Smuggled rhino horns are confiscated by police officers in Vietnam. Photo: A.X. / Tuoi Tre
Tuoi Tre News July 31,2019
Doctors in Ho Chi Minh City have been able to save a 22-month-old baby from severe poisoning after her parents attempted to treat her fever with rhino horn powder.
The young patient is N.K.A.D., who resides in Cu Chi District, the Children’s Hospital 2 confirmed on Wednesday morning.
D. was taken to the infirmary in District 1 by her parents on the afternoon of July 18 with such symptoms as high fever, fatigue, and cyanosis.
As doctors did not detect any heart and lung problems after performing X-ray and echocardiography tests on the toddler, they suspected the cause might be poisoning.
The patient was then given a blood test, whose result indicated that her Methemoglobin level had reached 30 percent, about ten times higher than the normal limit.
The parents stated they had given her a type of drink made from rhino horn powder, believing it could help treat her febrile seizure.
But her condition only got worse, with bluish and purplish colors found on the skin of her fingers, they admitted.
In order to rescue the child, doctors used a ventilator to support her breathing and activated carbon to absorb the toxic substances.
She also underwent blood transfusion and other types of supportive therapy.
D. was able to breathe on her own five days after admission to the hospital, while her cyanosis was also alleviated.
As the functions of her organs were back to normal, the patient was transferred to the Department of General Internal Medicine for further monitoring and treatment.
According to Nguyen Van Loc, a senior doctor at the hospital, D. suffered from Methemoglobinemia, a condition caused by elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood, which leads to an overall reduced ability of the red blood cell to release oxygen to tissues.
Children can be affected by the condition after consuming certain types of medicine, chemicals, or food, Dr. Loc elaborated.
Methemoglobin concentration in normal people remains at zero to three percent, he stated.
Tissue hypoxia, fatigue, headache, and dizziness may occur if the level reaches 15 to 30 percent, Loc continue, adding that it can be fatal if Methemoglobin concentration exceeds 70 percent.
Rhino horn powder is believed by many in Vietnam to have medicinal or even magical properties.
But Dr. Loc strongly advised against the use of rhino horn as medicine as there has been no scientific evidence showing that they could treat febrile seizure or other health conditions.
EVANSVILLE, Ind., July 22 (UPI) — Scientists across the country are scrambling to understand why monarch butterflies are disappearing at such an alarming rate as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers listing the butterfly as endangered.
North America’s largest population of monarchs, which migrate between Mexico and the Midwest, has fallen 80 percent, from a billion in the 1990s to 200 million in 2018.
A smaller monarch population in the western United States that migrates between California and the Pacific Northwest is disappearing even faster, dropping from 1.2 million in the 1990s to just 30,000 last year — a 98 percent drop.
“That is a catastrophic decline,” said Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, which is based in Arizona. “They might not be able to bounce back.”
Faced with those numbers, the Fish and Wildlife Service is several years into a massive review of North America’s butterflies to determine if they qualify for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.
“We have a species status assessment team that is modeling threat evaluations,” said Georgia Parham, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Midwest office, which is leading the review.
“We’re are also soliciting evaluations from monarch experts, and we’ve also launched a monarch database that anyone can enter information into,” Parham said.
The agency plans to announce its findings in December 2020.
But many scientists say conservation efforts cannot wait that long. Groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned the service to list the monarchs as endangered in 2014, and the Monarch Joint Venture are spearheading conservation programs based on the latest available science.
That science, they are quick to admit, is incomplete.
Scientists cannot say for certain why monarchs are dying. Several unrelated phenomena could be killing them.
“There are several hypotheses for the decline, all of which are probably contributing to some degree,” said Andrew Myers, a doctoral student at Michigan State University’s Department of Entomology who studies monarchs.
Finding precise causes are difficult, in part because monarchs are migratory insects.
They clump together on tree branches in the mountains of Mexico to hibernate during the winter — turning those forests orange. When it warms, they fly north to lay their eggs on milkweed plants growing throughout the Midwest.
They can then travel as far north as Canada in search of the nectar from flowering plants. And when the weather turns cold, they return to Mexico.
Climate change might be disrupting their long migrations, Meyers said. Urban sprawl could be choking out flowering plants. And the Mexican forests in which the insects overwinter are being logged, which undoubtedly is a threat to their survival.
“Any one of those things is enough to wipe out the monarch population,” Curry said.
But the timing of the eastern population’s decline could be the most telling, she said, because it seemed to begin around the same time as the first herbicide-resistant crops were introduced to U.S. agriculture.
These crops were genetically engineered to survive the application of certain herbicides, allowing farmers to spray those chemicals on their fields and kill off other plants without harming their crops.
One of the plants these herbicides are especially effective at killing is milkweed — the sole food monarch butterfly larvae can eat.
“What happens to milkweed in the Midwest is incredibly important to the monarch population,” said Ian Kaplan, a professor of entomology at Purdue University.
Researchers at Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota in 2013 estimated nearly 60 percent of the milkweed had disappeared from the Midwest landscape since 1999. That decline coincides with an increase in herbicide resistant crops.
Monsanto introduced the first herbicide-resistant soybean plant, called RoundUp Ready soybean, in 1996, followed by a RoundUp Ready corn in 1998. Today, about 90 percent of the corn and 94 percent of the soybeans grown in the U.S. are herbicide resistant, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“The monarch butterfly did fine in croplands before RoundUp Ready crops,” Curry said. “That allowed more RoundUp to be sprayed, and that killed more milkweed in agricultural fields.”
Many of the monarch conservation efforts revolve around planting more native milkweed in public spaces, parks, private lands and on the edges of agricultural fields in hopes those plants replace those lost to agriculture.
But it is unclear how big of an impact that is having because scientists still don’t understand how other factors — like pesticide use — contribute to the insects’ decline.
With that in mind, entomologists like Kaplan are devising new studies every year to obtain a more detailed picture of what is happening to monarch larvae in their shrinking habitat.
Kaplan recently conducted a study at Purdue that measured the volume of pesticides present on wild milkweed growing near Midwestern agricultural fields.
“In Indiana, it’s hard to get very far from a corn field,” Kaplan said.
His study found pesticides on wild milkweed throughout Indiana, and although the amount tended to decline the farther from an agricultural field the researchers got, they still found pesticides on milkweed plants more than a mile away.
“Some of these pesticides are very hard to escape from,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan is now studying the impact the various pesticides he found on native plants have on the monarch larvae. He hopes to complete that study sometime this fall.
Elsewhere, researchers at Michigan State University are looking at monarch larvae predators, like lady beetles, ants and spiders.
“Since monarchs have lost their milkweed host plants in agricultural fields, they are now relegated to milkweed growing in grasslands in places like roadsides, fallow fields and agricultural field edges,” Meyers said.
“These areas have more diverse and abundant communities of predators, which results in naturally low survival of monarch eggs and caterpillars to adulthood. I am trying to determine which predators contribute most to monarch egg and caterpillar mortality and specific ways that these interactions take place,” he said.
“The work could eventually lead to grassland management practices that reduce predation pressure on monarchs.”
More work needs to be done, scientists say, but it is possible early conservation efforts are yielding results.
