Zorra, a partially paralyzed husky mix and an emotional support dog was in a locked car with the air on and parked in handicap parking outside the convenience store while Zorra’s guardian went in to pick up a bag of ice, a illegal immigrant stole the car, after a massive search they found the car and Zorra dead. Demand that justice be served for this helpless animal victim.
After a whistleblower told the U.S. government that the Explosive Detection Canines (EDCs) were being neglected, the inspector general’s (IG) office for the State Department began to investigate. What they discovered was horrifying.
At least ten bomb-sniffing dogs given to Jordan over the past 8 years have perished. Some of the dogs were young and healthy pups when they left but died shortly after they arrived in the Middle Eastern nation.
Zoe, for example, a 2-year-old female Belgian Malinois, died of heatstroke just 9 months after she arrived. Another dog, Mencey, a 3-year-old of the same bread, got so sick in Jordan from a tick-borne disease that she had to be returned to the United States for treatment. He died shortly afterward. Other dogs were found to be parasite ridden, emaciated, and lacking in proper medical attention. In light of their investigation, IG’s office determined that no more dogs should be sent to Amman. Yet, despite the initial complaint and the devastating findings of the IG’s report, dogs are still being sent.
These dogs are American heroes. They keep us and our allies safe by doing the jobs that are too dangerous for humans. The least we could do is make sure that they are well taken care of and have happy, healthy lives.
If Jordan or any other country that receives American EDCs cannot treat them humanely then they shouldn’t be allowed to have them. It’s just that simple.
Please sign the petition and demand that the U.S. State Department stop giving dogs to countries that can’t take care of them.
The Malawi Police Service, in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, have arrested one of Malawi’s most wanted suspected wildlife trafficker, Yunhua Lin.
Lin, 46, a Chinese national, was arrested on Friday, 16 August 2019, in Lilongwe after a three months manhunt. He has been placed on remand in Maula prison, Lilongwe until 11 September when the next hearing will take place.
He is allegedly involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales among other trophies and has been on the run following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals and four Malawians in May this year including his wife Qin Hua Zhang.
Police received a tip that Lin was in hiding and managed to arrest him in Lilongwe during a joint operation with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
He is connected to the recovery of, a number of wildlife trophies including 3 live pangolins, 556 pangolin scales, 103 pieces of rhino horns, 2 hippo teeth, ivory made chopsticks and processed ivory.
Currently Lin is facing charges of ; illegal possession of listed species contrary to section 86 of National Parks and Wildlife Act as read with section 110 and Dealing in Government trophies contrary to section 91 of National Parks and Wildlife Act. Investigations are on going.
His arrest comes barely three months after nine other Chinese nationals were arrested in connection to the syndicate.
The nine–Yanwu Zhuo (37), Guohua Zhang(47), Jinfu Zeng(58), Guozong Zhang, Lio Hao Yuan(42), Qiang Chen(43), Shine He, Ya Shen Zhuo(51) and Qin Hua Zhang (43)- are currently being remanded to Maula Prison.
Four Malawians suspected accomplices James Mkwezalamba, Cosmas Sakugwa, Julius Sanudia and Steven Daza were also arrested in May this year and are remanded at Maula Prison.
Lin Hao Yuan was previously convicted of attempting to export processed Ivory at KIA in 2014. His wife Qin Hua Zhang and others are on court bail, case under senior resident magistrate , His Worship Msokera, following their arrest in Wildlife related offences in December 2017.
By Sharon Vega
Some giraffe subspecies are endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict and more. These wild animals suffer enough. They don’t belong in zoos. Yet many are forced to live there in confinement. One giraffe recently went through a terrible ordeal when a drunk guy in the zoo climbed on top of a fence and got on top of him. It was all caught on video. How and why was this allowed to happen? These wild animals are not even supposed to be there, and to top it all off, they aren’t being protected or guarded?
