Category Archives: Wildlife

Albania endemic animal cruelty

Albania restaurants are offering diners meat from illegally hunted bears – part of an illicit trade in wildlife that is “out of control” in the country, investigators claim.

Researchers said it was the first time they had seen bear meat cooked in Europe, and experts warned that the crude butchering of animals may lead to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases such as coronavirus, and many others. The investigaion took place in one of such a restaurants.

Bears, monkeys and birds of prey are among live animals being sold on popular Albanian online marketplaces, the investigation found, raising fears for the survival of some species in the country.

Animal-protection charity Four Paws discovered that two of Albania’s leading online sites were carrying dozens of adverts selling brown bears and other species that are legally protected to be killed an consumed as food.

Many photographs of the animals – along with foxes, barn owls and wolves – showed them with their mouths taped up or their claws chained.

It’s a profitable business: a tiny capuchin monkey was offered for €750 (£675), and a barn owl, a bear cub and a wolf for €500 each.

The buyers are mostly restaurant and hotel owners who keep the animals to attract tourists, or individuals who want the animals as pets and status symbols, charity workers said. But also for consumption as exotic meals.

Eagles, the national symbol of Albania, are especially popular with buyers and are often found stuffed as trophies in public places. In spite of the law delcaring them protected species, prohibiting them to be caged or sold,following a huge decline of native wildlife in the country, the implementation of law has been poor.

Although the offenders may be jailed for abuse, the overwhelming majority of the them escape justice.

Four Paws said that after its team reported some of the illegal adverts, they were deleted but new ones reappeared.

“A large majority of the photographs displayed severe animal cruelty, such as foxes with sealed muzzles in plastic boxes, bear cubs in chains and birds with their feet tied,” said Barbara van Genne, of the charity.

Monkeys and birds of prey are often kept in bars and restaurants in Albania as a tourist attraction, while foxes are sold for their fur, according to the investigators.

Wolves are bought to be cross-bred with dogs for the puppies to be sold as guard dogs, commonly used in the mountains against wolves. But other animals are killed, stuffed and put on display.

Animals’ mouths are often taped to prevent them biting and their feet chained to stop them running away.

U.S. calls China to ban wildlife markets

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the United States has called on China to permanently close its wildlife wet markets, citing links between those markets and zoonotic diseases. All together around 200 diseases, listed by World Health Organisation (WHO) incluing COVID-19, Ebola, Zika, plague, rabies, and many others.

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The new coronavirus is believed to have emerged in a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has spread around the world killing over 180,000 people and infecting over 2.6 million.

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“Given the strong link between illegal wildlife sold in wet markets and zoonotic diseases, the United States has called on the People’s Republic of China to permanently close its wildlife wet markets and all markets that sell illegal wildlife,” Pompeo said in a statement late on April 22.

Chinese wet markets trade in various animals, including wild or exotic, those have been linked to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases. 

One of many such places has been Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, believed to have played a fatal role in the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, although investigations into whether the virus originated from non-market sources are ongoing as of April 2020. 

Wet markets were banned from holding wildlife in China in 2003, after the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak which was directly tied to those dangerous practices of selling and consuming wildlife. Such regulations were lifted before being put into place again in 2020, with other countries proposing similar bans. The visitors of the markets buy wildlife not only for food, but also for the other types of consumption as manufacturing traditional medicines, which are integral part of modern Chinese culture.

Normandy: wolf camera images

А large canine has been captured by an automatic camera in Normandy, northern France. Authorities believe the animal is a European gray wolf. If their hypothesis is correct, it would be the first wolf seen in this region of France for more than a century.

According to a local news report, the image of the lone canine was taken overnight on April 7-8 in Londinières, a village northeast of Normandy—on an infrared camera.

Authorities at the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) say it is likely a gray wolf (Canis lupus lupus), but caution additional information is needed to confirm the sighting.

“Given the quality of the images provided and considering that many breeds of dogs can have a size and coat colors similar to that of a wolf, this expertise should be considered with some reservation,” the OFB, which was sent images of the suspected wolf on April 12, said in a press release.

“The photo was analyzed by several people experienced in the identification of the wolf and who concluded that there was a high probability,” a spokesperson from the OFB told Newsweek. “However, it cannot 100 percent be said it is a wolf… Only DNA analysis on biological material would remove doubts.”

