The number of news found: 47.
Despite scientific evidence showing that the wolverine faces significant threats from over-trapping and habitat loss, Gale Norton's Interior Department, through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, refused to agree to a listing request by Defenders of Wildlife and an alliance of other wildlife groups. "Our petition plainly demonstrates that the wolverine is on the path toward extinction in the lower 48 states. The Fish and Wildlife Service's decision is yet another example of this administration's ongoing efforts to undermine protections for imperiled species," said Defenders of Wildlife Legal Director Mike Senatore. Wolverines once ranged across the northernmost tier of the United States from Maine to Washington, but have been eliminated from all but a fragment of this historic range due to destruction of wilderness habitat and trapping. (Defenders of Wildlife)
QUEEN ANNE, Md. - Authorities are releasing the name of the 10-year-old Baltimore County boy who was killed by a crossbow while hunting in Talbot County Saturday evening. Tyler Mattison was shot while he and his father, Christopher Mattison, hunted on private property near Queen Anne. Tyler was from Parkville and was a fifth-grader at Seven Oaks Elementary School. Investigators from the Maryland Natural Resources Police are trying to determine what happened. DNR spokeswoman Heather Lynch says Tyler was carrying a crossbow and his father was carrying a muzzleloader during the hunt. Neighbors say Christopher Mattison is an avid sportsman and they say his son was an animal lover.
10/31/2003 BARCELONA CONSIDERS BAN ON BULLFIGHTING!
Ernest Hemingway will be turning in his grave: Barcelona is planning to deliver the coup de grace to bullfighting. The author had a lifelong love affair with bullfighting and wrote evocatively of its "spiritual intensity." But public opinion in Spain's second city has swung against the ancient sport, and talk of a ban is rife in the corridors of the city council and the parliament of Catalonia, the region that includes Barcelona. One senior member of Barcelona's ruling Catalan Nationalist Party said it was "only a matter of time" before an official ban was proposed and that bullfighting could disappear from the city "within a few years." Opponents of bullfighting argue that the slaughter of more than 100 bulls a year for public entertainment is anachronistic and incompatible with Barcelona's ambition to become one of the world's leading cities for arts and culture.
Australia said on Friday that 52 000 sheep aboard the so-called "ship of death" had been accepted by Eritrea, ending an embarrassing two-month saga after Saudi Arabia rejected them on health grounds. Trade Minister Mark Vaile said the sheep were being presented as a "gift" to the people of Eritrea, and vowed to ensure the fiasco was never repeated. At 3 P.M. local time (0500 GMT) the ship had docked in Eritrea and the sheep were already being offloaded, he said. "We've managed it the best way we can and we certainly will be doing everything we can to ensure this circumstance never arises again," Vaile said. Vaile conceded that negotiations over the sheep had been sensitive. Australia's agriculture industry had been deeply concerned by government plans to return the sheep to Australia for slaughter if a taker could not be found, fearing the animals could be carrying exotic diseases contracted during their lengthy voyage. Animal rights activists had been calling for the animals to be slaughtered at sea, while a series of countries in the region followed the Saudi lead and rejected them, even though independent vets refuted the Saudi claim that they were diseased. Thousands of the sheep have died, mainly of heat and exhaustion, since they left by Australia in August aboard the Dutch-owned MV Cormo Express.
Israel's supreme court demands explanation: Why should animal imports from Australia continue? The Israeli Supreme Court issued on October 27 an order nisi requiring the Ministry of Agriculture and other State authorities to give a reason within 60 days why the imports of live animals from Australia should not stop, unless a long series of substantive defaults are fixed and relevant regulations are issued. This is still another blow to the Australian live exports industry, which is quickly losing credibility. After exports to Saudi Arabia were banned by the Australian Government, the industry is now in risk of losing another market due to animal welfare considerations. The order was issued in the context of a petition filed on February 2003 by "Let the Animals Live," an Israeli animal welfare organization, represented by Attorney Nadav Haetzni and Attorney Orit Hayim. The investigation backing the petition was done with the cooperation of many organizations worldwide, and especially Anonymous for Animal Rights in Israel, who provided abundant photographic evidence on the cruelty of the trade.
