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News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

Chart-topping Global Superstar to Perform Live at After Hours SILICON SLOPES, UT--(Marketwired - February 15, 2017) - Today Domo announced that global superstar Kesha will perform at Domopalooza™ 2017. Propelled to chart-topping success with four number-one singles, "Tik Tok," "We R Who We R," "Your Love Is My Drug," and "Timber," Kesha is a song-writer who has penned her own music, as well as songs for artists including Britney Spears, Ariana Grande, The Veronicas, and Miley Cyrus. Kesha is also an animal rights crusader as the Humane Society International's first Global Ambassador and a passionate advocate for equality, being honored with the 2016 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award. Kesha will perform for Domopalooza attendees during After Hours, as will multi-Platinum artist Jason Derulo. Domo also recently announced inspiring keynote speakers including Pixar co-founder and president Dr. Ed Catmull, World Series game-changer Theo Epstein and world-renowned statistician Nate Silver. More mainstage speakers and musical entertainment will be announced soon. "Domopalooza is a must-attend event that offers it all: education, training, networking and entertainment," said Josh James, founder and CEO, Domo. "We're excited to bring Kesha and her chart-topping music to DP17." Domopalooza, Domo's annual customer event, is designed to educate, inform and inspire Domo's fast-growing community of users from the world's most progressive organizations and most recognizable brands. In its third year, Domopalooza will be held March 21 - 24, 2017, at The Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. From keynote presentations to more than 35 breakout sessions, hands-on personalized training and networking opportunities, attendees will gain valuable lessons from industry experts and fellow customers. They'll gain new insights on how to leverage Domo, and learn how all employees -- from the CEO to front line workers -- can use Domo to optimize business performance by connecting them to the right data and people they need to improve business results. For registration and to stay up-to-date on the program, visit Domopalooza's event page. Domo helps all employees -- from the CEO to the front line worker -- optimize business performance by connecting them to the right data and people they need to improve business results. Domo's Business Cloud is the world's first customizable platform that enables decision makers to identify and act on strategic opportunities in real time. The company is backed with more than $500 million from the world's best investors and is led by a management team with tenure at the world's most well-known technology companies. For more information, visit www.domo.com. You can also follow Domo on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. Domo, The Business Cloud, and Domopalooza are trademarks of Domo, Inc.


