Category: General News

India: A Message Of Thought From Erika At Animal Aid Unlimited (India).

See all the fantastic work of Animal Aid Unlimited by viewing our past posts at:

I communicate regularly with Erika, joint founder of the superb AAU; and she sent this very sentimental message tonight. Use the above link if you wish to make a donation to this superb rescue organisation.

Regards Mark


Dear Mark,

Even if, when you give to help the animals here, you are not consciously thinking “this gift is in memory of xyz,” it possibly is, in a sense, given in their memory—a tribute to the way they have shown us, given us profound, unforgettable, sparkling new love. And then they left us one day. If ever that sense of “he had to go;” “she needed to continue her journey” “they are angels called home,”—whatever phrasing comes to you, your heart pleaded for things to be otherwise, but in the end you said goodbye. Yet they stay in your heart.

I feel like whatever I do for animals, whether very modest and small (like fundraising for their food) or very spectacular and grand (like cleaning a LOT of poop and pee over the years) – some aspect of my service is done in the memory of someone(s) I have loved and had to say goodbye to. Or maybe it is not really right to say “in their memory”—it’s more like, they gave me the fuel I need now. They poured themselves into me and their sweetness somehow multiplies, grows, never fades, never leaves us, and then somehow merges and blends with other love we have for other animals, and for one another.

So I want to share with you right now that I fostered a dog—Bebe—for the first time in ages, inside the house in the beginning of October. I’d had sort of a moratorium on foster dogs because I have so many animals just outside the gate in Animal Aid, and they always triggered a trauma in the cats. But for some reason I decided to foster an abandoned little French bulldog-y type of about, I guess 2 years. She had one eye, severe anemia, seizures, rolling fevers and she wasn’t house trained at all. I don’t know if she’d ever spent time outdoors. She trembled if a voice was raised. She would pee inside and then try to hide. You could guess the history. We thought, at first, that maybe she had an infection somewhere, causing fever that triggered seizures. We treated her with antibiotics and anti-seizure medication. For a happy week she seemed to be on a recovery trail. Her fever went down, she got a bit of energy and even chased balls and trotted around the house and always ate like a trooper. But suddenly, she fell apart. This time her fever raged and she couldn’t hold down a drop of food. There was blood in her stool. We gave her drips that increased the production of blood plasma, liver tonic, antacid, anti-seizure medication, anti-nausea medicine, multi vitamins, –but after 2 weeks she was almost comatose and we had to say goodbye.

It astonishes me how much I miss her.  I live in the midst of 400, 500 dogs, and dozens of them are absolutely my darlings, but Bebe I fell in love with like an explosion. Now, sitting here writing this, my arms are oddly empty. My fingers feel pointlessly efficient, no longer having to contort myself to reach the keyboard without her pug nose and bulging eye and velvety fur interfering with me on my lap. Without glancing down to see her ears that so innocently, so humbly flattened backwards like a blush. And best of all, her complete melting on my lap, to sleep, to dream, pliant in her total trust.

She came and left my life in less than a month, but time has no meaning in love. Habits, yes; we may miss some of our habits and they intensify with time, but I’m not talking about habits. I’m talking about the miracle of love that overtook me somewhere, somehow during these few days of cleaning her pee at 4.30 in the morning, her effort to be just a good girl, just the best girl, shining so brightly through her one protruding over-bred eye.

Well, now I have shared this episode with you and I feel a little better because I know, even if you can’t find time to write me back, I know you know. I know you’ve been here in your own version of this feeling of emptiness.

And I know, too, you’ve gone on to love again, (and again,) even more familiar with love, even more, ever more. We have these Beings to thank for that gift of love which is at the heart of all the animals you’ve helped save with your donations. How beautiful they were, how beautiful they have made you.


November 25th – Thanksgiving for USA

Thanksgiving dinner’s sad and thankless
Christmas dinner’s dark and blue
When you stop and try to see it
From the turkey’s point of view.

Sunday dinner isn’t sunny
Easter feasts are just bad luck
When you see it from the viewpoint
Of a chicken or a duck.

