Category: Fur and Fur Farming

Sea Shepherd: There are many ways to save animals

#ThrowbackThursday# – Sea Shepherd

March 1979 – The Sea Shepherd was the first ship to go to the ice fields off the Eastern Coast of Canada for the sole purpose of protecting seals.

Before being arrested for approaching a seal hunt without permission of the government, Sea Shepherd crewmembers saved over a thousand baby seals by spraying their white pelts with an indelible organic dye to render them commercially worthless.

In March 1980, Captain Paul Watson was banned from the ice fields and the sealing areas for three years.

In March 1981 Captain Watson lead a crew with three ocean kayaks to the Gulf of St. Lawrence despite his parole order. Hundreds of seals were sprayed with harmless blue dye effectively saving their lives.

Captain Paul Watson’s conviction of 1980 was later overturned on appeal.
These and later interventions, plus high profile supporters helped start the demise of the Canadian fur seal hunt.

With recent moves by the EU to ban seal imports and major fashion houses across the globe to stop the use of any kind of fur in their designs, the end of a 40-year battle may finally be in sight.

Learn more about our history: https://bit.ly/2ifJ2wO
Support our efforts: https://bit.ly/2fz7okb

#Canada #TBT #Seal

And I mean…When I see how many fashion designers have banned fur from their creations in recent years, how many countries have closed their fur farms and how many department stores in Germany and throughout Europe have said goodbye to fur, then our fight has already had a positive result that strengthens us and we will continue to fight this fight.

My best regards to all, Venus

England: London Mayor Election 6/5/21 – One Candidate Is From The ‘Animal Welfare Party’.

The 2021 London mayoral election will be held on 6 May 2021 to elect the mayor of London

Being Mayor of London city is a very important position. The mayor of London has responsibilities covering policing, transport, housing, planning, economic development, arts, culture and the environment.

They control a budget of around £17 billion per year.

Vanessa Hudson (Animal Welfare Party)

The Animal Welfare Party’s leader of 11 years wants to make London a ‘world-leading city for people, animals and the environment’.

Ms Hudson would promote vegan diets across the capital, partly to help prevent future pandemics.

She also backs improving the NHS and a number of green policies. But her key campaign issue is speciesism – which rejects the idea that animals and humans should be treated differently.

She would like to see London stop selling foie gras and fur products, end the restaurant practice of boiling lobsters alive, and exhibiting captive animals in London’s zoos and aquariums. The media producer and founder of Vegan Runners UK would also champion the phasing out of animal testing at London’s universities.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Welfare_Party

WAV Comment – we wish Vanessa masses of victories in her campaign to be London Mayor.

Regards Mark

 

 

Fur farming in Belgium will end soon – first Flemish farms close

In Flanders, eleven of the 16 fur manufacturers want to close earlier, and the only producer of foie gras in Flanders is also going out of business.

From the end of 2023, such establishments will be banned in Flanders.

Those who close earlier receive a bonus. A special commission will determine the value of the company and the premium will be calculated on this basis.

In order for the businesses to close as early as possible, the premium will decrease over time.
“Fur-farming is still profitable, but animal welfare comes first,” says the Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts (N-VA).

Fur farming has been banned in Wallonia since 2015, but at that time there were no longer any farms.

Foie gras can still be produced in Wallonia.

https://brf.be/national/1473788/

And I mean… From a legal point of view, fur animals are either not protected at all or completely inadequately, and this applies worldwide.

In 1999 the Council of Europe adopted a “Recommendation” on fur animals on farms.

However, this was completely inadequate, as cage management remains permissible in a confined space.


Wire mesh floors live, the animals spend their entire lives in narrow mesh cages living on wire mesh floors, without a sheltered place to sleep, without opportunities to retreat from their own species, without opportunities to move around, and without variety.
In many EU countries, there are no further regulations for fur farms, and in order to continue to earn money with animal cruelty, the mink breeders even ignore the minimal requirements of the legal situation.

While the fur farms in Europe are gradually becoming fewer, the Chinese fur farmers benefit from the non-falling demand and therefore the low supply of European farms is lucrative for them.

