Latest News from the Center for Biological Diversity
Unprecedented: Trump Guts the Endangered Species Act
We’ve never seen an attack like this on the Endangered Species Act.
On Monday the Trump administration finalized sweeping changes to the Act that weaken habitat protections, block climate change from being addressed as a threat to vanishing wildlife, and create new barriers to preventing extinctions. Trump’s rules have one goal: to make it easy for industry to plunder our lands and waters for private profit — endangered species be damned.
The Endangered Species Act is the world’s strongest law for saving species from extinction. It’s the reason we still share this planet with bald eagles and whooping cranes and gray wolves.
You can be sure the Center for Biological Diversity will stop this cowardly, vicious move with all the strength we’ve got. We’re counting on you to stand with us in the historic fight ahead.
Please consider supporting our court battle with a donation to our Endangered Species Act Protection Fund.
Suit Launched to Save Green Sea Turtle Habitat
Green sea turtles cross oceans to nest on beaches that soon could be inundated as the seas rise. The gentle animals are also being hurt and killed by plastic pollution. So on Tuesday the Center and allies launched a lawsuit to force the Trump administration to protect their habitat.
“The recovery of most green sea turtle populations is a beacon of hope in our changing oceans, but we’ve got to protect the places they live,” said Jaclyn Lopez, our Florida director.
Court Approves Ban on Cyanide Bombs in Wyoming Forests
Days after Trump’s EPA gave a thumbs-up to the ongoing use of sodium cyanide in M-44s (or “cyanide bombs”), forest creatures across 10 million acres in Wyoming caught a break from the lethal devices.
A judge has approved an agreement, secured by the Center and allies, to ban M-44s across the state’s national forests. It also requires the federal program “Wildlife Services” — which uses cyanide bombs — to analyze the impacts of its killing of coyotes, bobcats and other Wyoming wildlife. And new trapping restrictions will help protect grizzlies and other animals. Read more.
Take Action: Save Joshua Tree From Sprawl
One of our best-loved national parks, Southern California’s Joshua Tree, is threatened by plans to build a city next door.
The sprawl development would bring more than 25,000 people to an isolated spot that’s now home to vulnerable animals like desert tortoises, bighorn sheep and kit foxes. It would drain aquifers, punch a hole in a wildlife corridor, and destroy a key stopover place for migratory birds.
The Riverside County Planning Commission is poised to make its final decision on approving the development. Take one minute now to urge it to say no and protect the area’s wild character.
We Just Sued Trump Over His Dirty Power Plan
On Wednesday we and our partners sued Trump’s EPA to overturn its Dirty Power Plan and reinstate the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The agency failed to meet its legal obligations under the Clean Air Act when it repealed and replaced this set of policies.
“The Dirty Power Plan’s only purpose is to make fossil fuel CEOs richer, no matter how deadly and dangerous that is for the rest of us,” said Center senior attorney Clare Lakewood.
“…That’s why dogs are happier than humans…”
Best regards to all, Venus
And there is nothing that does not exist!!We are now prepared for everything.
Also on live frogs that are eaten.
It is an older video where the half-living frog was served with ice cubes, soy sauce, a piece of lemon. The upper body of the amphibian is served as a decoration on the plate and is in the last live moves. The big eyes gaze at the restaurant visitors, the muscles twitch every now and then, the arms move, even the eyelids blink.
We don`t just dig ourselves for such a research, but since we were asked if frogs are really eaten alive in Japan, we went on the search and it was really disgusting!
So allegedly cooked frog meat with bitter gourd is a popular remedy for dengue fever.
What is the reason for this belief?
Mosquitoes bite humans, frogs eat mosquitoes and people eat frogs. That’s why we humans are still the strongest in the food chain. Idiotic, right?
And what happens if there are no more frogs?