People who are reluctant to recognize the truth about zoos are probably unaware that animals in zoos suffer more than just being in captivity. They are subject to the behaviors of the human spectators around them. For instance, some zoos host parties and play loud music right next to the animal enclosures. This is completely unfamiliar to them and is terrifying and can even be damaging to their hearing or health. What’s worse is that when alcohol is served at zoos, there are cases of belligerent people not just putting themselves in danger but terrifying the animals by climbing into their enclosures or throwing things at the animals.
In the case of this giraffe, the man appears to have arrived drunk at the zoo. He was filmed by someone as he climbed a fence and then got on top of a giraffe and proceeded to actually ride the poor animal. This happened at the Shymkent Zoo in the city Shymkent in Kazakhstan, Central Asia. The zoo has over 1500 animals, including a herd of giraffes. If animals are going to be kept in captivity this way (which they shouldn’t), there should at least be security measures that keep the animals safe.
How was the drunk guy not stopped while attempting to climb the fence. He should never have been able to get on top of the giraffe. It’s a prime example of why animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity this way. Giraffes, like all wild animals, belong in the wild.
Apparently police are searching for the drunk guy in the video. Sign this petition to put pressure on the police to catch him. People have to know this is unacceptable behavior.
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Nina France started this petition to YouTube and 1 other
Brooke Houts, a YouTuber with 320,000+ subscribers, has recently come under fire after accidentally uploading raw footage of a video she was making with her Doberman, Sphinx.
The video, posted to YouTube.com on August 6, shows her hitting the dog, smacking the dog, pinning him to the ground and shouting “NO!,” and spitting on the dog.
The video was quickly taken down and replaced with the edited version, but many had already seen it by the time she took it down, and the footage can still be found online.
Houts has since uploaded her attempt at an apology, in which she claims “On the day in particular that the video was filmed, and actually this past week, things in my outside life have been less than exceptional.”
Does having a bad day excuse hitting your dog? How about pinning your dog to the ground and spitting on him? Does anything excuse this?
This wasn’t a mistake. No one hits and spits on a living creature by mistake. If this is what Houts is comfortable doing on camera, what could she be doing to her dog off camera?
Multiple videos on Houts’s YouTube channel focus on Sphinx, and she even has created an Instagram account for the dog. This would be fine if she properly cared for him, but when you witness her mistreatment of her dog, it seems that Sphinx was only ever an accessory for Houts to show off and a tool to use to gain YouTube fame.
Of course, the best outcome for this would be that Sphinx would be rehomed and Houts would be charged with animal abuse. Unfortunately, this is a lot to ask for, so instead I ask for the bare minimum to be done: ban Brooke Houts from YouTube. Delete her channel, her videos, any reupload of her abuse, and never allow her to have a channel or any sort of influence ever again.
YouTube – To allow Brooke Houts to continue on your platform after blatantly violating YouTube guidelines and proving herself to be a violent, dangerous individual towards animals is the same as condoning her behavior. A person like her should never be allowed to have influence or an audience, and keeping up her channel and videos reflects very poorly back onto YouTube itself.
By allowing Houts’s videos and channel to remain online, YouTube is essentially normalizing the mistreatment of animals, particularly for the young and impressionable viewers that are a majority on YouTube’s website. To see Houts escape from this drama with her channel intact with no punishment from the platform in which she used to broadcast her abuse also creates a risk for copycat behavior by those desperate for YouTube fame and attention.
A YouTuber who recorded a prank video about her dog is now the subject of an investigation into possible animal abuse, Los Angeles police told BuzzFeed News, after unedited footage showed her hitting the animal.
Earlier this week, some among Brooke Houts’s nearly 340,000 subscribers realized she may have uploaded an incomplete version of her “plastic wrap prank on my doberman” video.
According to some viewers, a first upload of the video on YouTube purported to show disturbing and unedited footage in which Houts appears to hit, shove, and spit on her dog.