Since their biggest competitor Denmark is currently “paralyzed”, prices and products on the Chinese market are rising.

The Chinese government banned the trade in wild animals at the beginning of the corona pandemic, but by reclassifying mink, fox, and raccoon from wild animals to “special farm animals” in April, these animals can still be traded and killed for the fur industry.

The list of countries that pave the way for a fur-free future continues to grow: Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Japan, Croatia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Norway, Austria, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic …

In September 2020, France announced a mink farm ban with a five-year transition period.

Strictly speaking, the commercial breeding and killing of fur animals are not prohibited in Germany.
However, from 2022 onwards, the minimum requirements for keeping animals have been tightened to such an extent that keeping fur animals is no longer economically viable.

Coronavirus kursiert erneut in Pelzfarm - HeuteTierisch - heute.at

One can only hope that the economic losses in the fur industry caused by Corona will turn things around.

My best regards to all, Venus

UK: Designers Including Stella McCartney And Vivienne Westwood Urge UK Prime Minister To Ban Fur Sales.

Designers Including Stella McCartney And Vivienne Westwood Urge UK Prime Minister To Ban Fur Sales

‘It’s time for our government to consign the fur trade to the history books where it belongs and ban the sale of fur’

Stella McCartney And Vivienne Westwood Urge UK Government To Ban Fur Sales | Plant Based News

Eight iconic fashion brands including Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood are urging UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ban fur sales.

Fur farming was banned in Britain in 2003. But, since then, Britain has imported more than £800 million worth of fur from countries such as Finland, China, and Poland.

Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood

Designers Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Katharine Hamnett, ERDEM, Shrimps, Christopher Raeburn, and Helen Moore are backing Humane Society International’s #FurFreeBritain campaign.

The brands have signed a letter addressing Johnson. It states banning fur sales would ‘enhance the UK’s growing reputation as a global hub for innovation in ethical fashion’. 

Moreover, it reads: “Our fur-free policies are informed by the beliefs and expectations of the majority of UK consumers, who reject animal fur on ethical grounds.

“We’re proud to support the growing fur-free movement… We know that the majority of British consumers want fashion items without fur.”

‘British consumers reject fur’

Claire Bass is the executive director of Humane Society International/UK. In a statement sent to PBN, she said: “By proudly flying the flag for fur-free fashion… These iconic British fashion designers have their fingers on the pulse. 

“They refuse to put cruelty on the catwalk. Because, they know there is nothing glamorous about mentally deprived foxes, anally electrocuted raccoon dogs, COVID-19 infected mink and wild trapped coyotes shot in the head. 

Bass then added: “The vast majority of British consumers reject fur. And, as the revolting cruelty of fur is exposed, a global decline in demand for fur fashion has sent this industry into a downward spiral. 

“Killing animals for fashion does not reflect brand Britain. Even her Majesty the Queen has stopped buying new fur. It’s time for our government to consign the fur trade to the history books where it belongs and ban the sale of fur.”

‘Long-standing no fur policy’

Luxury department store Selfridges has also backed the initiative and signed the letter to Johnson.

Moreover, Daniella Vega is the director of sustainability at Selfridge. She added: “We’re proud of our long-standing no fur policy which has been in place for more than fifteen years. 

“Our customers care about animal welfare and we are committed to providing ethical and sustainable products. 

Vega then concluded: “There are many alternative materials for brands and designers to use. The future is fur-free and we support a ban on the sale of fur in the UK.”

You can read the full letter here

Regards Mark

Norway: Now Only Six Mink Farms Left in Norway!

WAV Comment – Whilst we celebrate this fantastic news from our friends at the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance, we must remember that regarding the situation for Mink farmers in Denmark; they are now heading into Finland to continue their disgusting business.  Also, the Chinese fur industry is ready to step in at a moments notice to take up the slack of any reductions in the European fur trade.  We have to be on our guard constantly.  But this is news we celebrate gladly.

Photo – Act 4 Wildlife

Only six mink farms left in Norway!

