Wednesday, 30 November 2011

November in Review

Baby it's cold outside and definitely time to snuggle down indoors, put on some Christmas songs, maybe pour yourself a cup of mulled wine whilst waving goodbye to November and catch up on The Animal News November Review.

It's been a very busy month and here is what you may have missed:

Did you take Ripley for a walk in honour of the Pedigree Adoption Drive?

How about contacting the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to request an emergency ban on keeping wild and exotic animals?  Template message can be found here.

A lengthy post and slightly time consuming action here, but animals in Japan need our help so if you have time to do this whilst you're snuggled up in the warm I think they would really appreciate it.

Animals dying for fashion, find out how you can help.

Check out the One Way Ticket and 8 Hours campaigns against long animal transportation here.

We talked about the disgraceful business of Puppy Farming, here's how you can help.

Did you celebrate Fur Free Friday?

I posted about the cruel and unnecessary poisoning of dogs in Ukraine, all for the sake of football.

And finally, are you a good egg?

Happy almost December everyone...

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Lunch Time Links #5

2 million people in the UK are on strike today, whether you are at work or at home have a break and check out these lunch time links...

Thank you ~ enjoy your lunch!
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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Dogs being killed in Ukraine for the sake of football

{Image from HSI}

Humane Society International report that dogs who live on the streets of Ukraine are unfortunately being poisoned in a misguided effort to remove them from the streets in time for the Euro 2012 football tournament. Meat laced with poison is left out for the dogs resulting in a prolonged and painful death for thousands of dogs.

For over 20 years HSI has helped provide successful and life saving solutions to end the overpopulation of dogs throughout the world.  Although HIS has contacted Ukranian officials suggesting they work together in a humane approach to controlling the street dog population, no response has been received.

The overpopulation of dogs around the world can be humanely managed through spay & neuter campaigns, as well as the provision of rabies vaccinations, veterinary training and the education of communities in order to help change attitudes and behaviour towards vulnerable animals.

Please spare a moment of your time to click on this link and contact the President of Ukraine what poisoning the dogs is not the answer and this suffering must stop now.  

It is more likely that your message will be read if you amend it slightly as if they keep receiving the same message that HSI has prepared it is likely they will ignore or delete it.  If you don’t have time to change the message then amending the subject title works too.  In my message I have added, quite truthfully, that during Euro 2012 I shall be thinking of the dogs instead of football.
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Monday, 28 November 2011

Good Egg - Update

Following this post, I e-mailed my MP.  I am pleased to say that I received a speedy response, as follows:

"Thank you for contacting me about the potential importation of illegal eggs into the UK from Europe.

I understand your concerns and let me take this opportunity to assure you that the UK has already implemented EU Directive 99/74/EC, which bans the use of battery cages for hens. From 2012 British farmers will only be able to use, as a minimum, better welfare cages that provide laying hens more space to move about. Free range, barn and organic systems will also be permitted.

The Government wants to ensure that UK producers who have made significant investments to comply with the legislation are not disadvantaged if other countries do not meet the 2012 deadline. Ministers are therefore pressing hard on the European Commission to ensure that the 2012 deadline is met by all Member States. The Government has told the European Commission that there must be no derogation for those Member States who have not yet implemented the ban.

Within the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has stated it will be illegal to market eggs as "Grade A" eggs (which nearly all imports are) if they do not comply with the Directive, and will be taking additional measures to enforce this.

The Department also intends to take firm action against any UK producer still keeping hens in conventional cages after 1 January 2012."

Although this may sound good, it isn't.  My MP was telling me about the new and improved cages which in actual fact aren't much better than the original battery cages.  Hence, I felt compelled to write the following response:

"Thank you very much for your speedy response.  I am relieved that in 2012 British farmers must use better welfare cages, however, slightly bigger or so called "enriched" cages are still not enough unfortunately and not much improvement on battery cages.  As hens are naturally inquisitive animals that like to perch, exercise, preen, dustbathe, forage and nest it is of great concern that hens will not be able to carry out these natural behaviours very easily whilst in cages.

Ideally, all laying hens would be kept in well-managed, free-range or barn systems and I hope this is something that the government will consider."

I'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, let me know what your MP says and how you responded.  Please feel free to use the text above which I took from the RSPCA's website and amended slightly.

Thank you!
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Friday, 25 November 2011

FUR FREE Fluffy Friday #37

Happy Fur Free Fluffy Friday!

Last year we celebrated Fur Free Friday by showcasing some of the fluffiest, furriest animals that are put to death in the name of their glorious fur.  This year, Fur Free Fluffy Friday celebrates the animals that die in the name of leather.

{Image Heavy}

Lamb, happier sniffing daffodils than contributing to the leather industry.

