Friday, December 2, 2016

Animal Welfare, Animal Cruelty & Animal Crime Weekly Report!

The holidays are upon us and it’s the perfect time to teach the children in your life about kindness toward animals. Helping to raise kids who have respect for animals is one of the greatest gifts you can give. No matter a child’s age, there’s always a way to set an example of compassion for animals. From teaching the basics of animal behavior to nurturing a budding activist, we’ve put together a top 10 list of ways you can inspire the next generation. Learn more about how to teach children kindness toward animals.

There’s still time to double your year-end donation! A group of generous donors has promised to match donations up to $195,000. If we reach that goal by December 15, these generous donors will turn that into $390,000 to help us achieve justice for animals. This matching gift campaign is meant to honor Luke, a puppy who was rescued from an abusive situation thanks to the cutting edge legal strategy we applied to save him. Make a generous donation to the Animal Legal Defense Fund before December 15 and your gift will go twice as far to helping more animals like Luke.

Help to free all the Wild Animals in the Circuses. Sign the Petition to Mr. Barack Obama & Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker

Pain and tears don't have language barriers, and who else apart from we as humans would know better? So, why can't we understand the pain and tears of the wild Animals that need our compassion and protection? We are their voice. Look at this...See More

In Defense of Animals
21 Shocking Animal Industry Practices Revealed. Animal agriculture manuals are not in plain view, in the hope that we won't look. So what exactly is inside of these manuals? 

We've extracted 21 standard farming practices from the US, UK, and Australia — which industry leaders don't want you to know.

These are direct extracts, including the original source underneath each release.

Please, commit to sharing this series with your friends and family who are not aware! We're put all 21 colorful images with the extracts in one place, so you can share in order if you wish, and at your convenience. READ MORE
After two successful lawsuits against a roadside menagerie once known as Cricket Hollow Zoo, now called Cricket Hollow Animal Park, we have urged local Iowa law enforcement to launch a full investigation based on expert evidence that one of the lionesses we rescued as the result of a lawsuit was the victim of criminal animal cruelty. The lioness Jonwah received a full medical evaluation, which revealed a critical medical condition caused by neglect at Cricket Hollow Animal Park. Because of intervention by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Jonwah received the medical care she required, and will not only live, but will be able to thrive at a sanctuary. Read more about our latest update on Cricket Hollow Animal Park.

FOUR PAWS UNDERCOVER: puppy farm in Belgium

**Marin County, California Activists**

Slaughterhouses in Marin? Say No!
In Defense of Animals
This upcoming Monday (November 28th), the Marin Planning Commission is holding a second community meeting to discuss if it will allow slaughterhouses, both permanent and portable, in Marin County.

This is critical. Residents who can attend and speak at this meeting in person will have the most impact. Melissa Flower from In Defense of Animals will be attending this meeting, but we desperately need strength in numbers. Without a strong show of community resistance, this amendment could pass, leading to animal death on our doorstep. Please come to the Civic Center in San Rafael: 3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 328. Let's voice our opposition! Please arrive slightly before 1:00 p.m. if possible, for this vitally important meeting.

We also encourage you to email Jeremy Tejirian from the Marin Community Development Agency at to express your opposition.
Here are two key points to highlight:

- Killing animals is not an isolated behavior, but part of a constellation of anti-social behaviors. A study of 581 US counties from 1992-2002 found that counties with slaughterhouses have higher rates of domestic violence and violent crimes. A new study reports that the presence of a slaughterhouse corresponds with a 166% increase in arrests for rape.

- One of the largest environmental concerns associated with slaughterhouses is wastewater and water contamination. We do not want nitrogen, phosphorus, and ammonia going into our waterways. High nitrate levels in water can cause methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome, a fatal condition that impacts infants under six months. Nitrogen pollution in waterways can also kill aquatic life, and make it much more difficult for fish, insects and other creatures dependent on the water to survive.

To our fellow animal advocates in Marin County, we hope to see you so we can speak out for the animals and stop the slaughter. For further information on the Marin Planning Commission meeting, please click here.

Cat shaving scam: Scammers shave kittens to pass them off as expensive hairless sphynx - Kittens Cruelly Shaved by Scammer to Look Like Sphinx Cat - Demand Justice

Close Down 'Hell on Earth' for Monkeys 
The Chiang Mai Monkey Centre is truly Hell on Earth for monkeys. Please add your voice to help shut this abusive “attraction” down.

At this tourist trap in Thailand, monkeys spend their entire lives in chains and cages. They’re only let out of their cage to perform for tourists. And even while they’re performing, they’re never freed from the metal chain tied around their neck.