5 March 2021

Dyrevernalliansen

Norwegian mink farming is coming to a close. The latest numbers show that there are only six mink farms left in the country, down from 34 in October 2020.

Fur farming was outlawed by the Norwegian Parliament in June of 2019, but the law specified that breeders already in operation have permission to continue until 2025. When the ban on fur farming was enacted, there were roughly 180 fur farms in the country, of which about half were breeding mink.

Ever since the ban was enacted, the number of farms has steadily decreased. Recent numbers acquired from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority now show that nearly all mink farms have shut down, and that there are only six farms left in Norway. This is a drastic reduction from October 2020, when there were 34 mink farms in operation, holding a combined total of roughly 250.000 mink.

Norway is one of few countries with mink farms where no Covid-19 outbreak has yet to be documented in mink. However, ever since the first cases of Covid-19 were discovered in minks during the summer of 2020, the Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance has repeatedly called on the Norwegian government to shut down what remains of the industry. Even though the government again and again has refused to close down the remaining farms, a large majority of mink breeders appears to have made the decision to shut down voluntarily.

As part of the ban on fur farming, the Norwegian Parliament has promised around 200 fur breeders a lucrative compensation package. In addition to setting aside funds dedicated to re-training farmers and to cover the cost of tearing down farms, Norwegian fur breeders are likely to be given a compensation totalling roughly 200 million Euros.

In February, the Norwegian Parliament decided to increase the size of the re-training grant given to farmers by approximately 2.5 million Euros, because a much larger number has closed down this year than expected. The Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance will continue to push forward for a complete shutdown of all fur farms as soon as possible. 

Regards Mark

New report finds that all mink farms should be considered “at risk” of COVID-19 infection.

Photo – Otwarte Klatki

New report finds that all mink farms should be considered “at risk” of COVID-19 infection | Eurogroup for Animals

New report finds that all mink farms should be considered “at risk” of COVID-19 infection

18 February 2021 NewsOn the cusp of the mink breeding season, which is set to resume at the end of this month, the European Food Safety Agency has released a report finding that all mink farms should be considered at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks and must be strictly monitored. Following the release of this report, animal protection groups FOUR PAWS, Humane Society International/Europe, Eurogroup for Animals and Fur Free Alliance – and their member organisations – have issued a strong call urging the European Commission to instruct Member States to immediately suspend mink production.

This call reflects a recently published scientific statement on public health risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 and intensive mink production. 

“The only way to keep EU citizens safe is to immediately suspend mink production in the Member States where this cruel practice is still legal before the breeding season starts,” said Joh Vinding, Chair of the Fur Free Alliance. “If this does not happen, the current mink population will increase five-fold by May. Even though only the breeding animals are present right now, there have still been COVID-19 outbreaks on mink farms in Spain and Poland. If the mink population is allowed to grow and all the cages on the fur farms are filled, the risk of disease transmission will likely also increase. The past year has shown that, irrespective of all monitoring and biosecurity protocols taken, the SARS-CoV-2 virus can spread uncontrollably amongst mink populations. At the time of this global health crisis, such risks need to be eliminated entirely.”

The EFSA report notes that in regions with a high density of fur farms, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely to spread from one mink farm to the next. EFSA recommends that Member States not only implement passive, but also active monitoring systems. They advise that measures should include frequently testing all people who come into contact with mink, testing samples from dead or sick animals, testing of wild mustelids captured near fur farms and genetic sequencing analysis for tracing the origins of outbreaks and identifying possible viral mutations.  

“Implementing such measures is extremely costly and will largely be financed by taxpayers’ money, despite the fact that the majority of EU citizens oppose the practice of fur farming” said Pierre Sultana, Director of Four Paws European Policy Office. “We know, for example, that just for one single farm, the Italian authorities spent a total of €50,000 between August and November 2020 to implement biosecurity measures. Regardless of the expense,one thing is patently clear: biosecurity and monitoring measures have their limitations and are not as effective as were originally believed. While they can help to detect outbreaks early on, they cannot entirely prevent mink from becoming infected. This is why we, as animal protection NGOs, have united in our call to immediately suspend all mink production in the EU.” 

