Across Asia, moon bears may be “vulnerable” but in Vietnam their plight looks much worse.


Across Asia, moon bears may be “vulnerable” but in Vietnam their plight looks much worse


For almost a decade moon bears have been classified as “vulnerable” in the wild, but has bear bile farming actually pushed them to the edge of extinction in Vietnam?

By Animals Asia’s Vietnam Director, Tuan Bendixsen, a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and IUCN Bear Specialist Group

There’s no doubt that the number of moon bears in Asia has been rapidly declining since the 1990s when demand for their bile exploded, fuelling a sharp rise in poaching and the cruel and illegal practice of bear bile farming, particularly in Vietnam and China.

But how dramatic is the decline? That’s one of the most important – and toughest – questions for experts to answer.

Read the full article at:







England: New Report On Live Animal Transport Shows The EU and UK Authorities Are Failing In Their Obligations To ‘Protect’ Animals During Transport.

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Please find above a link to a new report by CIWF that shows that there is very little enforcement of EU Regulation 1/2005 on the so called ‘protection of animals during transport’ by UK and thus EU authorities (UK is currently a member state of the EU – so it all fails !).

It’s powerful stuff, copy send it and invite publication anywhere you think it will do good.  We are starting with Mr Van Goethem at the EU; as we have said so many times; the EU talk of regulations; but in reality, such as with EU animal exports to Turkey; the likes of Mr Van Goethem show no inclination to do anything about animal suffering which is recorded and documented by welfare groups who are on the road; and not stuck in cosy EU offices like Mr Van Goethem.

This report makes it clear that UK authorities are not doing enough to enforce the regulation; as with the EU authorities who just don’t give a damn about any of it; which begs the question ‘why do they exist ?’ – could we not direct our EU financial contributions into an effective force rather than to departments who have people like Mr Van Goethem – those who do nothing.

Please share this post and report to whoever yopu consider may find it useful.

Until the EU takes REAL action rather than just spouting its utterly useless mouth off about ‘EU Regulations’, we will continue to show them up for what they are – a waste !

It could be argued one of the reasons why today, 1/2/17, the UK parliament will be voting to start the implementation of triggering Article 50 to LEAVE the EU.  A nation of people fed up with EU weasel words which mean nothing in reality.

Here for example is what we mean – watch the videos of evidence and then question why the EU and Mr Van Goethem say that they cannot do anything.  They are a disgrace !

We have sent the above to Mr Van Goethem at the EU – here is confirmation that it has been rec’d:

Your message

   To: VAN GOETHEM Bernard (SANTE)

Subject: More Evidence for you to do yet more ‘nothing’ about !!
Sent: 01 February 2017 13:13:58 (UTC+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris

 was read on 01 February 2017 14:14:00 (UTC+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris.



EU: Now The EU Officials Tell EU Citizens What Has Been Bloody Obvious For Years – And They Have Set Up A New ‘Platform’ Of Experts To Process It !!!





24/1/17 – We have had the following though today from the EU – Health and Food Safety e-News update – 24/01/2017.  SAV.

So here we go yet again – now we are going to witness the creation of an ‘expert’ group called the ‘Platform on Animal Welfare’  who will work together; and who have so far produced a series of very expensive reports to inform us that citizens of the EU are very concerned about the welfare of animals !

We could have left out all of the high gloss, very expensive reports and done the job to basically tell them that for £10 at most.  But then they never listen to us (welfare groups) about anything; the huge call for a maximum journey time for animals in transport of 8 hours being just one example.  Millions of EU citizens voiced their opinion and disgust, and it resulted in ………… nothing in the way of action by EU ‘experts’.

While we are here, lets bring up the issue of live EU animals being transported to Turkey for slaughter.  Watch the videos to see how our ‘EU experts’ such as Mr Van Goethem are enforcing the 5 freedoms and EU Regulation 1/2005 protecting animals during transport as they head off for slaughter into Turkey:





As you can see in our many post which we have provided links to at the end, we are currently in a position where the EU is even currently unable to even start to enforce its own animal welfare regulations (such as Regulation 1/2005 for the so called ‘protection’ of animals in transport – what an EU JOKE !) on live animal transport – both within many parts of the EU member states, and certainly for live animals being exported to Turkey.

