Thursday, 30 June 2011

Bullfighting : Cruelty NOT Culture

Lately there has been a lot of focus on the banning of wild animals in circuses, it seems an ideal opportunity to think about another instance of animal abuse for entertainment purposes - bullfighting.  This, believe it or not, is still very much in existence and Humane Society International have calculated it being responsible for the death of up to 250,000 animals worldwide each year.

People who support bullfighting are hoping to have this "sport" protected by listing it as a form of cultural heritage, in fact politicians in both France and Spain have voted on this issue very recently.  The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has the job of preserving many forms of genuine Intangible Cultural Heritage and if bullfighting was listed successfully by UNESCO it would not only give it a facade of respectability but could also mean that subsidies to financially safeguard the future of bullfighting may be made available.  

How to Help

We must let them know that we would never support or accept bullfighting along with any other act of animal cruelty as a practice worthy of Intangible Cultural Heritage.  Click here and enter your details in order to allow HSI to contact UNESCO on your behalf expressing concern at the distressing possibility of bullfighting becoming acceptable and respectable.

Spread the word!
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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Animal Aid's Monthy Newsletter for June

Source: Animal Aid

We're almost at the end of June but before the month is out check out the Animal Aid newsletter, it is well worth reading from start to finish, take a look here for the full edition.
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Monday, 27 June 2011

Summer Warning

If you are lucky enough to be experiencing this glorious weather (apparently England is hotter than the Caribbean?)  I hope you are enjoying yourself lots but, please, please, please don't forget to keep your animals cool.  I have just read an article about two police dogs that unfortunately died due to being left in a car during this heat.  There was another article alongside it telling of how police in Bath had to break into a car in order to rescue two dogs that were locked inside suffering due to the weather.  

I hate being in the car, or for that matter in any vehicle, when it is this hot but I am able to open a window or get myself a bottle of water, our furry friends get even hotter than we do and don't have the luxury of opening a window themselves or helping themselves to a drink so please don't leave your dog (or any other animal) in the car.
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Cargo Cruelty!

BUAV are running an international campaign to stop airlines transporting primates that are destined for research.  This follows an investigation which reveals that major airline carriers are shipping monkeys for use in labs around the world.

BUAV obtained a secret film showing rows of small crates, each crate containing monkeys on cargo trolleys ready to be loaded into the holds of Vietnam Airlines and Air France aircraft.  Other airlines playing a role in the primate trade for research include Air Canada (flying monkeys from China to labs in Canada) also both China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines (flying monkeys from South East Asia to the USA).

Please click on this link in order to contact the airlines mentioned above and ask them to stop participating in this cruel trade.  The letter isn't readily prepared but BUAV have prepared some suggested text which I have can copied and pasted below.  Please feel free to alter this slightly if you wish and e-mail or post to the addresses provided at the aforementioned link.

Suggested text from BUAV:

I am writing in support of the BUAV Cargo Cruelty campaign.

I was shocked to learn that your airline is involved in the transportation of monkeys to laboratories. It is unacceptable that these sensitive animals, ripped from their families and homes, are then subjected to the stress of being packed into small crates and shipped as cargo on your airline to end up in laboratories where they will suffer in experiments.

I urge you to join the increasing number of airlines that have made the decision to stop their involvement in this cruelty. Until you do, I will not be flying with your airline.

I sent my messages off quite a while ago and haven't heard back yet but if/when I do I will let you know.

You can download BUAV's Cargo Cruelty campaign poster and postcard by clicking on the links!

Find out more about the campaign.
Thanks for stopping by! Remember to let your friends know about this - the more the merrier!


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Friday, 24 June 2011

Fluffy Friday #24

Ten, teeny, tiny Tawny Owl orphans wish you Happy Fluffy Friday!

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What happened at the debate on Circuses?

BBC News tells how MP Mark Pritchard stood up to Prime Minister David Cameron after he was "threatened"

The Express tells of a "dirty tricks" row

New Statesmen says Number 10 was "humiliated" after MP's backed a ban on wild animals used in circuses.

