Category: General News

Vietnam: Emergency Bear Rescue (of Tuan) from an Illegal Farm in Tam Duong.

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Emergency Bear Rescue from an Illegal Farm in Tam Duong

16 October 2019

At about 2pm Vietnam time Tuesday, we received an urgent telephone call from local police alerting us to the imminent confiscation of a bear from an illegal farm in Tam Duong just under 20km from our Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre in Tam Dao National Park. 

Our team sprung into action for what was to be the 210th bear rescued by our Vietnam team and brought to our sanctuary. Upon loading up the trucks, the team was swiftly on their way to the farm. What they found there was heartbreaking.

In a tiny cage whose floor was covered in faeces, we found a portly bear who had for the last 15 years — what amounts to almost his entire life — never set foot on the ground, only walking on the bars of the cage that was his prison. He had no visible food or water and was surrounded by the sounds of loud squealing pigs from the pig farm where he was held. The team on the ground decided to call the bear Tuan in honor of our fearless and pioneering Vietnam  Director Tuan Bendixsen, especially given the fact that for the first time ever Tuan could not join the rescue. Tuan also means ‘handsome’ and this big bear is certainly a handsome boy.

The farmer said that he didn’t know that the bear needed to be microchipped and so he was handing him over to the authorities who were confiscating the bear. Due to our hard work over the decades, funded by supporters around the world, we have built a great working relationship and trust with the local authorities and police which is why we were able to act so swiftly in responding to this urgent rescue.

 

Donate – https://help.animalsasia.org/page/50050/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=tuanrescue-news1-en&supporter.country=GB

 

Our Vietnam Vet and Bear Team Director Heidi Quine reported:

“The farmer has had Tuan for fifteen years, since he was a five kilo cub which is very young. That’s a bear that should have been with his mother in the wild.”

After Veterinary Nurse Kat Donaldson used honey on a stick to calm and distract Tuan, our Senior Veterinary Surgeon Shaun Thomson anaesthetised him, making it safe for the team to use bolt cutters to remove the lock on the farm cage and remove Tuan for an initial health inspection.

The brief health check  indicated that Tuan was in a fit state to be transferred to the sanctuary with the main areas of concern being his very soft paws and his excessive weight, probably brought on by being fed the same feed as the pigs on the farm.

Senior Veterinary Surgeon Shaun Thomson said:

“The anaesthetic for him when it finally set in went very smoothly. The health concerns we’ve found for him are mainly his weight and his pads on his feet, which are very soft from standing on cage bars for so long. They’re probably going to get a little bit sore and may crack before they get better as they dry out and he starts to use them, but with all the medications and equipment in the rescue centre we can manage that no problem.”

Soon after the health check, Tuan was transferred to the transport cage and the team was on the road again.

Slowed only by a herd of local cattle in the roadway, Tuan arrived back at the sanctuary just after sunset at around 6pm. He was placed in quarantine where he will be treated to a 45-day programme of enrichment to stimulate his body and mind after 15 years of cruel, damaging confinement. Although he is a big bear he is not strong so building his muscle mass will be a top priority for the team.

Our Vietnam Vet and Bear Team Director Heidi Quine, who was there throughout the rescue, said:

“Now that he’s back at the sanctuary, his quarantine begins and really a lifetime of care. And we need your help to do that. It takes a lot of resources, a lot of time, a lot of love and a lot of money to rescue these bears and make them better. It can be up to 30 years of care. We can’t do it without you and I really want to thank you. Thank you for supporting our work and thank you for anything you can generously give to help Tuan and his rehabilitation. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way.”

Over the next few months we’ll be keeping a close eye on Tuan and giving him all of the necessary health checks and treatment as well as a carefully balanced diet to help him to recover from his ordeal that has come to an end, thanks to our Vietnam team and all of our supporters across the world.

Shaun added:

“He’ll get a full health check in the next couple of months. It’s been such a privilege bringing him here today. Thanks for helping us do the job we do and getting Tuan home.”

Our new bear’s namesake our Vietnam Director Tuan Benedixsen had the final word:

“My colleagues on the ground chose to name this gentle giant, our 210th rescued bear in Vietnam, after me. I am of course, humbled  to share my name with such a special bear.

“This is just the beginning. Tuan is deeply traumatised. After all, he’s known nothing but misery and abuse his entire life. I’m so grateful to the local authorities who have entrusted us with this bear, to the Vietnamese government for working with us hand in hand to end bear bile farming by 2022, and to you for supporting us in our work to give these bears the fresh start they so dearly deserve.”

Donate – https://help.animalsasia.org/page/50050/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=tuanrescue-news1-en&supporter.country=GB

 

 

Australia: Pizza Hut Australia Launches Full Vegan Menu.

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VegNews.VeganPizzaHut

Pizza Hut Australia Launches Full Vegan Menu 

 

The new vegan options include four vegan pizzas, cheesy garlic bread, and dessert.

by Nicole Axworthy

Global pizza chain Pizza Hut recently launched a full vegan menu in all locations across Australia.

