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Malaysia - Several dead turtles that washed up on Pantai Sepat are believed to have been fatally entangled in fishing nets. A Fisheries Department spokesman here said turtles tend to get trapped and die in the struggle to free themselves from these nets. "This is based on our past experiences of turtles dying in deep sea," he said when asked about the turtle carcass which was washed up on the shores of Pantai Sepat last week.A beachcomber said he had found six turtle carcasses over the past two weeks. The Fisheries spokesman said scientists from the department's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur would arrive here in the next few days to investigate the deaths. He said the state director, Mohamad Mat Saman, who was attending a course, would return next week to speak about the case. The Cherating Turtle Sanctuary is also investigating the turtle deaths.


His name was indelibly linked to a wonderful technicolour world of marine life. But the legendary French explorer, Captain Jacques Cousteau, mistreated and even killed sea creatures while staging scenes for his films, according to a shocking new book by his son. But Jean-Michel Cousteau, 65, who participated in many of his father's adventures, said such behaviour - although "intolerable" - was normal practice among wildlife film-makers in the 1960s and 1970s. Captain Cousteau's reputation as one of the "fathers of environmentalism" should not be thrown overboard because of his occasional ill-treatment of dolphins, killer-whales and fish, first exposed by a US TV documentary in the 1980s, the younger Cousteau says. "We wouldn't consider it for a second now. For him the ends sometimes justified the means. Isn't the important point that, at the end of the day, he served the cause of animals?" Jean-Michel Cousteau, who appears in many of his father's films and TV program, quarrelled with the underwater pioneer four years before his death in 1997. He has also split acrimoniously with Cousteau's second wife, Francine, who now directs the Cousteau Society. In his book, Mon pere, le commandant (My father, the captain), Cousteau lauds the captain's legacy, condemns his stepmother for failing to keep the flame alive and suggests that his father lost the plot after his formidable first wife, Simone (Jean-Michel's mother) died in 1990.


Canada is killing 350,000 seals this season and next year the numbers will increase and Norway doesn't want to be left behind in what is a very profitable business when the market is crying out for seal products. In the coming weeks the Norwegian Parliament will discuss the government's proposal for grand scale seal hunting and baby seals will be killed (until now forbidden at Jan Mayen island, where 25,300 arecurrently being killed). The excuse for the proposed increase in numbers is to benefit Norwegian and Russian fishermen as the mammals eat "too much cod and lodde." First of all, seals can only eat fish, humans have a staggering wide choice of food. The problem is not that the seals eat too much fish, the problem is that humans eat too much fish as shown in the many areas of the world where there are no seals and still the fish populations are at a critical point because of overfishing. Secondly, even if it was true that the Norwegian government is concerned about the fishermen's livelihoods, it is their responsibility to retrain them. After all the seals are killed and the fishermen manage to kill all the fish too (they are doing a good job of this all over the world), what will they do for a living? It is time that humans open their eyes and minds and realize that this anthropocentrism inherited from the philosophers and religious figures will be the end of them: the earth cannot support a species that has the power to wipe out all other life and uses it mindlessly. It is time to wake up, to stop destroying and learn to share the planet with our fellow beings, sentient or not, from the seals, mammals like us who suffer pain and anguish like us, to the trees that give us the air we need to breathe.


British retailers insist they do not stock their products, fur traders claim they are a mere sideline and a Welsh fashion designer caused a national outcry a few years ago by using them on the catwalk. But the seals whose slaughter has turned the Canadian ice blood-red this week are earning British traders healthy revenues, according to figures seen by The Independent. EU import/export data for 2003 shows that nearly 6,000 seal pelts were imported to Britain, many of them from Canada. Another UK import was seal oil, a new by-product which is being marketed as a superior alternative to fish oil health supplements. British consumers may be put off by this week's pictures of sealers clubbing animals over the head but the nation's fur brokers and manufacturers are evidently not.


Controversy is raging on Kangaroo Island in South Australia with calls to cull around 20,000 of the island's koalas due to concerns about the destruction of local habitat. But, as ACA reports, the Australian Koala Foundation claims killing these friendly marsupials is not the answer and is standing firm in its stance that the koalas shouldn't be in the firing line. Koalas have been on Kangaroo Island since the 1920s. Back then, so many were being killed for their fur on the South Australian mainland that koalas were moved to the island and have been a magnet for tourists ever since. Now, according to environmental scientist Dr David Paton, koalas are effectively feral animals and he's leading the call to cull them."Of the 30,000 koalas estimated here [on Kangaroo Island], we need to drop it by 20,000 as a minimum as soon as possible," he says. "The most effective, humane and ethical way of doing it is to shoot them." Deborah Tabart, from the Australian Koala Foundation, however, believes a cull would severely damage Australia's international reputation and points to broad-scale tree clearing and the island's poor land management as the real issue.


