logical next step on this path. »

In the opinion of FOUR PAWS, the decision shows that ethical fashion and animal welfare have also become enormously important in tourism. Instead of real fur cruelty to animals, modern consumers today also want sustainability and innovation in this area.

«It is really a forward-looking message that Arosa is no longer advertising fur products. Hopefully many Swiss tourism destinations and municipalities will follow this example. Arosa advertises with sustainable tourism and shows impressively that it can be put into action ».
Alexandra Mandoki, Country Head of FOUR PAWS Switzerland.

The fur industry kills more than 100 million animals each year. Mink, fox and raccoon dogs suffer on fur farms in tiny wire cages, other species die a cruel death by falling. High amounts of dangerous chemicals are used to process fur for fur fashion.

pelz

FOUR PAWS has been working internationally on the subject of fur for many years and is committed to an import ban on fur products in Switzerland.

https://wildbeimwild.com/kunterbunt/arosa-dorf-verbietet-werbung-fuer-pelzprodukte/37244/2020/02/27/

 

And I mean…Thanks to responsible for tourism in the village Arosa.

Switzerland has banned the hobby of hunting in the canton of Geneva since 1974, with a popular vote.

Since then they have only received positive results on the regulation of wild animal populations in the canton.

In Zurich, animals have lawyers! that is the Swiss Antoine F. Goetschel, who officially has the job of the animal advocate for the Canton of Zurich.

The Swiss have banned transito animal transports through their country, I quote from the Swiss Transport Regulations:
A transit ban applies for the transit of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, horses and poultry by truck through Switzerland.

And in Switzerland the journey time for animal transports from the loading point may not exceed six hours (Art. 15 Para. 1 TSchG).
https://www.tierimrecht.org/de/recht/lexikon-tierschutzrecht/Transporte/

I live just an hour from Switzerland and visit the country at least three times a year.
And I like to do it!

Thanks Switzerland!

My best regards to all, Venus

Starting Saturday With Good News !

FUR

 

Dear Mark,

I hope this e-mail finds you well.

This year marks three decades of the iconic, world-famous “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign, in which celebrities have taken it all off! Today – after dozens of ads, hundreds of protests, and yearly demonstrations at international fashion weeks – the majority of retailers and designers are rejecting fur, including, most recently, the giant Global Brands Group, which owns Frye and Aquatalia. Cities and shopping centres are banning fur left and right, compassionate consumers everywhere are shunning it, and even Queen Elizabeth II has renounced it.

 

Image result for id rather go naked

 

PETA’s tremendous progress for animals in the fur industry couldn’t have come about without the determined support of kind people like you – or mega-stars like Tyra Banks, Pamela Anderson, and P!nk, who’ve rejected animal fur by posing in the buff for this eye-catching campaign coordinated by PETA and our international affiliates. Gillian Anderson, star of television’s popular The X-Files, made a powerful statement for feminism as well as animal rights when she launched her “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” ad on International Women’s Day two years ago.

 

Image result for id rather go naked

 

The world hasn’t seen the end of PETA’s effective, headline-grabbing advertisements and demonstrations featuring nude celebrities or activists. But since the fur industry is now in a downward spiral, we’re marking this modern, compassionate era of fashion by retiring “I’d Rather Go Naked” anti-fur ads and expanding our focus on other areas in which animals still need a great deal of help – including the hideous leather, wool, and exotic skins trades.

PETA and our international affiliates are the only major animal rights groups with campaigns against the use of all animal skins, not just the dying fur trade, and this far-reaching activism recently led to a big win for fascinating and widely abused exotic animals.

After hearing from PETA UK and amid growing concern over the devastating Australian bushfires, iconic British fashion label Paul Smith has announced a ban on exotic skins, including kangaroo leather, in all its future collections. This move will protect kangaroos from being shot and decapitated in their shrinking natural habitat, alligators from being hacked open and impaled with metal rods, and young ostriches from being suspended upside down before their throats are slit.

After similar exotic skins bans from household names like Chanel and Victoria Beckham, we now hope giants like Hermès and Prada will soon join the growing list.

Thank you for helping us grab the public’s attention, push companies to make kind decisions, and work to end animal suffering in the fur trade and other abusive industries.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E Newkirk
Founder

————————————————–

 

Below – the brilliant anti fur campaign by ‘Respect for Animals’; England.

 

dumb animals fur coat