Last year, for this first time since scientists started tracking the butterfly more than 20 years ago, the eastern Monarch’s population increased.
It is impossible to know if that was because of efforts to plant more milkweed in the Midwest, or if other unrelated conditions helped the insect.
“We’re waiting to see if it is a trend, or a one-year thing,” the Fish and Wildlife Services’ Parham said.
But researchers and conservationists are pushing ahead.
“People can help right now by planting native milkweed,” Curry said. “That’s only one of the problems. It’s milkweed loss, it’s urban sprawl, it’s climate change, it’s insecticide use. It sounds really big and overwhelming, but we have to start somewhere.”
With many of us living in urbanized areas, where street lights, neon-lit signs and high-rise buildings are common, gazing up at a sky full of stars is not always a given. But there’s still hope for those who take pleasure in looking upwards, envisaging life on another planet and forming images of celestial activity. Here’s our list of the best locations for stargazing in the US. They range from the solitude of US National Historical Parks to towns, cities and historical places that are members of the International Dark Sky Places.
Night sky nature inspiration landscape
This remote park is a prehistoric archaeological site and on clear nights you can appreciate the starry skies as our ancestors did thousands of years ago. Great effort is made to not only make stargazing possible for tourists but also for the park’s wildlife, some which need darkness to survive. The Chaco Night Sky Program runs between April and October and features astronomy workshops for everyone from school children to astronomers.
Milky Way Bryce Canyon
One of the things that will instantly grab your attention upon arrival to Bryce Canyon is how dry and pollution free the air is. This combination makes it among the darkest places in the country. So if you fancy tracing the Milky Way from one horizon to the other then this is the place to do so. The week of and prior to the new moon are the best times, but thousands of stars still twinkle on moonless nights. Check the Astronomy and Night Sky Programs for events.
Night Sky Milky Way Galaxy at Devils Tower Monument
The landscapes of Devil’s Tower are as ethereal as you are likely to experience and you’ll feel like you are sat on a far-off planet when stargazing here. It is so otherworldly that Steven Spielberg used it as a setting for Close Encounters of the First Kind. Come in the summer for the best chance of seeing the Milky Way curve over the centerpiece monolith. There’s some excellent trails that take you to secluded spots away from the campgrounds.
Lone Tree Flagstaff, Arizona
Flagstaff has the honor of being the first city to become a designated International Dark-Sky City. It even has its own dark sky preservation program, called Flagstaff Dark Skies Coalition. Simply by standing on an unlit city street you’ll have a good chance of viewing hundreds of constellations and the Milky Way. If you take your astronomy more seriously then pass by the Lowell Observatory for a guided tour.
Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis
While the Headlands may not compete with some of the more remote parks, its location on the northwestern shores of Lake Michigan serves up a different perspective. Besides the stars, watching the full moon illuminate the lake is unforgettable. And there’s the added bonus of being able to witness the enchanting Northern Lights. Just keep an eye out for updates on the park programs and events.
Milky Way over Joshua Trees
Nights rarely get darker in southern California than at the Joshua Tree. After a spectacular sunset, countless stars, planets and meteorites begin to appear above the park’s high and low desert landscape. There’s superb stargazing to be enjoyed around the nine campgrounds. Emblematic landmarks, such as Arch Rock, make interesting foregrounds for photos of the galaxy. Visit in November for the Night Sky Festival.
Mountain Trail Under the Milky Way
On Hawaii’s Big Island is Mauna Kea, a towering dormant volcano and the island state’s highest point. Lauded by astronomers as one of the world’s best stargazing destinations, the visibility is helped by an inversion cloud layer that protects the summit from the damp sea air. You can hike or drive by 4WD to the summit, where international astronomy teams conduct research round the clock. The Maunakea Visitor Information Center runs free programs without the need to go all the way to the top.
From as early as he can remember Bradley was road-tripping across the UK, France and Spain with his family. Since then he’s visited 40-plus countries and lived on four continents. Today he divides his time between Buenos Aires and the beaches of Punta del Este, Uruguay and puts his wanderlust to good use by writing about his travels.
If you’re in need of some wishes, then you’re in luck. From now to the end of August, a wave of shooting stars will be taking over the skies and putting on a show just for us.
These celestial objects are part of the Delta Aquarids meteor shower, which began on July 12th and is ongoing through August 23rd. Coming from the direction of Aquarius — the constellation also known as the Water Bearer — this show is set to peak on Sunday, July 28. The reason it’ll be so good? Why, the moon, of course.
Over the Moon
The next new Moon occurs on Wednesday, July 31 making it the second New Moon this month. This phenomenon even has a catchy name: the Black Supermoon. Though not an official astronomical term, “black moon” is the name given to the second New Moon of the month — an event that only occurs once every 32 months. This one is of the Super variety because it takes place when the earth and moon are at their closest point. You won’t really be able to see it, however the diminished light means you’ll have perfect, unobstructed views of the meteor shower.
Don’t Miss Out
This stargazing event is especially significant given that the Perseids — another regular meteor show that occurs in mid-August and tends to be the year’s easiest-to-see celestial event — is taking place during a full moon this time around. That extra lunar light means the Perseids will be harder to see this year, so you’ll want to take advantage of the next few nights of stargazing.
The Delta Aquarids meteor shower is named after Delta, the third-brightest star in Aquarius, which is best seen by looking south if you’re in the northern hemisphere. There will be as many as 20 shooting stars every hour at the shower’s peak, with each of them moving at speeds of 25 miles per second. Whatever you do, put your phone away — its bright screen will dampen your night vision and distract you from the real show.
Want to make sure you have the best seat for the show? Check out our list of the best places to see the stars in the U.S.
Summer is all fun and games until you find out there’s fecal bacteria contaminating your local beach.
That’s exactly what’s happening at public swimming areas around the country according to John Rumpler, the clean water program director at the Environment America Research and Policy Center.
The center released a study in July that examined dangerous bacteria levels at beaches in 29 coastal and Great Lakes states. The study shows the number of days in 2018 that the water had fecal bacteria counts exceeding Environmental Protection Agency standards, which can put swimmers at risk of getting sick.
“It’s hard to believe that 47 years after we passed the Clean Water Act that we are still concerned with poop in the water when people want to go swimming,” Rumpler told USA Today.
Nearly 60 percent of the 4,523 beaches tested nationwide had dangerously high contamination levels in the water on at least one occasion.
South Carolina, Myrtle Beach, Atlantic ocean, Myrtle Beach State Park, sunbather and fishing pier.Don’t be fooled by the view: Part of Myrtle Beach made the list!
While most states prioritize shutting down public swimming areas and posting warning signs to beachgoers when pollution levels are high, you should check water quality reports before hitting the sand.
Did your favorite summer hangout make the list of the dirtiest beaches? See below to find out.
