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USA: Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’.

Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’

Hundreds were marooned in the downpour as the climate crisis increases the likelihood of extreme weather

Recent severe rains in Death Valley that flushed debris across roadways, damaged infrastructure and carried away cars are being described by meteorologists and park officials as a once-in 1,000-year event.

The arid valley was pelted with roughly an inch and a half of rain on Friday, near the park’s rainfall record for a single day.

The storm poured an amount of water equal to roughly 75% of the average annual total in just three hours, according to experts at Nasa’s Earth observatory. Hundreds visiting and working in Death Valley national park were marooned and all roads continue to be impassable, according to park officials.

The waters have receded, leaving behind thick layers of mud and gravel, but those who were stranded were able to exit the park earlier this week, aided by park service personnel.

Daniel Berc, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Las Vegas, described the deluge as a historic “1,000-year event”, with a 0.1% likelihood during a given year.

But events like this one, once thought to be exceedingly rare, are on the rise. Scientists are finding that weather extremes, fuelled by the climate crisis, are becoming more likely in the American west, which continues to be mired in drought. Periods of dryness are expected to be broken with strong, destructive storms as the world continues to warm.

Described as “a land of extremes”, the desert basin is the driest place in North America and is known for temperatures that have climbed higher than any other place on Earth.

No injuries have been reported but aerial searches are being conducted by the California highway patrol and naval aircraft, the National Park Service said in a statement, to confirm that vehicles are not still stranded in remote areas of the park.

In a statement, the park superintendent, Mike Reynolds, said it would “take time to rebuild” and noted that officials were still working to assess destruction from the storm across the roughly 3.4m acres and more than 1,000 miles of roads in the park.

While the storm did not break Death Valley’s all-time record for daily rainfall, it did break records for this time of year, as August generally produces just a tenth of an inch of rain.

Nasa satellites were able to capture the storm’s effects, showing a belt of blue across the typically brown terrain.

“This week’s 1,000-year flood is another example of this extreme environment,” Reynolds said. “With climate change models predicting more frequent and more intense storms, this is a place where you can see climate change in action.”

Record Death Valley flooding ‘a once-in-1,000-year event’ | California | The Guardian

Regards Mark

9/8/22 News.

All the wording links below in BLUE take you on to another area where you will get more information about the particular issue in question; Mark


With thanks to our friends at ‘The Guardian’, London.

Europe’s mega farms and pollution crisis

The heavy concentration of mega farms, and millions of pigs, cattle and chickens in a small number of areas across Europe, has created a pollution nightmare, according to a new Guardian investigation.

In the UK, a hotspot for chicken farming is Herefordshire, with a major deal to supply chicken to Tesco now being linked to the pollution of one of the UK’s favourite rivers, the Wye.

In Germany, the “pig belt”, a hotspot of meat production in the northwest state of Lower Saxony, has been blamed for excess ammonia emissions and nitrates in groundwater.

There is frustration in Canada over plans to reduce fertiliser use to combat the climate crisis. The government wants a 30% reduction in emissions, and farm producer groups say that cutting nitrous oxide emissions can’t be done without reducing fertiliser use.

Meanwhile, Ireland has committed to a 25% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by 2030 after a bitter political battle between farmers, business groups and environmentalists.

IMPORTANT –  Indonesia is dealing with its first major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in almost 40 years. Since May, more than 300,000 cases have been recorded across 21 provinces, prompting the Indonesian government to roll out a vaccine programme to inoculate healthy cattle.

French health authorities have confirmed a link between nitrates added to processed meat and colon cancer, dealing a blow to the country’s prized ham and cured sausage industry. The national food safety body, Anses, said its study of data published on the subject supported similar conclusions in 2015 from the World Health Organization.

A major US chicken company, Mountaire Farms, is reportedly asking its contract farmers to oppose a Biden administration proposal aimed at improving their conditions because the company says it would ultimately reduce farmer pay.

