Category: General News

USA: Animal rights group names Kansas City Zoo among worst for elephants. Zoo CEO disagrees.

Animal rights group names Kansas City Zoo among worst for elephants. Zoo CEO disagrees

Kansas City has one of the worst zoos for elephants in the country, an animal rights group claimed this week.

But the zoo’s CEO called that assertion false, and disagreed with all accusations leveled against them.

In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection organization based out of California, published its latest “worst zoos for elephants” list Tuesday, ranking the Kansas City Zoo at No. 2.

Continue reading at:

Animal rights group names Kansas City Zoo among worst for elephants. Zoo CEO disagrees (aol.com)

Regards Mark

Spain: ‘Galgos’ Hunting Dogs – A Bill Designed to Strengthen Animal Rights in Spain Could Outlaw Hunting With Dogs.

Hunting dogs in Spain are known as ‘Galgos’.

Check out some of our past Galgos posts by clicking here:

Search Results for “galgos” – World Animals Voice

It is estimated that between 50,000 to 100,000 Galgo hunting dogs are killed in Spain every year in what has come to be known as the “Holocaust of Greyhounds”, but it’s difficult to know for sure, because nobody knows exactly how many are bred every year.

Regards Mark

A bill designed to strengthen animal rights in Spain could outlaw hunting with dogs.

The proposal would reform the treatment of domestic and wild animals in captivity. It includes plans to ban the sale of pets in stores, turn zoos into wildlife recovery centres, and impose prison sentences for animal abusers.

However, Spain’s ruling Socialist party, which introduced the bill in 2022, was forced to backtrack last month following protests in rural areas. With elections looming later this year, the party is cautious of upsetting this key voter base.

Continue reading at:

Hunters and animal rights protestors clash over amendments to Spain’s pet protection laws (msn.com)

And …

Spain animal laws: Pet shops to close and dog owners to be trained under proposed changes

A law aimed at strengthening animal rights in Spain plans to ban the sale of pets in shops, convert zoos into wildlife recovery centres and make training compulsory for dog owners.

Continue reading at:

Spain animal laws: Pet shops to close and dog owners to be trained under proposed changes (msn.com)

Regards Mark

EU: Male Chick and Female Duckling Culling to be Banned? – Recent Euro Parliament Event Wins Interest From EU Policymakers.

18 January 2023

Eurogroup News

On January 10 2023, an event at the European Parliament was held by the European Institute for Animal Law & Policy and L214 to discuss the future of male chick and female duckling culling. Positive feedback from the policymakers in attendance – as well as general support for and interest in alternatives to the practice – suggest an EU-wide ban could be within our grasp.

The fate of male chicks and female ducklings in Europe is, generally speaking, a very dark one. As they are deemed ‘useless’ by the industry for their inability to produce eggs or big livers, a huge number of them are routinely culled at just one day old by gassing or maceration.

It’s a senseless practice that must be stopped. That’s why we at Eurogroup for Animals, along with several NGOs including L214 – the creators of the ‘Stop Grinding and Gassing’ campaign – have been battling to get the issue recognised and banned at EU level.

Nationally, there have been a lot of victories so far for male chicks in particular. Germany, France and Austria already banned their systematic killing last year – in some instances, following the tireless work of our members and several other NGOs to put the issue in the political spotlight. However, millions of male chicks and female ducklings across Europe are still vulnerable, and EU-wide legislation is therefore required to end the cruelty of this type of culling once and for all.

To explore the potential of a ban further, L214 together with the European Institute for Animal Law & Policy organised an EP event to discuss alternatives to male chick and female duckling culling, and what steps we could take to phase it out across Europe over the coming years.

Envisioning the end of male chick and female duckling culling

Over 100 people attended the EP event both in-person and online, including representatives from COPA COGECA, researchers, and MEPs like Tilly Metz, Caroline Roose and Sirpa Pietikäinen.

Our own Farm Animals Programme Leader, Inês Grenho Ajuda, delivered a talk to highlight the NGO’s asks, as well as the unique opportunity presented by the upcoming revision of the EU’s animal welfare legislation to obtain an EU-wide ban on male chick and female duckling culling. Alternatives to the practice were also discussed like in-ovo sexing: a type of technology that can determine the sex of eggs before they hatch (thus eliminating the ‘need’ for culling). Further alternatives such as the use of dual-purpose breeds and sourcing more plant-based egg options, along with ample evidence to show a ban could be successfully carried out in the EU, has additionally been explored in a brilliant report by Animal Society published recently.

