USA: Trump Gears Up to Gut Crucial Environmental Law.

 

Trump Gears Up to Gut Crucial Environmental Law

The Trump administration this week launched the largest rollback in history to the vital protections for air, water and wildlife provided by the National Environmental Policy Act.

The president’s Council on Environmental Quality began its assault on the 48-year-old law Wednesday, targeting its longstanding requirements for robust environmental review before federal projects are approved.

“The Trump administration is taking a sledgehammer to the process that gives scientists and the public a say on federal projects harming clean air, water and wildlife,” said the Center for Biological Diversity’s Paulo Lopes. “If this landmark law is gutted, the power plants and factories that corporations target for poor and underrepresented communities will routinely be rubberstamped.”

Stay tuned for how you can help fight this attack and read more in our press release

 

 

A Win for Black Bears in Washington State

After a Center lawsuit, a judge has stopped — for now — the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from issuing any more permits for killing black bears on private timberlands using bait, traps and other inhumane methods.

Despite the fact that voters in the state had already outlawed these cruel practices, the department created a program authorizing these types of bear killings by a small group of hunters in industry-owned forests. The judge’s ruling, made last Friday, suspends that illegal program.

“This decision will save many bears from a cruel death, and that’s a big relief,” said the Center’s Collette Adkins. “Now we’ll focus on shutting down the program for good.”

Get more from Associated Press.

 

 

Destructive California Mega-warehouse Defeated

Responding to a lawsuit by the Center and allies, a judge has ruled against a massive, environmentally destructive warehouse project planned for Southern California, called the World Logistics Center.

This 40-million-square-foot project — about three times the size of New York’s Central Park — would’ve added 14,000 daily truck trips to roads leading to the city of Moreno Valley; worsened already poor air quality; and harmed imperiled wildlife in the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, from burrowing owls to Los Angeles pocket mice. Read more.

 

 

Crisis Deepens for West Coast’s Southern Resident Orcas

The news for endangered orcas on the West Coast just went from bad to worse. Researchers announced over the weekend that another Southern Resident orca has died — driving this population to its lowest levels in more than 30 years.

The death of the whale named “Crewser” now means there are just 75 left in the wild.

This news comes in the wake of a Center legal petition pressing Trump to protect Southern Resident orcas’ habitat off California, Oregon and Washington.

We’ve been fighting for these unique marine mammals for years, and we won’t stop now. Learn more in our press release and make a donation to help us save endangered West Coast orcas

 

 

 

Trump’s Trophy-hunting Panel Pushes Ahead

The national controversy over trophy hunting of imperiled wildlife came to Atlanta this week with the latest meeting of a new federal wildlife advisory committee that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stacked with trophy hunters and gun-industry reps.

The so-called International Wildlife Conservation Council is composed almost entirely of hunters and people affiliated with the National Rifle Association. Fifteen of the council’s 16 members have ties to trophy hunting or guns.

This week’s meeting is a sure sign that Zinke and others aren’t giving up on their push for more trophy hunting of elephants and lions. Check out what the Center’s Tanya Sanerib has to say in her op-ed this week in The Hill.

 

 

Read lots more at  http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/

 

China: Yulin 2018 Has Started. Early Data From UK Press – Graphic Pictures !

Yulin 2018 has now started.

We are giving links here to UK Press coverage of the first day of Yulin in China.

What you see / read is what you get – it is un edited by us.

WARNING – there are many graphic pictures.

 

Links:

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/977695/Yulin-dog-meat-festival-pictures-China-lychee-dog-meat-festival-pictures

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/977873/Yulin-dog-meat-festival-2018-why-are-animals-tortured-dog-meat

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/977866/Yulin-dog-meat-festival-2018-facts-what-is-the-Yulin-dog-meat-festival

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/976693/yulin-dog-festival-2018-yulin-slaughterhouse-pictures-latest

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/977179/yulin-dog-festival-terrified-dogs-blood-soaked-hell-on-earth-blowtorches-dog-meat

 

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/965466/Yulin-dog-meat-eating-festival-2018-slaughter-China-Diaz-Ricky-Gervais

 

 

 

 

Australia: Live Exports Breaking News – Emanuel Exports Licence Has Now Been Suspended.

