Breaking! Pink Tells SeaWorld’s Board Of Directors To Stop Being Bullies & To Release Captive Orcas From Their Concrete Prison – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
June 14, 2018

Rock icon and rock-star mother of two, Pink, spoke out yesterday against SeaWorld during its online annual meeting. The Grammy winner called on the company to build coastal sanctuaries for the long-suffering orcas it holds captive.
“As a mother, I would never take my kids anywhere that keeps intelligent, sensitive beings in intensive confinement. Children are impressionable, and the last thing I would want to teach my kids is that ‘might makes right’ or that it’s OK to bully and exploit someone just because they look different from us,” the brilliant communicator who has been a PETA supporter for more than 15 years told SeaWorld board members. “But that’s exactly what SeaWorld does by locking up animals who, in their ocean homes, would swim up to 140 miles a day, dive to great depths, cooperate with their pods to find food, communicate in their own dialects, and transmit their own culture from generation to generation.”
Pink reiterated that at SeaWorld, all these poor captive animals are able to do is swim in endless circles with some becoming so frustrated that they break their teeth by gnawing on the concrete corners and metal bars of their tiny tanks.
“But you have a chance to change all that,” Pink noted as per PETA. “When will SeaWorld transfer its orcas and other marine mammals to seaside sanctuaries to save them, and itself?”
PETA has owned stock in SeaWorld since the company went public in 2013 in order to inform stakeholders of animal-welfare issues and propose policy changes. To date, at least 40 orcas have died at the abusement park and dozens more have been sentenced to miserable lives inside concrete tanks.
“You don’t have to be a multiplatinum Grammy winner or have access to SeaWorld’s annual meetings to make a difference for the animals trapped at the parks,” PETA states on its website requesting that people join its fight to urge the company to send the captive orcas to seaside sanctuaries https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-pink-tells-seaworlds-board-of-directors-to-stop-being-bullies-to-release-captive-orcas-from-their-concrete-prison/!

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-pink-tells-seaworlds-board-of-directors-to-stop-being-bullies-to-release-captive-orcas-from-their-concrete-prison/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

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Breaking! 6 Alleged Wildlife Traffickers Arrested In Myanmar, Southeast Asia; Elephant Hides, Deer Horns & Skulls Among Confiscated Items – World Animal News

By WAN –
June 13, 2018

Six men in the Mandalay, Ayeyarwady, and Bago regions of Myanmar have been arrested for allegedly storing and selling wild animal parts including elephant hides, deer and bison horns, turtle shells and meats, and porcupine quills as well as the bones, claws, paws, and skulls of various animals.
According to the Myanmar Times, the Forestry Department police department issued a statement yesterday explaining that the arrests stemmed from separate law enforcement operations and subsequent raids on June 9th.
The yet-to-be-named suspects, who were charged under the country’s Protection of Wildlife and Protected Areas Law, may face up to seven years in jail for the killing and trading of protected wildlife.
Sadly, the growing demand in surrounding countries was cited as the reason that so many people are now storing and trading wildlife parts in the area.
U Khin Maung Myint, Director of Forestry Department of Ayeyarwady Region noted that the “market emerged as the horns and hides of the animal are hung on the walls for decorative purposes, made into hand wear accessories, and mixed with other medicinal roots for medicine.”
What pointless reasons to take sentient beings lives.
It’s as shameful as it is sad!

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-6-alleged-wildlife-traffickers-arrested-in-myanmar-southeast-asia-elephant-hides-deer-horns-skulls-among-rescued-items/

 

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! Hotline For Pet Owners Set Up As Growing Wildfire On Buffalo Mountain In Colorado Causes Hurried Evacuations – World Animal News

By WAN –
June 12, 2018

A wildfire that began around 11:00 am this morning on Buffalo Mountain, which is west of Silverthorne and north of Frisco, Colorado, has hundreds of people evacuating their homes.
The Summit Fire and EMS now estimate the fire size at more than 91acres.

Officials have warned that winds were expected to gust to 20 mph on this afternoon, which could fan the fire and cause it to rapidly spread.
The growing fire is currently forcing evacuations at the top half of Wildernest and Mesa Cortina.
Authorities have set up an evacuation shelter at the Silverthorne Recreation Center at 430 Rainbow Drive in Silverthorne.
KKTV has reported that Silverthorne Elementary School, located at 101 Hamilton Creek Road in Silverthorne, will also open as a shelter at 2:00 pm this afternoon.
According to the Summit Fire and E.M.S. Facebook page, the Summit County Animal Control and Shelter has set up a hotline for residents who need help retrieving pets left at homes in the area at (970) 668-4143.
Authorities are requesting residents do not call 9-1-1. The public hotline number for updates is (970) 668-9730. The county is also frequently updating an emergency blog at http://www.co.summit.co.us/emergencyblog.
WAN will update this story as it develops.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-hotline-for-pet-owners-set-up-as-growing-wildfire-on-buffalo-mountain-in-colorado-causes-hurried-evacuations/
© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! The Big Cat Public Safety Act Is Re-Introduced To U.S. Senate; Bill Prohibits Private Individuals, Breeders & Questionable Exhibitors From Possessing Big Cats – World Animal News

Breaking! The Big Cat Public Safety Act Is Re-Introduced To U.S. Senate; Bill Prohibits Private Individuals, Breeders & Questionable Exhibitors From Possessing Big Cats
By Lauren Lewis –
June 7, 2018

A federal bill that aims to end the private possession of big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, and pumas as pets, as well as to stop cub petting and limit exhibitors to those who do not repeatedly violate the law, has been re-introduced in the United States Senate.
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut supported the re-introduction of the latest version of the Big Cat Public Safety Act HR1818, which was originally introduced to the House in March 2017 by Rep. Jeff Denham.
Recent national headlines have documented public outrage at the inhumane display of a tiger at a high school prom in Miami, Florida, alarm as federal agents discovered a tiger cub in a duffel bag at the U.S. Mexico border, and confusion when a young tiger was spotted roaming a Texas neighborhood.
Such examples underscore the public’s growing concern about the treatment of big cats­­ and the sponsors of the Big Cat Public Safety Act have made it clear that they are listening.
By reintroducing the BCPSA, senators from six states across the nation are joining more than 130 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives in calling for an end to the unregulated trade and nationwide abuse of captive big cats.
“This common-sense bill is an urgently needed answer to the problem of big cats kept in unsafe and abusive situations around the country,” Prashant Khetan, CEO and general counsel of Born Free USA, one of the numerous animal welfare organizations that are supporting this bill, said in a statement. “Thousands of big cats are currently owned as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos and menageries, which pose a severe risk to the safety of people in surrounding communities, as well as the welfare of the cats themselves. It’s about time that we had a federal law that can serve to stop this inhumane practice around the country.”
The bill, if enacted, would keep dangerous big cats out of the hands of private individuals, breeders and exhibitors with egregious, ongoing Animal Welfare Act citations, and unscrupulous menageries that have historically taken advantage of loopholes to circumvent existing restrictions. The BCPSA would close these loopholes while providing exemptions for qualified wildlife sanctuaries and exhibitors licensed by the US Department of Agriculture that meet basic standards intended to protect the public and animals.
“Relying on accredited sanctuaries to take in unwanted and usually neglected big cats is not a viable solution to the big cat crisis in this country,” said Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. “When big cats are wrongly kept as pets or cruelly exploited in entertainment businesses, they often endure tremendous suffering for years in deplorable conditions with inadequate nutrition, and little, if any, veterinary care. Then, when the owners no longer want the cats or they are seized by the authorities, the substantial financial burden to house, feed, and provide long-term vet care for these big cats falls upon sanctuaries. The Big Cat Public Safety Act will finally address the inhumane treatment of the vast majority of big cats in America.”
Baskin noted that it costs Big Cat Rescue $10,000.00 per year for food and vet care for one tiger.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-the-big-cat-public-safety-act-is-re-introduced-to-u-s-senate-bill-prohibits-private-individuals-breeders-questionable-exhibitors-from-possessing-big-cats/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Microplastics and Harmful Chemicals Discovered in Antarctic Ice … and Even Freshly Fallen Snow

onegreenplanet.org
Microplastics and Harmful Chemicals Discovered in Antarctic Ice … and Even Freshly Fallen Snow
Aleksandra Pajda
3-4 minutes

New research conducted by Greenpeace during its expedition to the Antarctic found plastics and dangerous chemicals in the most remote and seemingly pristine areas of the continent. Scientific analysis of water and snow samples revealed that the Antarctic is contaminated with microplastics, microscopic materials that no place on Earth seems to be free from anymore.

The majority of samples tested as part of the study contained plastic or persistent and potentially dangerous chemicals. Researchers found that seven of the eight tested seawater samples contained microplastics, with at least one microplastic fiber per liter. Additionally, microplastics were detected in two of the nine samples that had been taken using a manta trawl.

When it comes to chemicals, researchers reported that detectable concentrations of polyfluorinated alkylated substances, PFASs, were found in freshly fallen snow for almost all of the sites where samples were taken. PFASs are chemicals widely used in industrial processes and consumer products. The substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental issues in wildlife, and they degrade very slowly in the environment. The fact that these were found in freshly fallen snow suggests that some hazardous chemicals are atmospheric, not from a local source.

“We may think of the Antarctic as a remote and pristine wilderness, but from pollution and climate change to industrial krill fishing, humanity’s footprint is clear,” said Frida Bengtsson of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign. “These results show that even the most remote habitats of the Antarctic are contaminated with microplastic waste and persistent hazardous chemicals.”

In 2017, scientists found ice floes in the middle of the Arctic Ocean to be contaminated with plastic – unwelcomed proof that virtually no place is now safe from human-generated plastic pollution. The findings in the Antarctic are unfortunately more proof of this reality. Due to limited existing data on the presence of microplastics in the continent’s waters, the new findings are a significant addition to the knowledge on plastic pollution in the environment.