Frogs are a delicacy especially in the kitchens of France, Western Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal, Louisiana and the Caribbean, and generally in South and East Asia and parts of Africa. These frogs are mainly imported from Asia. The main exporter is Indonesia. Over thousands of miles, they must endure in tight transport boxes. Arrived at the destination, their legs are cut off without any anesthetic – desperately wriggling, the frogs die a painful and slow death.
Would you eat a live frog? Frogs from the kitchen are otherwise known only from France. But frogs are also eaten in far-away Asia. In Japanese restaurants, a very special and cruel delicacy is prepared: live frog sushi.
The frog is broken up into pieces with a sharp knife. It seems he lives and can watch him being eaten. The animal is served in a bowl full of hot broth and fresh vegetables.
It is really horrible that we must read that in Central Asia it is a delicacy to eat fallopian tubes of frogs or even the ovaries, also known as ovaries. The court is called Hasma (Harsmar, Hashima).
These are usually used by the Asian Common Frog (Rana chensinensis). Because of its whitish appearance, Hasma is often falsely described as a “snowflake fat”. Hasma is produced in the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning in China. The soup from Hasma is also served in North American cities with a large Chinese population. But mainly in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
At Singapore’s Frog Farm in the Kranji countryside, the meat is bred by the American bullfrog and sold worldwide as a frozen product.
In the following video you can see the frog farm, here live tens of thousands of frogs.
My comment: It is frightening to see how many places in Europe now sell frogs’ legs again and are prepared and eaten in restaurants.
In the “wild frog harvest” the back frog extremities are separated, from living body!!
Most of the imported frog legs are still from these wild catches.
Frog thighs may not look anyone in the eye, but they are ALSO a horrible cruelty, like any food made from animal corpses.
Only that the “civilized” society in Europe can not endure the living gaze of a victim on the plate and therefore dead body parts are preferred and served.
Best regrads, Venus
The undercover journalist Patryk Szczepaniak tells very excitingly how he prepared for his role as “butchers” for a slaughterhouse in Poland. The results of his investigative work were sensational. https://gijn.org/2019/08/05/becoming-a-butcher-lessons-from-working-undercover/
His report follows:
“In early October 2018, Tomasz Patora and I started to take a closer look into the Polish cattle industry. We had a tip-off: A slaughterhouse (or abattoir) in Poland was selling the meat of sick cattle, some of which had arrived at the facility already dead. After conducting some initial background research and sneaking around the slaughterhouse a few times in the cover of night, we knew our source was telling the truth. The only problem was how we were going to get inside to prove it. After a long discussion with our editor at the investigative program Superwizjer of TVN Discovery Poland, we decided that one of us needed to go undercover and get hired as a butcher.
Happily, I got the job.
Patryk Szczepaniak went undercover to investigate a slaughterhouse in Warsaw, where he secretly recorded video. Image: Courtesy TVN Discovery Poland
Where’s the Beef?
We knew a few things before going in. We knew the slaughterhouse where I would work had been buying sick and dead cattle from farmers, and that it usually paid a farmer a maximum of $200 per sick cow; by comparison, a healthy cow costs between $800 and $1,400.
We also knew that the slaughterhouse would take in diseased, dead cows for free. We knew that sometimes the sick cows had broken legs, or that their bones wouldn’t pop back in their hips after giving birth. We also knew that after those sick cows were slaughtered, the carcasses were cleaned and visible marks of diseases were cut away, and that the meat of those sick cows were regularly sold on for human consumption. And we knew that all of this was done without any oversight by the state’s veterinary office.
We estimated that by killing around 20 sick cows per day, the slaughterhouse would earn around $660,000 of pure profit per year; if it killed only the healthy ones, its profits would come in at around $91,000 per year. Poland produced almost 438,000 tons of bovine meat worth $1.5 million in 2018, and more than 80% of that was exported to European Union and beyond.
We had much of our background research in the bag. Now it was time to get inside to show how bad things looked up close. But first, I had to prepare for my role.