The current version of the video, which had its comments disabled and was downvoted over 27,000 times, does not include any of these clips. (BuzzFeed News could not independently confirm whether the unedited footage was in an earlier upload or made its way online through some other means.)
Still, the footage began spreading quickly across social media after popular YouTube drama commentator Keemstar got ahold of it and posted it on Wednesday. (Warning: Scenes from this video are disturbing.)
Within hours, the viral spread of the footage caught the attention of officials at the LAPD’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.
“LAPD is aware of this incident. Animal Cruelty is looking into this, and there is an open investigation,” a representative for the police department told BuzzFeed News.
The representative could not share any other information about the case or say whether Houts has been made aware of the investigation or is cooperating.
Houts did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. On Tuesday, she decided to write a lengthy statement via the Notes app addressing fans’ concern for her dog and allegations of animal abuse against her.
“I want to clarify that I am NOT a dog abuser or animal abuser in any way, shape or form,” she stated. “Anyone who has witnessed or heard true animal abuse will be able to clearly see that.”
In discussing what she called “uncut footage,” Houts said that she was upset during filming and had been “playing up [her] mood in the video.”
However, she denied spitting on her dog.
“In my heart and from the words of the people that spend the most time with me, I know that I am a great dog mom,” she wrote, describing all the ways she “spoil[s]” her doberman, like giving him treats and ordering him toys.
“This does not make my actions in the footage okay, but I’m just explaining what my day-to-day life is really like, whether you believe me or not,” she added.
Online, people were distressed and angered by what they saw — especially because her dog is often the subject of her lively vlogs.
Some are now demanding Houts be banned from the platform.
Representatives for YouTube didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Please share this video…This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s terms of service.
UPDATE: police are now investigating her for animal abuse
by: Care2 Team
recipient: The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea
First he caught his pet dog, a sweet-looking husky, in a headlock from which it could not escape. Then he punched the animal in the face repeatedly, leaving it scared and battered. And then, he picked up the dog and bit it right on its head.
The poor little dog only ever wanted to do right by its owner. But that didn’t stop his human — a popular YouTuber from Korea, known as Sseungnyangie — from vilely abusing the animal for public entertainment and streaming it to viewers all over the world.
Even worse, this isn’t the first time he’s viciously attacked his pet dog. Outraged netizens have reported him to the police for animal abuse numerous times over the past two years. But still, he’s been able to get away with cruelty.
In fact, during one recent livestream, he even successfully shooed police away. A concerned viewer had called the authorities, who came over to his apartment while he was recording a video. Police told him he wasn’t allowed to hurt his dog. He argues with the police until they leave.
Sseungnyangie then told his audience: “I can do whatever I want. I warned you. They can’t do anything to me if I hit my dog.”
Luckily, Sseungnyangie was ultimately wrong. Later, authorities did arrive and rescued the dog from him home, and an organization called Catchdog posted a photo showing the animal safe and well in its headquarters.
But there are two problems here — first, Sseungnyangie was allowed to keep this dog for far too long. Second, even though this dog was saved, that doesn’t mean other animals are safe from the YouTuber. That’s because the only Korean animal welfare law ever passed, back in 1991, offers minimal protection for pets suffering from abuse. For example, the law doesn’t allow officials to ban abusive people from owning more animals in the future; and neither does it more harshly penalize repeat-offenders.
This needs to change. Lawmakers in Korea must make their animal protection laws tougher! Sseungnyangie and people like him must never again be allowed to abuse animals for their own entertainment.
Ian James | Arizona Republic | 1 hour ago
A federal judge blocked construction of a giant copper mine in Arizona’s Coronado National Forest, overturning a decision by the federal government and handing a major victory to environmental groups and tribes that have been fighting plans for the mine.
Federal District Judge James Soto said in his decision Wednesday that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its duty to protect the Coronado National Forest” when it failed to consider whether the mining company held valid unpatented mining claims.