In Australia, eggs have become the latest food caught up in supply chain woes. Reduced production on a number of farms affected the supply of locally produced eggs in some regions, a major retailer admitted.

China has seen a significant decrease in pork imports after its own meat production rose by 8.2% to 29.4m tonnes compared to the same period last year.

UK news

More than a million meat chickens are dying every week in the UK before reaching slaughter weight, according to a new report. An analysis of government figures by the animal welfare charity Open Cages reveals that about 64 million chickens die prematurely each year in the UK.

Poultry farmers should prepare for bird flu numbers to remain high over the winter and prepare accordingly, according to UK animal health officials. “We cannot drop our guard,” said Ian Brown, head of virology at the Animal and Plant Health Agency. “Prospects for the immediate future are not great.”

Bird flu has managed to do what animal rights activists have been trying to achieve for decades – with a little help from Brexit.

Dozens of pheasant and partridge shoots have been called off ahead of the shooting season after an unprecedented outbreak of avian flu in France left gamekeepers in the UK with few birds to rear.

Lamb, pork and beef production in Britain is returning to pre-Covid levels, according to the latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. With the impact of the pandemic subsiding, prime lamb slaughterings for each of the first five months of 2022 were higher than the previous year.

Regards Mark

A veterinarian inspects a cow for foot-and-mouth disease ahead of Eid al-Adha. Indonesia is dealing with its first large-scale outbreak of the disease in almost 40 years. Photograph: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images

EU: Citizens Initiative – Animal Cosmetic Testing – EU Citizens ONLY. Please Sign and Pass on; Completion Date End August 2022.

It is essential that we obtain over 1 million signatures for this from EU citizens only as possible.

The target has not yet quite been reached –

Please sign, share and pass on, thank you.

Deadline: 31/08/2022


With the EU ban on cosmetics tests on animals came the promise of a Europe in which animals no longer suffer and die for the sake of cosmetics. That promise has been broken. Authorities still demand animal tests on ingredients used in cosmetics, which goes against the expectations and wishes of the public and the intention of legislators.

Yet, never have we had such powerful non-animal tools for assuring safety or such a golden opportunity to revolutionise human and environmental protection. The European Commission must uphold and strengthen the ban and transition to animal-free safety assessment.

We call on the European Commission to do the following:

1. Protect and strengthen the cosmetics animal testing ban.
Initiate legislative change to achieve consumer, worker, and environmental protection for all cosmetics ingredients without testing on animals for any purpose at any time.

2. Transform EU chemicals regulation.
Ensure human health and the environment are protected by managing chemicals without the addition of new animal testing requirements.

3. Modernise science in the EU.
Commit to a legislative proposal plotting a roadmap to phase-out all animal testing in the EU before the end of the current legislative term.

Start of the collection period


EUROPEAN CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE – Central online collection system


Info about (Progress of) Initiative:

With thanks to Di for getting this;

Regards Mark

France: ‘Immoral and archaic’: Animal rights activists eye bill to ban bullfighting in France.

'Immoral and archaic': Animal rights activists eye bill to ban bullfighting in France

French matador El Rafi performs a muleta pass on a fighting bull in the arena of Arles, southern France, on June 6, 2021 (Photo by Nicolas TUCAT / AFP)

‘Immoral and archaic’: Animal rights activists eye bill to ban bullfighting in France

As thousands of bullfighting aficionados gather across southern France for traditional summer ferias, opponents of the practice are reviving their fight for an outright ban, confident that public opinion is finally on their side.

‘Immoral and archaic’: Animal rights activists eye bill to ban bullfighting in France (

“I think the majority of French people share the view that bullfights are immoral, a spectacle that no longer has its place in the 21st century,” said Aymeric Caron, a popular former TV journalist and animal rights activist who was recently elected to parliament as part of the hard-left France Unbowed party.

For years, critics have sought a final legal blow against what they call a cruel and archaic ritual, but none of the draft bills presented have ever been approved for debate by National Assembly lawmakers.