Becoming a Butcher
It wasn’t my first undercover assignment. In the past I had been abused as a temporary worker in the Netherlands. I hired myself out as an Uber driver to show how the company was avoiding taxes as well violating labor laws. I also frequented Warsaw’s strip clubs to document the robbery of foreign tourists. My experience from all of these past assignments was crucial for my preparation in becoming a butcher.
Here’s what I learned about going undercover:
Setting the story. The best character is built on real events, emotions, and histories. Use memories and experiences from your own past to make your story authentic. Before going to the slaughterhouse and asking for the job, I prepared two stories and, based on how the situation inside developed, I could choose two different paths to explain how I ended up at a slaughterhouse in the countryside, far away from major cities. During the job interview, I began to sense that my initial story paths wouldn’t work, so I had to come up with a third story path. So I said my girlfriend had fallen pregnant by another man, which left me distraught and far away from home. I know it sounds really cliched, but that’s the one that landed me the job.
Lies. You’ll be lying a lot. My advice is that it is better to say as little as possible. Memorize your story and be prepared to have it checked by anybody at any time.
Digital footprints. “Delete everything you can from the internet, including all social media. Profiles need to be deleted and, if necessary, replaced with new ones”. Do it carefully and well before the assignment. Learn from my mistake: I left one of my old photos that appeared under my real name on the sixth page of a Google image search. It later led to my exposure where, during one of my night shifts at around 3 a.m., I was invited to my boss’s office “to sign a contract.”!!
Change of appearance. Shaving, growing, or dying hair; cutting or growing a beard; growing or cutting a mustache — it is worth taking a closer look at your external appearance, as well as inside your wardrobe. If the clothes don’t match your story, buy new ones, including socks and underwear. For example, I normally wear colorful socks. Can you imagine a butcher with socks like that? I also shaved my head, beard, and mustache. My colleagues didn’t recognize me when I passed by them in the office hallways. I also recommend reading “Black Like Me.” John Howard Griffin was a white journalist who chemically altered the color of his skin and headed to the racially segregated Deep South in the United States in 1959.
Change of personality. Adapt to your environment. If it is an academic environment, behave and speak like an academic. If it’s a slaughterhouse, behave and speak like a butcher”.
I graduated from a decent university in Poland and before the assignment began, my colleagues expressed concern that those years of education might ruin my story. “You won’t sound like the other butchers,” they said. So I spoke very little about myself and kept to the most important facts. Pretending to be an introvert helped a lot.
Research. Learn whatever you can about your assignment. I watched plenty of documentaries about meat production, and some pretty nasty videos on LiveLeak and YouTube regarding animal cruelty. I also read a few books for beginning butchers, and went to other slaughterhouses to learn how they work. It’s good to know if you’re about to puke or faint during slaughtering before going undercover.
Identification card. Faking an ID is a crime in Poland, so we decided not to do it during my assignment, and there wasn’t really a need for it. But if you go into an undercover situation where your personal information might lead to threats on your health or life, you might need to fake it. While this will certainly depend on where you are working and what story you are working on, most courts will likely acknowledge that this was done in a pursuit of the greater good.
Observe and document. These are basic ethical rules of undercover journalism. You’re there to document systems or criminal activities, not to provoke or to stage situations. While working on night shifts — where the illegal butchering was happening — I tried to be a useful worker at every step of the slaughter, from pulling sick cows with a rope to stunning and killing them, as well as decapitating, skinning, and cleaning out their guts. I wasn’t pushing anyone to give me a particular job. I knew the graphic footage filmed with hidden cameras would be newsworthy, and I had only a limited time to film certain scenes. I had to go with the flow of work and film everything whenever I could.
Worst-case scenario. Prepare safety rules and know your way out. Create a communication system, such as secret text code messages. Report back daily about any unusual behavior in your working environment — your colleagues might notice something relevant. If possible and necessary, have someone nearby to help you. I was exposed as a journalist during the night. It wasn’t the most comfortable time in my life, but I knew there were people watching my back all the time. This helps.