News Article | May 13, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The body of Lulu the killer whale was found on jagged rocks on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides last year. A member of the only pod found in British waters, she died after getting entangled in fishing lines. It was a sad discovery, especially as a postmortem revealed Lulu had never had a calf. But a recent autopsy also revealed something else that is alarming marine experts and offers a bleak, damning judgment on the state of Britain’s coastal waters. Lulu’s body had some of the highest levels of a particular type of manmade chemical ever recorded – more than 100 times above the level that scientists say will have biological consequences for a species. Few will have heard of PCBs – or polychlorinated biphenyls. The chemicals were banned in the late 70s amid fears about their toxicity. Recent estimates suggest that Europe produced between 299,000 and 585,000 tonnes of PCBs. The US produced even more. But while industry has stopped using PCBs in the manufacture of everything from transformers to thermal insulation and paints to adhesives, millions of tonnes of the chemicals continue to be in circulation. It is only now that their pernicious impact is being understood, as support for a clean-up, along the lines of successful experiments in the US, takes hold. “If we go back to the late 70s or early 80s, there were major campaigns from organisations such as Greenpeace focused on what they called toxics – which included PCBs,” said Mark Simmonds, senior marine scientist at the Humane Society International. “There was a tremendous effort to get them under control and banned and those bans were effective – the levels of PCBs being detected have clearly declined and so the campaigning organisations packed up their tents and went off to look at something else and we all kind of rejoiced and thought this was a major environmental victory.” But Simmonds now believes the victory was, to some extent, hollow. While PCBs are no longer being produced, they are extremely hardy, given that they were designed to resist extreme heat. Guidance from the US Environmental Protection Agency explains that PCBs do not readily break down once in the environment. “They can remain for long periods cycling between air, water and soil. PCBs can be carried long distances and have been found in snow and seawater in areas far from where they were released into the environment.” “It’s a difficult problem,” said Simmonds. “The PCBs are coming from two places – from buildings and materials that are still being destroyed and dumped, resulting in a new release of PCBs into the environment. And PCBs are also getting recycled into the wider environment through activities such as dredging programmes in estuaries.” Ultimately, PCBs find their way into the food chain. “PCBs on land eventually get into the water course,” said Paul Jepson, a veterinary specialist in wildlife population health at the Zoological Society of London. “Then they get into rivers, then into fish, then into sediment, then into estuaries then to ocean, the ultimate dump. Then they get into crabs and moluscs, then into fish, then into bigger fish and finally into apex predators such as sharks and killer whales at the top of the food chain.” Emerging evidence of the impact of PCBs may explain why there are no great white sharks in British waters. “We should have great white sharks around the UK,” Jepson said. “There’s no reason not to have them. Our seal population has been growing for years, there’s plenty of food and they used to be here; historically they were almost as widely distributed as killer whales. But when did anyone see a great white shark in recent years off the UK or the north-east Atlantic?” Simmonds believes the impact of PCBs may explain the absence of other species from British waters. “As we look around the UK historically, we would have expected to see bottle-nosed dolphins in any of our estuaries,” he said. “We have them in Cardigan Bay and the Moray Firth and a few around Cornwall and Devon – but it’s very much a reduced population from where it should be. There are many different factors affecting them but one of the key things is probably PCBs repressing their reproduction and making them more vulnerable to infection.” Equally vulnerable are polar bears, which ingest PCBs when they feast on seals. And, like killer whales, the bears can transfer PCBs to their offspring through their milk. Killer whales have an 11-month lactation period during which they produce very high-fat milk for their calves. The higher the fat, the easier it is for PCBs to dissolve in it. Unsurprisingly, some of the highest concentrations of PCBs have been recorded in newborn killer whales. Postmortems on six-month-old calves found they had absorbed about 80% of the PCBs that were in their mother. A scientific paper by Jepson and his colleagues, published last year, reveals that PCBs were found in every single one of 1,081 dolphins, porpoises and killer whales they studied. About 55% of the harbour porpoises, most of the striped dolphins and bottlenose dolphins and all the killer whales had high levels of PCBs – levels that were greater than 9 milligrams of PCB per kilogram of their lipid or body fat. It is above this level that races of PCB can have biological consequences for certain species. But many killer whales have far higher concentrations – typically between 10 and 100 times above the 9mg/kg threshold. Lulu had PCBs measuring 957mg/kg lipid. At these levels, species stop reproducing, Jepson said. This probably accounts for why Lulu’s pod produced no calves – the nightmare scenario. Ultimately, if species stop reproducing they become extinct. “You’d put it [PCBs] up there alongside the hole in the ozone,” Simmonds said. “Something that can knock the top marine predators out – that’s a pretty major problem. As an old toxics campaigner, this is something that I thought we’d fixed. And, to some extent we did, but it turns out it wasn’t fixed well enough. There are lessons to be learned from this. We have to maintain vigilance about environmental problems and not rest on our laurels.” Studies coming out of the US are now considering what impact, if any, PCBs may be having on human health. “In the US there is a lot of scientific evidence showing the toxic effects for human health but this approach has yet to be replicated in Europe,” Jepson said. The EPA website acknowledges: “People who ingest fish may be exposed to PCBs that have bioaccumulated in the fish they are ingesting.” Tackling the problem is a daunting prospect. The chemicals can be destroyed only in high-temperature incinerators which are found in only a few countries. There are some 40m tonnes of PCBs known to be in circulation. Estimates suggest that destroying them could cost anything up to $70bn. And this is before old tower blocks and industrial buildings – which contain high levels of PCBs – are demolished, adding to the pile. “Only Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have established procedures for secure disposal or destruction of highly contaminated PCB in joint sealants [a major PCB source in buildings] in Europe,” said Jepson, who is nevertheless optimistic that something can be done. “We are winning this argument. Papers [identifying the problem] have only come out in the last few years in Europe and are new to a lot of people but in the US this is widely accepted. They’ve been dealing with PCBs for decades. Americans have been spending billions and billions of dollars to clean up rivers and estuaries.” Major polluters have been made to pay for the clean-up. One site, in the Hudson river, was largely paid for by industrial giant General Electric. “We urgently need a similar approach in Europe,” Jepson said. “It’s been done mainly to protect human health, but there’s a wonderful side-effect. A lot of wildlife is now slowly coming back including seals, seabirds and bottlenosed dolphins and harbour porpoises. On both the east and west coasts, the great white is also recovering. Only killer whales are still doing badly but if the US carries on the way it has been doing, then I think killer whales will make a recovery as well.”


