Bill opponents say that the use of animals in circuses is educational. ANIMAL CIRCUSES ARE NOT EDUCATIONAL. They keep animals in unnatural conditions & force them to do unnatural tricks, & send the message that even the most endangered animals are simply here for human amusement.
A total of 485 dogs were locked in cages at the UAnimals shelter in Borodyanka
They were left for more than a month without food or water by Russian occupiers
Shelter workers were only able to return on April 1 after Russian troops retreated
UAnimals said only 150 of the 485 dogs managed to survive, with 27 critically ill
Harrowing footage shows workers stacking up a huge pile of carcasses, while other videos show dozens of corpses littering the floors of the shelter
Hundreds of dogs have been found dead at an animal shelter in Ukraine after Russian occupiers left them to starve in their cages for weeks.
The UAnimals shelter in Borodyanka, just north of Kyiv, said that up to 485 dogs were locked in their cages by Russian forces shortly after the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
There they remained without food or water for about a month as the occupiers left them to die, until staff were able to return to the compound on April 1 once the Russian soldiers had retreated.
Footage released by the animal shelter on Instagram showed workers stacking up a huge pile of dead hounds which had wasted away in the presence of the occupiers.
Meanwhile, images of half mangled corpses in some of the cages suggested some dogs had begun to eat their dead cell mates in the complete absence of food.
‘This is the number of dogs… and this is not all, this is just a part,’ a woman can be heard saying through tears as she filmed workers adding to the stack of corpses.
‘These are the animals of Borodyanka, and the consequences of war. The consequences of complete indifference and negligence. The animals went three to four weeks without food or water.’
Just 150 of the 485 dogs were found alive when the workers returned, with 27 of them transferred to local vets in critical condition.
UAnimals has since announced on social media it will pay 50,000 hryvnia (almost £1300) to anyone willing to rescue some of the animals still left alive, and hit out at the director of the Kyiv veterinary hospital – the owners of the shelter – for not organising proper care or evacuation for the dogs.
Hundreds of dogs left to die with ‘no food or water’ by Russian troops
LIVE ‘This is the number of dogs… and this is not all, this is just a part,’ a woman can be heard saying through tears as she filmed workers adding to the stack of corpses.
Footage released by the animal shelter on Instagram showed workers stacking up a huge pile of dead hounds which had wasted away in the presence of the occupiers.
Up to 485 dogs were found locked in their cages by animal shelter workers, of which only 150 had managed to survive.
Many of the dogs had wasted away after going weeks without food, and their corpses were little more than skin, fur and bone.
Workers at the UAnimals shelter push wheelbarrows full of dead dogs as they clear out the cages where the animals were left to starve by Russian forces
One video, posted by lawyer and head of Ukrainian nonprofit Centre for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviichuk, showed dozens of carcasses littering the floor at the UAnimals shelter.
‘I have no words. Russians even killed dozens of dogs in Kyiv region. WHY??’ she tweeted.
Meanwhile, more footage posted by Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko showed some of live dogs barking in terror as staff members slowly entered their cages and observed the dead bodies for the first time.
Some of the carcasses had remained untouched, but others had been torn apart by the ravenous dogs still trying to survive.
Though shelter staff were unable to care for the animals while the town was under the control of Russian occupiers, the UAnimals shelter announced on social media it had lodged a police complaint demanding that the deaths be investigated as animal cruelty crimes.
It argued that the head of the Kyiv veterinary hospital, Natalya Mazur, was responsible for arranging care for the animals in the early days of the war, but instead left just one man to look after the entire population.
UAnimals said this man left the dogs to die ‘in agony’, and demanded that Mazur be replaced as director of the Kyiv veterinary hospital as ‘the current director cannot act as a manager and should not interact with animals in the future’.
Mazur in the early days of the war made an appeal for financial donations to help deliver food and aid to animals in various shelters, but said that transporting the animals and arranging evacuations was not possible due to the logistical struggles facing a nation at war.
The haunting revelations made at Borodyanka’s animal shelter come just one day after Ukrainian officials warned the town is also likely to have seen horrific atrocities committed against its human population by Russian forces. Just 150 of the 485 dogs were found alive when the workers returned, with 27 of them transferred to local vets in critical condition Images of half mangled corpses in some of the cages suggested some dogs had begun to eat their dead cell mates in the complete absence of food One video, posted by lawyer and head of Ukrainian nonprofit Centre for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviichuk, showed dozens of carcasses littering the floor at the UAnimals shelter
Ukrainian prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova told Ukrainian TV yesterday that there was a ‘similar humanitarian situation’ in Borodyanka to that of Bucha, where several mass graves and hundreds of dead civilians were found over the weekend.
Venediktova said ‘the worst situation in terms of the victims’ condition’ could be found in Borodyanka, which is a little further from Kyiv than Bucha and was also held by Russian forces until just days ago.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday said it had become harder for Ukraine to negotiate with Russia since Kyiv became aware of the scale of alleged atrocities carried out by Russian troops just north of the capital.