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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Canada's commercial seal hunt has started.

The commercial harp seal hunt in Canada has now begun.  The government have approved the slaughter of 400,000 baby seals.  

The Canadian government are still fighting the EU ban on seal products and challenging the rights of other countries saying "no" to seal products.

Please spare a moment to click here in order to inform Prime Minister Stephen Harper that you will defend your right to say "no" to cruelty and ask him to listen to people throughout the world and end the seal hunt.

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Wednesday, 22 June 2011

QUICK! Less than 36 hours to make a difference.

On Thursday 23rd June, backbench MPs have forced a debate in the House of Commons on circuses which is very likely to be followed by a vote.  This comes after Government's recent decision not to introduce a total ban on wild animals being used in circuses and to introduce a licensing system instead.

If the MP's do back a ban on the use of wild animals in cirucses it doesn't mean it will automatically be passed as a law BUT it will increase the level of pressure on the Government.

How to help

Please can you spare a minute to click here in order to write to your MP asking them to attend the debate and vote to ban the use of wild animals in circuses?  All you need to do is click, enter a few details and WSPA will do the rest of the work for you.  If you do have time to add your views to the readily prepared e-mail it would be really great.

If you have some more time to spare, WSPA is supporting The Independent newspapers campaign asking for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.  Add your name to their petition here and please don't forget to spread the word.

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Fancy a sandwich?

Did you know that each year we in the UK eat in excess of 11.5 BILLION sandwiches and more than half of them are made at home?  The RSPCA has quite rightly observed that "with many delicious fillings to choose from it’s easy to overlook animal welfare considerations when deciding what to put in your sandwich."

It was with this in mind that the RSPCA chose British Sandwich Week to launched their ‘Fairer Fillings’ campaign which hopes encourage sandwich lovers to choose higher welfare meat, fish and egg produce in their sandwiches.

Buying or making a sandwich with a ‘fairer filling’ can be a challenge and it can be difficult to find food on the go that contains higher welfare meat, or clear labelling that details how animals have been farmed but as consumers all of us have the power to make a big difference.  Remember that even if you choose vegetarian fillings such as egg or cheese it is important to check how the animals providing the eggs and cheese have been treated beforehand.

To start with, please download RSPCA's Guide to Fairer Fillings (PDF)

If you’d like to do more, here are a few more ways RSPCA have come up with for you to help improve farm animal welfare:

  • Campaign to high street sandwich retailers to ask them for higher welfare sandwich fillings.
  • When shopping, look for a description of higher welfare on the packaging, e.g. Freedom Food.
  • Swap a filling - if you usually make your lunch at home then take action on animal welfare by considering the fillings you buy at the supermarket or deli.
  • Talk to your friends over lunch or a picnic about the benefits of buying higher welfare products and let them know about our Guide to Fairer Fillings.
  • Visit our campaign website and have your say on our blog.
  • Visit the Think Pig fan page on Facebook, become a fan of the campaign.
  • Share the campaign with your friends on Facebook and Twitter with the links at the bottom of the page.
  • Ask you local sandwich shops for ‘fairer fillings’ - we can help you with Simply Ask.
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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Happy News from WWF!

Source: Pinterest.
Last month there was news of increased rhino numbers in Nepal, and tigers on the way back to central Asia.
The latest rhino census shows there are almost 100 more one-horned rhinos than in 2008.
On top of the recent improved figures from India, tigers are now set to return to central Asia for the first time in 40 years. WWF have come up with a plan along with the government of Kazakhstan, to relocate some Russian Amur tigers (which are genetically identical to central Asia's extinct Turan tiger) to suitable areas in Kazakhstan.
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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Check out the best animal Daddy's here.
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Friday, 17 June 2011

Rest in Peace Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE (1930 – 2011)

On Wednesday Elisabeth Svendsen the founder of the amazing Donkey Sanctuary sadly passed away, aged 81 years, after suffering a stroke.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a marvellous charity, established by Elisabeth in 1969.  The headquarters are in Sidmouth, Devon and the Sanctuary has cared for over 14,500 elderly and disabled donkeys as of this year.  In the mid 1970's Elisabeth established a sister charity called the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys which provides riding therapy between donkeys and children with special needs, the aim being to bring enjoyment and pleasure into the lives of the children. 