10/29/2003 KING OF THE JUNGLE IS THREATENED BY AIDS!
Aids is not only killing millions of people in Africa. There is growing concern it is also killing lions and driving the king of the jungle to the brink of extinction. With scientists reporting a devastating collapse of the African lion population from 230,000 in 1980 to fewer than 20,000 now, the decline has traditionally been blamed on loss of natural habitat and hunting. But advances in virology and ground-breaking field research suggest that large numbers of lions could be dying from Aids - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - because their immune system has been destroyed by lion lentivirus, the lion version of HIV.Much of the research into lion Aids is being carried out in Botswana, the African country of just 1.7 million people which has the highest recorded rate of HIV infection in the world - 40 per cent in some towns.
10/28/2003 STRANDED AUSTRALIAN SHEEP FIND A HOME!
Sydney - After months at sea and unwanted by dozens of nations on health grounds, the African nation of Eritrea has agreed to take a shipment of 52,000 Australian sheep, the Australian government says. The sheep were being unloaded at the Eritrean port of Massawa on Friday after the Dutch-owned ship carrying the sheep, the Cormo Express, was secretly turned around in recent days during a trip back to Australia. "It's all signed, sealed and delivered," a spokesman for Australian Agriculture Minister Warren Truss said on Friday. "It's a huge relief." Eritrea issued an import permit for the sheep on Friday after the two countries signed a memorandum of agreement on October 16, Truss later told reporters.Unloading at the port of Massawa ends an 80-day sea voyage that began on August 6 and has been a huge embarrassment for the Australian government. Under the deal, Australia donates A$1 million to the African country for unloading, transport, holding and slaughter costs and provides 3,000 tonnes of free feed.
10/28/2003 HUNTER IGNITES FIRE!
LA VERNE, California (CNN) - Wind-whipped wildfires tormented Southern California from San Diego to Los Angeles on Sunday, causing at least 10 deaths, and destroying nearly 400 homes and threatening thousands more. Eight people were reported dead in a 100,000-acre fire in eastern San Diego County and more deaths were being investigated, Sheriff Bill Kolender said. He did not specify whether those who died were residents or firefighters. The so-called Cedar fire started Saturday when a hunter lost in the mountains near Julian ignited a signal fire, The Associated Press reported authorities as saying. Two elderly men died Saturday in San Bernardino east of Los Angeles, apparently from fire-induced stress. As many as 12,000 homes in the region were under "some form of evacuation," with residents either having already left or preparing to do so.
Marks and Spencer later menswear range, called SP, is being promoted by their having photographed models wearing the clothes at a greyhound stadium. These photos tend to be displayed in the windows of their shops, and cynically several photos have a black of white picture of a greyhound looking up at you with a sad expression on its face, while the models laugh as they place their bets. The clothes range also features a t-shirt of two racing greyhounds with racing jackets on, which can be viewed on the companies website.
10/24/2003 STRUGGLING FARMERS ARE SHOOTING SICK COWS!
Impoverished Highlands and Islands farmers are slaughtering sick animals because they cannot afford vets' fees as a result of the collapse of the agricultural economy. The practice was revealed in the Commons by Orkney and Shetland Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael during a debate in which he protested that a proposed ban on vets automatically supplying drugs when they visit a farm will make things worse by pushing up charges even further. The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said last night: "It is extremely worrying that any farmer has to put down animals because he cannot afford veterinary fees." And farmers' union NFU Scotland admitted that it did go on, but claimed: "So far as we know, it is not a widespread issue."
10/23/2003 PETA VIDEO EXPOSES COLUMBIA "ATROCITIES"!
Columbia University regularly commits "atrocities" against lab animals, a former researcher charges - and now the federal government is on its tail. The researcher and animal rights activists want the school's animal labs closed, pointing to a gut-wrenching video viewed by the Daily News. In it, a baboon sits in a cage with a metal cylinder screwed into its head. The baboon twitches, its body sags. Other primates languish in cages, all deprived of pain medication, suffering prolonged, agonizing deaths, said Catherine Dell'Orto, who quit this year after complaining to Columbia and the feds about the conditions in 2001. "This is not valid lab research. This is just brutality," said Dell'Orto, a veterinarian. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals release the video yesterday. It was shot secretly in March by a lab technician who still works at the school's Health Sciences campus.
