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FOUR PAWS launches new stray dog project in Albania   Leave a comment

From Four Paws UK

February 12, 2015

© FOUR PAWS 2015

Charity will neuter, vaccinate, tag and register stray dogs in the capital Tirana

International animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has launched its first stray animal care project in Albania, one of the many countries in Southeast Europe in which unchecked stray dog populations are causing problems for the city and its residence.

Tirana, the Albanian capital, is the first city in the country to cooperate with an animal welfare organisation to control the local stray dog population in a humane, sustainable way. With many years of experience in other countries facing similar situations, FOUR PAWS offers a proven, animal friendly strategy to prevent illness and the uncontrollable breeding of strays.

Dr. Anca Tomescu, FOUR PAWS Head of Stray Animal Care, explained the upcoming project: “We are happy to start an important project for stray animals in Tirana, in collaboration with the local authorities. Tirana, like many other cities in Europe, faces the problem of stray dogs. We were contacted by the local authorities to work together and to apply a humane and efficient solution. Like us, they believe that only sterilization can solve the problem. FOUR PAWS is now officially launching the project and is very glad to see that not only are the authorities involved in finding a positive solution, but there has also been a positive response from the citizens of Tirana. The capital of Albania will be just the start. After that, the FOUR PAWS team will continue its work in Korca, where we will also cooperate closely with the municipality.”

“We are happy to collaborate with FOUR PAWS, a well known and professional partner,” said Nevila Sokoli-Xhindi , Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Tirana. “The Municipality has been in constant contact with the representatives of the organisation, until we finalized the plan for the project. Our staff, part of the Agency of Consumer Protection, have identified the hot spots in Tirana and together with FOUR PAWS we will try to do the best to keep the situation under control, sterilize the dogs, vaccinate them and return them to their habitat, as outlined in the law. It is a difficult task, but that’s the reason we are collaborating with the best team in Europe.”

Albanian law indicates that strays may only be put to sleep by certified practicing veterinarians and without causing them pain or unnecessary suffering. However, although the law also requires dogs to be registered, there are no official figures regarding the number of strays. However, it is estimated that there are approximately 7,000 stray dogs in Tirana and its surrounding areas alone.

In just one location, a FOUR PAWS team can neuter, vaccinate and treat hundreds of stray animals per week, costing less than it would to kill and dispose of the animals. For the animals this means their lives are saved and they receive treatment for disease and injuries.

As well as Albania, FOUR PAWS has recently been implementing stray animal care projects in Romania, Bulgaria, Egypt, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Jordan, Slovakia, Sudan, India and Sri Lanka.

 

 

10 animal rights victories of 2014   3 comments

From:  The Independent

Dec. 10, 2014 by Mimi Bekhechi

Orca whale by Getty Images.


On International Animal Rights Day, here are the 10 stand-out victories for animals in 2014:

Retailers around the world pull angora wool products

PETA Asia’s exposé of angora farms in China – where rabbits have the fur violently ripped out of their skin – has led retailers, including ASOS, H&M, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, French Connection, All Saints, Tommy Hilfiger and many more, to drop this cruel product in droves – you’d be hard-pressed to find a single shop on the High Street still offering angora. In the past month alone, we’ve added Lacoste and Monsoon to the list.

Moscow International Circus says goodbye to wild animals

Twenty years after Tyke the elephant was mowed down in a hail of gunfire after she killed her trainer and went on a rampage following years of confinement and abuse, the Moscow International Circus has pledged not to use any animals in its upcoming performances. Also this year, Mexico City joined Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru in banning circuses that use wild animals. Shamefully, we’re still waiting for the government to deliver on its promise to make these archaic spectacles illegal here in the UK.

India bans the importation of cosmetics tested on animals

Following a ban on cosmetics experiments on animals last year, the Indian government announced a ban on the importation of cosmetics tested on animals elsewhere. This news brings India into line with the European Union and Israel and will spare millions of animals being blinded, poisoned and killed in cruel and useless experiments.

The World Trade Organisation upholds the ban on seal-fur

The Canadian government’s attempt to force the cruel products of its despised commercial seal slaughter onto the unwilling EU public was stopped once and for all when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rejected its appeal earlier this year. The WTO’s decision is a victory for baby seals, who for years have been bludgeoned to death by the thousands in front of other terrorised seals, and brings us a giant step closer to a day when violence on Canadian ice floes is a thing of the past.

China Southern Airlines stops shipping monkeys to labs

After three years of campaigning by PETA and our international affiliates, China Southern Airlines announced a ban on shipments of primates to laboratories, where they were poisoned, crippled and mutilated in cruel experiments. Air France is now the only major airline still still giving primates a one-way ticket to  experimentation and death.