• Fairhope Public Beach, Baldwin
• Dog River, Alba Club, Mobile
• Camp Beckwith, Baldwin
• Volanta Avenue, Baldwin
• Orange Street Pier, Baldwin
• Inner Cabrillo Beach, Los Angeles
• Coronado Ave. Beach, Los Angeles
• Salt Creek Beach, Orange
• Molino Avenue Beach, Los Angeles
• 5th Place Beach, Los Angeles
• Byram Beach (South), Fairfield
• Byram Beach (North), Fairfield
• Seaside Park Beach (Southernmost), Fairfield
• Seaside Park Beach (South), Fairfield
• Seaside Park Beach (Mid), Fairfield
• Slaughter Beach, Sussex
• Fenwick Island State Park Beach, Sussex
• Rehoboth Beach, Sussex
• Broadkill Beach, Sussex
• Lewes Beach North, Sussex
• Bayou Texar, Escambia
• Sanders Beach, Escambia
• Crandon Park on Key Biscayne, Miami-Dade
• Bird Key Park, Sarasota
• Venice Fishing Pier, Sarasota
• St. Simons Island Lighthouse, Glynn
• Skidaway Narrows, Chatham
• Kings Ferry, Chatham
• Tybee Island, Polk St., Chatham
• Jekyll Driftwood Beach, Glynn
• Keehi Lagoon (North), Honolulu
• Keehi Lagoon (South), Honolulu
• Punaluu Beach Park, Honolulu
• MS2 (Kapoho Point), Honolulu
• Kalihi Channel, Honolulu
• South Shore Beach, Cook
• Calumet South Beach, Cook
• 63rd Street Beach, Cook
• Rogers Avenue Park Beach, Cook
• Howard Street Park Beach, Cook
• Jeorse Park Beach I, Lake
• Jeorse Park Beach II, Lake
• Buffington Harbor Beach, Lake
• Indiana Dunes State Park East Beach, Porter
• Washington Park Beach, LaPorte
• North Beach, Calcasieu
• Cypremort Point State Park, St. Mary
• Fontainebleau State Park, St. Tammany
• Rutherford Beach, Cameron
• Holly Beach 4, Cameron
• Goose Rocks Beach – Site 5, York
• Goose Rocks Beach – Site 1, York
• Willard Beach, Cumberland
• Ogunquit Beach, York
• Kennebunk Beach, York
• Camp Pecometh, Kent
• Public Landing Beach near Snow Hill, Worcester
• Ocean City Beach 1, Worcester
• Purse State Park, Charles
• Ferry Park, Kent
• Nahant Bay at Eastern Ave, Essex
• Tenean Beach, Suffolk
• Nahant Bay at Pierce Road, Essex
• Nahant Bay at Kimball Road, Essex
• Quincy Shore at Channing Street, Norfolk
• St. Clair Shores Memorial Park Beach, Macomb
• Pier Park, Wayne
• HCMA/Lake St. Clair Metropark Beach, Macomb
• New Baltimore Park Beach, Macomb
• Singing Bridge Beach, Arenac
• New Duluth Boat Club landing, St. Louis
• Near Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, St. Louis
• Agate Bay, Lake
• Twin Points Public Access, Lake
• Flood Bay, Lake
• Gulfport East Beach, Harrison
• Shearwater Beach, Jackson
• Long Beach, Harrison
• Gulfport Central Beach, Harrison
• Courthouse Road Beach, Harrison
• State Beach-Left, Rockingham
• State Beach-Center, Rockingham
• New Castle Island-Right, Rockingham
• State Beach-Right, Rockingham
• Sawyer Beach-Right, Rockingham
• Berkeley Township/Beachwood Beach West, Ocean
• Belmar Borough at L Street Beach, Monmouth
• Berkeley Township at West Beach Avon Road, Ocean
• Brick Township at Windward Beach, Ocean
• Highlands Borough at Highlands Recreation Center, Monmouth
• Tanner Park, Suffolk
• Woodlawn Beach State Park, Erie
• Shirley Beach, Suffolk
• Venetian Shores, Suffolk
• Valley Grove Beach, Suffolk
• Sound access at the intersection of E. Main Street/Tooley Street, Belhaven, Beaufort
• NC Maritime Museum Sailing Camp, Carteret
• Pamlico River – City Park, Beaufort
• End of Shore Line Drive, Pender
• Pamlico River-Washington-Trestle, Beaufort
• Bay View West, Erie
• Maumee Bay State Park (Inland), Lucas
• Villa Angela State Park, Cuyahoga
• Lakeview Beach, Lorain
• Euclid State Park, Cuyahoga
• Sunset Bay State Park Beach/Big Creek, Coos
• Nye Beach turnaround/discharge pipe, Lincoln
• Harris Beach State Park at Harris Creek, Curry
• Sunset Bay, Seep Creek, Coos
• Sunset Bay State Park Beach/North Beach, Coos
• Beach 11 West in Thompson Bay, Erie
• Beach 11 East in Thompson Bay, Erie
• Beach 11 Center in Thompson Bay, Erie
• Barracks Beach West, Erie
• Barracks Beach East, Erie
• Easton’s Beach, Newport
• Conimicut Point Beach – West, Kent
• Goddard Memorial State Park Center, Kent
• Sandy Point Beach – South, Newport
• Oakland Beach Center, Kent
• Withers Swash, Horry
• Myrtle Beach at 24th Avenue N, Horry
• White Point Swash, Horry
• Bear Branch Swash, Horry
• Cane Patch Swash, Horry
• Cole Park – Site 3, Nueces
• Ropes Park – Site 2, Nueces
• Cole Park – Site 4, Nueces
• Cole Park – Site 2, Nueces
• Poenisch Park, Nueces
• North Community Beach, Norfolk city
• Captains Quarters, Norfolk city
• 10th View, Behind Quality Inn, Norfolk city
• 15th Street, Virginia Beach city
• 13th View, North End, Norfolk city
• Sooes Beach, Clallam
• Lummi Bay, adjacent to second tidegate, Whatcom
• Dakwas Park Beach, Neah Bay, Clallam
• Little Squalicum Park, Whatcom
•Cline Spit County Park, Clallam
• Cupertino Park, Milwaukee
• McKinley Marina Roundhouse, Milwaukee
• Wolfenbuttel Park, Kenosha
• North Nicolet Bay Campground, Door
• Memorial Park in Chequamegon Bay, Ashland County
Content Strategy Editor Kelly O’Sullivan is the content strategy editor for CountryLiving.com and also covers entertainment news, from standout moments on “The Voice” to the latest drama on “Chicago Fire.”
July 17, 2019 — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced its investigation into an outbreak of Salmonella infections due to contaminated pig ears dog treats is expanding to 27 states.
In a related story posted July 3, 2019, by The Dog Food Advisor, Pet Supplies Plus recalled bulk pig ears stocked in open bins because they might be contaminated with Salmonella.
Link to Dog Treats Confirmed
The CDC has uncovered scientific evidence to indicate that contact with pig ear dog treats is the likely source of the outbreak.
Pig Ears Dog Treats Sold in Bulk
DNA “fingerprinting” conducted by the CDC has linked the bacteria found on pig ears dog treats with the following 3 genetic strains:
About the Outbreak
As of July 16, 2019, a total of 93 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 27 states.
Twenty ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.
Affected states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
About the Investigation
During the investigation, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development gathered pig ear dog treats at retail locations where ill people reported buying the products.