This is how good; or should we say ‘utterly useless’ major EU ‘official’ people are.

And so what do we hear now ? – the creation of an EU ‘expert’ group called the ‘Platform on Animal Welfare’ who will spend millions of Euros and many, many months to provide yet further reports on what we consider to be the bloody obvious to all – that most ‘ normal and sensible’ (non EU official) put animal welfare high on their list of priorities.

The very expensive, glossy, great looking reports produced so far inform us for example, we have the following statement:

Looking at country results, it appears that more than four out of five respondents in each of the Member States consider the welfare of farmed animals to be “important” but with varying degrees.

Almost every respondent (99%) in Sweden, Finland and Portugal consider animal welfare to be ‘important’, in comparison to respondents (86%) in Croatia, Hungary and Poland, the countries with the lowest proportions of respondents.


That’s really great information Mr EU; but the question is – so what action are you taking to benefit animal welfare protection ?

With over 11 years experience in the welfare of animals and their countless abuses  within Serbia, we know that for example, the vast majority of Croatians do not consider animal welfare to be very important.  But they want to join the EU and take billions of EU Euros for …  what, corruption ?

Do we have to have glossy reports from EU experts at huge cost to explain that to us Croatia is not so good at animal welfare as Sweden ? – maybe this is all that ‘expert groups’ can really do – spend lots of money to inform us of the obvious – stuff we already know – and then finally for the experts to not actually take any action to rectify what is being said, shown and petitioned throughout Europe by the welfare groups ? – What a complete and utter waste of time and money, but oh how so very typical EU officialdom  – I think the term we have here in the UK to describe this is ‘jobsworth’ – people who in reality do nothing actually trying to justify their job and existence by producing useless and obvious information for the masses – information they already know  !


It is also interesting, but no surprise at all to us, that from the report:

More than four in five respondents (82%) believe that the welfare of farmed animals should be better protected than it is now. More than two in five Europeans (44%) hold a stronger view, responding with “yes, certainly”, while more than a third (38%) of respondents believe that the welfare of animals should “probably” be better protected than it is now.

Who really cares if it is 70%, 80% or 82% ? – people want animals better protected.  They want action from the EU experts who produce such crap.  Again, something we have known for years, but something which the leaders of men at the EU do not appear to be able to pick up on without a glossy and very expensive ‘book of the bleeding obvious’ being placed in front of them.  Even after this, will they act ?

One of the best statements comes at the start of the report publication – it declares:

Animal welfare legislation has evolved during this time, in accordance with citizens’ expectations and market demands. In 1998, an important step was taken called the Council Directive 98/58/EC, which provided general rules for the protection of farm animals kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or other farming purposes.


The rules were based upon the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes and reflect the so-called ‘Five Freedoms’:

Freedom from hunger and thirst;

Freedom from discomfort;

Freedom from pain, injury and disease;

Freedom to express normal behaviour;

Freedom from fear or distress.

 (Don’t the videos from Turkey above show all this ? – we think NOT – SAV).

The Lisbon Treaty adopted in 2009, amending the ‘Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union’, acknowledged the recognition that animals are sentient beings.


The amount of data and video evidence obtained by EU animal welfare organisations over the last 5+ years regarding EU animals exported live to Turkey has clearly shown that the EU in its official expert capacity is utterly incapable of enforcing the 5 freedoms for any of the EU animals being exported there – the 5 freedoms they bleat on about in their documentation, which in reality means absolutely nothing.  As is usual, the EU says one thing on paper, declaring that everything is hunky-dory, but the actual reality obtained by the welfare groups on the ground and in the trench shows that they are self declared incompetents (Mr Van Goethem) and cannot enforce anything even coming near to the 5 freedoms when the evidence is presented to them – they all adopt the ‘jobsworth’ stance as we have outlined earlier in this post.  I have to look like the rules are being enforced; and even when presented with evidence to the contrary, I cannot act.

Probably the most important thing to come from this report is that there is no overall ‘conclusion’ – something which you do normally witness in reports.  So whart exactly is the EU citizen supposed to conclude from all these acres of figures and declarations of the five freedoms ? – we don’t know because it does not really tell us how the experts are going to put all the figures they have obtained at great expense into meaningful practice.

