Veganism is a call to renounce the core practice of our culture—reducing beings to mere harvestable and abuseable commodities—and to practice, in every aspect of our lives, its opposite: mindfulness, inclusiveness, equality, and respect. – Dr. Will Tuttle
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:
Y’ know, ever since I was a little boy, I had something inside of me in which wanted to help animals and their welfare.
When I was 8 years old I was out on my bike one Sunday and saw a 3 tier livestock transporter loaded to the max with sheep, heading down to the Kent ports and a Channel cross where they would be slaughtered in Europe (something I did not know at the time).
It was raining, it was cold, and I could see all the sheep were suffering a lot; there was little space for them and they were unable to move around.
There and then that day; I made a pledge with myself that when I grew up; if I could, I would do something to try and stop the suffering of those innocent, sentient beings.
Decades and decades later I am still fighting the fight against live animal transport. I became very involved when I was around 17 to follow up that pledge I had set myself earlier to do something – over the years I worked as a volunteer with several animal organisations; doing legal work, investigation work, and becoming the EU rep associated with live transport for one organisation. It became an obsession really, crazy busy; and only after 35 + years of campaigning have we now stopped all live animal shipments to Europe for either slaughter or further fattening. The little kid made the pledge when he was 8 and only now has the dream become fruition and worked for better for hundreds of thousands of farm animals.
My (proper) work took me to many places – as I say
“I had a bloody good time doing military fast jets for 24 years; ‘down and dirty’ with the best – ‘RAF Tornado’.
.. but to be honest, the animal rights / welfare person in me has always been just as strong as the ‘proper’ day job Marky ever since I was 15 or 16 years old, and the creation of SAV and WAV is a kind of ultimate destination for me really; there is nothing quite like the satisfaction to be gained by anyone, anywhere, helping to save the lives of, and improving the welfare of animals in need; no matter how big or small their dedication, contribution or effort; everyone simply does what they can to make things better – and slowly they win !
– I am delighted to be an animals voice; one of many, in this crazy, cruel, (and unfortunately) money-driven world”
Today, nothing has changed – the animal rights / welfare person in me has never drifted. I say that because I know the bloke quite well !
In 2005 I set up ‘Serbian Animals Voice’ to try and fight for the stray animals against the government of Serbia; and the rest of the Balkans. You can visit the site here to see what was taken on:
The biggest win was for Serbian animals in the fur trade rather than strays which we fought for. Working with buddy Mark Glover at ‘Respect for Animals’ here in England, we finally achieved the aim of getting Serbia to impose a fur ban which commenced on 1st January 2019 – check it out: serbia | Search Results | Respect for Animals
Animal rights activists in Madrid protest against plans for a large-scale octopus farm
The Spanish activists said there are no regulations to guarantee the welfare of the captivated octopuses
Animal rights activists gathered Sunday in Madrid to protest plans for the construction of an octopus farm in Spain, saying there are no respective laws in the country and the European Union to guarantee the welfare of the animals in captivity.
The proposed farm, which aims to breed octopuses on a large scale in captivity, is scheduled to be built next year in the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean.
A few dozen people showed up to express their concerns regarding a project that plans to confine 3 million octopuses in pools, despite these creatures being solitary predators in their natural habitat.
“It is similar to imprisoning tigers together. They will prey on one another and will also attempt to escape due to their high intelligence and adeptness,” said Jaime Posada, a spokesperson for the protest called by various animal welfare organizations.
Octopuses grown in captivity will behave differently from those in the wild, said Nova Pescanova, the seafood company promoting this farm. Since 2018, the company has run a pilot project in a research facility in northern Spain, where they have succeeded in breeding five captivity-born generations of the cephalopod.
“It is not possible to grow any (animal) species in the European Union without respecting their welfare conditions. It is the standard, and our group does nothing but comply with guidelines and legislations,” said Roberto Romero, the multinational’s aquaculture director.
Since the demand for octopus consumption has been on the rise, farming octopuses is being regarded as a first step towards ensuring sustainable food production.