Elisabeth is one of my all time icons and I have been a huge follower of The Donkey Sanctuary from a young age.  Myself and my sister were both supporters of the Adopt a Donkey scheme for a number of years adopting Oscar and Donk Dean from the Birmingham branch.

My kindest wishes and condolences go out to all of Elisabeth's family, friends, colleagues and of course, beloved donkeys at this very sad time.

In Memory by David Cook, CE of The Donkey Sanctuary.

Join me in recording your own message of condolence for Elisabeth HERE.

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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Congratulations to Sainsburys!

Sainsbury's have been awarded BUAV Approval (British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection).  From April, all of Sainsbury's own brand cosmetics and toiletries is allowed to carry the cruelty-free Leaping Bunny logo.  

Other well-known high street names include Marks and Spencer, Co-operative and Superdrug.

 You will first notice the Leaping Bunny logo on all Sainbury’s shower and hand care products but it is scheduled to roll out across the entire range throughout the year.

BUAV said "Qualifying for certification is a rigorous and stringent process.  As well as guaranteeing that no product or ingredient has been tested on animals from a verifiable date, each applicant must also be open to an independent audit throughout its supply chain to ensure that they adhere to their animal testing policy and the Standard's strict criteria."

Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury's Brand, said: “Animal welfare continues to be one of our customers’ top concerns, so it is great news that we have been awarded BUAV certification. The Leaping Bunny is the most widely recognised and respected endorsement for products that are free from animal testing and will now be shown on over 200 products in our own brand cosmetics and toiletries range. We are very pleased to accept BUAV certification and to be able to offer this clear choice to our customers.”

For a complete list of BUAV approved products please visit this link 


Say NO to cruel cosmetics in the EU! Please sign BUAV's petition

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Interesting insight into the lives of elephants.

Thank you to my little sis for telling me about a radio interview she heard on Radio Four's Woman's Hour a few days ago.  

The interview was with Dame Daphne Sheldrick who has worked as a conservationist in Kenya for 50 years. Dame Daphne has raised all kinds of orphaned animals including antelopes, zebra, big cats, warthogs, mongooses, rhinoceroses and many more.  Most of her time has been spent on elephants and she was the first person ever to care for an elephant from birth to successful release into the wild as well as raising 129 more besides.  During the interview Dame Daphne gives a fascinating insight into just how amazing elephants are, how they remember faces from long ago and how closely their emotions resemble those of us humans.  I highly recommend you listen to the short discussion, I learnt such a lot.

Listen here.  (Please note that the interview begins at 36.29 minutes so I advise you skip the beginning of the programme unless you are a Woman's Hour fan)

A film entitled "Born To Be Wild 3D" about Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s work, will be on release in IMAX cinemas, from 17 June.

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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

More about elephants

Source: IFAW
The International Fund for Animal Welfare are running a petition to ask Governments to crack down on the international ivory trade and reduce poaching.

Please spare one minute of your time and join thousands of others across Europe in speaking up for elephants, click on this link, scroll down and sign the petition now.  Please don't forget to share this with your friends.

Thank you.

PS ~ Another way to help is by joining IFAW's ivory surrender.  If you donate any ivory items you may have lying around you will be removing its commercial value and make a positive contribution to the protection of elephants.  (I am sure someone bought my Mum an ornament of an elephant made out of ivory so I shall be asking if she will kindly donate that)

In order to do this please contact IFAW by e-mail at ivory(at)ifaw(dot)org or ring them on 0207 587 6700.