Feedback on the event and the topics discussed was positive. Pietikäinen, who represented the conservative European People’s Party, said she would like to see whether the European Parliament would support a ban on chick culling in the coming months. Independent Portuguese MEP Francisco Guerreiro emphasised that animal welfare will be important in next year’s elections, too, suggesting a ban would be timely.

While she was not present, European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides has implied she is on a similar wavelength, having already expressed being in favour of a ban on male chick culling at an AGRIFISH meeting last year.

With the animal welfare legislation to be revised in the coming years and the elections around the corner, now is a critical opportunity to end this horrible process, and implement new and innovative solutions that are devoid of needless pain and suffering. 

After an excellent event and promising words from policymakers and the other parties in attendance, we at Eurogroup for Animals are now working on making that happen. Stay posted for updates. 

Regards Mark

Scotland (UK): Scottish Farmed Salmon Dying in Droves Before Slaughter.

Scottish farmed salmon dying in droves before slaughter

23 January 2023

Animal Equality

Animal Equality UK are raising the alarm as salmon mortality rates on Scottish salmon farms are rocketing.

Every year in the UK, up to 77 million fish are farmed and slaughtered, but many more don’t even make it to slaughter.

According to a report from industry membership body Salmon Scotland, 2.8 million farmed salmon died on-farm in Scotland in September 2022 alone. 

Fish Health Inspectorate (FHI) data shows that nearly 15 million salmon mortalities were reported by farms in Scotland from January to November 2022, compared with 8.58 million in 2021 and 5.81 million in 2020.

Farmed salmon suffer from overcrowding inside cages. Others are bitten by sea lice which eat their skin while they’re alive. Animal Equality reports that instead of fixing the root cause of the issue, fish farmers use chemical treatments and other rough treatments which cause the salmon even more suffering.

Drone footage collected by Animal Equality UK shows workers using a “mort sock” to dredge dead fish from the bottom of pens.

The data doesn’t lie. It’s undeniable that early fish mortality is a rapidly worsening issue. Over recent years deaths in fish pens have reached record levels for a number of reasons, including a sharp rise in infectious diseases among the fish who are packed into unnaturally overcrowded cages, as well as poor gill health and rough treatments to remove lice from the infested waters.

As the industry grows, so do these issues. We must take back the power and boycott farmed fish, it’s the only way that we can begin to curb this ever-worsening problem.

Abigail Penny, Executive Director of Animal Equality UK

Don Staniford, of the Scamon Scotland campaign said the FHI figures on salmon deaths were likely to be an underestimate because not all mortalities need to be recorded.

About 25% of the salmon in sea cages are dying, so that’s about one in four. If ramblers saw one in four cows or sheep dead in a field they’d be horrified, but because it’s underwater it’s out of sight, out of mind.

Don Staniford, Scamon Scotland campaign

Regards Mark

UK: UK RESIDENTS ONLY – This weekend (27 to 29 /1/23) is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch for 2023.

This weekend (27 to 29 /1/23) is the RSPB big garden birdwatch for 2023.

This is only open FOR UK RESIDENTS.

Give just 1 hour of your time this weekend to take part.

The Big Garden Birdwatch is free to anyone and everyone but the information sent in by people all over the UK helps the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) build up a very accurate register of how the national bird population is doing; what species are flourishing, what are in decline, stable etc.

This birdwatch makes it an ideal family activity at the end of January.  Best of all taking part is easy. All you need to do is sign up online to take part and get a free guide.

You don’t even need a garden. You can count birds from a balcony or even your local park.

Which common garden birds will you see?

Participants are asked to spend an hour counting the birds they see and then submit their results online. Also, it’s good idea is to add a bird feeder to your garden. Watch how a wide variety of different types of birds will pop in your garden for a snack!

As you know, we have many wild bird visitors to our garden; and thus have just signed up for this years watch.  Looking forward to counting the visitors to the garden, submitting the data to the RSPB and helping to get a good overall view of the status of birds in the UK.

I hope you can sign up and take part also.