French courts have also routinely rejected lawsuits lodged by animal rights activists, most recently in July 2021 in Nimes, home to one of France’s most famous bullfighting events.

But Caron, based in Paris, told AFP that the time was ripe for a new proposal given growing concerns about animal welfare, with a draft bill to be submitted this week.

“I do indeed hope this bill will be debated in parliament in November… it would be a first,” he said.

The prospect seems all the more likely after France Unbowed won dozens of new seats in recent elections, helping to strip President Emmanuel Macron of his centrist majority in parliament.

The goal is to modify an animal welfare law that allows exceptions for bullfights — as well as cock fighting — when it can be shown that they are “uninterrupted local traditions.”

Such exceptions are granted to cities including Bayonne and the mediaeval jewel of Mont-de-Marsan in southwest France near Spain, where the practice has its origins, and along the Mediterranean coast including Arles, Beziers and Nimes.

‘Respecting the animal’

For Caron, “it’s not a French tradition, it’s a Spanish custom that was imported to France in the 19th century to please the wife of Napoleon III, who was from Andalusia,” the countess Eugenie de Montijo.

That argument is unlikely to convince the jostling crowds who packed the streets of Bayonne for the bullfighting feria that ended Sunday, a sea of fans clad all in white except for bright red bandanas or sashes.

“The people who want to ban it don’t understand it. Bullfighting is a drama that brings you closer to death… You’re afraid, but that’s a part of life,” said Jean-Luc Ambert, who came with friends from the central Auvergne region.

Like many other fans, his friend Francoise insisted that bullfighting is an art as much as a sport, where “a man puts his life on the line, while respecting the animal.”

“We’re not trying to convert anyone — I just want the people against it to leave us alone,” she told AFP.

The guest star of the Bayonne feria, Spanish matador Alejandro Talavante, did indeed find an appreciative audience, with the crowd demanding the award of the bull’s ear for his performance.

It’s a conflict that echoes the widening rift in France between rural dwellers steeped in deep agriculture traditions, and Parisians and other urban residents accused of trampling on the country’s cultural heritage — often derided as “the Taliban of Paristan.”

Widespread support?

Andre Viard, president of the national bullfighting association, shrugged off the threat of a ban.

“This comes up in every parliamentary session,” Viard told AFP of Caron’s efforts to find allies for the France Unbowed initiative.

“We tell the other parties: Why do you want to be associated with a bill that attacks a cultural freedom protected by the Constitution, and territorial identity?”

The debate echoes similar opposition in other countries with bullfighting histories, including Spain and Portugal as well as Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.

In June, a judge in Mexico City ordered an indefinite suspension of bullfighting in the capital’s historic bullring, the largest in the world.

Caron is banking on support from across the political spectrum, including top members of Macron’s party such as the head of his parliamentary group Aurore Berge, who was among 36 lawmakers who called for a bullfighting ban last year.

An Ifop poll earlier this year found that 77 percent of respondents approved of a ban, up from 50 percent in 2007.

“More and more people are concerned about animal suffering, including in bullfights,” Claire Starozinski of the Anti-Bullfighting Alliance told AFP, adding that many people don’t realise that the bulls are actually killed.

“I know there are MPs from other parties who will support me, and have said so,” Caron said — though he admitted that more mainstream lawmakers such as Berge might be reluctant to join his leftish campaign.

“Is she going to remain true to her convictions, or make a political calculation that prevents her from supporting me? That’s what will be at stake in the talks over the coming weeks and months.”

Regards Mark

Pakistan: PETA, has offered to help Pakistan implement humane practices in veterinary and medical schools and end animal testing in Pakistan through a series of reforms.

ISLAMABAD: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a US-based animal rights non-profit organisation, has offered to help Pakistan implement humane practices in veterinary and medical schools and end animal testing in Pakistan through a series of reforms.