A common supplier of pig ear dog treats has not been identified. Pet owners can take steps to keep their families healthy while feeding pets.
This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria.
The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most people recover without treatment.
In some people, the illness may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other places in the body.
Children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.
Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.
Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
What to Do?
Consumers should not feed suspected pig ears to their dog. Throw them away in a secure container so that your pets and other animals can’t eat them.
Even if some of the recalled pig ears were fed to dogs and no one got sick, do not continue to feed them to pets.
Wash containers, shelves, and areas that held the recalled pig ear dog treats with hot, soapy water.
U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
Campaigners against the palm oil industry are literally putting their lives on the line: Activist Joël Imbangola Lunea was beaten to death by a security guard of a palm oil company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Call on the DRC government to bring his killers to justice NOW – enough is enough!
Call to action
To: the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
We demand an investigation of the murder of Joël Imbangola Lunea and an end to the harassment of the environmental and human rights organization RIAO-RDC.
A member of the Congolese environmental and human rights organization RIAO-RDC, Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea, was brutally beaten and killed by a security guard of the palm oil company Feronia-PHC in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on July 15, 2019.
The killing follows months of intimidation directed at members of RIAO-RDC. The organization as been supporting the struggle of communities against the illegal occupation of their land by Feronia. RIAO-RDC has witnessed and increasing escalation of conflicts between security personnel in the plantations and community members.
Together with RIAO-RDC, we are calling on the President of the DRC, Mr. Félix Tshisekedi, to initiate a full investigation of the assassination of Joël Imbangola Lunea immediately, and to ensure that those responsible for his killing be held to account.
We further urge President of the DRC and the governours of the three provinces where Feronia’s plantations are located to guarantee the security of members of RIAO-RDC and the communities affected by the FERONIA plantations.
This petition will be delivered to President Tshisekedi and the governor of Équateur Province – the scene of the crime – on July 29.
Please sign and share our petition – it’s time to stop the harassment, killing and land grabs NOW!
Further information (in French):
Communiqué de RIAO-RDC | Kinshasa, 22 juillet 2019 – Un défenseur des terres violemment tué en RDC
Un membre de l’organisation congolaise de défense de l’environnement et des droits de l’homme RIAO-RDC a été brutalement tué par un agent de sécurité de la société canadienne Feronia Inc. ce dimanche 21 juillet 2019, près des plantations Boteka de la société à Bempumba, dans la Province Equateur, République Démocratique du Congo (RDC).
L’assassinat fait suite à des mois d’intimidation dirigée par la compagnie contre des membres du RIAO-RDC qui aident les communautés locales à déposer une plainte contre la société pour l’occupation de leurs terres.
JOEL Imbangola Lunea était chauffeur d’une pirogue à moteur utilisée pour le transport des personnes et des marchandises entre les villages autour des plantations de Boteka de Feronia et la ville de Mbandaka. Il a également été un défenseur de sa communauté en tant que membre du RIAO-RDC, et a joué un rôle particulièrement important dans la communication entre les communautés locales et le RIAO-RDC.
Vers 15h, le dimanche 21 juillet 2019, M. Joël se préparait à transporter plusieurs passagers et leurs bagages sur sa pirogue, lorsqu’il a été approché par M. Boketsu Ebuka (alias “Ebola”), un agent de sécurité (garde industriel – GI) travaillant dans les plantations PHC Boteka de Feronia. M. Ebuka a accusé M. Joël d’avoir transporté des conteneurs d’huile de palme volés des plantations de Feronia. Les passagers et d’autres témoins sur les lieux disent que lorsque M. Joël a nié l’accusation, M. Ebuka l’a battu et l’a finalement étranglé à mort. M. Ebuka a ensuite jeté le corps de M. Joël dans la rivière Moboyo. Il semblerait que M. Ebuka se cache depuis l’incident.
L’assassinat a lieu dans un contexte de tensions croissantes entre Feronia et les communautés locales sur les trois différents sites de plantation de l’entreprise en RDC. Le RIAO-RDC s’efforce d’apporter une solution pacifique au conflit. L’association a notamment mené un premier processus de médiation en 2017 qui a été saboté par Feronia lorsque l’entreprise s’est retirée du processus après seulement quelques semaines. En novembre 2018, RIAO-RDC a commencé à soutenir neuf communautés affectées dans un autre processus de médiation, cette fois par le biais du Mécanisme international de plaintes (ICM) des banques de développement allemande, néerlandaise et française qui financent Feronia [en plus des investissements faits par ces 3 banques de développement, d’autres banques de développement européennes financent Feronia et notamment BIO/Belgique, CDC/Grande Bretagne et AECID/Espagne].
Depuis le lancement de ce deuxième processus de médiation, RIAO-RDC a dû faire face à des efforts accrus de la part de l’entreprise pour miner son travail avec les communautés. Les dirigeants de l’entreprise ont publiquement blâmé RIAO-RDC pour le non-paiement des salaires et ont cherché à discréditer RIAO-RDC en accusant l’organisation d’être un agent des intérêts étrangers. Les membres locaux du RIAO-RDC signalent également qu’ils font face à une intimidation accrue de la part des gardes industrielles de Feronia.
Joël a accompagné le Directeur du RIAO-RDC, M. Jean-François Mombia Atuku, lors de la récente visite du panel de l’ICM dans les plantations de Boteka en mai/juin 2019. Il a signalé à M. Mombia Atuku qu’il était de plus en plus harcelé par les gardes industrielles de Feronia et qu’il était préoccupé pour sa sécurité.
Les communautés vivant à l’intérieur et à côté des plantations de Feronia sont régulièrement harcelées par les gardes industrielles de l’entreprise qui les accusent de voler les fruits du palmier à huile de la plantation, même si ces communautés récoltent des fruits du palmier dans leurs forêts communautaires et produisent de l’huile de palme depuis des générations et bien avant l’arrivée du Feronia.
RIAO-RDC a déjà informé Feronia et ses bailleurs de fonds internationaux de ce harcèlement régulier des membres de la communauté dans les plantations de Feronia et leur a demandé instamment de prendre des mesures pour y remédier. RIAO-RDC a également tenté en vain d’obtenir une enquête par les autorités locales sur un précédent incident au cours duquel un couple pygmée a été tué, après avoir été accusé par les gardes industrielles de Feronia d’avoir volé des fruits de palmiers dans les plantations de Boteka.
Le RIAO-RDC appelle maintenant les autorités compétentes de la RDC et en particulier le Gouverneur de la Province de l’Equateur à ouvrir immédiatement une enquête sur le meurtre de M. Joël. Le RIAO-RDC demande également aux organismes internationaux de défense des droits de l’homme d’enquêter sur cet incident.
RIAO-RDC tient Feronia Inc. responsable du meurtre de M. Joël. Il a été tué par un employé de Feronia, qui effectuait des tâches de routine pour l’entreprise. Au fil des ans, Feronia n’a pas pris de mesures suffisantes pour empêcher ses gardes industrielles de harceler la population locale en raison d’allégations non fondées de vol de fruits ou d’huile de palme. Feronia est également responsable du harcèlement et de l’intimidation croissants des membres du RIAO-RDC par les employés de l’entreprise, et ses cadres supérieurs sont responsables de l’incitation à des actions violentes contre le RIAO-RDC en diffusant des informations erronées sur l’organisation.