“The necessity of halting mink production has become even more urgent following the recent discovery of the  so-called ‘Cluster 5’ mutation of SARS-CoV-2 in German patients,” said Dr Joanna Swabe, Senior Director of Public Affairs for Humane Society International/Europe. “This dangerous mutation of the virus that originated in Danish mink was believed to have been eradicated after the mass culling of Denmark’s entire mink herd last year. However, these recent cases suggest that the authorities were not entirely successful in eradicating this dangerous viral mutation, which could potentially undermine the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in humans. We applaud Sweden for already taking action to ban mink breeding in 2021. Reportedly Belgian fur farmers have also voluntarily taken a decision to suspend breeding due to the risks associated with COVID-19. It is vital that the remaining Member States that still permit fur production follow their example.”

“The demand to suspend mink production is supported by a statement signed by numerous scientists from the fields of virology, infectious diseases, clinical microbiology, veterinary medicine and environmental health, which confirms the serious threat that fur farming poses to human health,” said Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals. “It calls for the immediate suspension of mink farming as an appropriate, precautionary and proportionate measure based on public health concerns. The experts behind this statement, as well as EFSA, point out that due to the confined living conditions of animals in fur farms, once the virus has been introduced, it is almost impossible to stop transmission. The high number of individuals living in close proximity also provide ideal conditions for virus mutations to occur, as seen in Denmark. New variants may not respond to the vaccines that are currently available and could cause significant setbacks in Europe’s efforts to battle the virus.”  

Notwithstanding our unwavering position that fur farming should be permanently banned across the EU due to unacceptable animal welfare outcomes and future potential public health risks, in the interim, we are calling on the European Commission to act immediately to suspend mink farming, the breeding of mink, and the import and export of live mink and their raw pelts, across the European Union.

ENDS

Read the Scientific statement on public health risks from SARS-CoV-2 and the intensive rearing of mink

Read the EFSA Report 

EU: Mink farms a continuing Covid risk to humans and wildlife, warn EU experts.

Minks at farmer Knud Vest estate
Mink at a farm in Jyllinge, Denmark. In November it was announced that the country would cull 15 million animals. Photograph: Ole Jensen/Getty

Mink farms a continuing Covid risk to humans and wildlife, warn EU experts

Health experts call for regular testing of staff and animals after coronavirus found at 400 breeding units across Europe

All mink farms are at risk of becoming infected with Covid-19 and spreading the virus, and staff and animals should be regularly tested, EU disease and food safety experts said on Thursday.

Mink are highly susceptible to coronavirus, which spreads rapidly in intensive farms that often breed thousands of animals in open housing caged systems (outdoor wire cages covered with a roof). Humans are the most likely initial source of infection.

Denmark, the world’s largest exporter of mink fur, announced that it would cull up to 15 million mink in November, after discovering a mutated variant of the virus that scientists feared might have jeopardised the effectiveness of future vaccines.

As of January 2021, the virus had been found at 400 mink farms in at least eight countries in the EU and European Economic Area – 290 in Denmark, 69 in the Netherlands, 17 in Greece, 13 in Sweden, three in Spain, two in Lithuania and one each in France and Italy.

While mink-related variant viruses were a risk to human health, experts from the European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) concluded in a new report that, “so far these have not shown to be more transmissible or causing more severe impact compared to other circulating Sars-CoV-2”.

The World Health Organization warned this week that the risk of Covid-19 spreading from fur farms to humans and wildlife remained high.

EU experts have now called for weekly testing of animals at all mink farms and frequent testing of everyone in contact with the creatures to ensure the early detection of infection and reduce the risk of disease spread. As mink are usually farmed in open housing systems, the close contact between the animals may help spread infectious diseases.

A number of countries, including Denmark and Sweden, have suspended mink farming after outbreaks of Covid-19. And in the US, officials have recommended workers on US mink farms be given a Covid vaccine as a priority. Breeders expect that a vaccine, currently in development, will be available to use on mink in April or May.