‘These are war crimes and will be recognised by the world as genocide,’ Zelensky said, wearing body armour and surrounded by military personnel as he observed the mass graves in Bucha.
‘It’s very difficult to talk when you see what they’ve done here,’ he said. ‘The longer the Russian Federation drags out the meeting process, the worse it is for them and for this situation and for this war.
‘We know of thousands of people killed and tortured, with severed limbs, raped women and murdered children,’ he said, adding that in Bucha and other towns in the Kyiv region ‘dead people have been found in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured’.
Visibly distressed Zelensky speaks to press on streets of Bucha
LIVE ‘You can see around what was done to this modern town. That’s a characteristic of Russian soldiers – treat people worse than animals. That is real genocide, what you have seen here today,’ said Zelensky, who appeared visibly emotional A mass grave was discovered in the grounds of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints in Bucha A Ukrainian policeman walks by a pit in the village of Motyzhyn, Ukraine, April 3, where over a dozen bodies, including those of the town’s mayor and her family, were uncovered
Zelensky said that despite the horrific human suffering in Bucha, residents were chipping in together to make sure homeless animals were fed.
‘That’s a characteristic trait of our people, I think – treat animals the way you would treat humans,’ he said.
‘But you can see around what was done to this modern town. That’s a characteristic of Russian soldiers – treat people worse than animals. That is real genocide, what you have seen here today.’
Ukraine’s prosecutor-general said the bodies of 410 civilians, many with bound hands and close-range gunshot wounds, have been recovered from towns surrounding Kyiv after last week’s withdrawal of Russian troops.
Another mass grave containing the bodies of at least 20 civilians including a mayor and her family was also uncovered in woodland near the town of Motzyhn, around 20 miles west of Bucha.
Zoos and aquariums are just two types of place where members of nonhuman species face lifelong incarceration for the ‘entertainment’ of our species. Many with vested interests are quick to claim that the ‘entertainment’ aspect is only part of the story; that the main reason for imprisoning other species has something to do with ‘education’ or about ‘conservation’, and there’s no doubt that both these words frequently allow a free pass from criticism or even critical thinking for these widespread and lucrative businesses.
Zoos , ‘wild life parks’, and sea world equivalents crop up frequently on social media and one doesn’t have far to look to discover that the folk myths about ‘education’ and ‘conservation’ are alive and well, and have been since long before the days of TV and film.
We may arguably live in at a time when the use of other animals is increasingly frowned upon as unethical in circuses, but meanwhile every family heading to look at imprisoned creatures for a day’s ‘entertainment’ is doing their bit – to the sound of cash registers and burger stalls – to reinforce the continuing message that humans are superior creatures and that other species exist for our entertainment.
I decided that it’s important to start to compile the best information and links into a single resource to be added to as more comes to hand, providing something to share when the subject is raised by those whose self interest blinds them to the facts. I start with a piece that I recently came across by the great Tom Regan. The other articles are in date order.
Are Zoos Morally Defensible?
1995 In this piece comprising a chapter of a larger work authored by others, Tom Regan (1938-1917) examines and discusses the ethics of zoos from the Animal Rights position, by providing valuable insights into how the sharply contrasting ‘utilitarian’ or ‘holistic’ stances affect the subject. He writes,
June 11 2021 ‘I find one statistic particularly telling about their priorities: A 2018 analysis of the scientific papers produced by association members between 1993 and 2013 showed that just about 7 percent of them annually were classified as being about “biodiversity conservation.” People don’t go to zoos to learn about the biodiversity crisis or how they can help. They go to get out of the house, to get their children some fresh air, to see interesting animals. They go for the same reason people went to zoos in the 19th century: to be entertained. A fine day out with the family might itself be justification enough for the existence of zoos if the zoo animals are all happy to be there. Alas, there’s plenty of heartbreaking evidence that many are not.’ https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/11/opinion/zoos-animal-cruelty.html
The neural cruelty of captivity: Keeping large mammals in zoos and aquariums damages their brains
It’s Time to Stop Pretending Zoos Are Good for Animals
March 9, 2020 ‘We imagine the zoo as Noah’s Ark, preserving the last remnants of endangered species. And yet, 83% of species in zoos are not endangered, or even threatened. Why are these animals kept, if the zoo is all about conservation? Of the few zoo animals that are endangered, almost none of them will be released into the wild — they’ve been bred and raised for the entertainment of humans, and would not survive in nature. But even if zoos were successfully preparing their animals for release on a grand scale, it would be an inefficient use of resources: Conservation in the wild is far more effective than captive breeding, in almost all cases.
Zoos are outdated and cruel – it’s time to make them a thing of the past
August 14 2019 ‘If zoos are so abysmal, why do they still exist on such a large scale? The answer is simple. Zooreaucracies and zoo-rocrats have a stamp collector’s mentality and an appetite and preference to please the public with iconic and non-threatened species, leading to their needless captivity and “consumption” for entertainment.