The menu features four pizzas: Vegan Mediterranean, Vegan Deluxe, Vegan Cheese Lovers, and Vegan Margherita.

The restaurant also offers vegan cheesy garlic bread, which joins its existing vegan-friendly garlic bread and Spud Bites. A vegan ice cream cone has also been added to the dessert menu.

The new vegan options come a year after the company first tested vegan options in the country. In May 2018, Pizza Hut trialled vegan cheese—made by local vegan company Dairy Free Down Under—as an option for its pizzas at two locations in New South Wales, Australia.

Earlier this year, the chain debuted a dedicated vegan menu in 253 locations in the United Kingdom.

Finland: Finland’s Oldest and Largest University Ditches Beef to Help Fight the Climate Crisis.

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VegNews.UniversityofHelsinki

 

WAV Comment – Congratulations to the UoH for making bold and decisive steps to fight the climate crisis.

 

Finland’s Oldest and Largest University Ditches Beef

 

The University of Helsinki will stop serving beef in February to fight the climate crisis. 

by Anna Starostinetskaya

Starting February 2020, the University of Helsinki—the oldest and largest university in Finland—will no longer serve beef for lunch.

The school’s food provider UniCafe—which serves approximately 1,000 lunches daily—made the decision to remove beef from the menu in a bid to fight the climate crisis and revealed that the move would reduce its carbon footprint by 11 percent annually.

“The idea came from the staff as we were thinking about our next responsibility action,” Leena Pihlajamäki, the chief operating officer at UniCafe, told local media outlet YLE. “We realised that this is a way to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions significantly.

Studies show that it’s one of the most effective ways. The goal is ambitious but far from impossible.” The University of Helsinki follows the University of Coimbra (Portugal’s oldest university), University of Cambridge, and Goldsmiths college which have all pledged to remove beef from on-campus dining facilities in recent months for environmental purposes.

https://vegnews.com/2019/10/finlands-oldest-and-largest-university-ditches-beef

 

The Activist Using Her Camera Lens to Find Animals Homes.

 

Rachele Totaro is a unique kind of activist. The 37-year-old animal lover and vegan uses her camera lens to tell the stories of animals, helping them to find homes and above all, showing the public that each animal is “someone, not something.”

Totaro was led to a plant-based diet by her fondness for animals. “I’ve always loved and felt connected to them,” she told LIVEKINDLY in an email. The photographer pointed out that although many animals are viewed as food, each is an individual.

“Every animal is someone, not something. Feeling, loving, and fearing with a unique personality, relationships, and, mostly, with the right to live,” she said. “Once you see it, you can’t unsee.”

Totaro uses her photography skills to help others make the link, too. The activist is a volunteer photographer for an Italian charity called La Collina dei Conigli, which rescues and rehabilitates retired lab animals. For six years, Totaro has traveled to the sanctuary to take pictures of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and rats who were once used in experiments. The images are used in a fundraising calendar.

“After realizing some story-inspired pictures (‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ‘The Little Prince,’ etc), which were very helpful to raise awareness about some very despised critters like rats and mice, I decided to show the most magical story of all because, in some blissful cases, reality can be more enchanting than fiction,” the photographer explained.

“I decided to show the reactions of the little rescues seeing what was outside of their cages for the first time,” Totaro said.

Even once the animals are released from the labs, they typically spent their time inside cages waiting to be adopted. “Most of them never see what’s outside of a plexiglass cube,” added Totaro.

And so she took them outside and captured their first moments in the natural world. “The warmth of the sun, the smell of fresh grass, the first steps on the ground, and at the same time to show the close relationship between non-human animals and their human rescuers,” the photographer explained. This concept is a moving one given the animals’ experiences with people up until that point. “Human hands were no more a source of pain or fear. They became a safe nest,” she said.

Totaro describes the experience as emotional – for herself, the volunteers, and the animals. She believes the end result was effective since the shoot took place nearly two years ago and the images are still circling the internet.

The ‘Huge Power’ of Photography Activism

Totaro’s photography is also used to help shelter animals find homes. She is a volunteer photographer for HeARTs Speak, a non-profit organization that unites artists from around the world to help “increase the visibility of shelter animals” (Totaro notes, “seen = saved”). The activist explains that a quality photo can mean the difference between “spending a life in a cage and finding a family.”

In that way, photography holds “huge power.” She believes she can use the medium to pull beauty out from unexpected places and hold a magnifying glass to it. She explains, “Photography, for me, means connection – between the subject and the observers, like temporarily borrowing my eyes.”

Every animal Totaro encounters has their own story and she feels it’s important to honor each with the right set of photos. She mentioned an old dog she recently met and photographed. The dog was thin, had terminal liver cancer, and was abandoned when she fell ill. Totaro met her in a shelter’s vet room, lying down and struggling to breathe. With her photography, Totaro was able to showcase the dog as a “unique, precious being, not an old broken toy as her previous owner probably saw her.”

