Tropical storm Depression Strengthens to Tropical Storm Humberto

The Vegan 8 Vanilla Cupcakes

Tuesday's Horse

My most favourite vegan chef is Richa Hingle, known to the world as Vegan Richa. Hot on her heels is another tremendous vegan chef, Brandi Doming, or The Vegan 8 (the 8 representing that her recipes contain 8 ingredients or less).

I discovered The Vegan 8 on Instagram and fell in love with Doming’s baked goods — me being the obsessed baker that I am. I would love to bake than cook any day. Truly my great love besides family and animals is baking.

Today I want to feature a cupcake recipe that is particularly dear to my heart. It’s a vanilla cupcake recipe made with rice flour and no oil. This is melt in your mouth vegan heaven.

Here’s what it looks like on Instagram. I list the ingredients just below that. There are some ingredients that are not likely to be on your shelf, vegan or not, so…

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Here are the 5pm Key Messages on Tropical Depression Nine

Denmark buys last circus elephants so they can retire – CBBC Newsround

09 September 2019

Image copyright Getty Images Denmark-has-bought-four-elephants
Image caption The elephants are called Ramboline, Lara, Djunga and Jenny

The government in Denmark has bought four elephants from Danish circuses in order to give them a proper retirement.

The elephants, who are called Ramboline, Lara, Djunga and Jenny, are the last four circus elephants in the country.

The government is paying 11 million Danish krone – about £1.3 million – for the animals.

The Danish government is planning to introduce a total ban on wild animals in circuses later this year.

They also said they are not yet sure where the elephants will live but anyone who have a suitable space should make themselves known.
More elephants stories

Capturing baby African elephants for zoos and circuses is banned

Wild animals to be ‘banned from travelling circuses’

Nine reasons why we love elephants

Crisis in Africa: Elephants and ivory
Image copyright Getty Images The-Gartner’s-training-elephants-family-performs-during-the gala-of-the-43th-Monte-Carlo-International-Circus-Festival-in-Monaco
Image caption Elephants like these at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival have been used as performers for hundreds of years, but it is becoming much less common as many more countries opt to ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

In May 2019, the UK government announced a new law to ban travelling circuses from using wild animals, with MP Michael Gove saying “Travelling circuses are no place for wild animals in the 21st Century.”

It was decided at a big wildlife conference in August that baby African elephants will no longer be taken from the wild in order to be sold to zoos and circuses.

Earlier this year, a circus in Germany became the first in the world to use holograms instead of real animals in its acts

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/amp/49607433?__twitter_impression=true
More on this story
Wild animals to be ‘banned from travelling circuses’

02 may 2019
Should wild animals perform in circus shows?

28 october 2015

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.

Everyone Needs a Guardian Angel 😇

When the Computer Wore a Skirt – Americans: Tell Your Senators to #Stop S386

Mining Awareness +

American women were at the forefront of computer programming. Why are we importing workers from India for these jobs? Rather, India should hire Americans to make their space program successful.

Margaret Hamilton, lead Apollo flight software engineer, in the Apollo Command Module, NASA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Hamilton_(software_engineer)

Americans: It is urgent to call your Senators to Oppose S386. A diverse group of Americans – Women and Men, Black Americans, White Americans and some few Chinese Americans sent America to the moon. America has talent already, if the US government will only give Americans a chance again and stop using mass immigration to pull the opportunity ladder out from under its own people.

The Senate returns Monday and could vote at any time. SENATE BILL 386 LIFTS COUNTRY CAPS ON GREEN CARDS; DOUBLES COUNTRY CAP FOR FAMILY JOINING. It will destroy diversity because most immigration will be from the countries with the…

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The Greatest Threat to US Wildlife in General & Endangered Species in Particular is Immigration Driven Unfettered Population Growth

Mining Awareness +

The US Population in 1970 was 205 million
The US Population today is approximately 330 million and quickly growing
https://www.census.gov/popclock Births to American women have long been below replacement, meaning that this out of control growth is immigration driven.