A Youtube video by Open Chiang Mai shows the demeaning and painful tricks the monkeys are forced to perform every day. Trainers make them play basketball, weight-lift, and ride a bicycle, all while attached to their short chain.

Then there’s the cruel “push-up” trick. During this trick, the trainer holds the monkey down while the animal howls in pain as they try to lift themselves up.

Looking through TripAdvisor reviews, it’s clear that the suffering of these animals has not gone unnoticed. Many visitors have left one-star reviews that detail the filthy conditions the monkeys live in. Most of these visitors say they would not go back and warn other tourists not to visit this cruel establishment.

The Chiang Mai Monkey Centre must be shut down, and the monkeys trapped there must be sent to sanctuaries.  It’s inhumane to keep these intelligent creatures caged and chained their entire lives, just for our entertainment.

Stand up for the monkeys who are suffering every day. Sign this petition to tell the Thai ambassador that you want this cruel tourist trap shut down! 

Japanese Skating rink slammed for animal cruelty
Poor Finn’s leg was sawn off by vicious thugs.
Finn is a street dog unlucky enough to draw the attention of psychopathic brutes in South Africa. Having nothing better to do, the young thugs caught Finn, sawed off one leg, then hanged him and while he was choking to death, threw stones at him. A brave passing motorist saw what was going on, rescu­ed Finn and rushed him to Imagine Animal Dreams (IAD), a small volunteer-run animal shelter that operates in the remote Kraaifontein area of the Western Cape.

By the time Finn got there it was almost too late but Cecelia Jacobs, the founder of IAD, fought for his life and after intensive care, Finn is now a healthy happy three-legged dynamo.

Finn is one of 40 dogs and 30 cats that Cecelia cares for, supporting their upkeep and veterinary bills from her work as a pharmacy assistant. Her most immediate problem is finding money to buy a new engine for her aging pick-up truck. Without it she can’t ride to the rescue of the hundreds of street dogs that live in nearby poor areas.

As animal lovers, we can never stand idly by when dogs are in need. Together we will provide the financial means to get Cecelia’s dog-rescue vehicle fixed and ready to help her provide dogs and cats a haven from torture.

It’s good to know that people like Cecelia exist and that because of her Finn, the three-legged dynamo, has a chance of happiness. The world must sometimes seem inexplicably cruel to dogs, who only want to be with humans as our friends.
Please show Finn there are good people in the world who despise torturing animals: give generously so that he and his buddies will never face torture or hunger again. Click to help!

Hallmark Profits From Abused Chimpanzees

Shocking Video Exposes What a ‘Family’ Dairy Farm Really Looks Like.
Mac and cheese is as American as apple pie and Santa always drinks milk with his cookies. Dairy products are a regular part of meal-time for most Americans, largely because people don’t stop and think about the perverse system that is required to put these seemingly harmless products on the shelves. It is all too easy to forget that our food does not start out in a plastic package, and in the case of dairy products, they go through an incredibly long and cruel process before they are neatly pressed into their brightly branded sheaths.

There is a common misconception that dairy cows need to be milked or they will be in incredible pain; this is false. Dairy cows are just like all other mammals – including humans – and they only produce milk when they have a baby to nurture. Sadly, to create dairy for human consumption, this means that mother cows never get to keep their babies. Typically, calves are taken from their mothers shortly after birth, the males are often sold as veal and the females are raised to fill their mother’s shoes. In either case, there is much suffering imbued in this industry.

However, many dairy farmers attempt to distract consumers from the cruelty inherent in the industry by claiming that their cows are raised on a “family farm.” The video above from We Animals, in collaboration with Decipher Images and Animal Equality, depicts the day to day life of milk cows and their babies on a “family farm” and the irony of this term is not lost on the narrator, Anna Pippus.

With so many dairy-free products available, there is no reason for this cruel system to remain in place. Not only is the system cruel, it is responsible massive amounts of carbon emissions, in addition to water pollution, every year. Together we can help create a better world for people, animals, and the environment alike.
People Are Paying to Kill Lions Who Are Bred for ‘Sport’ – Here’s How You Can Help Stop This. In 2012, the media outlet TMZ surreptitiously obtained and published several photos of both Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. proudly posing next to animals they’d slaughtered on big game hunts in Africa, including that of a leopard, an elephant, a crocodile (which they’d strung up in a tree), as well as a civet cat, a kudu, and a water buck. Trophy hunting in Africa garners the support and patronage of wealthy hunters around the world, a large percentage of them from the U.S., who pay upwards of $70,000 for a single kill. But as criminal as it sounds for the last vestiges of giant mammals to be hunted down and slaughtered for sport, the practice is still legal throughout much of Africa.