Joël laisse derrière lui sa femme et ses cinq enfants. Il était le seul soutien économique de la famille.
• Pétition et appel du World Rainforest Movement Nous avons besoin de votre soutien urgent ! Un défenseur de terres brutalement tué par un garde de sécurité de la société canadienne d’huile de palme Feronia en RDC
• Communiqué de RIAO-RDC sur Farmlandgrab Un défenseur des terres violemment tué par un garde de sécurité d’une compagnie canadienne d’huile de palme en RD Congo
• Communiqué de RIAO-RDC sur Grain Tensions violentes dans les plantations de palmiers à huile de Feronia en RD Congo
• Communiqué de RIAO-RDC sur CCFD Terre Solidaire RDC : 9 villages portent plainte contre une banque de développement allemande
• Article de Jeune Afrique RDC : le lobbying européen de Jean-François Mombia Atuku, le défenseur des droits des Pygmées
To: the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
His Excellency, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo
His Excellency, the Governor of Equateur Province
His Excellency, the Governor of Tshopo Province
His Excellency, the Governor of Mongala Province
His Excellency, the Minister of the Interior
His Excellency, the Minister of Justice
Further copies to:
CDC Group Inc – UK
AECID – Spain
PROPARCO – France
OPIC – USA
DEGinvest – Germany
FMO – The Netherlands
BIOinvest – Belgium
We understand that around 3pm, on Sunday, July 21, 2019, Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea was preparing to transport several passengers and their luggage on his small boat when he was approached by a security guard working at the Boteka plantations of the palm oil company Feronia-PHC. The security guard, whose identity is known, accused Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea of transporting containers of stolen palm oil from the Feronia-PHC plantations. The passengers and other witnesses to the scene say that when Mr. Joel denied the charge, the security guard proceeded to beat him, eventually strangled him to death and threw his body into the Moboyo River. We understand that the security guard is now in hiding.
Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea was member of the Congolese environmental and human rights organisation RIAO-RDC. The killing follows months of intimidation directed at members of RIAO-RDC and community members affected by the Feronia-PHC plantations who have been working with RIAO. RIAO-RDC is supporting communities who in November 2018 submitted a grievance with the Independent Complaints Mechanism (ICM) of the German, Dutch and French development banks against the company’s occupation of their land. These development banks as well as the development banks of Spain, Belgium, the UK and the USA have provided financing to Feronia-PHC.
While the central issue of the grievance is the illegal occupation of community land by Feronia-PHC, the complainants note frequent escalation of conflicts between security personnel working in the plantations and community members. Complainants state that arbitrary accusations of theft of palm nuts and transport of palm oil are a frequent cause for conflict and harassment by security personnel.
The killing of the RIAO-RDC activist was committed in the context of such an arbitrary accusation of transporting stolen palm oil. Joël Imbangola Lunea was the driver of a motorised boat used to transport people and goods between the villages around Feronia-PHC’s Boteka plantations and the city of Mbandaka. He was also an activist working for his community and a member of RIAO-RDC.
Your Excellency, we urge you to ensure that the perpetrator of this brutal killing of Joël Imbangola Lunea be held to account. We ask that you:
– Immediately set up an urgent investigation into the assassination of Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea;
– Ensure those responsible for the assassination of Mr. Joël Imbangola Lunea will be held to account;
– Impress on the governours of the three provinces where Feronia-PHC operates its disputed oil palm plantations and on the company that members of RIAO-RDC must be able to carry out their work safely. Their safety must be guaranteed and harassment and intimidation against members of RIAO-RDC and community members supported by RIAO must stop immediately. It is this atmosphere of intimidation and harassment that creates the breeding ground for the violent brutality through which Joël Imbangola Lunea was robbed of his life.
Neil Aldridge’s image of a blindfolded young white rhino, which was sedated for transport to preserve it from poachers, features in the book. The price of rhino horn on the black market is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study NEIL ALDRIDGE/photographersagainstwildlifecrime.com
At the beginning of the 20th century, half a million rhinos roamed Africa. Today, there are fewer than 5,000. In 2007, 13 rhinos were poached; since 2013, more than 1,000 have been killed each year. Overwhelmingly, their horns end up on the Chinese and Vietnamese market, where a burgeoning elite views rhino products as an elixir for all manner of ills, or as an ornamental trinket—the ultimate status symbol.
Rhinos are the most iconic of a host of endangered species driven to extinction by such rampant black markets. Pangolins, the only mammal with scales, are frequently found roasted and served in restaurants across East Asia. Black bears are farmed for their bile, which is extracted for use in traditional medicines, while shark fins and turtles are turned into soup. More than 6,000 tigers are held in captivity in China today—before their skeletons are soaked in rice wine and sold to the elite.
This has posed a challenge to some of the world’s most celebrated wildlife photographers. Should their practice and livelihood change as the animals they spend their careers capturing teeter on the brink of extinction?
“Magazines shy away from publishing such imagery. It doesn’t sell well”
A new collective, Photographers Against Wildlife Crime, has formed to address this question and to confront the nation primarily connected to this horrific rise in poaching: China. Co-founded by the award-winning photographer Britta Jaschinski, the group includes some of the most renowned wildlife photographers in the world, including Adrian Steirn, Brent Stirton and Brian Skerry. It was formed in part due to wildlife crime’s lack of visibility in Western publications, Jaschinski says.
“Millions of animals are caught and harvested from the wild and sold in China as food, pets, tourist curios, trophies and for use in traditional Chinese medicine,” she says, adding that the issue doesn’t get the column inches it deserves. “The subject is so upsetting for a lot of people that magazines shy away from publishing such imagery,” Jaschinski adds. “It doesn’t sell well.”
Reaching the target audience
Together, Jaschinski and her colleagues crowdfunded and self-published a collection of their photographs alongside contemporary reporting on the issues behind wildlife crime. The book was initially published in English and quickly sold out. “But we realised we weren’t reaching the target audience that really mattered,” Jaschinski says.
Working in conjunction with a Chinese printer based in London, Jaschinski and her team have translated the book into Mandarin. After months of negotiating with the authorities, they are now in the process of distributing the book across the Chinese mainland.
The book is the first of its kind to be created specifically for a Chinese audience, and explicitly sets out to end the demand for wildlife products in China. It will be launched across the country in July and August, actively targeting the Chinese wildlife consumer market, the trading nucleus for one of the biggest black markets in the world.
The illegal wildlife trade is the world’s fourth biggest criminal trade after drug smuggling, illegal firearms trade and human trafficking. The price of rhino horn on the black market, Jaschinski points out, is more valuable by weight than gold, diamonds or cocaine, according to a study by Science Advances. Rhino horn is estimated to fetch up to $60,000 per pound on the black market, and the illicit industry as a whole is estimated to be worth $20bn. Andrea Crosta, the director of the Elephant Action League, has called ivory the “white gold of jihad”, pointing out that al-Shabaab, an Islamic terrorist organisation, is funded directly by the illicit ivory and rhino horn trade in China.