Microplastics accumulate in the environment and make their way up the food chain with ease. Mistaken for food or ingested accidentally, tiny pieces of plastic add up in animals’ stomachs and can cause health problems and even death. As humans, we are not safe from microplastics either – they have already been found not only to get into people’s diets through seafood but to also contaminate most of the world’s tap water and bottled water.

You can find the full “Microplastics and Persistent Fluorinated Chemicals in the Antarctic” report here.

Every year, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic, so it is up to all of us to put an end to this environmental scourge. To find out how you can help fight plastic pollution by ditching disposable plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/microplastics-harmful-chemicals-discovered-antarctic-ice/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=642fbf4340-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-642fbf4340-106049477

Image source: Free-Photos/Pixabay

University Dairy Plant to Close After 111 Years Because Sales Are So Low Thanks to Popularity of Vegan Milks!

onegreenplanet.org
University Dairy Plant to Close After 111 Years Because Sales Are So Low Thanks to Popularity of Vegan Milks!
Natasha Brooks
3-4 minutes

There is absolutely no denying that the future of food is headed in the plant-based direction. Meat and dairy alternatives have proven to be so popular with consumers that demand for plant-based food products has risen by 140 percent in just a few years. Meat alternatives, including lab-cultured meats, are quickly soaring in popularity, and plant-based milk alternatives made from everything including almonds, coconut, cashews, flax, hemp, hazelnut, rice, peas, oats, and of course, soy are so popular that the plant-based milk industry is set to hit a value of $34 billion by 2024. Additionally, considering humans do not naturally consume milk after childhood, let alone another animal’s milk, lactose intolerance has led many people to switch to plant-based milks. This major shift in consumer habits has caused dairy prices to drop significantly, leading many long-standing dairy plants to shut down, with some making the wise decision to switch to producing plant-based milks. And now there is yet another dairy plant that is shutting down thanks to the rise of plant-based milk alternatives…

After being in operation for 111 years, Andrews University dairy farm announced their plan to close by summer of 2019.

The dairy farm holds 1,200 cows and is run by student workers. Stephen Payne, VP of Integrated Marketing and Communication, expressed that with demand for dairy being at an all-time low, sales from the dairy farm have suffered greatly. He stated, “In the last two to three years, we have lost between $750,000 and $900,000 a year.”

As for the cows, no word yet on what will happen to them, but the university says they will work on finding new on-campus jobs for the student workers at the dairy farm. The rest of the university farm will still remain under operation.

Industrialized dairy is laden with animal cruelty, separating newborn calves from their mothers who cry out in protest. Many of these calves go on to become victims of the veal industry, while others are raised to become dairy cows and meet the same sad life as those before them. Additionally, industrialized dairy is responsible for gross air and water pollution and contributes greatly to greenhouse gases and climate change.

Andrews University is a place of higher learning and education, so we only hope that this serves as a lesson to countless other institutions that profit from the exploitation of animals and the environment – time’s up, people are demanding change.

Want to learn how you can make a positive change in the world with your food choices? Check out the Eat for the Planet book!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/university-dairy-plant-close/

Image Source: Pixabay

Family accuses Delta of trying to cover up dog’s bloody death

By Jackie Salo

The family whose Pomeranian died while traveling with Delta accused the airline of trying to cover up the dog’s bloody death.

Michael Dellegrazie said his pup named Alejandro was found dead last Wednesday in his carrier, along with a bloody blanket during a layover at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, news station WDIV reported.

An attorney for the owner suggested someone tried to wash the dog blanket and carrier to get rid of evidence.

“It was wet,” lawyer Evan Oshan told the Associated Press. “They couldn’t get the blood stains out. There was an attempt to clean it.”

Oshan said that the dog traveled in cargo on the flight headed to Newark, New Jersey, from Phoenix. The dog was alive when the plane landed in Detroit for a layover, according to WDIV.

Nearly two hours later, the dog was discovered dead in his carrier at an airport cargo facility.

“When he landed here in Michigan, he was alive at 6:30 a.m., and then at 8:20, he wasn’t moving and it just doesn’t make any sense to me,” Dellegrazie told the news station, adding that the 8-year-old dog passed a physical before the trip.

A necropsy will be performed on the Pomeranian to determine what caused his death.

Dellagrazie is also demanding answers from the airline.

“We lost a family member,” Dellegrazie said. “That’s exactly what happened, and somebody has to be responsible for it.”

A Delta spokesperson said the airline is “conducting a thorough review” of the incident.

https://nypost.com/2018/06/04/family-accuses-delta-of-trying-to-cover-up-dogs-bloody-death/?utm_source=maropost&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nypevening&utm_content=20180604&mpweb=755-7023352-719298164

Florida Teacher Resigns After Making Students Drown Raccoons

 

After two raccoons killed the chickens Dewie Brewton’s agricultural science class had been raising at Forest High School in Ocala, Florida, the teacher trapped them in wire cages.

Instead of releasing the creatures into the wild or even turning them over to animal control to be humanely euthanized, Brewton filled a trash can with water and forced his students to drown each raccoon during class.

When the raccoons frantically tried to come up for air, the students held them down with metal rods and sprayed their faces with water hoses, the mother of a student who took a disturbing video of the killings told WKMG.

The students also killed an opossum Brewton had caught “just for sport” according to the mother, who didn’t want to be identified. She said her son came home in tears.

As news spread about this horrifying incident, Brewton was suspended with pay. Marion County Public Schools Superintendent Heidi Maier said the school district was appalled and she intended to fire him. “Marion County’s education standards – in fact, Florida’s education standards — do not include activities for the destruction of live animals, nuisance or not,” the school district said in a statement. But before he could be fired, Brewton turned in his resignation. And because he resigned, the Marion County School District is no longer investigating the drownings. Fortunately, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is continuing to do so.

According to FWC regulations, nuisance wildlife can be caught using live traps, but the animals “must be released legally or euthanized humanely within 24 hours of capture.”

There is absolutely nothing humane about having students drown trapped wildlife. The FWC will turn over the findings of its investigation to the state attorney’s office, which will determine whether animal cruelty charges are appropriate. This decision should be a no-brainer.

This is the second case of terrible animal cruelty involving a teacher this year. In March, a junior high school teacher in Idaho fed a puppy to a snapping turtle after school as several students watched. That teacher, Robert Crosland, was placed on administrative leave. The Idaho Attorney General’s Office has taken over the case and will decide whether Crosland should be charged with criminal animal cruelty.

It’s pretty shocking that many students and parents continue to support Crosland, arguing that the heinous thing he did taught students the “circle of life.” Yet there is nothing natural about a snapping turtle eating a puppy. Not only did the puppy die, but the snapping turtle had to be euthanized. What kind of lesson is that?

Similarly, former students of Brewton are supporting him. “We would like to say that we are 100% behind our advisor and everything he does for our children/students,” the Forest High School FFA Alumni group stated on Facebook. “The media is going to make this situation escalate to lengths that are unnecessary and we must stand together and focus on the facts.”

The facts are that three animals were cruelly killed – and it’s also a disturbing fact that the students didn’t refuse to drown them. If not for one caring student who recorded the drownings, the incident might never have even been reported.

Hopefully the agricultural science teacher who replaces Brewton will teach these students the importance of treating animals humanely.

To watch video… caution some will find this extremely upsetting!

https://www.care2.com/causes/florida-teacher-resigns-after-making-students-drown-raccoons.html

Take Action!

Please sign and share this Care2 petition seeking justice for those poor raccoons.

https://nackpets.wordpress.com/2018/05/20/petition-teacher-drowns-helpless-raccoons-in-front-of-students/

Photo credit: zoosnow

America’s Last Woodland Caribou Herd Is Down to Just Three Animals

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ecowatch.com

America’s Last Woodland Caribou Herd Is Down to Just Three Animals on Earth
6-7 minutes

By Jason Bittel

Most people associate reindeer with the North Pole. And it’s true, the animals also known as caribou tend to live in remote, wintry landscapes most Americans will never see. But did you know that caribou once roamed as far south as Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont and New York? And that the Selkirk woodland caribou herd still spends part of each year in Idaho and Washington?

Well, three of them do. Because that is all that remains of the Selkirks. By next week, next month or next year, the Lower 48’s last remaining reindeer could be gone forever, making a sad irony of the animal’s nickname, the “gray ghost.”

Several kinds of caribou inhabit the world’s northern stretches (see “Mapping a Future for Boreal Caribou”), but the ones that spend time in the Pacific Northwest belong to an endangered subspecies commonly known as woodland caribou. This spring, aerial surveys confirmed that only three females remain in the Selkirk herd, named for the mountains that span the border between British Columbia and Washington. There were around 12 individuals in 2016, down from 50 in 2009.

Even if each of the Selkirk trio is pregnant—and there’s no evidence to suggest that this is true—the herd is a whisper away from disappearing forever.

Worse still, just two weeks after the approaching demise of the Selkirk herd became public, researchers announced that another group, known as the South Purcells herd, found a bit to the north in British Columbia, are in similar straits. Aerial counts identified just four individuals (three females and a male), where last year there were 16. “When you get in a situation of such small herds, it’s not unusual to expect a dramatic decline at some point,” said Chris Johnson, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Sadly, this is not the first time a caribou herd has died out. Over the past decade, Johnson, who lives in the city of Prince George, watched this happen with two other caribou herds practically in his own backyard. “We saw it coming,” he said. “They got smaller, smaller, smaller. And then you go and do a survey, and it’s like, ‘Hey, look at that. They’re gone.'”

A similar fate befell the woodland caribou herd in Alberta’s Banff National Park. The herd dwindled to a point where a single avalanche wiped out its last remaining members in 2009. Poof.

The losses aren’t so surprising, said Candace Batycki, a program director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, given what the animals face as they travel across their range. Their fate is the culmination of several ecological threats—deforestation, habitat fragmentation, climate change—occurring across Canada. “Here we have an animal that roams around, uses different habitats, is always on the move, doesn’t really do well with roads, needs old growth forests, and is very, very shy,” she said.