Possibly the EU is embarrassed to inform us that over the years they have utterly failed to enforce the requirements of what is obvious to most that is outlined in the report anyway – we have to ask that with the statements made recently by Mr (I can do nothing) Van Goetthem; what changes for the future are we actually going to see on the ground; in Turkey, on the road in the EU ? – WHAT ? – what is the ‘expert’ group; the ‘platform’ actually going to do to ensure that member states of the EU actually take animal welfare seriously and actually do something to enforce it.  And just as importantly, what action are they going to take when it is shown clearly that the rules and regulations are NOT BEING ENFORCED throughout some EU member states ?

Or are we going to continue to witness the ‘head in the sand’ approach of Mr EU Van Goethem and his ‘experts’ in holding their hands up and saying ‘actually we can do nothing’ despite all the evidence.  Fortunately the UK is now pulling out of this utter farce of do nothings by using Brexit, and it will be able to work with excellent welfare groups to establish future trade deals with nations which for sure will be to the benefit of animal welfare.


As for the EU; does it have yet another new framework for its ‘expert’ team to work from, or after all this money being spent to inform us of the obvious, are we actually going to see the EU move ahead and do what it should have done decades ago – enforce the 5 freedoms and take aniaml welfare issues much more seriously, prosecuting for non compliance every time when necessary.

Time will tell, and we wait and watch with interest the expert actions of the newly formed Platform on Animal Welfare to witness exactly what they will do.  Somehow, experience tells us that these are just ‘weasel words’ which amount to very little apart from keeping people inventing new group names, gathering data and putting it all into pointless reports so that they can keep their useless jobs.  We hope we are wrong and that this information will enable animal welfare to benefit big time from the actions of the experts; but with the EU totally ignoring all our evidence on Serbia (currently gaining EU membership) over the past eleven years, to say that we have any hope in the experts doing anything would be a gross overstatement.

Well done UK; we are moving out and away from this utterly useless waste of space called the EU !

We shall see – Mark, SAV.


 The PR we had today from the EU:


Animal Welfare: the Commission adopts the creation of a Platform

Today, the Commission adopted the creation of an expert group on animal welfare to be called the Platform on Animal Welfare. Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, had outlined this Platform in the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 14 November 2016: “The aim of the platform will be to encourage dialogue between different stakeholders on animal welfare issues (…); it should focus on a better application of EU legislation on animal welfare, the promotion of the very high animal welfare standards and the use of the Platform as a facilitator for the development and use of voluntary commitments by business operators”.

The Platform on Animal welfare will bring together all relevant actors in relation to animal welfare: business and professional organisations, organisations from civil society, independent experts from academic and research institutes, EU and European Economic Area Member States, the European Food Safety Authorities and relevant international intergovernmental organisations like the World Organisation for Animal Health.

In the coming weeks, the Commission will publish the call for application for the selection of the members of the Platform which will gather a maximum of 75 participants. The first meeting of the Platform will be held during the Maltese Presidency.


In 2015 the “Eurobarometer on attitudes of European towards animal welfare” showed that EU citizens consider animal welfare to be a very important issue and that the EU has a role to play in cooperation with the Member States and business operators.

The Commission held a first stakeholders’ dialogue on animal welfare on 23-24 February 2016 with all main stakeholders and Member States. There was a broad consensus that an enhanced stakeholder dialogue would bring added value at EU level. Based on this wide-ranged support by the Member States, the Commission continued with the operational procedure for the establishment of the Platform.


SAV reference links: – currently under compilation, but well worth reading when we publish !





England: 8 Hours Maximum Journey Time – Now We Petition The EU In Addition To German Chancellor Actions. Please Sign and Crosspost To All Contacts.




New EU Petition link –

And send an e mail to Chancellor Merkel asking for 8 hours maximum journey time –

As well as working with German friends and campaigners regarding live exports and the need for an 8 hour maximum one off journey time; we are now also going direct to the EU.

With our German campaigners and using heir helpful advice and letter writing, we have already got things under way to target Chancellor Merkel in Germany; asking her to make representations on the subject at EU level.

Here is our post:

We have also, now produced a petition to Bernard Van Goethem at the EU asking for an 8 hour maximum one off journey time for animals.  You may well remember other posts on this site where Mr Van Goethem has held his hands up and said “we can do nothing” – even when presented with the most disgusting videos of animals suffering at the Turkish border when exported from the EU.