Mark Oaten, CEO of the International Fur Federation, said he supported the testing of workers and mink, “as long as it is reasonable”, but he opposed weekly testing. “It might be that you do more regular testing in areas where Sars-CoV-2 has been detected, and less in areas with no infection. It is not a one-size-fits-all. It would depend on the density of farms in the area too.”

Mink producers said the price of pelts was rising despite fears around Covid-19 and calls for a ban on fur farming to reduce the risk of disease spread.

“We don’t see any further threat to the fur industry from Covid-19 and the price of pelts is rising. It is at about $30 (£21) per pelt and we expect it to be about $40 by this time next year. We are beginning to feel there may have been an overreaction in Denmark [in terms of the Covid related cull],” said Finnish fur auctioneer Magnus Ljung, the CEO of Saga Furs.

Mink farms a continuing Covid risk to humans and wildlife, warn EU experts | Environment | The Guardian

Denmark: Still No Response From The Danes Regarding Our Letter of 12/11/20. That’s Life – Or Death, If You Are Danish Mink !

Mink pelts on a rack in Denmark
Members of Danish health authorities assisted by members of the Danish Armed Forces dispose of dead mink in a military area near Holstebro in Denmark, 09 November 2020 (issued 10 November 2020).

Hi all;

18/2/21 – well this is sort of an update; with no update !

You may remember that back on 12 November 2020, we wrote to the Danish Ambassador in London regarding the mass Mink killings which were taking place in Denmark at the time.

Read more here and see a copy of our letter – England: WAV Writes to the Danish Ambassador In London re Denmark’s Mass Mink Murders. – World Animals Voice

Well, just to let you know; that as of today; 18/2/21, we have still not had anything back from the Danish Embassy, London; regarding our original letter.  I went to London rather than write to Denmark, as from past experiences I have with embassies; they have to make contact with ‘home’ to inform them of what is being asked in different locations around the world.

The fur industry mink murder has been a huge issue for Denmark.

If you wish to check out all that we have posted on the Danish Mink issue then please go to the following and select the different posts.

Search Results for “danish mink” – World Animals Voice

I think we can safely say that if the Danes were going to respond to us, then we would have already heard by now.

Regards Mark

Mink
Mink culling, Denmark

Enjoy – Rick Wakeman – English Musician and animal rights campaigner !

https://www.animalsasia.org/uk/media/news/news-archive/legendary-musician-proud-to-be-named-new-animals-asia-ambassador.html

http://ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2005/2005-03-02-05.asp

https://www.four-paws.us/our-stories/press-releases/celebrities-join-dog-meat-free-coalition

(19) Rick Wakeman on Twitter: “sometimes I am totally ashamed of some of our so called human race https://t.co/7JKPMQicBr” / Twitter

Pressure On The Government For A Fur Free UK – News From ‘Respect for Animals’.

The latest news from Mark and the team at ‘Respect for Animals’, Nottingham England.

Web – http://www.respectforanimals.org/

Pressure On The Government For A Fur Free UK

Three senior Labour frontbenchers have written to the government calling for a fur ban in the UK.

Emily Thornberry, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade, Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Business and Energy, and Luke Polland, Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, wrote to Liz Truss earlier this month.

The letter denounces the fur trade as ‘barbarous’ and ‘unnecessary’, adding:

“Britain led the way in abolishing fur farming two decades ago, but we still contribute significantly to this cruel and outdated global trade by importing and exporting tens of millions of pounds worth of fur and fur products each year.

“Annually, more than 100 million animals worldwide are bred and killed for their fur, living their short lives in miserable, painful confinement.

“Millions more are trapped in the wild, left in agony for long periods before they are killed.

“All too often nowadays, this dreadful suffering is endured simply to provide the fur trim on gloves, hats, hoods, and other fashion accessories.”

Last year Respect for Animals composed an Early Day Motion calling for a ban on fur imports and sales, which was submitted with support from MPs across the political divide. Early Day Motion 267 (‘Real Fur Imports’) has since become the second most popular EDM in this session, which 139 signatures so far.

British Citizens ONLY – TAKE ACTION!