From NumbersUSA: https://www.numbersusa.com
The Greatest Threat to Wildlife in General and Endangered Species in Particular Is Not Donald Trump’s New Rules PUBLISHED:   Tue, SEP 10th 2019 @ 7:22 am EDT  by  Leon Kolankiewicz
The Trump administration recently finalized new rules that it insists will “modernize” the Endangered Species Act (ESA) [1]. Unsurprisingly, environmental groups and their media allies are expressing alarm, while extractive industries aligned with Trump reassure the public that the new rules represent an improvement for everyone, not least threatened and endangered species.

Yet neither the Trump administration nor its harshest environmentalist detractors are willing to recognize or resolve the greatest threat to all wildlife in the United…

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Hurricane Dorian wracked sea turtles across heart of SC nesting coast

postandcourier.com
Bo Petersen bopete@postandcourier.com

Workers on Cape Island are sifting through the debris and shoveling away the sand moved about by Hurricane Dorian, trying to save thousands of loggerhead sea turtle eggs that might still be alive in some 500 nests.

Near the island, nobody knows yet the fate of another 500 or so nests on the various Sea Islands in the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center, across the Santee Delta north of Charleston. State workers who are still repairing storm damage across the 24,000-acre preserve, can’t yet get to the remote islands.

“We have no idea how many (nests) we’ve lost, how many are just covered over (and) can be cleared and still hatched,” said Charlotte Hope, a S.C. Department of Natural Resources biologist.

Dorian — which didn’t do much environmental damage working its way up the South Carolina coast last week — tore into the North, South and Sand islands that are the heart of the acclaimed loggerhead turtle recovery effort in the Palmetto State and where the most nests are laid outside of Florida.

Those 1,000 unaccounted-for nests on Cape and the Yawkey islands are one-fourth of the nests in the state that hadn’t hatched before the storm.

SC’s Cape Island, key in sea turtle recovery, faces erosion and few management resources

The losses would be a bigger problem than just numbers. Because the nests were laid in the hotter summer months, the hatches would most likely be males — and most of the males to be produced in South Carolina this year.

That would be a particularly grueling legacy of the storm: adding to a new threat to reclaiming a species that is an emblem of the coast.

For more than a decade, concern has grown that more loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings are born female than male as the sand temperature rises in a warming climate, disrupting the species balance needed to reproduce.

The research here is still underway but it appears South Carolina is producing 80 percent females to 20 percent males, he said. When studies began a few decades ago, the sex difference was about 50-50.

Rising beach nest temperatures may become too hot for threatened loggerhead turtles in SC

An adult loggerhead is normally a 300-pound, 3-foot-long mammoth that crawls into the dunes each spring to lay eggs in nests that will hatch over the summer. It’s the species that lays nearly all the nests along South Carolina beaches and has become a beloved symbol of the natural coast.

The loggerhead is one of seven sea turtle species around the world and all of them are considered endangered or threatened.

The storm came closer to Cape Island near McCellanville than anywhere else, the slashing winds of its eyewall virtually on top of the beach, storm waves rolling in about 2 feet higher than high tide normally would — and enough to swamp the dunes where the nests lie.

On top of the storm surge waves, a deluge of 7.6 inches of rain fell on Cape Island, said Sarah Dawsey, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist who is the manager for the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge where the island is located. The rain and the wash almost certainly drowned nests.

“Surprisingly, we still have turtle nests on the beach,” Dawsey said. “We are currently working on uncovering the remaining nests that got buried deep in sand.”

Link to ‘a jewel’

Dorian apparently did little damage to nests on the beaches in the state more to the south. Only two of 25 unhatched nets were lost on Folly Beach, said Teresa Marshall, of the island’s Turtle Watch group.

Mary Pringle, of the Island Turtle Team of Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island, said no nests were lost. In fact, a nest hatched the night before Dorian passed and another one Thursday night as the storm winds and rain settled.