I worked undercover for almost three weeks in November 2018 to expose the slaughterhouse.
I managed to document and film the pulling, by a rope, of sick and dead cows into the slaughterhouse; the preparation and cleaning of the sick and dead cows for further sale; the slaughter of cows in advanced stages of pregnancy; the disposal of both small and large fetuses; a wide range of animal cruelty acts; the loading of rotting carcasses into trucks for further sale; stamping by workers, my boss, and myself with an official veterinary stamp that was intended to show that the meat was examined by the veterinary service when it was not; and conversations with workers and the head of the company about procedure. Altogether we had around 120 hours of undercover footage.
Image: Courtesy TVN Discovery Poland
After our piece came out in late January, it had significant impact, including:
- The slaughterhouse and its closest business partners were shut down by the government.
- Every slaughterhouse in Poland — around 800 of them — was put under the strict control of state veterinary inspectors.
- Unexamined meat from the slaughterhouse where I worked was found in 14 EU states, including in schools, kindergartens, military bases, restaurants, and shops.
- The chief deputy of the General Veterinary Inspectorate was dismissed.
- A trade war between Poland and the Czech Republic unfolded, with the Czech government urging its citizens to buy domestic products instead of buying Polish meat.
- Upscale restaurants in Prague were exposed for selling meat from the slaughterhouse where I worked as Argentinian beef.
- EU inspectors examined meat production in Poland, and their report confirmed our reportage.
- It is estimated that the Polish beef industry will lose around $150 million in 2019 in the aftermath of our reportage.
- In the latest polls, 43% of Poles stated that they have reduced meat consumption or eliminated it from their diet.
In Data We Trust
There could be another way to dig deeper into this story. My colleague Julia Dauksza is one of the few true data freaks in Poland, constantly digging up and analyzing all sorts of data. She obtained data from the Polish Ministry of Agriculture, the Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture, and the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics, and found that in 2017, Poland reported it had slaughtered almost two million cows, of which only 4,513 — or just 0.22% — were reported unfit for human consumption by the government’s veterinary office. These numbers are just waiting for another investigation”!
My comment: And we immediately remember the German scandal, which has the same criminal barbarity against sick and injured cows here, in civilized Germany.
The SOKO organization also got acquainted with undercover video material, we had reported it . https://worldanimalsvoice.com/2019/04/13/germany-crime-continues-in-slaughterhouses/
That was in March and April 2019, and that was the tenth slaughterhouse scandal in Germany within two years. Connected to this is a criminal network of hundreds of farmers, livestock dealers and veterinarians who operate and support the illegal and highly profitable trade in so-called downer cows.
A farmer who was confronted with pictures of his farm said without any sense of guilt:
“It is not an isolated case that animals are so charged when they can no longer walk independently. That’s just like that. That’s economy. We do business. “
Image: SOKO Tierschutz e.V, Germany
Our Agriculture Minister of germany, Julia Klöckner said: We do not need a self-proclaimed stable police, which controls the compliance with animal welfare. It is up to the state to prosecute farmers who keep their animals bad “.
Klöckner announced that the federal government wanted to punish stabling burglaries even more in this legislative period. So far, activists often go unpunished, gaining access to stables and secretly filming. Farmers criticize this.
Klöckner: “The thing is very clear: burglary is burglary. Animal rights activists would have to abide by laws”.
No thing is clear in slaughterhouses before a brave undercover team goes in and films what corrupt politicians consider as “clear”.
Thanks to these people, we know how every system, and not just that of Poland, works with the meat mafia.
The walls of slaughterhouses have long been made of glass, but no one wants to know what’s going on in there.
My best regards to all, Venus
As you can see from our global map; or ‘Clustrmap’; https://clustrmaps.com/site/1a9kn – we are getting lots of visitors from all over the World. The site is truly becoming a World Animals Voice.
