Wednesday, 29 February 2012

February: In Review

Hasn't this month just flown by?  As I type this the sun is streaming through the blinds behind me and I keep glancing at the beautiful vase of daffodils on my desk.  Spring is well and truly here and I am so looking forward to lighter evening walks with Suki and sitting outside to eat lunch.  So, let's round up February on The Animal News...

What better way to launch into February than with a victory as Air France agreed not to transport 60 live primates from Adrica to the USA for vivisection.

Another victory followed with the joyful news that plans for a Beagle breeding facility in Yorkshire have been rejected, thanks to people power!

For every victory, there is another campaign and CIWF are currently working on a campaign striving for more humane and sustainable farming practices

At the time of writing, the proposed pilot badger cull is still going ahead.  If you live in one of the pilot areas you can help make a difference.

People in their droves are turning to classifieds such as Gumtree to "re-home" their unwanted pets, this is causing untold misery to the animals concerned and The Animal News thinks it is time that all classified websites remove animals from their listings.

The population of Hares in the UK has suffered a serious decline but there is a way to help if we seek advice from our Scottish neighbours.

In an update to the 8 Hours campaign we heard that there is fresh hope if the majority of MEPs sign the Written Declaration calling for the "establishment of a maximum 8-hour journey limit" by 15th March.  Have you contacted your MEP yet? 

As well as classifieds like Gumtree allowing the sale of animals, Facebook Marketplace is a breeding ground for puppy farmers.

What is happening with the ban on the use of live animals in circuses?

I introduced you to the new "Responses" page.

Snares are cruel and dangerous causing a slow and painful death for animals unlucky enough to be caught, help effect a ban.

Shocking news that were selling whale products on their site, this has now come to and end.  

If you have time please do go back and check that you have taken all the actions and shared them with your friends and family, thank you for all your hard work this month!

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Lunch Time Links #11 (Leap Year Edition)

Happy Leap Year!  We have an extra day this year, what are you going to spend yours doing?  Unfortunately I am spending mine at work but I am determined to make the most of the extra 24 hours by giving Suki some extra cuddles and taking as many actions as possible to help make a difference for animals.  Would you like to join me?

Keep Shell Out of the Arctic

Stop Inhumane Heart Failure Experiments on Dogs

Boycott L√≥real for their Animal experiments

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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Shocking News: Amazon profits from whaling

I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that web giant have been selling hundreds of whale products on it's Japanese subsidiary  Despite saying on it's website that it is "always looking for ways to further reduce environmental impact" has been selling products from endangered fin whales and whales killed in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Not only does killing endangered whales contradict their above statement, it is also cruel and inhumane.

Updated on Tuesday 28th February 2012
Since writing this post I have been contacted by who informed me that the products mentioned are no longer for sale.  Excellent news!

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Monday, 27 February 2012

Please Ban Cruel Snares in Scotland

Snares are anchored cable or wire nooses that are set to catch wild animals.  They are one of the cruellest ways to catch wildlife and can cause long and painful deaths.  They are dangerous and animals like dogs and cats can accidently become trapped in them.  

These awful and inhumane contraptions are still legal in Scotland for foxes, rabbits, weasels and hares.  Legally an animal can be trapped and suffering a slow death for a full day before being put out of its misery, some snares aren't frequently checked so who knows how long some animals will spend suffering.  It is almost impossible to ensure that snares are used completely legally and it is also impossible to make them species specific, a snare set for a rabbit can easily catch the endangered brown hare or catching, injuring and ultimately killing pets.

Please click here and sign this petition addressed to Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment in Scotland asking him to consider banning snares in Scotland.

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Friday, 24 February 2012

Fluffy Friday #48

How better to celebrate the near arrival of Spring by cooing over some bunnies!

I was delighted to read this story a few days ago about a coffee house in Tokyo starting off a new trend of bunny cafe's!  I can't think of anything better than coffee, cake and bunnies! 

Comfortable chair for Mr Bunny.

Pet cute bunnies whilst you sip coffee.

Anyone for carrot cake?

This is what my heaven looks like!

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Blog Announcement ~ New Page

Notice anything different about The Animal News? 

Introducing you to the new Responses page!  

I am always contacting my MP, MEP and various other individuals regarding animal welfare issues and it isn't often that I share their responses.  Rather than create a new blog post each time I have set up a new section so that you can view them at a glance, for each response I post I will add an icon showing my thoughts.  I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on it in the comments section too.

Check it out!

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Has the use of wild animals in Circuses been banned yet?