“Maybe it can seem useless or foolish, and of course it won’t change her past, but the fact that now she is recognized as someone, someone who is at center stage, pictured ‘as a model’ to show everyone her beauty – the one that goes beyond the surface,” Totaro said. “Well, it’s my way to say that she is important, that someone cares, and that the real losers are those who never understood this.”

“I took some amazing portraits of her in the last light of the day, my favorite, while she was held by a caring volunteer. She was loved and beautiful and everyone will see it,” the artist added.

Totaro’s passion for lending a lens to animals in need motivated her to start her own project, Progetto gOldies. Through it, she tells the stories of “old pets and their humans.” Totaro explains, “There are so many great love stories out there and so many are at risk of getting lost in time, just because no one can tell them.”

She hopes Progetto gOldies will also promote the adoption of senior pets. Totaro says one of the best feelings is to receive that phone call telling her that an animal she has photographed has found a home. “I cannot think to a bigger reward,” the creative said.

 

By Jemima Webber – see some photos at   – https://www.livekindly.co/photographer-lab-animals/

 

Welcome to A Serbian Governments Approach to Animal Welfare.

 

We don’t need to say anything except – we did not realise that there was so much concrete in the African Savannah – see the videos for conditions in the zoos !

 

http://www.esdaw.eu/

 

http://www.esdaw.eu/society-and-animal-welfare—serbia.html

 

 

https://youtu.be/5rV5hu-uVJI

 

https://youtu.be/_HYNCf3969Y

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TypkanVyxBE

Natural Conditions ????????????????????????

The EU is waiting to welcome you.

 

USA: Santa Fe – November Named as Vegan Awareness Month by Mayor Webber.

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As a Brit, I have (in the past) had some great times in New Mexico – wonderful people, beautiful towns, great history; not a cloud in the sky !  and a rather hot series of Balloon festivals !

Thanks to Mayor Webber for his outstanding initiative for animals and for the environment and bettering human health.     Regards Mark (WAV).

 

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Mayor Webber

 

Exciting news for Santa Fe, New Mexico residents and the vegan community as the city’s mayor Alan Webber recently named November Vegan Awareness Month. Mayor Webber hopes this action will encourage residents to explore the many delicious vegan options available in their city and by doing so, make a positive impact on the environment, their health, and animal welfare.

The proclamation highlights the many benefits of a plant-based diet, including that every day it “saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of forested lands, the equivalent of 20 pounds of CO2, and one animal’s life.”

Through this initiative, Webber says he hopes to continue Santa Fe’s legacy as “a leader in water conservation and earth-friendly practices, [. . .] support[ing] people who choose a vegan diet for whatever reason” and encouraging others to “learn about plant-based eating during November and beyond.”

The Mayo Clinic and the American Dietetic Association tout the multiple health perks of adopting a plant-based diet. The ADA states that plant-based diets “are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases” and are appropriate for any age. Consuming solely fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes helps lower and manage blood pressure and cholesterol and makes developing chronic heart disease less likely. Additionally, research shows that this diet “reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

In addition to the powerful impact a plant-based diet can have your health and the environment, eliminating animal products means no longer contributing to the rampant cruelty farm animals endure in the meat, egg dairy industries. Animals are frequently beaten, thrown, kicked, and discarded like trash.

Male chicks in the egg industry are sometimes ground alive as they do not produce eggs and therefore are seen as unimportant. Pigs are confined to such small quarters that they are unable to move or stand. These are only a few examples of the awful conditions in which these animals must live.

We applaud Mayor Webber for this initiative and hope it will inspire more civic leaders to follow suit.

 

USA: California – Victories for Bobcats !

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http://www.projectcoyote.org/ 

 

Great news out of Sacramento! On Saturday, October 12, Governor Newsom signed AB 44 (banning the sale and production of new fur products) and AB 1254 (bobcat trophy hunting) into law. This momentous legislation will spare countless wild animals from the cruel and unnecessary fur trade and bobcats from the horrors of trophy hunting.

Thanks to your support, California has set yet another standard for the nation on the humane treatment of wildlife—after becoming the first state in the country to ban commercial and recreational trapping in September. With AB 44 on the books, California is now the first state in the nation to ban the sale and production of new fur products!

Animals raised for the fur trade languish in tiny cages on factory farms and are cruelly killed by gassing or electrocution. Wildlife including foxes, coyotes, beaver, and otter are also trapped in their native habitat and their skins sold at auction. These two laws send a message to the fur industry that consumers no longer want animals skinned for fashion clothing and accessories.

The ban on bobcat hunting will spare countless bobcats and other nontarget species from being sport-hunted—following up on California’s precedent-setting ban on bobcat trapping in 2015. It will also help preserve the species, which faces a range of threats including human encroachment on their habitat and consequences from climate change.

Join us in thanking Governor Newsom and the bill sponsors—Asm. Laura Friedman (who introduced the fur ban bill) and Asm. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (who championed the bobcat bill)—for taking a stand against these inhumane practices. Please shoot them a quick email—contact information is at the links provided.

We are deeply grateful to all of you who supported these bills and spoke out for the voiceless animals.

For the Wild Ones,

Camilla H. Fox
Founder & Executive Director