Overall, nesting saw more damage from a run of king tides in August, Hope said. Now the concern is for the return of those higher-than-normal high tides, expected starting Sept. 25.
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Reach Bo Petersen at @bopete on Twitter or 843-937-5744.

https://www.postandcourier.com/news/hurricane-dorian-wracked-sea-turtles-across-heart-of-sc-nesting/article_30c861f0-d3d2-11e9-bb3c-4b12e853ab69.html?fbclid=IwAR18fzD7K5O3Gdxuud281rUwunkmduQuiwRKKV_5Y39kQsO4V6u_ugCYspA

By Nancy Posted in Uncategorized Tagged

While satellite and surface data indicate that the system does not have a closed circulation, it will bring heavy rainfall and Gusty winds to portions of the Bahamas through Friday

The Most Epic Whale Encounters

100% of donations are going to aid the victims of hurricane Dorian

These animals were rescued today from abacos

IsraAID sends emergency aid to Bahamas after catastrophic hurricane

Hurricane relief efforts underway in the Bahamas

HURRICANE DORIAN ABACO RELIEF: CONTACTS, LINKS & INFO [update]

ROLLING HARBOUR ABACO

HURRICANE DORIAN ABACO RELIEF: CONTACTS, LINKS & INFO

[Update]

Since my original post focussing mainly on the rapidly increasing numbers of donation sites and their links, the true extent of the Hurricane Dorian catastrophe on central Abaco and outlying cays is gradually becoming clearer. Reports of localised looting are coming in. The situation is truly desperate and no one reading this will be unaware of the unfolding tragedy. Our thoughts must be with the bereaved and the injured; the missing; their families and friends; the frightened evacuees; those that have lost their homes, possessions, livelihoods; the courageous local people and relief teams.

This is a time when information is valuable, in particular as to the resources available, the urgent needs of the island and its cays, and the ways in which outsiders can help with this dire situation and with funding the recovery. Here are a few suggestions that I…

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VIDEO Trump Tweets Support For Declaring ANTIFA Terrorist Organization – Anitfa Attempt Stabbing of Vet

National Hurricane Center 5 p.m. Update

Biden’s Eye Fills With Blood During Town Hall | ZeroHedge News

Truth2Freedom's Blog

Former VP Joe Biden’s eye filled with blood while participating in a Wednesday night CNN town hall on climate change, according to the Washington Examiner.

The poorly timed broken blood vessel – or subconjuctival hemorrhage, comes as Biden brushes off weeks of criticism over his age and mental capabilities after the 76-year-old made a series of gaffes on the campaign trail. According to the report, the hemmorrhage can be caused by several factors – including bleeding disorders, high blood pressure, blood thinners or even straining too hard.

Biden, 76, has long been plagued by health issues. In 1988, he suffered an aneurysm that burst and required him to undergo emergency surgery. The then-senator was so close to death that a Catholic priest began preparing to administer the sacrament of last rites.

Months later, surgeons clipped a second aneurysm before it burst. Biden then took a seven-month leave from…

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Planned Road would cut through Florida Panther Habitat

The Jaguar

Panther Release in Rotenberger WMA by Florida Fish and Wildlife. CC BY-ND 2.0

Here’s a disturbing story from National Geographic about a planned road that would slice through Florida panther habitat.

As writer Douglas Main explains, the state of Florida recently authorized the addition of three new toll roads. While all of these roads could negatively affect a vital wildlife corridor, one of them would directly traverse the habitat of Florida’s iconic panthers.

Florida panthers are actually pumas (Puma concolor) that have managed to survive after the rest of their species was driven out of the Eastern United States. It hasn’t been easy, though. Main writes that there were only around 20 Florida panthers left in 1967, when the cats were listed as an endangered species.

Thanks to the Endangered Species Act – the extraordinary piece of legislation that was just gutted by the Trump administration – Florida…

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Like to donate… you can donate to B Strong at Bethenny Frankel | Official Website

http://www.bethenny.com/bstrong/ 

I posted this on Twitter to Bethenny Franklin she has a wonderful foundation and 100% goes to the areas hit by hurricane Dorian check her out @Bethenny and Disney and Norwegian responded to my tweet

8 Takeaways From The Most Important Wildlife Event You’ve Never Heard Of

nationalgeographic.com.au

By DINA FINE MARON AND RACHEL FOBAR 02 September 2019

GENEVA – Nine animals received increased protections from international trade, and more than 130 species won protections for the first time at a two-week summit aimed at managing the multibillion-dollar cross-border wildlife trade while preventing endangered animals and plants from sliding to extinction.

Not every country went home happy. “What I sense in the room, and what I’m concerned about is there’s a bitterness,” says Ivonne Higuero, secretary-general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). “There’s a discussion of ‘This is not working for me, it hasn’t been working for me for some time.’”