Pig, happier foraging in woodland than contributing to the leather industry.

Deers, happier skipping amongst the tall grass instead of contributing to the leather industry.

Elk, one of the largest species of deer in the world.  Happier calling into the wind than contributing to the leather industry.

Dog, happier being man's best friend rather than contributing to the leather industry.

Yak, happier living within it's herd than contributing to the leather industry.

Alligator, happy to lurk in the depths hunting for food rather than contribute to the leather industry.

Buffalo, happier grazing on lush grass instead of contributing to the leather industry.

Goat, would rather munch on grass than contribute to the leather industry.

Kangaroo, would rather care for the baby in her pouch than contribute to the leather industry.

Oxen, intelligent animals happier left to their own devices than contributing to the leather industry.

Ostrich, happier burying his head in the sand rather than contributing to the leather industry.

Snake, happier to keep his own skin.

Stingray, happier to glide through the sea than contribute to the leather industry.

Remember to wish your friends a Happy Fur Free Friday today.

Sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14
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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you all a blessed and very happy Thanksgiving.

Instead of eating turkey this Thanksgiving, head over to 4 the Love of Animals to find out how you can Adopt one as an alternative!

Also check out In Defence of Animals Compassionate Thanksgiving post on their brilliant blog.

What are you thankful for?

I am thankful for all my loved ones, my health and the opportunity to write this blog.  I am thankful for all the people out there that love animals as much as I do and of course for all the animals that grace our planet.

Have a beautiful and thankful time.

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Are you a good egg?

The RSPCA reports that on 1st January 2012, an EU ban outlawing barren battery hen cages will come into force after it was agreed back in 1999.  All English and Welsh producers are expected to adhere to this law and produce “legal eggs”.  Despite having 12 years in which to change, more than one in three cage eggs produced across Europe in 2012 are expected to come from systems that use unlawful cages.

What does this mean?

This means that illegal eggs and products like cakes and sandwiches could be on the shelves of our shops next year and around 84 million hens may still be living in cramped, bare (and now illegal) cages.

To avoid this happening the RSPCA are urging the Department of Environment for Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to set up a system ensuring that only legal eggs and products are allowed into both England and Wales from Europe.

How can you help?

Click here to implore your government representative to take action for hens. 

I’m afraid you are only able to take this action if you are a resident of England or Wales, however, there is still action to be taken since this is not the end of the matter…

The ban is a positive move but “enriched” cages are still accepted despite not being much bigger and still preventing hens carrying out their natural behaviours.  Please always ensure you buy your eggs from cage-free hens, the eggs will either be labelled barn, free-range or freedom food.  Also, ensure that products you buy such as cake and mayonnaise are made with free range eggs by checking the ingredients.

Remember to tell your friends - the more the merrier!

Thank you!

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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Lunch Time Links #4

It's a cold wintry Wednesday and we're almost at the end of November.  Warm up your soup and check out these lunch time links...

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Be aware this winter

Winter is almost here and has the potential to bring with it freezing temperatures, ice and maybe even snow.  Some of you in the US have already experienced some very heavy snow so if anything this post is a little late in coming...

Although us humans can turn the heating up and put on our woollies, animals can’t and depend on us to keep them warm and safe.  Some animals are kept outside and left to face the brunt of the weather.  

Last year I was dismayed to come across a young Staffie who was forever kept outside despite the bad weather, I was alerted to her plight by the heart rendering whimpering I would hear as I walked past.  I kept a diary of the times she was left outside and for how long and reported all of this to the RSPCA so they could take the necessary actions.

If you come across an animal suffering this winter (or any other time for that matter) here are some tips of how to respond to the situation:

  • Be aware, when you are out and about this winter pay attention to your surroundings and actively look for animals who may need your help.
  • If you notice any animals outside, make a mental note of approximately how long they have been out there.  Keep the number of the RSPCA or equivalent on your mobile phone just in case. 
  • Observe, take notes of the type of animal, the behaviour of the animal (i.e. whether he or she is unwell, crying or displaying any distressed behaviour) and the conditions he or she is subjected to.  It is a good idea to keep a diary including time, date, location and describe as much as you can.
  • Evidence, gather evidence such as photographs or even recorded evidence.  When I telephoned the RSPCA on one occasion they could hear the dog crying in the background.  If you do hear a dog repeatedly barking then make a complaint, barking can indicate a lonely or neglected dog.
  • Perseverance, sometimes animal organisations can’t take action straight away.  This could be due to being short staffed or not having enough evidence to act.  Keep gathering evidence and telephoning and updating them on the situation as this is likely to assist in making it a higher priority for them.  Don’t give up.
  • Do everything you can, within the law.  Although it might be tempting to break into someone’s garden and rescue the animal yourself it is not the best thing to do for you or the animal.  If you get caught you will be in serious trouble and then who will be there to help the animal?  Also, you don’t know how the animal is going to react to you entering their territory – when I tried to get close to the dog we were trying to help she got very upset and began to bark which could have got us both into trouble.  I did give her some food, visited her when I could and took Suki to visit her as well.  We also gave her a raw hide bone to chew for something to do.  I did consider paying a visit to the owners or even writing them a letter but this could have also back fired and enraged them enough to take it out on the animal so I left it to the RSPCA.
If you are in the UK then RSPCA's Cruelty Line is 0300 1234 999

