Category: Uncategorized

England: Regular Visitor Back.

This is a regular visitor to the garden, but we were concerned as we had not seen him for a while.

Anyway, back now and looking beautiful – colours are amazing !

Had a good feed with all the other birds; I took these through the window, hence bad quality.

Welcome back my friend !¬

Regards Mark

Across the Northern hemisphere, we are heading into Winter now.  Things have been pretty mild here in the UK until the last few days, when it is noticeably colder.

But the weather has been cold and clear, so a good time for photos.  I ventured into the garden a few days back to see the amazing colours.  Here are a few shots;

Regards Mark

England: The Fight To Get Better For Feral Pigeons. By Mark (WAV).

The press took up the issue and covered it well. I spoke in defence of the birds as always !

Personal experience has shown me that, although many ‘officials’; the top people who work in regional authorities, regardless of their position and title; do not really have much a clue when it comes to pigeon management in their area.  This includes reproduction, feeding and general issues which affect them and the birds welfare.

Venus travels several miles each day to her local town to give feed to pigeons in need.  With so many clampdowns at the moment; her actions are literally a matter of life or death to many of these birds.

Some people call them ‘vermin’ or ‘flying rats’; but at the end of the day, they have a reason to exist as part of ‘the system’; are sentient creatures, and thus should be treated as such.

Feral pigeons are like stray dogs and cats; people in authority often (very wrongly) have the mindset, and undertake the principle that, if you kill of all (or as many as possible) of the birds in ‘your’ town or region, then they have largely resolved your pigeon ‘problem’ and will become a bird free town or region.

WRONG – just like the issue of stray dogs, culling pigeons often only largely eradicates the older and generally sicker, non breeding birds.  But, by undertaking a cull, it lets the younger, healthier, and very reproductive birds remain in the area, or move into the area which will be new to them; in their search for more / better food; thus; just like killing stray dogs and cats, the ‘problem’ of bird numbers actually increases populations in an area rather than decreasing it.

I am not a pigeon specialist, but I have worked with, and know a man that is.  His name is Guy and he is the founder of PICAS, set up in here in Southern England many years ago.  I learned a lot about pigeon management from Guy.

I had the pleasure of getting to know (and respect) Guy when we worked together to fight for the pigeons in my (then) local town.  His advice and expertise on the subject has always remained with me; just like the pigeon numbers that have remained or increased in the town as the local authority did not take his / our advice on pigeon management and control techniques; which I outline below.

PICAS stands for the Pigeon Control and Advisory Service, and their web site can be found at:

PiCAS Humane Non Lethal Methods of Bird Pest Control (picasuk.com)

Why lethal control fails:

PiCAS Humane Non Lethal Methods of Bird Pest Control Why Lethal Bird Control Fails (picasuk.com)

“Pigeons control their own numbers very effectively according to the volume of food available to them. An adult pair of pigeons will usually breed 4-6 times a year but can breed more frequently in optimum conditions, producing 2 young each time. If, however, the food supply reduces and there is only sufficient food available to support the existing flock, adult birds may only breed once or twice a year or possibly not at all. Pigeons will not breed if there is insufficient food to service the needs of their young.

If the food supply increases for any reason (following a cull for example), pigeons will breed continuously until the flock reaches the point where it is fully exploiting the food available to it. In other words, there is a minor population explosion each time a cull takes place.

The end result is an estimated 15% -30% increment in flock size over and above the pre-cull figure.

Commercial values have now overtaken good working practice in the pest control sector with pest control contractors recommending culling at every opportunity; as a direct result of this stance pigeon numbers throughout the UK continue to rise year on year. This is clearly not in the interest of those experiencing problems with pigeons (and other species of wild bird) and it is yet another example of the pest control industry putting profit before client’s needs”.

After a full visit and review of the local town site, Guy, with my own support, decided to present a non lethal approach to controlling and reducing pigeon numbers in the town.

A simple cote (with pigeon) used for population control.

A series of dovecotes (easily constructed – we supplied lists of materials and construction info) and feeding areas (located directly below them) were suggested as a primary means of control.  This feeding area would allow people to continue feeding the birds if they wished, (as many do), but by having the cotes; a facility will be provided which will not only provide pigeons with a daytime perch, but also with an overnight roosting and breeding facility where flock size can be controlled by birth control (important). This is achieved by removing eggs say once every day or other day, as laid, from the dovecote and replacing them with dummy eggs. This simple but very effective method of numbers control will dramatically reduce pigeon flock size and is very cheap and simple to maintain. Although the infrastructure required to implement this type of system is straightforward, the overall programme is complex and should not be considered unless it is being provided in conjunction with advice from PiCAS.