Oh how I once loved tuna salad
Pork and lobsters, lamb chops too
‘Til I stopped and looked at dinner
From the dinner’s point of view.
—-Shel Silverstein

And I mean…Thanksgiving is the biggest festival in America, more important than Christmas because everyone celebrates it, regardless of denomination, whether they go to church, synagogue, mosque, Hindu temple or no place of worship at all.
It also draws its charm from the fact that gifts are largely avoided.

Just not the turkey. It should not be missing at any Thanksgiving festival that deserves its name.
For that single day, 46 million of these intelligent animals will be murdered.

The number of turkeys bred in the United States approaches 250 million each year, and soon there will be more turkeys than humans in the country.
So.. would “Mordgiving for Turkeys” be more correct?

My best regards to all, Venus

Latest Report Shows Companies Continue To Make Progress On Their Commitments To Source Cage-Free Eggs.

Latest report shows companies continue to make progress on their commitments to source cage-free eggs

24 November 2021


Eurogroup for Animals’ member Compassion in World Farming launched its latest GLOBAL EggTrack report which shows that, despite supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, companies continue to make progress on their commitments to source cage-free eggs.

According to the 2021 report, 156 of 219 (71%) tracked companies are reporting progress against their cage-free commitments – up from 63% in 2020. Of the 47 companies with global commitments, 26 (55%) reported progress against these commitments, and since last year, an additional 12 companies have expanded their commitments to cover their entire global egg supply.

Highlights from the report:

  • Overall, 71% of companies tracked are reporting progress against their cage-free commitments
  • 12 companies expanded their commitments to cover their entire global supply including CarrefourGroupe Holder and Restaurant Brands International
  • Two companies – Danone and Hormel Foods – met their global cage-free commitments this year
  • Of the 116 companies with European commitments (as part of a regional or global commitment), 84% reported progress
  • Two companies – Nestlé and Yum! Brands (for its KFC Western Europe Subsidiary) – met Europe-level commitments in 2021
  • 9 companies have recognised the need to eliminate combination systems from their egg supply chains including BarillaDomino’sEurovo and Metro Group
  • 13 companies met their country-level commitments within Europe including Aldi Sud (Hofer Italy), Domino’s (Ireland and UK), Greggs plc (UK), and Schwarz Group (Lidl Spain)

Find out more about EggTrack and read the full report here.

Read more at source

Compassion in World Farming

Regards Mark





Iceland: Animal Welfare Violations On Blood Farms – 5 Litres Of Blood Taken Each Week From Pregnant Mares.

Iceland: animal welfare violations on blood farms

23 November 2021


Press Release

New investigation from Animal Welfare Foundation on blood farms in Iceland uncovers a business involving around 100 establishments and 5,000 Icelandic horses. The investigators discovered a sequence of animal welfare violations, contrary to all statements made by the pharmaceutical companies, blood farmers and veterinary authority involved. Eurogroup for Animals reiterates its call to ban the import of eCG, the hormone derived from the mares’ blood, into the EU.

Around 90,000 horses live in Iceland where they contribute to the country’s economy through industrial animal breeding, tourism, sport and meat production. There is also another, less known, use: the blood of pregnant mares is collected to obtain eCG (equine Chorionic Gonadotropin), also known as PMSG (Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin), which is used in animal breeding to induce follicular growth, ovulation and estrus. 

To this end, five litres of blood are drawn from each mare every week, for up to ten weeks. In order to extract eCG from the blood, the mares must be pregnant. The foals are thus a by-product and usually end up in the slaughterhouse. Prices for foals are now at rock bottom and exploiting the mares’ blood has become much more lucrative, further stimulating the growth of the sector.  

Arnthor Gudlaugsson, CEO of Isteka ehf, the Icelandic pharmaceutical company working with the farms that Animal Welfare Foundation investigated, confirmed that production has tripled since 2009. This translates into revenues of around 10 million euros per year. Isteka operates several blood farms and is a contractual partner of more than 100 other blood farms.

