Category: General News

Spain’s hunting dogs mistreated in kennels, animal rights NGOs say.

Spain’s hunting dogs mistreated in kennels, animal rights NGOs say

Living in their own excrement or forced to drink fetid water in frozen kennels: this is the grim life for Spain’s hunting dogs, according to an investigation by animal rights groups published on Thursday.

Video footage taken in 29 kennels across the country showed the unkempt dogs chained up and left by their owners.

As Spain’s Animal Welfare Law was poised to come into law, AnimaNaturalis and CAS International published their findings on Thursday, urging the government to include hunting dogs in the legislation.

The ruling Socialist government wants to introduce an amendment which will exclude these dogs from the legislation on the grounds that the existing law gives them sufficient protection.

Investigators claimed at the end of the hunting season in February, between 50,000 and 80,000 of these dogs were abandoned or were even hanged when they were no longer of any use.

Aida Gascón, director of AnimaNaturalis, said: “What we see (from our investigation) are not isolated cases or (cases that) contravene legislation. It is the daily and legal reality in which hunting dogs live their miserable lives.

“That hunting groups and some politicians continue to insist that these animals are sufficiently protected by current legislation is not only a fallacy, but negligence. All dogs suffer equally, regardless of the use made of them.”

As part of the campaign by the animal rights activists, a red bus toured Madrid this week with a picture of a hanged dog next to a picture of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.

Spain’s government argues the legislation relates to pets not working animals like hunting dogs, police animals, farm livestock or fighting bulls.

It means pets are considered sentient beings which means they can no longer be seized, mortgaged, abandoned, mistreated or removed from one of their owners in the case of a separation or divorce.

The government’s proposed change to the law has proved politically divisive, with some allies of the minority left-wing coalition vowing to oppose the Socialists’ proposed change to the law.

AnimaNaturalis
Spanish hunting dogs in kennels – AnimaNaturalis

Íñigo Errejón, of the Más País, a left-wing party, said his party would not back the amendment if the government excluded hunting dogs.

“The PSOE has made a mistake and has to rectify it because hunting dogs must have the same rights as the rest,” he told Servimedia news agency.

Emiliano García-Page, regional Socialist president in Castilla la Mancha in central Spain, where hunting is a popular pastime, supported the government’s stance.

He claimed only Spain’s 17 regional authorities had the legal right to regulate animal welfare.

García-Page dismissed as “cheap demagoguery” the idea that hunting was only for “rich millionaires”.

The Spanish Royal Hunting Federation (RFEC) was approached for a comment by Euronews but did not reply.

In a recent statement, the RFEC said the government’s proposed amendment was “very positive”.

The organisation also disputed claims by animal rights groups about the number of hunting dogs which are abandoned.

Regards Mark

https://uk.style.yahoo.com/spains-hunting-dogs-mistreated-kennels-080544775.html

Read more:

The Fate of So Many Spanish Hunting Dogs (called ‘Galgos’)

USA: UC Davis Thinks The Public Are ‘Too Stupid’ To Know What They Are Looking At Regarding Primate Abuse and Killing !

WAV Comment – If there was no abuse and everything is fine as they are portraying; then why not publish the photographs ?

Oh, but then ‘UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re looking at’

And the photos – we dont credit animal abusers.

A cache of grisly photographs of monkeys reportedly injured or killed in experiments with Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain implant technology may not be publicly released – amid a legal battle that aims to push a California university to do so

Group says 371 grisly pics of monkeys from Neuralink WON’T be released

Acache of grisly photographs of monkeys reportedly injured or killed in experiments with Elon Musk‘s Neuralink brain implant technology may not be publicly released – amid a legal battle to push a California university to do so – as the brain implant company denies animal abuse allegations. 

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocacy group says that it learned the University of California, Davis has 371 photos of the monkeys that were experimented upon inside the school’s veterinary laboratory facilities. 

The prestigious California university is in possession of hundreds of images depicting, among other things, ‘necropsies of animals killed’ in the experiments, according to PCRM, which has also filed a complaint against Neuralink.

Musk’s plan is to link the human brain with a micron-sized device that works with ‘neural-lace’ technology to implant tiny electrodes that could one day read a person’s mind. The technology will initially be used to help people suffering from degenerative brain disorders such as ALS, but it could have wider uses as well. 

‘UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re looking at,’ Physicians Committee research director Ryan Merkley says. 