COVID19: Goodall Europarl event cancelled

I regret to inform you that the President of the European Parliament issued a decision last night, cancelling all events and visits by external visitors, including our conference tomorrow with Dr. Jane Goodall (decision attached). This is as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Coronavirus.

We have tried to secure an appropriate venue at another EU institution, however due to time constraints this has not been possible.

We will, however, reschedule the conference and we will be in touch as soon as possible with a new date.”

Reasons for HopeJane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace.

Dr Jane Goodall’s pioneering studies of wild chimpanzees revolutionised our knowledge about the sentience of these amazing animals.

Equipped with little more than a notebook, binoculars, and her fascination with wildlife, Jane Goodall braved a realm of unknowns to give the world a remarkable window into humankind’s closest living relatives. Through nearly 60 years of groundbreaking work, Dr. Jane Goodall has not only shown us the urgent need to protect chimpanzees from extinction; she has also redefined species conservation to include the needs of local people and the environment. Today she travels the world, speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees and environmental crises, urging each of us to take action on behalf of all living things and planet we share.

Conference with participation of Dr.Goodall is one of the 130 cancelled events at the European Parliament premises, which were expected to be attended by 6000 to 7000 participants. The measure is taken as precaution measure amid COVID19 pandemic.

Krefeld Zoo apes cremated alive

The monkeys at Krefeld Zoo in Germany were burnt live in the fire in their shelter on the Saint-Sylvestre night December 31- January 1, zoo management announced. (Image: illustration)

“Our worst fears have come true,” wrote the zoo on its Facebook page. According to local police, more than 30 monkeys have died.

The cause of the fire is not been established yet, but there indications it was caused by the New Year celebrations fireworks, the Taggespiegel newspaper said, citing WDR, the regional public media. The first emergency calls came shortly after midnight. An investigation has been opened.

The zoo will remain closed next days, while the employees being “in shock” after this “appalling tragedy”, according to management.

The Dpa news agency, quoting officials, said the burnt animals included chimpanzees, orangutans and two gorillas, as well as fruit bats and a number of birds.

All the animals have been burnt in their cages without a chance to escape because there are no exits foreseen for them in case of emergency.


Europe biodiversity threatened

“In its conclusions , the Council reaffirms that the EU and its member states will lead and step up efforts to halt biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems. The conclusions provide political guidance for the work towards a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The Council also calls upon the Commission to develop without delay an ambitious, realistic and coherent 2030 EU biodiversity strategy as a central element of the European Green Deal.

“Member states unanimously stress the need for urgent global action at all levels to halt biodiversity loss. The Council notes with serious concern the alarming state of nature, with around one million species at risk of extinction, and the severe implications of unabated climate change. The Council underlines the importance for the EU and its member states to develop and adopt national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) for achieving the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

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“The Council is committed to leading by example and making a robust contribution to the adoption of an ambitious and realistic post-2020 global biodiversity framework to halt the loss of and restore biodiversity by 2030. It is also committed to mainstreaming biodiversity into all relevant EU policies such as the new common agricultural policy (CAP). Member states unanimously underline the need to eliminate subsidies harmful to biodiversity and to enhance the review of the implementation and accountability of nature and biodiversity policies, actions and commitments, with the aim of stepping up actions on all levels.

“In addition, the Council calls for the full, effective and coherent integration of biodiversity into the design and implementation of the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027 as well as in future policies such as the common fisheries policy and the circular economy action plan. Member states will accelerate the transition towards a resource-efficient, safe, circular and climate-neutral economy that also protects and restores biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“Member states underline the importance of making domestic and international financial flows, including in public procurement, consistent with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

“The Council will revert to this issue in order to adopt a mandate for the EU position in the negotiations at the UN biodiversity conference (CBD COP15) in October 2020 in Kunming, China. The landmark conference is due to agree a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”

Romania promises bear protection

The Ministry of the Environment in Romania promised to keep the brown bear under strict protection by carrying out a national strategy that deals with the threats affecting them: habitat destruction, climate change and human conflict.

Four bears were hit by car recently, with the last such an incident occurring on November 21 in the evening, on the E60 road in the Gaiesti village in Mures county.

On November 16 another bear was hit by a car, and then shot dead after a day of agony on the road. His injures did not allow him to move, and local authorities were unwilling to transport him to veterinarians.

The cruelty caused public outrage.