Brilliant News !

This was the export company who were filmed during voyages to the Middle East; which showed the immense suffering and horrific conditions on the ship during the animals journey.

Watch the conditions and suffering in the videos on our old post – link here:

Old Post – https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2018/04/13/australia-the-real-horrors-of-live-exports-now-exposed-and-a-crap-aussie-government/

 

Mark, in almost 11 weeks since 60 Minutes showed horrific routine conditions on board live export ships, hundreds of thousands of Australians have emailed, written, phoned and rallied to stop live sheep exports.

 

Today, we received incredible news.

Around 4.45pm today, we received word that the Department of Agriculture has suspended Emanuel Exports’ live export licence.

This follows the news we shared with you earlier in the week, that Livestock Shipping Services, Australia’s other largest live sheep exporter, was halting exports for the Middle Eastern summer this year.

Together, these two businesses account for almost all live sheep exports from Australia.

We have long said that if the laws were enforced, live export would become impossible. This is proof of that.

Make no mistake, Emanuel’s is not the exception. What we saw in the 60 Minutes footage included routine conditions across multiple voyages. This is what long-haul live sheep export looks like, and it must not be allowed to continue.

This is a crucial step toward the inevitable end of live sheep exports.

Email your MP and Senators to tell them, now is the time for government to put Australia’s best interests first: protect our animals, provide certainty for the future, and legislate for a phase-out of live sheep exports.

 

 

Australia: Breaking News – 2nd Largest Sheep Exporter Stops Live Exports In Middle East Summer !

 

One of Australia’s major live export companies has announced it will not send sheep into the deadly Middle Eastern summer this year.

This will spare 150,000 Aussie sheep from the horror of live export.

The West Australian newspaper broke the news that Livestock Shipping Services, Australia’s second largest sheep exporter, has paused its northern summer operations because new government regulations have impacted profitability.

Mark, this is an historic milestone in our efforts to save sheep from this cruellest of trades.

The decision by this exporter confirms that the live sheep trade has a business model based on suffering. The government’s new requirements are minimal in terms of animal welfare improvements, but clearly they inhibit the ability of exporters to make their desired profits.

With temperatures rising in the Middle East, this last minute reprieve for Aussie sheep could not have come at a more critical time. More than 22,000 sheep have perished on this exporter’s vessels over the past five years — over 4,000 of them dying from heat stroke on a single shipment.

But these animals have been spared from more than a gruelling sea journey. These sheep would have been destined for the annual ‘Festival of Sacrifice’ in Jordan — a time when cruelty and suffering inevitably increase.

But not this year. And, if we can keep the pressure on, not ever again.

Incredibly, there is still one major live sheep exporter, Emanuel Exports, on the water, despite being exposed for regulatory breaches and terrible animal cruelty. But they will be watching developments closely, knowing that their days of inflicting suffering on sheep are numbered.

Emanuel Exports’ offices were ‘raided’ by WA authorities yesterday as part of their investigation into breaches of WA Animal Welfare Laws. This company is central to our Federal Court action which will play out next month as we present our case that export permits are being granted unlawfully.

There is barely a day currently when we don’t hear of a development that brings us closer to ending this cruel trade. To have stopped one of Australia’s largest sheep exporters sailing from our shores is a memorable day. Those who support this industry would have hoped the wave of compassion for these animals that arose after 60 Minutes would be short-lived. How wrong they were…

So very proud and grateful to have you with us in this historic battle.

For the animals,

Lyn White AM
Animals Australia

 

 

 

 

Russia: World Cup Strays – Impounded In Shelters or Murdered ? – Your Views Please.

Regarding our recent post about stray dogs being killed in Russia for the lead up to the World Cup; there are reports that some of the photos used have actually been dogs killed in places such as Pakistan.