‘But it’s clear the university is simply trying to hide from taxpayers the fact that it partnered with Elon Musk to conduct experiments in which animals suffered and died,’ he says in a press release

That blog post says all the work that took place at UC Davis was approved by the school’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, a federal mandate, and that Neuralink in 2020 built a 6,000-square-foot vivarium for farm animals and rhesus macaques that is ‘staffed with caretakers who are passionate about animal well-being, which is a central tenet of Neuralink’s philosophy.’

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) advocacy group says that it learned the University of California, Davis has 371 photos of the monkeys that were experimented upon inside the school’s veterinary laboratory facilities

‘Notably, Neuralink has never received a citation from the USDA inspections of our facilities and animal care program,’ the company says.

‘We recently applied for and received accreditation by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International, a voluntary international agency accrediting excellence in animal care.’

The blog post goes on detail a number of ways the company says it is exceeding industry standards for animal care, including in the areas of housing, diet, care, data collection and activity. 

Neuralink has called PCRM a group that opposes any use of animals in scientific research. On its website, PCRM talks about a ‘transition from animal use to human-relevant’ research methods, replacing animals witih ‘simulators,’ as well as ‘championing methods to replace animal testing.’

Earlier this year, Neuralink admitted that several rhesus macaques monkeys it used to test its brain technology had been euthanized after malfunctions or infections. That came in the wake of PCRM’s complaint against Neuralink that was filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and alleged several counts of animal abuse between 2017 and 2020. 

UC Davis has already released more than 600 pages of records that showed monkeys suffering from chronic infections, paralysis and seizures, according to the animal rights organization. 

But the animal rights group says the school still has two large caches of photographs, totaling 317, showing monkeys involved in the experiments – including some that were allegedly killed. 

A spokesperson for UC Davis told DailyMail.com that they fully complied with the California Public Records Act in responding to the request from PCRM and referred us to its previous statement.  

UC Davis ended its relationship with Neuralink in 2020 and says it reviewed and approved all research protocols during the experiments. According to PCRM, Musk’s brain tech firm paid UC Davis $1.4 million to use its facilities between 2017 and 2020.

Musk has said there will be Neuralink update ‘show and tell’ event on Oct. 31. 

Group says 371 grisly pics of monkeys from Neuralink WON’T be released (msn.com)

Regards Mark

More on this:

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/animal-rights-group-seeks-release-165908179.html

UK: Political Chaos – and Animal Welfare and Environmental Issues Are Just 2 Reasons Why The Current Government Is Down In the Cess Pit.

WAV Comment – it is political chaos here; Liz Truss the new (but probably not for long) Prime Minster has taken many actions to oppose both the Conservative manifesto – which should outline the Party aims; with regards animal welfare and environmental issues.  We have reported on a lot of this over the past few weeks, and you can see our posts by scrolling back down through the site.

I say political chaos as the Conservatives are currently in government.  Labour are n opposition.  Due to the actions of Truss since she took the helm of the Conservatives just a few weeks ago; the Conservatives are being led (by Labour) by a massive 33%+ in opinion polls.  Everything currently looks as if Labour will form the government at the next election.

Funeral rather than a celebration:

The 2022 Conservative conference is Liz Truss’s last chance to save her job as Prime Minister, and her party (msn.com)

We (WAV) are not associated with any UK political party; but we are a voice for improvements in animal welfare and the environment.  These are just 2 issues where Truss has kicked us, long time and evidence providing campaigners, with a good boot in the teeth.  So now she is starting to witness pay back time.

Here are a couple of articles which outline the current differences between the parties:

Liz Truss (Conservative) ‘to scrap proposed bans on fur and foie gras imports’

Liz Truss is set to scrap proposed bans on importing fur and foie gras to the UK, according to a Tory insider, sparking outrage from animal lovers.

Foie Gras production Banned in the UK, but still imported !!

The new prime minister will also reportedly ditch a ban on live animal exports in her first weeks in office.

The decisions will be a massive blow to campaigners who have spent decades lobbying for the reforms to spare animals from suffering.

Production of both fur and foie gras is considered so cruel that they are already banned in the UK.

All four measures were promised in the party’s animal-welfare action plan, announced last year to wide acclaim.

And curbs on live exports were promised in the Conservatives’ election manifesto, together with an end to hunting trophy imports.

But a senior Conservative told Politico: “Banning things seems very socialist. Informing people is the way to go.”

In February this year, right-wing cabinet members including Jacob Rees-Mogg intervened to block the Animals Abroad Bill, which contained the curbs on fur, foie gras, hunting trophies, and adverts for foreign theme parks that cause animal suffering.