News Article | May 13, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

The body of Lulu the killer whale was found on jagged rocks on the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides. A member of the only pod found in British waters, she had died last year after getting entangled in fishing lines. It was a sad discovery, especially as a post-mortem revealed Lulu had never produced a calf. But the recent autopsy also revealed something else; something that is alarming marine experts and which offers a bleak, damning judgment on the state of Britain’s coastal waters. Lulu’s body contained among the highest levels of a particular type of man-made chemicals ever recorded – more than 100 times above the level that scientists say will have biological consequences for a species. Few will have heard of PCBs – or polychlorinated biphenyls. The chemicals were banned in the late 70s amid fears about their toxicity. Recent estimates suggest that Europe produced anything between 299,000 and 585,000 tonnes of PCBs. The US produced even more. But while industry has stopped using PCBs in the manufacture of everything from transformers to thermal insultation to paints and adhesives, millions of tonnes of the chemicals continue to be in circulation. It is only now that their enduring and pernicious impact is being understood, as support for a clean-up, along the lines of successful experiments in the US, is taking hold. “If we go back to the late 70s or early 80s, there were major campaigns from organisations such as Greenpeace focused on what they called toxics – which included PCBs,” said Mark Simmonds, senior marine scientist at the Humane Society International. “There was a tremendous effort to get them under control and banned and those bans were effective – the levels of PCBs being detected have clearly declined and so the campaigning organisations packed up their tents and went off to look at something else and we all kind of rejoiced and thought this was a major environmental victory.” But Simmonds now believes the victory was, to some extent, hollow. While PCBs are no longer being produced, they are extremely hardy, given that they were designed to resist extreme heat. Guidance from the US Environmental Protection Agency explains that PCBs do not readily break down once in the environment. “They can remain for long periods cycling between air, water and soil. PCBs can be carried long distances and have been found in snow and sea water in areas far from where they were released into the environment.” “It’s a difficult problem,” said Simmonds. “The PCBs are coming from two places – from buildings and materials that are still being destroyed and dumped, resulting in a new release of PCBs into the environment. And PCBs are also getting recycled into the wider environment through activities such as dredging programmes in estuaries.” Ultimately, PCBs find their way into the food chain. “PCBs on land eventually get into the water course,” said Paul Jepson, a veterinary specialist in Wildlife Population Health at the Zoological Society of London. “Then they get into rivers, then into fish, then into sediment, then into estuaries then to ocean, the ultimate dump. Then they get into crabs and moluscs, then into fish, then into bigger fish and finally into apex predators such as sharks and killer whales at the top of the food chain.” Emerging evidence of the pernicious impact of PCBs may explain why there are no great white sharks in British waters. “We should have great white sharks around the UK,” Jepson said. “There’s no reason not to have them. Our seal population has been growing for years, there’s plenty of food and they used to be here; they were almost as widely distributed as killer whales, historically but, when did anyone see a great white shark in recent years off the UK or the north east Atlantic?” Simmonds believes the impact of PCBs may explain the absence of other species from British waters. “As we look around the UK historically, we would have expected to see bottle-nosed dolphins in any of our estuaries,” he said. “We have them in Cardigan Bay and the Moray Firth and a few around Cornwall and Devon – but it’s very much a reduced population from where it should be. There are many different factors affecting them but one of the key things is probably PCBs repressing their reproduction and making them more vulnerable to infection.” Equally vulnerable are polar bears, which ingest PCBs when they feast on seals. And, like killer whales, the bears can transfer PCBs to their offspring through their milk. Killer whales have an 11-month lactation period during which they produce very high fat milk for their calves. The higher the fat, the easier it is for PCBs to dissolve in it. Unsurprisingly, then, some of the highest concentrations of PCBs recorded have been in newborn killer whales. Post-mortems conducted on some six-month-old calves found they had absorbed about 80% of the PCBs that were in their mother. A scientific paper by Jepson and his colleagues, published last year, reveals that PCBs were found in every single one of 1,081 dolphins, porpoises and killer whales they studied. Of these – about 55% of the harbour porpoises, most of the striped dolphins and bottlenose dolphins and all the killer whales had high levels of PCB – levels that were greater than 9.0 miligrams of PCB per kilogram of their lipid or body fat. It is above this level that races of PCB can have biological consequences for certain species. But many killer whales have far higher concentrations – typically between 10 and 100 times above the 9mg/kg threshold. Lulu had PCBs measuring 957 mg/kg lipid. At these levels, species stop reproducing, Jepson said. This probably accounts for why Lulu’s pod produced no calves – the nightmare scenario. Ultimately, if species stop reproducing they become extinct. “You’d put it (PCBs as a problem) up there alongside the hole in the ozone,” Simmonds said. “Something that can knock the top marine predators out – that’s a pretty major problem. As an old toxics campaigner, this is something that I thought we’d fixed. And, to some extent we did, but it turns out it wasn’t fixed well enough. There are lessons to be learned from this. We have to maintain vigilance about environmental problems and not rest on our laurels.” Studies coming out of the US are now considering what impact, if any, PCBs, may be having on human health. “In the US there is a lot of scientific evidence showing the toxic effects of high PCB human health but this approach has yet to be replicated in Europe,” Jepson said. The EPA website acknowledges: “People who ingest fish may be exposed to PCBs that have bioaccumulated in the fish they are ingesting.” Tackling the problem is a daunting prospect. The chemicals can be destroyed only in high temperature incinerators which are found in only a few countries. There are some 40m tonnes of PCBs known to be in circulation. Estimates suggest that destroying them could cost anything up to $70bn. And this is before old tower blocks and industrial buildings – rich sources of PCBs – are demolished, adding to the pile. “Only Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland have established procedures for secure disposal or destruction of highly contaminated PCB in joint sealants (a major PCB source in buildings) in Europe,” said Jepson, who is nevertheless optimistic that something can be done. “We are winning this argument. Papers (identifying the problem) have only come out in the last few years in Europe and are new to a lot of people but in the US this is very widely accepted. They’ve been dealing with PCBs for decades. Americans have been spending billions and billions of dollars to clean up rivers and estuaries.” Major polluters have been made to pay for the clean-up. One site, in the Hudson river, was largely paid for by industrial giant General Electric. “We urgently need a similar approach in Europe,” Jepson said. “It’s been done mainly to protect human health, but there’s a wonderful side-effect. A lot of wildlife is now slowly coming back including seals, seabirds and bottlenosed dolphins and harbour porpoises. On both the east and west coasts, the great white is also recovering. Only killer whales are still doing badly but if the US carries on the way it has been doing, then I think killer whales will make a recovery as well.”