However the huntering lobby strated to ciruclate the information insisting there is overpopulation of bears in Romania. Claiming that three people were killed by bears in separate accidents. The scientific community has not stepped forward with their opinion so far.

Romania’s road safety performance improved by 4% between 2017 and 2018. However, Romania is still at the bottom of the EU performance list, with 96 deaths per million inhabitants last year.
In year 2017 1951 persons lost life in car accisents in Romania, among them 733 pedastrians.
Is the population of pedastirans in Romania also “overcrowded”?

Need for EU legislationon exotic pet trade

Anna van Densky from Strasbourg At monthly hearing of the European Parliament Animal welfare intergroup David van Gennep, CEO AAP Animal Advocacy and Protection foundation (AAP), explained the profound need in regulating exotic animal trade, limiting the list to 42 allowed spices in the European Union, thus creating the ‘positive list’. The exotic animals as pets fashion is a rise, so is the trade in the species, however the overwhelming majority of them can not be adapted to life in captivity, suffering in misery,  being moved from cage to cage, changing owners and caretakers. Many of the exotic pets are tormented by various diseases, related to the unsuitable conditions, lacking space, proper diets and even sunshine. Some of them are transmitting bacteria and viruses, representing danger to humans. Public health and security remain the compromised issues, victim to whims of some individuals, eager to compensate their own mediocrity with the exotic pets colorful identities.

Unfortunately barbaric tradition to keep exotic animals as pets in captivity is booming in Europe nowadays due to the e-commerce, facilitating the purchase. High popularity of pictures with exotic species  is also a lucrative business for their  owners, careless, and often negligent to the particular spices needs,  exploiting the animal to maximum profit along the dramatically shortened lifespan.

‘With the growing popularity of exotic pets we can not help all the suffering and abandoned animals, the only way out is to address the root causes of the problem, and put in place the legislation, establishing the positive list of allowed exotic pets across the EUDavid van Gennep said, calling the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure  the proper legal framework for resolving the issue of exotic pets. Dutch APP foundation, led by Mr.Gennep, aims at long-term solutions for improving the welfare of these exotic, non-domesticated animals, and in this regard the proper European legislation is the relevant solution for the animals and communities in Europe and beyond.

Some of the exotic pet trade is legal, selling spices bred in the EU, but increasingly the animals are captured from the wild illegally (often in Africa) to supply for the European demand for exotic pets, fueling the multi-billion global black market. Some owners discover themselves unable to provide for the pets, when they rapidly grow, and intentional releases of exotic pets are increasingly common in Europe, exposing animal to long agony and painful death. Not less catastrophic  is the other outcome of the irresponsible behavior, when the abandoned animal does not die from starvation or exposure to harsh conditions, but finds a mate to proliferate producing invasive species to detriment of the ecosystems.

Furthermore the exotic pet trade is the contempt to the EU Lisbon Treaty, enshrining animal welfare as “European value“. The Lisbon Treaty, in force from December 1st 2009, includes animal sentience as an Article. It means that recognition of animals as creatures having ability to feel is now in the main body of the Treaty, establishing responsibility of the governments of the EU member-states towards the animals, and requesting the humane treatment of them.

The hearing of the Intergroup chaired by Anja Hazekamp  MEP (GUE/NGL) took place on October 24 in Strasbourg during Plenary week #EPlenary of the European Parliament.

World Animal Day

World Animal Day raises the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. 

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It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. 

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Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.

EU joins UN in wildlife protection

World Wildlife Conference: EU pushes for better protection of the world’s most threatened species

The EU will join other parties at the 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18) to the UN Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), starting in Geneva, Switzerland, this weekend to take additional measures to protect the world’s most threatened species against over-exploitation through international trade. CITES is a global treaty that seeks to make international trade in wildlife sustainable and to coun

The EU will push for more effective implementation of existing rules, including through a proposed Resolution on measures for ensuring the legality of trade under the Convention. In line with its priorities under the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, at CoP18 the EU will promote better enforcement of the Convention’s provisions by all Parties, in particular by those countries that repeatedly fail to implement their obligations and which may need additional support to avoid trade sanctions as a matter of last resort.

This is an absolute must to address illegal poaching and trafficking affecting elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers, pangolins and rosewood. The adoption of a new ‘Strategic Vision’ for CITES for the years 2021 to 2030 will provide an opportunity to consolidate and clarify the role of CITES in the broader context of international environmental governance. This also includes the post-2020 biodiversity framework that is being developed in parallel under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

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