Monday, March 21, 2016

The Elephant In The Room

The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Performing Animal Welfare Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and captive wildlife attorney Deborah Robinson have called for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct an inspection of seventeen wild-captured African elephants, who were imported from Swaziland into Dallas in early March. Animal protection groups and conservationists worldwide vehemently opposed the sale and importation of the elephants in November 2015 when the permit application was before the United States Fish and Wildlife Services. Visit our website for more information on this ill-advised importation process.
Urge the Indian Forest Department to Take Action on Elephant Torture!
Urge the Indian Forest Department to Take Action on Elephant Torture!
TARGET: Kerala Forest Department - 57,483 of the 60,000

Overview Petition
A blind, injured elephant was allegedly tortured at Sivarathri festival at Thrithamthali Mahadeva Temple at Kondazhi in Thrissur, Kerala. Trainers reportedly forced the elephant to carry an idol, and used a banned weapon called an ankush to manipulate the animal. At the festival, this elephant and others were allegedly forced to stand and/or walk for extended periods of time in hot weather.

This alleged abuse violates an August, 2015 Supreme Court Order to ensure that elephants aren't mistreated during festivals. The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is asking the Kerala Forest Department to take action against any abuse that occurred.

We cannot allow abuse of animals to continue in the name of entertainment or religious ritual. Please sign the petition to urge the Kerala Forest Department to investigate elephant abuse and punish all those responsible for harming elephants! Click to help!

#2 Worst Zoo - What You Can Do

In Defense of Animals
If Virginia is for Lovers, Why is Asha Still Alone?
This month, our spotlight for In Defense of Animals' Ten Worst Zoos for Elephants is trained on the #2 worst offender (and #1 offender of 2014), Natural Bridge Zoo in Rockbridge County, Virginia.  32-year-old female elephant Asha lives a most unnatural life. If nothing changes, Asha will soon be the last elephant left in Virginia, neglected at this roadside atrocity.

Elsewhere in Virginia, the City of Norfolk prevented a cruel elephant circus from performing earlier this week, and The Virginia Zoo in Norfolk is shutting down its elephant exhibit of its own volition. They recognize that the two female elephants there need more social companionship and a warmer climate and are sending them to Zoo Miami (not a sanctuary but a step in the right direction).

Virginia Zoo acknowledges that keeping just two elephants together is inhumane – poor Asha is suffering completely alone.

Asha continues to live her life with no other elephants in her life - and she is still forced to carry zoo visitors around for rides in the hot sun. In 2015, UDSA inspectors cited the zoo for 56 violations of the Animal Welfare Act. In April, the zoo's permit to publicly exhibit wild animals was suspended. Unfortunately, its permit was reinstated, and by the end of May, lonely Asha was back to work for yet another summer season of being exploited for the masses. This January, the zoo was cited yet again, for even more animal welfare violations. Click here to read more and take action.


Stolen Swaziland Elephants Begin Life Sentence in 3 U.S. Zoos

In Defense of Animals
Swaziland's "Stolen 18" elephants are now 17, due to the death in December of one of the male bulls, apparently kept secret from the public. These 17 elephants, captured for three U.S. zoos under the guise of "saving" them, have begun serving their life sentences at the Dallas Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas and Henry Doorly Zoo in Nebraska for what will be the remainder of their lives. If the zoos have it their way, the unborn children of these elephants, and their children to come, will be the zoo’s "property" until untimely, captivity-related deaths do they part. In 2003, 11 African elephants were imported to the U.S. from Swaziland to repopulate some U.S. zoos, though many bold efforts were made to stop it. Given how much more is currently understood about the complex needs, and rich social, emotional worlds of elephants, this move, in 2016, is exponentially abhorrent.

From the very beginning, the three zoos constructed this wild elephant abduction as a rescue mission, positioning themselves as conservation heroes, to save the elephants from otherwise being 'culled' to make room for endangered rhinos during drought and conditions that include dwindling food sources. Relocation options in Africa existed, but were never even considered. Click here to read more.

Asian Elephants are brutalised after (often) being illegally captured to ensure they can be used for Elephant Rides, Circuses and Temples. (Please do not pay for any of these activities). This is often referred to as Pajan
Please see the videos on this page http://www.plightoftheasianelephants.org/brutality.html which will make you aware of what is happening NOW.

In India Wildlife SOS rescue and look after brutalised Elephants.
On April 30th I will be taking part in a Tough Mudder event to raise funds for Wildlife SOS to rescue and rehabilitate Elephants such as Suraj.