PiCAS Humane Non Lethal Methods of Bird Pest Control Artificial Breeding Facilities (picasuk.com)

Part of our dovecote presentation – Materials and construction method.

To cut to the chase; in the end, after a detailed presentation to the local council to outline our proposal; which included suggested sites around the town; construction materials lists; and cote construction sizes); allegedly due costs, council officials decided to ignore the control advice given and go instead with simply putting up a few ‘warning’ signs around the town asking people not to feed the birds. 

This method of sticking up a few signs around the town is about as useful as a chocolate fireman !

Lots of people love to feed (and watch) birds.  A few signs mean nothing.  People will always feed regardless of signage.

Nothing in the way of costing for the signage and ‘alternatives’ were given as a comparison against our proposal.

The council letter to myself outlining reasons for not taking up our suggestions.

Also, in their letter to myself (see above), the council suggested that they had been in touch with other councils and had no proof that the system proposed actually worked.  As part of our presentation; we did supply information on several councils that had adopted the PIUCAS method of bird numbers management.  The PICAS site now reflects some more recent issues:

PiCAS Humane Non Lethal Methods of Bird Pest Control Further Reading (picasuk.com)

Hey ho; some you win, some you lose.

As said, I learned a lot knowing Guy and the relationship with PICAS.  This was quite a while ago and I have not returned for years now to see the current situation re bird control in the town.

We tried, we failed; but in the end you have to ask yourself who has been the real loser in this issue.  I was glad to be part of it regardless; PICAS continues and the council ?; do they all live in a pigeon free zone now, one has to ask ? – I very much doubt.

Regards Mark

UK (Scotland): COP26 Is Now Completed. Please Review Links Provided and Decide For Yourselves; Good Or Ineffective ?

Thousands of people takes part in a demonstration against climate change in Brussels, Belggium on October 10, 2021, ahead of the COP26 climate summit.

There are potentially positives; but have we not heard the issue of funding suffering nations from meetings in the past, and which have never been fulfilled ?

One thing is for sure, the world is in a crisis; and until world governments who really can make a difference for those who only suffer as a result of their actions, or inactions, we will continue to remain in crisis.  The clock is ticking, and is very near to midnight.

So, please read the info in the attached links and hopefully at least get a better overall picture of both the pros and the cons.

Regards Mark

 

Milan, Italy - October 2 2021: People protesting against global warming and climate change in fridays for future strike after Youth4Climate Milan COP26

Cop26: Sharma appeals for nations to seal deal in ‘moment of truth’ for world (msn.com)

‘COP26 is dead’: Expert says global temperatures could rise 2.4°C and spark ‘dramatic change’ around the world (msn.com)

Cop26: Nations announce landmark Glasgow climate pact after last-minute weakening on coal (msn.com)

Cop26 ends in climate agreement despite India watering down coal resolution | Cop26 | The Guardian

COP26 – BBC News

Lots of good images – Cop26 Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Milan, Italy - October 2 2021: People protesting against global warming and climate change in fridays for future strike after Youth4Climate Milan COP26
Demonstrators in London demand action on climate crisis- London-06-11-2021

Spain: Claims of Sabotage – Camels Escape Circus to Roam Streets of Madrid.

<img src="https://static.independent.co.uk/2021/11/06/16/newFile-1.jpg?width=982&height=726&auto=webp&quality=75&quot; alt="<p>The circus has claimed that the animals were released in a ‘sabotage'

Photo – Spanish Police

Camels escape circus to roam streets of Madrid

The finger has been pointed at animal rights activists who reportedly protest against the circus every year

Eight camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid after the fence guarding the animals was reportedly cut.

Police shared a tweet stating that they had found the exotic animals roaming the streets of the capital at around 5am on Friday.

They were found not far from where the circus, named Gran Circo Quiros, is based, in the southern district of Carabanchel.

However, the circus has claimed that the animals were released in an act of “sabotage”.

The circus said on Instagram: “Last night we suffered an animal sabotage, the animals are well.”

Circus manager Mati Munoz blamed animal activists for the camels escaping, telling AFP that the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

He added that animal rights activists protest the circus every year.

The City Council of Madrid has banned wild-animal circuses, saying they don’t meet “animals’ physiological, mental, and social needs” or respect their welfare.

Bactrian camels originate from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and are able to survive in extreme conditions. However, the vast majority of them are now domesticated.

Wild animals are now banned from travelling circuses in the UK after legislation was passed under the Wild Animals in Circuses Act 2019.