News Article | April 19, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Conservationists have lodged a formal request for the US government to list giraffes as endangered in a bid to prevent what they call the “silent extinction” of the world’s tallest land animal. A legal petition filed by five environmental groups has demanded that the US Fish and Wildlife Service provide endangered species protections to the giraffe, which has suffered a precipitous decline in numbers in recent years. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which listed giraffes as a threatened species in December, just 97,500 of the animals exist in sub-Saharan Africa today, a drop of almost 40% since 1985. There are now fewer giraffes than elephants in Africa. Giraffes have suffered from loss of habitat, disease and illegal hunting for bushmeat. They also face the risk of collisions with vehicles and power lines. But the petitioners argue that the species is facing added pressure from “trophy” hunters who travel to Africa to shoot their big-game quarry. These hunters overwhelmingly come from the US. According to the groups’ analysis of import data, Americans imported 21,402 bone carvings, 3,008 skin pieces and 3,744 miscellaneous hunting trophies from giraffes over the past decade. At least 3,700 individual giraffes are thought to have been killed for such items. An endangered species listing would place heavy restrictions on any American hunter wishing to travel to Africa and bring back a slaughtered giraffe. A hunter would have to somehow demonstrate the taking of the giraffe trophy was helping sustain the species. The petition states that the US is “uniquely positioned to help conserve these tall, graceful and iconic animals”. It adds: “Considering the ongoing threats to giraffes and their small remaining populations, now is the time for Endangered Species Act protections for this seriously and increasingly imperiled species.” The plight of giraffes, which have necks as long as six feet and tongues that reach 20in, has caught some conservationists by surprise. The peril faced by the animals has somewhat been overshadowed by the poaching crisis engulfing elephants and rhinos as well as high profile controversies such as the slaughter of Cecil the lion by a Minnesota dentist in Zimbabwe in 2015. But recent surveys have painted a stark picture of decline for giraffes, which now live in increasingly fragmented habitats. The role played by trophy hunters was highlighted in August when pictures emerged of a 12-year-old girl from Utah posing beside the slumped body of a dead giraffe. “When I was doing research on giraffes in Kenya a few years ago, they were quite abundant and no one questioned that they were doing well,” said Jeff Flocken, North America regional director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw). “Only recently have we looked at them critically and seen this huge drop, which has been a shock to the conservation community. This is an iconic animal and it’s in deep trouble.” Flocken said while the US could not do much to prevent the killing of giraffes in Africa, the regulation of trophy imports would be a “significant” step in stemming the decline of the species. “In the past few years, several gruesome images of trophy hunters next to slain giraffe bodies have caused outrage, bringing this senseless killing to light,” said Masha Kalinina, international trade policy specialist with Humane Society International. “Currently, no US or international law protects giraffes against overexploitation for trade. It is clearly time to change this. As the largest importer of trophies in the world, the role of the United States in the decline of this species is undeniable, and we must do our part to protect these animals.” In September, genetic research revealed that there are four distinct species of giraffe, not just one as long believed. However, the endangered species petition requests protection for all giraffes regardless of sub-species. The Fish and Wildlife Service deemed the African lion to be endangered in 2015 in an attempt to conserve the species. Donald Trump’s sons, who are avid hunters, have been pictured holding parts of an elephant and a leopard. However, the process of listing endangered species has not been altered under the new administration. Under federal rules, the Fish & Wildlife Service has 90 days to respond to the petition and determine whether a listing may be warranted. It can then take more than a year to assess and decide upon the request.