 

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2018/06/13/russia-119-million-british-pounds-to-be-spent-cleaning-up-russian-of-stray-dogs-ahead-of-the-world-cup/

 

Here is the link to an article which says this:

 

https://www.rt.com/news/430060-fake-russia-dog-cull/

 

Judging by the photo (above), it certainly does not look to us like Russia.  In our recent post it says:

Killing stray animals is a lucrative business in Russia. Companies compete for municipal contracts that pay a set fee per animal killed. According to reports, Yekaterinburg paid a municipal waste management company over $533,000 in December 2017 to capture more than 4,500 dogs. The Moscow Times reported that the dogs were held up to two weeks before being euthanized.

 

The article also states:

‘deputy prime minister Vitaly Mutko ordered all 11 cities hosting World Cup matches to set up temporary shelters for stray animals. Municipal shelters were built in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaliningrad, and Saransk, with foster centres being built in the rest of the cities. Some of these shelters can expect an influx of stray animals ahead of the tournament, many of whom will spend the remainder of their lives in overcrowded cages’.

 

So; temporary ‘shelters’ for stray dogs, or a policy of simply killing all that they round up and catch.  Who is to be believed with what they say ?

 

How do you feel about these stories ? –  please give feedback via the ‘leave a reply’ box at the end of the original article; or on this one.  SAV.

Australia: Live Animal Export News. 17/6/18.

 

 

Permit approval for export of 58,000 sheep is ‘illogical’, court told

Animals Australia is challenging the transportation of the livestock, claiming it fails mandatory safety requirements

Melissa Davey

Thu 14 Jun 2018 08.30 BST Last modified on Thu 14 Jun 2018 08.32 BST

Animals Australia says a current shipment cannot meet mandatory safety standards.

The assistant secretary of the agriculture department, Narelle Clegg, must have approved the export of 58,000 sheep from Western Australia based on “irrational, illogical or unreasonable” information, the federal court has heard.

Animals Australia has taken the federal government to court to argue the export permit granted by Clegg to Emanuel Exports for the voyage was unlawful. The ship is bound for the Middle East and began its voyage on 6 June.

Representing Animals Australia, Dan Star QC, told Justice Debbie Mortimer at hearing in Melbourne that Clegg had been presented with scientific and expert evidence that showed the ship did not meet mandatory requirements for an export permit to be approved.

This included a report from a vet and a meteorologist showing a 50% probability that ambient wet-bulb temperatures during the Indian Ocean part of the journey could reach temperatures of 28C or more for more than one day in a row. This probability rose to 70% for the Persian Gulf part of the journey, Star said.

Live exports regulator cries while describing conditions that led to 2,400 sheep deaths

These conditions could lead to severe heat stress and death to the animals, he said. But permit requirements mean the secretary needs to be satisfied that the health and welfare of animals will be maintained throughout the course of an export journey.

“It is impossible to be satisfied of these conditions and mandatory requirements,” Star said. “The secretary must have misunderstood the scope of her power … there is nothing to justify her being satisfied of these requirements … [her decision] must have involved irrational, illogical, or unreasonable findings.”

Emanuel Exports came under scrutiny in April after footage was aired on 60 Minutes from one of its export ships, the Awassi Express, which showed sheep dying from severe heat stress. The footage, filmed in August 2017, triggered an inquiry into conditionsduring the Middle Eastern summer. Livestock vet Dr Michael McCarthy led the review and made a number of recommendations. In its submission to the review, the Australian Veterinary Association called for a ban on live sheep exports to the Middle East between May and October. The government rejected this recommendation.

Live export opponents should check their moral compass, minister says

“It gets worse for sheep in July and August,” Star said. “We say that it is urgent for there to be a trial because there is a heat-stress season that runs from May to October.”

Star requested that Clegg provide the court with documents detailing the decision-making process behind granting the permit to Emanuel Exports by 19 June. He said he wanted to see the risk assessment model for heat stress used by the department in making its decision to grant the export permit.

“It should be publicly available or at least provided to us,” he said.

