Animal welfare scorecard: Industries profiting from the use of animals = 1 ; Captive animals = 0 USDA abruptly purges animal welfare information from its website Washington Post …
“It should be lost on no one that in less than 48 hours the Republican-controlled Senate has confirmed the former head of ExxonMobil to serve as our Secretary of State, and repealed a key anti-corruption rule that ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute have … fought for years.” (US Senator Cardin, Feb. 3, 2017: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/cardin-statement-on-senate-repeal-of-key-anti-corruption-rule-for-oil-gas-mining-industry/ )
“IN FACT, REX TILLERSON, THE C.E.O. OF EXXON AT THE TIME, PERSONALLY LOBBIED AGAINST THE REQUIREMENT BACK IN 2010. HIS REASON — WHAT WAS HIS OBJECTION? THE FOREIGN PAYMENTS RULE WOULD UNDERMINE EXXON’S ABILITY TO DO BUSINESS IN RUSSIA. LISTEN TO THAT AGAIN. IF EXXON HAS TO TELL THE WORLD ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IT HANDS OVER TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, EXXON WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO DO AS MUCH BUSINESS IN RUSSIA. SO NOW THE REPUBLICAN CONGRESS WANTS TO RUSH OUT TO HELP POOR EXXON SO THEY CAN KEEP…
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It remains unclear why Australia doesn’t want to accept the refugees that it has left offshore on the islands of Manus and Nauru, nor why the US should take them. The US has resettled within 41 years 4 times more refugees than Australia has in 71 years. The total of refugees resettled by the US in 3 years (2015-17) combined will be approximately 1/3rd of what Australia has resettled in 71 years. The US already has over 13 times more people than Australia – 24.3 million vs. 325.5 million.
Australia’s refusal to take the offshore refugees seems to be either to discourage refugees from coming by boat, or possibly racism against African migrants found there, who appear mostly East Africans. East Africans are, by the way, culturally and ethnically distinct from the mostly West African ancestors of African Americans, who are also culturally distinct because they have been in the…
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A Hail Mary Pass, they are calling it.
A last-ditch effort, but instead of a Superbowl win on the line, it was a life. A beautiful, precious, sacred life. A life that mattered dearly to the one who lived it, and to the ones who called him family.
The skinny, frightened, bruised and scarred pig was not ready to die, but the smells and sounds around him assured him that was the plan. So, when the transport truck opened, he leapt and made a break for safety. The humans went after him, yelling scarily. He scrambled, dove, spun and ran for all he was worth. They were in hot pursuit, but somehow, Grace intervened.
He lost them.
Trembling, he hid under a pile of hay, exhausted and out of options. A silent plea rose from his trembling body. “Save me,” he beseeched mutely, “Please.”
Hiding from the “kill pen” when found by Kelly…
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by PAUL WATSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, Feb. 04, 2017 6:17PM EST
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 04, 2017 6:44PM EST
At the age of 22, Robert Stewart was a young and energetic man who understood that the most powerful weapon in the world is the camera, and armed with a camera he set out in the year 2002 to change the world.
With his award winning film Sharkwater he actually did change the world. He transformed fearsome monsters into beautifully awesome creatures, deserving of both respect and empathy.
Rob was a man passionate about sharks. He saw them as beautiful sentient beings whose existence contributes to a healthy oceanic eco-system. He set out to prove that his intuitive perception about the true nature of sharks was real, and he did just that.
When Rob boarded my Canadian flagged ship the Ocean Warrior we explored…
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February 4, 2017
There are many reasons why bottled water is drawing criticism lately. From the incredible amount of plastic pollution that stems from mismanaged plastic water bottles, to the threat of hazardous chemicals leaching from the plastic, to the controversial water harvesting practices of some bottled water companies, to the fact that bottled water is no healthier than tap water, the practice of bottling water is definitely not popular with many crowds.
And while bottled water may serve a degree of reliability in times of natural disaster or compromised water service, the widespread embrace of this $100 billion industry on a daily basis is just not as convenient or healthy as some companies have it cracked up to be. In fact, it’s proving to be anything but convenient or healthy for wildlife. If you care about birds, fish, insects and any number of other creatures, this is one industry you won’t want to be supporting any longer. From the harvest of water by bottling companies to the manufacture and eventual disposal of the plastic bottles, bottled water is truly a danger to wildlife all over the planet.
Diverting Valuable Resources
There are some possible sources of water that bottling companies may elect to use. There are municipal sources where the water comes from the tap, essentially, and accounts for roughly 55 percent of the bottled water available for purchase. Natural sources make up the other supply line and are often referred to in the industry as “spring water.” Some companies choose to add minerals or electrolytes or put the water through various filtration and treatment systems. No matter the source or manipulation of the water, one fact remains: bottled water companies are removing water from a location where it is needed to sell it elsewhere.