The business has been booming for years due to the demand from pharmaceutical companies, such as MSD/Intervet and Ceva Santé Animale, and from animal producers in the EU.

York Ditfurth, AWF|TSB board member

The blood collection violates animal protection laws in force in Iceland, and in the EU. Most of the mares are semi-wild, they have hardly any contact with humans. The film recordings made during the blood collection show workers beating the horses and using dogs to move them around.

Since only veterinarians are allowed to carry out the blood collections, according to Icelandic law they would have to intervene immediately in case of animal welfare violations and report them to the veterinary authority. However, this does not happen because the veterinarians earn good money from the blood business too, as informants confirmed to us.

Sabrina Gurtner, Project Manager, AWF|TSB

AWF and TSB submitted the video footage to the Icelandic animal welfare lawyer Árni Stefán Árnason and his verdict is clear “The beating scenes depict cruelty to horses which is strictly forbidden. This can be punished with a heavy fine or imprisonment of up to two years, as well as with a prohibition to keep animals”. 

Professor Stephanie Krämer of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Justus Liebig University in Giessen (Germany), described the blood collection procedure as a repetitive traumatisation of the mares. 

After the numerous investigations led on blood farms in Latin America, the case of Iceland further demonstrates the need for the EU to take action. Together with several international animal welfare organisations, Eurogroup for Animals, AWF and TSB call upon the European Commission to follow the direction indicated by the European Parliament in its resolution on the Farm to Fork Strategy, and  to ban the import and domestic production of eCG.

The full investigation report is available upon request. 

Iceland – Land of the 5,000 Blood Mares 



Regards Mark

MILKED – White Lies In Dairyland.

WAV Comment – with thanks to Stacey at ‘Our Compass’ as always for sending over the info. Great and very informative as always.

Regards Mark

MILKED: White Lies in DairyLand by Stacey

Stopping animal exploitation doesn’t require human benefit, but that it DOES and humans still radically embrace animal cruelty as their “right/choice/blahblahblah” is disturbing. You literally drink the breastmilk of a different species, beyond infancy and with teeth, that requires the suffering, pain, misery, and violent death of the other species.

Animals don’t belong to you; what comes out of their bodies doesn’t belong to you. That you can be ethical but deliberately choose to not be is a perversion. Stop defining others’ suffering in manners that brings you comfort but does nothing to ease the suffering of your victims. I recently read about how adding cameras in slaughterhouses will help to decrease cruelty. In SLAUGHTERHOUSES. A slaughterhouse is INHERENTLY CRUEL, it’s where animals die in fear, blood, and often torturous manners in some grotesquely defined “humane” ethic slander. Slaughterhouses do not attract people who care about animals, and the evidence is in: animals experience abject fear; they smell and hear the death of their death-mates; and they die in often agonizing, torturous manners.

Euphemistic morals serve only those whose intentions are the absolute antithesis of morals but do nothing to help their animal victims: HUMANS.


Photo – Mark WAV


MILKED is a topical feature documentary that exposes the whitewash of New Zealand’s multi-billion-dollar dairy industry. 

Young activist Chris Huriwai travels around the country searching for the truth about how this source of national pride has become the nation’s biggest threat. It’s rapidly gone from a land with no cows to being the biggest exporter of dairy in the world, but the industry seems to be failing in every way possible. 

Featuring interviews with high-profile contributors such as Dr Jane Goodall, environmentalist and former actress Suzy Amis Cameron, and Cowspiracy co-director, Keegan Kuhn, MILKED reveals the behind-the-scenes reality of the kiwi dairy farming fairy-tale. It uncovers alarming information about the impacts of the industry on the environment and health, leading up to the discovery that we’re on the edge of the biggest global disruption of food and agriculture in history. 

An impactful global story told with a local eye, the film also points to what New Zealand and other countries can do to change their fate.