Woodland caribou once enjoyed the protection that dense forestlands provided them from wolves and mountain lions. The subspecies ranges about in much smaller groups than their cousins on the tundra, which roll hundreds of thousands deep on the open plains. This makes snagging a woodland caribou as a snack much more difficult, and the animals’ ability to forage through deep snow dissuades many predators from even bothering with them.

But these days, timber, mining, and oil and gas operations have punched holes in the gray ghosts’ habitat, letting in competitors like moose and deer as well as predators. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, as much as 70 percent of Alberta’s oil sands reserves are found within caribou habitats. In 2014, the Canadian government enacted a species recovery plan that set aside more than five million acres of mountainous caribou habitat. Unfortunately, Johnson said, the valleys below these high mountain escapes are “really chopped up” by logging and residential areas. Protecting large expanses of boreal forest, however, is definitely a step in the right direction, especially since other conservation approaches are falling short.

As the habitat degradation continues, some other strategies have tried to help woodland caribou by actively removing predators from their habitat and by capturing and relocating pregnant females into maternity pens, which provide some safety until the offspring are big and strong enough for the wild. Maternity pens, however, are labor- and resource-intensive affairs—and are not sure bets. The whole catch-and-release process can jack up the animals’ stress levels, which may cause low birth weights. In 2014, just two out of nine calves survived their time in a pen in Revelstoke, Canada. In 2016, that number rose to four out of ten. While those odds may still beat the 20 percent to 25 percent survival rate calves experience in the wild, at least one environmental group said the pens cause more harm than good.

Of course, setting up maternity pens for the Selkirk herd at this point would be like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Sadly, unless the herd is combined with another—an idea that has received a fair amount of talk for years—its three remaining females will be the last woodland caribou to tread below the Canadian border.

But the Selkirks and other lost woodland herds needn’t die out for nothing. Their losses send a message on how to save the rest of their kind, the continent’s remaining 51 woodland caribou herds. Their survival requires intact forests within which to roam, hide, and thrive. The answer, in fact, is quite obvious. Woodland caribou need woodlands.

Reposted with permission from our media associate onEarth.

https://www.ecowatch.com/americas-last-woodland-caribou-2567908795.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=263cdfd6f8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-263cdfd6f8-86074753

WAN’s Most Wanted: Help Needed To Identify Man Who Harassed Moose In Colorado – World Animal News

WAN’s Most Wanted: Help Needed To Identify Man Who Harassed Moose In Colorado
By WAN -May 7, 2018

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is requesting that the public help identify a man pictured on social media standing within a few feet of an angry moose along a busy stretch of road in Frisco, Colorado.
According to a witness, he and his passenger observed the man chase the moose onto the median Friday afternoon in the 900 block of 10 Mile Drive in Frisco. They were able to snap a photo of the incident as they drove past the man and the agitated animal.
“It is very evident from the photo that the moose is angry, and the man could easily have been attacked and injured, or possibly killed,” District Wildlife Manager Elissa Slezak of Summit County said in a statement yesterday. “You can clearly see that the moose’s ears are pinned back and its hackles are raised. It is likely this person does not realize how much danger he put himself in, or maybe he does not care.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials stress that moose do not attack people unprovoked; however, they will defend themselves very aggressively if threatened or harassed. Moose do not fear people and will stand their ground, giving the impression they are tolerant of a human’s presence.
“I strongly advise against approaching these animals,” said Slezak. “They can weigh up to 1000 pounds, can run much faster than humans, and possess a strong instinct for self-preservation.”
Slezak noted that the individual in the photo will likely be cited for harassment of wildlife if he is identified, but the bigger concern is making sure the individual does not repeat the behavior.
Anyone with information can remain anonymous by calling Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648 or emailing game.thief@state.co.us.
Reward available if information given leads to an arrest or citation.

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http://worldanimalnews.com/wans-most-wanted-help-needed-to-identify-man-who-harassed-moose-in-colorado/

© Copyright 2016 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Meet the tick that’s forcing Americans to give up their meat

grist.org
Meet the tick that’s forcing Americans to give up their meat
14-18 minutes

When Peter Coughlin was in his sophomore year at James Madison University in northern Virginia, he was besieged by a strange and unsettling illness. At random times throughout the night, Coughlin would wake up with hives, full body chills, and raging fevers. These episodes always ended up with him in the bathroom, throwing up until his stomach was empty.

After keeping a food journal for nearly a year, Coughlin realized his symptoms occurred after eating meat, primarily pork. “I essentially spent a week proving my point,” Coughlin says. “I’d eat a bunch of red meat, and go through a series of pretty severe reactions.”

When he finally went to the hospital in 2016, the doctor tested him for all the usual allergies and was flummoxed by the lack of results. She gave him a strong antihistamine and an EpiPen and sent him home.

Frustrated by the lack of answers, Coughlin started researching. He found similarities between his symptoms and documented cases of something called alpha-gal allergy. A major study on the allergic reaction had been done right across the Blue Ridge Mountains at the University of Virginia.

Suddenly, his hiking trips in that very mountain range came into focus: “I kept pulling ticks off of me,” he says. According to the research, those little brown bugs, marked by a telltale white spot, were to blame for his meat allergy. Coughlin was bit by lone star ticks.

Alpha-gal isn’t your typical hayfever-like allergy. It’s a severe, delayed-reaction immune response, which means it hits hours after someone who suffers from the allergy eats meat. People with alpha-gal describe their episodes as terrifying experiences that can land you in the emergency room and change the way you live your life.

“I was disheartened,” Coughlin says. “I’m a big eater.”

CDC

Even a decade ago, only small populations of lone star ticks were found in the northeastern U.S. As climate change shifts temperatures and humidity levels across the country, many types of ticks, which thrive in warm, humid weather, are able to expand their ranges. The EPA even uses Lyme disease, which is transmitted by blacklegged ticks, as an indicator to track where the country is warming. The spread of lone stars has been linked to climate change, and now, the ticks have made it all the way up through Maine, imparting severe red meat allergies on unsuspecting carnivores — and offering a window into our changing world and its effect on human health.

As lone stars expand into new communities this summer, the ticks are poised to catch people off guard. And just like Coughlin, these little fellows are big eaters.

As you read this, millions of tiny, black-and-brown-legged creatures are beginning to reawaken after laying dormant underneath layers of last year’s leaf cover.

Ticks are only second to mosquitoes as vectors for human disease. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report showing illnesses from ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are on the rise. Disease cases in the U.S. more than tripled between 2004 and 2016, and the report found that we’re ill-equipped to tackle the growing problem.

Large swaths of the eastern U.S. are already dealing with an epidemic of Lyme disease, an illness that can rob you of your short-term memory, your motor functions, and, very rarely, even your life.

And every so often, it seems, the ticks that rouse themselves from the leaf litter are armed with unexpected and mysterious pathogens, like the resurfaced Powassan virus or Pacific Coast tick fever. The CDC report says seven new tick-borne infections have been recorded since 2004. The organization hasn’t recognized alpha-gal allergies yet.

“It’s scary,” says Graham Hickling, the director of the University of Tennessee’s Center for Wildlife Health. “Pretty much every year, we’re finding something new.”

A combination of factors has allowed lone stars to conquer territories far outside their known range.

Climate change is among them. It’s likely affecting the viability rates for the thousands of eggs that a single lone star can lay at a time. “When we start getting these warm seasons, high rainfall kind of years, that probably means that those 2,000 baby ticks do a lot better,” Hickling says.

That’s not the only way climate change is aiding survival rates. Many ticks go dormant during the winter, when consecutive below-freezing days and nights turn them into sesame-sized popsicles. But as warming keeps taking days out of the region’s cold season, ticks are able to stay active for longer.

Hickling says a benign climate is helpful for ticks and what they carry: “There are more opportunities for those viruses to start infecting us.”

Holly Gaff, a tick-borne disease expert at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, also points to one of the tick’s favorite hosts, the white-tailed deer. Deer can travel several miles in the days or even weeks it takes for lone stars feed on them, eventually dropping the ticks a long way from where they first picked them up. Reforestation efforts in the eastern U.S. that began in the 20th century, coupled with a slump in hunting, have led to an explosion in white-tail deer populations. The growth of suburbs means there are plenty of people pressed up against these wooded areas.
Raymond Gehman/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Gaff calls this combination of factors — higher deer populations, people living next to fragmented forests, a friendlier climate — the “perfect storm” for lone star–tick proliferation. “When you have nature in balance you get some ticks, but not like this,” Gaff says.

Already, at least 600 known cases of alpha-gal have occured north of the Mason-Dixon line, according to University of North Carolina allergist Scott Commins, one of the researchers who discovered the connection between ticks and alpha-gal. But that’s probably only a fraction of the incidences. It’s a difficult pathology to diagnose, and doctors aren’t required to report alpha-gal to the CDC.

Compared to blacklegged ticks, lone stars are much more aggressive. Blacklegged ticks behave in relatively predictable ways — they hang out in leafy undergrowth, arms and legs outstretched in case a hapless animal or human passes by. According to Ellen Stromdahl, a researcher with the United States Army Public Health Center, blackleggeds are relatively small and weak.

Lone stars, on the other hand, hunt in packs and travel at surprising speeds, emerging from the leaf litter like a swarm of thirsty, galloping lentils.

“If you sit in the middle of the woods breathing out CO2, you’ll get a fan club of lone stars pretty quickly,” Hickling says.

On top of lone stars’ rapacious mentality, Old Dominion’s Gaff says that after conducting a series of experiments, the bugs “seem to be invincible.”

She’s tried freezing them — but they came crawling out of the freezer after seven days on ice. Next, she tried drowning them, figuring that sea-level rise on Virginia’s coast could end up doing humanity a favor by drowning out tick populations. Her team submerged lone stars in salt, fresh, and brackish water. Every single tick lasted for at least 30 days in each condition — the last lone star died after 74 days.