Whilst catching up with the Animal Blogs I follow I stumbled across this post from Four Paws remarking on how appalled they are that the UK Government continues to drag its feet over banning the use of wild animals in circuses.  Despite the ban being supported by the vast majority of the British public and politicians from all parties there has been no movement.  

Four Paws alludes to the House of Commons backbench debate in June 2011 where MPs approved unanimously of a motion for the government to ban the use of wild animals in circuses by July 2012.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) referred to a legal challenge to a similar ban in Austria as the reason they could not proceed with the ban.  The legal challenge to Austria's ban has since been dismissed which leaves Defra with no reason to refuse the ban.

Four Paws tells of two new Early Day Motions that have been launched this month calling on the Government to listen to the will of the House of Commons and endorse a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, the other asking the Government to release reports of circus inspections that were carried out by Defra staff.  Previous requests to release these reports under the Freedom of Information Act have been refused.

What are they trying to hide?

Please e-mail your MP and ask them to sign EDM 2563 calling for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and also EDM 2586 calling for the release of circus inspection reports.  You can find your MP by clicking here and typing in your postcode.  You are then able to click on the name of your MP and be directed to their e-mail address.  It would be better if you were to personalise your e-mail but here is a template in case you don't have enough time:

Dear _____,

I am writing to ask you to please sign DM 2563 calling for a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and also EDM 2586 calling for the release of circus inspection reports.  This ban is supported by the vast majority of the British public as well as politicians across all parties.  Several other European countries have enacted such bans, the latest being Greece.

I feel very strongly about this issue and ask that you sign both EDM's without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Please also e-mail the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Caroline Spelman and ask her to tell Defra to stop stalling and enact a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses.  The template e-mail can be found at the bottom of this post, but do personalise it if you can please.

Please share this post with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, the more people that contact their MP's and Caroline Spelman - the better!

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Lunch Time Links #10

We're halfway through the week and Spring is in the air, what better way to celebrate than to sit back and relax with your tasty lunch! (Is it too early for a summery salad?)  If you're looking for something to occupy your time on-line whilst munching please check out the few actions below, a few clicks, a few details and you've helped make a difference in the lives of animals...

Once you have entered a few details you will be sent an e-mail asking you to "confirm your signature", one more click and you're done!

If you have a few more minutes to spare, please share the petitions on Facebook and Twitter and encourage your friends and family to sign them too.

Thank you!
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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Ask Facebook Marketplace to Stop Allowing the Sale of Animals

Did you read my post last week about animals being re-homed using classifieds like Gumtree and subsequently sign the petition?  If not, please do read it now and share it with your friends and family.  We really need to work hard at the petition asking the government to carry out an urgent review in laws governing the sale of animals on-line.

One thing I overlooked in the article was Facebook Marketplace.  Puppy farmers have been using this part of Facebook to advertise their ill gotten puppies and people who trade in exotic pets also find this a haven satisfying their urge to make money.  Anybody can advertise in Facebook Marketplace and this includes people who are involved in cruel and illegal practices.

As well as the petition above, please can you sign this petition addressed to Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook asking him to follow the example of eBay and universally ban the sale of pets in order to stop puppy mills, dubious backyard breeders and people importing endangered animals in their tracks.  Please share this with your friends and family and get as many people as possible to support this movement.

Thank you.

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Monday, 20 February 2012

Lloyds TSB and Halifx Leaving Pets in the Lurch


It was recently announced that both Lloyds TSB and Halifax have made the decision to leave the pet insurance market.  Customers policies will still be honoured until expiration.  This does not extend to "cover for life" customers leaving thousands of responsible pet owners, who decided to take precautions in case their pets developed a long term health problem, in the lurch.  No other company will cover pets with pre-existing conditions leaving animals with cancer, diabetes, heart problems, skin problems and epilepsy in danger of being euthanised if their owners are unable to afford the vets bills, this is very likely to be the case in when considering the current state of the economic climate.

Lloyds TSB and Halifax have blood on their hands and are making pets pay the price for their bad judgement.  If they are allowed to get away with this there is a strong chance that other insurers will follow suit.

Please visit the cold.wet.nose blog where there is more information about how to help with this campaign including template letters, Twitter and Facebook avatars, and flyers to print and distribute.
Beverly Cuddy, the author of the blog has also set up a Facebook group which you can join here for all the latest news and updates.  Please ask your friends to join too.

Whether you bank with Lloyds TSB or Halifax or would consider banking with them in the future please do drop them a line, it took less than 10 minutes for me to type out a quick letter and cold.wet.nose blog has an excellent template that you can print out, sign and send or make some changes before sending if you wish.