In other words, the public come first and not the animals. Is that conservation? Zoos don’t want you to know these facts because it would expose the fundamental flaws in the arguments they put out for their existence, and as a consequence merely prove that they’re in the conservation of business and not in the business of conservation.’
Are zoo animals happy? There’s a simple empathy test we can apply
April 16. 2017 ‘If we are to continue keeping animals in confinement … Making animals happier must be a top priority, and written into the budgets of zoo managers. Nevertheless, we need to remember that enrichment is just a Band-Aid solution. It serves, like the Valium given to SeaWorld’s whales, to manage the symptoms. But it can’t treat the underlying disease. Only freedom from captivity can really resolve the illness.’ https://www.salon.com/2017/04/16/are-zoo-animals-happy-theres-a-simple-empathy-test-we-can-apply/
Do Zoos and Aquariums Promote Attitude Change in Visitors? A Critical Evaluation of the American Zoo and Aquarium Study
2010 ‘Modern-day zoos and aquariums market themselves as places of education and conservation. A recent study conducted by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) (Falk et al., 2007) is being widely heralded as the first direct evidence that visits to zoos and aquariums produce long-term positive effects on people’s attitudes toward other animals. In this paper, we address whether this conclusion is warranted by analyzing the study’s methodological soundness. We conclude that Falk et al. (2007) contains at least six major threats to methodological validity that undermine the authors’ conclusions. There remains no compelling evidence for the claim that zoos and aquariums promote attitude change, education, or interest in conservation in visitors ‘https://www.wellbeingintlstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=acwp_zoae
“UWA strongly condemns the illegal killing of wildlife because it does not only impact negatively on our tourism as a country, but also revenue generation, which supports conservation and community work in our protected areas,” he said.
There have been a number of previous incidents where lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park were believed to have been poisoned.
In September 2019, BKSDA Bali Forestry Department in Bali, Indonesia and the Ministry of Forestry initiated the idea for a first ever permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility for formerly captive dolphins. Working with local partners Jakarta Animal Aid Network to supply the manpower and Dolphin Project to provide the financial support and supervision, the team built the Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center in Banyuwedang Bay, West Bali (“Umah Lumba” means “dolphins” in Balinese.)
The Umah Lumba Center is a purpose-built facility for recently confiscated dolphins from captive facilities, and for stranded or injured dolphins. The facility is designed to stabilize the mammals, return them back to health and to assess whether they are candidates for readaptation and release.
For dolphins deemed releasable, they will be taken to Camp Lumba Lumba Readaptation and Release Center in Karimun Jawa, the world’s first permanent facility dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of dolphins. The mammals will then be prepared for return into their home range. The location was specifically chosen because the majority of dolphins were captured from the Karimunjawa National Park, and releasing them here would offer a good chance for the mammals to reunite with their family pods.
For dolphins deemed unreleasable, they can retire at the Umah Lumba Center in a safe and healing seapen, and live out the rest of their lives in peace and dignity.
Presently we have three dolphins in our care: Rocky, Rambo and Johnny. Captured in the Java Sea, the dolphins, for several years, were incarcerated in a shallow, heavily chlorinated swimming pool in North Bali. Since their relocation to the Umah Lumba Center, they have begun their rehabilitation and evaluation towards possible release.
The dolphins receive 24/7 round-the-clock care. We have a full-time staff veterinarian, security guards and caregivers. The center is a true rehabilitation, release and retirement facility, where our team is committed to making the dolphins’ lives as natural and independent as possible. In March 2020, Dolphin Project, in anticipation of the arrival of additional confiscated dolphins (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) tripled the size of our facility.
As the world’s first permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility in the world, the Umah Lumba Center must be a model of success. Ideally, it will act as a prototype for others to be built globally, as demand for captive dolphins wane.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Rocky, Rambo and Johnny swim in the waters of the Umah Lumba Center, Bali, Indonesia. Credit: Pepe Arcos
Rambo at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali, Indonesia
Rambo was torn from his family and pod members in the Java Sea during a violent capture several years ago. He was confined to a shallow chlorinated swimming pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali. His job was to entertain crowds of tourists who think it is fun to watch dolphins jump through hoops during loud theatrical performances. Rambo shared a tank with a dolphin named Gombloh, and the two dolphins formed a close friendship. Rambo and Gombloh, it seemed, became each other’s comfort in the bleak, dungeon-like surroundings. Sadly, Gombloh took his last breath on August 3, 2019, just two days before we were able to rescue and relocate Rambo. Hotel staff found Gombloh’s lifeless body in the morning, and we wonder what it felt like for Rambo to be confined in the same tank as his dead friend, possibly for several hours.