It includes any animal not typically domesticated in the UK, such as big cats, camels, elephants, reindeer and zebras.

Camels escape circus to roam streets of Madrid | The Independent

Regards Mark

Iran: Free Nazanin Immediately !

Richard Ratcliffe’s wife, Nazanin, has been used as a pawn now for over 5 years; detained by the Iranian authorities.  Richard is now into his 18th day of a hunger strike to highlight this issue even more.

Richard Ratcliffe: ‘Please bring my wife Nazanin home’ | Evening Standard

Boris Johnson, the UK PM, along with many of his senior ministers, have let this issue fester for far too long.  It is a gutless British government led by a gutless British PM.

Free Nazanin NOW.

Read the story here:

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, unfairly detained for years by Iran, and her husband Richard have been abandoned by Boris Johnson – Laura Waddell (msn.com)

Free Nazanin NOW.

Richard Ratcliffe calls on Boris Johnson to help free his wife being held hostage in Iran (yahoo.com)

Growing concern for Richard Ratcliffe 17 days into hunger strike | Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe | The Guardian

Free Nazanin NOW.

Iran: Do The Right Thing and FREE Nazanin Immediately. – World Animals Voice

Regards Mark

UK: Oi John; For A ‘Small’ Sideliner Can You Open Some Doors For Me ?

Hi all;

This is really for UK residents only, but it will provide an insight into the ‘scratch my back, I scratch yours’ lobbying / open doors issues which happen in politics.

As we (UK) are all aware of, and by now, totally bored with; a lot in the media / press recently about Members of Parliament (MP) having ‘other’ paid ‘work’ in addition to that of being an MP, for which they are paid a basic salary of £81,932.

We personally would often call it being a lobbyist for an organisation or company; the very recent Owen Patterson MP case showing that he was paid in excess (in addition to his MP salary) of £110k to be a ‘consultee’ for 2 organisations.  Very much case of getting money to open the right doors we would say; something which campaign groups do not have the funds to do, or wish to be involved with.

Owen Patterson links for reference:

Owen Paterson quits as MP over lobbying row ‘nightmare’ – BBC News

Owen Paterson: Government faces backlash over new conduct rules plan – BBC News

So here and now, I am supplying UK residents with a few links which will help them determine if ‘their’ MP is being paid for work in addition to than being an MP.  Most people outside of parliament would think and say that being an MP is a full time job in its own right; let alone having more time to earn extra money for undertaking extra duties; but the data provided in the following may show differently.

Today, 9/11/21, we now have additional info relating to one as provided here:

Here below is the main (They work for you) link which allows you to find your own MP and any financial interests associated with them.  I (Mark) have not obtained this info through the back door, through ‘contacts’, lobbyists, or any other secretive routes.  It is information which is available to everyone who has computer access and knows where to look. 

I know where to look and so I want to share the link with you, without me asking for any financial backhanders to do so; a case of simply passing over info so that you can look at your own MP in a little more detail; view them a little differently (?); and maybe ask them some questions if you wish.

Main Link: Find your MP and review their case.

TheyWorkForYou

In addition, here below is a link from the BBC which again details additional ‘work’ payments that are being given to some MP’s in addition to their MP salary of £81,932.

No wonder Boris Johnson (Prime Minister) is trying to keep it all quiet and sweep it under the carpet.  Personally, I view it that an MP is an MP, full stop; and should have NO other job or paid work interests.  Some people would skin their grandmother for a few extra quid; and to some, making money is the ‘god’ that they worship.  Fortunately, lots of us ‘normal people’ are not in the same boat; we get by and fight the fights that we feel need actions; without paying for doors to be opened or other favours to get us up the pyramid.

BBC Link:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-59206904

I hope you find it of use, maybe an eye opener !

Regards Mark

USA: ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic Says He Has ‘Aggressive Cancer’.

‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic says he has ‘aggressive cancer’

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The man known as “Tiger King,” who gained fame in a Netflix documentary following his conviction for trying to hire someone to kill an animal rights activist, says he has cancer.

“It is with a sad face that I have to tell you … that my prostate biopsy’s came back with an aggressive cancer,” Joe Exotic, who is being held at a federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, wrote on a Twitter post Wednesday.

The blond mullet-wearing former Oklahoma zookeeper, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is known for his expletive-laden rants on YouTube and a failed 2018 Oklahoma gubernatorial campaign.

He was prominently featured in the popular documentary “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

He was sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2020 after being convicted for violating federal wildlife laws and a failed murder-for-hire plot targeting Carole Baskin, who runs a rescue sanctuary for big cats in Florida.

