UK terrorism chief calls for ‘national debate’ on criminalizing doubts about Covid-19 vaccine


The UK’s top counter-terrorism cop has suggested society stop allowing people to question the wisdom of a rapid Covid-19 vaccine rollout, regarding such skepticism to being life-threatening “misinformation.”

Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu has pointedly questioned whether it is “the correct thing for a society to allow” the sharing of “misinformation that could cost people’s lives” — demonizing all doubts about quickly developed Covid-19 vaccines whose potential long-term effects are not yet known and tying them to extremist radicalization efforts.

While he didn’t go so far as to call for a law to be passed banning such content, his suggestion of a “national debate” will presumably light a fire under ministers already mulling such legislation.

Basu also expressed worries about a “sharp increase in extremist material online in the last few years” during Wednesday’s press conference, warning of a “new and worrying trend in the UK” of young people being radicalized.

Officials told UK media that Islamic extremists and far-right groups were using “false claims about coronavirus” to radicalize their followers.

Social media users are already wary of the rush to roll out the vaccine were disturbed by the attendant rush to criminalize criticism of it.

Met Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu


“Am I alone in finding this more worrying than the virus itself?” one user asked.

The counter-terrorism chief’s concerns have added to the growing chorus of government entities calling for the blanket censorship – or even criminalization – of vaccine skepticism.

The Labour Party earlier this week demanded the government adopt emergency legislation to impose civil and criminal penalties on social media platforms that don’t immediately remove posts that question the safety of the jab and other “false” materials.

Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth demanded government “deal with some of the dangerous nonsense, nonsensical anti-vax stuff that we’ve seen spreading on social media, which erodes trust in the vaccine” even though no vaccine has yet passed review by UK health authorities and speculation from either “side” of the debate is fully hypothetical.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to rule out making vaccination mandatory, and ministers are reportedly considering issuing QR codes to people who receive the jab that will allow them to attend sports, theatre, and other events.

Now we have to watch out for what we write, what we say, what we think.
We don’t live in a democracy, that is clear.
China could copy a lot from us, we are doing better than China.

My best regards to all, Venus

Denmark: Mink massacre costs ministers the job

18th November 2020

After a coronavirus mutation was found in the Danish mink, the government wanted to cull millions of fur animals. But apparently, the legal basis for this has so far been lacking.

It was now costing the Minister of Agriculture his job.

Danish Agriculture Minister Mogens Jensen has resigned after killing millions of minks.

“I informed the Prime Minister today that I want to resign from the government,” he said.

The Danish government had ordered the killing of all farmed mink because of the discovery of a mutated version of the coronavirus, without the necessary legislation for the culling of healthy animals.

“I apologize,” Jensen told the Danish broadcaster DR.

The killed minks are trucked to a military site in Denmark.

At the beginning of the month, a mutated version of the coronavirus was found on some Danish farms, which had also infected people. A total of around 15 million mink should then be killed, including healthy animals.

This means that two turbulent weeks in Denmark have reached their climax for the time being in the course of the killing of millions of fur animals.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on November 4th that all mink in the country should be culled because the coronavirus had mutated in the animals and had already spread to humans.

There was no legal basis

The crux of the scandal: As it turned out, there was no legal basis for the mass culling.

Jensen had only admitted this several days after the measure was announced: “The government has decided that given the seriousness of the situation, it is urgent. Therefore, it was determined that it was not possible to wait for new legislation to be announced. “

In particular, the Cluster 5 variant of the virus had been classified as worrying by the Danish health institute SSI because, according to the institute, it could have a possible impact on future coronavirus vaccines.

As it turned out, the necessary legal basis was missing for the mass cull.
Jensen only admitted this several days after the announcement of the measure.

In the meantime, the government has secured a parliamentary majority for a legal framework that will legally secure the rapid step and ban mink keeping in Denmark by the end of 2021.

And I mean…We want the Prime Minister to do the same.
She pronounced the illegal order of mass murder, she is complicit.

Denmark was the world’s largest producer of mink fur up to this week, along with China.

