EU: Will EU Strays Be Given A Legal Voice In The Coming Weeks ?

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Here below is some important news in relation to EU stray animals – it is given in both English and German links.

English –  eci_press_release-2

German –  evpressemitteilung-6-10-16

For years we have been campaigning to be a voice for the street / stray animals of the EU; to get them treated humanely and without suffering and the killing which regularly takes place in several EU member states.

 

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A dog catching / killing team at work in Serbia

As you know, we have worked the same for Serbian strays within Serbia.  The government has always intentionally ignored our evidence that sterilisation undertaken on stray animals over a period of time leads to the decline in strays.

The ECI shows that, and as outlined in the attached PR; that neuter and return is CHEAPER than the catch and kill tactics used by some states; including Serbia.  As the PR indicates, member states who do apply the no kill policy not only enhance their own reputation with their own citizens, but also enhance their reputation with citizens from abroad and other EU member states.

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We have shown the corruption of the system used by authorities to put money for animal welfare into their own back pockets instead.  Serbia wishes to become an EU member state – and is currently in the process of application, whilst being handed billions of Euros by the EU for same.  Again, money destined for animals ending up in the back pockets of corrupt officials.  We have never seen Serbia apply the ‘rules of law’ for Serbian stray animals.  Application of the rule of law by any nation seeking EU membership must be shown by that nation prior to membership.  One could argue that the way in which Serbia deals with its stray animals is just one of the issues preventing Serbia from becoming an EU member state.

 The verdict of the European Court is expected within the next few weeks.  We very much hope that the court acts in favour of EU animals and most EU citizens in taking positive action for stray animals,  Unless nations such as Serbia and Romania do take positive animal reduction strategies based around the ‘no kill’ approach; but instead aimed at long term sterilisation attitudes; Serbia will continue to wander as an outcast nation that is not wanted by the majority of EU citizens who do care for animals and their welfare.

 

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It is also down to Serbian citizens – taxpayers – to ask if the current methods of stray animal ‘control’ are actually working; are the people getting anything back for the money they are paying out ? – are stray animal numbers actually on the decline, or as we suspect, are they actually increasing despite all the money the government and regional authorities are throwing into killing strays ?

Regardless of the outcome, there are very interesting times ahead on the horizon for the welfare and humane treatment of stray animals throughout Europe.

 

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Nis dog capture

 

UK (England): Latest News From ‘Team Badger’.

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Dr. Brian May  at Team Badger writes to the Prime Minister about the Conservative Party Badger Cull.

 

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Above – Dr. Brian May (ex ‘Queen’ Guitarist).

 

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A Letter to the Right Honourable Theresa May & Andrea Leadsom MP

The Rt. Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, London, SW1A 2AA

Cc: The Rt. Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR

19th July 2016

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Dear Prime Minister

May I firstly offer our congratulations to you on your appointment as Prime Minister; we wish you every success in this role.

I realise that you will have countless pressing issues in your first days as Prime Minister but, on behalf of the undersigned organisations which constitute ‘Team Badger’, I write to bring to your urgent attention the matter of the badger cull, and to respectfully urge you to instruct Natural England NOT to issue cull licences for 2016 and beyond.

On 12th July three of the country’s most highly qualified experts with experience of badgers and bovine tuberculosis wrote to you to explain their science-based position of opposition to the cull, on the grounds that it is both ineffective and inhumane.  Team Badger organisations understand that bovine TB is a serious problem for farmers, requiring meaningful action from government. But the verdict from the overwhelming majority of experts is that this is a disease spread almost entirely through cattle to cattle transmission and, as such, it can only be solved through cattle-based measures such as increased disease testing and enhanced on-farm biosecurity. Using badgers as scapegoats for this disease is failing farmers, as well as badgers.

 

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The badger cull continues to be an extremely unpopular and expensive policy which many millions of British people oppose. Over 70% of respondents to Natural England’s recently concluded consultation conveyed their concerns that a roll-out of the cull could be bad for business, due to people avoiding cull areas. A further 40% expressed fears that the cull could risk human health and safety in shared countryside spaces, and expansion of the cull would mean even greater pressures on police forces, drawing their attention away from crime prevention priorities.  All this for a policy which is clearly seen to be failing in its objective.

We further observe that the UK’s commendable goal to be a world leading authority on animal welfare will continue to be seriously undermined if the government seeks to defend a wildlife cull with a methodology that animal welfare experts, including the British Veterinary Association and the Government’s own appointed IEP (Independent Expert Panel), have agreed cannot be carried out humanely and effectively, and has little or no potential for improvements.