From August 17 to August 28, 182 countries and the European Union considered proposals for more than 500 species, and their votes often broke down based on political, economic, and geographic lines. Southern African nations, for example, squared off against many other African nations on their differing approaches to elephant conservation and how to fund it.

Until now, CITES decisions about levels of protection for species have been based exclusively on science—knowledge accumulated by biologists and ecologists, for example—but disagreements arose over how much weight CITES should now give to other factors, including the needs and desires of rural communities that live alongside wildlife. Economic and social benefits, for example, such as revenue from hunting and ecotourism to benefit villagers, are increasingly seen as integral to discussions about levels of protection.

Every three years CITES members convene to discuss the treaty, which was enacted in 1975. Eight themes emerged from this year’s conference. (Read more about the major CITES decisions here).

1. Marine animals are gaining a needed safety net.

Decisions to increase protections for mako sharks, wedgefish, and guitarfish came on the heels of a resolution proposed by Antigua and Barbuda to stop all marine species from being listed under CITES until it can be demonstrated that CITES protections do in fact make a difference. The resolution was roundly rejected, but this wasn’t a new notion.

“There’s long been this idea that somehow CITES isn’t a tool for marine species, and that idea to us is absurd,” says Matt Collis, director of international policy at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

CITES was set up to deal with terrestrial species, leading some to say that marine species should be excluded and that regulation should be left to regional fishery bodies. This idea is a relic from when CITES began in the 1970s, says Luke Warwick, assistant director of the sharks and rays program for the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society.

This year, Warwick says it seems that a consensus was finally reached: In a “weird” but “positive anticlimax,” Japan, which opposed the mako shark proposal, surprised conservationists when it didn’t reopen the mako shark debate in the final session. That’s when proposal decisions must be confirmed or rejected and countries have a chance to reopen debates. This shows the idea that CITES is for sharks is becoming mainstream, Warwick says.

“There’s a growing recognition that CITES does marine and it does it well,” he says.

2. The exotic pet trade is putting an increasing strain on dozens of threatened species.

The Indian star tortoise, considered a “vulnerable” species, is one of the world’s heavily trafficked tortoises. CITES members voted to ban it from international commercial trade.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

More than a third of the proposals this year related to reptiles and amphibians that are now threatened, largely because of their popularity as exotic pets in the United States, the EU, and elsewhere. Those species include the Indian star tortoise and the tokay gecko. Two otter species—the Asian small-clawed otter and smooth-coated otter—similarly have suffered from their popularity among exotic pet collectors, particularly in Southeast Asia. Collectively, more than 20 of the 56 proposals up for CITES consideration had listings spurred by the pet trade. Almost all mustered enough votes to increase protections. Only one proposal—to list all 104 species of glass frogs—failed to pass.

3. How should countries fund conservation? CITES didn’t provide answers.

The long-standing debate over how to fund conservation efforts came up again this year, notably in the debate over elephant and rhino protections.

Eswatini proposed opening its commercial rhino trade, which would allow it to sell abroad its nearly 332-kilogram stockpile of horn, valued at US $9.9 million. Fears that a legal trade would stimulate demand and smuggling of rhino horn led to the rejection of the proposal, but the question remains unanswered: How will countries such as Eswatini fund conservation?

Some conservationists have suggested ecotourism or donations could help. During the debates, the representative from Eswatini angrily invited opposing countries and nonprofit organizations to step up and pay to protect its rhinos.

“Opinion seems to come not with responsibility,” he said of the opposition. “If the finance is not available to protect them, rhinos will continue to die, and so will people.”

4. Frustrations persist between southern African countries and the more than 30 countries that make up the African Elephant Coalition.

Debate about how to manage the trade in charismatic large animals and products from them, including ivory and rhino horn, was intense. Southern African countries, such as Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, had very different views from the countries that have come together as the African Elephant Coalition, a consortium of more than 30 countries that seek to preserve African elephant populations and want a world free from trade threats to the animals. Officials from the former said they should have the right to trade their animals and products from them and believe they should be rewarded for their conservation. Coalition members such as Kenya, for example, argued that these species still need to be preserved and shouldn’t be involved in global commerce beyond current levels.