“Copenhagen Fur”, the auction house of Danish mink breeders, has a market share of 70 percent of the mink skins sold worldwide.
In 2013, Denmark exported mink skins worth almost two billion euros.

According to the industry association Danske Minkavlere, mink farming currently employs 6,000 people and there are around 1,100 mink farms in the country, most of them in North and West Jutland.

The chairman of the branch association Danske Minkavlere whines: “The employees are now losing their animals and their livelihoods. The work of decades is now in vain. We had built up the world’s best and healthiest mink population in Denmark.”

This is how you can call the concentration camps for fur animals, built-up work! If you make millions from it.

Now the Danish fur mafia has come to an end.
The Dutch have already banned mink breeding, as have Poland.
Only Finland remains and then we will most likely see an EU ban on this bloody industry.

Thank you, Corona!

My best regards to all, Venus

Australia: Australian farm to hold 50,000 crocodiles for luxury Hermès goods questioned by animal welfare groups.

This is a bit more on the issue of Australian crocodile farming that was covered by Venus on 12/11/20 –

More from ‘The Guardian’, London/

Australian farm to hold 50,000 crocodiles for luxury Hermès goods questioned by animal welfare groups | Environment | The Guardian

Australian farm to hold 50,000 crocodiles for luxury Hermès goods questioned by animal welfare groups

Farm to supply skins to make handbags and shoes would be one of the biggest in Australia under plan approved by Northern Territory government

The high-end French fashion brand Hermès wants to build one of Australia’s biggest crocodile farms in the Northern Territory that would hold up to 50,000 saltwater crocodiles to be turned into luxury goods such as handbags and shoes.

But the proposal has come under fire from animal welfare groups, who say other fashion brands have moved away from using exotic animal skins on cruelty grounds. Advocates told Guardian Australia they had concerns about the welfare of the crocodiles, and that farming animals for luxury goods was “no longer fashionable.”

The territory, a significant global supplier of crocodile skins, is already home to several crocodile farms owned by major fashion brands.

Northern Territory crocodile industry figure Mick Burns is leading the proposal on a former fruit farm near Darwin purchased earlier this year by the company PRI Farming, of which he is a director.

The NT government has already granted development approval for the project, with documents showing the farm would include an egg incubator laboratory, a hatchery, and growing pens, as well as wastewater treatment plants and a solar farm.

According to documents submitted to the territory’s Environmental Protection Authority, the farm would employ 30 people and build from an initial 4,000 crocodiles to 50,000, which the ABC has reported would make it one of the biggest crocodile farms in Australia.

An EPA statement to the Guardian said the project had been granted environmental approval, and that PRI had also indicated it would apply for a wildlife trade permit.

Dr Jed Goodfellow, a senior policy officer at RSPCA Australia, said the society remained opposed to killing of any animal “where the purpose of their death is primarily to produce a non-essential luxury item like fur or skin”.

Continue reading

EU: How to revise the Broiler Directive: science and best corporate practices lead the way to improve the lives of broiler chickens.

How to revise the Broiler Directive: science and best corporate practices lead the way to improve the lives of broiler chickens

19 November 2020

Press Release

Today a groundbreaking new report was launched presenting the first comprehensive scientific overview on the welfare of broiler chickens. Science and best corporate practices show improvements are feasible, urgent and should inform future EU legislation.

For immediate release: Brussels 19/11/2020

On November 19th, the Intergroup on the welfare and conservation of animals organised the event From minimum legal standards to “good lives” What needs to change for broiler chickens in the EU? 

Broiler chickens are the most numerous terrestrial farmed animals in the EU: 7.4 billion were slaughtered in 2018, of which the vast majority coming from intensive farming systems. While minimum standards for the protection of broiler chickens are laid down in various pieces of EU legislation, the current rules are clearly insufficient to guarantee broiler chicken welfare as they fail to address the main problems that are intrinsic to the industry. 