Finally, of all your government departments, DEFRA faces perhaps the most acute resource challenges ahead on the Brexit path, making this a highly inopportune time to expand the extremely costly and divisive culling policy into, potentially, nine English counties. With this in mind, we ask that you and your newly appointed Secretary of State for Environment, Andrea Leadsom, take this moment as an opportunity to pause and review the evidence that unequivocally shows culling badgers to be a flawed policy.

 

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Ending the cull will enable focus and funds to be redirected into effective and more humane solutions to bovine TB: the introduction of an effective cattle TB vaccine; increased frequency of testing in higher risk areas allowing better identification and management of the disease; and improved disease containment through risk-based cattle movement controls.

We urge you and your Ministers to examine the success of the Welsh government’s TB policy using such measures, where bovine TB is being driven down at a much faster and more efficient rate than in England, and without culling badgers.

I would very much appreciate the opportunity to speak to you face to face about these issues, if and when you have a moment in your schedule.

Yours sincerely, with respects

Dr Brian May

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Find out everything that is happening to keep up the campaign for the UK badgers currently under government culling at the Team Badger web site:

Team badger

http://www.teambadger.org/

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Some of you oldies (like us !) may remember Brian when he was lead guitarist in the rock group ‘Queen’ – here he is in action at the Freddie Mercury tribute concert – Wembley, London.  Guest guitarist – Slash from Guns and Roses:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AasArumnUVs   – what a night !!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy6dq-4jDgA

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fxQy9NWOsw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYf16zWHqZQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MDFMJrchq4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od8xzWR7cAY

 

 

 

 

 

Australia: Vet Who Has Seen It All Exposes The Aus Live Export Industry.

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Reproduced fully from:  http://www.theage.com.au/good-weekend/liveexport-whistleblower-vet-i-wish-now-id-shot-more-20160901-gr6fka.html

 

Overnight, whistleblower vet Lynn Simpson became a pariah – and then she all but vanished

When vet Lynn Simpson documented the appalling conditions faced by Australian animals on live-export ships, she lost her job and her health. But has anything really changed?

She used her knife, killing quickly. Death came almost instantly with a blade when you knew what you were doing. Thank God, she was carrying a sharpener. Sharpen. Kill. Sharpen. Kill. They were in the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia, and the heat was ferocious. The captain had started yelling about a crisis unfolding on deck five, which was when the nightmare started. She moved on to the next animal. The blade flashed – and then it happened. The blood spurting onto her wrist burnt her skin like boiling water. Shocked, Dr Lynn Simpson looked down at the sheep whose throat she had just cut, and then grabbed a nearby thermometer. Quickly making a hole with her knife between the dead creature’s ribs, she thrust the thermometer deep inside the cavity. The core temperature was 47ºC. A sheep’s normal body temperature is about 39ºC. This one had, quite literally, been cooking alive.

 

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A young bull that became stuck in a railing and injured its legs while struggling to free itself in 2011.  Photo: Courtesy of Lynn Simpson

Deck five on this particular ship was the top deck. Radiant heat through the roof, plus an accumulation of gases caused by a build-up of the animals’ faeces and urine on the decks below – conditions made worse by insufficient airflow – had turned the place into a hellhole. “After that, any animal that looked like it was about to collapse, I killed,” says Simpson, recalling the awful day in 2003. “I don’t know how many I killed. We chastise different countries for boiling animals to death, yet here were our sheep cooking from the inside out.”

Simpson, the woman once regarded as one of Australia’s most outstanding live-export vets, is driving me in her bright-red ute along an empty stretch of road heading north-west from Canberra. She has no love any more for the city where she was born. It was there, 3½ years ago, after she was asked to write a report for a special government steering committee, that a powerful industry turned on her. Overnight, Lynn Simpson became a pariah – and then she all but vanished.

 

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The remains of a bull which died after its head became stuck under a railing on a ship in Turkey in 2011.  Photo: Courtesy of Lynn Simpson

I have flown to Canberra to meet her and now, as we head deeper into the landscape, I’m relieved she picked me up at the airport. Even with a GPS, I was bound to have got lost. Everyone does when they visit her, says the defiantly resilient 45-year-old, whose grey-green eyes and direct gaze project both warmth and wariness. She talks volubly as she drives, her long, light-brown hair partly shielding her face, her forthrightness and occasional expletive a hallmark of the days when she worked as a wharfie to put herself through vet school. “I speak fluent ‘wharf’, ” she tells me with a smile, “and Arabic.”

Later, as a public servant, she became known as someone who cared deeply about animals but who remained steadfastly unaligned with any animal-welfare group, including the RSPCA. “I’m pro-farming,” she tells me matter-of-factly. “I’ve worked in the agricultural sector, and I understand why farmers enjoy and cherish the lifestyle they have. I’ve never said I’m against the live export of animals. I’m against the way we do it.”