MILKED facts:

Photo – PMAF

See More About What You Can Do HERE

Download Your FREE Vegan PDF HERE

Order a FREE vegan kit HERE

Dairy-Free Info HERE

Take the Dairy-Free Challenge HERE

Click HERE for more Dairy-Free

Fish alternatives can be found HERE

Learn about eggs HERE

Find bacon alternatives HERE and HERE

Take PETA’s Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide along with you next time you head to the store! The handy guide will help you find humane products at a glance. Order a FREE copy HERE

Searching for Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Personal-Care Products, Vegan Products, or more?
Click HERE to search.

Free PDF of Vegan & Cruelty-Free Products/Companies HERE

Click HERE to find out How to Wear Vegan!

Want to do more than go vegan? Help others to do so! Click below for nominal, or no, fees to vegan literature that you can use to convince others that veganism is the only compassionate route to being an animal friend:


Vegan Outreach HERE

Get your FREE Activist Kit from PETA, including stickers, leaflets, and guide HERE

Have questions? Click HERE

Photo – PMAF
Photo – Mark WAV – If you look carefully on the rear trailer especially, you can see the baby calves, desperate for milk from their mums; which they will never experience again. They suckle the bars to try and get milk – milk for them, NOT us. The dairy industry really gets me – I say to them, come down and see this, hear their cries, smell the smells – Go Vegan Now.

All the above photos were used for a report I presented to the EU – 5 undercover investigations with EU animal welfare organisations on the live calf transport trade between Ireland and France (EU member states).

I may upload the report for you to view soon. In the meantime here is just one of the investigation reports which I know will show you how absurd the EU live animal transport regulations are.

Read, rage and repent !

Regards Mark

Liza and Mark - Dover
With friends Ellie and Liza Protesting against the live calf trade at Dover, England.

Cancer has won the war on cancer-the reason: animal experimentation.

This year marks the 50-year anniversary since then-President Richard Nixon declared a “war on cancer,” flinging open the floodgates to billions of American taxpayer dollars, which poured into research aimed at defeating this deadly disease.

A half-century later, there is still no cure for cancer. Cancer rates remain unchanged, while cancer prevention resources are limited.

What went wrong? How could such a technologically advanced country fail so spectacularly to find a cure for this disease, despite five decades of nearly unwavering focus from expert scientific minds? Simple: animal experimentation.

Cancer has won the war on cancer

In 1971, when Nixon signed the National Cancer Act, which launched the war on cancer, the disease was the second leading cause of death in the U.S.

Fifty years later, cancer is STILL the second leading cause of death in the U.S.

Officials estimate that cancer killed 606,520 Americans in 2020. About 39% of people in the nation can expect a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lives, and despite significant investment in research for cancer therapies, only 67.7% of them will survive for longer than five years after that diagnosis.

All this after 50 years of ineffective, cruel and deadly animal experimentation costing billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

Prevention, not animals, has brought down cancer rates

The most significant victories in the war on cancer don’t come from a lab. They’re personal preventive measures: quitting cigarette smoking, skipping red and processed meat in favor of a plant-based diet, and having regular checkups for screening. These measures have brought cancer rates down 27% over the past two decades.

Continue reading “Cancer has won the war on cancer-the reason: animal experimentation.”

India and its live animal markets

PETA India exposes Illegal Indian wildlife Markets, dogs sold for meat.

For Immediate Release: 19 November 2021

Contact: Hiraj Laljani;
Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman;

Guwahati – As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on and during World Vegan Month (November) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is releasing its latest findings regarding dogs used for meat and wildlife meat markets in northeast India.

The video documentation reveals filthy conditions risking disease transmission and rampant violations of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972;
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960; and the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

The video footage is available for download upon request.

“Filthy, illegal meat markets torture animals and act as petri dishes,” says PETA India Advocacy Associate Pradeep Ranjan Doley Barman.
“PETA India is calling on officials to do a sweep and shut them down, for everyone’s sake.”

At Nute Bazaar in Manipur, the flesh of barking deer, wild boars, and frogs was illegally sold and buyers and sellers touched the charred animal parts with their bare hands.

At Senapati Bazaar, an illegally hunted deer’s severed head was passed around.
At markets in Nagaland, live eels, mice, frogs, and birds were openly sold and workers handled dead animals without wearing gloves.

