Tag Archives: animal rights

Poland Animal Welfare crisis

Brussels 18.09.2020 Poland’s governing alliance appeared to be in disarray on September 18, as a dispute over animal rights measures highlighted divisions in the ruling camp, raising the possibility of early elections if differences cannot be resolved.

Tensions within the alliance led by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party came into the open after some members did not support the measures, which passed in parliament with opposition support.

The dispute over changes to animal rights laws, which are seen as an appeal to younger voters, halted talks on overhauling ministries and raised risks of problems for the coalition.

The new rules, which would ban fur farming and curb the slaughter of animals, were opposed by all lawmakers from the ultra-conservative United Poland party, some other lawmakers in doubt have abstained.The legislation aligns situation with the Lisbon Treaty of EU, stating that animals are “sentient beings” and animal welfare is a European value.

PiS lawmaker and Agriculture Minister Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski, who had openly criticized the bill, voted against it.

Opponents of the bill within the ruling alliance said it would alienate voters in PiS’s rural heartlands and hurt farmers.

Poland produces millions of furs a year, and the sector employs about 50,000 people. The country is also one of Europe’s biggest exporters of halal and kosher meat, with 2017 shipments of more than 70,000 tons.

“Negotiations … have been suspended due to the situation we have in the Sejm,” or parliament, PiS lawmaker and Deputy Parliament Speaker Ryszard Terlecki said before the vote.

Asked about ruling as a minority government, Terlecki said this would not be possible.

“If that happens, we’ll go to elections. Alone, of course.”

In 2007, PiS decided to go for early elections and lost power, making the party well aware of the risks of such a move.

Back in 1991, Compassion in World Farming NGO submitted a petition to the European Parliament, calling for animals to be recognised as sentient beings, capable of suffering. This was accepted as a ‘Treaty declaration’ which is not legally binding, but nonetheless a significant first step. Then, in 1997 with the Treaty of Amsterdam, it became a Protocol, with legal status. The new Lisbon Treaty, in force from December 1st 2009, includes animal sentience as an Article, meaning that recognition of animal sentience is now in the main body of the Treaty and carries considerably more weight.

MEPs oppose cats and dogs illegal trade

MEPs want action to tackle the illegal trade in pets in order to better protect animals and punish rule breakers.(Image: social media)
Many pets are traded illegally across the EU generating high profit at a low risk, often providing a profitable source of income for criminal networks.

To clamp down on the illegal trade in pets, the environment and public health committee called for an EU-wide action plan, tougher sanctions and mandatory registration in a resolution adopted on 21 January.

Dogs and cats are the most popular companion animals in the EU and many of us consider them as part of the family. Most EU citizens care about the well-being of their furry friends: 74% believe that companion animals should be better protected.

Trafficking can lead to poor breeding conditions, puppies and kittens being separated from their mothers too early and long journeys under stressful conditions, often without food and water.

It can also pose risks to public health as illegally bred pets are often not vaccinated and can spread rabies, parasites and infectious diseases to humans and livestock. Consumers attracted by low prices often buy companion animals online without being aware of the risks associated.

Parliament called for a compatible EU system of pet registration in a resolution adopted in 2016. The resolution adopted on 21 January call on the European Commission to come up with a proposal for an EU-wide mandatory system for the identification and registration of cats and dogs, more controls and tougher sanctions against those supplying false pet passports. It also calls for a common EU definition of puppy and kitten farms , as differences in animal welfare standards lead to price differences that can be exploited by illegal breeders.

In addition EU breeding rules for pets are needed while EU countries should be encouraged to put in place registers of authorised breeders and sellers. People should be encourage to adopt, rather than buy, companion animals.

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. 

https://twitter.com/worldanimalday/status/1180164457210798080?s=21

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

https://twitter.com/eu_env/status/1180021914657574913?s=21

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.

Chechen lion cub needs home in Africa

Russian animal rights defenders hope to transfer little lion cub Simba (pictured) from Grozny (Chechnya) to Africa via one of the international wildlife charities. With open wounds, sick, exhausted and distraught the little patient was surrendered to one of Grozny veterinary clinics, where his owners explained that he could not bear life in cage and became self-destructive, causing himself multiple injuries. The vets of Aibolit Clinic were more than happy to take care of an a-typical patient for free, however they launched call for donations for medications. At present there is an ongoing campaign to collect funds for Simba, while he still receives treatment.