See the videos presented to him here:



Here is our new EU Petition link –  please sign and crosspost to all your contacts;

The wording of our letter to Mr Van Goethem – a Director at European Commission, DG SANCO – Directorate G – Veterinary and International Affairs is as follows:


Dear Sir (Mr. Van Goethem),

In the context of the 8hours campaign in 2012, more than 1,200,000 (1 million 200 thousand) citizens asked the EU Commission to limit all livestock transportation to a one off 8 hours maximum. Every year due to the existing and non enforced ‘EU legislation’, millions of farm animals suffer during long-distance transport across Europe and to other Third countries such as Turkey.

They are transported for very long period and exposed to extreme variations in temperatures, both of which are non compliant with the regulations set by EU regulation. In addition, only some animals (say those near to water dispensers) making up any particular consignment are lucky enough to receive very limited rations of food and water; often many get nothing. – In addition, the legally required rest breaks detailed in the regulation are also very often ignored by EU international livestock hauliers.  Again, the EU Directorate; of which you are a Director, takes no action to make things any better for these animals.

It is inconceivable that the EU Commission has completely ignored the requests of over 1,2 million EU citizens asking to limit animal transports to a maximum one off journey time of 8 hours.  You are failing us, the citizens of the EU, and you are failing the animals of the EU.

According to EU Regulation No. 1/2005, which is supposed to ‘protect’ animals during transport, but does anything but protect; the following freedoms should apply to all animals during transport:

• Animals must be free from hunger and thirst,

• Animals must be free from pain, injuries and diseases,

• Animals must be free from anxiety and stress.

All of these freedoms are regularly being breached during long-lasting international transport, especially to locations such as Turkey from EU states.

Regulation 1/2005 exists only on paper to show the EU public there are so- called legislative rules.  But the EU, of which you are a Veterinary Director, is not enforcing the existing regulation in any way; and so the legislation really means nothing – it is utterly useless paper ‘nothing’; and the livestock haulage industry know this as well as your failures to enforce the legislation.  The demands defined in 1/2005 are not respected by several existing EU member states, and you do nothing legally to even try to enforce them.  Examples of the failures we are talking about can be seen in the videos referenced below for example; especially in this case regarding animals exported from the EU to Turkey.

Animals transports from the EU to Turkey –

Export of sheep from England to Germany –


All the video evidence above as well as meetings between you and animal welfare organisations have ended with the disappointing but simple response from you: “We cannot do anything”.  On behalf of EU citizens, we thus question the EU enforcement of Regulation 1/2005, and say that if legislation is not rigidly enforced, then why does it exist in the first place ? – as we said, just a paper, mean nothing lump of regulation.

EU officials / Commissioners, who could start to amend animal transport legislation immediately, have remained inactive and very quiet for a very long time.  Regulation 1/2005 for animals in transport ‘protection’, which originally became law in December 2004, is utterly ineffective as EU officials including yourself take no action whatsoever to enforce it.

According to the Lisbon Treaty, one million people who have to come from several EU Member States, can use the ‘citizens’ initiative’ to ask the European Commission to submit new political proposals. These 1,2 million people calling for 8 hour transport legislation have not yet been able to stop the misery of the transport of animals for time periods over 8 hours.  Times need to change and you need to be held responsible.

Therefore, we are now asking you, a ‘Veterinary Director’ at the EU, to make sure that these animal transports within EU member states, and also all exports to Third nations such as EU – Turkey transportation; are timed to a one off maximum journey time of no more than eight (8) hours.

Please use your influence as a ‘vet’ – someone who allegedly should care about the welfare of animals, so that the existing laws on the implementation on animal transports are finally adapted for once and all to reflect a one off maximum journey time of no more than 8 hours as the citizens of Europe request.  This ruling must apply for transport across the whole of the EU and for export to Third countries such as Turkey.  Only for specific situations such as Scottish animals being shipped from islands to the mainland should their be additional but limited hours.

Thank you for your time and consideration of our very important ‘citizens’ initiative’ requestWe are watching your future actions to see if the ‘EU Veterinary Director’ actually does anything for the improvement of ‘animal welfare’ – and animals currently suffering during transport.