Octopus is a staple in the Mediterranean diet, particularly popular in Spain and Italy, although both of them import most of the octopus they consume. Recently, the global demand for this delicacy has expanded, with countries like the United States witnessing a 23% increase in imports and China experiencing a 73% surge between 2016 and 2018, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
India’s top court defends bull-fighting as part of nation’s ‘cultural heritage’
India’s Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of state laws allowing traditional bull taming sports of Jallikattu and Kambala, and bullock-cart racing.
On Thursday, a five-judge bench of the court, including justices KM Joseph, Ajay Rastogi, Aniruddha Bose, Hrishikesh Roy and CT Ravikumar upheld the amendments made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, by the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra where these sports are traditionally held.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the amendments.
The court held that the amendments did not violate its 2014 order banning Jallikattu.
The centuries-old sport of Jallikattu is extremely popular in Tamil Nadu during the four-day Pongal harvest festival in January in which hundreds of bull vaulters compete in a carnival-like atmosphere.
On Thursday, the top court said that these laws remedy the defects pointed out by the judgment in 2014 and the effect of the laws is to minimise the pain and suffering caused to animals, reported legal news portal LiveLaw.
“In A Nagaraja [2014 judgment] the sport was held to attract the restrictions under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, because of the manner in which it was practiced. The amendment Act and rules substantially minimises pain and suffering to animals…”, Justice Aniruddha Bose was quoted as saying by the outlet.
The bench added: “We are satisfied on materials that Jallikattu is going on in Tamil Nadu for last one century.
“Whether this is integral part of Tamil culture requires greater detail, which exercise judiciary cannot undertake… When the legislature has declared that Jallikattu is part of the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu state, the judiciary cannot take a different view. Legislature is best suited to decide that.”
The court added that its judgment would also apply to laws on Kambala and bull-cart racing in Maharashtra and Karnataka and directed that these laws be followed strictly.
The court order, however, has been criticised by animal rights activists.
“Since 2017, at least 104 men and children and 33 bulls have died. More deaths will occur,” Poorvi Joshipura, a spokesperson for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) India was quoted as saying to the Associated Press.
The global animal rights organisation was a complainant in the case in the country’s apex court.
Two years after the top court held that Jallikattu violated the rights of the animals and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the federal government carved out an exception for Jallikattu and bullock cart races from the scope of the law.
The move was challenged by animal rights organisations in the Supreme Court.
While the matter was pending, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Act, 2017, was passed. Similar amendments were passed by Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The apex court’s order has upheld the constitutionality of the federal government’s action as well as the amendments passed by the states.
I am starting off with a different gripe tonight. Wednesday, I think it was, I sat through the second round of Eurovision song contest qualifiers. After 4 songs, I went out to take some painkillers for my back; only then did I realise that actually they also helped me get through the rest of the qualifying songs:
Actress Dame Joanna Lumley today urges Rishi Sunak to keep Tory pledges on boosting animal welfare.
The Absolutely Fabulous star is among celebrities to sign a letter calling on the Prime Minister to deliver on Conservative promises made in 2021 – including to drive through new legislation to tackle abuse of animals and bolster protections.
Dame Joanna, 77, told the Mirror: “Animals are being utterly let down by the Government’s dismaying failure to deliver the plans it promised two years ago.
“I urge the Prime Minister to progress vital animal protection measures, including the Kept Animals Bill and a ban on the import of cruel fur, as a matter of the utmost importance.”
The letter, which was also signed by Pop Idol singer Will Young, TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher and Countdown’s Susie Dent, tells the Tory leader: “Britain prides itself on being a nation of animal lovers and in May 2021 the Government pledged to reinforce our country’s position ‘as a global champion of animal rights’ with the publication of its Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
“The plan promised the animal-loving British public it would deliver improvements in the lives and wellbeing of millions of animals.
“But two years on, we and the animals we care so deeply about have been badly let down.”
The current version of the legislation, the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, is stuck in the Commons.
If passed, it aims to tackle cruel puppy smuggling, live exports, banning keeping monkeys as pets and improving zoo regulations.
But a separate letter from 25 animal charities and campaign groups tells the PM the legislation has “been left languishing as the Government’s Kept Animals Bill has not been given parliamentary time for over 17 months”.
It adds: “Our patience, and our trust, has now been exhausted.