We rescued Rambo on August 5, 2019 and transported him to a temporary floating sea enclosure in Sanur. In the following weeks, Rambo gained weight and strength, and he bonded with Rocky, who was relocated to Sanur at the same time. The two of them are spending much time playing, socializing, and swimming together. In December 2019 Rambo and Rocky were transported to our facility. There will be no more languishing in a small, barren concrete world, and no more theatrical dolphin shows to perform. All of that is behind him. Rambo is a younger dolphin who appears to be in good health, highly energetic and full of life. As such, he is a candidate to be sent to Camp Lumba Lumba for release into his home range. Whether Rambo can be released back into the wild, however, remains to be seen. For now, he is enjoying the healing benefits of natural sea water and the ability to dive and swim.
Johnny at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali Indonesia
Captured in the Java Sea, Indonesia, Johnny is an older dolphin who lived several years in isolation inside a shallow swimming pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali. Crowds of people bought tickets to swim with him, and those were the only times he had any company. To make the water appear clean to paying customers, hotel staff added chlorine and other harmful chemicals. This hurt Johnny’s eyes so badly, he went blind. To make matters worse, Johnny has no teeth left. He also was critically underweight when we first found him. Furthermore, his right pectoral fin has been permanently damaged. At some point during his confinement, his pectoral fin got injured and infected. A piece of it was cut off to prevent the infection from spreading. Johnny was destined to spend the rest of his life trapped in the tank and dealing with tourists who want to kiss, hug, and ride him.
We rescued Johnny from the hotel and transported him to our facility on October 8, 2019. Those years of exploitation in appalling living conditions caused too much damage for Johnny to be successfully released back into the wild. He now enjoys a well-deserved retirement in a large sea pen, where he can once again experience the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. We are feeding Johnny a diet of high-quality fresh fish, and he is gaining weight and strength. The healing properties of real ocean water are having an effect: Johnny often expresses his joy with energetic jumps, and he spends much time swimming, diving, and playing. We will do everything in our power to ensure the rest of his life is filled with peace and dignity.
Rocky at the Umah Lumba Center, Bali, Indonesia
When Rocky was violently captured in the Java Sea several years ago, he lost everything that makes life worth living for a dolphin: his family, his world of sound, and the ability to swim freely in a vast ocean world. Rocky spent several years incarcerated in a shallow, heavily chlorinated swimming pool at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali. He was trained to obey commands and perform in theatrical shows that attract crowds of fun-seeking holiday makers. In between repetitive, rowdy shows, Rocky spent much time logging on the surface since there was nothing else for him to do. There is nothing to explore in a concrete tank, and Rocky could swim only a few feet before a wall stopped him. Confinement in such barren, unnatural surroundings took a heavy toll on Rocky’s well-being, and his future looked bleak and hopeless.
Thankfully, we were able to rescue Rocky on August 5, 2019, on the same day we rescued Rambo, and transported him to a temporary floating sea enclosure in Sanur. In December 2019 Rocky was transported from Sanur to our facility. Here, in the crystal-clear water of a spacious sea pen, he can once again enjoy the natural rhythms and sounds of the sea. Rocky is benefitting from the healing properties of natural sea water and is gaining weight and strength. As such, he is a candidate to be sent to Camp Lumba Lumba for release into his home range. Rocky loves to participate in boisterous, energetic play, and he especially loves to swim fast. He will never again have to perform tricks for food or experience confinement in a minuscule concrete tank. Whether Rocky can be released back into the wild, however, remains to be seen.SUPPORT OUR BALI DOLPHIN SANCTUARY NOW
Captured in the Java Sea, Dewa was an older dolphin who was severely affected by the trauma he suffered during his confinement at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali. There, he spent years confined in the hotel’s shallow, heavily chlorinated swimming pool, exploited in a commercial dolphin-assisted therapy program for people with paralysis and other disabilities. Our rescue team transferred Dewa from the swimming pool to our facility on October 8, 2019. Since we introduced Dewa to natural sea water, his condition improved but he was still plagued with several health problems including chronic pneumonia. Sadly, Dewa succumbed to his longstanding illness and took his last breath on March 11, 2020.
Gombloh was captured in the Java Sea and, sadly, did not survive his encounter with humans. Gombloh died at the Melka Excelsior Hotel in North Bali on August 3, 2019, just two days before our team was able to rescue Gombloh’s beloved companion Rambo. We are happy we arrived at the hotel in time to rescue Rambo, Rocky, Dewa, and Johnny from the shallow and heavily chlorinated swimming pools, but at the same time heartbroken that we got there too late to get Gombloh out of there. We will always remember Gombloh, who is one of countless dolphins to have fallen victim to consumers’ demand to watch dolphins perform and to swim with them.
The Umah Lumba Rehabilitation, Release and Retirement Center and Camp Lumba Lumba Readaptation and Release Center form an incredible partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, BKSDA Bali, Dolphin Project, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Karimunjawa National Park and the West Bali National Park. Together, we built Umah Lumba, the world’s only permanent dolphin rehabilitation, release and retirement facility for previously captive dolphins and Camp Lumba Lumba, the world’s first permanent facility dedicated to the readaptation and release of dolphins in Kemujan, Karimun Jawa. Ric O’Barry, Founder/Director of Dolphin Project has pioneered readaptation for captive dolphins and has released a number of dolphins into the wild.
Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible as authorized by law.
The results of a new study have shown that dogs synchronize their behavior with the children in their family. The findings are important because there is a growing body of evidence that dogs can help children in many ways, including with social development, increasing physical activity, managing anxiety or as a source of attachment in the face of changing family structures–yet, there has been no studies investigating whether dogs are truly synchronized with the behavior of children.
“The great news is that this study suggests dogs are paying a lot of attention to the kids that they live with. They are responsive to them and, in many cases, behaving in synchrony with them, indicators of positive affiliation and a foundation for building strong bonds.”
-Dr. Monique Udell, animal behaviorist and lead author of the study, Oregon State
The researchers recruited 30 youth between the ages of 8 and 17 years old — 83% of which had a developmental disability — to take part in the study with their family dog. The experiments took place in a large empty room. Color-coded taped lines were placed on the floor, and the children were given instructions on how to walk the lines in a standardized way with their off-leash dog.
The researchers videotaped the experiments and analyzed behavior based on three things: (1) activity synchrony, which means how much time the dog and child were moving or stationary at the same time; (2) proximity, or how much time the dog and child were within 1 meter of each other; and (3) orientation, how much time the dog was oriented in the same direction as the child.
The researchers found that dogs exhibited behavioral synchronization with the children at a higher rate than would be expected by chance for all three variables. During their assessments, they found:
Active synchrony for an average of 60.2% of the time. Broken down further, the dogs were moving an average of 73.1% of the time that the children were moving and were stationary an average of 41.2% of the time the children were stationary.
Proximity within 1 meter of each other for an average of 27.1% of the time.
Orientation in the same direction for an average of 33.5% of the time.
While child-dog synchrony occurred more often that what would be expected by chance, those percentages are all lower than what other researchers have found when studying interactions between dogs and adults in their household. Those studies found “active synchrony” 81.8% of the time, but at 49.1% with shelter dogs. They found “proximity” 72.9% of the time and 39.7% with shelter dogs. No studies on dog-human behavioral synchronization have previously assessed body orientation.
The researchers are conducting more research to better understand factors that contribute to differences in levels of synchrony and other aspects of bond quality between dogs and children compared to dogs and adults, including participation in animal assisted interventions and increasing the child’s responsibility for the dog’s care.
Journal Reference: Shelby H. Wanser, Megan MacDonald, Monique A. R. Udell. Dog–human behavioral synchronization: family dogs synchronize their behavior with child family members. Animal Cognition, 2021;
Sometimes circumstances due to loss of finances, illness,death and even finding a pet, can put pets in great danger… please do your homework first and go through rescues groups or shelter and never put an ad on Craigslist or other social media sites!
(Bloomberg) — There are four critical facets of pandemic prevention, according to Lee Hannah, senior scientist at Conservation International. Three of them make immediate sense against the backdrop of our current emergency: stockpile masks and respirators; have testing infrastructure ready; and ban the global wildlife trade, including the open animal markets where COVID-19 may have first infected people.
His fourth recommendation is more grandiose: “Take care of nature.”
The assault on ecosystems that allowed COVID-19 to jump from animals to humans went far beyond merchants hunting and selling rare wildlife. Biodiversity—that is, the health of the entire ecosystem—can restrain pathogens before they ever leave the wild. “We need to tell people right now that there is a series of things we need to do once we’re out of this mess to make sure it never happens again,” Hannah says.
The role of biodiversity in disease prevention has received increased attention of late. In a 2015 “state of knowledge review” of biodiversity and human health by the United Nations, scientists wrote that “an ecological approach to disease, rather than a simplistic ‘one germ, one disease’ approach, will provide a richer understanding of disease-related outcomes.” Recent research has given more support to the idea that biodiversity protection in one part of the world can prevent novel diseases from emerging and leaping into another.
It’s a numbers game, in part. Not all species in a community are equally susceptible to a given disease, nor are they all equally efficient transmitters. In diverse ecosystems well separated from human habitations, viruses ebb and flow without ever having a chance to make it to the big time. null
But as people move in, those protections begin to break down. Disrupted ecosystems tend to lose their biggest predators first, and what they leave behind are smaller critters that live fast, reproduce in large numbers, and have immune systems more capable of carrying disease without succumbing to it. When there are only a few species left, they’re good at carrying disease, and they thrive near people, there may be nothing between a deadly pathogen and all of humanity.
“Virus spillover risk” from wildlife to people rises as contact increases between them, according to research published Tuesday by a team of researchers led by Christine Kreuder Johnson of the One Health Institute at University of California, Davis. Almost half of the new diseases that jumped from animals to humans (called zoonotic pathogens) after 1940 can be traced to changes in land use, agriculture, or wildlife hunting. SARS, Ebola, West Nile, Lyme, MERS, and others all fit the profile. There may be 10,000 mammalian viruses potentially dangerous to people.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.390.0_en.html#goog_798448485null
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Share: Will Coronavirus Ever Go Away? Here’s What One of World Health Organization’s Top Experts Thinks
Dr. Bruce Aylward was part of the WHO’s team that went to China after the coronavirus outbreak there in January. He has urged all nations to use times bought during lockdowns to do more testing and respond aggressively.