Ban is barely enforced
In 2017, the Chinese authorities announced that all trade in ivory and its products would be made illegal. But the ban was barely enforced, Jaschinki says. The trade in rhino and tiger has been prohibited since 1993, but in October 2018, China alarmed conservationists by announcing that products from captive animals are authorised “for scientific, medical and cultural use”.
“I’ve worked on wildlife crime for 25 years—and I don’t distinguish between legal and illegal wildlife crime,” Jaschinski says. “China is becoming the economic leader of the world; I wanted to look at the horrendous treatment of animals and nature in the country, and especially at the link between poaching and trade in the country, and the mistreatment of animals in captivity in China.”
While the images are often appalling, they have artistic merit, for each photographer involved has approached the subject from a different perspective, and by employing a different style. In the introduction to the book, Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury, writes: “Some set out to highlight injustice through statement art, creating images that are unforgettable through their power—fury expressed beautifully. Others take dismembered beauty and reincarnate it in a haunting arrangement, turning evidence into art. Or they use the iconography of classical art to give their compositions human resonance, echoing a crucifixion, a deathbed repose or the spoils of war.”
Kim Carson Cianciola, an insurance subrogation specialist out of Englewood, Colorado, was appalled when she spotted jaguar and tiger cubs chained within a tent in the middle of a marketplace while on vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. For a few bucks, tourists could get a snap with these young big cats.
Cianciola didn’t believe what she was seeing could be legal, but she didn’t know what to do about it. “I was so furious and upset when I saw that,” she says. “The little tiger cub was just looking at me, and the jaguar cub looked so sad, and there was nothing I could do about it.”
While traveling abroad, tourists may witness wildlife crime and abuses on many fronts, including at restaurants and in local shops. Travelers don’t have to feel helpless, however. Here are some tips from representatives at the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the nongovernmental organization TRAFFIC, which specializes in the wildlife trade on a global level.
Know Before You Go
“I’m sure the overwhelming majority of tourists don’t wish to encourage illegal or questionable wildlife trade, but there are a number of ways in which they may inadvertently do so,” says Richard Thomas, global communications coordinator at TRAFFIC.
For instance, many tourists may know that wildlife products like ivory are a big no-no but might not be aware that certain species of shell like the queen conch—widely harvested in the Caribbean—are also protected by international law, says Thomas. Another example of an item illegally sold in the Caribbean is the coral necklace, says Christina Meister, national public affairs specialist with USFWS.
However, not all distasteful wildlife activity is illegal. That situation with the two big cat cubs, while no doubt unpleasant for Cianciola to witness, could have been legal in Mexico, depending on the origin of the cubs. Because laws and regulations (as well as at-risk wildlife species) vary by region and country, it’s important to research the area you’re visiting beforehand, says Meister. You can do so by visiting the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna’s (CITES) website. Meister says you can also call or email USFWS ahead of your trip with any specific questions or concerns: 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trust Your Gut and Ask Questions
So you’ve reached your vacation destination and something makes you feel uncomfortable. What should you do? “We usually tell people the best thing to do is be situationally aware and trust their guts,” says Meister.
If you think you’ve encountered questionable wildlife activity and you feel comfortable doing so, ask the vendor questions like “Do you have the paperwork for this?” and “Where did this come from?” Meister says tourists most frequently encounter illegal wildlife activity at restaurants and shops and adds that it might not always “look” like crime. To illustrate this point, she uses an example of an elderly woman on the corner selling coral jewelry.
Also, consider where animals originated and where they may end up. “A slow loris used as a photo prop is doubtless sourced from the wild, probably snatched from its mother and having had its teeth removed,” says Thomas. “Elephants used for trekking may be wild sourced and beaten into submission before they enter service; what happens to a lion cub once it grows too big for petting
Gather Details for Authorities
Once you decide that you’ve encountered a potential wildlife crime, collect as many details as you can. The more facts you can include in your report—this includes information like license plate numbers, time of day, exact location, and a description of the animals and people—the better. “Just those little details can help law enforcement officials,” says Meister.
Monkey seized in Spain during Operation Thunderbird Courtesy of Interloper
Be Safe and Discreet
Although reporting wildlife crime is important, never do anything to jeopardize your own safety. This may mean reporting the crime when you get home, and that’s OK. “Slightly older information is better than none at all . . . it all helps to build up the overall picture of wildlife markets,” says Thomas. “Clearly, information that is actionable needs to come in as soon as possible, but the issue of personal safety is critical.”
Meister adds that aside from asking the basic questions mentioned above, tourists should resist confronting anyone they suspect may be involved in wildlife crime. “I’d rather leave that up to local law enforcement,” she says.
Coral necklaces | Courtesy of Rachel Kramer
Photograph the Scene (or Don’t)
You can also take photos if you feel comfortable doing so. “I wish that I’d taken a bunch of pictures, but I was so upset,” Cianciola said of her brush with big cat photo tourism in Mexico.
Both Meister and Thomas warn that vendors might not take kindly to photos, so if you decide to document the scene, take care. “Photos are obviously very useful as they help confirm species identification and potentially can be counted, but I’d urge caution in taking them,” says Thomas. “The overriding consideration must be personal safety, first and foremost.”
Courtesy of Ryan Morning/USFWS
Finally, Report the Incident
There are a number of ways to report wildlife crime while abroad:
Download and use Wildlife Witness, an app from TRAFFIC available on Apple and Android devices. “All such reports are analyzed by a specialist in TRAFFIC and we pass on all credible reports to appropriate authorities,” says Thomas. During the 2017–18 period, the organization received 268 submissions from 159 users in relation to 156 unique locations across nine countries in Southeast Asia, says Thomas.
Call or email USFWS’s 24-hour wildlife hotline: 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477) or email@example.com. According to the USFWS website, you can call anonymously or work with officers as a confidential informant. While the Fish and Wildlife Service may not have jurisdiction in the country you visited, the information you provide may help with a larger international or ongoing investigation, says Meister.
Contact local authorities or nongovernmental organizations yourself. This will require research on your part, but you can start by looking for local environment departments or ministries and local nonprofit organizations specializing in wildlife rescue.
Contact your Senator and as many other Senators as you can to Oppose Senate Bill 386: https://www.senate.gov/senators/How_to_correspond_senators.htm https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/386/cosponsors
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi – one of at least two members of Congress born in India (New Delhi born Tamil) – speaks on lifting the country caps, effectively opening the floodgates to over 17% of humanity to live permanently in the United States by lifting green card country caps, combined with extended family joining (aka chain immigration). His House colleague, Pramila Jayapal, worked in the United States on an H1B visa. This fact, alone, demonstrates how quickly the choices of today can become the policy of tomorrow.
Oppose Senate Bill 386. The Senate Bill 386 will stop the per country cap on Green Cards. While the title of this blog post appears extreme, the demographics are proof of its veracity. India has 17% of the world population, they have the biggest Green Card…
Image Credit – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
PETITION TARGET: Director of NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement Jim Landon
Florida wildlife officials discovered a fatally wounded bottlenose dolphin along the coast of Upper Captiva Island in Lee County, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“There was a wound penetrating from above and in front of the right eye, extending almost 6 inches toward the top and back of the head. The wound ended inside the head at the top of the skull and had evidence of hemorrhaging, indicating wounds consistent with being impaled prior to death,” the NOAA stated.