“The Kept Animals Bill, and the majority of the Action Plan, now appears to be little more than an inconvenience to a government that believes it can quietly abandon its promises.
“Animal issues matter to voters.”
Humane Society International’s senior campaigns director Claire Bass said: “The Government’s apparent disinterest and unwillingness to deliver its own Action Plan for animals is frankly baffling.
“MPs tell us they receive more constituent correspondence calling for better animal protection than any other issue, so passing legislation like the Kept Animals Bill and a ban on fur imports should be an easy and obvious choice in terms of popular policy.
“But instead, we and animals are enduring endless delays, seemingly deprioritised by this Government despite huge public concern.
“We urge Mr Sunak to remember his party’s promises and start delivering the action that animals deserve and voters expect.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals vice-president Elisa Allen said: “Animals are in peril and the Government has seemingly abandoned them as time is running out for it to make good on its word.”
RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood claimed that “animals have been left in limbo by continued inaction on key animal welfare issues”.
UK General Election in about 12 months – oh, and animal welfare people vote – so lets get moving !
Update 12/5/23 – I have been contacted directly by Steve at Cruelty Free International regarding the issue of UK animal testing for cosmetics. I show his full response below which covers how the UK government “Home Office disclosed that it had been secretly granting licences to test for cosmetics since February 2019”.
I have also included additional info from the CFI site and also a link to the site. They have actions which you can take, so I suggest that a visit there is a good starter. Obviously, people can write to their own MP’s about this all based on the info provided.
Cruelty Free International issued the following statement yesterday:
“Unfortunately, the Prime Minister is misinformed about the Government’s position on animal testing for cosmetics. A policy banning such tests was first introduced in 1998. However, in a letter to Cruelty Free International in August 2021, the Home Office admitted that the policy had ‘changed’ (i.e. been abandoned), to bring the UK into line with an EU ruling in a case called Symrise.
“When Cruelty Free International challenged the new approach in a recent judicial review, the Home Office disclosed that it had been secretly granting licences to test for cosmetics since February 2019. A High Court judge ruled that legally it was entitled to, based on his interpretation of EU general chemicals legislation known as REACH and its relationship with the EU Cosmetics Regulation.
“Importantly, however, the judge also said that there was nothing to prevent the Government from reinstating the policy ban. This is what the Government said in 2015 in the context of another judicial review:
‘… For the avoidance of any doubt, we are advising you that the current UK ban on testing cosmetics in animals is an absolute ban… No licence authorising the testing of cosmetics (finished products or ingredients) has been issued since 1998 … The UK’s policy ban remains in place even where EU legislation would appear to require or permit such testing’.
“The Government also said separately that the policy applied to worker safety testing. The Prime Minister’s statement refers to tests ‘for the consumer’. Whether labelled as consumer or worker safety, the animal tests are identical. The Government is now unquestionably once more allowing cosmetics testing on animals for the benefit of consumers.
“The 2015 statements constitute the policy the Government abandoned in 2019, paving the way for cosmetics testing on animals once again.
All the PM needs to do is to reinstate the policy. The Government does not have to slavishly follow legislation coming from the EU. It should do what the overwhelming majority of British people want.”
Please let me know if you need any further information.
The UK government has admitted that it secretly abandoned the UK’s ban on animal testing for cosmetics in 2019 – but as part of the ruling in our Judicial Review of the policy, a High Court judge has told the Home Office that it can reinstate the ban.
Click on the above link to continue reading more from CFI.
Mandatory training of police officers in animal rights begins in Greece on Wednesday
Hellenic Police officers across the country will begin mandatory training in animal rights issues as of Wednesday, it was announced on Tuesday, ANA reports.
At least one police officer per police station will acquire the knowledge and skills to deal with cases related to animal abuse, be they strays, home pets, working or game animals, exotic species, and others, noted the police.
The task of training the officers has been undertaken by the instructors of Zero Stray Academy and the Zero Stray Pawject organization at no cost to the Greek state, in collaboration with the Hellenic Police’s education and continuing education directorates.
Regarding the number of violations of animal protection legislation in the first four months of 2023, 705 cases were drawn up, 138 people were arrested, and 659 fines totaling 3,317,800 euros were imposed.