“We are messing with natural systems in certain ways that can make them much more dangerous than they would otherwise be,” says Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. “And biodiversity loss is one of those. Climate change is another.”
A longer-term strategy can help nations see the benefits of rethinking resource use. “The revenue from clearing new forest is extremely high—briefly,” says William Karesh, executive vice president at EcoHealth Alliance, a research nonprofit. “But the cost to the public-health system also goes up because you get very common diseases like malaria.” And as we’re now seeing, new zoonotic pathogens can be even more expensive to deal with.
Despite years of creative and resource-intensive work by governments and nonprofits, companies’ actions to mitigate habitat loss aren’t adding up. Many large companies have pledged to halt deforestation, the largest driver of biodiversity loss, through initiatives like the Consumer Goods Forum, the Banking Environment Initiative and their Soft Commodities Compact. “All have missed the mark,” according to a new report by the Rainforest Action Network.
Hannah, of Conservation International, is working to make sure that the reasons to promote biodiversity, including its pathogen-dulling potential, align with the other endangered elephant in the room: climate change.
In February, Hannah and colleagues announced findings on what the effects of achieving climate and conservation targets might be. Using data on 290,000 species, they were able to squint into the future and see where ecosystems might be saved from mass extinction if nations preserve 30% of natural habitats and meet UN limits for global warming. All told, meeting the goals would cut biodiversity losses in half.
The international community is positioned to make some progress. The Convention on Biological Diversity is a 196-nation effort to protect the richness of living things, tap natural resources sustainably, and share the benefits of the environment’s naturally occurring genetic innovations. (The U.S. and the Vatican are non-members.) The next phase of the biodiversity treaty, currently in draft form, proposes that at least 30% of land and ocean be conserved, up from 17% in the previous round. If governments agree to that goal, then nations and conservation scientists must take on the complicated step of figuring out which 30% is most important to protect and how to do it. null
The way those areas are drawn today rarely reflects the scientific ideal of how to guard biodiversity. Looking at the existing protected lands, a paper in Nature last month found that 90% of conservation space fails to give bird, amphibian and mammal species the full range of environmental conditions across their existing habitats.
“We could be doing a much better job of getting things in the right places,” says Hannah. “There’s going to be right places for disease control and they may largely overlap the right places for biodiversity.”
In addition to the logistical and financial crises so many continue to endure as a result of COVID-19, extended social distancing has plunged much of the world into a full-blown existential crisis as well. Shelter-in-place mandates, shuttered businesses and community spaces, and the loss of important social and familial rituals has found us confronting an unprecedented moment of alienation. We are profoundly disoriented by the sense of being estranged from our own lives.
While this feeling of separation is emotionally harrowing, I believe it can also provide an opportunity to consider the abjectly alienated existences we routinely inflict on so many of our fellow beings; the nonhuman animals we breed or capture for the purposes of exploitation. For us, this estrangement from the lives we belong to is temporary. For the animals languishing on farms, in zoos, vivisection laboratories, aquariums, circuses, pet stores, breeding mills, kill shelters, and anywhere else humans have imprisoned our fellow creatures, alienation is the very essence of their existence, and a permanent condition.
A “beef” cow at a “livestock” show. Photo by Unparalleled Suffering Photography.
And while the plights of all of these creatures is urgent and worthy of closer examination, in the interest of time I will limit this reflection to animals who are farmed; not only because they comprise the bulk of my research and advocacy, but because our consumption of animals, and our obsession with meat, is now unavoidably implicated in the current pandemic on multiple levels.
Our Fatal Flesh Obsession
While it is widely believed that COVID-19 jumped to humans via the animal flesh trade, this has led to a disproportionately critical focus on wildlife and “wet” markets. In reality, the “livestock” sector is the single largest source of human zoonotic disease pandemics globally. A 2012 global study mapping human diseases that come from animals found that “While zoonoses can be transmitted to people by either wild or domesticated animals, most human infections are acquired from the world’s 24 billion livestock, including pigs, poultry, cattle, goats, sheep and camels.”
Indeed, the World Health Organizationstates that “the greatest risk for zoonotic disease transmission occurs at the human-animal interface through direct or indirect human exposure to animals, their products (e.g. meat, milk, eggs…) and/or their environments,” while the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations notes that “Seventy percent of the new diseases that have emerged in humans over recent decades are of animal origin and, in part, directly related to the human quest for more animal-sourced food.”
Just a decade ago, swine flu, an H1N1 influenza virus, jumped from farmed pigs to humans and infected nearly 61 million people in the U.S. alone, where it resulted in 12,469 deaths, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Worldwide, as many as 284,500 people were killed by the swine flu pandemic.