If you have been affected by this please contact Beverley at 
and she will be able to point you in the right direction for some free advice.

Don't forget to share this with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter as they too could be customers of Lloyds TSB or Halifax.

Thank you.

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Friday, 17 February 2012

Fluffy Friday #47

Although Valentine's Day was on Tuesday I had so much fun seeing all the animal Valentine's pictures that I have chosen a few to brighten up your Friday.  Enjoy these extra adorable photos...

Snout to snout.

Nose to nose.

We Are For Dogs collected lots of pictures of people kissing and cuddling their dogs and made this lovely collage.

Don't they make a beautiful couple?

Let's take a bath!

Our first Valentines Day ever.

My friend Shane with the lovely Bella!  Look at her beautiful face, awwww.

Sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6
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Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fresh Hope for Victims of Farm Animal Export

You may have read my previous posts regarding the export of live livestock through the port of Ramsgate.  According to CIWF, over 60,000 sheep, pigs and calves have suffered whilst been exported through the port within a 7 month period.

RSPCA have reported that their investigations have raised concerns that the boat used to transport the animals is not suitable and states that it is time to put an end to live farm animals being sent on long journeys to farms in Europe that, in the case of calves, could be considered illegal in the UK.

RSPCA continue by stating that "last year the European Commission report recommended no changes to the current rules on live animal transport.  Despite the depth of public feeling on the issue and the extreme conditions that animals, many as young as just two weeks old, are forced to endure."

However, there is fresh hope for animals!  

If the majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sign the Written Declaration calling for the "establishment of a maximum 8-hour journey limit" by 15th March 2012 it will become an official position of the European Parliament.  This means only 369 signatures are needed, please click here to contact your MEP asking them to sign Written Declaration 0049/2011.  

If you haven't already, please sign this petition calling for Ramsgate to be allowed to cease trade from its port and for a limit of 8 hours to be put on the journey time that the animals endure.  

Remember people power and share this with your friends.

Thank you.

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Lunch Time Links #9

February is whizzing by, the daffodils are peeping out of the fast melting snow so spring is on it's way.  There are a few quick but important actions for you to check out on today's Lunch Time Links before you relax and eat your lunch, or you can eat whist you click just don't go getting crumbs in your keyboard!

Remember to "Confirm" your signature on the petitions once you have entered your details and if you have time please ask your friends to help too.

Thank you!
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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day: Have a Heart for Animals

Me and Suki.
Love is definitely in the air.  Tonight we are cooking a (hopefully) delicious vegetarian meal and curling up with Suki.  Are you celebrating Valentine's Day?

If you are planning on celebrating with chocolates please make sure you keep them well away from your pets.  One thing that isn't forbidden is plenty of loving cuddles, although I know Rusty would prefer a nice gentle brush of her fur rather than a big squeeze and for Suki the bigger and longer the cuddle, the better (especially if it's from her Daddy!)

Me and Rusty.
BUAV is reminding us to have a heart for animals this Valentines day (and always) by treating loved ones to gifts that are not tested on animals.  They even have a special offer!  Bulldog Natural Skin care is offering all BUAV supporters 30% off, for more info and BUAV's latest news check this out.

Happy Valentines Day to you all with Lots of Love from me and my girls xoxox

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Monday, 13 February 2012

Protect Young Hares in the UK

The population of Hares has suffered a serious decline in the UK with an estimated 80% reduction within the last 100 years.  A government target to double numbers by 2010 sadly failed.

HSI reports that due to a lack of protection of hares during their breeding season, every year tens of thousands of young hares are left to die when their mothers are killed.

Legislation has just come into force in Scotland making it an offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take brown hares from 1st February to 30th September, and mountain hares from 1st March to 31st July.  Most of mainland Europe protects hares during the breeding season too.

Please contact your MP and ask them to help protect young hares in the UK by signing Early Day Motion 2531 which introduces a close season during this sensitive breeding period.

Please ask your friends to do the same by sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you!

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Friday, 10 February 2012

Fluffy Friday #46

Phew, it's freezing here.  I know it's silly getting excited over snow at my age but it snowed last weekend and we had a fresh dusting of snow last night as well.  I took Suki on a lovely walk this morning and got some beautiful photos, if I get chance I will upload them on the Facebook page over the weekend.  

To celebrate our wintry February some of you lovely readers have kindly sent in some photos of your animals enjoying the snow.  I have also included some beautiful images from the press showing animals all over the UK enjoying/tolerating the white stuff.  