Live dogs were also illegally sold for their meat – puppies were caged, and older dogs’ mouths were tied shut as they were offered for purchase and slaughter.
At Itanagar Market in Arunachal Pradesh, meat of mithun – the state animal – was openly sold.
At every market, blood, sinew, and innards were everywhere.

PETA India has sent letters to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change regarding these markets, urging them to take action against them.

Copies of the letters are available upon request.

COVID-19 is largely believed by experts to have stemmed or spread from a live-animal meat market, and SARS, swine flu, and bird flu have also been linked to the practice of confining and killing animals for food.

Last year, PETA India also released video footage of captured dogs killed and sold for meat in Nagaland, sellers in Manipur handling the charred remains of wild animals – including monkeys, wild boars, porcupines, and deer – and other incidents at other animal markets in the country.

A team from Assam University recently found that numerous primate species are being killed in northeast India over medicinal property myths.

The next pandemic could start in India (???)

All such markets are potential breeding grounds for and opportunities to spread zoonotic diseases (diseases that jump from animals to humans).
COVID-19, H5N1 bird flu, SARS, and H1N1 swine flu are among those zoonotic diseases linked back to the treatment of animals used for food.

The only way to make these markets safe is to close them.

Blood, excrement, and other bodily fluids can easily get on sellers’ and customers’ shoes and be tracked into homes. As the video footage shows, workers who handle the animals often don’t wear protective gear.
Flies swarm around decomposing bodies, and the countertops and floors are bloodstained from slaughtering animals.

PETA India has already written to the Ministries of Health and Family Welfare; Environment, Forest and Climate Change; and Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying requesting that they close these cruel and dangerous operations immediately.

And I mean…There is an opinion (including among animal rights activists) that the coronavirus originated in the wildlife markets of Wuhan, China.

It’s an opinion – it’s not yet proven. Not because it is not possible, but because these live animal markets in China and Asia have generally not existed since yesterday, and certainly not since December 2019, when the pandemic broke out.

So we do not know whether “the next pandemic could start in India” and whether closing the animal markets alone will remove this risk.

Finally, the biggest problem in fighting the pandemic is the cramped habitat of many Indians. In some large cities, a third of the population lives in slums, and up to 30 people share a toilet or bathroom.
Access to running water is very limited.

What is certain, however, is that dealing with animals in such markets is particularly cruel.
And that such markets, no matter where in the world, are places of horror for animals.
THAT is the main reason why we need to end animal markets for wild or farm animals around the world.

If we don’t stop destroying nature through factory farming, deforestation, species loss, urbanization, climate change, agribusiness and wildlife trafficking (legal and illegal), then we will not win the battle against viruses.

My best regards to all, Venus

UK: No routine checkups on welfare of fish at slaughter, officials admit.

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in a salmon farm cage
Campaigners are calling for farmed fish to be given similar rights to other farmed animals. Photograph: Bluegreen Pictures/Alamy

No routine checkups on welfare of fish at slaughter, officials admit

Campaigners say fish farmed in England, Wales and Scotland face cruelty, with no penalty for those who fail to meet welfare needs

The government has admitted there are no routine checkups on fish welfare at slaughter, after an investigation found no department would take responsibility.

Campaigners have said this means fish face cruelty with no repercussions for those who fail to meet their welfare needs, and have asked that fish are given the same oversight as other farmed animals.

An undercover investigation by Animal Equality into a Scottish salmon slaughterhouse this year showed fish having their gills cut while conscious and being repeatedly and painfully clubbed, with it taking up to seven blows to stun the animals.

Campaigners said the fish faced “vicious and imprecise bludgeoning”, and many fell to the floor to suffocate. Unlike farmed land animals, which have legislation for them to be slaughtered as humanely as possible, the fish farming industry sets its own standards regarding humane slaughter.

A government spokesperson admitted that in England and Wales, there was no routine animal welfare inspection programme at farmed fish processing premises.