Canada has called a halt to one of its biggest seal culls in years after hunters raced to their quota allowance of nearly a quarter of a million carcasses within 48 hours. Meanwhile, an animal advocacy group accuses some of the 13,000 commercial and amateur hunters of "terrible cruelty" towards their prey. The hunt in eastern Newfoundland opened on Monday and closed down on Tuesday night, after Fisheries and Oceans department officials judged a quota of 246,900 dead seals had likely been reached. A formal count has since confirmed the numbers. Nearly 100,000 harp seals were killed last month in the Magdalen Islands, a Quebec archipelago in the Gulf of St Lawrence. In all, hunters are permitted to kill a total of 350,000 harp seals on the ice floes this year.


The Committee for Research Accountability (CRA), a project of In Defense of Animals (, is calling upon the University of Colorado (CU) to release 34 monkeys being held in its Health Sciences facility. CU has stated it would cost $10,000 to $15,000 per animal for this release. Both CRA and IDA urge the University to forego the ransom and set these intelligent, feeling animals free after years of service to CU researchers. The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center has used macaque monkeys in maternal separation experiments to analyze the effects of separating infants from their mothers. One can only imagine the terror and confusion of the mother when her baby is torn from her, even for a short time. After being taken from their mothers, the babies can experience severe depression, anxiety, loneliness and fear, and may suffer lifelong psychological consequences. These experiments are widely known and condemned by many because they are considered to be archaic and unnecessary and of questionable applicability to human health. After many years of public scrutiny, CU's project ended recently. Of the CU34, 31 have been at the facility since birth, the oldest being nearly 18 years old. Another monkey, a 36 year-old who was "wild caught," is slated as a potential subject for a terminal experiment.


As Tuesday's hunt ended, activists called the hunt inhumane, with some seal pups being skinned alive.The hunt - carried out with rifles and spears and reviled by animal rights activists - was held in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off the coast of Quebec and in the frozen barrens of the Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland. Hunters were allowed to kill 350,000 young seals this year, the largest amount since the government instituted quotas in the 1960s. If that number wasn't reached Tuesday, the hunt will be extended for another 24 hours. Steve Outhouse, a spokesman for Canada's Department of Fisheries and Oceans, said wildlife officials were working with the seal hunters to determine the size of the hunt. It wasn't clear when the count would be publicly announced. Chris Cutter of the International Fund for Animal Welfare said about 10 protesters from his group, an organization founded to fight the seal hunt, turned up for the Gulf hunt. Outhouse said no animal rights activists attended the more isolated hunt off Newfoundland. Earlier this year, the Humane Society of the United States took out full-page newspaper ads urging Americans to cancel trips to Canada and boycott Canadian products. Many countries, including the United States, still ban imports of seal products, but Canada supports the hunt to help its economically suffering coastal towns. The industry earned about $15 million last year, primarily from pelt sales to Norway, Denmark and China.


The Law of the Sea Convention, an international treaty governing uses of the world's oceans, was steaming toward Senate ratification last fall, backed by everyone from the White House to the Navy to lawmakers from both political parties. But U.S. approval may be capsized by conservatives wary of having the country sign any more international agreements, especially one overseen by the United Nations. The Bush administration appears to have backed away from the treaty, and despite exhortations by such Republicans as Sen. Richard Lugar (news, bio, voting record) of Indiana, Senate leaders are making no effort to bring the treaty to a vote.


Canadian sealers have pushed out to sea for the largest cull in 50 years despite protests by environmentalists and animal rights groups. The government is allowing more than 300,000 seals to be killed, arguing that the campaign is both ecologically sound and economically justified. Protests helped end the hunting of young seals for their pelts off Canada's east coast 25 years ago.


The bullfighting season has kicked off, but the end of the "Corrida" could be nearer than many think. This week, Barcelona became the first city in Spain to officially oppose the bloody sport. But no ban is in sight. As recently as January, bullfighting in Spain was the subject of an academic honor when the University of Cordoba in southern Spain begin offering a degree program in the artistry-filled sport. But not everyone in the country shared the city's enthusiasm for the sport: This week, politicians in Barcelona brandished their own capotes and swords, and took aim at bullfighting, a popular, albeit bloody, national pastime.With a vote of 21-15 and two abstentions, Barcelona's city council voted on Tuesday following a heated debate in support of a non-binding resolution that, although stopping short of banning the fights, condemns bullfights and defines cattle as beings that are "sensitive both mentally and physically." With the resolution, Spain's second-largest city after Madrid has declared itself an "anti-bullfighting city." The vote angered fans of the centuries-old tradition, while drawing praise from animal rights activists, who declared it the "beginning of the end of this bloody spectacle."


A bird beak deformity first recorded among black-capped chickadees near Anchorage has been increasingly seen in crows in Southeast Alaska, broadening a mysterious phenomenon. Twenty-nine species of birds in Alaska have now been reported with beaks up to three times their normal length. The deformity often strikes mature birds and reduces their ability to feed and preen effectively. In many birds, the deformity leads to death. Tests on affected birds have shown no specific parasite or disease, and only low levels of contaminants. "We don't know what's causing the problem," said Colleen Handel, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center in Anchorage. (LA Times)


Leatherback turtles face extinction within a decade unless a coherent conservation strategy is adopted to halt their decline. The leatherback sea turtle, one of the worlds most ancient species, could be wiped out within a decade unless the international community takes urgent action to protect it, experts warned at a recent forum in Costa Rica. One of six of seven known turtle species in danger of extinction, and the largest of them, the leatherbacks case is the most dramatic due to the almost 100 per cent drop in numbers since 1982, around 1,000 specialists at the 14th International Symposium on Marine Turtles heard.