You can sign our petition calling for 8 hours maximum (one off) journey time by visiting:


Please pass the link on to anyone and everyone you know. 

We need to make this big for the animals that you have seen in the videos above.

Mr Van Goethem is a Director at European Commission, DG SANCO – Directorate G – Veterinary and International Affairs – so we must let him know how we feel about the current legislation (EU Regulation 1/2005 of December 2004) and now demand that a maximum 8 hour, one off journey time is introduced for all animals transported within the EU and for animals transported from the EU to Third nations such as Turkey.

Regards SAV.





Germany: Send An E Mail To German Chancellor Merkel Asking For (A one off) 8 Hour Maximum Journet Time For Animals In Transport.



We are combining with German anti export campaigners to continue pressing for a one off 8 hour MAXIMUM journey time for all animals in transport.

This will be very much to the benefit of all animals, who currently endure the un- monitored and rather pathetic EU Regulation 1/2005 for animals in transport, which is the EU standard.  Under this existing EU Regulation, journey times are:

Un-weaned Calves, Lambs and Foals – 9 hours of transport – followed by a minimum 1 hour break; with then another 9 hours of transport.  Total time – 18 hours on the road with a minimum 1 hour rest period, which is taken ON the vehicle.

Pigs – 24 hours transport in a single journey.  Animals should officially have access to water throughout then journey, but we very much question if this is often the case.

Cattle, Sheep and Goats – 14 hours of transport – followed by a minimum 1 hour break; with then another 14 hours of transport.  Total time – 28 hours on the road with a minimum 1 hour rest period, which is taken ON the vehicle.  Animals officially to be fed and given liquids during break if necessary, but we very much question if this is often the case.

Horses – except registered horses – can be transported for a maximum period of 24 hours.  Must officially be given liquids, and if necessary fed every 8 hours; but we very much question if this is often the case.


Note in all cases above the ‘rest period’ is officially 1 hour minimum.  There is NO maximum; but animals normally take the rest period STILL LOADED ON the vehicle.  So you could have an example where cattle can be officially transported for 28 hours on the road.  The rest period could be 1 hour but it could also be, for example, say 8 hours.  There is no maximum rest period; but the rest period is normally taken with the animals remaining ON the vehicle.  Hence for this example you get 28 hours on the road with say an additional 8 hours rest still on the vehicle.  This would mean that animals are confined on a truck for a minimum of 36 hours, which we consider is outrageous.

We and others are calling for a ONE OFF MAXIMUM journey time of 8 hours or less.

We are mailing German Chancellor Merkel to ask her to put pressure on the EU to reduce animal journey times to a one off 8 hours maximum.  She has influence at EU level; but also has German elections next year – she needs votes ! – we want something in return.



take-action-3 get-involved-2

Below you will find a sample letter which you can copy and then send to chancellor Merkel. 

E mail your copy of the sample letter to the following address:

You can of course use the sample letter as a guide and amend it to your own requirements.

Here below is the Sample Letter – we provide both English or German versions for you to select; copy and send.




German Version


Sehr geehrte Bundeskanzlerin Frau Dr. Merkel,

im Rahmen der 8hours Kampagne im Jahr 2012 haben mehr als 1,2 Mio. Bürger die EU-Kommission aufgefordert die langen, qualvollen Tiertransporte mit lebenden Tiere auf acht Stunden zu begrenzen.

Jedes Jahr leiden Millionen von Tieren im Fernverkehr in ganz Europa.

Sie sind für Tage oder sogar Wochen in überfüllten LKWs oder Schiffen eingepfercht und extremen Temperaturen ausgesetzt.

Zudem erhalten sie nur sehr wenig Nahrung und Wasser – häufig werden auch die gesetzlich erforderlichen Ruhepausen ignoriert.

Es ist unfassbar, dass die EU-Kommission die Anforderung dieser 1,2 Mio. Bürger, Tiertransporte auf max. acht Stunden zu begrenzen, völlig ignoriert hat.

Laut EU-Verordnung Nr.1/2005 gelten für/und während der Tiertransporte folgende Richtlinien:


  • Tiere müssen frei von Hunger und Durst

  • Tiere müssen frei vom Schmerz, Verletzungen und Krankheiten,

  • Tiere müssen frei von Angst und Stress sein

Darüber hinaus ist es verboten, ihnen unnötige Schmerzen oder Leiden zuzufügen.