Conservation groups sued the government seeking to stop construction of the $1.9 billion Rosemont copper mine by Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. The company secured federal approvals for the open-pit mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, but opponents argued it would tear up the landscape, destroy streams and ravage habitat for rare animals, including endangered jaguars that roam the wilds of southern Arizona.
“This is a crucial victory for jaguars and other wildlife that call the Santa Ritas home,” said Randy Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity, one of the groups that filed cases seeking to stop the mine. “The judge’s ruling protects important springs and streams from being destroyed. We’ll move forward with everything we’ve got to keep protecting this southern Arizona jewel from this toxic mine.”
Other groups that sued to challenge the federal government’s approval of the project included the group Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and three Native American tribes: the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and the Hopi Tribe. The tribes object to plans to excavate remnants of ancestral villages and burial sites, and say the mine would dewater springs and seep they consider sacred.
Soto said in the ruling that he was overturning the Forest Service’s decision and environmental impact statement “such that the Rosemont Mine cannot begin operations at this time.”
The judge said the Forest Service had “no factual basis to determine that Rosemont had valid unpatented mining claims” on 2,447 acres, and that the claims are invalid under the Mining Law of 1872.
“The unauthorized dumping of over 1.2 billion tons of waste rock, as well as about 700 million tons of tailings, and the establishment of an ore processing facility no doubt constitutes a depredation upon Forest Service land,” Soto wrote in the decision. He said the agency implemented the wrong regulations, misinformed the public, and “failed to adequately consider reasonable alternatives.”
The mining company said it will appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Hudbay believes that the Court has misinterpreted federal mining laws and Forest Service regulations as they apply to Rosemont,” the company said in a statement. It said the Forest Service issued its decision in 2017 after a “thorough process of ten years involving 17 co-operating agencies at various levels of government.”
Peter Kukielski, Hudbay’s interim president and CEO, said the appeal will proceed as the company evaluates its next steps on the project.
“We are extremely disappointed with the Court’s decision,” Kukielski said. “We strongly believe that the project conforms to federal laws and regulations that have been in place for decades.”
Representatives of the Forest Service were unavailable to comment on the decision.
The judge said “defects pervaded” the Forest Service’s review and decision, and “led to an inherently flawed analysis from the inception of the proposed Rosemont Mine.”
Stu Gillespie, an attorney with the group Earthjustice who is representing the tribes, said the ruling “affirms the fundamental principle that nobody gets a free pass to destroy our public lands.”
“As the Court explained, the Forest Service provided no basis for assuming Hudbay had a right to destroy thousands of years of the Tribes’ cultural heritage,” Gillespie said in an email. “Because this crucial error tainted the entire process, the Court threw out the Forest Service’s decision and enjoined Rosemont from destroying these sacred public lands.”
The tribes’ leaders praised the judge’s decision. Ned Norris Jr., chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, called it a victory for “all of Southern Arizona.”
“The devastation that the Rosemont mine would bring to our land, water, and cultural resources is well-documented and cannot be allowed to happen,” Norris said in a statement. “The Nation will continue to fight to ensure that our sacred lands and the region’s water are protected.”
Hudbay has disputed the concerns raised by opponents, stressing that the project has gone through a thorough vetting process involving multiple government agencies and lasting more than 12 years, with a long list of studies that have examined the potential effects on the environment. Hudbay has argued that various agencies concluded the company will be able to operate the mine in compliance with environmental laws.
The company says Rosemont would be the third-largest copper mine in the United States.
Serraglio called the judge’s decision a “momentous precedent.”
“The judge essentially ruled that the mining company does not have an automatic right to dump their toxic waste on our public lands, and that the Forest Service’s interpretation of the law to that effect undermined the entire EIS (environmental impact statement) process,” Serraglio said in an email.
While the company appeals the decision, the judge made clear that no work on the mine may proceed in the meantime.