5. The EU, which stands as a 28-vote block, wields the power to make or break proposals.

At the start of the conference, not all 28 EU countries had been fully credentialed. As a result, when a major vote came up about banning the sale of wild African elephants to countries outside where they live, the EU, even though it opposed the proposal, couldn’t vote. Had the EU voted, the proposal would have failed. (The EU later reached a compromise with other countries and, after adding amendments that create certain exceptions for such sales, ultimately supported the proposal.) Yet the EU’s outsize influence enabled it to scuttle a separate effort to protect glass frogs (popular in Europe as exotic pets) from trade, despite impassioned defense of the proposal by Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras—countries where the animals live in nature. Meanwhile, a new level of protection for mako sharks squeaked by. Observers say the vote would have gone the other way if the EU hadn’t signed on as a co-sponsor.

“The 28 EU member states are a powerful force at CITES—and generally a force for conservation,” says Susan Lieberman, of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

6. Is CITES acting quickly enough?

Glass frogs, so named because of their transparent skin, are regularly traded as pets, particularly in the United States and Europe.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

A 2019 United Nations report on extinction rates found that about one million species of animals and plants are in danger of disappearing, many within decades, because of humans. The vast majority of animals traded from country to country aren’t protected under CITES.

Neil D’Cruze, global wildlife advisor for the international animal welfare nonprofit World Animal Protection, wonders if CITES decisions come quickly enough to save species. D’Cruze says he’s spent years researching the vulnerable, and declining, Indian star tortoise, one of the world’s most heavily trafficked tortoises. Despite discussions about its trade status at previous CITES meetings, a ban on their international commercial trade wasn’t instituted until now. Similarly, all eight species of pangolins weren’t given the highest level of protection until 2017, although, according to the wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic, an estimated million were trafficked between 2000 and 2013.

“CITES is an important conservation and wildlife protection tool, but given the rapid rate of global biodiversity loss, there is always the wish that CITES, government, and NGOs could move faster,” D’Cruze says.

7. CITES is flawed. A path to fix it remains unclear.

A frequent complaint is the lack of transparency at many of the controversial votes at CITES meetings, including those relating to marine animals and elephants. The convention allows for secret ballot votes, and in such cases, one country can ask for a matter to be voted on by secret ballot. As long as 10 countries second that bid, the public will never know how a given country voted—unless that country asks for its vote to be put on the record. That’s a problem because countries need to be accountable to their public, says Lieberman.

Another common complaint: Now that the treaty has 183 members and scientists have learned a lot more about the dire situation facing a variety of species, the conference agenda has grown dauntingly long. Before this year’s meeting, CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero told National Geographic, “With each Conference of the Parties, we are increasing the number of documents and proposals that are being considered. This one has 20 per cent more than the last, at South Africa. And that [conference] had a larger agenda than the one before.” She added, “A very big concern of mine as the new secretary-general is: Are we going to be as effective in general at CITES?”

Another criticism of the treaty is that the emphasis now is too heavily on restricting trade. Moreover, many observers say that CITES doesn’t treat poorer nations on par with richer ones—disproportionately sanctioning the former for failing to comply with or enforce the treaty. “It’s also fair to say that countries with well established and well staffed CITES authorities are much better versed at defending themselves,” says John Scanlon, who served as secretary-general from 2010 to 2018.

CITES meetings generally happen every three years, although they’re meant to occur biannually. More frequent meetings would drive up the costs of managing the treaty but could shorten agendas, streamlining the process. Still, the three-year cadence seems unlikely to change: At the conclusion of this meeting, the next Conference of the Parties was announced for 2022, to be hosted by Costa Rica.

8. New elephant protections underscore evolution in thinking about these intelligent, sensitive creatures.

Although public attention is drawn toward charismatic creatures such as elephants and rhinos, most illegal wildlife trade actually involves timber, plants, and marine life. Still, the most contentious debates at this summit, as in previous ones, swirled around elephants—with proposals about opening up ivory trade, closing down domestic ivory markets, and loosening the restrictions limiting Zambia’s elephant sales. All three failed to pass, leaving the status of elephants largely unchanged.

But one elephant measure was approved: a near-complete ban on capturing and sending African elephants from some countries to zoos and other captive facilities abroad. The issue, which stemmed largely from concerns about recent sales of young elephants to China and the U.S., preoccupied the concluding discussion. Zimbabwe, in particular, has recently sought to sell some of its elephants.