Dies sind nur einige der Punkte gegen die bei diesen lang andauernden Transporten verstoßen wird.

Leider existieren diese Anforderungen für einen humaneren Tiertransport oft nur auf dem Papier. Wirklich respektiert und eingehalten werden diese Anforderungen gerade bei Tiertransporten über acht Stunden nicht.

(Dies können Sie auch dem beiliegenden Video entnehmen.)


Animals transports from the EU to Turkey –  

Export of sheep from England to Germany by J. Onderwater (NL).


Alle Gespräche, die die Organisation EyesonAnimals mit den Herren Andriukaitis und Bernard van Goethem geführt hatte, endeten mit der enttäuschenden Antwort: “We cannot do anything“.

Somit sind die verantwortlichen EU-Kommissare lange untätig geblieben.

Laut Lissabon-Vertrag, können eine Million Menschen, die aus mehreren Mitgliedsstaaten kommen, mit Hilfe der Bürgerinitiative die Europäische Kommission auffordern, neue politische Vorschläge unterbreiten.

Diese 1,2 Mio. Menschen konnten die EU-Kommission bisher nicht dazu bringen das Elend der Tiertransporte über acht Stunden zu beenden.

Deshalb fordern wir Sie nun auf, sich dafür einzusetzen, dass diese Transporte zeitlich auf max. acht Stunden begrenzt werden. Bitte machen Sie Ihren Einfluss geltend, damit die Gesetze zu Durchführung der Tiertransporte endlich angepasst werden.

Vielen Dank!



English version


Dear Chancellor, Dr. Merkel,

In the context of the 8hours campaign in 2012, more than 1.200.000 citizens have asked the EU Commission to limit the long, painful livestock transportation to 8 hours. Every year millions of animals are suffering from long-distance transport across Europe.

They are confined for days or even weeks in overloaded trucks or ships and exposed to extreme temperatures. In addition, they receive only very little food and water – often the legally required rest breaks are also ignored.

It is inconceivable that the EU Commission has completely ignored the requirement of these 1,2 million citizens to limit animal transports to max. eight hours.

According to EU regulation no. 1/2005, the following bids apply during transports:

• Animals must be free from hunger and thirst

• Animals must be free from pain, injuries and diseases,

• Animals must be free from anxiety and stress

These are just some of the points that are being breached in these long-lasting transports.

All this is up to now only on the paper, it was never really respected, as you can see from the enclosed videos.


Animals transports from the EU to Turkey –

Export of sheep from England to Germany by J. Onderwater (NL).


All the talks conducted by the organization Eyes on Animals with Mr Andriukaitis and Bernard van Goethem ended with the disappointing answer: “We cannot do anything”.

Thus, the responsible EU commissioners have remained inactive for a long time.

According to the Lisbon Treaty, one million people who have to come from several Member States can use the citizens’ initiative to ask the European Commission to submit new political proposals. These 1,2 million people have not yet been able to stop the misery of the transport of animals over eight hours.

Therefore, we are asking you to make sure that these transports are timed to max. eight hours.

Please state your influence, so that the laws on the implementation of the animal transports are finally adapted.

Thank you


Here below are 3 video links from our friends and fellow campaigners at ‘Eyes on Animals’ (NL) which show a typical day with animal transport investigations.  After watching the videos, which are also included in the sample letters above, we hope you will agree with us campaigners that EU animal transport regulations at the moment are very wrong, and you will add your support to the call for a one off 8 hour maximum journey time by sending the sample letter to Chancellor Merkel at the e mail address we have given earlier.


watch the video

3 Videos (by Eyes on Animals)

Note these video links are also included in the sample letters given above:


Animals transports from the EU to Turkey –


Export of sheep from England to Germany by J. Onderwater (NL).


For the animals – please act; thank you.





Above photos – SAV.





England: Badger Cull – What A Suprise – Defra Experts Wrong As Always !


Defra (UK Government) balls up as always when it comes to Bovine TB !! – Must make it look to voter farmers that we are doing something – even if killing badgers is the utterly wrong thing.  It needs to be farmers who should improve their actions.  See below.