The Kept Animals Bill, which banned live exports and keeping primates as pets and tackled puppy smuggling, could also be dropped. It had been due to be debated on Monday, which became the day of the Queen’s funeral, and no new date has been given.

A ban on cruel exports of live animals for slaughter and fattening had been hailed as a benefit of Brexit.

It would be a huge let-down, not only for those who work for these campaigns daily but also for millions of animals

Lorraine Platt

The government says it is still looking at the fur and foie gras bans, but the source said the measures would not go ahead under Ms Truss, who appointed Mr Rees-Mogg as business secretary and promoted Mark Spencer, understood to have been another of those blocking the Animals Abroad Bill.

However, MP Scott Mann, who has spoken out in favour of a ban on live exports, has been promoted to environment minister.

Last week, Ms Truss sacked Zac Goldsmith as animal-welfare minister after he introduced reforms including an ivory sales ban and higher jail terms for cruelty. He also wanted to crack down on religious slaughter without stunning.

“A lot of his causes were very worthy, but you can be worthy when you’re the son of a billionaire,” the MP said in a bizarre comment. Lord Goldsmith’s father was financier James Goldsmith.

Lorraine Platt, co-founder of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, told The Independent she was bitterly disappointed by news the bans would be dropped.

“It would be a huge let-down, not only for those who work for these campaigns daily but also for the millions of animals involved,” she said.

“Banning live exports and hunting trophies were manifesto commitments, and some people vote on manifesto commitments at elections.”

She said the foundation had often heard reports the measures could be scrapped or watered down.

Sir Roger Gale, patron of the foundation, condemned the “let them choose” argument as “a little spurious” and perverse when the UK has bans on producing fur and foie gras.

He told Times Radio he was concerned about the direction of travel of animal welfare under the new government, and millions of votes including in red-wall seats would be lost to the Tories if they reneged on animal welfare.

Foie gras production involves force-feeding ducks and geese with pipes pushed into their throats to fatten their livers.

Fur farms have been exposed as leaving animals suffering infected, bloody wounds, spreading disease and literally driving animals mad from confinement.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said it was surprising and perplexing that senior Conservatives wanted to row back on the popular measures in last year’s animal welfare action plan.

“Animals matter to voters, and people will not be content with oft-recycled rhetoric about being a ‘world leader in animal welfare’ if it’s not accompanied by meaningful action,” she said.

“Banning fur imports is not un-Conservative, it’s simply the right thing to do in line with the British public’s moral compass.”

Under Boris Johnson, the government said it wanted to consider compulsory animal-welfare labelling on food and promised to consult on proposals next year.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ran a 12-week consultation last year on new labelling standards for produce now that EU regulations no longer apply.

It also ran a consultation on banning fur imports, but has not released the results.

Ministers had at one stage said they would press ahead with the hunting trophy imports ban, but that pledge appears also to have been dropped.

Instead, they are backing a private members’ bill by backbencher Henry Smith that bans hunting trophy imports – body parts of wild animals killed by paying hunters. Mr Smith has called such hunting barbaric.

On foie gras, Defra said it was considering any further steps that could be taken, “building on the opportunities presented” by Brexit, and was still gathering information.

“The government has made clear that the production of force-fed foie gras raises serious welfare concerns,” a spokesman added.

On fur, the department said: “We are continuing to build our evidence base on the fur sector, which will be used to inform any future action on the fur trade.”

It also said the Kept Animals Bill would continue its passage through Parliament.

The Independent has also asked the office of the new Defra secretary, Ranil Jayawardena, to confirm whether the proposals will go ahead.

Source:

Liz Truss ‘to scrap proposed bans on fur and foie gras imports’ (msn.com)

… and then on the other hand we have this from Labour; currently 33%+ leading in the opinion polls.

Labour will ban foie gras and hunting trophies imports if it takes power, environment boss Jim McMahon pledges

Labour would ban imports of foie gras and hunting trophies “very early” after winning power, Shadow Environment Secretary Jim McMahon has said.

Animal welfare campaigners were outraged earlier this month when Liz Truss junked a Conservative commitment to outlaw the controversial pâté.

Nature and farming groups are also dismayed that the new administration has paused post-Brexit subsidies that incentivised agriculture without saying what will replace them.

Speaking to i at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, Mr McMahon could hardly contain his glee at the furious backlash to a threatened rolling-back of environmental protections. He says the Tories are taking their rural heartlands for granted – and will suffer the electoral consequences.