The infamous 1918 influenza pandemic known as the Spanish Flu was also caused by an H1N1 virus. Attributed to having developed from either a swine flu or avian flu virus on a pig or poultry farm (pre-dating so-called factory farms, it should be noted), the pandemic killed an estimated 50 million people globally.
While these pandemics are tragic, they are not inevitable. In the grand scheme of things, they are symptoms of a much deeper sickness, one of our own making, with which we have infected not only ourselves, but whose toxic consequences can now be seen across the globe: in the burning of the Amazon rainforestto make room for ever more cattle ranching; in Australia where the ceaseless bulldozing of koala habitat, and the deliberate mass killing of kangaroos, both on behalf of the beef industry, kill far more of each species every year than the recent wildfires that drew a collective gasp of horror; in the unprecedented rates of wildlife species extinction resulting from habitat loss, whose number one driver is animal agriculture; in the climate crisis to which meat and dairy production contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than all global transport combined, leading to more and increasingly devastating droughts, floods, fires, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events, while inching global temperatures inexorably toward the point of no return.
A koala mother and joey on a bulldozed log pile in Queensland. Photograph: WWF
Killing animals is killing us.
And the sickness is not in the scale of our killing; this is not an argument about the evils of industrial animal farming and a need to simply shift to more so-called humane, bucolic forms of exploitation and slaughter. The sickness is the mentality that designates sentient beings as something to be farmed at all. These animals, from whom we have stolen so many dignities; the dignities of self-determination, of bodily and reproductive autonomy, of family, of wildness, and of inherent existential worth, live suspended in a Frankensteinian netherworld of separation, entirely outside the natural order their ancient instincts once belonged to.
A mother goat at a “livestock” show. Unparalleled Suffering Photography
“Isolated from the natural world to which they belonged for millennia, farmed animals are forced to live their short lives in severely degraded physical and psychological environments that are far different from the ecosystems and cultures from which they historically derive. Severed from the intricate social structures that governed and guided their free-living communities, and confined, without the possibility of escape, to a human world where they have no place in the present, no link to the past, and no possibility of a future, domesticated animals have no power whatsoever over the most important aspects of their lives.
Humans decide where they will live; if they will ever know their mother; if, and how long, they will nurse their babies; when, and if, they will be permitted to see or be with their families and friends; when, where, or if they will be allowed to socialize with members of their own species; when, how, and if, they are going to reproduce; what, when, and how much they will eat; how much space they will have, if any; if, and how far, they will be allowed to roam; what mutilations they will be subjected to; what, if any, veterinary care they will receive; and when, where, and how they are going to die.”
Photo by Toronto Cow Save.
What can it mean that in a society obsessed with personal identity and freedom, we have erased the very concepts of identity, liberty, autonomy, and consent from entire populations of sentient individuals without so much as blinking at the moral implications of the indignity and debasement we needlessly inflict on them in the name of profit and palate pleasure?
To degrade any individual, much less entire species, to the lifelong status of property, captive, and commodity, is the grossest devaluing of life, and the ultimate alienation.
A dead hen on the egg conveyor. Jo-Anne McArthur/WeAnimals Media
“When we use other individuals, they have not a thing to call their own; not their bodies, not their children, not even their very lives. Nothing. Reduced to commodities and resources, every moment of their existence is governed by human economics of the service that can be taken from them, the cash value of such substances as milk, eggs and body fibres that can be stripped from their living bodies, and ultimately the value per kilo of their pitiful corpses hacked and sawed to pieces. Our use of them is thorough and utterly pitiless.
These are the innocent victims of our deluded species. They do not ‘live’ as we know and value the word. They endure an existence. They are powerless, brought into the world by violation on an industrial scale for the sole purpose of gratifying human indulgence.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can thrive without causing this devastating harm.”
And here’s author Will Tuttle:
“Harboring the idea of owning another living being is in itself an act of violence, and our outer violence toward nonhuman animals, which is so devastating to us all, springs from this idea… [W]e are never owners of others. We can be their guardians, companions, friends, protectors, admirers, and appreciators, and this blesses us far more than we might think. The move from “owner” to “guardian” frees both the “owners” and the “owned,” and establishes the foundation for peace, freedom, and justice. We are all harmed by the culturally mandated ownership mentality that reduces beings to mere commodities, whether for food, clothing, entertainment, or the myriad of other uses. It is long past time for us to awaken from the cultural trance of owning our fellow beings…”
It is no coincidence that our systematic destruction of animal lives, which is in large part facilitated by our refusal of their subjectivity, is also destroying the earth. As I write this, U.S. slaughterhouses and meat processing plants have been identified as the largest hotspot for coronavirus infection in the country, but are being forced to stay open by executive order of Donald Trump in order to supply the flesh fetish. Meanwhile, headlines continue to report “mass meat shortage” fears alongside images of people in full medical masks browsing empty meat refrigerators.