American animal rights protesters, one dressed in a sheep's costume, held anoisy demonstration outside the Australian embassy in Washington, DC to condemn Australia's treatment of sheep on the MV Cormo Express. Chanting "Australia tortures animals. Stop live exports," about 30 members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were involved in the demonstration. American PETA director Bruce Friedrich compared Australia's treatment of sheep to the human slave trade from Africa to America between the 17th and 19th centuries. "The level of abuse the Australian government is supporting would shock the conscience of any compassionate person," Friedrich told AAP. "This ship of horrors brings shame on all of Australia. The live export trade is the moral equivalent of the African slave trade and it has to be eliminated." The protest came despite Australia's top veterinarian, Gardner Murray, who inspected the 52,000 sheep aboard the MV Cormo Express, declaring yesterday the sheep were in good health. The sheep are now on their way back to Australia after more than two months at sea and their rejection by over 30 countries.
BERLIN (AFP) - Monkeys, elephants and bears should be banned from the circus where they spend most of their time in cages and chains, Germany's Upper House of Parliament demanded Friday. The Bundesrat called on the government to introduce legislation that would ban circuses from keeping wild animals and supervise how other creatures are cared for. "Wild animals need particularly high standards of accommodation, nutrition and care, as well as the expertise by their keepers," according to a motion introduced by the state of Hesse. The consumer affairs ministry has promised to consult with the states and animal welfare groups on how to resolve the problem.
10/21/2003 PIONEERING VET SCHOOL REJECTS VIVISECTION!
Students at Western University's new College of Veterinary Medicine in Pomona, California will practice what is known as "no-harm" medicine - without vivisection. At most veterinary schools live animals are bought from pounds or biomedical firms. The animals are operated on by students and later euthanized. At Western University, however, only donated animals will be used - either those that have died of natural causes or have been euthanized because of illness or old age. And prior to classes, the owners of the donated dogs will meet with students to tell them about their deceased pets. School leaders say this new technique will be a revolution in the way veterinary medicine is taught and practiced in the United States.
Members of the European Parliament have demanded an end to the use of sonar devices believed to cause the strandings and deaths of dolphins and whales. A 100,000-signature petition was delivered to NATO headquarters in Brussels calling for a ban on the devices, which are used to detect submarines. Their move comes amid growing concern about the effects of soundwaves from underwater military sonar equipment. NATO must immediately cease using the devices, in line with the clearly stated wishes of thousands of European citizens who have signed this petition.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the death of six Mexican gray wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. It is presumed that all six of the endangered wolves were illegally killed, and some observers suspect that it may be the work of the same individual. Through its Imperiled Predator Fund, Defenders of Wildlife is offering $10,000 of the total $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest of those responsible for the wolves' deaths. Law enforcement officials will respect confidentiality. (Defenders of Wildlife)
Despite appeals for mercy by the state government and animal welfare agencies, more than 2,000 goats and buffalos and thousands of lambs and hens were "sacrificed" at the temples of Durga and other goddesses in Orissa, India, during the week-long Dasara festival in early October. Police and district administrators watched as massive numbers of animals were killed at the temple in Bhawanipatna. The killing of over 2,000 goats and buffalos took place at one temple alone, while the lambs and hens were killed at many other temples. India's Home Department had issued a press release on October 2 urging the public against animal sacrifice in the name of tradition. This marked the first time the government had issued such an appeal.
10/17/2003 MPS REVOLT OVER SHEEP SHIP!
Government backbenchers have launched a revolt over plans to bring 52,000 stranded sheep back to Australia, with at least 16 Liberal and National MPs complaining directly to John Howard. The backbenchers, led by recently dumped minister Wilson Tuckey, argued that the sheep posed an unacceptably high quarantine risk if they were brought back to the Australian mainland. "They must never be brought to Australia," Mr Tuckey said. The backbenchers spoke out against the return of the sheep during a meeting of Liberal and National MPs in Canberra, as meat processors warned that bringing the sheep home would jeopardise Australia's $11billion meat trade. Some MPs argued the sheep should be slaughtered at sea, while others pushed for them to be landed on an offshore island - preferably in the Cocos Islands.