The offer was made during a zoom meeting between the prime minister’s strategic reforms adviser, Salman Sufi, and PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, Chief of the Science Advancement and Outreach Division Dr Katherine Roe and Vice President of International Laboratory Methods Shalin Gala on July 22, 2022.

PETA had approached Mr Sufi, after a viral video footage revealed veterinary students in at least three institutions in Pakistan were involved in inhumane practices on animals, such as operating on animals without anaesthetics and denying them post-operative care despite excruciating pain.

On June 30, Salman Sufi announced an initial set of historic strategic reforms that included barring animals from being used for live testing in any veterinary college or industrial complex in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

“This is a great start and we fully support this measure, and we agreed that more can and should be done since many of the veterinary schools are geographically outside of ICT and are not obligated to follow this new reform policy,” said PETA in a response.

It underscored Pakistan should issue a circular or a regulatory reform that explicitly embraced humane simulation training models for veterinary education and ban training methods that were not medically necessary and did not directly benefit animals involved at the federal level or through the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Council.

PETA cited numerous simulation models for both basic and advanced veterinary and zoology training, such as SynDaver Surgical Canine model, the Critical Care Jerry and Critical Care Fluffy models, the Virtual Animal Anatomy, and Biosphera softwares, to avoid harming animals during the training.

“As such, we are proposing a new collaboration with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Salman Sufi to help provide advanced simulation models so that universities in Pakistan can transition to harm-free and humane veterinary education. We are currently working with Salman Sufi to gather information and do an assessment of the universities’ needs with respect to acquiring simulation models so we can best plan how to assist them,” Ms Gala said.

In response to questions on areas of collaboration with Pakistan, PETA shared more topics that it was addressing with Mr Sufi, such as modernising medical training.

Shalin Gala said before the current Pakistan Medical Commission (PMC) came into being, PETA was in communication with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) to advise them on various reforms for their undergraduate medical (or MBBS) curriculum to replace the use of animals nationwide with non-animal methods.

According to Ms Gala, PETA had advised them to adopt its proposed curriculum reform language stating, “no animals or animal parts shall be used for any aspect of the MBBS curriculum including but not limited to practical labs, learning objectives, contents, teaching/learning strategy, teaching aids and assessments. Only non-animal teaching, learning, demonstration and assessment methods shall be used such as didactic methods, interactive computer-aided learning (CAL), human patient simulators (HPS), human cadavers, supervised clinical practice or other non-animal models”.

This reform, if enacted, would mirror similar reforms adopted internationally as well, she added.

“We would like for Pakistan’s MBBS curriculum to have the same non-animal training standard and use modern simulation technology. We hope to work with Salman Sufi to move this strategic reform forward, which will put Pakistan’s medical education system in sync with the US, Canada, India and others that no longer use animals for undergraduate medical training,” Ms Gala said.

In 2014, following discussions with PETA India, the University Grants Commission in India issued a notification ending dissection and experimentation, for training purposes, in university and college zoology and life sciences undergraduate and postgraduate courses, sparing 19 million animals in that country alone from being killed and cut apart for dissection every year.

PETA asserted its scientists were eager to work with Mr Sufi on setting up a national database in Pakistan for approved non-animal biomedical research and training methods, and drafting regulatory language that the use of animals for such purposes must be replaced by approved non-animal methods that appear in the database.

It also intended to assist conduct scientific reviews of the efficacy of animal use to identify additional areas in which such use had failed to advance human health, or in which non-animal methods were now available, and could be ended quickly.

While technical skills were important, it was also of the utmost importance to instill a culture of care in veterinary training. Creating a dichotomy between the animals used for training and the animal companions seen in an examination room did not benefit the veterinary profession, according to PETA.

“We are currently exploring ways to create materials relevant to Pakistani society and potentially incorporating this compassion-building programme into current school curricula,” the animal rights organisation said.

In response to a question on trafficking of animals, PETA said Mr Sufi mentioned his proposed reform to seize wildlife held in unsuitable living conditions and repatriate them to relevant countries for rehabilitation.