It only takes one bite from a lone star tick for an unsuspecting victim to develop a meat allergy that can last months, years, or even an entire lifetime.

Here’s how scientists think it goes down: Alpha-gal is a sugar molecule found in nearly all mammals, except humans and a few other primates. A lone star carrying alpha-gal (or an alpha-gal-like substance) bites a person and spreads it to their blood through the tick’s saliva. Then, the molecule essentially rewires the body’s immune system, prompting it to produce an overload of alpha-gal antibodies. When that person goes in for a cheeseburger, their body has a life-threatening reaction to the sugar in the meat.

As recently as a few years ago, the link between lone stars and this allergic reaction was controversial. In 2011, a team of University of Virginia allergists presented its hypothesis in front a group of tick experts. The scientists’ reaction was dismissive.

“We thought, ‘These guys are full of stuffing,’” Gaff recalls.

That team was led by Thomas Platts-Mills, who initially made the connection between lone stars and alpha-gal. Platts-Mills applied insights from his study of patients who were taking the cancer drug cetuximab. Some patients were allergic to the drug, which contains alpha-gal. The team looked into what could be causing the reaction and discovered the link between lone stars and alpha-gal antibodies.

As more people started turning up in emergency rooms with sudden and inexplicable reactions to meat, other researchers began coming around to the idea that a sesame-sized insect could, in fact, instill a lifelong aversion to red meat in full-sized human beings. While the CDC has a comprehensive map of Lyme disease cases in the U.S., state health departments aren’t required to report incidents of alpha-gal as they are with Lyme. Platts-Mills is now working on mapping cases of the allergy.

Lone star ticks. Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

One such case took place in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. John Beckett, a self-professed meat lover, was besieged by a pack of lone stars when he was cleaning out underbrush from an old car lot in 2014. Two weeks later, he was chowing down on hamburgers with some friends at a dock party on the lake when he started breaking out in hives.

Over time, Beckett figured out that he felt sick every time he ate red meat.

The hives weren’t enough to make him stop, though. It wasn’t until he wound up in the emergency room — after eating a cowboy rib eye from one of his favorite restaurants — that he decided to kick red meat out of his diet once and for all.

“The hives had closed my airways,” Beckett says. “I thought I was going to die that night.”

When he finally went to an allergist and got his blood tested, his doctor told him the levels of alpha-gal antibodies in Beckett’s system were the highest he had ever seen. “You gave me bragging rights,” Beckett remembers his doctor telling him.

That was four years ago. Beckett stopped eating meat, and the amount of alpha-gal antibodies in his blood declined only slightly.

Mark Vandewalker, an allergist who’s been treating patients in Missouri since 1990, has noticed an uptick in patients exhibiting anaphylaxis, or a systemic allergic reaction, to meat. He sees patients come in with hives, swelling, itching, and, occasionally, some respiratory difficulties.

“Initially, I didn’t even believe that the condition was real,” Vandewalker says. “But now, having seen so many cases of my own, I think that it’s impossible to deny that this is a very unusual, but a very real, form of food-induced anaphylaxis.”

The vast majority of food-related anaphylaxis occurs within minutes after eating, but alpha-gal is one of the rare allergies that doesn’t work that way.

“What’s odd is that it’s happening in the middle of the night,” Vandewalker explains. “These episodes have occurred three, four, five, even up to eight hours after eating.”

That makes it harder to diagnose, which is why patients with alpha-gal are often sent home from medical facilities without answers.

On a trip to visit his family in Leesburg, Virginia, last year, Peter Coughlin was bitten by a blacklegged tick. He contracted Lyme disease, which required him to go on a regimen of antibiotics.

A few months later, he reunited with a bunch of his high school friends, and the group decided to go out to eat. It had been two years since his alpha-gal symptoms began popping up, and Coughlin explains he was ready to jeopardize his health in the name of grilled steak.

“I just said, ‘Fuck it,’” he recalls. “I filled my pocket with Benadryl and went to Korean barbecue.”

This time Coughlin didn’t have an allergic reaction. The Benadryl he had brought stayed in his pocket.

According to Vandewalker, the Missouri physician, alpha-gal can eventually retreat to the point where eating red meat again is possible. Doctors and researchers don’t know, however, how long the antibodies will linger patient to patient — remember, John Beckett’s levels were still high four years after he was bit — and they don’t know how to counteract it besides telling patients to lay off the red meat.

Though alpha-gal remains somewhat mysterious, there is some good news about the ticks that carry it. While in some areas up to 50 percent of blacklegged ticks carry some kind of infectious disease — Lyme, Babesia, Anaplasmosis — the rate of transmissible illnesses found in lone stars (like Rocky Mountain Fever) is much lower, around 10 to 20 percent. What’s more, a recent study published by the Army Public Health Center indicates that lone stars can’t carry Lyme disease at all. Stromdahl, the Army entomologist, surveyed 54 studies from 35 different research groups involving 52,000 ticks and found that a chemical in lone star saliva kills Borrelia – the bacteria that causes Lyme.
Lisa Zins

“You never want to say never with ticks or insects and what they can carry,” she says. “But we presented a lot of evidence that they don’t.”

But the reality is that we’re living in a warming world, and one of the consequences of that is a tick expansion. And while a group of scientists is working on a vaccine for alpha-gal, others are devising ways to attack the issue at its root — by eliminating the ticks from highly populated areas.

Gaff at Old Dominion conducts studies using a robot called a tickbot, which moves around dragging a rag soaked with permethrin (a common treatment for lice that also kills ticks). The bot, which has a little piece of dry ice embedded in its center, breathes out CO2 and attracts ticks to the toxic rag.

Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Upstate, New York, is conducting tick experiments on entire neighborhoods, which he calls “tick towns.” Twenty-four communities volunteered for the experiment, and some are outfitted with a naturally occurring fungus that sucks the life force out of ticks. Others have little contraptions called “bait boxes” that dab rodents with a small dose of Frontline, the flea and tick medicine for cats and dogs. According to Ostfeld, these preventive measures are “probably our best hope at clobbering ticks.”

Tickbots and tick towns aren’t much comfort to people already living with Lyme or alpha-gal, but they’re our best shot at keeping people who are still unaffected safe. For the alpha-gal allergic among us, the spread of lone stars means the end of traditions that once seemed reassuringly permanent — like eating hamburgers at a dock party on the Lake of Ozarks. Those get-togethers aren’t what they once were for John Beckett. But he’s playing the long game.

“I’m trying my best not to get bitten a second time,” he says, adding he reckons his blood levels will have evened out in a few decades. “By the time I’m 80 I might be able to eat meat again.”

https://grist.org/science/lone-star-ticks-are-a-carnivores-nightmare-and-theyre-just-waking-up/

Senators Call for Study on the Critically Endangered Right Whale

markey.senate.gov
Senators Call for Study on the Critically Endangered Right Whale
Thursday, April 26, 2018
2-3 minutes

Washington (April 26, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, sent a letter this week with 11 of his Senate colleagues requesting that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conduct an urgent assessment of the impacts to the North Atlantic right whale from fisheries in Canada. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NOAA Fisheries conducts studies that inform whether the Department of Commerce will take action against foreign fisheries that do not protect marine mammals. Over the past decades, fishing communities across New England have taken steps to reduce impacts on marine mammals. Unfortunately, last year the significant majority of observed right whale deaths were in Canadian waters. This year, Canada’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries did announce new steps to address the right whale crisis. However, NOAA has not yet assessed if those efforts will be sufficient under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

“Now is the right time to do the right thing for the North Atlantic right whale,” write the Senators in their letter to NOAA Acting Administrator Dr. Timothy Gaulludet. “We need a rapid but sound assessment that can direct any next steps that will need to be taken to save this critically endangered mammal.”

A copy of the letter can be found here. https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-call-for-study-on-the-critically-endangered-right-whale.

Also signing the letter are Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

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https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-call-for-study-on-the-critically-endangered-right-whale

Four More Sentenced in US Multi-State Dog Fighting Ring

voanews.com
Four More Sentenced in US Multi-State Dog Fighting Ring

Four more people convicted of being part of a multi-state dog fighting ring were sentenced to prison Monday as part of the Justice Department’s nationwide crackdown on dog fighting.

The four men received prison terms ranging from one to five years. A fifth person will be sentenced next month while four others will be put on trial this summer.

“Dog fighting is vicious and cruel. And beyond the needless suffering it inflicts on animals, it exacts a toll on local animal shelters, humane organizations and taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Greg Carpentino said Monday.

The suspects are accused of taking part in a dog fighting ring in four states in which a number of dogs were forced to fight to their bloody death.

Along with causing unspeakable pain and suffering to the animals, U.S. attorneys say dog fighting rings also include other crimes such as illegal gambling, and drug and weapons trafficking.

So far, U.S. agents have rescued 98 dogs as part of Operation Grand Champion. The Humane Society of the United States is helping the Justice Department take care of the saved animals.

https://www.voanews.com/a/four-more-sentenced-in-us-multistate-dog-fighting-ring/4306408.html

Fifth Defendant Sentenced in Dog-Fighting Ring

Fifth Defendant Sentenced in Dog-Fighting Ring
April 18, 2018 10:06 PM

VOA News

FILE – Dogs sit at a home in Auburn, Ala., in this photo provided by the ASPCA. A federal and state investigation into dog fighting and gambling has resulted in the arrest of 12 people from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, Aug. 23, 2013.
FILE – Dogs sit at a home in Auburn, Ala., in this photo provided by the ASPCA. A federal and state investigation into dog fighting and gambling has resulted in the arrest of 12 people from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas, Aug. 23, 2013.

A fifth defendant pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday for his part in a brutal multistate dog-fighting ring.

Mario Atkinson of New Jersey will spend two years in prison and was fined $1,000.

He admitted fighting his dog in Virginia and dumping the dead animal in the garbage after the fight.