10/16/2003 PETA FOR BIG CATS!
PETA is calling upon the United States Department of Agriculture to ban all activities that permit direct contact with big cats in the wake of the Siegfried & Roy attack. Despite countless incidents of maulings and deaths, the USDA has failed to stop the use of big cats in dangerous situations. Last weekend, PETA members held a rally outside the Mirage hotel-casino to urge Siegfried and Roy to retire their animals. Carrying signs that read, "The Strip Is No Place for Tigers," and, "Big Cats = Big Danger," they gathered near the entrance to the hotel-casino underneath the large "Siegfried & Roy" marquee.
10/16/2003 OUTBACK BURIAL PROPOSED FOR SHEEP!
A government briefing paper on the fate of Australia's 50,000 stranded sheep says burying them in the outback is probably the safest option. The paper prepared by the Department of Agriculture, obtained by The Sunday Telegraph, says the Federal Government is close to acknowledging all hope for finding a home for the sheep in the Middle East has been lost. "In this light, there is no feasible alternative but to instruct the Master of the vessel to sail towards Australia once the ship leaves Kuwait," the paper says.
The Bush administration is proposing far-reaching changes to conservation policies that would allow hunters, circuses and the pet industry to kill, capture and import animals on the brink of extinction in other countries. Giving Americans access to endangered animals, officials said, would both feed the gigantic U.S. demand for live animals, skins, parts and trophies, and generate profits that would allow poor nations to pay for conservation of the remaining animals and their habitats. This and other proposals that pursue conservation through trade would, for example, open the door for American trophy hunters to kill the endangered straight-horned markhor in Pakistan; license the pet industry to import the blue-fronted Amazon parrot from Argentina; permit the capture of endangered Asian elephants for U.S. circuses and zoos; and partially resume the international trade in African ivory. No U.S. endangered species would be affected. Conservation groups counter that killing or capturing even a few animals is hardly the best way to protect endangered species, and say the policies cater to individuals and businesses that profit from animal exploitation.
10/13/2003 GREEK ANIMALS STILL RACE FOR THEIR LIVES!
Rumours have just been rumours and Athens, host of the 2004 Olympics, has no real intention of spaying/neutering dogs and cats in Greece. Therefore, it is necessary to keep sending the letters of protest before all the strays end up poisoned and killed. For more information, please visit regularly www.canadianvoiceforanimals.org/WAG_NewYork.html.
Mexican authorities recently left seven captive dolphins in a shallow steel sea-cage, only metres from the beach, during two deadly hurricanes on the Baja California coast. Within days of Hurricane Marty on September 22, three were dead. These are the same dolphins authorities promised to protect after an international protest over their treatment, led by Star readers, two years ago. They had no way out. Abandoned to the storm, unable to dive, they were thrown up against the bottom by hurricane-force-winds, their big bodies tossed against wooden pylons and bashed against the steel mesh of their cage about the size of football fields. "It would have been like being in a washing machine," says U.S. dolphin expert Ric O'Barry. Of eight bottlenose dolphins captured in late 2000 and caged in the tourist town of La Paz, half are now dead. This has occurred despite an ongoing campaign for their release and a fully financed plan to free them in the Pacific Ocean. The first dolphin, a female, Luna, died within a month of capture. After the last storm, three more died - Concha, six months pregnant, young male Ricky, and Quinta, a big male whose bungled capture and mistreatment. captured on videotape, enraged Star readers. The Mexican government is legally responsible for these dolphins, captured for a "swim-with-the-dolphins" scheme. Yet, despite warnings, nobody ensured there was an adequate hurricane evacuation plan in place again, mandated by law, in a hurricane capital of the world. Mexican authorities are still fussing over autopsy findings, saying preliminary results suggest "circumstantial" deaths. But environmentalists, who warned of this sad outcome, have no doubt they died as a result of the hurricane and its aftermath. Their internal organs were brutally pounded, says O'Barry. The four surviving dolphins are in rough shape, swimming in a chocolate brown sludge of sewage and debris from back to back hurricanes, Ignacia in August, then Marty. On the autopsy table, it was discovered Quinta suffocated from a baseball cap stuck in his esophagus. Their