Fashion is reviving Canada's brutal hunting of baby seals. The craze for seal fur deserves a quick death. Although the United States bans the import of seal fur and the European Union prohibits fur from the youngest seals, the world market for seal products has grown substantially. Sealskin hats are big in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, according to a report by The New York Times. That's a pity. In the '70s and '80s, the United States and European countries acted for good reasons. The stark cruelty of the hunt revolted public opinion on both continents and seal populations appeared to be at risk. As most people recall, hunters shoot or club baby harp seals to death on the ice, then skin them, often on the spot. Although world reaction forced Canada to reduce the hunts, growing markets, higher prices and larger populations have led to a revival. This year's hunt has been set at a record 350,000 killings. Canada has improved its regulations and enforcement. This year, for instance, hunters must check more carefully to see if the pups are dead before skinning them. But the hunt remains barbaric and unnecessary. Helpless pups are clubbed to death in front of one another. They can be as young as 12 days old. As many as one-third of all the infants are killed. Wearing their skin shouldn't be a symbol of cool, anywhere in the world.


BOSTON - Dogs and cats who help U.S. military personnel endure the stress of serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are the latest urgent biosecurity risk to the United States, according to some bureaucrats, who are now trying to keep the troops from bringing their companions home.


Animal rights campaigners demonstrated outside a court as one of their members appeared in the dock accused of harassing directors of a chemical company Campaigners held up large banners and posters at Fleetwood Magistrates' Court yesterday to support Linda Furness, 54, who was accused of sending 16 e-mails to F2 Chemicals over a three-month period regarding testing on animals. But she walked free from court yesterday after magistrates dismissed the case. because the six-month deadline had been exceeded since the charge was brought Demonstrators from Fleetwood Animal Rights Alliance said they were protesting against the criminalisation of the right to protest against AG Fluoropolymers Martin Watson said: "The police and the company are treating us as criminals without us having broken any laws."


The President of the Conservative Animal Welfare Group (CAWG), Roger Gale, MP. (N. Thanet) has this (Wednesday) morning condemned the resumption of the Canadian Seal Cull on the ice floes off Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. The MP, who as the former Chairman of the All-Party Animal Welfare group, has visited PEI and observed the cull at first hand in the past, says: "This barbaric practice is carried out under the guise of 'protecting the fish stocks' but is, in fact, a licensed slaughter of baby and vulnerable seals to provide pelts for the fur trade. The method of 'execution,' by hakapik, is brutal and imprecise. Observers are told that 'the seals die instantly.' In many cases that I have seen they do not: they are still alive when they are dragged, by the hook on the hakapik, to a central pile to be skinned. The corpses are then left to rot or to be eaten by marine life as the ice floes melt later in the year. It is a lie to suggest, as is often said, that 'the whole animal is used.' In Canada the seals are classed as 'fish' and the hunt is referred to as a 'catch' or a 'take' or a 'harvest.' This hunt is savage and it is brutal and it has no place in civilised society. In the past the Canadian High Commission has been courteously responsive to expressions of concern and the Canadian Government sensitive to world opinion. As a result, real progress appeared to have been made. We had hoped that the market in seal fur had diminished and that the trade would be replaced by wildlife related tourism while such management of the stock as is necessary on welfare grounds would be science-based and humane. It would seem that those hopes have been dashed by those who have over-fished the grounds and now seek to blame the seals for their greed while at the same time making, literally, a killing out of seal skins."


A bull that pined for its owner has been led away from his grave after a vigil lasting a number of days. Barnaby the bull left his field in the German town of Roedental and found his way to the cemetery where owner Alfred Gruenemeyer was buried. The eccentric farmer is said to have treated his animals likes pets, allowing several to have the run of his home. The bull found his way one mile to cemetery and then jumped a wall before locating his owner's grave. He stayed there for two days despite numerous efforts to coax him away. Vets said it was common for dogs to pine for their lost owners, but they had never heard of a bull doing so. "He shows an acute level of intelligence. It seems incredible that a bull could find the exact spot where his master was buried, but he did it," said Klaus Mueller.


After a tremendous public outcry, including more than 6,200 letters sent by DENlines readers, the Arizona Game and Fish Department halted a hunt planned to eradicate cougars from Coronado National Forest's Sabino Canyon - a popular hiking spot near Tucson, Arizona. "DENlines members made a huge difference sending faxes, making calls and being present for important public meetings," says Scotty Johnson of Defenders of Wildlife. "Now it's time to look at long term solutions, like urban growth planning, to stop the unnecessary conflicts that come with urban-wildlife exchanges."

The number of news found: 19.

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