But he acknowledged that he will come under immediate pressure to make good on a host of long-standing promises cherished by Labour supporters to improve animal welfare, of which import bans on foie gras and hunting trophies are the most high-profile.

i revealed last year that Jacob Rees-Mogg, now the Business Secretary, was leading efforts to shelve the proposed ban on foie gras and last week it emerged that it had been scrapped entirely.

To produce foie gras – which translates as “fatty liver” – male ducks and geese are force fed grain and fat three or four times a day in a process known as “gavage.” The forced feeding causes the birds’ livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size.

Asked when a Labour government would bring in the bans, Mr McMahon said: “There will be a lot to do in that first Queen’s Speech but there will be an expectation on Labour to set our stall on animal welfare very early that I am working hard to achieve.”

He added that he was exploring whether the bans could be implemented without passing new laws to free up Commons time for other high-priority legislation, saying: “It’s about the art of the possible.”

Mr McMahon said the bans are the “easier stuff” and added: “The question for us and the current Government is how do you marry higher animal welfare standards with new international trade deals.”

Ms Truss, when she was International Trade Secretary, won a Cabinet battle to force through a new trade deal with Australia despite worries it exposed British farmers to competition from producers with lower standards. Mr McMahon said the party was considering banning any future such deals and would double down on efforts to make the UK a world leader in ethical and green food.

He said he was astonished that the new Environment Secretary, Ranil Jayawardena, paused plans for post-Brexit farm subsidies, the Environment Land Management Scheme, without saying what comes next – leaving the National Farmers Union and green groups united in fury.

“I know Ranil reasonably well,” Mr McMahon said. “I’m staggered that he’s been missing in action. He should have been on the phone to the big groups like the NFU and Wildlife Trust. It’s just a matter of respect. Even if the intention isn’t to throw it all out but to pause, reflect and rebuild there’s going to be a breakdown in trust.”

The former Oldham council leader admitted his current job was not necessarily an obvious fit: “The only greenery I saw as a kid were the weeds growing through the cracks in the pavement.”

Unsurprisingly for a politician he showered praise on farmers and fishermen as “grafters” who are the best of British – but also said he wants to make townies care more about the county by bringing it into urban areas.

“Of course I am going to fight for the shires and coastal communities who have some of the most beautiful parts of the country on their doorstep,” Mr McMahon said. “But you can’t just pitch up in somewhere like Oldham and say, ‘It’s your responsibility to tackle the climate change emergency,’ when what’s their own environment like? It’s grey and it’s depressing and there’s no access to safe green spaces. There’s a huge opportunity there for Labour to fill in the gap.”

Source:

Labour will ban foie gras and hunting trophies imports if it takes power, environment boss Jim McMahon pledges (msn.com)

Everyone makes promises if it means them getting elected. We read of what will be done in party manifesto’s; only then to be treated as we are now by the Conservatives – how things change !

Whatever happens and regardless of all the promises and manifesto statements, we will continue to hold ALL those in politics to account for both the animals and the environment.  Recent events have shown us that in reality, you never believe a bloody word; as they all come up with excuses (after they have been elected) for not doing this and not doing that.

British politics is currently having one of its biggest changes for decades – and for the animals who have been betrayed by the Tories, we say ‘bring it on’.  We want and demand progressive change after all these years of campaigning and evidence providing; often at great risk to some individuals.

We fought hard to get the foie gras and fur ban issues to the top of the pile; the government is attempting to wipe the issues off the board overnight.  That is why we have a wry smirk on our faces as we now see truss and the Conservatives who betrayed us attempting, but failing, to clamber out of the deep filth pit that she and they have put themselves into.

An interesting time; but we will fight for the animals whatever;

Regards Mark

Denmark: Super News ! – Denmark Bids Farewell to Cage Egg Production.

Photo – We Animals Media.

Denmark bids farewell to cage egg production

29 September 2022

Dyrenes Beskyttelse – Danish animal welfare.

The Danish Minister for Food, Rasmus Prehn, has decided to ban the production of cage eggs in Denmark, beginning in 2023.

The final goodbye to Danish cage eggs is applauded by Animal Protection Denmark. It is a victory for activist consumers, the retail sector, and Animal Protection Denmark – and millions of caged hens.

We are thrilled to finally see an end date for the production of cage eggs in Denmark – and an end to the horrific living conditions of the hens laying the eggs. It raises the bar for basic animal welfare in the Danish poultry sector.

Britta Riis, CEO of Animal Protection Denmark

The ban will be introduced with a transition period of 12 years for the remaining 7 farmers still producing cage eggs. Animal Protection Denmark would have liked the transition to have been faster but acknowledges that major changes in food production can take time.