sea-cage abuts on sewer outlets. At its lowest point, it's 26 centimetres deep. "I cannot even imagine the horror of being prisoners in that sea-pen, without any chance of saving themselves," says Mexican environmentalist Yolanda Alaniz. She has led the campaign to release the dolphins back to the Pacific, a stone's throw across the narrow Baja Peninsula from La Paz. Star readers have been involved from the start, and they almost succeeded. Two years ago, appalled by a story about their brutal capture and subsequent death of Luna, hundreds of readers launched an international protest to Mexican President Vicente Fox. Widespread media coverage ensued, including ABC's 20/20 and, for a few months before powerful Mexican interested tied up the case in legal wrangling, it looked as if they would swim free. Instead says Toronto marine mammal activist Gwen McKenna: "It has just become a bigger and bigger nightmare... and the hurricane season isn't over yet." Alaniz is devastated. "It has been very difficult because, for me, I made a promise to them and now, three more are dead. It is personal," she says, breaking down on the phone from Mexico City. "The worst is that for more than two years we all warned this could happen. They did not believe us." "We were ready to go and free them. We are still ready to go," says O'Barry from Miami, a wildlife consultant for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). He became famous in the 1960s after training dolphins for the TV series Flipper. "This whole thing can be turned around. We just need co-operation from the Mexican government." The story of the La Paz dolphins is a saga of human greed, stupidity and incompetence. Throughout, the hapless dolphins were left in the care of an individual who bashed open their crates with a hammer. It's also a story of heroes, but they have paid a price.
Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) members from all over Australia are lining up to express their vehement opposition to the return of the sheep on board the Cormo Express because of concerns about welfare of the sheep and risks to Australian stock and wildlife. The Government must put animal welfare first and ensure that hundreds of millions of sheep, cattle, humans, companion and our native animals are not exposed to these diseases. National AVA President, Dr Jo Sillince says that the Federal Government's own report indicates that it does not know the risk to Australian native fauna from diseases like Rift Valley Fever. "There is the potential that some native species on the brink extinction could be wiped out if these exotic diseases are introduced," says Dr Sillince. "These sheep have been in the Middle East and have almost certainly been exposed to exotic diseases or the insects that carry them, including Screw-Worm fly, foreign strains of Bluetongue, Rift Valley Fever and Sheep Pox, which do not exist here."
10/11/2003 SONAR MAY CAUSE BENDS DISEASE IN DOLPHINS!
LONDON (Reuters) - Sonar may cause a type of decompression sickness in whales and dolphins similar to the "bends" in humans, scientists said on Wednesday. Although it seems an unlikely illness for the aquatic creatures, researchers from the Zoological Society of London and the University of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands have found bubbles in the tissue of stranded whales and dolphins similar to the effects of decompression sickness (DCS) in humans. "The only way we can explain these findings is that it is a condition very similar to decompression sickness in humans," Dr Paul Jepson, co-ordinator of the UK Marine Mammal Stranding Project which contributed to the research, said in an interview.
Three members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society were arrested and being held by police in Taiji, Japan, for documenting a dolphin roundup in the area with video and still cameras. Taiji is located on the south part of mainland Japan, near Osaka. Brooke MacDonald (Canadian), Morgan Whorwood (British), and Nicholas Hensey (American) recently traveled to Japan to document the dolphin round-up and slaughter by local fisherman near Taiji. Wild dolphin slaughter occurs in several areas of Japan - it`s estimated that 1-2 thousand dolphins are killed each year via round-ups, and additional thousands killed by other means. A reason for the arrest is unclear. The three Sea Shepherd members reportedly called the local Japanese police themselves and were arrested for unknown cause. While it is not illegal to document a dolphin round-up, the video documentation of the slaughter is very graphic and is effective in raising awareness of the issue world-wide. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is very concerned about the well-being of the arrested individuals and is trying to reach them in Japan for updates.