Do your pets like the snow?

Relax and enjoy...

Rusty doesn't know what to make of the snow, this was taken a few years back.

Happy Friday!

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Thursday, 9 February 2012

Get Gumtree and all Classifieds Animal Free

Gumtree is an online classifieds website which covers 60 cities across 6 countries, it is the UK's largest website for local community classifieds and was founded back in March 2000.  As well as advertising houses, cars, jobs and services Gumtree makes it possible for you to buy, sell and swap unwanted animals.  It costs nothing to post and advert, unless you want your advert to be featured in which a small fee is incurred.

Before I start I am going to come clean, risk losing my credibility, and confess that it was actually via Gumtree that we found the beautiful Suki.  We posted an advert on Gumtree offering a good home to an unwanted dog and an animal rescue organisation contacted us.  (Gumtree have now removed their  "Pets Wanted" section)

It is only in the past few months that I realised what a bad idea this was and that although Suki had a happy ending, the animal rescue organisation couldn't be 100% sure that we were the animal loving couple we claimed to be as they didn't even carry out a home check or follow up visit after the adoption.  I remember Suki's Fosterer being a lovely lady but quite eager to find a forever home for her charge as Suki was a bit of a handful and didn't get along with her two cats (Suki still has the scar to prove it!)  

Things turned out well in the end, and I am sure in some cases they do result in a happy future for the animal concerned but it can also result in tragedy and that is why I believe Gumtree and other classifieds should no longer advertise animals.  I realise that this post may seem hypocritical given my use of Gumtree in the past and this is the reason I have hesitated so long before writing about this.  I have now been educated on the dangers and can't keep quiet about this important and worrying issue any longer.  I hope you will allow me to continue to share my views. 

Why is using Gumtree or classifieds an issue?

As I type this there are currently 11,320 dogs, 2,229 cats, 2,012 birds, 1,558 fish, 2,721 small furries and 4,864 other animals listed on Gumtree (in London alone) which shows you the popularity of Gumtree as a place to re-home (or get rid) of your pet.  Having spent some time going through the adverts (with the assistance of this very helpful group Get Gumtree Animal Free, that regularly posts questionable adverts on their site) I have taken note of the reasons for animals seeking a new home (new baby, doesn't get along with other pet, change in circumstances and the ever popular "needs gone today!") and also noticed that very rarely is a home check carried out before an animal is allowed to relocate. 

Shockingly, some animals are even swapped for products such as mobile phones and even quad bikes which leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth as does the fact that some animals are re-homed only to appear back on Gumtree at a later date, being shipped from pillar to post.  Puppies are re-homed when they are too young to leave their mothers and don't forget that classifieds are the ideal place for puppy farmers to dispose of their ill-gotten pups.  

Recently there have been stories in the press of unsavoury and downright disgraceful members of the public adopting animals listed for free on classified sites and using them as bait for illegal dog fighting.  Read Bonnie's story, she has had a happy ending thanks to the fantastic We Help Any Dog but I have read articles that made me despair.

Gumtree has taken steps to improve things for the animals re-homed using its site, they have stopped featuring the "Pets Wanted" category (although the occasional advert slips through to a different category) and features advice from the RSPCA here.  They also have a pop up which appears before you attempt to list an animal for sale (please see above image)  and asks you to agree to their pets policies.  Although I am thankful that this is in force I have still seen evidence on the regularly updated Get Gumtree Animal Free group that this advice is largely being ignored and greed, desperation and possibly ignorance is causing people to treat their pets as disposable and re-home (or even swap!) them in potentially unsafe quarters. 

Please join Get Gumtree Animal Free, it is a Facebook group so you will need to have a Facebook account to join.  This group is very active and provides many ways you can help.  If you want to join but don't wish to use Facebook please contact the owner of the group at .

If you have time please visit Gumtree and check the adverts to flag up any suspicious adverts, for example someone re-homing puppies that are too young or someone swapping an animal for something.  If you do find something suspicious please click the "Report" button on the top right hand side (Please see above image).

Please sign and share this petition calling for an urgent review in laws governing the sale of animals online.

If you come across any other classified advert website that allow animals to be advertised please contact them and ask them politely their policy on pets and also suggest they remove all pet listings from their site in the future.  I'd love to hear from you if you do this and I will update you on any replies I receive.

Finally, if you or anyone you know needs to re-home an animal please don't use a classified advert.  Contact a rescue centre or seek advice from the RSPCA.

Thank you.

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