The necropsy revealed the dolphin was likely “begging” for food when gruesomely stabbed by a “spear-like object.”
“People can help prevent future harm to wild dolphins by not feeding or attempting to feed them. Not only is it illegal, dolphins fed by people learn to associate people, boats, and fishing gear with food, which puts dolphins and people in harmful situations,” the NOAA informed.
“Harassing, harming and killing wild dolphins is also illegal,” the Miami Herald warned.
Sign this petition to urge NOAA Director Jim Landon to use all available resources to investigate this horrific crime against protected wildlife, so the perpetrator can be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
A man in Lurgan, Ireland has been jailed for the murder of an 11-week-old puppy.
On July 10, Craigavon Crown Court sentenced 24-year-old Kyle Keegan to two and a half years for the crime. Keegan, who admitted earlier this year to animal cruelty, will spend half of his sentence behind bars.
After being released, he will spend the remainder of his sentence “on licence,” or required to adhere to certain restrictive conditions (similarly to what’s known as “probation” in the United States).
The judge also imposed a 30-year ban on Keegan having any animals in his care.
Keegan was arrested for causing unnecessary suffering to animals in February 2018, after a mixed-breed puppy named Sparky was brutally beaten with a hammer and placed inside a microwave during a house party. He was identified as one of two males seen committing the gruesome act in a viral video that circulated on Snapchat and other social media platforms.
After Keegan and his 16-year-old counterpart murdered Sparky, his body was disposed of in a garbage receptacle at Ailysbury Park in Lurgan. An autopsy determined that Sparky had multiple fractures and severe brain trauma as a result of his head being smashed.
A Lady Freethinker petition urging the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to arrest Sparky’s killers and ban them from having animals garnered nearly 25,000 signatures. Thank you to everyone who signed, helping in the fight to deliver justice to Sparky.
“It is difficult to imagine how violence could be any more gratuitous than when meted out to an 11-week-old small breed pup by the use of a claw hammer to stove its skull in,” Judge Neil Rafferty stated during Keegan’s sentencing.
“There is little can be said that would express the horror of this small dog’s death at your hands.”
A French couple who posed with the dead animals they’d slaughtered during a trophy hunt in Africa have lost their jobs after the grotesque pictures were posted on social media, causing public outrage.
Jacques and Martine Alboud (pictured above, left and right), who ran a branch of the Super U co-operative supermarket in L’Arbresle, eastern France, were pictured standing over the bodies of a number of lifeless animals — including a zebra, lion, leopard and hippopotamus — that they had ruthlessly killed during safaris in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Tanzania in 2014 and 2015.
After the images went viral on Twitter and there were calls on Facebook for customers to boycott the store, last week the supermarket group announced that the couple had given up their franchise with immediate effect.
“In the face of condemnation provoked by these actions at the heart of the co-operative and the legitimate public feeling, the store managers have decided to quit immediately the brand and their l’Arbresle store,” Super U said in a statement, adding that it did not condone safari hunting and that the couple’s actions were “in total opposition with the values defended by us.”
The French animal rights organization 30 Millions d’Amis commented that this story was reminiscent of the death of Cecil the lion — who was murdered in Zimbabwe in 2015 by an American dentist and hunter, Walter Palmer — that sparked widespread condemnation. It says that around 8,000 lions have been reared specifically to be hunted down and killed in the last decade in South Africa, and that there has been a 90% fall in the lion population over a century. “The species could disappear by 2050,” it adds.
The couple have so far declined to comment on their actions.
PETITION TARGET: Greek Minister of Justice Kostas Tsiaras
A crowd of tourists on a beach in Chalkida, Greece tormented and attacked a disoriented swordfish who had accidentally comes too close to shore, stoning the innocent creature to death.
A video on Facebook shows onlookers laughing heartlessly while the attackers strike the swordfish with rocks and other objects, trying to grab the fish as the animal swam around in a confused state, desperately trying to escape to safety.
The frightened swordfish finally managed to get away, but a small group of men then further hounded her, intent on continuing the attack. Officials later discovered the animal dead in the harbour.
Not only did onlookers stand by and allow this terrible attack to happen, but harbour officials reportedly failed to take measures to prevent the escalation of the brutality.
This shocking incident must be investigated thoroughly and the attackers punished. Greek authorities need to make it clear that the abuse of animals is completely unacceptable.
Sign this petition to urge the Greek Minister of Justice, Kostas Tsiaras, to ensure that this case is fully investigated and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
PETITION TARGET: Plainfield Police Department Director Lisa Burgess
A defenseless raccoon trapped in a cage in Plainsfield, New Jersey was soaked in accelerant and burned alive, dying in terror and agony on the 4th of July.
Police discovered the body of the juvenile raccoon in the early morning after responding to calls reporting the incident. They found the burned corpse in a small cage on the curbside.
Two other raccoons were discovered in cages outside the home, but they were unharmed. An investigation revealed that a pest control company set up the cages.
Plainfield Police are still investigating this horrific act of cruelty and ask anyone with information to contact Police Lt. Edward Hafekin at 908-753-3131 or Prosecutor’s Office Sgt. Vito Colacitti at 908-527-4670.
Anyone capable of torturing and murdering an innocent animal in this way is a danger to animals and humans, and needs to be caught.
Sign this petition urging Plainfield Police Director Lisa Burgess to ensure police conduct a thorough investigation and prosecute whoever did this to the fullest extent of the law.
Image Credit: Flickr – Sam Craig
PETITION TARGET: DuPage State’s Attorney Robert Berlin
Crammed into tiny, filthy cages stacked atop one another, 29 dogs burned to death in a kennel fire in Carol Stream, Illinois. With nobody there to watch the dogs and zero fire safety measures in place, the dogs had no hope of escape as the building quickly became engulfed in flames.
A six-month investigation by local authorities revealed abhorrent practices at the kennel long before the fire. Officials discovered dogs with puncture wounds, lacerations, abrasions, weight loss, and dehydration.
Investigators say the house reeked and water bowls lay empty. One of the dogs that perished in the fire was tied to a bathtub so tightly that the canine wouldn’t have even been able to lie down to rest.
While firefighters and police managed to rescue 22 of the 58 dogs housed on the property, they were unable to reach those trapped on the second floor of the building.
Police have charged owner Garrett Mercado with 14 counts of animal cruelty and 14 counts of violating his duties as an animal owner. Now, we must urge prosecutors to treat this case with the severity it deserves, and call for a lifelong ban on the defendant from ever having another animal in his care.
Sign this petition urging DuPage State’s Attorney Robert Berlin to ensure that justice is served in this tragic case, and protect future animals from neglect.
Pennsylvania is the only state left that allows this horrible practice.
Pigeon shoots have been banned in every part of the country except for the state of Pennsylvania, so call on the President of the Pennsylvania State Senate, Floor Leaders, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Pennsylvania State Governor to end the barbaric tradition of pigeon shoots! It is inherent cruelty of shooting live, captured birds for sport, and this practice needs to end!