The 100th Spanish town bans bullfights

Sant Joan in Mallorca joined towns such as Tossa de Mar and the entire region of Catalonia in banning bullfights – a sign of the growing Spanish resistance to this cruel and archaic pastime. Towns are now finding innovative new ways to celebrate traditional festivals without harming animals – in Mataelpino in central Spain, for example, the Running of the Balls was introduced as a humane alternative to the traditional but horrific Running of the Bulls.

US military takes huge step towards ending war on animals

In a groundbreaking victory more than three decades in the making, the US military agreed to replace the use of animals in six different areas of medical training with modern human-patient simulators that better prepare medical personnel to treat injured soldiers and spare animals being cut up and having hard plastic tubes repeatedly forced down their throats, among other invasive and often deadly procedures. Unfortunately, the UK and a handful of other EU countries still shoot and then stitch up live pigs in inhumane exercises.

Chimpanzees living in the worst conditions in Germany are freed

For three decades, Mimi and Dolly were confined to this filthy and mouldy shack. PETA Germany went public about their plight, and more than 21,000 people responded to its call to action. Driven by the public’s outrage, the authorities put pressure on the chimpanzees’ “owner” to relinquish custody of the animals, and within weeks Mimi and Dolly were transferred to a Dutch wildlife sanctuary.

SeaWorld shares tank

Anyone who cares about marine life and wants orcas and dolphins to live free in the oceans with their pods is cheering the year that SeaWorld has had following the release of the BAFTA-nominated documentary Blackfish. Attendance at its parks is down, musicians scheduled to perform have jumped ship and the world’s largest student travel company, STA Travel, pulled SeaWorld promotions from its website.

An orca swimming

Abused elephant Sunder is rescued

Millions of concerned people followed this young elephant’s story with bated breath. Sunder endured years of abuse at the Indian temple where he was held prisoner. Thanks to the determined efforts of PETA India and actions from compassionate supporters around the world, Sunder was finally freed and moved to his new home, a nearly 50-hectare forested elephant-care centre at Bannerghatta Biological Park, where he has been able to explore and make friends with other elephants for the very first time.

What next?

Change doesn’t always come quickly. More than 60 billion cows, chickens, pigs and other animals are killed for their flesh every year around the world; animals of many different species are still being tortured and killed for their skin and fur; millions of animals are used in laboratory experiments; and there are still millions of captive animals languishing in zoos, aquaria and circuses. But as the above 10 victories demonstrate, times and attitudes are changing.

 

Sixty Seven Elephants in Need of Immediate Rescue in India   2 comments

From:  HuffPost Blog

Dec. 24, 2014 by Jon Dunn, Wildlife SOS USA

2014-12-24-DSC_02381.jpeg

Circus elephant Suzy’s cracked footpad discovered during inspection.

 

Suzy’s cracked footpad tells the story of her terribly hard life. The image, hard to look at for any compassionate person, was taken as Suzy was evaluated as part of her impending rescue. Suzy is one of sixty-seven pachyderms living in terrible conditions in Indian circuses, despite a nationwide ban on the use of elephants in such shows. The next step for Suzy and the others is to find their way to safety thanks to Wildlife S.O.S, who has agreed to take on the facilitation of the rescue of all the elephants.

You may have heard of Wildlife S.O.S. over the summer when we rescued Raju, who had been held in chains for 50-years. The story of his rescue captured international media attention and cast a new spotlight on the incredible work of this organization. I first learned of Wildlife SOS in 2007 and eagerly accepted a position on the board of directors for Wildlife S.O.S USA in 2008. A trip to India soon followed, and seeing the work of the organization firsthand has forever changed my life.

That trip, at the end of 2010, coincided with the rescue of the final “dancing bear” of India. The dancing bears, as they’re known, were the product of a centuries old tradition. Cubs would be poached from the wild and their muzzles would be cruelly pierced. The bear’s owner (a term I use lightly) would then drag this wild animal around the country from weddings to places heavily trafficked by tourists to anywhere a few rupees might be available for the performed trick. A tug on the end of the rope attached to the piercing would cause the bear to jump up in an effort to reduce the pain. That movement, or “dancing” would result in a measly donation – not nearly enough for the owner and their family to eat, let alone enough leftover to care for the bear. It was a cruel and unusual practice, and one that Wildlife S.O.S cofounders Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshmani knew they needed to end.