Federal agents seized 18 pit bull-type dogs from Atkinson in 2016, saying the dogs had scars and injuries consistent with organized fighting.

“Animal cruelty like the conduct in this case has no place in a civilized society,” U.S. Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Wood said.

Four other defendants were given prison terms of one to five years last month as part of Operation Grand Champion, the Justice Department’s nationwide crackdown on dog fighting.

So far, U.S. agents have rescued 98 dogs and The Humane Society of the United States is helping take care of the dogs.

Along with causing pain and suffering to the animals, U.S. attorneys say dog fighting rings also include other crimes such as illegal gambling, and drug and weapons trafficking.

https://www.voanews.com/a/new-jersey-dog-fighting-sentencing/4355522.html

Five Wildlife Rangers and their driver killed by Poachers · Change.org

Petition update

Apr 17, 2018 — Virunga National Park in Congo is about the size of California. It is a poacher’s paradise. Backed and financed by Chinese middlemen they have grown into heavily armed militias.
More than 130 park rangers have been killed in the park since 1996.
While Under Armour and Safari Club International promotes the hunting of wild animals in Africa, these rangers risk their lives trying to protect them.
The more people in the West become aware of these situations and are able to connect the dots, the sooner all this barbarities will evolve to something better. Better laws, better ethics. Less killing.

https://www.change.org/p/7965185/u/22646982?utm_medium=email&utm_source=petition_update&utm_campaign=307130&sfmc_tk=Y65ELrEVwnOSO7%2bDYTtOcb%2bb20V9wALG2o5DfbxLIReU3xJr0zIF42sqaEtu1i1S&j=307130&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=55403312&mid=7259882&jb=11

What is palm oil? | SPOTT.org

Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil. It comes from the fruit of the African oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis).

Native to West Africa, oil palm has been traditionally grown as a subsistence crop in small-scale farming systems for thousands of years.

Oil palms were introduced to Southeast Asia by European traders in the early 19th century, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, where the climate is more humid, and therefore even more conducive to oil palm growth. Palm oil trees can grow to over 20 metres tall, and unlike some other vegetable oil crops, the fruit can be harvested all year round.

Large-scale production on monocultural oil palm plantations has become highly prevalent over the last forty years in response to ever-increasing global demand.

Palm oil comes from oil palm fruits

The fruit of the African oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is crushed to extract palm oil. (Image: oneVillage Initiative)

Palm oil production in Ghana
Oil palm fruit harvest, Malaysia

Oilpalmfruitharvest,Malaysia

Oil palm fruit is harvested with peak production occurring between ages seven and 18. (Image: Craig Morey)

Oil palm fruit harvest, Malaysia
Crude palm oil is refined for manufacturing

Unrefined red palm oil is sent to refineries for processing. (Image: oneVillage Initiative)
Crude palm oil is refined for manufacturing
Oil palms use less land than other oilseeds

Oil palms yield up to 10 times more oil per hectare than alternative vegetable oil crops. (Image: Craig Wikimedia)

Oil palms use less land than other oilseeds
Monocultures support fewer species

Oil palm plantations provide far less plant and animal diversity than forests. (Image: Achmad Rabin Taim)

Monocultures support fewer species

Why is palm oil so widely used?

Palm oil is very versatile and widely used in food products, detergents, and cosmetics. At least 50% of the packaged products sold in most supermarkets contain palm oil. It is also increasingly used as a biofuel.

Palm oil has the potential to be a more economically viable and sustainable vegetable oil than the alternatives:

using up to 10 times less land than other major vegetable oils such as rapeseed or sunflower;
producing higher yields per hectare – one hectare of land can produce 4,000kg palm oil, or 500kg of kernel oil;
requiring less fertiliser, fewer pesticides, and storing more carbon than other oil crops.

Despite these potential benefits, business as usual is not sustainable. Industry expansion cannot continue if this is at the cost of Indonesia’s natural ecosystems, as well as forests in many other countries throughout the tropics.
Problems associated with irresponsible palm oil production:

There are many negative environmental impacts associated with unsustainable palm oil production. Oil palms are typically grown in regions that contain high levels of biodiversity (Indonesia and Malaysia together produce about 85% of the world’s palm oil) on land that was previously occupied by tropical rainforests and peatlands.
This land is often cleared illegally, destroying some of the world’s most diverse habitats and increasing pollution and carbon emissions through slash and burn agriculture.
In many areas, local communities are not respected and employees are treated poorly.

Oil palm plantation in Cigudeg by Achmad Rabin Taim from Jakarta, Indonesia

Palm oil plantation in Cigudeg by Achmad Rabin Taim from Jakarta, Indonesia
Why can’t we just stop buying palm oil?

Over 50 million tonnes of palm oil is consumed every year, around one third of all vegetable oil.
If we stop buying palm oil, palm oil producing companies will sell palm oil to markets that do not value the environment.
Other vegetable oils will be grown in its place which require up to ten times more land to produce the same amount of oil, increasing deforestation.
Palm oil production provides an income for 4.5 million people in Indonesia and Malaysia alone, taking them out of poverty, and accounts for 4.5% of Indonesian GDP.

What is sustainable palm oil?

To develop a sustainable palm oil industry, companies must:

Stop clearing rainforests and developing on peatlands.
Manage their plantations responsibly according to best practice guidelines.
Trace their supply of palm oil back to the refinery and plantations where it was farmed.
Establish safe and fair working conditions for employees.
Properly consult local communities on new developments.

What you can do to support sustainable palm oil:

Explore more about the issue through the Guardian’s excellent interactive: from rainforest to your cupboard – the story of palm oil.
Support companies that have made commitments to using only certified sustainable palm oil.
Don’t just avoid the problem by boycotting palm oil altogether, instead be part of the solution by supporting Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) as a minimum. Look out for products bearing the RSPO Trademark, which show that they contain a minimum 95% of CSPO.
Ask retailers to source certified sustainable palm oil, not only in their own-brand products but in all the products they sell. You can do this by contacting their customer service departments.
Ask manufacturers to source certified sustainable palm oil.
Lobby your parliamentary or government representative to improve national legislation.
Join or support organisations that are actively campaigning for better standards.
Increase your own awareness of what is in your food.
See how some of the most famous products you buy have performed on Oxfam’s Behind the Brands ethical scorecard.
Read through the Union for Concerned Scientists’ palm oil scorecard, and their global warming factsheet.
Learn more about the work of other organisations promoting better management practices in the Palm Oil Innovation Group.

https://www.spott.org/palm-oil-resource-archive/what-is-palm-oil/

‘Very Angry Badger’ Seizes Part Of 500-Year-Old Scottish Castle

huffingtonpost.com

It’s like something from a Monty Python sketch: Portions of a 16th-century Scottish castle were recently closed to the public due to a “very angry badger.”

The tunnel at Craignethan Castle was closed last week because of the animal, said Historic Scotland, which manages the property. The badger apparently wandered in from the nearby forest, per the BBC.

It’s not clear what the animal did to leave the impression that it was “very angry”:

Observers on Twitter suggested feeding mushrooms, peanuts and peanut butter to the badger, but cameras sent in on Saturday revealed that Historic Scotland’s cat food plot may have worked, as the creature appeared to have fled the scene.

However, the badger dug through loose soil and stonework, leaving behind a mess, the Scotsman reported. Although the tunnel will stay shuttered while it’s cleaned, the rest of the castle will be open to tourists.

Built in 1530, Craignethan is noted for its fortifications, which were built to protect it from artillery and considered ahead of their time. Although a rampart was demolished in 1579, its ruins remain on the grounds.

Badgers are Scotland’s largest wild carnivores. While they are generally not aggressive toward humans, a wounded or cornered animal may attack ― and in a tunnel such as the one at Craignethan, a badger encountering a human could indeed feel cornered.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/badger-castle-scotland_us_5ad559e6e4b0edca2cbd196c?utm_source=zergnet.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=zergnet_2791504&ncid=txtlnkusaolp00001382

Climate-friendly burgers: fact or fiction?

By Nathanael Johnson on Apr 16, 2018

Here’s a crazy idea: What if your love of steak wasn’t a massive environmental problem but part of a solution instead? What if we could suck carbon out of the air and save the world simply by eating beef?

A new study suggests that all this is possible, but it comes with a whopper of a caveat.

Ranching advocates have long thought carbon-negative beef was possible. The hypothesis was that grasslands and grazing animals have an ancient relationship; they’ve evolved together and depend on each other for optimal health. But modern ranching methods severed that connection, so the thinking went. Allow cattle to graze in the manner of wild herds — very heavily in one area for short periods, and then giving that area time to regrow — and the ancient relationship could be restored. Grasses would grow lush and suck up lots of carbon dioxide, more than compensating for the greenhouse gases that the cattle produce.

The problem was, there wasn’t good science to support this hypothesis. There have been studies looking at carbon sequestration in grazed land, but those only worked when you trucked in tons of compost, which can be prohibitively expensive. Then, a couple of weeks ago we finally got our first study showing grass-fed beef can be carbon negative. Here it is. Let the beef bacchanal begin.

Actually, before you dump gravy over your head and skip off to join the celebrants, let’s look at that big caveat: The beef in this study took up twice as much land as conventional beef production.

About half of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cutting down forests, and livestock are a primary culprit because they dominate 77 percent of agricultural land. And farms keep expanding to feed more meat-hungry people. There’s a danger that findings like this could give grass-fed beef a green halo, and allow people to feel virtuous for buying more double cheeseburgers. That would be a disaster. If everyone in the world started eating this kind of carbon-negative beef, we’d have to clear forests and wildlands to expand pasture, and that would wipe out any carbon savings.

Getting it right requires a balancing act. If we manage to slash our collective burger habit in half, while only buying beef raised the way described in this study, then voila, carbon-negative beef! That really could happen if good replacements — say, the Impossible Burger and good old mushrooms — help us drive down beef consumption. And that’s also assuming these practices work in a lot of different places. Remember, this is just one study (other terms and conditions apply, not valid in Veganistan).