The European Commission is going to propose a revision of the current animal welfare acquis as part of the EU Farm to Fork strategy, and this meeting presented the science and practices that can inspire new standards for higher-welfare broiler chicken rearing. We asked six independent researchers to present the available scientific evidence on the welfare issues experienced by broiler chickens, from breeding to slaughter: a comprehensive report, launched during the event, entitled The welfare of broiler chickens in the EU: from science to action.

The report co-authors also shared their ideas for the future of broiler chicken farming in a short publication entitled A vision for the future broiler farming.

Policy makers will need to have answers and see concrete solutions to propose new science-based legislation fit for purpose and for the future. What needs to change to give broiler chickens good lives? The report, first of its kind, presents concrete science-based solutions: using slower-growing higher-welfare breeds, providing the right rearing environment, protecting parent birds and newly hatched chicks, best practices around transport and slaughter, and including wider societal issues. 

In the EU every year we rear billions of fast-growing broiler chickens. For the most part, these social, inquisitive and intelligent birds are deprived of the possibility to enjoy good welfare, let alone experience “good lives”. The science is clear, and this new report confirms that it is time to move to slower-growing breeds and higher welfare systems and to update relevant EU legislation. The coming years offer a very important window of opportunity for us MEPs to accelerate such change for broiler chickens and other farmed animals, thanks to the objectives of the Farm to Fork Strategy. I am personally committed to making this happen.

Anja Hazekamp MEP (GUE/NGL, NL), Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, and President of the Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals

The economic and animal welfare benefits of adopting higher welfare rearing systems using slower-growing breeds are clear. This will require designing a successful supply chain and involving consumers in the transition, while also taking into account sustainability. The audience had the opportunity to virtually visit Nijkamp Farm, a state of the art facility for higher-welfare broiler rearing, and heard from its owner Robert Nijkamp how animal welfare can meet sustainability. 

What we need is a paradigm shift, currently chicken is marketed as a cheap and ever-present commodity. As the report highlights, science and market opportunities make it possible to change the lives for broiler chickens. The Broiler Directive is not fit for purpose to make this happen, that’s why it should be revised to include breeding objectives for health and welfare, introduce animal welfare rules for broiler breeders, and improve rearing conditions for all broiler chickens. 

Reinke Hameleers, CEO, Eurogroup for Animals


Download The welfare of broiler chickens in the EU: from science to action

Download A vision for the future broiler farming

USA: President Elect Biden: Restore Crucial Protections for Threatened Gray Wolves.

Although we are based in England and Germany (Europe); we have always given our support in calling for protection of the Gray wolves in the United States.

Click here to see all our past involvement on this:

Fortunately, with new President elect Mr Biden; there is now a chance to once again give Gray wolves the protection they deserve that has been demolished by the Trump administration.  We urge you please to give your support to the petition which is provided in the following link; and get back from the president elect the protection that wolves deserve.

Trump does not give a damn about the environment or animal protection; that is why we are more than happy to see him throw all the toys out of the pram; have numerous tantrums and be resigned to the (ex) presidential history books.  We don’t want people who dismiss science for the environment or global warming; just the same as they dismiss animal welfare and protection legislation.

We are sure that with Mr. Biden, things will be much better.  Please sign and pass on the petition, thank you.

Petition Link:


Target: Joseph R. Biden, President-elect, United States of America

Goal: Demand restoration of protected status for gray wolves.

Trump administration officials have officially stripped threatened gray wolf populations throughout most of the United States of their protection under the Endangered Species Act, leaving them vulnerable to greater hunting and predation even as their numbers were recovering from centuries of destructive human activity. Gray wolves are an essential part of many ecosystems across North America, but human settlement, pollution, hunting, and shrinking habitats have destroyed populations throughout much of their historical range.

The revocation of protected status is based on the claim that more than 6,000 wolves now live in wild populations. However, these exist in only limited areas in the northern United States, and wildlife experts say that removing federal protections may severely hinder the gray wolves’ ability to recover outside of these areas. Critics have pointed out the suspicious timing of this decision as the 2020 election winds down. Demand that President-elect Joe Biden pledge to restore protected status to gray wolves to ensure their complete recovery in the regions they once inhabited.