Suraj was rescued missing an ear, restrained by spiked chains in a dark, dank room with little food and water. He was malnourished, his body was covered with bull-hook wounds, his feet in an advanced stage of foot-rot and his tail injured and left untreated. Please sponsor me for this event raising money to go directly to Wildlife SOS. Click here for our justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/CliveBrown. Please tell everyone on facebook and twitter.

URGENT ACTION FOR KAVAAN! Please do not ignore this. If you truly want to help KAVAAN, and remove those chains, you will take action on this. Either really be a voice, or please remove yourself as a friend. I only want true animal activists as my FB friends. Thank you.
'LAUNCH OF EMBASSY CAMPAIGN AGAINST KAAVAN'S CHAINING!
So this week our team members went to go visit Kaavan and feed him treats, and unfortunately we found him chained. Our poor guy was NOT happy about it and was weaving his head angrily. Bilal is getting "creative" with the way he chains Kaavan. He locked him to the far side of the enclosure so that, to most visitors, it seems like Kaavan is just having fun in the back but upon a closer look it is clear he is chained. We have been working with the head who had ordered monitoring cameras to be put up for Bilal's accountability. The zoo director however has been stalling the installing of the cameras because the Head Member has told him that if those cameras show footage of Kaavan being chained the Zoo Director will face official disciplinary action in the form of suspension. Kaavan has been faced with this on again off again chaining and we hope that increasing accountability through cameras will end it. We will be following through with the Head on the status of the cameras in the next week.
Kaavan needs your help elefriends! Bilal is running unchecked, and continues to ignore official orders against unchaining. He is hard to replace as he is the only elephant mahout available in Islamabad and as a result he feels he can get away with chaining Kaavan on again and off again whenever it is convenient to him. In addition to our local negotiations for Bilal's accountability, we have decided to start up an international embassy outreach campaign in response to Bilal's neglectful treatment of Kaavan. 

Here's how it works:
We have made a template letter which is a formal complaint against Bilal's actions:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UyQKxL-xxj5LN_adww9uqkPf0nLiPPoqDe_MPeR_Mws/edit?usp=docslist_api

In the upcoming future please get as many people as you can to visit/phone/mail your local Pakistan embassy with this letter and submit it as an in person complaint. This makes a huge difference as complaints from the embassy are forwarded STRAIGHT to the Pakistani government! Do check back with the embassy on the status of your complaint after you have filed it! 

Pakistan Embassy USA Locations can be found here:
http://www.embassyofpakistanusa.org/contactus.php

Worldwide Pakistan Embassy Locations can be found using this website:
http://pk.embassyinformation.com/

We want the Pakistani government to know that Bilal's misdeeds are being noticed not only on the local scale but on a global one as well. International outcry is what first got the government to make major changes for Kaavan, and we hope to do this again with this campaign.
If you aren't near a Pakistan embassy please phone the closest embassy with a complaint against Bilal, or mail them a copy of our letter. You can also send our template letter in email format to these significant figures:

chairman@cda.gov.pkdir.staff@cda.gov.pkinfo@pmo.gov.pkweb@dawn.com
arifa.noor@dawn.comkhalid.azim@samaa.tvukhan@wwf.org.pksaquib.malik@geo.tv 
info@imrankhanfoundation.org.pkinfo@bornfreeusa.orginfo@embassyofpakistanusa.org
info@pakistanconsulateny.orgconsulgeneral@cgpkchicago.orgtariq_c176@hotmail.com
Together we can help Kaavan out of this mess and towards a better future in sanctuary!

Free Kaavan the Elephante 
5 hrs · LAUNCH OF EMBASSY CAMPAIGN AGAINST KAAVAN'S CHAINING!
So this week our team members went to go visit Kaavan and feed him treats, and unfortunately we found him chained. Our poor guy was NOT happy about it and was weaving his head angrily. Bilal is getting "creative" with the way he chains Kaavan. He locked him to the far side of the enclosure so that, to most visitors, it seems like Kaavan is just having fun in the back but upon a closer look it is clear he is chained. We have been working with the head who had ordered monitoring cameras to be put up for Bilal's accountability. The zoo director however has been stalling the installing of the cameras because the Head Member has told him that if those cameras show footage of Kaavan being chained the Zoo Director will face official disciplinary action in the form of suspension. Kaavan has been faced with this on again off again chaining and we hope that increasing accountability through cameras will end it. We will be following through with the Head on the status of the cameras in the next week.