It has been almost 10 years since we ramped up our campaigning against cage eggs. Many consumers joined us in turning their backs on cage eggs, and retailers took them off their shelves. In the end, these movements led to the final goodbye to cage egg production, and we owe the Danish people and the Danish retail sector a debt of gratitude for leading this change.

CEO of Animal Protection Denmark

The ban on cage eggs comes after the political party Enhedslisten put forward a motion in 2020 to phase out the last remaining producers of egg-laying cage hens by the end of 2022. The Government did not support the motion on the grounds that the suggested phase-out period was too short, but the Minister for Food acknowledged the horrendous living conditions of caged egg-laying hens and supported the general move towards a ban. And the politicians are aligned with public sentiment: Three out of four Danes think that cage eggs should be banned according to a new survey conducted by Epinion on behalf of Animal Protection Denmark.

Even though Danish consumers and retailers have turned their backs on cage eggs, 7 Danish farmers still have around 550.000 hens sitting in cages around the country. A lot of Danes are unknowingly served caged eggs in food served in cantinas, kindergartens, and ready meals, and some of Denmark’s biggest municipalities continue to buy vast quantities of cage eggs. This use of eggs is not labelled, making it impossible for consumers to opt out. Animal Protection Denmark urges everyone to support the Danish people’s clear opposition to cage eggs.

During the 12-year phase-out an estimated 6 million hens may have to endure life in a cage. This should not happen. The Danish people should not be fed this many hidden cage eggs, and to this end, private and public buyers must step up and take responsibility.

CEO of Animal Protection Denmark

Several of Denmark’s neighbouring countries, such as Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands have already imposed bans on keeping caged hens. While the animal welfare bar in Denmark is raised by the ban, there is still a long way to go until all farmed animals get to live good lives in accordance with their needs, Animal Protection Denmark points out.

Regards Mark

UK: Environmentally Disgusting – Revealed: 5,000 empty ‘ghost flights’ in UK since 2019, data shows.

From our brilliant journalist friends at ‘The Guardian’, London.

Click on the following link to view the data graphs relating to this.

Revealed: 5,000 empty ‘ghost flights’ in UK since 2019, data shows


Why ghost flights operate remains unclear. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA

A further 35,000 flights have operated almost empty, with climate campaigners calling the revelations ‘shocking’

More than 5,000 completely empty passenger flights have flown to or from UK airports since 2019, the Guardian can reveal.

A further 35,000 commercial flights have operated almost empty since 2019, with fewer than 10% of seats filled, according to analysis of data from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). This makes a total of about 40,000 “ghost flights”.

In one quarter, for example, 62 empty planes left Luton airport for Poland, while in another, Heathrow saw 663 almost empty flights going to and from the US. Both quarters were during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Air travel results in more carbon emissions an hour than any other consumer activity and is dominated by a minority of frequent flyers, making it a focus of climate campaigners. They called the ghost flight revelations “shocking” and said a jet fuel tax was needed and airport expansion plans should be questioned. The UK government describes ghost flights as “environmentally damaging”.

Why ghost flights operate remains unclear. Only airlines know the reasons but they do not publish data that explains the practice. Ghost flights may run to fulfil “use-it-or-lose-it” airport slot rules, though these were suspended during the height of the pandemic. Other reasons cited by airlines include Covid repatriation flights or the repositioning of aircraft. But these cannot be verified and campaigners said more transparency was needed.

The new data gives the fullest picture to date of the number of UK ghost flights, as previous data only counted international departures. It now includes international arrivals and flights within the UK. The CAA will now publish this data quarterly, as a result of a series of FoI requests by the Guardian.

“Publication of this data is a step in the right direction, but we need more transparency to understand why these inefficient, polluting practices continue, and to hold the main airline culprits to account,” said Tim Johnson at the Aviation Environment Federation. “Given the climate emergency, the revelation that so many near empty planes have been burning fossil fuels and adding to the CO2 building up in the atmosphere is pretty shocking.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said it would work with the CAA to monitor aircraft occupancy and seek greater transparency on the issue of ghost flights.

The data shows an average of 130 completely empty flights a month since 2019. The number of empty flights remained at a similar level before, during and after pandemic travel restrictions, with the second highest level in the second quarter of 2022. This suggests the reason the airlines chose to fly empty planes was not related to the impact of Covid on aviation.