While they claim the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha) did checkups in Scotland, freedom of information requests submitted by the Humane League to the Scottish government reveal there is no established process for regular welfare inspections at fish processing sites. The Humane League did not include Northern Ireland in the scope of its investigation.

Apha confirmed that it did not have “a routine programme of official inspections at fish processing sites”.

Scotland is the third biggest producer of farmed salmon in the world. The biggest, Norway, has a law mandating the pre-slaughter stunning of farmed fish. Scotland, England and Wales do not. The most recent estimate, from 2017, was that 22-52 million farmed salmon are farmed and slaughtered in the UK each year.

The same issue applies to trout farming in England. The trout industry has its own certification scheme, Quality Trout UK (QTUK), including standards for pre-slaughter stunning, but these are not enforced by the government and there are no routine checks.

Responses to freedom of information requests show not one public body has a clear understanding of what regime is in place, with the Food Standards Agency, the Fish Health Inspectorate, local government environmental health departments and Apha all confirming they do not conduct checks on fish farms in England. This means no government officials are monitoring fish welfare at the time of killing.

Cordelia Britton, the head of campaigns at the Humane League UK, said: “It is alarming that apparently zero government officials are inspecting fish welfare at slaughter. From our correspondence it seems clear that no relevant agency knows what’s going on, with each institution passing the buck to another. Without proper oversight, cruelty goes unnoticed. It is time for the government to take responsibility for how farmed fish are slaughtered, as they do for other farmed animals.”

Campaigners are calling for farmed fish to be given similar rights to other farmed animals. In the last few years there has been debate among scientists over the extent to which fish can feel pain, which is a growing area of research. In 2018 the science writer Ferris Jabr found that “the collective evidence is now robust enough that biologists and veterinarians increasingly accept fish pain as a reality”.

Dr Vicky Bond, the managing director of the Humane League UK, said: “Fish are often forgotten in discussions and decisions on animal welfare, and this is wholly unjustified. The scientific and public consensus is that they feel pain, so refusing farmed fish the same protections afforded to land animals is completely irrational. The government animal welfare committee suggested the law be updated with detailed stunning requirements back in 1996, and 25 years later farmed fish still have the same inadequate safeguards. This needs to change.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “The UK has some of the highest animal welfare protections in the world, including when animals are slaughtered or killed. We are carefully considering issues raised in the review of the welfare of animals at the time of killing (England) regulations, including detailed protections for the welfare of farmed fish.”

No routine checkups on welfare of fish at slaughter, officials admit | Fish | The Guardian

Guardian – England.

Regards Mark

UK: UK Ministers Accused of ‘Dithering’ as Trophy Hunting Law Delayed Again.

A taxidermy workshop in Namibia, where animal trophies are stuffed.
A taxidermy workshop in Namibia, where animal trophies are stuffed. Photograph: Ton Koene/Alamy

UK ministers accused of ‘dithering’ as trophy hunting law delayed again

‘Animals abroad bill’ aimed at clamping down on trophy hunting and harmful animal experiences pushed back

A law that will clamp down on trophy hunting and prevent people buying harmful animal experiences such as elephant tours meant to be introduced in parliament this autumn been delayed, the Guardian has learned.

The measures should be contained in the animals abroad bill – one of several new pieces of legislation the government has planned to improve animal welfare standards.

However the start of its passage through parliament has been postponed, with ministers accused of “dithering”. The bill was first hoped to be published before the summer recess in July, but has since been pushed back repeatedly.

Frustration at the delay has further been compounded given a public consultation on restricting the import of hunting trophies closed in February 2020, and sources said it was unlikely the government’s response and the bill being published would happen before February 2022.

he hold up was blamed on the pandemic by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which said the final bill would be informed by “continued discussions” with experts.

There are understood to be technical rather than fundamental policy disagreements remaining.

Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting group, said he had been assured the bill is “still alive” but expressed concern there appeared to be “no timetable or target date for bringing it to parliament”.