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver in July ordered Maldonado-Passage be resentenced to a shorter term, finding that the trial court wrongly treated the two convictions separately in calculating his prison term.

‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic says he has ‘aggressive cancer’ (apnews.com)

USA: ‘Greatest Show On Earth’ Circus May Return Without Animals.

‘Greatest Show On Earth’ circus may return without animals

October 27, 2021

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Four years after the “Greatest Show On Earth” shut down, officials are planning to bring back the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus — without animal acts.

An announcement is expected sometime next year, according to Nicole Zimmerman, a spokesperson for Feld Entertainment Inc. of Ellenton, Florida.

The three-ring circus shut down in May 2017 after a 146-year run.

Costly court battles with animal rights activists led circus officials to end elephant acts in 2016. Without the elephants, ticket sales declined. Officials also blamed increased railroad costs, and the rise of online games and videos, which made the “Greatest Show On Earth” not seem that great anymore.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which was behind many of the protests, said it is thrilled with the concept of a circus without animal acts.

“The exciting announcement sends a powerful message to the entire industry, something that PETA’s been saying for decades: Cruelty doesn’t belong in the circus or in any other form of entertainment,” the organization told the Herald-Tribune.

PETA and other groups maintained for years that the circus mistreated the animals featured in its shows.

‘Greatest Show On Earth’ circus may return without animals (apnews.com)

I dont think we have any problem with people enjoying themselves at the circus – as long as there is all the fun but without the animal abuse that has happened in the past, and still continues with some.

Regards Mark

England: Check Out the Viva! Podcast For Fun and News.

Russell Brand: Actor, Comedian, Vegan and Activist

In this episode, Viva! founder and director, Juliet Gellatley, chats with award-winning comedian, actor and activist, Russell Brand.

Russell is passionate about climate change, animals and veganism. He shares his thoughts on these issues in a lively conversation with Juliet.

The interview was recorded live at Vegan Camp Out 2021.

Helen and Faye’s chat

Viva!’s head of communications, Faye, joins Helen to break down the interview and expand on some of the topics discussed.

 

You can hear our show via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and on lots of other apps and websites.

The Viva! Vegan Podcast and Vegan News Minisode – available every month!

In addition to the Viva! monthly Podcast, we now have a Vegan News Minisode!

Together, they’ve got you covered with the latest vegan news, the best celebrity and thought-leader interviews, expert vegan advice and more than a few laughs as well…

Co-hosted by Helen Wilson and Viva!’s head of comms Faye Lewis, each month they’ll be serving up some cracking in-depth chats with some of the most interesting figures in the vegan movement.

Each Podcast episode features a different individual – breaking down their vegan journey and recounting their highs and lows – followed by a candid chat between Helen and Faye on everything from mushroom-based leather alternatives to terrible cooking blunders.

In our Vegan News Minisode, we deep-dive into the world of vegan news and politics in a quick five-minute round-up of newsworthy events in veganism.

No matter where you are in your vegan journey, there’ll be something for you in the Viva! Vegan Podcast and the Vegan News Minisode.

Check out and listen to the Podcasts via this link:

Viva! Vegan Podcast | Viva! The Vegan Charity

England: 1605 – The Last Man To Enter Parliament With Honest Intentions. As the English say – “Remember, Remember, the 5th of November – a Gunpowder Treason and Plot; There is no Reason why Gunpowder Treason Should Ever Be Forgot”.

The best of plots always start in a pub !

 

 

For our overseas visitors:

I am sitting here in England tonight (5/11) listening to all the fireworks being let off where I live.  Tomorrow is the weekend, and many areas will celebrate Guy Fawkes night by having big firework and bonfire displays.  It is a special event celebrated by the English only for centuries.

 

Enjoy the videos explaining why November 5th is a very special night for us.

Regards Mark

London, November 5th 1605 – the gunpowder plot.

How very true – judging by the ‘lot’ we have supposedly representing us in Parliament today, Guy Fawkes is often toasted as:

England: 1604 – The Last Man To Enter Parliament With Honest Intentions.

Many would say that sadly it all went wrong; and that English history changed as a result.

 

 

 

As the English say – “remember, remember, the 5th of November – a gunpowder treason and plot; there is no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be forgot”.

 

Why ? – to celebrate the ‘Gunpowder plot’ –  or ‘Guy Fawkes night’.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_Plot

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in earlier centuries often called the Gunpowder Treason Plot or the Jesuit Treason, was a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

Guy Fawkes, who had 10 years of military experience fighting in the Spanish Netherlands in suppression of the Dutch Revolt, was given charge of the explosives.

 

November 5th 1605