Bovine TB not passed on through direct contact with badgers, research shows

Contact comes through contaminated pasture and dung, with significant implications for farming practices

Badgers and cattle never came into close contact during a new field study examining how tuberculosis (TB) is transmitted between the animals.

Most TB in cattle is contracted from other cattle but some infections come from badgers. The new research indicates that the disease is not passed on by direct contact, but through contaminated pasture and dung, with potentially significant implications for farm practices such as slurry spreading.

It also suggests why TB in cattle is so hard to control even when cattle and badgers are culled, as the bacteria can survive in fields for months. Eradicating TB will require addressing this risk, the new research implies.

TB is a serious problem for farmers, with 36,000 infected cattle slaughtered in Britain in 2015 at a cost to the taxpayer of about £100m. One key element of the government’s control programme, England’s controversial badger cull, is set to expand.

But the UK’s foremost experts say this “flies in the face of scientific evidence” and that the cull is a “monstrous” waste of time and money. The new research has not changed their conclusion.

The new study, carried out on 20 farms in Cornwall, aimed to shed light on how TB is transmitted between badgers and cattle, a route estimated to be directly responsible for about 6% of herd infections. “We know badgers can give TB to cattle but we have never known how,” said Prof Rosie Woodroffe, at the Zoological Society of London, who led the new research. “It is really difficult to track the movement of what is invisible – the pathogen.”

The breakthrough came thanks to new technology: a GPS collar small enough to be worn by badgers. The researchers tracked more than 400 cattle when they were in the territories of 100 badgers, with the total number of tracked days coming to more than 8,000.

 “We detected nothing [in way of interactions],” said Woodroffe. Just once in 65,000 observations did a badger get within 10 metres of a cow and they preferred to be 50m away. In contrast, they are thought to need to be within 1.5m of a cow to directly transmit TB. “It looks most likely that the badgers are avoiding the cattle,” she said, although close contact has been seen on rare occasion in the past.

“Badger-to-cattle and cattle-to-badger transmission is therefore most likely happening through the environment,” said Woodroffe. “That raises the possibility that some cattle to cattle transmission is happening through the environment. That is an important issue as TB isn’t seriously managed as though the environment is infectious.”

When TB is detected in a herd, the infected cattle are isolated and sent for slaughter. “But the pasture they are grazing and the slurry or manure they contributed to isn’t treated as if it is contaminated. That can still be squirted all over the environment, as slurry is spread widely,” she said, adding that this might explain how closed herds can be infected from neighbouring farms.

The researchers, whose study was funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and is published in Ecology Letters, are now sampling the fields to see exactly where the TB is harboured. This will help farmers understand which biosecurity measures – such as fencing off badger latrines or raising water troughs – actually work.

“There is this mass of measures that farmers are supposed to do, but no-one knows if they really work,” said Woodroffe. “In trying to eradicate a disease, you are trying to nail every transmission route.”

Prof Alastair MacMillan, veterinary adviser for Humane Society International/UK, said: “The suggestion by some that TB is spread by frequent nose-to-nose contact between badgers and cattle has now been completely dismissed.”

“It is much more likely that contamination by cattle of fields and yards by [TB bacteria] is the cause of repeated TB herd breakdowns,” said MacMillan, a former Defra scientist. “It’s clear that the government must divert the substantial resources being used needlessly to cull badgers and instead improve farmer education and biosecurity on farms.”

A Defra spokeswoman said: “Tighter cattle controls and good biosecurity are a key part of our comprehensive strategy to beat bovine TB, and a number of measures are in place to prevent the spread of infection.”

“These include frequent testing and rapid removal of infected cattle, pre- and post-movement testing and wildlife proofing of high risk units,” she said. “To reduce the risk of cattle to cattle transmission from contaminated environment, farmers are required to carry out cleaning and disinfection and to keep cattle out of fields grazed by [infected cattle] for two months after their removal. There are also rules about the use of manure and slurry on infected farms to mitigate the risks.”

Badger cull expansion ‘flies in face of scientific evidence’

Experts call on new prime minister Theresa May to halt ‘failed’ policy, calling it ‘risky, costly, and inhumane’

Woodroffe said the new research has not changed her opinion that the current badger cull should be halted, but she said it could explain why only a slow reduction in TB was seen in earlier, scientific culls: “The feeling has always been with badgers that you kill an infected badger and the infection is gone, but it’s not.”