Mortimer responded: “We’re not here on some jurisdictional fact inquiry about the validity of the model.”

A lawyer representing the government told Mortimer “the model contains a software program”. Data was entered into the program, such as the number of livestock and the species. “It produces outcomes which assists in some evaluation of likely occurrence of heat-stress events and mortalities,” he said. “I don’t think the department itself possesses the software program.”

The regulatory regime for exporting livestock was likely to change as early as next week as a result of findings from the McCarthy review, he said, but he did not elaborate on that those changes would be.

The hearing continues.

 

Live export company directors to face up to 10 years in jail under Coalition’s changes

Space allocated to sheep on live export ships to the Middle East will be increased by up to 39%

Space allocated to sheep on live export ships to the Middle East will be increased by up to 39% and directors of live export companies who flout the new rules will face up to 10 years in prison under sweeping changes announced by the Turnbull government on Thursday.

But the reforms to address mass sheep mortalities caused by heat stress do not extend to banning trade to the Middle East from May to October, which was recommended by Australia’s peak veterinary body, and “encourage” but do not enforce improved ventilation on live sheep export ships.

Animal welfare groups, including the RSPCA, say the review has misunderstood the science and its 23 recommendations, all of which have been adopted by government, are not sufficient to avoid another catastrophic heat stress event.

The recommendations, which include placing independent observers on all live sheep and cattle ships, only apply to the live trade during the Middle Eastern summer, from May to October. The majority of reportable mortality events in the past decade, where more than 2% of sheep on board have died, have occurred on ships that left Australia in August.

Livestock vet Dr Michael McCarthy was tasked with reviewing the risk of heat stress to the $250m trade in April, after the agriculture minister and Nationals MP David Littleproud was shown whistleblower footage from a now notorious voyage of the live export ship Awassi Express on which 2,4000 sheep died.

The Awassi is part of a fleet stocked by the West Australian company Emanuel Express, which is the largest sheep exporter by volume. About nine days after the Awassi set sail on that voyage in 2017, the company was under fire for another mass mortality event caused by heat stress on the ship Al Messilah in July 2016, on which about 3,000 sheep died.

At a press conference in Sydney on Thursday, Littleproud said he was disgusted by the whistleblower footage but that implementing a ban on the summer trade would harm Australian sheep producers.

“The footage was disgraceful but what you don’t need to do is predicate your decisions on emotions and not facts,” he said. “This was one exporter, one incident … If you have other footage, bring them forward.

Vets join calls to end live sheep exports in northern summer

“If I have penalties and get the industry themselves to come on this journey, I will eradicate that, but what I’m doing is getting ahead of the curve. By putting independent observers on all boats, it will eradicate this type of behaviour going forward.”

The whistleblower footage from the Awassi Express is the first such footage ever smuggled off a live export ship.

Littleproud said the changes recommended in the McCarthy review included adopting an allometric heat stress model, which would base the space requirements for sheep on the point at which an animal begins to feel heat stress, rather than the point at which heat stress becomes fatal.

That will mean the individual heat allocation for sheep, currently about one-third of a square metre, will be increased by up to 39% depending on predicted weather conditions, the ventilation conditions on board the ship and the size of the sheep.

That is an overall reduction in stocking density of about 28%.

The new formula for calculating stocking density takes into account ventilation and airflow onboard the ship, meaning that boats with improved ventilation can carry more sheep. Littleproud said it would “encourage exporters to upgrade their boats”, but there are no firm requirements forcing an upgrade.

Based on the current live export fleet, McCarthy’s review suggested stocking density could be reduced on individual ships by up to 79%.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will also be required to conduct a mandatory review of all sheep voyages with a mortality rate of 1% or greater. One per cent is the average mortality rate for live sheep ships.

Littleproud said he would introduce changes to the Australian Meat and Industry Act to impose penalties of up to $4.2m on companies and $2.1m on directors who “seek to profit from breaking export rules around stocking densities and poor animal welfare practices.”

Directors could also face up to 10 years in prison.