Nestlé is one particular company that has gained a lot of bad press lately over its theft of water in drought-ridden California. The state of California has been experiencing an inconceivable drought over recent years. In fact, the span of time from 2012 to 2014 was the driest three-year period in the state’s recorded history! Yet, despite the state’s dire straights, Nestlé continues to operate a pumping operation that extracts 1.9 million gallons of water every single day from San Bernadino National Park because the National Parks Service has allowed them to operate under an expired permit for the past two decades!
Sadly, Nestlé is only one example out of many other companies who carry out similar business.
In the midst of all this water usage, wildlife is poised to take a hit from the water theft that bottling companies like Nestlé, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart are able to practice. In California, the drought is proving harmful to ecosystems from marshes that house endemic species, to forests where trees are dying out in the millions. With their habitat compromised, animals large and small can’t be expected to thrive in such harsh conditions. The drought is also destructive to migration patterns of waterfowl that depend on wetlands during their travel. While bottled water companies may not be the single cause of the drought in California, the fact that they are able to continue to exploit dwindling water supplies and harm wildlife in the process is appalling.
Mixing Oil and Water
It isn’t just the harvesting of water that makes bottled water dangerous to wildlife – it’s also the manufacturing of the plastic bottles themselves that are so disastrous. Plastic bottles require oil for manufacturing, an increasingly inconvenient fact. On an annual basis, Americans alone demand 17 million barrels of oil to produce plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, more drilling is needed from year to year to continue to meet this demand as the PET bottles typically used cannot be converted into other plastic water bottles. Instead, they end up as material for fleece or carpeting.
The seemingly endless demand for oil is proving harmful to wildlife due to the pollution involved in the process. If you need evidence that oil drilling is bad for wildlife, just look at what happens to animals after an oil spill like the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Over 8,000 birds, marine mammals and sea turtles were tallied as either injured or dead within the first six months of the spill, and studies posit that dolphin populations are still being impacted by the spill.
Care About Wildlife? Here’s Why You Should Kick the Bottled Water Habit Today
Even though plastic bottles are recyclable, the majority don’t end up in the recycling plant. Of the 50 billion plastic water bottles used every year in America, only an estimated 23 percent end up recycled. If the majority of plastic water bottles don’t end up recycled, where do they go?
Landfills are the primary receivers of the 35 billion plastic water bottles we throw out each year, with some escape artists making their way into terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Once a plastic bottle is tossed into the ocean or left on the street, it won’t fully degrade for 1,000 years! It will instead break into many tiny pieces first that have the capability to absorb harmful toxins like PCB’s and DDT. And once the plastic bottle has taken on its new form as a microplastic, it becomes readily available for consumption by animals like fish and plankton. Even then, it never disappears, but rather continues to circulate in a vicious cycle.
While our world’s oceans are faced with 8.8 million tons of new plastic material every single year, we must acknowledge that plastic water bottles share part of the blame for this problem. Is it rather crazy to think that a single serving of water from a bottling company could lead to wildlife facing hundreds of years of exposure to toxic chemicals and bits of plastic crowding them out of their habitat?
Thirsty for Action?
Now that you’re aware of how bottled water is pretty harmful to furry, feathered, and scaly friends alike, are you ready to step up for wildlife? There are a ton of ways you can help wild animals and insects, but one important way is to make sure you aren’t maintaining a bottled water habit that is harmful to other creatures. Here are a few tips to keep you hydrated without putting your “animal lover” status in jeopardy.
Settle for tap. Tap water is regulated by the EPA, which enforces harsher standards for water quality than the FDA does for bottled water. Barring any unusual circumstances, you should be perfectly safe and healthy relying on tap water to keep you hydrated.
Don’t hydrate with single-use plastic. Invest in a reusable water bottle, mug, cup, mason jar, or whatever else will hold a serving of H2O. Whatever your choice, it’s a better option than a plastic bottle.
Let your voice be heard. Removing support from the bottling industry is certainly a major way to let them know you don’t agree with their business practices. You can take your beliefs a step further, however, and get involved in public action against the bottled water industry. Food and Water Watch is currently leading a campaign against bottled water called “Take Back the Tap” to reduce bottled water’s hold on schools across America.
Taking on the bottled water industry in support of wildlife everywhere is not going to be an easy task, but it is certainly one you can start at home with each sip of water you drink.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
This single photo of a hermit crab illustrates the sad reality of plastic pollution..
This happened recently when Kerstin Langenberger Photography released a picture of an emaciated polar bear, which stunned many of its viewers into silence and made them realize just how vital it is to continue speaking up on behalf of our planet. We were also reminded of photography’s ability to cut right to heart of complex issues when a shocking image comparing the size of SeaWorld San Diego’s parking lot and orca tank began to circulate through social media last month. And now, an equally powerful image has come to our attention again.
In this picture, uploaded by Reddit user HSmidt, we see the reality of what plastic pollution does to wild animals.