Half of the empty flights were within the UK and the top seven airports accounted for two-thirds of the total, led by Birmingham with 1,455, Luton (1,307) and Bristol (758). The number of empty flights did not correlate with the total number of flights at each airport, suggesting they may reflect issues on specific routes.

There have been an average of 1,200 almost empty ghost flights a month since the start of 2020, when numbers jumped at the start of the Covid pandemic. Most of these – about 80% – were to or from foreign destinations.

Eight airports, among the busiest in the UK, accounted for about two-thirds of the almost empty flights since 2019, led by Heathrow (10,467), Manchester (3,309), Gatwick (2,766) and Stansted (2,197). Edinburgh and Glasgow both had more than 1,500 almost empty flights.

Alethea Warrington, at the climate charity Possible, said: “This shocking new data on ghost flights is yet another example of how the aviation industry cannot be trusted to get its emissions on track to tackle the climate crisis.”

“Following a summer of record-breaking, runway-melting heat, this wanton waste of carbon by airlines flies in the face of those feeling the full brunt of our warming world,” she said. “To end this for good, it’s time to start taxing kerosene to discourage unnecessary emissions.”

A spokesperson for Airlines UK said: “Millions of flights arrived and departed the UK between 2019 and 2022, with only a tiny fraction operating without or with few passengers and for a variety of operational reasons driven by the pandemic.”

Airlines have denied operating ghost flights to retain slots. The normal 80:20 rule, meaning 80% of flights on a route must operate to retain the valuable slots, only applies to the busiest airports and was suspended from the end of March 2020 because of the pandemic. It was reintroduced as a 50:50 rule in October 2021 and rose to 70:30 from the end of March 2022.

Some airlines have said that some ghost flights took place during the pandemic to fly in Covid-related supplies on passenger planes. However, the CAA data records fewer than 300 flights since the start of 2020 carrying cargo but no passengers.

A spokesperson for Birmingham airport said: “Flight occupancy fell during the pandemic due to travel restrictions. During this time flights into Birmingham included British nationals returning from ‘red list’ countries, PPE and Afghan refugees.”

A Luton airport spokesperson said the reasons for the high number of ghost flights included Covid travel restrictions and regulatory requirements regarding aircraft airworthiness and pilot licensing. “Following the removal of all travel restrictions, average passenger loads per flight have returned to 88% this summer,” he said. Repositioning of aircraft and maintenance was among the reasons given by Bristol airport for its ghost flights.

Heathrow is the UK’s busiest airport and had the highest number of almost empty flights. A Heathrow spokesperson said: “At a time [during the pandemic] when the industry was losing billions, no operator would have been flying a plane without it being commercially viable or without an operational need. As borders closed to passengers, airlines switched to cargo operations, delivering vital medical supplies for the country.”

Anna Hughes, at the Flight Free UK campaign group, said: “Putting tens of thousands of empty or near-empty planes in the air during a climate crisis is a vast waste of money and a needless source of emissions. It makes a mockery of people’s efforts to reduce their own emissions. If it makes business sense for the airlines to do this, there’s something badly wrong with the business model.”

The spokesperson for Airlines UK said: “UK airlines are fully committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Alongside filling our flights as much as possible, we are making ‘jet zero’ a reality by modernising our airspace to further reduce inefficiencies, using at least 10% sustainable aviation fuel by 2030 and driving the development of zero emission commercial aircraft.”

Johnson said: “Several reasons have been put forward for near empty flights during the pandemic, but the provision of 2019 data – a record year for airport passengers in the UK – highlights a wider problem. The data also shows that 50,000 aircraft arrived or departed from Heathrow and Gatwick alone in 2019 less than half full. This must cast doubt both on these airports’ claims that they are effectively full and need to expand and on their claims to be responding to the urgency of the climate challenge.”

All the flights in the CAA data are commercial passenger flights and air crew training flights are not included. There were thousands of ghost flights to oil rigs but these were not included in the Guardian analysis. The CAA data also lists Bournemouth airport as having 933 empty flights, but the airport said the vast majority of these were non-commercial flights run by a company that is a tenant at the airport.

Environmentally Disgusting !

Regards Mark

From Vampire To Vegan – Actor Paul Wesley Talks Animals and Veganism.

Paul Wesley, the vegan actor known for starring in The Vampire Diaries, discussed animal rights on the Plant Based News (PBN) podcast.

He spoke to PBN co-founder Robbie Lockie about a range of issues, including factory farming, the challenges of being a vegan actor, and the truth about dog food.

The two also discussed cultivated meat, with Wesley describing it as “the future.” He said that vegans “have a responsibility” to support the industry.