There’s another way this might work: Conventional beef cattle spend two-thirds of their lives eating grass before they move to a feedlot and start eating grain. If ranchers around the world start applying the lessons of this study to that first two-thirds of a steer’s life, it could go a long way toward offsetting cattle emissions without taking up any more space. That’s a way we could tweak the system, and it wouldn’t require optimistic assumptions about how we’d keep people from clearing more farmland or convince everyone to eat less meat.

https://grist.org/science/climate-friendly-burgers-fact-or-fiction/

Inside the Beltway: Media bias against Melania Trump is now a reality

washingtontimes.com
Inside the Beltway: Media bias against Melania Trump is now a reality
The Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com
7-8 minutes

Is there media bias against the first lady of the United States? James Woods — a veteran actor who is no stranger to the workings of Hollywood, media, politics and publicity — summed it all up in 21 words.

“If the Trumps were Democrats, Melania would be on every cover of every chic women’s magazine in the world every month,” Mr. Woods wrote in a recent tweet which was subsequently retweeted over 20,000 times by those who agree with him.

It is ironic, since Mrs. Trump is a mother, businesswoman and former high fashion model who has been nothing but poised and gracious on the global stage in the past 15 months. The White House itself candidly lists the first lady’s previous credits, noting: “She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, and New York Magazine. Her major layouts include the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Allure, Vogue, Self, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Elle.”

Media skittishness these days has perplexed more than one journalist.

NBC News media analyst Claire Atkinson investigated the trend in February noting that there was “a clear reluctance among editors to put themselves in the cross-hairs of the culture wars” by featuring the wife of President Trump — despite her stature as a versatile and engaged public figure who speaks five languages and has consistently higher favorability ratings than anyone in the White House.

“There’s also a sense that editors could be taking a political stand,” the NBC analysis said, quoting one editor who claimed it was a “moral issue.”

Now there are some numbers. New York Post media analyst Alexandra Steigrad has parsed coverage of the first lady since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, and here is what she found.

“During her tenure as first lady, Melania has only graced one magazine cover — Vanity Fair Mexico — in February 2017. At the time, the cover caused a commotion due to the president’s insistence that Mexico pay for a border wall, something that has yet to come to fruition,” Ms. Steigrad writes.

“Regardless, not one American magazine has put the former model on its cover, although rumors did swirl in December 2016 when Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, paid a visit to Trump Tower,” she continues, noting that there was nothing to the chatter.

“But Wintour, an Obama fundraiser, did pull out all the stops for Michelle Obama when she served as first lady from 2009 to 2017. During Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency, Michelle appeared on at least 30 U.S. magazine covers, three of which were Vogue. She also appeared twice on the covers of Essence magazine, Time magazine, More magazine and Glamour magazine. Other covers included Redbook, InStyle, and Radar,” Ms. Steigrad said.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/15/inside-the-beltway-media-bias-against-melania-the-/

 

 

Navy Investigates Bible on “Missing Man Table” Tribute

reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com
https://reclaimourrepublic.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/navy-investigates-bible-on-missing-man-table-tribute/#like-103495

Navy Investigates Bible on “Missing Man Table” Tribute
April 9, 2018 by Todd Starnes
The U.S. Navy is investigating complaints lodged by a sailors and Marines about a Bible and a “One Nation under God” placard placed on a POW/MIA table at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a radical group that has a history of targeting public displays of Christianity, filed the complaint on behalf of 26 military personnel and civilian staff.

They wrote a seven-page complaint alleging that a Christian Bible was placed on a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action display in the hospital’s public gallery.

“Why is that Bible there,” MRFF president Mikey Weinstein demanded to know in an interview with Stars & Stripes. “Can you imagine if somebody put a Quran there, or the book of Satan, or the Book of Mormon? It’s violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause as well as DoD and Navy regulations.”

Rear Adm. Paul D. Pearigen ordered an investigation into the public display at the Navy’s largest overseas hospital, the San Diego Union Tribune reports.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation also wants the Navy to remove a placard explaining the reason why the Bible is a part of the display.

“The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country, founded one nation under God,” the placard reads.

The MRFF was grossly triggered and offended by the statement – calling it unconstitutional and a “slap in the face to every non-Christian.”

“The statement on the Exhibit’s placard is nothing more than an illegal, unconstitutional proselytization from an extremist, fundamentalist Christian sect,” their attorney wrote. “It ignores all followers of other religions and totally ignores all those who subscribe to no religion – all in blatant violation of DoD and DON regulations.”

However, according to the U.S. Navy the Bible and the placard are on the table for a reason. Click here to read it for yourself.

The white tablecloth draped over the table represents the purity of their response to our country’s call to arms.

The empty chair depicts an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, but all who are not here with us.

The table itself is round to show that our concern for them is never ending.

The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God.

The black napkin stands for the emptiness these warriors have left in the hearts of their families and friends. A Purple Heart medal can be pinned to the napkin.

The single red rose reminds us of their families and loved ones. The red ribbon represents the love of our country, which inspired them to answer the nation’s call.

The yellow candle and its yellow ribbon symbolize the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet accounted for.

The slices of lemon on the bread plate remind us of their bitter fate.

The salt upon the bread plate represent the tears of their families.

The wine glass, turned upside down, reminds us that our distinguished comrades cannot be with us to drink a toast or join in the festivities of the evening.

Hiram Sasser, general counsel for First Liberty Institute and a former Army Reserve officer, urged the Navy to resist the demands of the militant MRFF.

“The Bible is on the table because it is part of the tradition that predates our current demands for political correctness,” Sasser told the Todd Starnes Radio Show. “When we telegraph to our global military competitors that the mere presence of a Bible mentally destroys some of us, we are doomed.”

So why is the Navy wasting its time to investigate the unfounded allegations made by Mikey Weinstein and his minions?

This is nothing more than a despicable attack by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation on the families of those with a loved one who is missing in action.

It’s time for the Trump Administration’s Pentagon to stop this radical group from bullying military families and desecrating any more Missing Man tables.

https://www.toddstarnes.com/show/navy-investigates-bible-on-missing-man-table-tribute/

Reality Stars, Trophy Hunters, and Gun Boosters: Meet the Trump Administration’s Wildlife Conservation Council – Mother Jones

motherjones.com

Cecil the lion gained fame after he was killed by Safari Club International member Walter Palmer during a hunt in Zimbabwe. Paula French/ZUMA

The Trump administration has launched a commission at the Interior Department to promote big-game trophy hunting and the “economic benefits that result from US citizens traveling to foreign nations to engage in hunting.” The council, which will cost taxpayers $250,000 a year, is charged with making recommendations to Secretary Ryan Zinke about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals—such as the recently overturned ban on elephant and lion trophies from some countries—and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species.

The members of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, which is holding its first meeting Friday, include a reality-TV safari hunting guide, a former beauty queen, gun industry representatives, members and affiliates of a controversial trophy hunting group, and a veterinarian associated with an exotic animal breeding facility in Florida that sells endangered animals to roadside zoos.

“It’s really embarrassing,” says Masha Kalinina, the international trade policy specialist for the wildlife department at the Humane Society International. “I just question the qualifications of each and every one of these people. Notably missing from this trophy hunting council are legitimate representatives of the conservation community with proper scientific credentials and a record of successful conservation programs, along with wildlife law enforcement experts and biologists who have no financial stake in promoting trophy hunting.”

The council’s charter calls hunting “an enhancement to foreign wildlife conservation and survival.” Along with pushing to relax imports of trophy animals, it will also review the way the US complies with an international treaty designed to protect endangered plants and animals that guides regulation of the exotic animal trade. But the membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.

Indeed, the country’s largest trophy-hunting lobby seems to have an outsized role on the council. Of the 16 IWCC members, at least 10 have an affiliation with Safari Club International, which represents wealthy big-game hunters who often tangle with the Fish and Wildlife Service over permits to import of game trophies from overseas, particularly for endangered species. The advocacy group, with 50,000 members, frequently lobbies Congress and federal agencies to fight environmental regulations. It sued to overturn the Obama-era ban on importing elephant and lion trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia. The Trump administration ended the ban earlier this month, despite the president’s earlier objections and comments that elephant hunting is a “horror show.”

Perhaps SCI’s most famous member is Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who got into hot water in 2015 for killing a lion named Cecil who lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and was being studied by scientists at Oxford University. Palmer was never charged with any crimes, but the killing helped drive public opinion even further against trophy hunting. A Marist poll that year showed that nearly 90 percent of Americans are opposed to big-game hunting, and more than 60 percent believed it should be banned.
The membership of the council seems heavily weighted toward people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.

SCI’s political action committee supported President Donald Trump’s election and Zinke’s US House campaigns in Montana. The principal deputy director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Greg Sheehan, who is effectively running the agency in the absence of a congressionally confirmed director, oversees the IWCC. He is an SCI member and attended the group’s convention in Las Vegas last month when it awarded its “professional hunter of the year” honors to a South African man who has been fined for leading hunts of endangered black rhinos.

SCI’s president, Paul Babaz, is now a member of the IWCC. Another SCI-affiliated member, Mike Ingram, was a co-founder of a short-lived nonprofit set up in 2016 by Trump’s sons Eric and Don Jr. that was accused of selling access to the president. The Trump brothers themselves are well-known trophy hunters who caused a stir when photos surfaced of them in Zimbabwe with the carcasses of dead trophy animals, including a leopard and an elephant.

Don Jr. appears to be keeping tabs on the new wildlife council. When Cameron Hanes, a professional bow hunter, announced his appointment to the IWCC on Instagram in January, Don Jr. congratulated him, writing, “well done and well deserved. As I’ve spoken about numerous times @realdonaldtrump has always given opportunities to those who deserve it not just those whose turn it is.”