Regards Mark

Go here for more and to sign up:

Big Garden Birdwatch | The RSPB

https://worldanimalsvoice.com/?s=breakfast+buddy

Below – Breakfast Buddy.

Below – Reed Bunting photo from Pauline.

BelowStarlings enjoy their morning bath in my garden.

Norway: Brilliant News – Fur Farming Ends in Norway as Remaining Farms Close Doors Two Years In Advance of the Legal Ban ! – Victory !

20 January 2023

Dyrevernalliansen

The last two fur farms in Norway will be closing permanently by the end of January 2023 according to the country’s Fur Farmers Association, bringing the industry to a close two years before a legal ban comes into force in 2025.

On 13 June 2019, the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) passed a law banning fur farming. The ban was initiated by the Norwegian Liberal Party. In the years before this, fur farming had been fiercely debated by many parties, including the Norwegian Labour Party and the Norwegian Conservative Party.

Dyrevernalliansen report that in 2001, there were more than 1,000 fur farms operating in Norway, declining to only 80 by early 2021. The organisation has lobbied since 2001 for a ban on fur farming.

Together we won in the end, and it is wonderful to know that no new fox pups or mink kits will be born in cages in Norway. Dyrevernalliansen will continue our work for the animals who need it the most. Our next goal is a ban on the import of fur products into Norway. Fur farming is animal cruelty no matter where in the world it takes place. Now that production has been discontinued in Norway, it is deeply unethical that we continue to import products from fur farms in other countries.

Anton Krag – CEO, Dyrevernalliansen

The European Citizens Initiative Fur Free Europe is calling for a ban on fur farming and the sale of farmed fur products across the European Union.

Do you support this ban? Add your name now

Regards Mark

EU: Working Group for the ECI Fur Free Europe Successfully Launched at the European Parliament – 25 January 2023.

Working group for the ECI Fur Free Europe successfully launched at the European Parliament

25 January 2023

Today, a kick-off meeting was held at the European Parliament to launch a working group dedicated to the European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe. With over 1.3 million signatures collected in 8 months, the ECI Fur Free Europe clearly reflects the wishes of a majority of European citizens for a Europe without exploitation of animals for fashion.

The working group, announced last year during a meeting of the Intergroup on animal welfare and conservation, will be coordinated by Eurogroup for Animals in close collaboration with the Fur Free Alliance. 

The working group hosts representatives from the main political groups, and will work to support the Fur Free Europe initiative by coordinating amongst those groups and collaborating with civil society organisations involved in the ECI. The goal is to ensure the Parliamentary process which follows every ECI, and to adopt a resolution for a ban on fur farming and the sale of farmed fur products in Europe.

In addition, the working group, in conjunction with members of the Intergroup for the Welfare and Conservation of Animals, will aim to foster discussion and raise awareness in the European Parliament about the serious cross-cutting issues related to fur farming and the fur trade. The group will also participate in public campaign activities to apply further pressure and draw attention to the issue.

This is not the first time that the European Parliament has addressed problems connected with fur production. In May 2020, it adopted the Report on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, which acknowledged that fur production significantly compromises animal welfare and increases the susceptibility to infectious diseases, including zoonoses, as it has occurred with COVID-19 specially in mink:

Above – Brilliant Anja !!

[…] fur production, which involves the confinement of thousands of undomesticated animals of a similar genotype in close proximity to one another under chronically stressful conditions, significantly compromises animal welfare and increases their susceptibility to infectious diseases including zoonoses […]. The coming years will be crucial to end the enormous suffering of animals in the EU. In light of the Commissions’ strong commitment to revise the EU Animal Welfare legislation, this working group represents a crucial and timely initiative. We will work together to secure strong support from the European Parliament on the European Citizens’ Initiative Fur Free Europe. The only possible outcome, as demanded by European citizens, is a ban on fur farming and a ban on the sale of farmed fur products on the European market.

Anja Hazekamp, chairwoman of the Fur Free Europe working group

Fur free Europe – browse the publication:

Fur Free Europe | Eurogroup for Animals

Regards Mark

Lidl’s Chicken Scandal: a Glimpse of the State of Animal Welfare in the EU.