You can listen to the audio version of the podcast, or watch the full interview below:

Regards Mark

Letter: Remembering farm animals.

Letter: Remembering farm animals

I just learned about World Day for Farmed Animals, coming up on October 2nd (Gandhi’s birth date). It has been around since 1983 and is meant to memorialize the billions of animals abused and killed for food each year.

Mahatma Gandhi, (1869–1948)
“To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.
I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body.
I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man“.

Like many, I always considered farm animals only as a source of food. But, after recently watching the documentary Speciesism, I realized that farm animals are much like our family pets, deserving of love and respect.

I’ve learned that farm animals get neither on today’s factory farms. Male baby chicks are ground up alive or suffocated in garbage bags. Hens are crowded in small wire cages that tear out their feathers. Breeding pigs spend their lives pregnant in metal cages. Calves are snatched from their mothers upon birth, so we can drink their milk.

The cruelty of factory farming drove me to replace animal products in my diet with plant-based meat and dairy items. I have since learned that my cruelty-free diet is also great for my health and for the health of our planet.

Letter: Remembering farm animals | News, Sports, Jobs – Daily Herald (heraldextra.com)

Regards Mark



WAV Archive

WAV Archive

Finger to you too. Photo – Val Cameron.

Switzerland: Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland.

Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland

Washington Examiner

Voters in Switzerland are set to decide whether to ban factory farming and modify laws to grant animals the constitutional right “not to be intensively farmed.”

Under a new proposal that will be considered by Swiss voters over the weekend, the country would be required to implement laws that lower animal stocking rates and limit the importation of intensively farmed meat. The proposal has received mixed support, with national polling showing that 52% of voters oppose the ban, while 47% support it.

Proponents argue a ban would protect the environment by reducing farms’ reliance on soya-based animal feed that has been linked to widespread deforestation. Animal rights groups have also championed the proposal, pushing for more humane conditions in the facilities where animals are held.

“You can keep 27,000 chickens in one barn, and their room to move is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper,” said Silvano Lieger, managing director of Sentience Politics, an animal rights group that proposed the ban in 2018. “Pigs are kept in barns, too, up to 1,500 per farm, with 10 pigs sharing the space of an average parking spot. It is not possible to treat animals in a dignified way in those conditions.”

However, opponents have argued the ban would negatively affect the domestic production of meat and would fail to prevent the cheap importation of intensively farmed animals. Others have argued Swiss law already enforces strict welfare laws.

About 80% of Swiss meat is produced domestically, according to ProViande, the Swiss interbranch organization for the meat industry. However, some industry workers say the rate of importation would increase drastically if the ban is implemented.

Regards Mark

Making hay: Farm animals could get constitutional rights in Switzerland (msn.com)

USA: Animal rights group seeks release of 185 pictures related to the autopsies of animals that died during experiments for Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

Photo – WAV archive – not directly associated with this article.

Animal rights group seeks release of 185 pictures related to the autopsies of animals that died during experiments for Elon Musk’s Neuralink

An animal-rights group says UC Davis has 371 photos showing Neuralink’s experiments on monkeys.

The organization sued the university and filed a complaint with the USDA in February.

An animal-rights group that is suing the University of California, Davis over experiments conducted for Neuralink says the university has 371 photos related to experiments on monkeys that were performed for Elon Musk’s biotech company.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said UC Davis has 185 pictures related to the autopsies of animals that died during Neuralink experiments and another 186 photos of the experiments that were performed on the monkeys, which included cutting holes into the monkeys’ skulls to implant electrodes into their brains.

The group said they learned of the photos through a legal document from UC Davis dated September 7, 2022. Between 2017 and 2020, Neuralink paid the university $1.4 million to use UC Davis’ facilities and animals for testing, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said.

“UC Davis thinks the public is too stupid to know what they’re looking at,” Ryan Merkley, director of research advocacy with the Physicians Committee, said in a press release. “But it’s clear the university is simply trying to hide from taxpayers the fact that it partnered with Elon Musk to conduct experiments in which animals suffered and died.”

A spokesperson from Neuralink did not respond to a request for comment and a UC Davis spokesperson referred Insider to a previous statement. In February, the institution said “research protocols were thoroughly reviewed and approved by the campus’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee” during the institutions work with Neuralink.

“Animal research is strictly regulated and UC Davis follows all applicable laws and regulations including those of the US Department of Agriculture,” the statement said.