10/09/2003 VICTORY FOR ANIMALS IN NEW YORK STATE!
Last Tuesday, New York State Governor George Pataki signed into law a bill that mandates shelter for dogs who are left outdoors in extreme weather conditions. Effective November 21, the law requires compliance with standards for adequate shelter and imposes escalating fines for violators. "This is a great day for dogs in New York, and the scores of New Yorkers who love them," commented the ASPCA's Stacy Wolf, Director of New York State Government Affairs and Public Policy, which spearheaded the bill. "No dog should die frozen to the ground or from extreme heat or dehydration simply because there is no shelter. This legislation will give law enforcement the tools it needs to stop this entirely preventable tragedy."
The bloodied bodies of four dead foxes have been dumped outside the home of two high profile animal rights activists in Rotherham.Ray Wharam and his wife Doreen campaign openly on animal welfare issues and his activities disrupting animal shoots have previously landed him in court. Now they claim their home in Ravenfield has been targeted by hunters who left four dead foxes strewn around the entrance and walls of their garden. Ray believes the animals had probably been killed by hunters working with dogs.
10/08/2003 HUNTING ACCIDENT LEAVES 19-YEAR-OLD DEAD!
MORGAN CITY - A 19-year-old man died from an apparent accidental gunshot wound while hunting Saturday on Avoca Island, said St. Mary Parish Sheriff David Naquin. The Sheriff's Office received a call at 4:23 P.M. Saturday of a hunting accident on Avoca Island. Naquin said that Jacob Gros, 19, of 1026 Tower Tank Road in Stephensville was hunting on Avoca Island when he was accidentally shot by someone in his group. The name of the person who shot Gros was not released. Gros suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and died from his injuries, Naquin said. The St. Mary Parish Coroner's Office is conducting an investigation. No further information is available at this time, Naquin said.
Athens, host of the 2004 Olympics, launched a plan last week to sterilize more than 10,000 stray dogs ahead of the Games in measures condemned by animal rights groups as ill thought-out and insufficient. The city said the 1.8 million euro ($2.11 million) project, to be officially unveiled on the weekend, will halt the growth of a huge population of stray dogs roaming the streets of the capital before the start of the Olympics. "The sight of thousands of stray animals living without care in the city streets constitutes an insult to us as civilized people," Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyanni, who plans to give 20 strays up for adoption on the weekend, said in a statement. The project, co-funded by the city and the government, aims to collect, sterilize and tag the dogs, before releasing them again. Two mobile vet units will monitor their health. But animal rights groups say the plan does not cover the needs of strays. "This cannot be just a one-day event with some promises and cute puppies as gifts," Marianna Polichroniadou, head of a newly-founded animal rights group said this week. "It has to be followed up with actions that safeguard the dog's survival long-term and this plan doesn't cut it." Dog lovers say city authorities are also responsible for killing more than 3,000 dogs in the past months, to rid the capital of the animals ahead of next year's Games.
10/08/2003 TIGER HUNTED IN NEW YORK!
Animal experts removed a 400lb tiger and and an alligator from a second floor flat after a man went to hospital with bite wounds. Authorities were alerted to the penned in pets after a man sought treatment for what he claimed were wounds inflicted by a pit bull dog. But after doctors said the bite marks could not have come from a dog, authorities raided the flat in New York's Harlem district and made their wild discovery. Animal control officer Martin Duffy abseiled down the building with a tranquillizer gun and shot the tiger through a window. Soon after they also emoved the 3ft cayman alligator. Mr Duffy said: "I saw him eye to eye, to say the least. He charged twice and I shot him. He charged a last time and broke through the glass." Neighbors said that the flat had also been home to a second tiger, some cubs, two Rottweilers, rabbits and a tarantula as well as a young family until recently.
A farmer who suffered serious head injuries after being struck by a falling tree branch was rescued by a partially blind kangaroo who is being hailed as a hero. Lulu the kangaroo banged on the door of the family's home in Morwell, Gippsland in southeast Australia after discovering the farmer lying unconscious in a field. According to Rural Ambulance Victoria paramedic Eddie Wright, the man had been checking his property for damage following a severe storm when he was struck by the branch. Wright said that if Len Richards' family had not found him so quickly, he might have died. "The kangaroo alerted them to where he was and went and sat down next to him, and that's how they found him," he said.