Reach reporter Ian James at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-444-8246. Follow him on Twitter: @ByIanJames
Environmental coverage on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is supported by a grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Follow The Republic environmental reporting team at environment.azcentral.com and at OurGrandAZ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.
This petition is also available in the following languages: German – Spanish – French
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.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the NOAA Enforcement Hotline as soon as possible at 1-800-853-1964. There is a $38,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
THANK YOU FOR SIGNING!
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.”
Image Credit: Facebook
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.
Image Credit: Facebook
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.
Representative photo by chas53
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.
Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
TWO suspected rhino poachers in Beitbridge died on admission to the Bulawayo United Hospitals (UBH) after they were involved in an accident while being pursued by police and game rangers during a dramatic high speed chase.
The incident occurred last Wednesday at Bubye Valley Conservancy on the outskirts of Beitbridge.
This emerged when two other suspects James Mauto (41) of Zaka in Masvingo and Celestino Shate (35) of Soshangane Flats in Bulawayo appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate, Mr Langton Mukwengi, facing charges of unlawful hunting of a specially protected animal in violation of the Parks and Wildlife Act. They were remanded in custody to June 28.
Prosecuting, Mr Guwanda said on June 12 this year, Mauto and Shate who were in the company of their deceased accomplices, Godfrey Makechemu and Charles Runye, were allegedly spotted by game rangers inside Bubye Valley Conservancy in Mazunga, Beitbridge.
The quartet, which was allegedly illegally hunting for rhinoceros, took to their heels with the game rangers hot in pursuit.
Their footprints indicated that they were tracking fresh rhino spoors at the conservancy.
“Acting on a tip off, a police mobile unit saw the suspected poachers coming out of Bubye Valley Conservancy and heading towards a nearby Jopembe village and pursued them,” said Mr Guwanda.
The court heard that as the police and the game rangers were making a follow up, they spotted the accused persons jumping into their car, a Toyota Wish and speeding off.
While in the process of fleeing from the pursuing police officers and game rangers, the car hit a stray goat resulting in the driver losing control of the vehicle and it veered off the road and overturned.
When police arrived at the scene, they found the four injured suspects inside the wreckage.
A search was conducted leading to the recovery of a telescopic sight rifle.
On being quizzed the suspects failed to give a satisfactory response leading to their arrest.
The accused persons were taken to Beitbridge District Hospital.
Makechemu and Runye were further transferred to UBH where they died upon admission.
Sign Petition: This Guy Ripped the Feathers Out of a Live, Wounded Emu
Animal abuse isn’t funny, but some people think it’s a hoot.
Take the story of a group of people in Australia who filmed themselves howling with laughter as one of their friends brutally tortured an emu. Emu birds are enormous and imposing, but it seems its stature wasn’t enough to dissuade a group of hooligans from setting upon it.
In a video that was posted to social media, a man grabs the emu and drags it along the ground and underneath a wire fence. At the same time, he begins to mock ride the bird, which reportedly had a broken leg. It only gets worse from there.
The man grabs large chunks of the flightless bird’s feathers and plucks them out of its body as it writhes in pain. Imagine someone grabbing your fingernails and ripping them out just for fun. That must be how it felt to the poor bird.
According to reports, the police have been made aware of the incident but has refused to take action because they can’t discern where it took place. Yet, the same report, also says that the video was recorded by a 19-year old in Walgett, New South Wales and a young woman interviewed for the story says she knows the person who uploaded the video. That’s how she came to see it in the first place and report it!
So, with all those clues, why exactly aren’t the police taking any action?
Sign the petition and demand that New South West Police do their job, follow the clues and find the thugs who did this.
- A cat was doused in gasoline and set on fire in a disturbing case of animal cruelty. She is the second cat to suffer this torture, striking fear into the hearts of local pet owners. Demand that authorities do more to ensure this cat torturer is found and punished.
A dog was reportedly doused with scalding liquid in a horrific case of animal cruelty. She apparently suffered burns so severe that they caused permanent disfigurement. Demand justice for this poor pup.