Most of the changes will be in place from 1 July.

The RSPCA said the recommendations were “weak” and “not based on science or evidence”.

“These recommendations completely ignore the science and are not enough to reduce the risk of either consistent harm to animals or the catastrophic conditions we’ve seen previously,” the RSPCA’s chief science officer, Dr Bidda Jones, said.

“It’s frankly extraordinary that this review will allow May to October voyages to continue, taking winter-acclimatised animals into temperatures of more than 40 degrees, and humidity of up to 80%. There’s no stocking density limit that can protect sheep in those kinds of conditions. A single sheep standing on a deck will suffer and can die under those heat and humidity levels.”

Jones said it was unacceptable that the increased space allocation only applied during the Middle Eastern summer, and that a 28% decrease in stocking density year-round was the “minimum required” to avoid dire animal welfare outcomes.

Coalition won’t ban live exports and has delayed report’s release

The Australian Veterinary Association, on whose calculations the heat stress formula is based, recommended a year-round increase in the space allocation of 39% for a 50kg sheep, and a greater increase in the summer months – assuming its first recommendation of banning the summer trade was not accepted.

Jones said Littleproud’s announcement was a betrayal of the trust placed in him by animal welfare organisations.

The Animals Australia founder, Lyn White, said the recommendations were “an appalling breach of faith with the Australian community.”

“This is a lily-livered government response designed to protect exporters, not animals,” White said.

The opposition agriculture spokesman, Joel Fitzgibbon, also criticised the review and said Labor would act to ban the summer trade “at the first opportunity,” and look to phasing out the live sheep trade long term.

There are two private member’s bills before parliament to ban live exports.

 

International: Major Global Actions Against Live Exports on 14/6/18.

https://www.ciwf.org.uk/news/2018/06/stop-live-transport-international-day-of-awareness-2018

Thursday (14th June), the world united to call for an end to the long distance transport of animals. Passionate campaigners from 35 countries took over 150 actions to raise awareness of this cruel trade.

 

In the UK, over 500 people gathered in Parliament Square, London to take their message directly to politicians. A 20ft banner in the shape of a livestock ship provided the backdrop for the day and supporters staged a dramatic ‘die-in’. Wearing sheep masks, the crowd – joined by our Patron and Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch – dropped down to the ground as if dead, in recognition of the countless animals that have suffered and died during long distance journeys.

Around the world millions of animals are transported long distances in cramped conditions every year, causing horrific suffering. Many animals receive insufficient food, water, rest and space to move, and face inhumane treatment at slaughter.

Speakers at the rally included Downton Abbey actor and animal welfare activist Peter Egan and Members of Parliament, Zac Goldsmith, Theresa Villiers, Sir David Amess, Kerry McCarthy and Sir Roger Gale.

Speaking at the protest, Zac Goldsmith MP said: “I’ve never felt more optimistic than I do today…we will stop this trade.”

Sir Roger Gale MP added: “This is a war we can win, we are going to win this one!”

Evanna Lynch said: “It’s very possible the end is in sight and that’s when events like this are amazing for people to show that normal people care about this and that we won’t tolerate this kind of abuse.”

Many famous faces supported the Day of Awareness, including business tycoon and Dragon’s Den favourite, Deborah Meaden, Hollyoaks and Les Misérables actor, Carley Stenson and conservationist and author, Stanley Johnson.

Absolutely Fabulous actress and campaigner, Joanna Lumley, also joined our call to Stop Live Transport: “The true horror of live transport never fails to shock me. It is totally nonsensical that this unimaginable cruelty continues in 2018. I urge you to take a stand against this awful trade. It’s time to Stop Live Transport.”

Other highlights included a truck tour through Italy, a protest in Dam Square, Amsterdam, a huge banner hung on the side of a prominent building in Prague, photos taken in front of famous landmarks in France, 13 protests across Poland and many more.

A huge thank you to everyone who organised an event or took part – in person or online. You made this year’s Stop Live Transport: International Awareness Day, the biggest yet!