If you are in the US then Contact ASPCA

For some further advice on how to help animals this winter consider signing up for PETA’s pledge to help companion animals this winter.  Upon signing this you will receive tips on how to help animals in your community during the cold weather season.

Check out blog 4 The Love of Animals for 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Protect Your Pet from the Ice this Winter.

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Monday, 21 November 2011

Fur Free Friday is Coming!

On Thursday, Thanksgiving will be celebrated all over the US.  The day after Thanksgiving is known as Fur Free Friday, a day in which animal lovers all over the world educate holiday shoppers about the fur and leather industries.  According to PETA, the fur industry kills 50 million animals a year and the leather industry takes the lives of more than a billion animals. 

Read more about the origins of Fur Free Friday here.

It is widely known that buying and wearing real animal fur supports and contributes to an industry causing immense suffering to animals, however, I don’t think that as many people realise that wearing real leather is the same thing.  There are many different types of leather (which you can read about here) most leather comes from cattle skin but other animals affected are lambs, deers, elks, pigs, buffalos, goats, alligators, dogs, snakes, ostriches, kangaroos, oxen, yaks and even sting rays.

This Fur Free Friday, make it your mission to educate people about the suffering caused by the fur and leather industry.  Advise fashion conscious friends and relatives to consider faux fur and leather instead.  If you would like to hold an event or join an event check out PETA's Fur Free Friday site which includes some comprehensive campaign advice.

If you are unable to attend an event then please spread the word in any way you can, tag #FurFreeFriday on Twitter to help it become a trending topic and also spread the word on Facebook by updating your status telling your friends it is Fur Free Friday or sharing this post with them.  How about texting a friend in the morning wishing them a “Happy Fur Free Friday” so that they ask you what it means?

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, I am thankful for each and every one of you out there and your dedication to animals. 
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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Our Day at Discover Dogs

I was lucky enough and absolutely thrilled to win tickets for this years Discover Dogs event at Earl’s Court in London.  This time last week, myself and my dog loving other half had an absolutely fantastic day, spent an awful lot of money and learnt an awful lot about dogs.

The aim of the Discover Dogs event is just that, discovering.  We discovered dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds.  It is an ideal event for anybody considering adopting a canine friend with lots of dogs to meet and many experts to chat to and learn from.

The most exciting part of the day was when we slowly worked our way round each section of dog breeds - Toy, Terrier & Hounds and finally Working and Pastoral dogs.  Each group housed many different dog breeds and was chock-a-block with information on the breed itself including health, behaviour and more, I obtained as much information as I could carry to take home and peruse.  I will to share this information with you in the new year in a series about dog breeds – although I must admit, my motives for this are slightly self-seeking as I am desperate to know more about each breed of dog, especially in a behavioural sense which I find fascinating. 

I wanted to stop and spend time with every single dog at the event but there simply weren’t enough hours in the day!  Here are a few images of some of the dogs I was lucky enough to meet, courtesy of my other half's camera and the Discover Dogs Facebook Page.

{For these and more photos check out our Facebook Page here}

Throughout the day there were frequent seminars run by all sorts of canine experts, we hand picked a few to attend so as to leave ourselves enough time to meet the dogs and shop for Suki.  One seminar that was of particular interest to us was the seminar on Puppy Farming given by famous vet Marc Abraham, he has personally investigated this issue both in the UK and in the US and has actively been campaigning for this cause for several years with his Pup Aid campaign.  I will post more information about Marc’s seminar and Pup Aid campaign in the next few days so keep checking back.

As the day drew to a close we rushed to grab some bargains for Suki (we couldn’t go home empty handed) and without giving anything away let’s just say that Santa is definitely paying Suki a visit this year.  I even picked up a lovely gift for Rusty at the Mayhew Animal Home stand, it looks so much fun that I had to prize it out of the hands of my other half!

Some (of the many) highlights of the day:

Meeting Ripley from the Pedigree Adoption Drive and having a quick cuddle.

