31/10/15 – Happy Halloween !

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Serbia: A Surprise Arrival From Belgium – And Can You Help With The Gas For The Winter Please ?

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Here is some great news from Danica and all the beautiful cats at shelter Felix:

We have great news that will certainly cheer you up! Amazing Nancy and her wonderful organization Straydogs Belgium have kindly donated some constantly needed high quality cat food and cat supplies to the Felix kitties. The cats were excited and thrilled to see all of the many nice things they’d just received. As you can see in the photos, they could hardly wait until the boxes were opened (many of them tried as hard as they could to help us unpack their gifts) and almost all of the cats immediately launched themselves inside the boxes to check out every single item they’d gotten. A huge thank you to Nancy and Straydogs Belgium for making our day bright and really special! We extend our deepest gratitude to Adamovic Gordana, our long-time supporter and friend who made the fantastic Straydogs Belgium aware of our existence. The crunchy sounds the Felix kitties are making while eating their kibble is real music to our ears! It’s been said a long time ago that pictures are worth a thousand words, so we’re sure you’ll enjoy our photos!

At the moment we are in Autumn, but very soon we will start to be seeing the Winter weather arriving in Europe.  When it does we shall probably see the long dark days that will bring with them the snow storms and biting North winds coming down from the Arctic.  That means that once again it will be time to do our best to ensure that all the cats at the shelter are snug and warm during the long dark days.

Last winter you may remember that we did an appeal top get the gas tank filled for the shelter ready for Winter.




Well this year it is no different to the last; but this time we (SAV) are trying to get the ball rolling in advance of an appeal from Danica which will probably be issued very soon.  If you can help in any way please by donating to keep all the cats warm this Winter by topping up the gas tank then we will all be very appreciative.

At the moment please make any donation for Winter gas through the normal routes of the website and blog :

PayPal button is on the blog:


and the website: 


Please can you mention that the donation is to help with Winter fuel.  Thank you very much on behalf of all the crew and cats at shelter Felix.

The good news is that the main shelter roof has now been completely renovated – so this Winter there should be no worries about anything collapsing under the weight of the snow; which has been a concern with the old roof in the past.

Expenses are huge throughout the year for the shelter; as there are veterinary bills to pay, including regular de-worming, de-fleaing and vaccinations; fuel for the shelter; general maintenance and also the cost of keeping everyone fed ! 

Please give anything you can to help the shelter with its everyday costs.

We will sign off by showing you some pictures of all the shelter residents inspecting all the parcels which arrived from Nancy in Belgium (as mentioned at the start).

Please give anything; no matter how small; to help the crew at shelter Felix have an easier time this Winter.

Thank you – Mark at SAV (England).
















Vietnam: Animals Asia Undertake Rescue Of Last Bear From Bile Farm – Timeline Link To Events.

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Keep up to date on the last rescue – use the timeline link (1st link) given below.

Closing Quang Ninh’s last bear bile farm – rescuing the last bear

Animals Asia’s bear rescue team is on the road once more – bringing back the last bear, from the last bear bile farm in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam. It follows previous rescues of 32 bears after the Vietnam’s Prime Minister declared Quang Ninh would become bear bile farm-free.Last Quang Ninh bear rescue – live timeline

30th October 2015:





The Political Prisoners Of Tibet. Please Support ‘Free Tibet’ (London).

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I think it fair to say that the vast majority of people who strongly support animal rights / welfare also support human rights.  For some time SAV has been a member of, and very much supported the work of ‘Free Tibet’, who are based here in old London town, England.

Today we want to share with you some of the work of ‘Free Tibet’ (London) and shine some light on just some of the political prisoners; mostly religious; who have been sentenced in their own land for speaking up and taking action about the Chinese suppression of the wonderful citizens of Tibet.

To find out a lot more and to become a member if you wish, please visit the FT website at  http://www.freetibet.org/   – you can see and learn a lot more about campaigns and issues here.

Freedom for the people of Tibet can be compared in some ways to the long and arduous campaigns that we undertake for animals in several places of the world.  It will happen one day, Tibet will be free as will there be a stop to much of the animal cruelty we are currently witnessing.  You have to live and campaign in hope – as the saying goes; evil flourishes when good people sit back and do nothing.

Please take action for the political prisoners of Tibet.  Visit the site at http://www.freetibet.org/   and learn much more about the Chinese domination and silencing of these most peaceful of people.

All of the following is directly repeated from the FT website with the exception that photos of all the prisoners are not included here; but they are shown on the other site.