Our culture is in a state of addiction. It is pathological. And it is wrecking our planet, which ought to be incidental to the immorality of needlessly breeding billions of sentient individuals into captivity, reproductive subjugation, and slaughter. Bodies are not commodities. Body parts are not barcodes. Beings are not property.
Until we divest from this poisonous sense of entitlement, this stupor of violence, exploitation, and consumption, our species is doomed.
A big CBP welcome to our new K9 teams in @CBPElCentro Sector! The agents & their canine partners graduated from a 7-week K9 academy where they trained to search all operational environments and identify concealed humans and the odors of controlled substances. @USBPChiefELCpic.twitter.com/RXNbov472R
February 1, 2020 | 3:43pm
rhesus macaques monkey Florida
A rhesus macaques monkey is pictured in Silver Springs, Fla. in 2017. AP
Forget Florida man, now there’s Florida monkeys.
A roving band of feral, herpes-ridden monkeys is now roaming across northeast Florida.
The STD-addled rhesus macaques had previously been confined to Silver Springs State Park near Ocala, Florida, but are now being spotted miles away in Jacksonville, St. Johns, St. Augustine, Palatka, Welaka and Elkton, Florida according to a local ABC affiliate, First Coast News.
Even more worrying: over a quarter of the 300 feral macaques — an invasive species native to south and southeast Asia — carry herpes B, according to a 2018 survey, National Geographic reported.
The monkeys were introduced to the area in the 1930s by a local cruise operator, Colonel Tooey’s Jungle Cruise, which released 12 monkeys over a series of years onto a man-made island inside Silver Springs State Park. The monkeys swam to freedom and reproduced at alarming rates and are now wandering around residential areas.
“The potential ramifications are really dire,” University of Florida primate scientist Dr. Steve Johnson told First Coast News. “A big male … that’s an extremely strong, potentially dangerous animal.”
In 1984, the then-Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission allowed licensed trappers to cull the monkey population by trapping and hunting. Over a thousand of the monkeys ended up in zoos or research facilities — or were simply killed. It was “a program that proved deeply unpopular with the public,” FCN noted. Since 2012 there has been no active management of the monkey population.
Greta Mealey, who works for DuMond Conservancy for Primates & Tropical Forests in Miami, told FCN that the monkeys are not a major threat to humans. “They’re not going to come up to us and interact with us. They would be more fearful.”
But, she added, “It’s not the kind of animal you probably want hanging around.”
Mealey’s grandson, Jason Parks, 8, of Julington Creek, saw one of the monkeys and described it as “being about chest high with ‘sharp claws and stuff. … My sister named him George.’”
It’s time for all, including ethical hunters + sportspeople, to come out against the wanton waste of wildlife + cruelty associated with coyote, fox + bobcat killing contests. Such wholesale eradication of predators for cash + prizes is anything but science-based wildlife mgmt. https://t.co/bbp6S4l7FL
amp.theguardian.comOne of the malnourished lions sits in her cage at the Al-Qureshi park in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. Photograph: Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty ImagesSudan
Park officials and vets say some of the five cats have lost almost two-thirds of their body weight
Sun 19 Jan 2020 19.58 EST
Online calls to help save five “malnourished and sick” African lions at a park in Sudan’s capital grew on Sunday.
The lions are in cages at Khartoum’s Al-Qureshi park, which is in an upmarket area of the city, and have not had enough food and medicine for weeks.
Many people have demanded they be moved.
Osman Salih launched a Facebook campaign, Sudananimalrescue, and wrote: “I was shaken when I saw these lions at the park … Their bones are protruding from the skin.
“I urge interested people and institutions to help them.”
Park officials and vets said the lions’ conditions had deteriorated over the past few weeks. Some had lost almost two-thirds of their body weight.
“Food is not always available so often we buy it from our own money to feed them,” said Essamelddine Hajjar, a manager at the park, which is managed by the Khartoum municipality but is partly funded by private donors.
Sudan is in the middle of an economic crisis led by soaring food prices and a shortage of foreign currency.
On Sunday residents, volunteers and journalists visited the park to see the lions after their photographs went viral on social media networks.
One of the five cats was tied with a rope and was fed fluids through a drip as it recovered from dehydration, an AFP reporter who toured the park wrote.
Chunks of rotten meat covered in flies lay scattered near the cages.
The condition of the park was also affecting the animals’ health, another official at the park said.
“They are suffering from severe illnesses,” a caretaker, Moataz Mahmoud, said. “They are sick and appear to be malnourished.”
It is unclear how many lions are in Sudan but several are at the Dinder park along the border with Ethiopia.
African lions are classified as a “vulnerable” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Their population dropped 43% between 1993 and 2014, with only about 20,000 alive today.
Happy New Year from all of us at the NhRP! Please see some of the year’s highlights in the fight for #nonhumanrights and what we achieved together in 2019 in our first ever Annual Report: https://t.co/htjD08EA96
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