Please write to your MP and urge them sign our Early Day Motion (267).
If your MP has already signed or does not sign EDMs generally, then please urge them to write to the government calling for action.

We need to put maximum pressure on ministers in order to make history and achieve a Fur Free UK.

Also ….

Mink farms in Ireland will be shut down ‘by the end of the year’

Successive governments have pledged to ban fur farming in Ireland for some years now, after a campaign co-led by Respect for Animals.

Finally, the government has confirmed that mink farming will be outlawed in Ireland by the end of the year.

Banning fur farming is a part of the programme for government and was listed as a priority bill when the new year’s legislative programme was published.

It is listed for pre-legislative scrutiny this spring, meaning the Oireachtas agriculture committee will be able to examine the bill before it formally goes through the legislative process.

In early February, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D.,  launched Ireland’s first over-arching Animal Welfare Strategy, which included a fur farming ban as number one priority,

He elaborated:

“Before Easter, I will bring legislation before the Oireachtas to prohibit fur farming in the State.”

The Department of Agriculture wrote to fur farmers to tell them that legislation would be moving forward this year to curb the practice.

While no formal date has been set or confirmed for the introduction of legislation, it is understood that mink farms will have to wind up their farms before the end of this year.

A compensation scheme will be put in place, although a final decision on the terms has yet to be finalised. Further consultation will take place on the shape of any scheme.

Respect for Animals is delighted at this progress and will hold the government to account in order to ensure that the horrendous process of fur factory farming is ended in Ireland once and for all in 2021.

Regards Mark

News from around the world.

News from around the world

French president Emmanuel Macron has said Europe should grow its own soy and that to depend on Brazilian soy “would be to condone deforestation of the Amazon”. The EU is the second largest importer of Brazil’s agricultural products after China, and Brazil is seeking to expand exports with a trade deal with the EU. More than 1m tonnes of soya used by UK livestock farmers to produce chicken and other food could be linked to deforestation, according to Guardian reports last year.

Outbreaks of bird flu continue to be reported across Europe, with hundreds of cases in poultry in France, Germany and Poland. Sweden was reported to be planning to cull about 1.3 million chickens after bird flu was found on a farm. There have been more than 20 bird flu cases on commercial poultry farms in the UK with all birds, including free-range ones, now required to be housed indoors. In Asia, South Korea is reported to be culling 19 million poultry to control bird flu outbreaks in the country.

Denmark is offering more than £2bn in compensation to mink farmers following its decision to cull millions of animals over fears that a Covid-19 mutation moving from mink to humans could jeopardise future vaccines. Denmark had been the world’s largest exporter of mink fur, but has now suspended farming of the animals until 2022. Sweden has also paused mink fur farming for a year, and there have been calls to ban the practice in Spain. A Covid-19 vaccine for mink could, however, soon be available to breeders. In the US, officials have recommended workers on US mink farms to be given the vaccine as a priority.

New strains of the deadly pig disease, African swine fever (ASF), have been discovered in China. The disease has destroyed a large chunk of the pork industry in the country since 2018, although it is reportedly recovering quickly. One beneficiary of the shortfall has been Spain, which reported a rise in pork exports to China in 2020. ASF has continued to spread in Europe, with 30,000 pigs culled after an outbreak on a farm in Romania.

Mealworms are sorted before being cooked in San Francisco
Yellow mealworm, a maggot-like insect, has been approved as safe for human consumption by the EU food safety agency. Photograph: Ben Margot/AP


Yellow mealworm, a maggot-like insect, has been approved as safe for human consumption by the EU food safety agency. Insects are seen as a source of protein with comparatively low associated greenhouse gas emissions. The biggest potential market is expected to be as animal feed for chickens, pigs and other livestock, rather than human food products.

Germany has approved a draft law banning the culling of male chicks from 2022. The government has been exploring the use of dual-purpose breeds of birds which can lay eggs and be reared for meat. It has also invested in technology to detect egg sex prior to hatching and dispose of male eggs earlier. Separately, an Israeli startup has announced that it is planning to go further and change the sex of poultry embryos as they develop, doing away with the need for disposal.