Please give them your time and support; thank you.



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Take action for Tibet’s religious political prisoners

Message Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche

Send a message


Resistance to China’s rule inside Tibet is often led by monks and nuns.

As a result, many of them are now in jail. They may disappear for months, before facing show trials in which they are convicted for “crimes” against the Chinese state.

Many endure torture and long sentences, their illnesses are often untreated and some go years without visits from families and friends.

Send a message to Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche, one of Tibet’s jailed monks

Each month we will feature one of Tibet’s Robed Resisters and provide information about how to take action on their behalf. This month, you can send a solidarity message to jailed Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche. Find out about other actions you can take below.

Prisoner profile: Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche

Name: Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche (also known as Jigme Tenzin Nyima / Bangri Chogtrul Rinpoche)

Age: Born 1966 (49)

Reason for imprisonment: Bangri Rinpoche was convicted of ‘attempting to split the country’ after a partial confession was extracted by torture.

Detained: 1999

Sentence: life sentence, later commuted to 18 years

Location: Chushul prison, Tibet Autonomous Region

About: Bangri Rinpoche and his wife Nyima founded an orphanage for Lhasa’s deprived children in 1996 and were well-respected pillars of the Tibetan community. After his arrest, the orphanage was closed down. In justification for his conviction, authorities claimed he had met the Dalai Lama in India, accepted a foreign donation for the orphanage and had links with a man who had hoisted a Tibetan flag and then attempted to blow himself up. His wife, a former nun, was also imprisoned and released in 2006. Bangri Rinpoche’s “confession” was extracted by torture, whilst being interrogated over for five days and nights.


1. Send a solidarity message

Write a message to Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche. Free Tibet will ensure the messages written this month will be delivered to Chushul Prison.

2. Contact the authorities

Send messages in Chinese to the regional governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region and the governor of Chushul prison to demand humane treatment and freedom for Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche. You can also send a letter in your own language if you prefer.

Regional authorities do not have the power to release convicted prisoners but the Chinese Communist Party and its officials have considerable influence over the legal system. International attention on a prisoner’s case can encourage them to press for early release or a review of the legal case.

While he remains in prison, Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche is endanger of ill treatment. Although Chinese law guarantees certain rights for prisoners, they are rarely given to Tibetans.

Robed Resistance

Monasteries play an important role in Tibetan communities and are vital in preserving and protecting Tibet’s culture and language.

But monasteries also feel the full weight of China’s occupation. Communist officials interfere in their activities and monitor for signs of loyalty to the Dalai Lama. Many have police stations close by or even inside the monastery walls. Thousands of monasteries have been shut by China, while heavily-armed security forces intimidate religious gatherings. Monks and nuns are forced to show their loyalty and even fly the Communist flag on their buildings.

Undeterred, these monks and nuns continue to brave the consequences of their opposition to China’s rule and activist monks have been at the forefront of Tibetan protests for many years. Today, many have paid a heavy price for standing up for their country, their culture and their beliefs.

Here are some of the many currently imprisoned. We will be highlighting different prisoners each month and providing more information about how to take action to help him. This month, you can send a solidarity message to jailed Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche.

Tsangyang Gyatso

Age: Unknown

Reason for imprisonment: Tsangyang Gyatso has been charged for “separatist” activities, such as – having contact with people outside Tibet and China and plotting to protest with other monks against the Chinese Communist government.

Detained: 17 March 2014

Sentence: 12 years

Location: Chushul Prison, Tibet Autonomous Region

About: Tsangyang Gyatso is a senior monk and chant leader from Drilda Monastery, Sog County, TAR

Lobsang Gendun

Age: 21

Reason for imprisonment: Official charge is unknown. Lobsang Gendun was arrested for carrying out a solo protest, during which he called for the long life of the Dalai Lama and freedom for Tibet. The protest took place in Pashoe County during official celebrations marking the anniversary of the Communist Party of China. He has reportedly been tortured and is unable to walk.

Detained: 1 July 2013

Sentence: 10 years Location: To be confirmed

About: Lobsang Gendun is a monk from Drongsar Monastery, Pashoe County, Tibetan Autonomous Region

Tenzin Lhundrup

Age: Unknown

Reason for imprisonment: Unknown

Detained: May 2014

Sentence: 12 years

Location: To be confirmed

About: Tenzin Lhundrup is a well-respected senior Tibetan monk from Gom Gonsar Monastery in Driru County, TAR. Known for his social service and promotion of Tibetan culture, gave talks and Buddhist teachings, helped to arbitrate local disputes and advocated vegetarianism.