He said: “The pledge has been in every Queen’s speech since 2019, the prime minister confirmed it at the dispatch box, there’s been an extended public consultation, so the question is how much longer is this going to take?

“Every week that goes by means more animals being senselessly slaughtered for a sick souvenir. There’s a feeling of deja vu among the more sceptical observers. They point to the fact that the government said it would ban lion trophies after the Cecil furore, and then quietly dropped it …

“The government has put in a lot of work to develop appealing policies on conservation and animal welfare, and deserves to get the credit for it. There’s a risk, though, that its reputation could take a hit if it’s seen to be dithering without clear cause.”

Luke Pollard, Labour’s shadow environment secretary, called the delay “another broken promise from this government” and warned it would mean more endangered lions, tigers and other precious wild animals would die.

He said ministers were “failing to deliver” having “abandoned” their initial timetable for passing the bill, and added: “Labour would consign trophy hunting to the history books.”

A Defra spokesperson said: “Our recently published action plan for animal welfare sets out the government’s vision to introduce a range of world-leading reforms to improve the welfare and conservation of animals at home and abroad.

“This year we have already introduced our animal sentience and kept animals bills to parliament and we intend to legislate further to protect animals abroad as soon as parliamentary time allows.”

UK ministers accused of ‘dithering’ as trophy hunting law delayed again | Wildlife | The Guardian

Regards Mark

Wales (UK): Wales Landowner Bans Trail Hunting After Use As Foxhunting Cover.

Dogs follow the trail of wild boar through a wooded area in south-western France.
Dogs follow the trail of wild boar through a wooded area in south-western France. Photograph: Valentine Chapuis/AFP/Getty

Wales landowner bans trail hunting after use as foxhunting cover

Natural Resources Wales says it cannot be sure trail hunting will not be used as smokescreen for illegal activity

One of the biggest landowners in Wales has banned trail hunting after a court ruled that a leading huntsman had encouraged the practice as a smokescreen for illegal foxhunting.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW), a government-sponsored body, said it could not be sure that trail hunting was not still being used as a “cover” for illegal activity so had decided to ban it completely.

The decision was welcomed by hunt saboteurs and animal rights campaigners who say the conviction in October of Mark Hankinson, the director of the Masters of the Foxhounds Association (MFHA), showed that trail hunting was a “fiction”.

Hankinson (below) was found guilty of encouraging or assisting others to commit an offence over his comments in two webinars in front of an audience of more than 100 MFHA members.

In trail hunting, devised after the Hunting Act banned the hunting of foxes with dogs, a “trail layer” goes out ahead of the hunt, dragging a rag coated in an animal scent. Huntsmen cast the hounds to this scent, and follow it to the end of the trail.

Dominic Driver, the head of land stewardship for NRW, said: “The outcome of the court case against a senior leader of the MFHA has resulted in a loss of confidence in the organisation’s ability to ensure its activities are carried out within the law and terms of its agreement.

“In order to assure ourselves properly that trail hunting on our estate wasn’t being used as a cover for illegal activity, we would have to invest in skills and resources that we currently don’t have, to police it properly.

“Given what has historically been a minor use of the land we manage, this does not represent good use of our limited resources. All trail hunting activity on the NRW-managed estate will end with immediate effect.”

Lee Moon, spokesperson for the Hunt Saboteurs Association, said: “The fallout from the leaked webinars continues and these landowners now realise they’ve been duped by the hunting community. It’s only a matter of time before more large landowners follow suit leading to the loss of millions of acres of land and the total demise of some hunts.”

Chris Luffingham, deputy chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, said: “For such a major landowner like Natural Resources Wales to permanently end trail hunting on its land is hugely significant.”

The League is urging other major landowners such as Forestry England, United Utilities, the Church of England, the crown estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, local authorities, the national parks authorities, and the Ministry of Defence to permanently end hunting on their property.

NRW was formed in April 2013, largely taking over the functions of the Countryside Council for Wales, Forestry Commission Wales and the Environment Agency in Wale

Wales landowner bans trail hunting after use as foxhunting cover | Hunting | The Guardian

Regards Mark