Other members of the council are affiliated with the gun industry, including Peter Horn, a vice president of Beretta and former president of SCI, and Erica Rhoad, the director of hunting at the National Rifle Association.

Befitting the Trump administration, the Interior Department has appointed a number of reality TV stars to the wildlife council. Among them is Ivan Carter, a safari hunting guide and regular speaker at SCI events who’s frequently identified in press accounts as having been born in “Southern Rhodesia,” the former British colony that became Zimbabwe. Carter, who bears a faint resemblance to Crocodile Dundee, has hosted the Dallas Safari Club’s Tracks Across Africa TV show on the Outdoor Channel and his own Outdoor Channel show, Carter’s W.A.R.

Another member, Denise Welker, killed an elephant in Botswana on one of Carter’s safari hunts. She received an award last year from SCI underwritten by the NRA, and her husband is the co-chair of SCI’s Africa record-keeping committee. Then there’s Olivia Nalos Opre, a former Mrs. Nebraska who judges the televised Extreme Huntress competition for female trophy hunters, hosts other hunting shows, and does trainings for the Dallas SCI. Keith Mark, also on the council, co-hosted a hunting show with former professional wrestler Shawn Michaels.

One of the only members of the council who appears to have any scientific expertise is Jenifer Chatfield, a veterinarian who specializes in zoo medicine. But she, too, is not without a business interest in the animal trade. Chatfield is the staff veterinarian and vice president of the 4J Conservation Center in Florida. The private, for-profit center is run by Chatfield’s father, John Chatfield, an exotic animal breeder whose outfit previously sold animals to Texas hunting parks known as “canned ranches,” where people pay large sums to kill endangered animals within the fenced confines of the ranch.

John Chatfield is a co-founder of the Zoological Association of America, a group that offers accreditation to roadside and other private zoos that can’t meet the animal welfare standards of the more rigorous Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Animal welfare advocates have criticized the ZAA for protecting shady exotic animal breeders. The 4J Conservation Center holds a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service that allows it to trade in captive-born endangered species within the United States. The Department of Agriculture has cited 4J for unsafe and unsanitary conditions that violate the Animal Welfare Act.

“It’s like a puppy mill for lemurs,” says Delcianna Winders, a vice president at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In 2013, a red kangaroo escaped from the 4J center and had to be chased down by state wildlife officials, who shot it with tranquilizer darts. The kangaroo died two hours later. Later, an inventory showed that Chatfield had more than 60 kangaroos in pens on the compound.

The 4J center has loaned lemurs to a Tampa zoo, where Jenifer Chatfield experimented on them. In 2006, she published the results of a study in the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine in which the lemurs were anesthetized and given as many as 50 shock treatments to force them to “electroejaculate” for artificial insemination collections. The procedure causes the animals to suffer from a “urethral plug” that can be fatal; these plugs were removed with forceps. Chatfield was testing a technique to prevent the blocks. Two years after the study, the zoo lost its accreditation for, among other things, trading animals with unaccredited facilities.

Reached by phone, Jenifer Chatfield referred questions about her appointment to the council to the Interior Department, which did not respond to a request for comment. John Chatfield could not be reached for comment.

Wildlife conservation and animal welfare groups and more than 60 scientists and economists have written to the Fish and Wildlife Service to protest the council and its membership. They argue that the way it was created violates federal law because of the lack of a balance of perspectives, its potential for capture by special interests, and the absence of public benefits. PETA’s Winders says the council’s creation is “openly defiant of the Federal Advisory Act, which requires a host of things, one of which is balanced representation, and this reads like a who’s who of hunting interests. I think we will see some legal challenges to this committee before long.” Indeed, on Wednesday, the wildlife conservation group Born Free sued the Fish and Wildlife Service for refusing to release documents related to the council’s creation.

Correction: An earlier version of the photo caption in this story stated that Cecil the lion was killed in an illegal hunt. In fact, the hunt has not been found to have broken any laws.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/03/reality-stars-trophy-hunters-and-gun-boosters-meet-the-trump-administrations-wildlife-conservation-council/

Massive Oil Spill In Borneo, Indonesia, Claims The Lives Of 5 People & An Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin – World Animal News

BREAKING NEWS
By Lauren Lewis –
April 4, 2018

A dead Irrawaddy dolphin was found washed up on the shore near the oil spill. Photo courtesy of the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI).
The Indonesian government issued a state of emergency yesterday following a major oil spill that occurred over the weekend in Borneo, Indonesia.
Tragically, five fishermen and one endangered dolphin have been confirmed dead so far as a result of the spill that occurred on Saturday morning in the Balikpapan Bay, in East Kalimantan province.
This morning, as per an AFP report on Yahoo7, Indonesia’s national oil company Pertamina, which originally denied responsibility, declared that the spill was, in fact, caused by a ruptured pipe that was used for transporting crude oil approximately 25 meters below the sea surface.
The Irrawaddy dolphin, which is listed as endangered on the ICUN Red List, was discovered on the shore near the spill on Sunday evening.
Distributed across the coastal Indian Ocean from India to Indonesia, the Irrawaddy dolphin’s relatively small size, mobile ‘expressive’ head, and ability to spit water when instructed have contributed to the recent rise in their captivity.

u.s.whales.org, Dipani Sutaria
While the toxic spill is believed to be the cause of the dolphin’s death, according to Mongabay, Danielle Kreb, a marine biologist with the non-profit organization Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI) explained that it would take up to a week before they receive the results of the samples they took from the animal.
A protected species under Indonesian law, killing an Irrawaddy dolphin carries fines and a possible jail sentence.
WAN prays there are no more deaths of people or animals affected by this tragic oil spill.

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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,animal welfare organizations,
Dolphin,Endangered Species,Indonesia

http://worldanimalnews.com/massive-oil-spill-in-borneo-indonesia-claims-the-lives-of-5-people-an-endangered-irrawaddy-dolphin/

© Copyright 2016 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking News! Taiwan Announces Plans To End Its Domestic Ivory Market By 2020! – World Animal News

BREAKING NEWS
By Lauren Lewis –
April 4, 2018

On the heels of yesterday’s announcement that the UK will introduce a ban on ivory sales to help protect elephants, comes more good news!
This morning, WAN learned that Taiwan has become the latest territory to announce plans to close its domestic ivory market.
According to TRAFFIC, the Council of Agriculture presented amendments to the Wildlife Conservation Act yesterday that would result in the phase-out of Taiwan’s remaining domestic ivory market by 2020, while recommending stiff penalties for anyone found to be involved in illegal trade.
“This announcement is another step forward for the conservation of African Elephants,” Joyce Wu, Senior Programme Officer for TRAFFIC in Taiwan said in a statement. “In addition to ivory from existing stockpiles, steps should be taken to address illegal ivory imports into Taiwan so as not to undermine the market closure.”
The import and re-export of ivory have been banned in Taiwan since 1989, with domestic trade permitted only in stocks registered in 1995.
Recent cases, however, have highlighted a continuing problem with illegal ivory trade in the region. One such incident occurred on the March 4th when an individual was caught on suspicion of attempting to smuggle concealed ivory carvings into Taipei from Osaka, Japan.

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Elephant Ivory,Ivory ban,Taiwan

http://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-news-taiwan-announces-plans-to-end-its-domestic-ivory-market-by-2020/

Progress! Politician Calls for the End of Bear Bile Farming in China

Natasha Brooks
Bears on bile farms in China, Vietnam, and South Korea endure torturously painful lives constricted to metal cages and restraints while bile is extracted from their gallbladders. Crying out in pain, many are abused and neglected so severely they lose limbs and appendages. World-renowned charity Animals Asia has long been fighting to free these beautiful bears from their dismal fate, and they have shared some very encouraging news — a Chinese politician has made the proposal that China should pledge to end all bear bile farms by 2035!

This proposal was made by Shi Minghai, Vice President of the Buddhist Association of China and a member of the Hubei province’s National People’s Congress. He proposed that breeding on bile farms end in 2020 and that bear bile extraction should be banned and bears on these farms be microchipped by 2022, with plans for the entire industry to be eradicated by 2035. Vietnam and South Korea recently made efforts to end the bear bile farming industry, and activists hope this new proposed legislation will have China following suit.

In regards to this encouraging news, Animals Asia Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE stated: “This proposal is very exciting and opens the door to a bear bile farm-free future for China. We cannot anticipate whether this proposal will be accepted, but it is very significant that the issue has been raised at the highest levels of Chinese lawmaking and that the proposal has been allowed to go public … With at least 10,000 bears on farms, ending bear bile farming in China will be an enormously difficult task, but I have every faith that the modern China has the funds, the expertise and the will to do so.”

Since 1998, Animals Asia has been fighting to free bears used in the bile industry, and they have successfully rescued more than 600 bears, with over 300 of them living freely on the organization’s sanctuary grounds in China and Vietnam. To learn more about Animals Asia and how you can become involved in their life-saving work, visit their website here.

Many people are still unaware of the cruel bile industry, so please make sure you share this with your network to help shed light on the serious issue.