10/06/2003 MILLIONS OF CANADA GEESE TO DIE!
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has now decided that there are too many Canada geese in the U.S. Its solution is to kill up to 8.5 million of them so the population will be a third smaller. Recently proposed regulations will turn over management of resident Canada geese to overtaxed state wildlife agencies and encourage as many as 480,000 to 852,000 geese to be killed each year for ten years. Birds may be shot outright, or, even worse, they may be rounded up and gassed or sent to slaughterhouses.
10/06/2003 "UNTREATABLE" PIG DISEASE FEARS!
Agriculture officials investigating a pig farm where a third of young piglets have died said that it may be New Zealand's first outbreak of an untreatable pig disease. It would be two weeks before officials could confirm the presence of the suspected disease, known as post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome, which usually kills affected pigs aged six to 12 weeks. The disease is connected with other pig viruses such as porcine parvovirus, said Allen Bryce, national surveillance manager for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. New Zealand and Australia were among the few countries not to have the disease, Bryce said. New Zealand's pig herd is estimated at about 341,000.
10/06/2003 NSW JOINS TAIL DOCKING DOGS BAN!
NSW has agreed to a national ban on cosmetic tail docking of dogs, NSW Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald said. The ban was agreed to by all state and territories at the Primary Industries Ministerial Council Meeting in Perth the day before yesterday. Tail docking is a largely cosmetic procedure performed on pups with either scissors or by binding the tail with tight rubber bands. Currently, tail docking does not have to be done by a licensed veterinarian. Under new laws, tail docking will only be allowed for welfare purposes and will only be able to be carried out by a licensed veterinarian.
In a move widely condemned by environmental groups and scientists, the Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to allow the importation of parrots captured in the wild for the first time in more than a decade. The Service wants to allow the importation of thousands of blue-fronted parrots from Argentina, despite intense criticism from environmentalists and parrot scientists who argue that the plan will lead to overexploitation of the birds and spur illegal trade. This would be the first time that imports of parrots caught in the wild have been permitted since the adoption of the Wild Bird Conservation Act in 1992. (Defenders of Wildlife)
CANCÚN, Mexico - Thousands of tourists come here every year to swim with dolphins, expecting mystical encounters or unmatched educational experiences. Whether at water parks or even at a mall, the price for an hour's swim is about $100 - not counting the videos, photographs, T-shirts or dolls to commemorate fleeting moments riding atop the snouts of two sleek creatures. But the real cost is much higher, according to a growing international protest movement of environmentalists and animal rights advocates who say there is nothing educational about turning wild animals into lucrative rides and who are outraged over the recent deaths of two captive dolphins at an amusement park. Their past protests led the Mexican government to ban the capture of local dolphins, and the legislature is considering prohibiting imports as well. Now the protesters have turned the tourist-rich Yucatán Peninsula, where there are now nine swim programs, into the front lines of the dolphin wars.
Posing as members of the clergy, PETA activists stormed the runways of Dolce & Gabbana and Gianfranco Ferré's Spring 2004 fashion shows yesterday in Milan, unfurling banners reading, "Thou Shalt Not Kill-Don't Wear Fur." This comes one day after activists targeted Donatella Versace at the Versace flagship store in Milan, where they unveiled ads featuring unflattering photos of the designer, with the caption "Fur coats are worn by beautiful animals-and ugly people."
LONDON - Captive carnivores such as lions, polar bears, tigers and cheetahs have difficulty adapting to life in zoos because they miss the variety of the wide ranges they roamed in the wild, scientists said yesterday. Animal behaviorists at the University of Oxford in England had thought that carnivores fared less well in zoos and paced back and forth because they missed the thrill of the hunt. But after analyzing data on 35 species of carnivores zoologist Dr Georgia Mason and her colleagues discovered that depriving the animals of their naturally large territories was an important factor in predicting how well they would adapt to captivity. The most wide-ranging carnivores were prone to the worst problems in zoos, she said, and had high infant mortality rates, while those who stayed closer to home in the wild adapted best.