Tsultrim Kalsang

Age: 25

Reason for imprisonment: Tsultrim Kalsang charged with ‘intentional homicide’ (frequently used by Chinese authorities to crackdown on self-immolation protests in Tibet). It is not known why he has received this charge, although it is possibly linked to the self-immolations of Ngawang Norphel and Tenzin Khedup, whose bodies were taken to Tsultrim’s monastery.

Detained: 1 September 2012

Sentence: 10 years

Location: To be confirmed

About: Tsultrim Kalsang is a monk from Zilkar Monastery

Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche

Age: Born 1957 (58)

Reason for imprisonment: Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche is believed to have been detained following a peaceful demonstrations by nuns from Pangrina nunnery, where he is abbot, in order to deter local Tibetans from further protests.

Detained: 18 May 2008

Sentence: 8 years and 6 months

Location: Kardze County, Sichuan Province

About: Phurbu Tsering Rinpoche is the first reincarnate lama to be charged with a serious crime since Tenzin Delek Rinpoche (recently died in prison after serving 13 years of 20 year sentence).

Karma Tsewang

 (popularly known as Khenpo (abbot) Kartse (abbreviation of his name))

Age: 38

Reason for imprisonment: Khenpo Kartse is charged with harbouring fugitive Tibetans in his monastery. He is reported to be in very bad health and it is unclear whether he has been given appropriate medical treatment.

Detained: 6 December 2013

Sentence: 2 year and 6 months Location: Powo Tramo Prison, Tibetan Autonomous Region

About: Khenpo Kartse a highly respected senior monk who is well known for his advocacy of the Tibetan language and environment.

Thardhod Gyaltsen

Age: Unknown

Reason for imprisonment: Thardhod Gyaltsen’s charges are unknown but believed to have banned images and teachings of the Dalai Lama.

Detained: December 2013

Sentence: 18 years

Location: Most likely Chushul prison – to be confirmed

About: Thardhod Gyaltsen was well known for promoting Tibetan culture and Buddhism. His father was one of the thousands of Tibetans killed by China during the 1969 Driru County protests.

Yonten Gyatso

Age: 40

Reason for imprisonment: Yonten Gyatso was charged for allegedly sharing information about the self-immolation protest of Tenzin Wangmo. Detained: October 2011

Sentence: 7 years

Location: Prison in Chengdu (to be confirmed)

About: Yonten Gyatso, a senior monk from Khashi Monastery, Ngaba county was part of the Monastic Democratic Management Committee and taught Tibetan language to local primary school children and worked to preserve Tibetan culture and Buddhism.

Lomig (also known as Jo Jamyang)

Age: 27

Reason for imprisonment: Unknown. It is speculated that Lomig was detained for writing articles criticising China’s policies in Tibet.

Detained: 17 April 2015

Sentence: Not yet tried

Location: Unknown

About: Lomig is influential amongst young Tibetans in Ngaba and known for initiating debates and his writings about the situation in Tibet under China’s occupation.

Ngawang Gyaltsen

Age: 41

Reason for imprisonment: Uknown, although local Tibetans believe it to be politically related.

Detained: 24 February 2015

Sentence: Not yet tried, as far as is known

Location: To be confirmed

About: Ngawang Gyaltsen had been a monk at Shag Rongpo Monastery, where he was a well-known artist but disagreements with the Chinese government officials (running a re-education campaign for the monks and nuns) at the monastery led to officials harassing and keeping a heavy surveillance on him, leading him to leave the monastery. Authorities continued to harass Gyaltsen, who was not allowed to travel or meet with friends and family without government authorization.

Tsewang Choephel

Age: 29

Reason for imprisonment: The official reason for his arrest is unknown although local Tibetans believe it could be due to Tsewang Choephel’s presence at the self-immolation protest of fellow monk, Kalsang Yeshi, on 23 December 2014.

Detained: 18 May 2015 Sentence: Not yet tried, as far as is known

Location: Tawu County

About: During the self-immolation protest of Kalsang Yeshi, Tsewang Cauthorities. Since then he has been under constant police surveillance. Tsewang Choephel’s present whereabouts and condition are unknown.

We will be highlighting different prisoners each month and providing more information about how to take action to help him. This month, you can send a solidarity message to jailed Bangri Tsamtrul Rinpoche.