By Lorena Mongelli and Jackie Salo
May 15, 2019 | 12:56pm | Updated
Ellie Knoller and wife Jessica Kuncman were arraigned Wednesday in court. A Goldendoodle named Bella (left) was allegedly abused in their care.
Ellie Knoller and wife Jessica Kuncman were arraigned Wednesday in court. A Goldendoodle named Bella (left) was allegedly abused in their care. Victor Alcorn
A Long Island man and his wife brought three lovable puppies into their Mineola home, where the husband viciously beat the pooches while his spouse did nothing — leaving two dead and another fighting for her life, according to prosecutors.
Jessica Kuncman, 30, and Ellie Knoller, 29, were hit with charges stemming from the torture of their three dogs, one after the other, each beaten within days of being brought back to their Mineola home.
The couple — who has been married less than a year — pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Nassau County Court to the heinous crimes, which prosecutors describe as “serial” animal abuse.
“In my 28 years as a prosecutor, I have never seen a case where someone committed this kind of serial violence against different puppies,” said Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas.
Prosecutors said the pair adopted the first pup, a male shepherd mix named Tucker, on Feb. 8 from North Shore Animal League — but nine days later the new pet was dead from a kidney rupture as a result of Knoller’s “blunt force trauma to the dog.” Tucker suffered from extensive internal bleeding and died.
The very next day, the couple purchased a Goldendoodle named Cooper from a Pennsylvania breeder. But the designer dog — which can fetch as much as $3,000 from a breeder — was dealt a similar fate.
Three days after his adoption, Cooper bled to death from internal injuries, which were the result of being pummeled by Knoller, according to prosecutors. He suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest from the disturbing abuse.
On Feb. 20, Knoller allegedly brought the puppy into Garden City Veterinary Care in cardiac and respiratory arrest.
By the time a veterinarian examined Cooper he had already died.
Knoller then returned to the same breeder days after Cooper’s death and complained he was sold a sick animal. He was given another Goldendoodle named Bella from the same litter.
The couple’s lone surviving dog was then allegedly choked, beaten and suffered several broken bones. The shaggy pooch was left with injuries that total more than $18,000 in medical bills — including broken ribs, a forearm fractured in two places and a pulmonary contusion, according to the Nassau County SPCA.
“I’ve never ever seen a case of serial animal abuse like this. Basically serial murder of an animal,” said Gary Rogers, the SPCA’s president, outside the court. “It’s just wrong.”
Both newlyweds were charged Wednesday with over-driving, torturing and injuring animals. Knoller also faces a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Knoller and Kuncman face a max of two years and one year, respectively, if convicted on the top count.
“I don’t know why this happened and unfortunately the dogs can’t tell us,” Singas said. “Maybe there are anger issues. Maybe it’s some kind of sick sport.”
Judge Meryl Berkowitz ordered the couple Wednesday not to have any pets during the trial.
“The defendants are not allowed to have any kind of animals — not a dog, not a cat, not a bird, not a goldfish,” Berkowitz said.
The pair were released without bail but had their passports taken away. They drove off in a Range Rover without commenting.
Image Credit – Liz Carmignani
PETITION TARGET: Laconia Police Department
In a shocking act of cruelty, someone shot an arrow through a 10-month old kitten named Wolfie in Laconia, New Hampshire, in April.
The thick arrow pierced Wolfie’s back leg, shattering her tibia and fibula, and only narrowing missing her femur and femoral artery, according to an update on her guardian Liz Carmignani’s GoFundMe page.
Carmignani found the injured kitten outside her house, terrified and in pain. After the traumatized cat went into shock and lost consciousness, she rushed her to the vet to get the arrow removed.
Initially, vets thought they would need to amputate the mangled limb, but they were fortunately able to repair it using metal rods. However, Wolfie’s recovery will be lengthy, and she will need further surgery to remove the rods.