Defenders and sixteen other conservation and wildlife protection groups filed suit this week to challenge the federal decision to lower the status of the gray wolf from endangered to threatened in the lower-48 states. The decision would also ultimately hand over species management to state governments, at least one of which has called for extermination of the species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's new regulation would eliminate any realistic chance of wolves expanding their range beyond the current limited recovery areas, and would undoubtedly undermine the gains that have been made toward restoring the species. "Wolves in a few places have rebounded in the seven years since they were returned to Yellowstone and Idaho, but the federal government is abandoning the wolf before the species recovery is complete," said Brian O'Neill, attorney to the groups involved in the lawsuit. "It hardly seems appropriate to hand the wolf over to state legislatures, which seem to be tripping over one another to write increasingly inflammatory anti-wolf rules." (Defenders of Wildlife)
10/04/2003 GROUP CLAIMS 3,000 DOGS KILLED IN ATHENS!
ATHENS, Greece - Greek government officials and Olympic organizers denied claims by an animal rights group that more than 3,000 stray dogs were killed during last month's vacation holidays. Athens and surrounding suburbs are accused of taking advantage of the traditional vacation weeks, when many residents leave the city, to capture and destroy the wild dogs.
This month, Denmark passed a ban that will make it illegal to import dog and cat fur and also to buy or sell dog and cat fur. This ban was a positive development in Humane Society International's (HSI) efforts to ban cat and dog fur throughout the entire European Union. Additionally, after an investigation by HSI revealing that the cat and dog fur trade is also making its way into Australia, HSI is currently calling on the Federal Government in Australia to prohibit the import of cat and dog pelts into Australia and to ensure that all fur products are labelled with species and country of origin so that consumers are not misled.
Viva! are launching the results of a survey on October 6, Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, which shows that more than 70 per cent of people are opposed to farmed animals having their throats cut while fully conscious for religious reasons. NOP questioned 1,000 people in September 2003 for the campaigning animal organization and found just 22 per cent believed the practice was acceptable, seven per cent didn't know but 71 per cent thought that killing animals in this way should not be allowed to continue.
On October 2, World Farm Animal Day, animal welfare groups are calling on the Australian Government to end the export of live farm animals in an International day of protests. These protests come as over 50,000 "diseased" Australian sheep remain stranded at sea in the Middle East. The sheep have been incarcerated aboard the "ship of death" for over seven weeks, with no country willing to accept them. Several thousand have already died.
10/01/2003 ORANGUTANS COULD BE GONE IN 20 YEARS!
WASHINGTON - Orangutans could go extinct within 10 to 20 years because of illegal logging in their habitats, a Harvard researcher warns. Researcher Cheryl Knott says the world's estimated 25,000 orangutans live only in Indonesia and Malaysia - and illegal loggers are shrinking their habitat. Logging has been increasing in recent years, moving away from the river edges into the interior of the forests where the orangutans live, she said in a telephone interview. Knott said the apes depend on the forests for food, shelter and travel. They spend most of their lives in trees. Knott says the Indonesian government periodically sends police in to protect the apes, but the loggers return when the police leave.
New Zealand - A free-range egg producer says big egg farmers are wasting money trying to overturn an "inevitable" ban on battery cages. Perry Spiller, who has about 500 hens on his free-range farm in Mere Road west of Hastings, said he was upset that the Egg Producers' Federation annual meeting last week approved a plan to spend more producers' levy money on a fight to overturn a proposed ban on battery farming by 2023. He said the federation had spent thousands of dollars on legal fees and public relations advisers trying to stop the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (Nawac) recommending to the Government that old-style cages be banned by 2008 and all cage farming by 2023. The committee is considering changes to the 1999 Animal Welfare Act and a draft proposal on the welfare of layer hens says the present use of cages does not fully meet the obligations of the welfare act to allow the birds to display natural behaviors.
On the occasion of World Vegetarian Day, the European Vegetarian Union, an umbrella organization serving the interests of millions of vegetarians in Europe, appeals for more respect for the vegetarian way of life.
The number of news found: 47.