We want to welcome each and every one of you here and hope to see you again real soon.
If there are any specific issues that you would like us to try and investigate further; then please drop us a quick line using the ‘Contact’ link – https://worldanimalsvoice.com/contact/
For the animals;
Regards Venus and Mark.
Reproduced from the ‘League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) – England.
Fox hunting is a ‘traditional sport’ in which hunters, usually on horseback, follow a pack of hunting dogs aiming to pick up the scent of a fox, chase it – and kill it. Fox hunting is illegal in England, Scotland and Wales, but evidence suggests that hunts are regularly breaking the law.
Carry on reading for some more fox hunting facts.
IS FOX HUNTING ILLEGAL?
Fox hunting is illegal in England, Scotland and Wales. It is still legal in Northern Ireland.
Fox hunting was banned by the Hunting Act 2004 in England and Wales, and the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 in Scotland. But while these were both welcome and hard-fought pieces of legislation, overwhelming evidence suggests that both are being ignored or exploited by hunts on a regular basis.
Hunts in England and Wales invented the activity of ‘trail’ hunting after the fox hunting ban came in. This claims to be a non-lethal sport where the hunt simply follows a pre-laid trail rather than searching for and chasing a fox. However, years of evidence shows that hunts are using trail hunting as a cover for illegal hunting by claiming to be following a trail but still carrying on and hunting foxes the way they did before the hunting ban.
Hunts in England and Wales also use ‘exemptions’ in the Hunting Act. These were designed to allow certain types of ‘pest’ control or scientific research, but are being exploited by the hunts to give them an excuse to carry on hunting.
In Scotland, an exemption in the law allows foxes to be killed by ‘flushing to guns’, where a pack of hounds is allowed to be used to chase a fox from cover where it can be shot. However, evidence from League investigators shows hunts claiming to be flushing to guns – but without having any guns present in the right place.
MOST PEOPLE WANT TO STOP FOX HUNTING
If you are opposed to hunting, then you are in the majority. More than eight out of ten people are opposed to hunting. This includes more than eight out of ten people in rural areas – which shows that people who truly understand and experience what hunts do want to see it remain illegal.
Hunting is not a town vs country issue, and it is not a ‘class’ issue. More than seven out of 10 Conservative voters want hunting to remain illegal. Hunting is an issue of animal cruelty, nothing else.
Some argue that ‘hunting’ should continue because it’s a grand old British tradition. However, bear baiting and bull baiting were also traditions, and they were rightfully consigned to the history books. Traditions are measured in more than years. They have to reflect the values and attitudes of a society, and the vast majority of the British people oppose hunting with dogs.
IS FOX HUNTING ‘PEST CONTROL’?
Fox hunting is not a credible form of pest control. Hunters claim that they are helping farmers by killing foxes, but this is a senseless argument that most people no longer believe. The League does not believe that there is any requirement for lethal fox control, but even if there was, then hunting is neither a humane nor effective way of doing it.
Any suggestion that fox hunting is about ‘pest control’ can be dismissed very quickly by the fact that hunts have been caught capturing and raising foxes purely so they can then be hunted. In May 2015, a League investigation revealed 16 terrified fox cubs held captive in a barn linked to a fox hunt in Yorkshire. We rescued them, took them to a vet, and sadly one died, but we released the others to safety. We are proud to have protected those foxes.
While the scale of this fox ‘factory’ was shocking, it’s not an isolated case. In December 2015, League Investigators released a fox found locked in a building near to where the Belvoir Hunt was meeting. It is worth mentioning that a few months later, while monitoring the same hunt, our Investigators were brutally attacked, leaving one with a broken neck, which we believe was retaliation for us rescuing this fox.
Watch the story of 16 fox cubs found captive in a barn close to a hunt kennel.
Read on using the top link.
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The Result – Photo – Mark (WAV).