Rights body ready to help end animal testing in medical schools – Pakistan – DAWN.COM

Regards Mark

Iran: Dog shelter worker cries over dead animal after Iranian regime ‘raids property and slaughters 1,700 canines taken in as strays’.

‘This was the most vulnerable & obedient one,’ the inconsolable volunteer cried, before the camera panned to show several canine corpses strewn across the roadside and a nearby valley.

Dog shelter worker cries over dead animal after Iranian regime ‘raids property and slaughters 1,700 canines taken in as strays’

  • Authorities allegedly massacred up to 1,700 dogs at a shelter this weekend
  • Heart-wrenching footage showed a volunteer crying as she held the dogs 
  • Ebrahim Raisi’s regime is looking at a law which would ban pet ownership
  • The bill initially proposed in December would also see fines dished out for the ‘import, purchase and sale, transportation and keeping’ of many common pets
  • Bill authors see the practice of keeping pets as a ‘destructive social problem’

Iranian regime ‘raids property and slaughters 1,700 canines taken in as strays’  | Daily Mail Online

Dog shelter workers are protesting President Ebrahim Raisi’s regime in Iran after authorities allegedly stormed their compound and slaughtered up to 1,700 dogs.

Heart-wrenching footage shared on social media showed one volunteer in floods of tears as she clasped one of the dead hounds in her arms.

‘This was the most vulnerable and obedient one,’ she cried, before the camera panned to show several canine corpses strewn across the roadside and a nearby valley.

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist who shared the footage, said of the slaughter: ‘The ruthless rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran spare no-one’

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian journalist who shared the footage, said of the slaughter: ‘The ruthless rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran spare no-one. 

‘In addition to repressing women, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQs, they also annually kill countless stray dogs. Animal rights activists in Iran need your attention.’

The massacre comes with Iranian lawmakers set to pass a bill which would restrict pet ownership without possession of a special permit.

It would also see considerable fines dished out for the ‘import, purchase and sale, transportation and keeping’ of many common pets, which some parliamentarians believe is a symbol of decadence which could ‘replace’ healthy family relationships.

The bill, initially proposed in December, pits growing numbers of people with pets against those who consider the practice a symbol of decadence and hold that, under Islamic law, dogs and other animals are unclean.

Authors of the bill condemn the practice of humans living under one roof with domesticated animals as a ‘destructive social problem’.

Heart-wrenching footage circulating on social media showed one volunteer in floods of tears as she clasped one of the dead hounds in her arms.

Dogs are a common animal in Iran and have been kept in rural areas for centuries, but more urban dwellers began to develop an affinity for raising pets in the 20th century.

The middle eastern nation was once one of the most tolerant with respect to pets, passing animal welfare laws as early as 1948 and pushing for the development of animal rights. 

But the 1979 Islamic Revolution drastically altered daily life for millions of Iranians, and dogs are now held in contempt by ultraconservative lawmakers.

The bill proposed late last year aims to rid Iranian society of the practice of keeping pets.

Anti-pet lawmakers say the practice could ‘gradually change the Iranian and Islamic way of life’ by ‘replacing human and family relationships with feelings and emotional relationships towards animals’.

Their proposed law would prohibit ‘importing, raising, assisting in the breeding of, breeding, buying or selling, transporting, driving or walking, and keeping in the home wild, exotic, harmful and dangerous animals’.

It lists the animals to be banned as ‘crocodiles, turtles, snakes, lizards, cats, mice, rabbits, dogs and other unclean animals as well as monkeys’.

Offenders would risk a fine equivalent to 10 to 30 times the ‘minimum monthly working wage’ of about £80 and the ‘confiscation’ of the animal – though it is highly likely the animal would simply be killed.

However, there have already been reports in Iran of police officers making arrests on those walking their dogs or carrying pets in public.  

Tehran’s police chief General Hossein Rahimi announced on July 8 that entering the parks with dogs will be forbidden and police will consider and deal with it as illegal action.