News Article | April 6, 2017
Site: www.theguardian.com

Last year more than 30 young elephants were captured from the wild in Zimbabwe and flown by plane to China. The elephants – some reported to be as young as three – were dispersed to a number of zoos throughout the country, including the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, the Beijing Wildlife Park and the Hangzhou Safari Park, according to conservationists. But what are their lives like now? This week, 12 of the calves went on show at the Shanghai park. The Weibo page for the zoo says their average age is four. The photos there were reviewed by Yolanda Pretorius, vice-chair of the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group of South Africa, who commented: “Overall their body condition seems to be slightly below average but it does not look as if they are starving. One of the elephants has temporal gland secretions and I am not sure whether this is a good or bad sign. In the wild, elephants mostly secrete from their temporal glands when they get excited.” Meanwhile, recent photos and video said to show some of the elephants currently in Hangzhou reveal the animals behind bars and walking on concrete floors. The images were obtained by the animal welfare advocate Chunmei Hu, former secretary general of the Chinese Green Development and Endangered Species Fund. The video has been reviewed by elephant experts, including Joyce Poole, co-founder of the Kenya-based Elephant Voices and renowned specialist on elephant behaviour. “They appear rather listless,” she says. “Perhaps waiting for something, but without much attention… Their housing is totally unstimulating. They look like sad, locked-up little kids.” Aside from these snippets of evidence, there is little information on the conditions faced by these once-wild elephants. There is no official figures for how many elephants were sent to each zoo, although conservationists believe 17 of the calves ended up in Shanghai, 15 in Beijing and six in Hangzhou. “It is heartwrenching not knowing the current fate of these animals,” says Iris Ho, wildlife campaign manager at Humane Society International. “It’s like knowing that someone – or children in this case, since they are baby elephants – is in danger or trapped in misery for the rest of their lives but there is nothing you can do about it.” A 2016 report on elephants in Asia said that 47 zoos in China together hold at least 200 captive elephants – but the precise situation is “unclear”. Owners are supposed to register births, deaths, trade and movements, but the rule isn’t enforced or enforceable: “It appears that registration relies on voluntary compliance unless it becomes necessary in the interest of the owner.” In 2012 a shipment of eight elephants was sent to China from Zimbabwe. Distressing footage was shot of one of those reportedly sent to Taiyuan zoo. In the video, the sickly-appearing calf seems to be trying to smash his way out of his confines. Named Xiaofei, he still lives alone at the Taiyuan zoo, according to Hu. She believes that the other elephants imported into China that year are dead. Compared with the trade in ivory, which has led to the slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants in Africa, the live trade in elephants receives far less attention. This is probably because it is legal, sanctioned by Cites, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species. A review of the Cites database shows many other wild elephant exports that took place over the last few years. Seven elephants were shipped from Tanzania to China in 2011, and two from Tanzania to South Korea. In 2011 and 2012 Monaco sold a total of 12 elephants, originally from Zimbabwe, to Denmark and the Czech Republic. They were probably performing animals. African elephants are a regular feature of the Monte Carlo International Circus. In 2012, Namibia reported exporting 18 elephants to Mexico (Mexico says that only nine arrived), while in 2013 Namibia sent six to Cuba. In July 2015, 27 wild elephants were shipped to Chinese zoos from Zimbabwe. Hu believes that one of those elephants is dead and that the others aren’t on public display. In September of the same year, China Central Television reported that 24 of the elephants were at the Changlong Breeding Center of Rare and Endangered Species of Wild Animals and Plants would be used for research. Last year, 17 elephants were sent from Swaziland to three zoos in the US. Initially, there were to be 18, but one reportedly died before leaving Swaziland. One of the conservationists’ concerns about the live trade is that there isn’t an independent body that adequately oversees these animals once they are captured and ultimately exported. Cites allows live animals to be sent to “appropriate and acceptable destinations”. But the decision about what is “appropriate and acceptable” is left to the importing country’s scientific authority. It has to be satisfied that the animal is suitably housed and cared for, while the country of export must be satisfied that trade promotes conservation of elephants in the wild. That’s not good enough for Keith Lindsay, a collaborating researcher with the Amboseli Trust for Elephants in Kenya: “There currently is under Cites no independent, objective mechanism of oversight or monitoring of the welfare conditions of elephants (or any animals) when they enter the live export chain.” The minimal welfare standards that do exist are left entirely to the authorities that are already involved in the import and export. “If both countries say they are happy with the welfare aspects of the trade,” Lindsay says, “no matter how genuinely inadequate, there is nothing anyone else can say.” What is needed, Lindsay argues, are Cites resolutions that specify stringent welfare conditions for the entire chain of live trade, including the eventual captivity: “The latter should replicate in every way the conditions of the native ecosystem, and there should be no impacts on the populations from which the animals are taken.” There was an effort at the most recent Cites conference in Johannesburg to stop the live trade in elephants, led by the African Elephant Coalition, a group of 29 African nations. But China, the EU, the US and Zimbabwe did not support the resolution and it failed to gain the necessary two-thirds majority to pass into law. Meanwhile, rumours continue to circulate that China has a standing order for 100-200 elephant calves from Zimbabwe. And according to Jess Isden of Elephants for Africa, a conservation and research organization based in Botswana, recent captures in Hwange National Park are already damaging elephant behaviour. Large numbers of elephants have begun migrating into Botswana from Hwange, some making it as far as the Botetei river, hundreds of miles from their home range. “The research is not yet conclusive,” she says, “but these animals, mostly young males, could be moving out of Hwange in direct response to the violent captures going on in Hwange.” As for the elephants most recently sent to China from Zimbabwe, it is unclear if they will be forced to perform, but it appears likely in some cases. China’s State Forestry Administration issued a directive in July 2010 to end acts of cruelty in safari parks, including a ban on animal performances. However, Hu claims, in many cases these rules are being ignored. Just weeks ago, she says she photographed elephants, tigers, macaques and bears being forced to perform tricks at the Shanghai Wild Animal Park. Photos of elephants said to have been taken at Hangzhou Safari Park in June 2016 also showed elephants performing tricks, including lifting people with their trunks and standing on stools. For Scott Blais, founder of the Global Sanctuary for Elephants, who has worked with elephants for decades, such “tricks” are often taught by brutal means: “Elephant experts and advocates across the globe oppose the horrific training these elephants will endure. These practices are well known to be detrimental, violent and grossly inhumane, causing immeasurable psychological and emotional trauma.” Efforts to ask Zimbabwean and Chinese Cites authorities about the condition of the elephants recently shipped to China met with no response.


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 30, 2017) - Puppy Love, the 3rd Annual Humane Society Canada (HSI) Fundraising Event, is back and taking over Maison Mercer on Thursday, June 22nd, with the support of Canadian dog harness manufacturer Buddy Belts as a Gold Sponsor. The funds raised to help put an end to puppy mills and the inhumane treatment of animals across Canada will go towards rescue efforts, investigation, and lobbying for strong provincial and federal laws. A puppy mill is a commercial dog-breeding facility that focuses on increasing profit with little overhead cost; the health and welfare of the animals is not a priority. The puppy mill industry has grown exponentially in Canada and is now a multimillion dollar industry in the country. "What many people don't know is that almost all pet store animals come from puppy mills," said Nicole Marchand, Founder of Puppy Love. "As a dog owner myself, I knew I had to do something when I learned about the inhumane ways in which these animals are treated." Roxanne Pettipas, Founder and CEO of Buddy Belts, agrees: "I am a big advocate for animal compassion, so this cause is a perfect fit for Buddy Belts. I founded my company with the belief that I could help dogs breathe in a safer and less invasive manner, and this commitment to animal well-being drives everything that my brand represents. I believe that it is possible to stop the gross and negligent use of puppy mills through initiatives like Puppy Love, and that it's something we should all be a part of." Puppy mills are legal in Canada and laws do not adequately protect animals. Puppies found in these mills are often badly infected, dehydrated, and covered in lesions. HSI Canada is fighting these mills on several fronts, from rescuing dogs, conducting investigations, to lobbying for stronger provincial and federal law. "It's shocking to learn how few people are familiar with puppy mills, yet how equally passionate and committed everyone becomes once they learn about the reality of these facilities. To me, that's what's so amazing about this type of organization. People instantly become emotionally invested," said Scarlett Rounthwaite, Puppy Love Committee Member. Notable appearances at this year's event will include avid animal rights supporter and vegan chef extraordinaire Candice Hutchings, Co-Founder of The Edgy Veg. Toronto designer Ellie Mae Studio has also partnered with the event, creating dog collars, bow ties, leashes, and a dog jacket for purchase at the event. The event has raised more than $50,000 to date and has impacted the lives of countless dogs and puppies. Founded in 2015, Puppy Love is an annual fundraiser event organized in support of the Humane Society International Canada to stop the inhumane treatment of dogs in puppy mills. The funds raised will go towards rescue efforts, investigation and lobbying for stronger provincial and federal law. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.puppylove2017.com. Made in Toronto, Canada, the original Buddy Belt dog harness was designed and prototyped in 1997 by company founder and CEO, Roxanne Pettipas. Inspired by and named after Pettipas' miniature dachshund, Buddy, the Buddy Belt officially launched in 2001 at Toronto's annual PET Expo. This comfortable harness fits around the front legs and fastens over the back with just one buckle; the unique design safely hugs yours dog's chest. Available in a rainbow of colours, Buddy Belts come in a variety of sizes to fit all dogs, from teacup and toy to standard. Other Buddy Belt products include: ID collars, leashes, couplers and liners. For more information about, and to shop visit: www.buddy-belts.com. It is Buddy Belts' mission to produce a best-in-class dog harness that achieves optimal fashion, function and ease-of-use, all in one.


MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 23, 2016) - Thirty-seven dogs have safely arrived at the Montreal SPCA after being rescued from slaughter by Humane Society International at the Yulin dog meat festival in China earlier this year. The dogs are part of a larger group of 110 dogs that HSI/Canada transported from China to Canada on December 21st to be placed in forever homes by local shelter partners in Ontario and Quebec. HSI rescued the 110 dogs from slaughterhouses and markets on the outskirts of Yulin just days ahead of the annual dog meat festival that took place on June 21st. The animals received veterinary care and rehabilitation at an HSI-funded emergency shelter in China before arriving in Canada. Adoption of rescue dogs in China is not yet widespread, necessitating the transfer of the dogs out of China. HSI is working with partner groups on the ground to promote a culture of adoption in the country. "The Montreal SPCA is pleased to assist HSI/Canada with this important rescue. We are relieved these dogs will soon be placed into loving families, where they will get the chance to live happy and healthy lives," stated Me. Alanna Devine, director of animal advocacy of the Montreal SPCA. Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of HSI/Canada, who greeted the animals upon their arrival in Toronto, said: "These dogs have endured a level of cruelty that most people can't even bear to think about. When we found them, the dogs were crammed into cages so tightly they could not move and they watched as other dogs were beaten to death in front of them. They were dehydrated, emaciated, injured and miserable when HSI rescuers arrived. But thanks to our amazing supporters, these dogs are recovering and will have a wonderful new life in Canada. Moreover, they will be ambassadors for our unrelenting campaign to fight the global dog meat trade." The Yulin dog meat festival, initiated in 2010 to boost dog meat sales, results in tens of thousands of dogs and cats slaughtered and eaten. International and national protest against the festival has reduced the scale of the event by 80 percent in recent years. Polling (Horizon, 2016) reveals that, of those holding an opinion, 78 percent of people in China believe the Yulin festival should be ended and 73 percent support a national ban on the dog meat trade. The 37 dogs are all settling in at the Montreal SPCA where canine behaviour experts, veterinarians and staff are working with them. Many of the dogs are timid and seeking patient and calm adoptive families to help them adjust to their new lives. They will become available for adoption as of Friday, January 6th 2017 at noon. For more information about the Montreal SPCA's adoption procedures, please click here. The remaining 60 dogs have been placed with two other compassionate Canadian organizations: Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary (based in King City, Ontario) and BARK (an Ottawa-based rescue group). This rescue would not have been possible without the generous support of The Eric S. Margolis Family Foundation, whose commitment to animal protection has changed the lives of countless animals worldwide. HSI would also like to thank Sharp Transportation for donating warehouse space for the temporary shelter and invaluable assistance with ground transport, Air Canada for logistical support for the air transport from China and Kane Veterinary Supplies for their generous donation of dog food. Please click here to download photos and video of the dogs; email or call media contact below for interview request and/or further information. The Montreal SPCA, founded in 1869, was the first animal welfare society in Canada. Their mission is to: protect animals against negligence, abuse, and exploitation; represent their interests and ensure their well-being, and raise public awareness and help develop compassion for all living beings. For more information about the Montreal SPCA, please visit our website at www.spca.com. Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, with active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation, farm animal welfare and animals in research. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International, which, together with its partners, constitutes one of the world's largest animal protection organizations. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide - on the Web at www.hsicanada.ca


News Article | October 24, 2014
Site: www.theguardian.com

The Western Australian government has conceded defeat over its plan to systematically trap and kill large sharks near popular beaches, after scrapping a proposal to implement the strategy over the next three years. Colin Barnett, the WA premier, confirmed on Friday that WA had withdrawn its application to the federal government for the shark culling to go ahead. However, WA has struck an agreement with the federal government that will enable it to implement the policy without approval from Canberra in emergency situations of “imminent shark threat”. This will mean the capture of any shark that is “posing a threat” or that has just attacked someone. “It is important that that we can take action to protect human life when necessary due to an imminent threat, without delay,” Barnett said. “The federal and state governments will work together so that the state government can take appropriate action to protect public safety when there is an imminent threat from a shark, as was the case in the recent attack in Esperance. “This approach strikes the necessary balance between protecting public safety and protecting our environment.” The WA government had wanted to string baited drumlines 1km out from more than 70 popular beaches in Perth and south-west WA for the next three years. Contractors on roving boats would shoot and kill any shark measuring over 3m found on the hooks. A 10-week trial of the strategy earlier this year saw 172 sharks captured, 50 of them over 3m. The drumlines will now be able to return, but only in “emergency” situations. An assessment by WA’s Environmental Protection Authority recommended that an extended culling program should not go ahead due to a “high degree of scientific uncertainty” about the impact upon the marine environment. The assessment delivered a mortal blow to the WA government’s hopes of getting approval from the federal government. The great white shark is nationally protected and catching and shooting it requires federal permission. The WA government’s backdown has been welcomed by groups who fiercely opposed the cull. The policy’s opponents, including a large number of scientists, decried it as cruel, unnecessary and potentially counterproductive as it would draw sharks closer to the beach. “The evidence is overwhelming that the cull policy proposed by the WA state government was flawed, and I think the federal minister for the environment would have had to reject the proposal,” said Greens senator Rachel Siewert. “Today’s outcome is a reflection of the strong community campaign against this cull and is a tribute to all those people in WA, around Australia and overseas who have joined rallies and shown their opposition to this plan.” However, Humane Society International (HSI) said the approval of the “imminent threat” policy was disappointing. “The imminent threat policy is a joke,” said Michael Kennedy, campaign director of HSI. “This is not only a complete waste of money, but also a complete mockery of the WA government’s commitment to improving the scientific understanding of white sharks. “With the bar set so low as to what constitutes an imminent threat, it is clear that it is still true that no shark in WA that swims near a beach is safe from being caught and killed.” There have been 11 shark attack deaths in WA waters since 2000. Earlier this month, a surfer lost a hand and part of his other arm in a shark attack off WA’s south coast.


News Article | October 27, 2016
Site: phys.org

The resolution, opposed by Japan and fellow whalers Norway and Iceland, was adopted by 34 "yes" votes to 17 against, at the 66th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It is not legally binding on members of the commission, which has no policing or penalty function. Submitted by Australia and New Zealand, the resolution seeks to "improve" the review process for scientific whaling programmes—which Japan alone conducts, netting more than 15,000 of the marine mammals since 1986. "We welcome this result as an important reaction to Japan unilaterally issuing its own permits for so-called scientific whaling," said Matt Collis of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. "We all know that scientific whaling is sham science, and simply commercial whaling by another name." Japan defended its annual Southern Ocean whale hunt, saying it was gathering scientific data. The country insisted its actions were in keeping with a 2014 ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which found that permits issued by Japan were "not for purposes of scientific research" and instructed the country to halt its JARPA II programme. "Reports oftentimes say (that) irrespective of the ICJ judgment Japan started the research, or in violation of the ICJ judgment... and that's not true," Japan's commissioner to the IWC, Joji Morishita told fellow delegates. In the judgment of the court itself, "it is clear that the ICJ assumes there can be future research activities," he insisted. "The ICJ also said... that the use of lethal sampling per se is not unreasonable in relation to the research objectives," Morishita added. After the court ruling, Japan cancelled its 2014-15 hunt, only to resume it the following year under a new programme called NEWREP-A (New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean). It killed 333 minke whales in the Southern Ocean—many of them pregnant, according to observers. The Southern Ocean hosts one of two whale sanctuaries in the world. The issue is a deeply divisive one at the biennial meetings of the IWC, which turned 70 this year. The meat from Japan's hunts ends up on supermarket shelves and in restaurants, in line with an IWC stipulation that whales taken for research must be eaten. Under the IWC moratorium, all whaling other than for aboriginal subsistence, or science, is prohibited. Japan hunts under the science exemption, while Norway and Iceland lodged formal objections to the moratorium and continue commercial hunts. New Zealand's commissioner Amy Laurenson expressed her country's "deep disappointment" with Japan's resumption of whaling without IWC approval. Japan had referred NEWREP-A to the IWC's scientific committee, but started whaling before it could complete a review, she said, and accused Tokyo of sidelining the commission. "On the basis of the information the commission has before it, it is clear that NEWREP-A is not in fact for purposes of scientific research," the commissioner argued, and called on Japan to "cease the lethal component of NEWREP-A". "Japan has still not justified the use of lethal sampling," she said. For Kitty Block of the Humane Society International, Thursday's vote shrank the scientific whaling "loophole". "With its continued defiance and its unfettered whaling, Japan is not just killing whales but making itself a true outlier in the community of nations," she said.


MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC--(Marketwired - 23 déc. 2016) - 37 chiens viennent d'arriver sains et saufs à la SPCA de Montréal. Grâce à Humane Society International (HSI), ils ont été sauvés du festival de la viande de chien en Chine qui se déroulait plus tôt cette année. Ces chiens font partie d'un groupe de 110 chiens que HSI/Canada a transporté le 21 décembre de la Chine vers le Canada avec pour objectif de les placer dans des familles adoptives, avec l'aide de partenaires locaux en Ontario et au Québec. Les 110 chiens ont été sauvés de l'abattoir et des marchés aux abords de Yulin, seulement quelques jours avant le festival de viande de chien qui se déroule chaque année le 21 juin. Avant d'arriver au Canada, les chiens ont reçu des soins vétérinaires et ont été réhabilités dans un refuge d'urgence financé par HSI en Chine.. L'adoption de chiens n'est pas encore une pratique très répandue en Chine ; leur transfert en dehors du pays est donc nécessaire. HSI travaille avec des groupes de partenaires locaux afin de promouvoir l'adoption d'animaux dans le pays. « La SPCA de Montréal est très heureuse d'avoir soutenu HSI/Canada dans ce sauvetage important. Nous sommes soulagés de savoir que ces chiens seront bientôt placés dans des familles aimantes où ils auront la chance de vivre heureux et en bonne santé », déclare Me Alanna Devine, directrice de la défense des animaux de la SPCA de Montréal. Rebecca Aldworth, directrice générale de HSI/Canada, qui a accueilli les animaux à leur arrivée à Toronto, a déclaré : « Ces chiens ont enduré un niveau de cruauté que la plupart des gens ne peuvent imaginer. Lorsque nous les avons trouvés, les chiens étaient entassés dans des cages si petites qu'ils ne pouvaient pas bouger. Ils pouvaient voir les autres chiens se faire battre à mort juste devant eux. Lorsque les secouristes de HSI sont arrivées, les chiens étaient déshydratés, amaigris, blessés et misérables. Mais grâce à nos remarquables partisans, ces chiens sont sur la voie de la guérison et mèneront une nouvelle vie merveilleuse au Canada. De plus, ils seront les ambassadeurs de notre campagne contre le commerce de viande de chien dans le monde. » Lancé en 2010 afin d'augmenter les ventes de viande de chien, le festival de la viande de chien de Yulin entraîne le massacre de milliers de chiens et de chats pour la consommation humaine. Les protestations nationales et internationales à l'encontre du festival ont permis de réduire l'ampleur de l'évènement de 80 % au cours de dernières années. Selon les sondages (Horizon 2016), parmi les personnes ayant une opinion sur le sujet, 78 % des Chinois pensent qu'il faut mettre un terme au festival de Yulin et 73 % sont pour une interdiction nationale du commerce de viande de chien. Les 37 chiens sont tous installés à la SPCA de Montréal où des spécialistes du comportement canin, des vétérinaires et des employés s'occupent d'eux. Plusieurs de ces chiens sont craintifs et auront besoin de familles adoptives patientes et calmes pour les aider qui les aideront à s'adapter à leur nouvelle vie. Ils seront disponibles dès le vendredi 6 janvier 2017 à midi. Pour plus de renseignement sur les procédures d'adoption de la SPCA de Montréal, veuillez cliquer ici. Les 60 chiens restants ont été placés auprès de deux autres organismes canadiens : Dog Tales Rescue and Sanctuary (situé à King City en Ontario) et BARK (un groupe de sauvetage d'Ottawa). Ce sauvetage a été rendu possible grâce au généreux soutien de la Eric S. Margolis Family Foundation, dont l'engagement envers la protection des animaux a changé la vie d'innombrables animaux à travers le monde. HSI tient également à remercier Sharp Transportation pour avoir fourni un espace d'entreposage et participé au transport terrestre, ainsi que Air Canada, et Kane Veterinary Supplies pour leurs généreux dons en nourriture pour chiens. Veuillez cliquer ici pour télécharger les photos et les vidéos des chiens; pour les demandes d'entrevue ou pour obtenir de plus amples informations, veuillez contacter la personne-ressource ci-dessous par courriel ou par téléphone. Fondée en 1869, la SPCA de Montréal est la première organisation vouée au bien-être animal au Canada. Les missions de la SPCA sont de protéger les animaux contre la négligence, les abus et l'exploitation; de représenter leurs intérêts et assurer leur bien-être; de favoriser la conscientisation du public et contribuer à éveiller la compassion pour tout être vivant. Pour avoir plus d'informations sur la SPCA de Montréal, rendez-vous sur notre site web www.spca.com. Humane Society International/Canada est un intervenant de premier ordre pour la protection des animaux, et met en œuvre des programmes actifs pour les animaux de compagnie, la protection des espèces sauvages et de leurs habitats naturels, la préservation des mammifères marins, ainsi que le bien-être des animaux d'élevage. HSI/Canada est fière de faire partie de Humane Society International, l'un des plus importants organismes de protection des animaux au monde. Notre site internet : hsicanada.ca

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