Ignoring all of the arguments for and against these practices, the big game animals that are hunted on safari expeditions are not even the worst off.  These animals get to live their lives in the wild, before having it ignominiously cut short, but through a practice called canned hunting, other animals are denied even that freedom. Several different types of animals are often raised in captivity, either on ranches or in cages, for the sole purpose of being hunted in a restricted space, guaranteeing the hunter a kill.

Canned Lion Hunting: The Least Dangerous Game
In 2015, lions were officially put on the endangered species list, their population numbers having decreased by about 80 percent over the last century, from 200,000 to just 20,000. But lion hunting is still legal, and those who hunt them are quick to point out that a percentage of the revenues gained through the practice is often required to be allocated to conservation efforts for lions, maintaining that they care deeply for the animals. But even such weak and fallacious claims as that cannot be applied to canned lion hunting, which is big business in the country of South Africa.

The country has reportedly 200 breeding farms that harbor some 6,000-7,000 captive lions. To put that into perspective, there are only about 3,000 wild lions in South Africa, and about half of those are directly managed with the goal of preserving genetic diversity.

These lions are hand-reared from birth, often taken from their mothers at an early age in order to induce a breeding state in the lioness more quickly than would otherwise have occurred in nature. The cubs, in turn, become accustomed to humans, losing their fear of them, which will prove fatal later in life. When they’re still young, these lions serve as an attraction for unwitting tourists, who can pay a small fee to pet and play with the cubs, unaware of what will ultimately happen to them. Once they reach maturity, hunters pay an exorbitant fee to come and hunt them in confined spaces, in which the lions have no chance of escape.

Global Backlash
Before 2015, few people knew anything about canned lion hunting or that it even existed. But when Pippa Hankinson visited a lion breeding farm and saw the lions in cages and inbred to the point of ill-health, she became determined to bring the issue to the global stage. Pippa was the driving force behind the 2015 documentary Blood Lions, which takes a detailed look at the industry behind the scenes. Since then, several countries have spoken out against the practice. Australia and France quickly moved to ban the import of all lion trophies, and even the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa has said they oppose canned lion hunting. And just last month, the United States officially banned the import of trophies that come from captive lions, which will likely significantly decrease their demand.

Looking Toward The Future
Despite the claims made by big game hunters, paying to kill large mammals is not the most effective way to aid in their conservation. Trophy hunting makes up only 1.8 percent of tourism revenues in several African countries, which suggests the great majority of people visit the continent not to kill the wildlife found there, but to see and appreciate them without interfering. Trophy hunting is the sport of an elite few who spin their bloodlust as an act of kindness to the animals they mount on their walls. But more and more countries are listening to the voices of their people, who are against the unmitigated exploitation of entire species, which may finally put an end to canned hunting.

You can help stop this cruel practice by sharing this article and encouraging others to learn more about the truth behind canned hunting. You can also check out the efforts of Blood Lions and get involved in their campaigns to shut down the canned hunting industry. Image source: Gemma Carter/Flickr

Hawaii Revealed as Major Market for Illicit Ivory
An investigation by conservation groups found that the Aloha State boasts the third-largest trade in elephant ivory in the U.S.
(Photo: Frank Bienewald/LightRocket via Getty Images)
An investigation by conservation organizations has found that Hawaii is the third-largest market for illegal ivory in the U.S., behind New York and California.

Over the course of six days, investigators located more than 4,600 items for sale from 47 online retailers. The items carried a combined price tag of $1.2 million. Although some of those goods were things such as carved walrus tusks, the majority were advertised as being elephant ivory. The illegal ivory trade is responsible for the plummet in African elephant populations in recent decades. Between 2010 and 2012, poachers killed 100,000 elephants for their ivory tusks.

Sellers identified during the investigation included retail stores (online and brick-and-mortar shops), as well as art galleries, artist associations, estate liquidators, auction sites, and individuals on Craigslist. Four of the largest retailers each had more than $100,000 worth of ivory in stock. One retailer had $574,000 worth of ivory products for sale.

Most if not all of this activity was likely illegal, according to the investigation. The sale of ivory is highly regulated in the United States. Under regulations passed two years ago, only the sale of antique ivory certified as having been imported prior to 1976 is allowed. The research revealed that just one of the Hawaiian retailers offered the required documentation and suggested that these documents are all too easy to fake.

“The new results were definitely surprising but in retrospect maybe shouldn’t have been,” said Peter LaFontaine, campaigns manager for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, one of the four conservation groups responsible for the probe. “It makes sense that Hawaii would be a big market for these products. Millions of Asian and American tourists visit every year, and it’s a prominent stop for air and sea traffic.”