UC Davis issued the statement after the animal-rights group sued the university for not releasing photos and videos of the experiments it has performed for Neuralink from 2017 to 2020. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine also filed a complaint with the US Department of Agriculture, alleging the institution had violated the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Insider’s Isobel Asher Hamilton previously reported that the group said it had obtained records showing the monkeys experienced “extreme suffering as a result of inadequate animal care and the highly invasive experimental head implants during the experiments.”

At the time, Neuralink responded to the accusations, denying several of the injuries that the animal rights group reported and saying the company is “absolutely committed to working with animals in the most humane and ethical way possible.” The company said it has since transitioned to using its own in-house facilities.

Ultimately, Neuralink is working to develop a computer brain interface system that would be able to read and write brain activity. In the past, Musk has claimed the AI brain chips would one day be able to do anything from cure paralysis to give people telepathic powers, referring to the device as “a Fitbit in your skull.”

Last year, the billionaire said the company plans to transition from implanting the chips in monkeys to humans by the end of the year, but the device has yet to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials.

Regards Mark

England: Progress ? – Dont Just Be Sorry – Do Something !

22/9/22

In relation to my recent letter asking who in UK government is right and who is wrong – you can read the letter here; England: Who In Government Is Right, and Who Is Wrong ? – We Write For Clarification (Maybe). Or Are They Confused Just Like Us ? – World Animals Voice

I need to draw your attention to what statements (in my view) contradict each other:

Quote from the DIT

 “the government has made it clear in its manifesto that in all our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards”.

Or

Liz Truss has refused to enshrine animal welfare in trade deals;

Liz Truss has refused to enshrine animal welfare in trade deals, says minister | Animal welfare | The Guardian

Wanting to know what is right or wrong relating to government policy; I have now been sent a reply from my own MP stating that on my behalf, he has now written to the Department for International Trade (DIT) asking for ‘policy statements’ to be given and if ‘anything has changed’ – ie a very recent conversion to the Liz Truss view.  Or, do the commitments expressed in their original (DIT) letter ‘remain intact’. ?  – yes, that’s what I want to know !

So; a little progress of sorts but I am still not being given the final government approach now of dealing with international free trade agreements (FTA).  I now wait to be forwarded the response from the DIT to see, as I originally asked, who is right, and who is wrong.

I will publish their (DIT) response when it is provided to me.  In the meantime, I sit twiddling my thumbs and other bits waiting to get ‘a government policy statement’.  Depending on how this is worded (change or no change) will then set the agenda for future actions by WAV on the issue.

Once I have had a response about this, I have further questions lined up regarding several things – the live transport of live animals from the UK being one.  Here again, Truss appears to be changing the goalposts and giving the AR movement a good kick in the teeth for the years of campaigning it has taken to get this stopped.  Read here the great article from Jane who really sums up the situation and attitudes:

UK: Tin-eared Truss is about to embark on the greatest betrayal of animal rights imaginable. – World Animals Voice

The government had a consultation on banning live animal exports and it was clear from the results that the majority of people wanted the trade banned:

Check it all out here – Search Results for “live export consultation” – World Animals Voice

We are used to long drawn out campaigns, and we are used to false promises and being shit on by governments on a host of issues relating to animal welfare and the environment.  Our movement has tenacity on its side; the government changes and relies on the votes of citizens to remain in power, or not !

I am a big badger fan, so badger culling will be another issue being prepared for future letters.

Personally, I have battled the disgusting live export trade for 35+ years; done undercover trails especially relating to British horses going into Europe for meat, and I sure as hell am not going to stop now.  There are too many animals in this sordid trade that require us to be a voice for them.  So we will, however long it takes.

Regards Mark

In the past, Mark worked with television comedy scriptwriter Carla Lane for many years; and had the position of being the investigator for her animal charity (Animaline) throughout the years of the horse export investigations.  Through undercover investigation work, port monitoring, visits to UK horse markets, and trails into Europe, it was shown that British horses were being exported from the UK whilst being declared as ‘going for riding’ to Europe.  In reality, the animals were being exported to Europe for their meat.  What was declared on the export licenses was a complete and utter lie to get around the complexities of exporting sentient animals for one thing when they were actually going to their deaths !

After all the investigative work was completed and documented, which involved a lot of work, Carla and Mark teamed up in London one day and made formal presentations to the UK Government Ministry – DEFRA (previously  MAFF) about all the investigation work”.

Wonderful Carla

35+ years of live export tenacity – I do know a little about live exports and hopefully can argue in defence of those who cannot speak.

Fight the fight ! – be yourself no matter what they say.

Regards Mark

A few of my other bits of work: