Humane Society International

Tokyo, Japan

Humane Society International

Tokyo, Japan
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

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.


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.


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.


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 | June 8, 2017
Site: www.treehugger.com

Lush Cosmetics and Humane Society International support the important ocean conservation work pioneered by the 37-year-old creator of 'Sharkwater' who died earlier this year. On Tuesday evening, just ahead of World Oceans Day, an interesting mix of animal rights activists, green beauty fans, and saddened friends gathered at the Lush Cosmetics store on Queen Street in Toronto. It was an event to honor the life and work of Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart, who tragically died this past January at the age of 37 while making his third documentary about sharks. Stewart's initial award-winning film, Sharkwater, launched a global shark protection movement in 2007. It challenged the assumption that sharks are dangerous and urged viewers to see them as vital and vulnerable. Outside Online described it in an article earlier this year: Sharkwater, and the ‘fin-free’ campaign that grew out of it, was a main driver behind shark fin soup bans, China’s decision not to serve shark fin soup at state dinners, and various companies’ (Air Canada, UPS, DHL, etc.) policies against transporting shark fins. Seventeen municipalities in Canada and numerous U.S. states have banned shark fin trading, but it continues to be a huge problem. In 2016 alone, Canada imported 140,000 kg / 309,000 lbs of shark fins. From the Humane Society website: When Stewart learned of more illegal shark-trading happening in Cape Verde last fall, he embarked on another film, Sharkwater: Extinction. He was halfway through filming when he died. Lush has worked closely with Stewart for years, helping to promote his ocean conservation message through the sale of its ‘shark fin soap.’ In 2014-15, the company raised nearly $500,000 for environmental groups working on shark protection. Today, on World Oceans Day, Lush will re-launch the product in all North American stores and donate 100% of the sales price to a foundation created by Stewart’s parents in his memory. Lush will continue to sell the soap until it has raised $250,000. At the event hosted by Lush, Gabriel Wildgen of Humane Society International (HSI) spoke movingly of Stewart’s legacy: “He taught us that these animals are not monsters, and that they have far more to fear from us than we do from them… Over 10 years ago, virtually no one knew what shark finning was. Sharkwater put that issue on the map. [HSI] has shown it to politicians, to students, to members of the public, to journalists, getting the word out. Now you’d be hard-pressed to find a politician anywhere who isn’t fully aware of the problems of sharkfinning and that something needs to be done about it.” Wildgen urged people to take action to protect sharks. In Canada, you can support Bill S-238, put forward by Conservative senator Michael McDonald, which would ban the importation of shark fins. In the U.S., there is similar bipartisan legislation in the Senate right now. But, as Wildgen pointed out, we don’t need to wait for Senator McDonald’s bill. The federal government has the power to pass regulations that could end the trade of shark fin products immediately, but it needs to know that Canadians still care about this issue. © K Martinko -- Brian and Sandy Stewart, Rob's parents, have pledged to finish his film and continue working to protect sharks. The rousing message from Lush, the Humane Society, and Rob Stewart’s parents and film team is, get involved. Watch the film, sign this petition asking Prime Minister Trudeau to act now, and spread the word. Support shark protection organizations either directly or through the purchase of Lush’s shark fin soap. Meanwhile, Stewart’s friends and family are determined to move forward. As his dive partner Brock Cahill told me emotionally, “Rob is directing from afar. Amazing things have happened since he died. The things we’ve seen in front of the camera…” He shook his head incredulously. © K Martinko -- Stewart's dive partner, Brock Cahill of Los Angeles, speaks to the audience at Lush. Rob’s mother Sandy hopes that Sharkwater: Extinction will be finished in time for the Cannes film festival next spring, but if not, it will be released at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2018.


TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 6, 2017) - Puppy Love, the 3rd Annual Friends of the Humane Society International (HSI) Fundraising Event, is back and taking over Maison Mercer on Thursday, June 22nd, with the support of Canadian dog harness manufacturer Buddy Belts and Tito's Handmade Vodka from Texas as Gold Sponsors. 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 many of the animals sold online and even from breeders 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 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. Tito's Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas' oldest legal distillery. It is distilled six times in a copper pot still - more than any other vodka in the world - and every small batch is personally taste-tested by Tito Beveridge himself. Tito's Handmade Vodka is also the Vodka for Dog People, and for 20 years has been committed to rescuing and protecting our canine counterparts, many of whom now thrive alongside us at our distillery and our office. For more information on Tito's Handmade Vodka, Vodka for Dog People, and delicious Tito's Handmade Vodka cocktail recipes, please visit www.titosvodka.com.


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

Call it Noah’s Ark on lorries. Dozens of trucks rolled over the Zimbabwe savanna carrying elephants, giraffe, African buffalo, zebras, and numerous other large iconic mammals. Driving more than 600km of dusty roadway, the trucks will deliver their wild loads to a new home: Zinave national park in Mozambique. The animals are a donation from Mozambique’s Sango Wildlife Conservancy – a gift that the owner, Wilfried Pabst, says would not be possible without funds from controversial trophy hunting. “In remote places and countries with a weak tourism industry and a high unemployment rate, it is very difficult – or almost impossible – to run a conservancy like Sango without income from sustainable utilisation,” Pabst said. “Sustainable utilisation” means the use of wildlife for hunting or trophy hunting. Pabst, who purchased Sango in 1993 and opened its doors 10 years later, says that trophy hunting provides approximately 60% of the revenue required to keep Sango running every year. Another 30% comes out of the German businessman’s own pockets. While Sango does welcome non-hunting tourists, Pabst says it is not possible to attract enough in this remote area to equal the revenue made by trophy hunters willing to travel to pay tens of thousands of dollars to shoot iconic megafauna, includingNile crocodiles, elephants and lions. Over the next six years, Pabst will donate 6,000 large mammals from Sango to Zinave as part of the Peace Park Foundation’s programme to rewild a vast tract of land in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier conservation area (TFCA). Mozambique’s 15-year-long civil war left its once world-renowned parks almost empty of any animal large enough to shoot and eat, but numerous efforts today are working to bring back animals to Mozambique, often transporting them from either neighboring South Africa or Zimbabwe. But, Masha Kalinina, a trade policy specialist with the Humane Society International, said the plan to transport thousands of animals across Zimbabwe to Mozambique was “misguided” and “potentially deadly” for individual animals. Indeed, such transports are not without risk: an elephant died last year en route to Zinave from South Africa. “Mozambique continues to have one of the highest rates of poaching in southern Africa,” she said. Mozambique lost nearly half of its elephants to poachers in five years. “Now both South Africa and Zimbabwe are transporting their own animals to this park just so that they may die at the hands of either trophy hunters or poachers. Is that what we are calling conservation?” Kalinina asked. Still, there is little chance of rewilding Zinave without bringing animals overland. A similar transportation project was done for Mozambique’s Gorongosa national park – though nowhere near this scale – and it succeeded in bringing new species that had been lost during the war. While poaching is particularly high in parts of Mozambique, it is also a pressing concern in Zimbabwe and most other countries – few African mammals live beyond the cloud of the global poaching crisis. Pabst say he is not making any revenue from the donation of 6,000 mammals but views it as a part of Sango’s commitment to wildlife conservation in Africa. The funding for transporting the animals, which includes a small army of veterinarians, rangers, ecologist, truck drivers and helicopter pilots, is coming from the Peace Park Foundation. Sango is at the center of Zimbabwe’s Savé Valley conservancy, in remote eastern Zimbabwe. A few decades ago, Savé Valley – nearly the size of Cornwall – was overrun by cattle. Now, it is bustling with herds of iconic African species, including 160 rhinos that require constant guarding against poachers. Pabst’s Sango covers about 17% of Savé Valley and is run under what’s known as a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements (BIPPA), which allows Pabst to manage the conservancy privately via permission from the Zimbabwe government, including setting quotas for trophy hunters. Kalinina contends that Savé Valley Conservancy is “nothing more than a profit-driven wildlife ranch stocked with wild animals.” She says they are not doing this for conservation but “to sell animals to globetrotting trophy hunters.” Trophy hunting has been controversial for decades, but the issue took on a new global awareness last year after the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe went viral. Despite the fact that around 600 lions are killed yearly in Africa by trophy hunters, something about this particular story – and this lion – captured the public’s attention. Kalinina said despite the attempt by hunting groups to “greenwash” it, trophy hunting is “unethical, cruel, a threat to non-consumptive tourism like wildlife watching, offers no long-term conservation benefits, and provides minimal economic and employment value”. For his part, Pabst insists that Sango couldn’t survive without trophy hunting. He said if trophy hunting were suddenly outlawed in Zimbabwe – as some organisations may wish – his operation “would run out of money within months and most of the 200,000 animals will be poached probably within one year”. While trophy hunters, by definition, shoot to bring a “trophy” home, the meat of the animal killed is often eaten as well. In Africa, the meat is usually shared with local communities. Although there are some animals you typically don’t eat: lions, leopards and rhino. Elephants are only eaten in some places. The only two large animals that are not hunted in Sango are African wild dogs and rhinos, because these endangered species are protected in the country. “We exclude additional species from hunting as the situation dictates,” Pabst added. Sango keeps a close track of its animals. Depending on the species, Sango allows hunting of approximately between 0.2-1% of an animal’s total population annually. “Sustainable [hunting] means that the off take will neither hinder the growth, nor allow any given species to fall below ecologically sustainable numbers,” Pabst explained. “This is a highly complex issue and very difficult to understand for a non-conservationist operating in Africa.” In total, Pabst says around 200 animals are hunted in Sango annually – or one 10th of 1% of the park’s estimated 200,000 mammals. “These regulations and their strict control at Sango is the key factor of successful management through sustainable use which now [allows] us to donate 6,000 of our animals to Zinave,” he said. The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), a global not-for-profit organisation that advocates for conservation and hunting, says that “hunting tourism” is an important tool to combat one of the biggest threats to African wildlife: poaching. They argue that so long as local communities benefit in some way from hunting funds – through jobs, payouts, or developing projects – they are far less likely to poach wildlife such as elephants and lions that they view as dangerous or destructive to their livelihood. “What would … these local people [have] turned to in absence of alternative employment? Poaching!” a spokesperson for CIC wrote in an email. “As strange as it sounds, yes, the hunting of a few individual animals leads to the conservation of the species, killing of an animal saves the species.” Pabst say Sango is “living proof” that trophy hunting can support broad conservation goals. But Kalinina contends that trophy hunters only support conservation to buy themselves public acceptance. “One wonders, take away the thrill of the kill ... would trophy hunters still invest in protecting our planet’s last remaining wildlife?” Hunting proponents, however, contend that it’s animal rights activists who don’t realise their actions are actually hurting conservation – not helping it. “Kenya’s wildlife areas have decreased by almost 80% since the 1977 hunting ban was imposed, while at the same time being home to some 200 NGOs trying unsuccessfully to repair the damage done,” Probst said. Hunting advocates commonly point to Kenya as an example of what happens when hunting is banned: they say habitat shrinks, populations decline, animals vanish because the economic incentive for local communities and the government to keep alive evaporates – eco-tourism just doesn’t pay enough to keep animals alive and secure habitat, according to them. The reality, though, is complicated. Kenya is hardly the only African nation to see a catastrophic decline in wildlife: a grim study in 2010 found that Africa’s big mammals had declined on average by 59% over the last 40 years – and this was inside protected areas. The reasons were complex according to scientists: habitat loss due to expanding agriculture and poaching for bushmeat or to feed the illegal wildlife trade, but underlying all of this: explosive human population growth. Kenya, like most African countries, has seen human population rise at a shocking rate in the past 40 years. In 1977, Kenya had 14.5 million people; today it has more than 48 million people. This trend is similar across Sub-Saharan Africa, whose population has basically tripled since 1977, hitting a billion people in 2015. This rise in human populations has placed crushing pressure on the continent’s wildlife. Parks in southern Africa fared best in 2010 study, but the researchers noted that this region also had lower population densities and spent more money on its parks than its neighbours. The worst hit areas were West and Central African countries – a staggering 85% decline in wildlife – including a number of nations which allow trophy hunting. So, while hunting policy undoubtedly plays a role in animal populations, whether for the positive or negative – it’s likely a more minor one than either critics or advocates claim. Like so many things: the devil is in the details. Hunting proponents argue that trophy hunting is essential to conservation efforts – but this argument only holds water if money actually makes its way to local communities or helps secure and manage habitat. Levies on trophy hunting may be important revenue for governments, but will only aid species if that money is then funneled back into conservation efforts and protected area management – something that is difficult to measure in many countries given high levels of corruption and other pressing priorities. A US congressional report by democrats on the committee on natural resources concluded, unsurprisingly, that “trophy hunting is managed well in some areas and poorly in others”. “In many cases, the laws, institutions, and capacity necessary to make trophy hunting benefit conservation are lacking,” the report continues. A 2009 report by the IUCN – an organisation that supports trophy hunting – found similar “mixed results”. Though it’s take away message was more damning: “hunting does not ... play a significant economic or social role and does not contribute at all to good governance”. The report criticised the sector for supporting few jobs, bringing little money to locals, and benefiting a few at the expense of the many. Still, one country that seems to have found a positive way to link conservation with trophy hunting is Namibia. Here, local communities have been given local control over communal land giving them an economic incentive to manage animal populations both for tourism and trophy hunting. Money goes directly to the local families who live with the animals. Now, Namibia is one of the few places in Africa where animal populations are on the rise. Both sides of the argument like to claim they have science and facts on their side, but things are never so simple. Research on the subject tends to assert that trophy hunting might support conservation – but the key here is “might”. It depends on how well the programme is run and who is really benefiting. Scientists are concerned not only by some programmes that allow too many animals to be killed, but also the evolutionary consequences of trophy hunters often targeting the biggest and most impressive animals. At the same time, many of the world’s major conservation groups – including WWF, the Nature Conservancy, and the IUCN – continue to support trophy hunting, in part because they view the hunting community as a key ally in advancing conservation. As the debate simmers, one country to keep an eye on is Botswana. Botswana announced a ban on hunting in 2014, but it has come with costs. The plan included no exemption for Botswana’s indigenous populations, such as the San People, that have depended on game meat for millennia. Many have been arrested and beaten simply for hunting on their ancestral land (the government has announced it is rethinking this policy). Some villages have reportedly seen job declines due to lost revenue in trophy hunting. At the same time, Botswana maintains some of the strongest populations of African wildlife on the continent and is hugely popular with tourists. Kalinina pointed to Great Plain Conservation, an initiative run by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, as an example of how to move beyond trophy hunting. Great Plains often purchases private hunting concessions to turn them into luxury photo-only tourism areas. Renowned lion experts, the Jouberts have long been critical of trophy hunting. “While killing one lion may generate $15,000-$30,000, the value of that animal to photographic tourism may be as much as $2m during the lion’s lifetime,” said Kalinina. But you first have to get tourists – and for Pabst, that’s a problem in remote, lesser visited Zimbabwe. People’s views of animals are undergoing a transformation. As a society, we are finally recognising that the world’s non-human species are not the automatons that Rene Descartes insisted they were – a view that tainted animal science for centuries. Instead, we now know that other animals experience complex emotions, experience suffering and many show surprising levels of intelligence (the number of animals known to use tools rises every year). In this debate, animal rights groups have moral outrage and increasingly, it seems, the public on their side. There haven’t been a lot of polls taken on the issue of trophy hunting, but a poll in 2015 found that 84% of Albertans and 91% of British Canadians, including those living in rural areas, opposed trophy hunting. Try to think of another issue in which 80-90% of people polled would agree? Another poll found that 62% of Americans believe big-game sport hunting should be outlawed, including 32% of American hunters. It may be that both trophy hunters and animal rights activists have something in common, though. Conservation is an important, but largely secondary, concern to both. Many animal rights activists see establishing the rights of animals as the ultimate goal. If conservation suffers from doing this (due to a plunge in funding), it may be a risk that many activists see as worth taking. On the other hand, many trophy hunters view the experience of the hunt as paramount. If the hunt promotes conservation all the better, but it may not be the primary goal when looking at an outfitter or pulling the trigger. Still, if the goal really is conservation, it comes down to money. If animal rights groups want to eliminate trophy hunting in Africa – without potentially undercutting some vital conservation efforts – they have to find alternative revenue streams that can make up for the gap, especially in places like remote Zimbabwe. On the other hand, if trophy hunters want to keep shooting they need to convince the world their hobby isn’t a self-indulgent blood sport. They need to make sure hunting concessions are actually benefiting local people and the long-term survival of local species. They need to prove they are conservation-focused by demanding much better from the industry. “Conservation is a great challenge that can only be achieved if we perceive Africa differently,” Pabst said. Indeed, Africa is the only continent that didn’t see a widespread extinction of its megafauna in the last 10,000 years – as such it is a time capsule of a truly lost world, a place of giants. But it’s vanishing. Throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa, habitat loss represents one, if not, the biggest threats to species. But here is Zinave national park: a habitat the size of Rhode Island that’s just waiting for animals to return. And over the next eight weeks, Pabst – in one of the biggest overland transports of African animals yet – will be sending 900 impalas, 300 wildebeests, 200 zebras, African buffalo, and eland antelopes, 100 giraffes, and 50 kudus. Even 50 African elephants will be making their way to Zinave. If all goes according to plan: Zinave will be wild and full again. And such stories just prove: nothing in conservation is black and white. Well, except the zebras.


News Article | June 21, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

Vendors stand behind a pile of dog meat at the Nanqiao market in Yulin (AFP Photo/BECKY DAVIS) Yulin (China) (AFP) - A notorious Chinese dog meat festival opened on Wednesday with sellers torching the hair off carcasses, butchers chopping slabs of canines and cooks frying up dishes, dispelling rumours that authorities would ban sales this year. After earlier reports of a sales ban at the summer solstice event in the southern city of Yulin, animal rights groups said vendors and officials reached a compromise and set a limit of two dogs on display per stall. But multiple carcasses rested on several stalls at two markets, with stiff pointy tails, leathery yellow skin, eyes shut and bared teeth as if in a final growl. Crowds of umbrella-toting festivalgoers braved the rain to stand in line outside popular restaurants, but animal welfare groups said sales appeared to be down this year. Behind two long rows of dog butchers at the Nanqiao market, others sold cow tongues and pork hocks. But even they sold some dog parts, including liver. Others offered poultry, vegetables and fruit, including big bundles of lychees, which are eaten alongside dog dishes. There was a heavy police presence outside the market and at all intersections but officers did not seem to be checking stalls. A man yelled at an AFP reporter at the Dongkou market, warning against taking photos and demanding that they be deleted. Residents said dog meat was just part of their tradition. For more news videos visit Yahoo View, available on iOS and Android. Wu San, 40, used a blowtorch to burn the hair off a dead dog on the floor of a house. It was given by a friend who had used it as a guard dog but no longer wanted it because "it would only wag its tail, it wouldn't bark anymore," Wu said. "We'll eat it tonight with friends," Wu said. "Small dogs don't taste good. Dogs that are too fat don't taste good either." Thousands of dogs have traditionally been killed during the festival in conditions activists describe as brutal, with dogs beaten and boiled alive in the belief that the more terrified they are, the tastier the meat. The tradition dates back centuries to the Ming Dynasty, with people eating dog and lychees in the belief that it gives them strength, according to Xinhua news agency. Between 10 million and 20 million dogs are killed for food annually in China, where consumption is legal, according to the Humane Society International (HSI). But animal rights groups have sought to stop the sale at the annual festival. "Despite the fact that there does not seem to be a ban on all dog meat, the festival appears to be smaller this year, with fewer dogs losing their lives to this cruel industry," Irene Feng of Animals Asia told AFP. Activists reported a "significant decrease" in sales at markets, with some traders saying they had stopped buying dogs, according to HSI. "Ending the Yulin dog meat festival will be made up of smaller victories such as this and it's important that we recognise when progress has been made," said HSI spokeswoman Wendy Higgins. But locals disagreed that sales were down. Outside the markets, vendors sold stewed dog meat out of enormous steaming woks, shovelling big portions into plastic bags for passing customers. Some changed their "dog meat" signs to read "tasty meat" instead. One restaurant covered the character for dog on its sign. A restaurant owner surnamed Yang said he expected to sell six dogs a day during the festival. "Business during the festival goes up about ninefold. But don't worry, we always manage to have enough dogs," he said. Liu Zhong, the owner of a small herbal medicine shop, said police were checking whether restrictions were being observed but wholesalers operate out of homes or secret locations. "They just won't sell to people they don't know well. It's just a bit more under wraps," said Liu, who stopped eating dog meat 10 years ago and now owns seven of them as pets. Li Yongwei, a Yulin resident in his 40s, said dog was the same as any other meat. "You shouldn't force people to make choices they don't want to make, the way you wouldn't force someone to be a Christian or a Buddhist or a Muslim," he said. Chen Bing, a 25-year-old office worker playing mahjong with friends, said the government could not cancel the festival even if it wanted to. "The festival will go on. Young people, old people, even babies are all eating dog meat. It's tradition."


Buckland G.L.,Humane Society International
Drug Discovery Today | Year: 2011

The incidence of asthma is on the increase and calls for research are growing, yet asthma is a disease that scientists are still trying to come to grips with. Asthma research has relied heavily on animal use; however, in light of increasingly robust in vitro and computational models and the need to more fully incorporate the 'Three Rs' principles of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement, is it time to reassess the asthma research paradigm? Progress in non-animal research techniques is reaching a level where commitment and integration are necessary. Many scientists believe that progress in this field rests on linking disciplines to make research directly translatable from the bench to the clinic; a '21st-century' scientific approach to address age-old questions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Loading Humane Society International collaborators
Loading Humane Society International collaborators