Lead Image: Glass frogs were among the more than 500 species considered for protections at this year’s CITES international wildlife trade meeting in Geneva.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

Or more on this related story click here.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/8-takeaways-from-the-most-important-wildlife-event-youve-never-heard-of.aspx

The Walt Disney Company to Donate More Than $1 Million to Relief and Recovery Efforts in The Bahamas

disneyparks.disney.go.com

Mari Mendez
We all have watched with broken hearts as Hurricane Dorian brought devastation to the northern Bahamas. Having just traveled to Great Abaco for a community event one week before the storm hit, I can tell you firsthand that the people of Grand Bahama and Abaco are our friends, neighbors and co-workers.

We’re committed to helping them rebuild their homes, their communities and their livelihoods. And today, I’m proud to share with you that the Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, made a commitment of more than $1 million to help relief and recovery efforts in The Bahamas.

This commitment includes a $1 million donation to non-profit relief agencies who will be undertaking recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as the provision of supplies – including food staples and basic construction materials – to those in impacted areas.

Earlier today, our Chairman and CEO Bob Iger shared, “The Walt Disney Company stands with the people of The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian.” He went on to say, “We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together.”

Additionally, Disney employees with immediate needs in impacted areas of The Bahamas will have access to a range of resources. Disney Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in The Bahamas, which experienced tropical force strength winds, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.

“The Bahamas is such a special place to us and our guests, and we have watched the devastation created by Hurricane Dorian with concern and heartache,” Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line, said. “We stand with the Bahamian people, and especially those in Abaco and Grand Bahama, as they recover from the worst storm to ever make landfall in The Bahamas. As the needs in these communities are assessed, we are prepared to aid the relief and recovery efforts through funding, the provision of supplies and by providing support to our Bahamian Crew Members.”

We continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian and will coordinate on an ongoing basis with nonprofit organizations on emergency response efforts. This includes sharing lifesaving information with families before and during emergencies, prepositioning supplies at-the-ready to respond rapidly to natural disasters, and providing resources to activate large-scale responses as needed in the event of a disaster.
https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/09/the-walt-disney-company-to-donate-more-than-1-million-to-relief-and-recovery-efforts-in-the-bahamas/

Breaking news: Arizona bans wildlife killing contests

blog.humanesociety.org
By Blog Editor

The HSUS has been at the frontlines of the fight to end wildlife contests and our goal is to see them eradicated once and for all. Photo by John Harrison

Arizona today banned all wildlife killing contests for coyotes, bobcats, foxes and other animals, joining a growing number of states taking action to stop these gruesome events in which participants vie for cash and prizes for killing the most or heaviest animals within a specific time period.

The ban, proposed in June, was voted on by Arizona’s Fish and Wildlife Commission. It received final approval today in a unanimous vote by the Governor of Arizona’s Regulatory Review Council and will go into effect in 60 days.

Since the start of 2018, Vermont and New Mexico have passed laws banning coyote killing contests. California, Colorado and Maryland have also banned or restricted wildlife killing contests. The Arizona ban is the most far-reaching of all these because it covers many more species.

The momentum against these contests reflects changing attitudes among citizens and a growing disgust toward the cruelty and inanity of these events. Twenty years ago, this same Regulatory Review Council rejected a similar opportunity to approve a ban, but this time, its members found it difficult to ignore a rising groundswell of citizen opposition. Nearly 5,000 people submitted comments to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, and an overwhelming majority expressed support for the rule.

Professional wildlife stewardship organizations like The Wildlife Society have also spoken out against the random killing of wild carnivores in killing contests, and the events are increasingly being criticized by state wildlife agency leaders.

Organizers and participants have often used livestock conflicts as a reason to justify these contests, but scientific evidence shows that indiscriminately killing wildlife is not only ineffective at curtailing conflicts with livestock and pets, it can actually make matters worse.

The HSUS has been at the frontlines of the fight to end wildlife contests. We’ve conducted undercover investigations of these contests in New York and New Jersey, and in Oregon, and footage shot by our undercover investigators captures the casual indifference participants at these contests show for the suffering and death of animals. The contests also desensitize children — who are often encouraged to participate in the killing — to animal cruelty. Last year, at Arizona’s “Santa Slay Coyote Calling Tournament” in Dewey-Humboldt, advertisements depicted Father Christmas holding a rifle and standing in a pool of blood (the town later passed a resolution condemning these gruesome spectacles).