She warned: “The benefits of badger culling accrue really slowly but the harmful effects [such as spreading TB more widely] happen really fast.”


badger demo chick






USA: Trump And The Environmental ‘Policy’ (If He Has One ?)




Above – sad day for all – except billionaires !




We are an animal rights / welfare group who also have concerns about the environment etc.  Some may call us ‘tree and bunny huggers’, but that is fine with us.  We feel that anything we publish is based on fact or substantial evidence.


We ask others, like those who voted for Mr. Trump  this week, to consider the fact regarding the environment.  


So, being tree huggers, we have looked a little more into this, educating ourselves more just like the Trump voters.  We have found the following regarding the Paris climate agreement, signed up to by over 190 of the worlds nations, and now something which Trump says he is going to pull the US from.

Regarding Paris and environmental agreement, international law requirements are somewhat complicated. One of the reasons President Obama helped usher the deal into force early this year is because that meant that any country that was a party to the agreement couldn’t leave until it completed a four-year withdrawal process.

Michael Wara, an environmental law professor at the Stanford Law School, said Trump could use his office to issue an executive communication removing the United States from Paris, but even if he did that, the United States would still be a party for four years and could be subject to its legally binding procedural commitments.

The United States could take a shortcut and exit the UNFCCC, a move that could be likely, given Trump’s criticisms of the U.N. body. That could be done in one year rather than four, and would result in leaving Paris, as well. Or Trump’s administration could send observers to monitor negotiations but not participate in them and refuse to carry through on Obama’s nationally determined contribution pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions 26 to 28 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2025.

The United States is poised to miss that target anyway without additional action, which will be a hard sell now that Republicans are in control of the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.

The United States and other parties are called upon to submit new nationally determined contributions for 2030 by 2020, and Wara said Trump could put forward a “business-as-usual” placeholder to stay on the right side of international law.

But it seems unlikely that the bombastic president-elect would opt for quiet underachievement over a grand exit.

Ebell has said he hopes Trump will submit the deal to the Senate, or that the upper chamber will vote on its own initiative. Doing so would “make it clear where the United States stands,” he said in a recent interview.




Departing Paris has consequences

Greens at home as well as those attending the Marrakech conference said they still hope Trump might not pull out of Paris, despite having spent more than a year saying he would. They note that he’s not a seasoned politician.

“There’s no history of how he would move from the campaigning arena to the governing arena,” said David Waskow of the World Resources Institute.

Several observers note that Trump has seldom articulated clear policy plans, which they said leads them to believe he might reconsider his campaign positions once in office.

Wara said Trump didn’t seem to realize, for example, that his stated support for U.S. oil and natural gas development was at odds with his pledge to prop up the domestic coal industry, which has been undermined by cheap and abundant gas.

Climate advocates also say Trump shouldn’t walk away from Paris, because doing so could undermine his ability to interest other leaders in issues that are higher on his to-do list.

“If a President Trump were not to honor U.S. commitments under the Paris Agreement, it will negatively impact his ability to get the cooperation of world leaders on other issues he cares about, such as trade and terrorism,” said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, at a briefing in Marrakech.

Frank Maisano of Bracewell LLP said Trump’s ascension doesn’t undermine Paris, because it’s “symbolic.”

“This is only a blow to global efforts in the form of the U.N. process, which continues to be a difficult and often broken process,” Maisano said.

He added, “Clean energy and technology issues will continue to play a significant role in international efforts to reduce emissions,” echoing a theme environmentalists are also voicing in the wake of the election.

Look for nations who aren’t enamored with the details of how to meet the Paris Agreement to use this as a reason to raise new concerns,” Maisano said.

At a briefing yesterday with U.S. climate advocates in Marrakech, a reporter for a New Delhi-based outlet asked if poor countries can “count on the moral obligation of the next U.S. president” when it comes to climate finance pledges.

The Trump victory makes it unlikely that the United States will make good on the $2.5 billion it still owes to the U.N. Green Climate Fund, and the new administration is likely to curtail foreign aid overall.


We have looked into the facts; have Trump voters ?