The hermit crab pictured has resorted to using a toothpaste cap as a shell. In one sense, this can be regarded as a sign of the crab’s ingenuity, as he or she seeks to make the best of a dire situation … but the fact that the tiny animal’s chosen home is a piece of human-produced plastic – the very substance that is killing so many marine and land animals all over the globe, and leading to a terrifying build-up of waste that may take up to 1,000 years to decompose – cannot help but strike sadness into a Green Monster’s heart.
The facts behind plastic pollution are shocking to behold. In the last ten years, we have produced more of this material than was made in the entire previous century. Shoppers worldwide use around 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year – meaning that these bags are used just once before being discarded. Much of this waste is destined to end up in the ocean, where it now threatens 700 marine species with extinction.
The scariest fact of all? 270,000 tons of plastic are currently estimated to be floating in our oceans: the equivalent of 135,000 cars, 130,000 mid-sized boats, or 1,125 freight trains. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean is growing by the year, with truly frightening implications for marine and human life.
While all these statistics are shocking, it is important to remember the role that each one can play to reduce the excess of plastic every single day. We, after all, have a choice to use disposable plastics on a daily basis or to opt for a reusable, sustainable alternative. For more information on how you can reduce your dependency on plastic, and help save animals like the hermit crab.
Complete details of the Evanger’s Dog Food recall as reported by the editors of the Dog Food Advisor
Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
United States Files Enforcement Action Against Florida Company and Senior Managers to Stop the Adulteration and Misbranding of Medicated Animal Feeds
A civil complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Syfrett Feed Company Inc. of Okeechobee, Florida; its owner and President Charles B. Syfrett I; its Vice President Melissa S. Montes De Oca; and its Operations Manager Charles B. Syfrett II to stop the adulteration and misbranding of medicated animal feed in violation of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), the Department of Justice announced today.
Syfrett Feed Company Inc. (Syfrett Feed) manufactures and distributes medicated and non-medicated feed, primarily for food-producing animals and fowl. The complaint alleges that the defendants adulterated and misbranded animal feeds while such feeds were held for sale. The Department filed the complaint at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act is designed to make sure that medicated animal feed has sufficient labeling to ensure its safe use,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will work closely with the FDA to ensure that medicated animal feeds are manufactured in compliance with current good manufacturing practices.”
According to the complaint, the company’s medicated animal feeds failed to list the name of the active drug ingredients on the label of the medicated animal feeds and failed to include adequate instructions for use on the labels of the medicated animal feeds. For example, as noted in the complaint, the defendants did not include adequate instructions when they omitted dose administration instructions, feeding limitations and/or cautionary statements for use of the drugs in combination with other drugs on the label of the medicated feeds.
The complaint further alleges that the feed was not manufactured in conformity with current good manufacturing practices for medicated feeds. Specifically, according to the complaint, the defendants: failed to establish and maintain adequate procedures for the identification, storage, and inventory control of drugs intended for use in their medicated feeds; failed to establish and use adequate procedures for all equipment used in the production and distribution of medicated feeds to avoid unsafe contamination of medicated and non-medicated feeds; and failed to adopt labeling practices that assure that the correct labels are used for the medicated feeds they manufacture.
As noted in the complaint, the company conducted a recall of its non-medicated horse pellet food in April 2014 when customers complained that their horses were falling ill. According to the complaint, 15 horses had to be euthanized after consuming the company’s horse pellet food and in September 2014, two more horses had to be euthanized after consuming the company’s horse pellet food. Following these events, the company discontinued manufacturing medicated and non-medicated feeds for horses, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, FDA conducted inspections of Syfrett Feed’s facility located at 3079 NW 8th Street, Okeechobee, Florida, in January 2014, June 2015 and June 2016. In 2014, following the inspection, FDA sent a Warning Letter to Mr. Syfrett I, notifying him of the significant current good manufacturing practices deviations and misbranding violations observed during the January 2014 inspection. In September 2015, FDA wrote to Mr. Syfrett I, stating that Syfrett Feed had not taken adequate measures to correct the current good manufacturing practice deviations and misbranding violations noted in FDA’s 2014 Warning Letter and 2015 inspection. According to the complaint, Syfrett Feed did not respond to FDA’s September 2015 letter.
“Animal owners and caretakers must be able to have confidence that the feed they purchase is safe and properly labeled,” said Steven M. Solomon, D.V.M., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “It is the responsibility of feed manufacturers to have proper procedures in place and follow good manufacturing practices to ensure the safety of their products and the animals that consume them.”
The government is represented by Trial Attorney Jocelyn Hines of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Cheek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, with the assistance of Associate Chief Counsel for Enforcement Tara Boland of the F DA, Office of General Counsel, Department of Health and Human Services.
A complaint is merely a set of allegations that, if the case were to proceed to trial, the government would need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence.
Additional information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts may be found at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl.
USAO – Florida, South