Lidl’s chicken scandal: a glimpse of the state of animal welfare in the EU

Essere Animali

Press Release

NGOs are pressuring Lidl to sign the European Chicken Commitment, following the release of investigations that reveal shocking conditions for broilers on their supplier’s farms in Germany, Italy and Spain.

In a campaign led by Equalia and the Albert Schweitzer Foundation Germany, NGOs are telling Lidl that enough is enough, after footage was released showing broiler chickens being abused and neglected on their supplier’s farms. 

‘Lidl’s chicken scandal’, as it’s being called, began when Equalia released footage revealing hideous circumstances for broiler chickens on a factory farm in Germany. Shoved together in the dark and with barely enough room to breathe, the video shows droves of malformed broilers suffering and dying in the worst of conditions. 

While that was enough to spark outrage among animal protection organisations across Europe, the scale of the problem was revealed to be much worse shortly after.

Just a few weeks later, further footage published by Equalia highlighted similar abuses being extended to broilers connected to Lidl in Spain. Chickens are being thrown to the ground from high up, slammed against buckets, and made too miserable and exhausted to move, with many of them spending their days lying on the floor being trampled over.

Below – Click on ‘Watch on YouTube’.

Above – This is happening on farms supplying Lidl in Spain

Regards Mark

EU Parliament Shows Positive Commitment Toward Systemic Change to Regulate the (Exotic) Pet Trade.

EU Parliament shows positive commitment toward systemic change to regulate the (exotic) pet trade

25 November 2022

AAP Press Release

Yesterday, the EP adopted a resolution on improving EU regulation through an EU positive list of (wild and exotic) pets. This was the direct result of a petition and subsequent debate at PETI Committee from Eurogroup for Animals and AAP and Dyrenes Beskyttelse.

Excitingly, it’s the second EP Resolution in as many months with encouraging language on an EU positive list. It’s a strong message to the Commission to expand upon their initial commitment for a feasibility study on the EU positive list in the revised Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.

This resolution is the icing on the cake of a very successful year in political calls for the EU positive list, such as the May AGRIFISH position paper supported by 19 Member States, and the October EP resolution on the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which provided the EP’s opinion on the position the Commission should take at CoP19. Incidentally, the exotic pet trade has been front and centre of the debates at this important meeting of the Parties to CITES. 

Finally, the text cites the EP’s June 2021 resolution on the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: bringing nature back into our lives, which includes reference to a white (positive) list.

An EU-wide positive list is a tool to more effectively and efficiently regulate the pet trade, by producing a list of animal species that are allowed to be traded as companion animalsany species not on the list is de facto illegal to keep.

The resolution stresses that the European trade policy needs to ensure that pet trade practices do not compromise the welfare of wild and exotic animals or contribute to biodiversity loss, and that the keeping of such animals as pets does not jeopardise the welfare of the animal and the owner.

Moreover, it expresses the Parliament’s concern that current regulations in Member States are fragmented and not consistent, often failing to encompass much of the animal kingdom.

Additionally, it notes that the EU legal framework is currently insufficient to tackle animal welfare, public health and safety, and invasiveness risks associated with the trade and keeping of wild and exotic animals as pets.

Of vital importance, the Commission recently released a revised Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, which had and action to “Explore the need for, added value of, and feasibility of revising existing measures or creating new tools to reduce unsustainable trade in wildlife (e.g. a ‘positive list’ of species whose specimens taken from the wild can be traded and kept as pets)”.

It’s our view that this action does not go nearly far enough, but that this resolution comes at the perfect moment to urge the Commission to expand on their initial commitment. The resolution calls “on the Commission to carry out an impact assessment of the added-value and feasibility of establishing such a list, using a science-based set of criteria to determine which species are suitable as pets, and to include a careful analysis of various criteria already used in national positive lists, in order to establish the most effective ones to be possibly adopted in an EU-wide positive list”. 

It is vital that the European Commission hears the strong message of the Member States through the Council, and the continued calls from the Parliament, to ensure a timely and strict implementation of the Action Plan, especially its feasibility study on the EU Positive List. The Commission is now mandated to be flexible in its impact assessment approach, to seek out feasible ways that an EU Positive List can fit with, and add value to the current legislative framework. It should be conducted with a view to ease the establishment of the Positive List. If not, an important and viable tool to protect animals, humans and the environment could be missed out on. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Reineke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals

Regards Mark