News from the UK

Non-stunned halal and kosher meat must be clearly labelled to give consumers the choice not to buy it, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said after a government review of slaughter regulations. More than 90 million cattle, sheep and poultry were slaughtered without being pre-stunned in England in 2018. There is no non-stun slaughter in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The BVA said animals not stunned before slaughter are “highly likely to suffer pain, suffering, and distress during the cut and bleeding”.

Egg producers have been left struggling after a collapse in wholesale trade during the pandemic. The difficulties in exporting post-Brexit have also added to a fall in wholesale prices despite positive retail sales. Some producers have warned the situation could lead to chickens being culled. One free-range producer has reported giving tens of thousands of eggs to food banks.

Pig farmers in Northern Ireland are to get more than £2m in government support after a Covid-19 outbreak among workers led to the closure of a food processing factory for two weeks last summer. The meat plant is reported to process about 10,000 animals a week. Some farmers faced additional penalties on overweight pigs. Production was also halted at Scotland’s biggest pork processing plant in Brechin in January after several workers tested positive for the virus.

The UK’s veterinary capacity is at risk post-Brexit, MPs from the environment, food and rural affairs select committee have warned. About 95% of official veterinarians, who undertake vital certification and supervision work in abattoirs, are EEA-qualified nationals. The sector faces an increased workload due to additional export checks, Covid and disease outbreaks such as bird flu.

New Zealand is backing the UK as it seeks to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, whose members also include Japan, Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Singapore and Mexico. The New Zealand meat industry has called for greater access to the UK market for its beef and lamb.

Finally, Kim, a 12-month-old Welsh-born sheepdog, has been sold for a world record £27,100. Although a Welsh speaker, the seller Dewi Jenkins said he trains his dogs in English to allow him to sell them across the world, including in the US, Norway, Belgium, France and Ireland.

 

Animals Farmed

A decade after an outbreak of Q fever killed 95 people in the Netherlands, there are worries about human cases of pneumonia linked to goat farms. The Q fever outbreak followed a period of rapid growth in goat dairying in the Netherlands and its aftermath heightened tensions around zoonotic disease threats, especially in the south of the country where the highest numbers of goat farms and infection rates were found.

Rabbits
Rabbits being skinned and dismembered at a slaughterhouse as featured in the photo essay: ‘Hidden lives: the animals behind the products we consume’. Photograph: Jo-Anne McArthur/Animal Equality

The EU has been revealed to be world’s biggest live animal exporter with more than 1.6 billion chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and cattle transported across a border in 2019.

In the UK, live farm animal exports to mainland Europe have come to a standstill post-Brexit. The UK government consultation on banning the export of animals for slaughter and fattening is due to end later this month.

Brazilian companies and slaughterhouses including the world’s largest meat producer, JBS, sourced cattle from supplier farms that made use of workers kept in slavery-like conditions, according to a new report. JBS said it had “a zero-tolerance approach to forced labour and also urge anyone who suspects or has evidence of individual or farm-level malpractice to report it”.

Outbreaks of African swine fever and Covid among workers in meat plants in Germany have raised questions over the consequences of the country’s fixation on “cheap meat”. In China, experts have questioned the effectiveness of new animal health rules in preventing another zoonotic disease outbreak. And news of plans to develop animal-only antibiotics has been criticised as a “techno-fix” for intensive farming practices.

A Welsh council has admitted it should not have granted planning permission for a 110,000-chicken farm in the “poultry capital of Wales” after campaigners crowdfunded a judicial review. Former free-roaming nomads in Tibet are facing a struggle for their identity, stuck between China’s push for more industrialised farms and Buddhist monks urging them to embrace vegetarianism. Finally, we’ve reported on the mounting death toll of people and animals in Nigeria as herders seeking dwindling reserves of pasture clash with farmers.

From the brilliant ‘Guardian’ (London) as always:

Animals farmed: insects for lunch, £2bn for mink farmers and the future of male chicks | Environment | The Guardian

Enjoy – Regards Mark