Kaavan needs your help elefriends! Bilal is running unchecked, and continues to ignore official orders against unchaining. He is hard to replace as he is the only elephant mahout available in Islamabad and as a result he feels he can get away with chaining Kaavan on again and off again whenever it is convenient to him. In addition to our local negotiations for Bilal's accountability, we have decided to start up an international embassy outreach campaign in response to Bilal's neglectful treatment of Kaavan.

If you aren't near a Pakistan embassy please phone the closest embassy with a complaint against Bilal, or mail them a copy of our letter. You can also send our template letter in email format to these significant figures:

chairman@cda.gov.pk
dir.staff@cda.gov.pk
info@pmo.gov.pk
web@dawn.com
arifa.noor@dawn.com
khalid.azim@samaa.tv
ukhan@wwf.org.pk
saquib.malik@geo.tv 
info@imrankhanfoundation.org.pk
info@bornfreeusa.org
info@embassyofpakistanusa.org
info@pakistanconsulateny.org
consulgeneral@cgpkchicago.org
tariq_c176@hotmail.com

Together we can help Kaavan out of this mess and towards a better future in sanctuary!

Enact Legislation Outlawing Ivory and Rhino Horn Trade in Massachusetts
In 2014, President Barack Obama gave hope to the last remaining wild African elephants by issuing an executive order banning ivory in the U.S. Sadly, two years later, the U.S. is still the second largest market for the illegal ivory trade, behind China. This is largely true because the order fails to close several in-state sale loopholes. My state of Massachusetts plays a role in this market -- Boston has been ranked 4th in the U.S. for sales of ivory advertised on Craigslist. We must stop this.

It is up to states to close the loopholes in Obama’s order, and New Jersey, New York and California have done just that by passing laws banning the sale of ivory within their borders. There is currently a bill sitting in the House Judiciary Committee that would do the same in Massachusetts.

Please join me in urging the Massachusetts state legislature to pass Bills S.440 and H.1275 banning the import, in-state, and internet sale and distribution of ivory and rhino horns.

On average, 96 elephants are killed for their tusks every day, and 1,200 rhinoceroses are killed annually. They are killed using AK47s, poisoned watermelons, cyanide dumped in watering holes, and poisoned darts that lead to weeks of extreme suffering before they die. Their tusks or horns are often hacked off while the animal is still alive. At this rate, these keystone species could be extinct within 20 years.

Poaching is also a national security issue, as extremist groups and terrorist organizations are often involved in wildlife trafficking, using it to finance their military operations. Wildlife trafficking is among the top 5 criminal markets worldwide alongside narcotics, weapons, human trafficking, and counterfeiting.

Action is needed before May 2nd, 2016, when the Judiciary Committee gives its recommendation on the Bill.

Let's urge our lawmakers to partner with the world in saving elephants and rhinos. Sign my petition asking them to pass these bills banning the ivory trade within Massachusetts borders.
This petition will be delivered to:

State Senator: William Brownsberger
State Representative: John Fernandes
State Senator: Jason Lewis
State Representative: Lori Ehrlich

The last 300 desert elephants of Mali urgently need your help. 
Mali elephant
The Gourma region of central Mali, West Africa, is home to one of the world's last herds of desert elephants.

Poachers have slaughtered 16 elephants since January, with over 80 killed in 2015. At this rate, the remaining 300 could be gone in three years unless the Malian government does more to protect them from poachers. The situation is urgent.

You can help me save them by telling the Malian Environment Minister to do more to save the last of the desert elephants.

Be a voice for the voiceless 

Mali's elephants are all that remain of a population of elephants that once stretched across the Sahel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. They make the longest annual migration of all elephants and are the most northerly on the continent.

They're disappearing at an alarming rate and could go extinct much sooner than other African elephants.

Poachers have taken advantage of the political unrest and violence in the lawless north to step up ivory trafficking.

Help us save the last 300 

In a world where so many elephants are brutally slain for their ivory tusks and threatened with extinction, every elephant matters.

That's why we're calling on the government of Mali to protect these elephants from poaching and tackle ivory trafficking while there's still time to save the country's last herd.

Please sign and share this message showing your support and urging the Malian government to act now to protect the last 300 elephants of Mali. 

Act now to protect these elephants  

Thank you for all you do for elephants and other animals,