Today, Pennsylvania is the only remaining state that allows the practice to continue. In 2014, a bill to end pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania was allowed to expire after the NRA stepped in at the 11th hour with some heavy-handed lobbying  which put animal cruelty above that of animal rights.
Not only are 75%  of people in the state are in favor of a law that…
Leaving pets locked in cars is never safe. But when the weather gets warmer, it can be deadly. High temperatures can cause irreparable organ damage and even death. Protecting animals from an unnecessary death is a problem we can all agree to prevent.
How to help a pet left in a hot car
Take down the car’s make, model and license plate number.
If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner. Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.
If the owner can’t be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive. In several states good Samaritans can legally remove animals from cars under certain circumstances, so be sure to know the laws in your area and follow any steps required.
Rolling the down windows has been shown to have little effect on the temperature inside a car.
Other ways to help
Get informed: Learn your town’s and state’s laws about leaving pets in hot cars. An increasing amount of states prohibit leaving pets in hot cars, and some grant immunity to good Samaritans who must rescue pets in visible distress.
Be ready to call for help: Gather essential telephone numbers and have them on hand. You’ll want to have your local animal control agency’s number and the police department’s non-emergency number so you can quickly report the situation. Keep these numbers in your purse, your car’s glove compartment or programmed into your phone.
Spread the word: Distribute The Humane Society of the United States hot car flyer (PDF), which spells out the dangers of leaving pets in parked cars. (Order them in bulk from animalsheltering.org.) Watch and share our retro video on the issue. Also share guidelines with your local law enforcement officials for how to investigate hot car-related deaths (PDF).
Get involved: Ask local store managers, shopping malls, restaurants and other businesses to post signs asking customers not to leave their pets in their cars while shopping or dining. A huge part of the solution to this problem is raising awareness.
Speak up: If your town or state doesn’t have a law prohibiting leaving pets in parked cars, contact your local representatives or attend a town hall meeting to start lobbying for one. Learn the basics about advocating for animals with our activist toolkit.
Cool outside doesn’t mean cool in the car
Download and share our hot car flyer (PDF)
It doesn’t have to be that warm outside for a car to become dangerously hot inside. Here are some facts:
When it’s 72 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 116 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour.
When it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, the temperature inside your car can heat up to 99 degrees Fahrenheit within 10 minutes.
Rolling down the windows has been shown to have little effect on the temperature inside a car.
by: Care2 Team
recipient: West Mercia Police Department
I can’t imagine what this cop thought he was doing when he chose to leave his canine companion in a scorching hot car for hours. I can only assume he wasn’t thinking, but that neglect led to Ivy the police dog’s death and for that, he should be held responsible.
Sign on to ask the West Mercia Police Department to fire the police officer who left the dog in a hot car.
Police dogs are critical members of law enforcement, with their superior smelling abilities they are able to do jobs that we deem too dangerous for humans. Jobs like bomb sniffing and drug sniffing are especially good for dogs. But this means that dogs are putting their lives on the line to save human life. The least we could do is keep them safe from completely preventable deaths.
Ivy was a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois and she was left in the car in 26C (over 80 degree fahrenheit) for two hours while her handler did weapons training inside. The poor angel dog got heatstroke and was unresponsive when the irresponsible cop came back to her. She was rushed to the hospital but ultimately put down because her condition was so bad. On the bright side, Ivy’s death did lead to internal changes to the way police dogs are handled. But that doesn’t account for her needless death.
Please sign on if you want the police officer who is responsible for her death to be held accountable!
Friday Funny ? @NRDC Now it?s toilet paper causing ?climate change?
From the ?climate change is the universal boogeyman? department comes this ridiculous claim from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Now the left wants to tell us how to wipe, and people aren?t having it. Some of the responses are hilarious, others are in the vein of ?WTF is wrong with you people??. They?ve really stepped in it this time.
US Congresswoman Tlaib, as a Palestinian-American/Arab-American woman, is not classified as a “woman of color”, as widely reported, but as “white”. Arab Americans fought long and hard to be classified as “white”, when that was a good thing for them. Now some wish to have a special MENA (Middle East/North Africa) status. However, others realize that having a special category may be dangerous and facilitate persecution and/or government surveillance. If ever they get a special minority status, you can expect a large uptick in immigration from the MENA countries, as has been the case for India, since immigrants from India were given minority set-asides and special privileges meant for African Americans who are descendants of slaves, and American women.
The most absurd protected minority is “hispanic”, however. What this classification means is that if your ancestors immigrated from Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Middle East, etc, to Latin America, then…
We are posting this for educational purposes. Ms. Sherie Murray is a Jamaican-American running for Congress against Ocasio-Cortez.
While Ocasio-Cortez is the topic: The biggest reason that we don’t trust Ocasio-Cortez is that she chose to go to a University which costs over $50,000 per year for tuition alone, and then a) pretends to care for the poor, 2) wants free tuition/complains about the cost of higher education/student loan debt, 3) claims to know about economics. Our research indicates that the Intel scholarship, which she received for feeding antioxidants to worms at a science fair, is currently valued at slightly under $100,000. While she graduated some time ago, the ratio of cost vs scholarship would likely be approximately the same. There is no evidence that her scholarship was linked to her overpriced Alma Mater of Boston University. If she had attended a cheaper public college/university, she…
Italian-?American? Congresswoman Pelosi in 2009: “America is a land discovered by an Italian, named for an Italian, and built by millions of Italian Americans…” Point one is false; point two is partly true; point three is partly true, but largely false.
Newsflash to Pelosi: The United States was built well before her family even arrived, and before the vast majority of Italian-American immigrants arrived! “The Great Arrival: Most of this generation of Italian immigrants took their first steps on U.S. soil in a place that has now become a legend—Ellis Island. In the 1880s, they numbered 300,000; in the 1890s, 600,000; in the decade after that, more than two million. By 1920, when immigration began to taper off, more than 4 million Italians had come to the United States, and represented more than 10 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population…“. https://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/immigration/italian3.html
Alpha News from Minnesota released Part I of their Ilhan Omar investigation tiled “The Secrets of Ilhan Omar” on Tuesday.
The shocking video explores the myriad of evidence that a member of Congress Ilhan Omar committed Bigamy, Marriage Fraud, and Tax Fraud.
The video is currently posted on YouTube.
It should be noted that by American law — When a marriage fraud is discovered, not only might the immigrant face severe immigration consequences, but both members of the marrying couple may face criminal penalties… An immigrant who is found to have committed marriage fraud would likely be removed from the United States (deported).
Jack Posobiec also posted the video on his popular Twitter page.
And as you will see below, similar notices are being posted in the canned vegetable sections of Wal-Mart stores nationwide. I would encourage you to examine the evidence in this article very carefully and to come to your own conclusions about what is happening. At this moment, social media is buzzing with reports of shortages of canned vegetables all around the country. But so far, the mainstream media is being eerily quiet about all of this. Is there a reason why they aren’t saying anything?
There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. —Soren Kierkegaard. "...truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity--it is simply true and that is the end of it" - Os Guinness, Time for Truth, pg.39. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
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