According to the report, dozens of flights and ships arrive in Hawaii from the Asia Pacific region every day, making it easy to smuggle ivory into the state.

In addition, LaFontaine said that “authorities have only recently begun to crack down on ivory trafficking” and the new federal protections have not necessarily created progress on the state level.

That could change. A bill to ban the trade in products from elephants and a number of other wildlife species is making its way through the Hawaiian legislature. The state Senate passed the bill last month. The state’s Judiciary Committee approved it last week, and it now awaits a House vote.

Although previous bills to ban the sale of ivory in Hawaii have failed, this one appears to have greater support. “We are cautiously optimistic,” said Sara Marinello, executive director for government affairs for the Wildlife Conservation Society, another of the organizations behind the investigation. “Polls show over 80 percent of Hawaii residents support a state ivory ban. However, there is a very small but vocal group of ivory sellers spreading fear and misinformation,” she said. The National Rifle Association, for example, calls the legislation an attempt to take away people’s antique firearms.

LaFontaine said the new report may facilitate the passing of the bill. “We have been sharing the results with lawmakers and state agencies to help them understand the scope of ivory trade in Hawaii,” he said. “Fortunately, it’s helped to build the case that these bills are more than just symbolic, that they will address a very real problem in the state and ultimately help to reduce the amount of ivory trafficking there.”

New York and California have banned ivory sales. While it’s too early to say how effective those regulations have been, Marinello said that “the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has seen anecdotal evidence of less ivory in the marketplace.” She added that some stores still appear to be selling illegal ivory, but the new ban will help in prosecutions.

LaFontaine said the bills are important because federal law has little control over ivory sales that do not cross state borders. “Ultimately, we need states to take action to close the big loophole that is intrastate trade,” he said.

This New Map of Major Ivory Seizures Could Help Save Elephants. Despite scores of large-scale ivory seizures since 2000, only 18 have been fully investigated, a conservation group says.
A ranger watches over confiscated ivory at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters in Nairobi on April 4. (Photo: Carl De Souza/Getty Images)
It’s estimated there are 410,000 to 650,000 elephants roaming Earth. It sounds like a lot, but between 30,000 and 50,000 die each year, poached for their ivory tusks at a rate of one every 15 minutes—fast enough to put extinction of the iconic species in sight.

With illegal trade in ivory a major threat to the species’ survival, conservation groups, wildlife officials, and governments are increasing international cooperation to stamp out the global ivory market through efforts that include improving wildlife ranger security, deploying antipoaching drones, and taking more accurate elephant counts.

Now the United Kingdom–based conservation group Environmental Investigation Agency has created a tool to help agencies and the public better understand the global scale of the illegal ivory trade.

The newly released map pinpoints the location of every large-scale ivory seizure—those of more than 1,100 pounds of elephant tusks—that took place between 2000 and 2015. A reported 117 seizures have recovered an estimated 465,000 pounds of ivory in the 15-year stretch—equivalent to about 31,000 slaughtered elephants.

The findings are based on publicly reported large-scale ivory seizures and ivory stockpile thefts and represent only a portion of all illegally trafficked ivory.

Shruti Suresh, EIA’s senior wildlife campaign officer, said the map shows the scope of the mass killing of elephants and highlights countries that might need to beef up security around seized ivory stockpiles, as well as strengthen efforts to fully investigate where the seized ivory is coming from.

Despite dozens of major ivory seizures reported over the past 15 years, according to EIA, only 18 have been given forensic analysis, such as using DNA to identify where in Africa or Asia the poaching took place.

“There needs to be more done at these sources where the ivory is being seized,” Suresh said. “The seizure is only part of the enforcement. DNA analysis could help countries determine where ivory has been seized from, identify the poaching hot spots—the origin of the ivory—and help in planning antipoaching operations, identifying trade routes, and enforcing cooperation between countries.”

Suresh called this “a huge missed opportunity,” noting that recent DNA analysis of only a handful of seized ivory samples revealed that Tanzania is a major source of tusks entering the illegal global trade.

But she remains hopeful that countries will take a more in-depth look at their ivory stocks, in part because the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species announced a plan at its 2013 meeting for all countries to submit seized ivory samples to accredited forensic labs for sampling.

“That means the countries don’t have to develop expensive labs themselves,” Suresh said.

With the new map, EIA hopes to keep the pressure on these countries to do more follow-up work on their ivory seizures.

“Right now, seizures are proclaimed as sort of a success—which it can be, but a seizure in itself is not an enforcement success,” she said. “There needs to be an investigation into its origin, an arrest, and prosecution, which leads to a conviction and a meaningful sentencing.”