Aibolit Grozny

Russian the animal rights groups are looking for contacts with experts in wildlife to secure the best possible future for Simba, returning him to Africa, where he belongs. The biggest fear is his landing in one of Russian zoos or circuses, in a barbaric show, being trained to perform tricks by electroshock  collar. The fears of activists are not exaggerated – there are no laws protecting animals against human cruelty in Russia, and numerous big cats are suffering in zoos, both private and public,  and the circuses, often travelling locked for days in small cages.

Simba cub Video

Sometimes animal sufferings in circuses accumulate, and explode on public like in a recent case of a lioness attack in Krasnodar circus. Reportedly a four year old girl who was injured during the incident is still in an intensive care in coma. “When animal circus will be banned?” raise the rhetoric question internet users, commenting on the tragedy. “Disgrace having this kind of barbaric shows in 21 century!”, “Lynching of animals is not funny”, express many their indignation.

There is growing conviction among young generation of Russians that big cats belong to the wild, and it is cruel and degrading to deprive them of freedom and their natural habitat, exploiting in barbaric circus shows or keep them locked in cages in zoos prison. Unfortunately for the animals there are plenty of hunters among Russian lawmakers, who entertain themselves in killings, perceiving animals only as game. Apparently hunting lobby is blocking any progressive legislation concerning wildlife.

It is not the first case of a tragedy in Russian circuses lately.  In the draft law “On the responsible handling of animals”, a ban is imposed on mobile forms of circuses and licensing for stationary ones. If this law had passed last July, then Kransodar tragedy would not have happened. Therefore, I believe that the blame for the incident lies more with the ecology committee of the State Duma, which has already delayed the adoption of this important bill for the third session”  said the chair of the Alliance for animals Yuri Koretsky to Europe Diplomatic.

 

With powerful hunting lobby he perspective of modern humane legislation for animals in Russia is blurred, in spite of all tragic incidents and public opinion against cruelty.

“The hunting business remains one of the most corrupt in Russia” – said managing director of ecological movement «Biom» Anna Kirilenko  at Duma hearing on October 26 on ban оf hunting some rare spices.

Anna van Densky

China Yulin dog meat festival – hell on earth

In spite of massive protests of animal rights activists worldwide Chinese Yulin dog meat festival takes place this week in in China’s Guangxi Autonomous Region, continuing the chain of the eight year unprecedented dog torture, launched in 2010, by local dog traders keen to boost their profits in a promotion event.

When first launched, as many as 15,000 dogs were killed during the core festival days, but Chinese and international pressure has seen this figure cut to about 3,000, although the figure does not correspond to the animal right groups goal to diminish it to zero.

“Earlier this week in Beijing, Humane Society International (HSI) handed over a letter signed by more than 235,000 people calling for an end to the annual Yulin dog meat festival.

“The letter was circulated by HSI and Care2 and supported by 87 Chinese animal protection groups, including Capital Animal Welfare Association, Zhejiang Animal Protection Association, and Hainan Small Animal Protection Association” – the HSI spokesperson said.

Many experts insist that only worldwide boycott of tourism to China is an adequate tool to stop the dog meat festival, because the losses will be much bigger than gains for local dog meat traders. There is a little hope the dog torture will stop, unless a coordinated international action takes place, the experts underline.

Yulin dog meat festival takes place from 21 to 30 June, ending in thousands of skinned and boiled alive dogs to biggest joy of Chinese visitors, appreciating freshly cooked dog meat.

Yulin dog

MEP: “We should ask Mr.Putin, why humanist is in jail!”

Member of the European Parliament (ALDE, Lithuania) Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS expressed his shock, on the breaking news on arrest and jailing of Russian leading animal rights activist Yuri KORETSKYH, who was calling authorities for humane treatment of stray animals in Russian cities, brutally culled ahead of the World Cup championship.

“We should ask Mr.Putin, why a humanist is in jail!”, MEP said, underlining that the only concern of animal rights activists was promotion of humanism to stray animals in Russian cities. These cats and dogs were condemned to death instead of constructing shelters to resolve the problem of stray in a civilised way, the activists are promoting, MEP continued. “The animals did not commit any crime, it is a responsibility of authorities to build shelters”, MEP said.

The jailing of KORETSKYH shows the real face of Russian power, which is able of “abusing anyone” AUŠTREVIČIUS continued. “They go against any logic, any common sense for already last two decades”, MEP said, suggesting the situation with attitude towards animal rights activism in Russia is contrary to the European trends, aiming at raising welfare standards of animals.