Our goal is to see these contests eradicated once and for all. Arizona’s pioneering action should inspire other states to follow suit. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is considering a regulatory change to outlaw killing contests for species like foxes and coyotes, and there is similar legislation in New Jersey and New York. As part of the National Coalition to End Wildlife Killing Contests, a coalition we co-chair with Project Coyote that is composed of more than 30 national, regional and local wildlife protection organizations, we’re taking the fight national.

For today’s outcome, we applaud the Arizona Governor’s Regulatory Review Council for listening to the voices of thousands of Arizonans and potential visitors to the state who submitted comments to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. If your state has wildlife contests and you want to learn how to effectively advocate to end them, you can download our toolkit. Wildlife killing contests are vicious and pointless, and there’s no justification for any state to condone them or support their continuation.

https://blog.humanesociety.org/2019/09/breaking-news-arizona-bans-wildlife-killing-contests.html

California becomes first state to ban fur trapping after Gov. Newsom signs law

By Louis Sahagun , Phil Willon

California has enacted a new ban on fur trapping for animal pelts, making it the first state to outlaw a centuries-old livelihood that was intertwined with the rise of the Western frontier.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, prohibits commercial or recreational trapping on both public and private lands.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who introduced the legislation, said it was time to end fur trapping. “It seems especially cruel, obviously, and it’s just unnecessary and costly,” she said.

Although commercial trapping was an early part of California’s economy, opening the San Francisco Bay Area to international commerce even before the 1848 California Gold Rush, its fortunes have waned over many decades.

Gonzalez said that the roughly six dozen trappers still working in the state, down from more than 5,000 a century ago, cannot afford to pay the full cost of implementing and regulating their industry.

The ban also comes as California lawmakers consider more aggressive measures to protect animals and wildlife, often threatening age-old traditions.

Legislators are considering proposals to ban the sale of all fur products, including fur coats, and to outlaw the use of animals in any circus in the state, with the exception of domesticated horses, dogs and cats.

“There’s been a real change in attitudes about how we treat animals,” Gonzalez said.

A total of 68 trappers reported killing 1,568 animals statewide in 2017, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Among the 10 species reported taken were coyote, gray fox, beaver, badger and mink.

Trapped animals are strangled, shot or beaten to death, with care taken not to damage pelts before skinning them.

Under the law, using traps to catch gophers, house mice, rats, moles and voles would still be permitted.

The law followed a 2013 public outcry when conservationist Tom O’Key in 2013 discovered a bobcat trap illegally set on his property near the edge of Joshua Tree National Park.

O’Key stumbled upon the trap chained to a jojoba bush and camouflaged with broken branches just north of the 720,000-acre park, where the big cats are a dominant force in the ecosystem.

He immediately alerted neighbors and contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Hi-Desert Star newspaper, triggering an angry tide of complaints that put a spotlight on the practice of trapping, killing and skinning bobcats to supply fur markets in China, Russia and Greece.

“I could not have guessed in a million years,” O’Key said in an interview, “that trap would spark an unstoppable movement capable of shifting legislative thinking toward wildlife.”

Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) pushed through his Bobcat Protection Act of 2013, which was in response to petition drives, social media campaigns and telephone calls to lawmakers from wildlife advocates who decried trapping and killing as a cruel trade.

Eight months after O’Key sounded the alarm in Joshua Tree, the California Fish and Game Commission voted 3 to 2 to ban commercial bobcat trapping statewide.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 argues that the small number of active trappers in the state cannot afford to pay the full cost of implementing and regulating their industry as required by law.

It was backed by the Center for Biological Diversity, and the nonprofit group Social Compassion in Legislation, which spearheaded a recent bill that put an end to the sale of mill-bred dogs, cats and rabbits.

Opponents included the California Farm Bureau Federation, which warned that the bill, if passed, could have significant economic consequences for the agriculture industry.

The trapping industry declined over decades in California.

Before California’s population ballooned to roughly 40 million people, fur trapping played a significant role in the extirpation of wolves and wolverines and the severe declines of sea otters, fishers, martens, beavers and other fur-bearing species.