Dear Mr. President-elect,

The gray wolf was once an essential part of ecosystems across North America, helping to control pest populations and provide balance to numerous delicate food chains. Once near extinction, they have made a partial recovery, but that progress could soon be destroyed by the outgoing Trump administration. It falls to you to provide the protection needed by gray wolves to ensure a complete recovery in the coming months as you take up your duties. I urge you to act quickly to save our threatened wildlife.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: dalliedee

USA: News from the Center for Biological Diversity.


News from the Center for Biological Diversity

Endangered Earth – November 2020.

Trump Pushes Oil Industry for More Arctic Drilling

With his presidency now nearing its end, Trump is rushing through a process to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain to lease for oil drilling.

The administration has invited oil companies to name the areas they’d like to drill in one of the nation’s most iconic and sacred landscapes. The Center for Biological Diversity joined Indigenous groups this week in condemning the move.

“On his way out the door, Trump is trying to lock in climate chaos and the extinction of polar bears and other endangered Arctic species. This is unconscionable,” said the Center’s Kristen Monsell. “The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge can’t be replaced, so we can’t let this president give it away to Big Oil.”

Learn more and speak up for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Tell the EPA: Choose Pollinators Over Poisons

We can thank pollinators like bees for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat. We owe a lot to them — and now they urgently need our help.

The Environmental Protection Agency is about to approve yet another toxic pesticide. Called tetraniliprole, it’s acknowledged by the agency to be “highly toxic” to bees and aquatic insects. This new approval for its use on many pollinator-attractive plants — including peppers, tomatoes, peaches, cherries and oranges — will likely fall to the next administration.

Roughly 40% of the world’s insects may be facing extinction. The last thing they need is another poison to contend with. Tell the EPA in the Biden administration to keep tetraniliprole off our food and away from our bees.

Legal Roundup: Montana, Wyoming and the Virginias

The Center’s legal work of the last few weeks has focused on protecting interconnected resources: habitat, climate, and clean air and water.

In Montana we filed a legal protest challenging a massive logging project that would clearcut thousands of acres — including old-growth trees — and threaten an imperiled population of grizzly bears and protected Canada lynx habitat.

In Wyoming we challenged a plan to approve the sale of fracking leases on 275,000 acres of public land. Fracking those leases would destroy habitat for greater sage grouse, worsen air quality and cause up to 43 million tons of climate pollution.

And an appeals court has sided with the Center and partners by issuing an immediate stay of Mountain Valley Pipeline’s stream and wetland crossing permits in northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia: a win for both people and imperiled species.


Center Op-ed: What’s Next for Wolves

Gray wolves face an uncertain future after the Trump administration’s recent move to strip their Endangered Species Act protections.

But as the Center’s Collette Adkins writes in a new Chicago Tribune op-ed, President-elect Biden will now have the chance to break from the path taken by his predecessors. He can direct federal wildlife agencies to embrace a science-backed, full recovery of wolves in the lower 48 states.

And if Biden chooses instead to let the delisting to stand? Well, we’ve been in that fight before. Whatever comes next for wolves, we’ll be on the front lines to protect them.

Saving Humboldt Martens — New Hopes, New Threats

“Martens belong to the weasel family and look a bit like squirrels that have been stretched out and trained for battle: cute, but ferocious.”

That’s one of our favorite sentences from this engaging new article on the plight of Humboldt martens, secretive carnivores usually associated with old-growth forests. One marten population, however, has managed to survive in the sand dunes of Oregon in a tiny strip of shore pines.

Follow along as a conservationist and her marten-tracking dog sniff out these rare, fascinating little mammals. You’ll learn the latest on the species’ plight, including from the Center’s Tierra Curry, who’s helped lead our successful decade-long campaign to win federal protection for Humboldt martens.

Wild & Weird: Testing Facial Recognition for Bears

Silicon Valley developers have teamed up with biologists and conservationists to develop artificial intelligence software that can identify, with some success, the faces of individual bears. The app they developed, BearID, could one day be used to monitor the health of bear populations around the world.

Read more at The New York Times.