Their solution was brilliant, yet simple. Knowing that many of the bear dancers no longer wanted to do this, they knew with the right incentive they could steer their lives in new directions. Instead of just taking the bears away (fully allowable given strict Indian wildlife protection laws), which would ensure a high recidivism rate, they also worked to retrain all members of the family in new careers such as carpet weaving, rickshaw driving – whatever they wanted. They supplied them with seed money to help them begin their new lives, and their kids were put in school at the organization’s expense. More than 600 rescued bears later, and I was there in person to watch as Raju, the final dancing bear, was surrendered. It was an incredibly emotional moment for everyone and I feel incredibly honored to have been able to be there to see it firsthand.

2014-12-24-DSC_0161.jpeg

Suzy is blind and is suffering from bad health. She is chained all the time, standing in her own feces. Suzy’s mental and physical health status is very poor due to no regular exercise, no enrichment, and an unbalanced diet with poor nutrition. Although she is suffering, there is no veterinarian to help her.

 

Although the organization was founded to help the dancing bears, the work of Wildlife S.O.S goes far beyond bears (remind me to tell you the story of the monitor lizard rescue I went on someday. It involves me on the back of a motorcycle flying through the streets of Delhi!). The organization set up India’s first modern elephant care center, where elephants are given sanctuary from lives spent in servitude. Currently 12 elephants are split between two sanctuaries in India, where they never again have to be chained, perform tricks, or give people rides. They will be allowed to live their lives as elephants, happy, enriched, comfortable and loved.

But the need is very, very great. In 2013 India outlawed the use of elephants in circuses – finally adding them to the list of already outlawed circus animals that includes tigers, monkeys and bears. The rescue of the 67 won’t come cheaply. At a cost of just over $110,000 per elephant, the first phase rescue of 17 elephants will cost more than $1.8 million dollars. A large price tag to be sure, but a small price to pay to pull these elephants out of their lives of misery.

WILDLIFE SOS’ FUNDRAISER:

RESCUE SUZY AND ALL OF INDIA’S CIRCUS ELEPHANTS

There are currently 67 elephants languishing in circuses in India that urgently need to be moved to elephant rehabilitation centers and camps. One of the circus elephants in need of immediate rescue is a female we’ll call Suzy (her name has been changed to protect her identity).

Suzy is blind and is suffering from bad health. She is chained all the time, standing in her own feces. Suzy’s mental and physical health status is very poor due to no regular exercise, no enrichment, and an unbalanced diet with poor nutrition. Although she is suffering, there is no veterinarian to help her.

Wildlife SOS is now ready to take the first steps toward rescuing Suzy and ALL of the remaining circus elephants in India, in partnership with the government.

In the first phase of this campaign we would like to rescue 17 elephants and we estimate it will cost us $1.876 million, or just over $110,000 per elephant. This amount will cover the legal cost, the investigation, the rescue and transport after rescue, and settling them in to our rescue centers.

Our hope is to rescue Suzy, and others like her, starting in 2015.

Please give today to support this monumental effort, so that we can one day say that there are no more elephants suffering in India’s circuses. What a beautiful day that will be.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Wildlife SOS.

crowdrise Holiday Challenge

 

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Hundreds of animals seized in operation targeting wildlife trafficking across Asia   2 comments

From:  InterPol

Dec. 19, 2014

LYON, France – A five-month long INTERPOL-coordinated operation targeting wildlife trafficking in tigers and other big cats across Asia has resulted in the seizure of hundreds of animals and more than 160 arrests.

Involving 13 countries, Operation PAWS (Protection of Asian Wildlife Species) also focused on lesser known species also in high demand by the black market, such as bears and pangolins. Wildlife traders using the internet and social media in certain countries were also investigated.

Among the live animals recovered were tigers, leopards, bears, monkeys, red pandas, lions and crocodiles in addition to 3,500 kg of elephant ivory, 280kg of pangolin scales, rhino horns and more than 4,000 kg of red sandalwood. A large number of turtles, tortoises and birds were also seized across a wide range of countries indicating a high demand for these species.

Designed and developed by the involved member countries as a collaborative law enforcement response to wildlife crime, Operation PAWS was coordinated by INTERPOL’s Environmental security unit as part of Project Predator, in addition to support from the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).

Aimed at supporting and enhancing the governance and law enforcement capacity for the conservation of Asian big cats, INTERPOL’s Project Predator is primarily funded by the United States Agency for International Development.

The 13 countries which participated in Operation PAWS which was conducted between July and November were Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand and Vietnam. It was also supported by Australia, Canada and the USA.