Over the last two decades, animal protectionists have partnered with mainstream environmental groups to put pressure on state and federal wildlife authorities, and to take their animal-cruelty concerns to the voters. Trappers are anachronistic, they said, and their snares subject wildlife to horrific suffering.

“The signing of this bill into law is the result of compelling data and a change of heart in public opinion regarding animal cruelty,” said Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-04/fur-trapping-ban-california-law?_amp=true&__twitter_impression=true

When the CCTV camera is broken 😂

Judge Orders Antifa Activist Yvette Felarca to Pay Judicial Watch Legal Fees for Her ‘Entirely Frivolous’ Lawsuit – Judicial Watch

judicialwatch.org

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced that a U.S. District Judge in California awarded Judicial Watch $22,000 in legal fees in a case filed by an Antifa organizer in an effort to block Judicial Watch from obtaining information about her activities.

Yvette Felarca, a middle school teacher in the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD), and two co-plaintiffs were ordered to pay Judicial Watch $22,000 in attorney’s fees and $4,000 in litigation costs. Felarca had sued the BUSD in federal court to keep the school district from fulfilling its legal obligation to provide Judicial Watch with records of their communications mentioning: Felarca, Antifa, and/or BAMN. Judicial Watch also asked for Felarca’s personnel file.

Felarca is a prominent figure in By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), a group founded by the Marxist Revolutionary Workers League that protests conservative speaking engagements. In 2016, Felarca and two of her allies were arrested and charged with several crimes, including felony assault, for inciting a riot in Sacramento. Earlier this year, Felarca was ordered to stand trial for assault.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, Northern District of California, who had previously ruled that Felarca’s lawsuit was “entirely frivolous,” wrote in his ruling awarding legal fees to Judicial Watch that Felarca and her co-plaintiffs’ First Amendment claims were “premised on the obviously baseless assumption” that the First Amendment condemns the speech of some while condoning the ideological missions of others.

Judge Chhabria added that “The plaintiffs also mischaracterized the documents under review” and that the plaintiffs “failed to grapple with the role Ms. Felarca played in making herself a topic of public discourse through her physical conduct at public rallies and her voluntary appearance on Fox News.”

Judge Chhabria’s order also states that “a significant portion of the documents the plaintiffs initially sued to protect from disclosure had been publicly disclosed months earlier in another suit brought by Ms. Felarca against BUSD, where she was represented by the same counsel. (See generally Felarca v. Berkeley Unified School District, No. 3:16-cv-06184-RS). The plaintiffs, therefore, had no reasonable argument to protect those documents from disclosure.”

Along with Felarca’s $20,000 payment, co-plaintiffs Lori Nixon and Larry Stefl were ordered by Judge Chhabria to pay Judicial Watch $1,000 each (Yvette Felarca, et al., v. Berekely Unified School District, et al. (No. 3:17-cv-06282-VC)).

“Judicial Watch is entitled to attorney’s fees because the plaintiffs’ lawsuit was frivolous, and their litigation conduct was unreasonable,” Judge Chhabria wrote in his order.

Additionally, Judge Chhabria’s order holds the plaintiffs “jointly and severally liable” to pay Judicial Watch $4,000 in litigation expenses.

In 2017, Judicial Watch filed a California Public Records Act (CPRA) request seeking public records information about Felarca’s Antifa activism and its effect within the Berkeley Unified School District. In her lawsuit aimed at keeping the Berkeley school district from furnishing the records, Felarca alleged that Judicial Watch was misusing the law for political means and the district should refuse to provide the information.

In January 2018, a separate judge ordered Felarca to pay more than $11,000 in attorney and court fees for her frivolous attempt to get a restraining order against Troy Worden, the former head of the University of California (UC) Berkeley College Republicans.

“This is a huge victory for Judicial Watch against Antifa and the violent left,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Ms. Felarca attacked Judicial Watch without basis and the court was right to reject her ploy to deny our ‘right to know’ because we don’t share her violent left views.”

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-releases/judge-orders-antifa-activist-yvette-felarca-to-pay-judicial-watch-legal-fees-for-her-entirely-frivolous-lawsuit/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=press_release

Hurricane Dorian Update

“Hurricane Dorian hammers the Bahamas for more than 24 hours l ABC News”