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Monday, 13 June 2011

Stop clowning around, we need to think seriously about Circuses...

The RSPCA and Animal Aid have long been campaigning for the use of animals in circuses to be banned.  A few months ago some video footage was released by an organisation called Animal Defenders International showing an elephant named Anne, being abused by her keeper at Bobby Robert's Super Circus.  The good news is that Anne has now been moved to Longleat Safari Park where you can see below that she is a whole lot happier.

Read more about Anne here.

Anne was the last elephant to be used in a circus but according to the RSPCA there are still 37 animals left including zebras, lions, snakes, tigers, camels, a kangaroo and crocodiles

After Anne's experiences had come to light, Caroline Spelman MP, the Secretary of State said that she was "minded" towards a ban on wild animals in circuses.  Unfortunately there has been no further announcement by Mrs Spelman.  In recent weeks, Defra announced that it is unable to ban the use of wild animals in circuses because of a lawsuit taking place in Austria.  However, Jim Paice, Defra’s pro-hunt animal welfare Minister was forced to admit that these legal proceedings don’t actually exist. 

Mr Paice was reported to have said "if you don't like the idea of elephants and lions performing in circuses, don't go". 

The RSPCA is asking for one final push to urge Prime Minister, David Cameron to ban wild animals in circuses once and for all.

How to Help

If you click on this link you will be taken to the RSPCA's campaign site where you will be asked to enter a few details, once you have done this you will be taken to a readily prepared e-mail where, if you have time, you can enter your own (polite) comments.  Hit submit and we're another step closer to a better life for animals.

Don't forget to tell your friends.  Thank you!

Sources:  RSPCA, Animal Aid.
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Friday, 10 June 2011

Fluffy Friday #23

I miss Rusty. 

Entangled in blossom.

Sun baby.

Rusty is an unusual cat who actually enjoys having her tummy rubbed.

 Images courtesy of my little sister.
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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

What is foie gras?

Foie gras (Pronounced "fwa gra") is French for "fat liver" and is made out of the liver from a duck or goose.  In order to produce foie gras the duck or goose concerned will be force fed corn.  Often the ducks and geese used in foie gras production are forced to live in tiny pens or cages amongst their own faeces, often they develop skeletal disorders and respiratory problems due to the force feeding they endure.  According to PETA, they are force fed two kilograms of grain, maize and fat which is the equivalent of us eating roughly 20 kilograms of pasta per day. 

This is no life for an animal.

Back in 2008, PETA engaged in talks with department store Fortnum & Mason who agreed that they would no longer sell duck foie gras.  Unfortunately, the store continues to sell goose foie gras in both its stores and restaurants.  Sir Roger Moore amongst other celebrities has in the past spoken out against foie gras and has previously helped persuade Selfridges and Harvey Nichols to drop the product, Sir Roger has now turned his attention to Fortnum & Mason but he and PETA need further support to help convince them to do the right thing.

How to Help

Click here and read more about PETA's campaign (warning, upsetting content) and then use their form to send a readily prepared e-mail to Fortnum & Mason asking them not to sell foie gras in their stores.

Don't forget to tell your friends!

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Friday, 3 June 2011

Fluffy Friday #22

Happy Friday and Happy June!

What do you think of these utterly adorable rare white tiger cubs?  What makes it all even fluffier is that the cubs are fed by their Dog Mummy because unfortunately their Tiger Mummy is unable to feed them.

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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

One Minute Action for Seals

One of the things that I am most disappointed in about not having time to blog over the past few months has been that I haven't been able to share all the news with you about this years Canadian Seal Cull.  I have been inundated with campaign news about this yearly abhorrance but just have not had chance to do anything with it.  I have signed the petitions and sent the e-mails myself but it isn't the same if you aren't here to help!

It isn't too late though and if you can spare just one minute to sign this petition it would be lovely.

The petition is addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the hope of urging him to protect, not slaughter the beautiful wild seals of Canada.  

Don't forget to let your friends know too.

Thank you.
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