Image Source: Pixabay

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/politician-calls-end-bear-bile-farming-china/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=755ac51387-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-755ac51387-106049477

Another Fashion Giant Chooses To Make Compassion The Fashion; Donna Karan & DKNY Go Fur-Free! – World Animal News

BREAKING NEWS
Another Fashion Giant Chooses To Make Compassion The Fashion; Donna Karan & DKNY Go Fur-Free!
BymKatie Cleary –
March 22, 2018

WAN is thrilled to announce that another fashion giant Donna Karan and DKNY have decided to make compassion the fashion and Go Fur-free starting next year.
Per The Humane Society International,
Morris Goldfarb, CEO of G-III, Donna Karan and DKNY’s parent company, revealed the decision on Thursday in a Fourth Quarter and Full Year Fiscal 2018 Earnings Conference. The company came to its decision due to its relationship with the Humane Society of the United States.
“HSI is delighted that since Gucci declared fur to be ‘out-dated’ designers have been racing to prove their relevance by dropping the archaic material,” Wendy Higgins, HSI’s Director of International Media, said in a statement. “In the latest designer declaration, this mornings brands DKNY and Donna Karan pledged to ban fur cruelty from their collections.”
Donna Karan and DKNY Joins Gucci, Armani, Tommy Hilfiger, Versace and Michael Kors just to name a few of the high-fashion giants that have made the important decision that animal fur is cruel and not fashion.
Please take a moment to thank these progressive designers for their ground-breaking move towards a more compassionate world of fashion! We hope that many other designers around the world follow suit! @DonnaKaran @DKNY @Gucci @GiorgioArmani @TommyHilfiger @ThomasJHilfiger @MichaelKors

http://worldanimalnews.com/another-fashion-giant-chooses-compassion-fashion-donna-karan-dkny-go-fur-free/

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South Korea Bans Importation of Taiji’s Dolphins

dolphinproject.com
Posts by : Cara Sands
March 20,2018
Blog, Campaigns, Captivity Industry

Dolphins caught in Taiji Japan’s notorious drive hunts will no longer be welcome in South Korea. Today, the Ministry of Environment announced a revised bill on the Protection and Management of Wildlife, banning all imports of dolphins captured in such a brutal manner.

Imports will also be restricted if the mammals are captured in areas where wild populations are either unclear, or are in decline.
How did a centuries-old relationship between man and dolphin become so corrupt?

Wild bottlenose dolphin brutally caught in Taiji’s notorious dolphin hunts. Credit: DolphinProject.com

In Taiji, dolphins are chased, then driven into the cove for the purposes of capture or slaughter. The hunts are relentless, with countless mammals dying during the drives themselves. Dolphins are listed in Appendix II of CITES – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – meaning they may not be threatened with extinction today, but may become so unless trade is closely controlled.

Footage of two dolphins arriving to Ulsan Aquarium in South Korea from Taiji, Japan
Credit: Hwang HyunJin

hotpinkdolphinswithric2-1-1024x668930747601.jpg

Dolphin Project has supported our South Korean friends and colleagues for many years in their efforts to ban dolphin imports from Taiji. We extend a warm “congratulations” to Hot Pink Dolphins, Korean Animal Welfare Association and Korean Federation for Environmental Movement of Ulsan on their success.
Hot Pink Dolphins at The Cove with Ric O’Barry. Taiji, Japan.

https://www.dolphinproject.com/blog/south-korea-bans-importation-of-taijis-dolphins/
The CITES Appendices / Cites.org
News1Korea
Dolphin Project Take Action Now
Cara Sands

Breaking News! San Francisco Officially Becomes The Largest City In The U.S. To Ban The Sale Of Fur! – World Animal News

By WAN –
March 20, 2018

San Francisco has officially become the largest city in the United States to ban the sale of fur.
The news follows a City Board of Supervisors meeting earlier today in which members voted unanimously to pass a measure that prohibits the sale of fur clothes, accessories and products in the city.
The ban, which goes into effect on January 1, 2019, even makes it difficult, if not obsolete, for residents to purchase fur online because items with fur will not be able to be delivered to any San Francisco address.
As per a late amendment, furriers and retailers are able to sell their current inventory until January 1, 2020.
Really? This important law should go into effect immediately.
“I hope that it inspires other cities and the country to take action. Certainly, we need better federal regulations on fur farming,” said Katy Tang, the supervisor who authored the measure told WRAL. “There’s no humane way to raise an animal to peel its skin off.”

According to the local CBS affiliate, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce claims that fur sales in the city are estimated at an annual $40 million.
While animal advocates are thrilled with this major victory, many retailers are frustrated at the impact the ban will have on them; some which are reported to already be “suffering.”
Similar bans have been already instituted in the California cities of West Hollywood and Berkeley.
Here’s to many more cities throughout the country and world following suit!

http://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-news-san-francisco-officially-becomes-largest-city-ban-sale-fur/

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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,fur farming,Fur Free

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World’s last male northern white rhino dies

msn.com
World’s last male northern white rhino dies
By Joshua Berlinger, CNN 8 hrs ago
5-6 minutes
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY NICOLAS DELAUNAYA caregiver calms Sudan, the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies, on December 5, 2016, at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County — at the foot of Mount Kenya — that is home to the planet’s last-three northern white rhinoceros.As 2016 draws to an end, awareness of the devastation of poaching is greater than ever and countries have turned to high-tech warfare — drones, night-goggles and automatic weapons — to stop increasingly armed poachers. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at the African Black market, rhino horn sells for up to 60,000 USD (57,000 euros) per kilogram — more than gold or cocaine — and in the last eight years alone roughly a quarter of the world population has been killed in South Africa, home to 80 percent of the remaining animals. / AFP / Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images): A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya. © TONY KARUMBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya.
FILE PHOTO: The last surviving male northern white rhino named ‘Sudan’ is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia: The last surviving male northern white rhino named ‘Sudan’ is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya, June 2017. The world�s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females of its subspecies alive in the world. World’s last male northern white rhino dies.

Gallery by Reuters

The world’s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females left to save the subspecies from extinction.

The 45-year-old rhino named Sudan had been in poor health in recent days and was being treated for age-related issues and multiple infections.

A veterinary team made the decision to euthanize Sudan after his condition deteriorated significantly, the conservation group WildAid announced Tuesday.

Sudan lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading up to his death to protect him from poachers.

“He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him,” said Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta.

Researchers were able to save some of Sudan’s genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left, Sampere said.

“We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn. While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.

Rhinos are targeted by poachers, fueled by the belief in Asia that their horns cure various ailments. Experts say the rhino horn is becoming more lucrative than drugs.

In addition to round-the-clock security, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy also put radio transmitters on the animals and dispatched incognito rangers into neighboring communities to gather intelligence on poaching.
Old and frail

At 45, Sudan was elderly in rhino years and suffered from problems associated with age.

During his final years, he was not able to naturally mount a female and suffered from a low sperm count, which made his ability to procreate difficult.

His daughter Najin, 28 and granddaughter, Fatu, considered young by comparison. Najin could conceive, but her hind legs are so weak she may be unable to support a mounted male.

Sudan made headlines last year when the Tinder dating app named him the “most eligible bachelor in the world” in a campaign to raise funds to save the subspecies.

The western black rhino was declared extinct seven years ago as a result of poaching. All five remaining rhino species worldwide are considered threatened, according to the conservation group Save the Rhino.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/worlds-last-white-rhino-dies/ar-BBKs7Ej?OCID=ansmsnnews11

Wyoming Pushes For Grizzly Bear Hunt After Trump Administration Removes Their Endangered Species Protection – World Animal News

f52ef5df-e474-483c-a55a-a18c53b0ab94774278598.jpeg

Wyoming Pushes For Grizzly Bear Hunt After Trump Administration Removes Their Endangered Species Protection – World Animal News

BREAKING NEWS

By WAN –
March 12, 2018

Less than one year after Yellowstone’s famed grizzly bears were stripped of Endangered Species Act protection, on Friday, the state of Wyoming started advocating to hunt grizzly bears beginning this fall. Under the regulations, the state will sell tags for 24 grizzlies in areas outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
“Wyoming’s reckless hunt ignores the fact that grizzly bears remain endangered in Yellowstone and across the West,” Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement. “It’s tragic that these imperiled animals will be shot and killed so trophy hunters can stick heads on their walls.”
Although grizzly bear numbers in the greater Yellowstone area increased with endangered species protection granted in 1975, the bears continue to be threatened by isolation from other Grizzly populations, loss of key food sources and human-caused mortalities including hunting. Overall grizzly bears occupy less than 4% of their historic range in the United States.
“Yellowstone’s amazing grizzly bears are loved by people around the world and they deserve a real shot at survival,” continued Santarsiere. “It’s horrific that Wyoming doesn’t see the intrinsic value that these bears bring to the state’s landscape.”
Millions of tourists from all over the world come to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Taton National Park every year in anticipation of seeing a grizzly bear and other rare wildlife. The tourism industry is a major economic drive for many towns in Wyoming and Montana. But the new regulations would provide no protection for Yellowstone’s famed bears, which could be shot if they leave the park boundaries.
Just last month, Montana State game agency took the opposite approach, recommending no grizzly bear hunt this year. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission adopted the recommendation on February 15th.
“Montana made the right decision to not allow grizzly bear hunting this year and hopefully in future years,” said Santarsiere. “Wyoming’s failure to follow suit is deeply disappointing.”
The appeal to allow hunting comes as key grizzly food sources in the heart of the Yellowstone ecosystem have been collapsing and grizzly mortality rates have been increasing. The dramatic decline of whitebark pine and Yellowstone cutthroat trout has prompted bears to eat more meat, such as big-game debt piles and livestock, resulting in increased grizzly bear mortality. Drought and climate change are likely to worsen these problems.
Yellowstone bears have long been isolated from other bear populations forcing the government to keep them on permanent life-support by trucking bears in to avoid inbreeding. This fact further argues the need for recovering grizzly populations in the U.S.

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13 Ways Public Schools Incubate Mental Instability In Kids – Stop Putting Traumatized Teens On TV

Reclaim Our Republic

13 Ways Public Schools Incubate Mental Instability In Kids

The correlation between public school environments and the deteriorating mental health of children has been intensifying for decades.

Feb 21, 2018 By Stella Morabito

Why doesn’t anyone investigate the toxic effects of today’s bureaucrat-run mega-schools in the wake of a school shooting? It’s high time we place a share of the blame there.

Apologists for these noxious systems continue to shift blame for their failures using the media, various left-wing lobbies, and the kids themselves as programmed mouthpieces for statist agendas like gun control. Meanwhile, they keep feeding the beast by mass institutionalizing kids.

The correlation between public school environments and the deteriorating mental health of children has been intensifying for decades. We ought to consider how these settings serve as incubators for the social alienation that can fuel such horrors.

First, consider how common it is for a public high…

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