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24 july 3

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EU: Victory !! – European Parliament votes against funding bullfights.




European Parliament votes against funding bullfights

Well done all you folks who took action about this – YOU HAVE WON !


Over the years Animal Equality has been working to end one of the worst forms of animal abuse in the world: Bullfighting.  We have jumped into bullrings with banners, lowered ourselves from bullring buildings and other bullfighting symbols demanding abolition and launched campaigns and investigations that have gathered international media attention. Just this year we launched an international campaign aimed at the European Parliament demanding an end to EU subsidies to bullfighting. This campaign was different. It had a powerful element. YOU! You supported the campaign by being one of the 120,000 people who demanded the EU to stop funding bull torture. Your voice was heard.

Today, October 28th, the European Parliament decided to ban all subsidies to bullfighting with European funds. As a result, the 2016 European budgets will not include public aid for the breeding of bulls that will later be used in bullfights.

This is a huge victory for animals Mark as it sends a clear message: Bullfighting cruelty doesn’t belong in the European Union. It doesn’t belong to this century. It should be banned. 

Thanks Mark you helped achieve this step forward for animals.

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League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) news on the issue:


End of Cash Cow as Europe says ‘no’ to bullfighting subsidies

28 October 2015

Bullfighting faces an uncertain future today after MEPs voted to stop subsidies which support the rearing of bulls for fighting.

In a dramatic vote, 438 MEPs voted to end the £110 million a year pay outs given to farmers raising bulls for fighting in Spain, around £13.5m of which comes from UK taxes.

Tom Southern, Head of Public Affairs for the League Against Cruel Sports, said that the animal welfare charity was delighted – but aware that there were still hurdles to jump.

“People across Europe have spoken today, and it’s a great moment. MEPs from all countries have listened to people who are saying loud and clear – bullfighting is a barbaric and medieval pastime which has no place in modern society. There is no justification for public money propping it up, and we are delighted that MEPs have now voted to end the subsidy.

“The League Against Cruel Sports has been campaigning to end public payments towards the rearing of bulls for fighting for many years, and we would like to thank every MEP that heeded our call today.  This vote will not end bullfighting immediately, but it represents a significant step forward. Members of the European Parliament should be very proud of this decision.”

A similar vote was held last year, but failed to reach the required number of MEPs for the motion to pass. In today’s vote, 199 MEPs voted against the motion, with 50 abstentions. The issue will now move onto the EU Council and Commission, where further discussions will take place.

“Although public opposition to bullfighting has been high for many years, we are starting to see some real political movement on bullfighting now,” added Mr Southern. “The arguments that it is a tradition that should be sustained are being exposed and rejected, including by the Spanish people.”

Last month, a leading travel agent in the UK announced that it will no longer send its customers to the Pamplona bull running festival, after prolonged pressure from League Against Cruel Sports supporters.




Topdeck drops Pamplona holidays after League pressure

16 October 2015

Following pressure from the League Against Cruel Sports, leading 18-30s UK tour operator Topdeck Travel has dropped the Pamplona Fiesta, which centres on the Pamplona Bull Run, from its holiday destinations.

Tom Quinn, Campaigns Director for League Against Cruel Sports said:  “We warmly welcome Topdeck Travel’s decision to stop selling trips to the Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, Spain. 

“Tourism plays a major part in the continuation of bullfighting and the exploitation of the animals which are simply being abused and killed for entertainment.  Topdeck has recognised that public attitudes to bull running and bull fighting have changed and has concluded that it is no longer commercially viable to offer holidays which are associated with blood sports.

“All credit to the League’s supporters who have worked so hard to communicate to this travel company that bull running and bullfighting are sickeningly cruel and that these barbaric practices have no place in a modern society.”

The Bull Run is often portrayed as simply a testosterone-rush for party-goers, and a bit of exercise for the bulls, but the reality is very different. Many people attend the Bull Run without realising that it is a precursor for fights in the bull ring, which lead to the inevitable death of the animals.

Each morning bulls are forced to run a kilometre down the cobblestone streets of the town, chased by cheering participants and spectators. Once released, the bulls are frightened with gun shots, electrocuted with cattle prods and kicked and hit by jeering spectators, often down concrete or cobbled streets which they slip and slide on, suffering broken legs and other injuries in the process.

The bulls are chased into a holding pen at the bull ring, to await their deaths at the bullfights, during the ‘corrida de toros’ that take place later that evening. Whilst in the holding pens some may be subjected to further ‘weakening’ which can involve the shaving of their horns (an excruciating process which leaves them disorientated and more sensitive to pain), being debilitated with laxatives, having vaseline rubbed into their eyes to impair vision, and by being drugged.