“We invest tens of millions, or may be more, to ensure humane treatment of animals”, AUŠTREVIČIUS underlined, pointing out that European governments at highest level support animal welfare movements as conducive to public good. He also concluded that animal rights groups in Russian should get support from their European counterparts protecting stay in urban environments. “I’m sure Russian authorities will get a strong response for culling stray for hosting World Cup. I can promise it!”

 

Circus elephant killed in Spain

One elephant died and two others were injured when a circus truck carrying five of the animals crashed in southeastern Spain, official sources confirmed.

Video footage showed emergency services using a crane to winch one of the animals from the road in Pozo Canada, in the province of Albacete, as others wandered loose.

Civil Guard police tweeted a photo of a uniformed official standing in front of two of the roving animals, and wrote:

“Our Albacete traffic comrades today, attending to some elephants who were victims of an accident in Pozo Canada (unfortunately one of the pachyderms died).”

The head of the government’s traffic department, Gregorio Serrano, said on Twitter that early indications suggested the truck had overturned as it tried to overtake another vehicle.

Russian animal welfare activist collapsed

On the 11th day of hunger strike Russian animal welfare activist Vera Stepanova (Вера Степанова) collapsed next to entrance of State Duma, and was taken to hospital by ambulance on a stretcher. Yuri Yesman (Koretskih) continues the strike, supported by group of activists, who demand promised earlier this year a comprehensive laws package on ‘Responsible ownership of animals’ to be adopted without further delay.

Vera ambulance

Till present the package of animal protection laws, prepared in President Yeltsin era in a wake of rapprochement with the West, has been blocked by President Putin’s administration for 17 year. Meanwhile animal abuse came to a critical point, causing public outrage: the groups of sadists called dog-hunters are shooting, poisoning and chopping stray dogs and cats alive.

Special concern of animal welfare defenders caused spreading fashion for ‘snuff’ videos depicting torture and groesome murder of cats and dogs. In the most shocking case of girls from Far East city of Khabarovsk, entertaining themselves filming perverse torture and killings of puppies and kittens, known as ‘Khabarovsk rippers’, the culprits were not adequately punished for the crimes in absence of a proper legislation. Not the least the general ‘humane’ attitude of  Russian authorities towards animal abusers to be mentioned among reasons causing public outrage.  (WARNING! Disturbing graphic below)

Snuff

For torture and murders of numerous animals ‘Khabarovsk rippers’  Aliona Savchenko and Alina Orlova were condemned to 150 hours of works. The public outcry and indignation by the decision of the Court once again demonstrated the failure of Russian legislators to produce contemporary and adequate rules for animal protection against human cruelty.

The protest hunger strike by activists Vera, and Yuri aims at demanding the urgent adoption of a comprehensive package of laws. This year motion  prepared by deputy Vladimir Panov (United Russia) received a lot of criticism, and was returned for improvement. One of the point causing negative reactions of the animal rights activists was the adoption of practice of sterilisation, and return of animals to the streets. Many activists considered that proposal ineffective, and “uncivilised”, claiming that cats and dogs are domestic animals, and should not be released to the streets, but kept in shelters in view for adoption.

Image: Animal rights activist Vera Stepanova at Moscow hospital, recovering after collapse next to entrance of Russian State Duma. After her hospitalisation the founder and chair of Alliance for Animals – Yuri Yesman – continues the hunger strike alone.

Vera hosto

 

Polar bear Szenja dies heartbroken

A polar bear Szenja (21) has died in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego, USA,  this week. She had been separated from her life-long friend Snowflake for two months at the moment of passing away. Snowflake  was shipped to a zoo in Pittsburgh for breeding purposes in spite of the protests of animal rights activists, and NGOs, who repeatedly asked the management of the zoo to leave the couple together. Following the separation of the two companions, Szenja’s keepers said she had been showing signs of lethargy and loss of appetite. SeaWorld has said that it could be several weeks before the cause of death is determined, whilst there is even speculation that it was sheer loneliness and boredom that killed Szenja.

Polar bears can often be observed displaying stereotypical behaviour, such as repetitive pacing, when held in captivity. Born Free foundation experts are convinced that these naturally far-ranging animals simply cannot thrive when kept in a restricted captive environment.