Regards Mark

China: Hoopla Stall Where Sick Punters Throw Hoops at a Strapped-Down Live GOOSE.

Hoopla stall where punters throw hoops at a strapped-down GOOSE is condemned by PETA (

A fairground game in which people aim to throw hoops around the neck of a goose tied down to a stool has been condemned by animal rights campaigners.

Bizarre footage from the funfair in Yantai in eastern China‘s Shandong province shows a white goose strapped down to a stool precariously balanced on plastic crates.

Punters are encouraged to throw plastic hoops at the helpless bird, with prizes on offer should they manage to get one of the hoops its neck.

The footage recorded at the funfair last month shows fairgoers launching ring after ring at the animal, which ducks and moves its head frantically to avoid being hit by the oncoming objects.  

Elisa Allen, a programme director at the animal welfare organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) strongly condemned the incident.

‘These videos of fairgoers throwing objects at helpless geese show that, regrettably, there are still people who see animals as commodities whose fears and feelings are of no consequence.’

She added: ‘Geese are intelligent, sensitive birds who deserve to be respected as individuals, not as the sum of their body parts or as amusement.

‘PETA Asia is pushing for stronger animal welfare legislation in China while working to change public attitudes towards our fellow animals.

‘We remind everyone that the best way to help animals is by never eating or wearing them and always speaking out whenever you see them being abused.’

Click here to see all the pictures:

Hoopla stall where punters throw hoops at a strapped-down GOOSE is condemned by PETA  | Daily Mail Online

Regards Mark

England: Introducing Viva ! – For Animals and Humans.

Viva! is the UK’s leading vegan campaigning charity, specialising in undercover investigations and high-profile animal campaigns. Founded in 1994 by Juliet Gellatley, we have spent almost 30 years creating a kinder, more sustainable world for humans and animals alike.

Diet is linked to the diseases that kill most people in the affluent West – ‘degenerative’ diseases. Researchers at Viva! Health keep up to date with the latest science to show you why a varied vegan diet cuts your disease risk, and can improve your health.

And let’s not forget our magnificent Vegan Recipe Club which has hundreds of healthy, delicious and colourful recipes, helping people go and stay vegan.

Please, consider joining Viva! today so we can continue educating the public about the benefits of living vegan.

Join or renew:

Donate or join us | Viva! The Vegan Charity

If you can, please give £5 or more a month and become a Viva! Friend. You’ll receive Viva!life magazine PLUS an exclusive I’m a Viva! Friend mug, keyring, sticker pen and bookmark.

You’ll also receive some handy guides, wallcharts, and a free Films For Change 60 day trial where you can enjoy any film on their site – including an expansive collection of vegan documentaries! 

Yours for the animals,

Juliet Gellatley
Founder and Director

Regards Mark

England: The Viva! Vegan Podcast, Talks To Ronnie Lee – Founder of the Animal Liberation Front, Hunt Saboteur and Vegan Activist.

Ronnie Lee | Viva! Vegan Podcast

The Viva! Vegan Podcast, August

Episode #70: Ronnie Lee – Founder of the Animal Liberation Front, hunt saboteur and vegan activist

Born in 1951, Ronnie stopped eating meat aged 19 when his sister’s vegetarian boyfriend convinced him that it is wrong to eat animals. Two years later, he became vegan and got active with the Hunt Saboteurs Association to disrupt hunting activities and save lives.

In his pursuit to carry out direct action against all forms of animal oppression, the Animal Liberation Front was born.

In this interview, Viva!’s head of investigations, Lex Rigby, gets to ask Ronnie what it was like being vegan in the 70s, what happened to the rescued guinea pigs he stuffed up his jumper and whether he really thought a gallon of petrol was going to burn down an animal research laboratory.

Following the interview, Lex is joined by Viva!’s head of comms, Faye Lewis, to discuss Ronnie’s uncompromising commitment to the animal rights cause.

Regards Mark