Being smothered in love by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier that was as full of energy as Suki, I only wish we could have taken him home to meet her.

Having a nice cuddle with a beautiful little fellow (as pictured above) and a chat with his friendly owner.

Suki’s face when we presented her with a special doggie brownie from a doggie bakery at the event (No chocolate allowed! Dog friendly ingredients only)

Roll on next year…

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Friday, 18 November 2011

Fluffy Friday #36

Those of us in the UK have been treated to a glorious, mild autumn but as we head into November I feel it is time to brace ourselves for the approach of winter.  What better resembles winter than two huge, snowy white polar bears diving into the icy depths.

It almost makes me feel like diving in too!

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Thursday, 17 November 2011

One Way Ticket, or 8 Hours Mark II

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) is running a movement echoing that of the 8 Hours campaign conveying dismay at the immense suffering millions of animals endure whilst being transported across Europe, they have entitled the campaign One Way Ticket.

The CIWF website provides a link to the European Commission’s new report on the protection of live animals during transport and notes that it does not recommend any changes to the current legislation.  Read the report here.

The current legislation (Regulation 1/2005 on the protection of animals during transport) points out that “Long journeys are likely to have more detrimental effects on the welfare of animals than short ones” and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released a scientific opinion this year which said transport of live animals, where possible should be avoided. (Taken from the CIWF website)
CIWF points out that although the report recognises parts of legislation are “not in line with current scientific knowledge” and that making sure the regulations are followed by members of the EU is a “major challenge” it does not propose any amendments to the legislation.

Write to your MEP urging them to ask Commissioner John Dalli to recognise that a limit must be placed on the journey times animals are enduring and that the law is strongly enforced in every member state. (The link will take you to a readily prepared message)

Write to your MP asking for UK Parliament to update the law to allow British ports to ban cruel trades on the grounds of animal welfare and to amend the existing legislation in order to bring it up to date. (The link will take you to a readily prepared message)

Please note:  Like the 8 Hours campaign, the actions involving writing to MP’s and MEP’s are only for UK residents but the CIWF website has some advice for how you can help too and please do follow the actions below.

Sign the petition calling for the Government to take action to end live exports. (You can sign this no matter where you live)

Sign the 8 hours petition if you haven’t already.

Join the Facebook page run by Ian Driver a local councillor who is trying to end live exports through the port of Ramsgate.

Only buy organic milk and dairy products and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Support Kent Action Against Live Exports (KAALE) and their monthly demos on transport.

That's enough for you to be getting on with but if you have any more time to spare please remember to share this with your friends!

Thank you.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Lunch Time Links #3

It’s Wednesday, it’s lunch time and we’re half way through the working week at last - time for some lunch time links…

Thank you.

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Update on Circus Ban (or lack thereof)

Anne, the elephant.

Some time ago I posted about Anne the elephant who after spending a life being beaten and abused was finally able to retire from “Bobby Roberts Super Circus” in April this year.

RSPCA reports that the Crown Prosecution Service has agreed to take on the prosecution of Bobby and Moira Roberts in relation to the alleged abuse of Anne.  The court date is set for today.

Anne has now been liberated from her circus life but despite overwhelming support from the pubic and MP’s, the government have still not implemented a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.  Instead of finding a solution, they have wasted resources on developing a licensing system that nobody wants.

If you are a UK resident please click here and contact your MP and ask them to contact Lord Taylor of Holbeach CBE, the Minister responsible at Defra to take action on this urgent matter.   

Please share this with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and ask them to take action too.

Thank you.

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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Stop the puppy trade in Ireland

Four Paws reports that due to a loophole in the Irish legal system, traders are able to breed alleged pedigree puppies in appalling conditions without being punished.  

The conditions they are kept in involve dogs and puppies being crammed into secluded outbuildings so that neighbours don’t hear their barks or smell the filthy surroundings they are forced to endure.  Shockingly, female dogs are forced to breed continuously with only the minimum amount of food and water necessary to keep them alive.  This results in a life of sleeping, eating, defecating, urinating, mating and giving birth in the same filthy conditions.

If dogs can no longer breed they are disposed of.

Life is grim for the puppies once they are born, although they should remain with their mothers for the first eight weeks of their lives they are removed at the earliest opportunity and kept in equally disgusting conditions.  The puppies may eventually find loving homes but due to the neglect suffered after birth most will have long term health and behavioural problems.

Four Paws estimates that at least 50,000 farmed puppies are trafficked from Ireland to England each year.

Please spare a moment to sign the online petition which will be delivered to the UK government calling for the compulsory micro chipping of puppies and tightening of dog breeding legislation. 

Please tell your friends, the more signatures we can get the more difference this will make.

Thank you.

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