In front of jeering crowds, the bulls are then tortured and antagonised by the matadors on horseback, waving flags and repeatedly stabbing the confused animals in the neck and back. The injured, bleeding bull, weakened and exhausted, is then killed with a sword by the picador.

If the animal is not killed immediately, it is stabbed repeatedly until paralysed. When the bull finally collapses, its spinal cord is cut, but the animal may still be conscious as its ears and tail are cut off and kept as a ‘trophies’.

Topdeck joins a range of large organisations that have been persuaded by the League Against Cruel Sports to drop their sponsorship or promotions of bullfighting, including STA Travel, Ryanair, Ben & Jerry’s and British Airways.  EasyJet, Thomas Cook and Brittany Ferries are among other operators that have ceased promoting the Pamplona festival. 

– Ends –


USA: Breaking News – Tyson Face Cruelty Charges After MFA Undercover Evidence.




Dear Mark,

It’s sickening. Birds punched, thrown, and even sexually assaulted.

Even after all I’ve seen in the 16 years since I founded Mercy For Animals, I was still completely shocked by the horrific cruelty and violence our brave investigator just exposed at Tyson Foods—the world’s largest poultry company.

Working undercover at a Tyson Foods slaughterhouse in Mississippi, a courageous MFA investigator documented chickens being dumped, dropped, dragged, hit like punching bags, tortured for fun, and even sexually assaulted as they were violently slammed into shackles on the slaughter line. He also documented countless birds getting their heads ripped off while they were still alive and chirping.

Yesterday, MFA filed affidavits with the Leake County Court in Mississippi to initiate charges of a total of 33 counts of animal cruelty against Tyson Foods Inc. and six particularly malicious workers at the facility.

This important story broke this morning in USA Today.


This is the third time since July that we’ve busted Tyson Foods for torturing animals, and now TV legend Candice Bergen is lending her voice to our campaign to push for meaningful changes to alleviate much of the suffering these sensitive and intelligent animals are forced to endure.

But we need your help too.


Please, take a moment to sign our petition calling on Tyson Foods to implement less cruel killing methods and other meaningful animal welfare policies to prevent the worst forms of animal abuse in its facilities.

Then please share the hidden-camera video with friends and encourage them to take action too.

And remember, the most powerful choice we can make to prevent cruelty to animals is to leave chickens and other animals off our plates.


Nathan Runkle


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Serbia: RIP Maxine.

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danica 27 oct maxine


With aching hearts and a slight pang of conscience, while we’re still wondering what we’ve missed and what more we could have done, we regret to inform you of the passing of our lovely Maxine.

We haven’t mentioned her for a long time as we had nothing important to say – she was gorgeous but almost unnoticeable, in the way that only quiet, placid and serene kitties are. A sweet, affectionate torbie tabby girl, totally unobtrusive and totally awesome, she was living her simple and peaceful life in the company of her kitty friends and the four years she spent in the shelter passed by in a flash. We knew she wasn’t young, but she wasn’t elderly either, and for some inexplicable reason it never occurred to us that she wouldn’t be here forever…

She started to decline slowly last winter but she was loving and beautiful nevertheless, although a little thinner. Spring came and went, then summer began and ended, but Maxine still seemed to be the same old Maxine we knew and loved, even though she had become significantly skinny despite her good appetite.

When the weather got cold, we noticed she had some nasal discharge, but knowing that she was also FIV positive, we took it seriously and rushed her to the vet who promptly prescribed her antibiotics; we were feeding her ground raw meat, giving her meds and vitamin supplements and she’d been putting up with everything with her usual tranquility. Just when we thought the worst had passed, she suddenly began to deteriorate frighteningly quickly and in only two short days she became incredibly gaunt, nothing but a faint wisp of the alluring, captivating kitty she once was. The end was near, she knew it and calmly accepted what was about to happen, while we were still frantically trying to think of something that would make her feel better, refusing to believe she was already far beyond any help.

Maxine passed away peacefully, she extinguished quietly like the flame of a candle, but her memory will live on forever in the hearts and minds of all of those she touched. Maybe time will alleviate the sorrow and ease the pain, but we’ll never miss and love this inconspicuous, yet fascinating kitty girl her any less.

Spread your wings and fly, our little angel, you’re free now and the sky is yours.