Live tigers, leopards, bears, lions and crocodiles in addition to 3,500 kg of elephant ivory, 280kg of pangolin scales, tiger skins and rhino horns were seized during the five-month long Operation PAWS. © Indonesia

 

 

A five-month long INTERPOL-coordinated operation targeting wildlife trafficking in tigers and other big cats across Asia has resulted in the seizure of hundreds of animals and more than 160 arrests. © Vietnam

 

As well as tigers and other Asian big cats Operation PAWS (Protection of Asian Wildlife Species) also focused on lesser known species also in high demand by the black market, such as bears and pangolins. © Vietnam

 

Hundreds of animals were seized in an INTERPOL coordinated operation targeting wildlife trafficking across Asia. © Malaysia

 

 

International smuggler held in Lucknow; cache of arms, animal skin recovered   3 comments

From:  The Indian Express

Dec. 18, 2014 by Express News Service | Lucknow

Tariq Khan after his arrest on Wednesday. ( Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav )

Tariq Khan after his arrest on Wednesday. ( Source: Express photo by Vishal Srivastav )

The Lucknow police on Tuesday night arrested an alleged international smuggler dealing in gunrunning and wildlife racket and recovered cache of foreign make arms, bullet-proof jackets and skins of Australian animals worths crores of rupees from his house located in posh Jopling road locality in Hazratganj. The police also claimed to have recovered a currency counting machine from the house.

The police claimed that alleged smuggler Tariq Khan confessed to be getting arms from foreign countries through illegal means and was selling them at higher rates in India to gangsters after making minor changes.

Senior Superintendent of Police Yashasvi Yadav said that Tariq has claimed that he was involved in smuggling for last one-and-half year. They would seek his custody to trace his associates involved in the smuggling. All recovered arms are of foreign made, the SSP added.

Tariq was apprehended during a vehicle checking drive near Butler Palace colony, where he was riding a a motorcycle worth Rs 15 lakh which was found to be imported illegally. He was also carrying a foreign make double barrel gun. As Tariq failed to provide documents of the motorycle and gun, he was taken in police custody for questioning.

The police conducted a raid at his house and recovered a .315-bore bore rifle, 16 other rifles, two revolvers, two pistols, a rifle with model of AK-47, three bullet-proof jackets, three telescopes, a gas propelled machine gun, cartridges, three made in china swords, three made in spain knives and three animals skins from the place.

The SSP claimed that the recovered firearms and bullet-proof jackets are of best quality and technology.

He added that they are probing to get details about the route used for smuggling the arms. Few arms seemed to have been purchased through online shopping.

 

 

Three held with leopard skin   Leave a comment

From:  Business Standard

Three suspected wildlife smugglers were arrested from Premnagar area of the city after being found in possession of a leopard skin.

Anil, Sajid and Sartaj were arrested late last evening on a tip-off from Premnagar when they were about to deliver the leopard skin to someone in the tea estate area, police control room said here today.

The leopard skin is two-months-old and it is being sent to the Wildlife Institute of for examination.

3_leopard-skin-India

 

 

Experts warn of dangers of veterinary pharmaceuticals to wildlife   5 comments

From:  Phys-org News

Dec 8, 2014 by Lindsay Brooke

Experts from across Europe and the USA are calling for a ‘one health’ approach to the use of veterinary pharmaceuticals (VPs). In advance of a key European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommendation to the European Commission on the use of diclofenac in livestock, they are warning of the dangers that veterinary pharmaceuticals pose to wildlife.

In Spain, the use of the veterinary pharmaceutical diclofenac is placing Europe’s fragile vulture populations at risk, and should be banned, according to a paper published by a team of veterinarians, biologists, and conservationists in the journal Science this week.

Dr Lisa Yon, from The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is the Chair of the European Wildlife Disease Association (EWDA). She said: “It is clear from the lessons learned on the profound impact of diclofenac on in India that we need to take a more integrated, ‘One Health’ approach to our use of VPs, and the larger impact they have on non-target species, and on the environment. This is and will continue to be an issue of increasing concern for a wide variety of VPs, and one for which there needs to be greater responsibility taken across the range of stakeholders.”

Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, has already been banned for veterinary use in several South Asian countries, but was recently approved for use in Spain and Italy. Traces of diclofenac in livestock carcasses are lethal to vultures who eat them, and contamination of fewer than 1 per cent of dead animals led to the near extinction of three Asian species. Most vultures in Europe are already endangered and thus particularly vulnerable to this threat.

The paper, One Health approach to use of veterinary pharmaceuticals, argues that as the world’s consumption of meat continues to rise, we must take a holistic approach to assessing the impacts of VPs that accounts for all environmental effects, including contamination of the natural food chain.

This month, the EMA is expected to release a recommendation to the European Commission on the future veterinary use of diclofenac in Europe. While diclofenac is not currently licensed for veterinary use in most European Union countries, Spain authorized marketing of diclofenac as a veterinary pharmaceutical for use in cattle, pigs and horses in 2013. The paper makes a strong argument for the implementation of an EU-wide ban.

 

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