Laconia Police Chief Matt Canfield told the Laconia Daily Sun that the arrow was a Mossy Oak brand, commonly launched by compound bows and crossbows. Local police are still investigating this malicious attack.
We need to act now to bring Wolfie’s attacker to justice before they can hurt or even kill any more animals like her.
Sign the petition urging the Laconia Police Department to use all possible resources to find the person responsible for this horrific abuse.
Anyone with information about the attack should call the Laconia Police Department crime line on 524-1717.
Image Credit: Facebook – Tharp’s Horse Shoeing
PETITION TARGET: Jonne Slemons, Bethany Mayor
A sweet little miniature horse named Quigley was callously murdered and his body mutilated in Bethany, Missouri, last week.
The perpetrator shot the much-loved four-year-old horse through the neck before chopping off his genitals, hacking off one of his ears and gouging out an eye. This beautiful horse had also been skinned from his belly up with surgical precision, reported KQ2.com.
Quigley’s guardians discovered his butchered body in his field when he didn’t come to the gate for his morning feed. They had cared for him since he was only a few months old and considered the 30-inch horse to be a treasured part of the family.
The Bethany Police Department is currently investigating, but has not yet reported any developments or arrests, according to the Kansas City Star.
Sign this petition calling for justice for Quigley and to urge Bethany Mayor Jonne Slemons to ensure all possible resources are used to investigate this heinous crime and prevent the attacker from torturing and slaughtering any more animals.
Bethany Police are asking anyone with information about this crime to call 660-425-3199.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Bernard DuPont
Three South African rhinoceros poachers who tried to drag out their trials indefinitely have finally been sentenced — a decade after their crimes.
Senior Regional Court Magistrate Logan Naidoo convicted the men based on “overwhelming evidence” and declared that it would be a “travesty” to allow them to further prolong their cases.
On August 26, 2009, a rhino was shot to death in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve. Hours later, three men were arrested for the crime: 50-year-old Mutugokwakhe Khoza; 40-year-old Ayanda Buthelezi; and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) officer Mduduzi Xulu, 51.
The men were intercepted at a roadblock and discovered wearing bloodstained clothing and with a rifle, bloody axes, and a pair of rhino horns in their possession. DNA evidence later connected the severed horns to the carcass of the poached animal.
Cell phone records proved that extensive correspondence occurred between the criminals in the days leading up to the crime, despite some of them claiming not to know each other when they were caught.
To stall the proceedings and delay a verdict, Khoza and his accomplices hired and dismissed somewhere between 12 and 25 private and public lawyers throughout their trials.
On March 25, they sought further delays by firing their team of defense attorneys; but by then, court officials were fed up.
Despite threats from Xulu that the men would appeal their cases, Naidoo concluded that they had unreasonably delayed the trial and were therefore responsible for their own defense.
The three men were convicted on all eight of their original poaching charges. Khoza, who was convicted on a separate case of poaching that he committed while out on bail and served six years in prison for, was sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment. Buthelezi and Xulu were each sentenced to ten years, with five years suspended.
Only a skull and a pair of trousers remained after the suspected rhino poacher was killed by an elephant and then eaten by lions in Kruger National Park, South Africa National Parks said.
The incident happened after the man entered the park Monday with four others to target rhinos, according to a parks service statement.
An elephant “suddenly” attacked the alleged poacher, killing him, and his accomplices claimed to have carried his body to the road that so that passerby, could find it in the morning. They then banished from the park, police said.
His family were notified of his death late Tuesday by his fellow poachers, and a search party set out to recover the body. Rangers scored on foot and police flew over the area, but because of the failing light he could not be found.
The search resumed Thursday morning and with the help of added field rangers, police discovered what was left of his body.
police say they arrested three men and seized guns fall in the alleged poachers death.
Indications found at the scene suggested that a pride of lions had devoured the remains leaving only a human skull and a pair of pants.