On June 22 this year, Simpson re-emerged from her self-imposed exile to appear on the ABC’s 7.30 program and tell the story of her extraordinary silencing by the federal government after she provided evidence of truths too unpalatable to be contemplated publicly.

As a live-export vet and veteran of some 57 voyages, she had spent the years between 2001 and 2012 documenting the conditions aboard vessels transporting Australian cattle from Perth to Libya, Turkey and the Middle East. That hellish day in the Gulf of Aden, when she’d been forced to personally end the suffering of countless sheep using a knife, had been just one of many.

 

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After being unloaded into a truck in Libya, this bull escaped into the water, but died after being hit by a container ship.  Photo: Courtesy of Lynn Simpson

When, on her return to Canberra, the Department of Agriculture (DA), the live-export industry regulator, offered her a role – on a six-month contract – within its Animal Welfare Branch in 2012, she took it. She was to serve as technical advisor while it carried out a review of the Australian Standards for Exporting Livestock (ASEL). The fallout from A Bloody Business, the ABC’s Four Corners report that had aired in May 2011 exposing the treatment meted out to Australian cattle in nightmarish Indonesian abattoirs, was still raging. When Simpson was asked to submit a report to the ASEL committee, she saw it as an opportunity to finally bring about some real, long-awaited change.

Now, in her new job, she gave PowerPoint presentations, with slides, to her co-workers, including the DA’s deputy secretary, Phillip Glyde. His horrified response suggested to her that her report to the ASEL committee, which she presented in November 2012, would be explosive. And it was – though not because of what she wrote, even though she didn’t hold back in describing hellish scenes of animals trying to rest in grossly overcrowded pens, their agony when they were stepped on by heavier animals and the scrotal hernias that invariably followed displacement of their intestines from this trampling. What truly stunned ASEL committee members was her no-holds-barred photos of cattle covered in their own excrement, unable to stand, suffocating or dying of heat exhaustion, drinking from faeces-filled water troughs and with sickening injuries caused by inadequate bedding.

One of those members was Dr Bidda Jones, RSPCA Australia’s chief scientist and joint author with Julian Davies of this year’s Backlash, a book about the reaction to the campaign to put an end to Australia’s live-export trade that followed the Four Corners exposé. “My response when I saw Lynn’s photographs was, ‘That’s what it’s like? Like, that’s really what it’s like?’ Just shocked,” Jones told 7.30. “This was the first time that an on-board vet had actually produced a report on conditions on board with photographs.”

Never intended for public consumption, on February 5, 2013, the report was mysteriously uploaded by someone inside the DA – it seems unlikely we’ll ever know by whom – to its website, along with the damning photographic evidence. Simpson doesn’t believe it was an administrative error. During our meeting, she speculates, for the first time, that her submission was deliberately leaked: “This was to shift the spotlight away from the problem of actually having to improve live-export standards. Suddenly, I had become the problem instead. I also suspect the submission was uploaded to muddy the waters so that the review process would be stalled. And, to date, it hasn’t moved on.”

Shipping is a super-secretive industry with brass plaques in places like Panama obfuscating transparency of ownership.

Grant Rowles of online shipping magazine Splash 24/7

In the days and weeks after the upload, Simpson found herself increasingly isolated at work. On June 13, 2013, she was sent home on “miscellaneous leave” after being told in a meeting that took place in Phillip Glyde’s office that she couldn’t stay in her job because, she says Glyde told her, the industry “has a witch hunt against you”. Mystifyingly, her report remained on the website for several more months.

When Simpson requested the reason for her removal be given in writing in early July, she received a letter from the first assistant secretary of the DA’s Animal Division, Karen Schneider, advising her that she couldn’t continue her work in the Animal Welfare Branch because “the industry with which we engage has expressed the view that they cannot work with you”. Significantly, Schneider added, “I would like to stress that I do not share the expressed views of industry… you have done [your job] competently, and, as deputy secretary Phillip Glyde and I have assured you … your technical expertise is valued by the department.”

“But I knew my career was over when my submission went public,” says Simpson. “The industry pressured the department to remove me. It’s known as ‘regulatory capture’, which is defined as corruption. I had fully intended to go back to sea once my contract with the department was up. But I knew that as far as the industry was concerned, I was finished.”

We’ve been driving for 40 minutes by now and I ask Simpson where we are. “Near Yass,” she replies. Eventually, we turn off the road onto a track and, within minutes, the little brick and weatherboard farmhouse that she rents on top of a hill comes into view. As we pull up outside, three dogs race rapturously to meet us. “Neil is a blue cardigan corgie, Smorgasbord is a kelpie cross koolie, and PooNeck is a koolie,” says Simpson. “I used to have three steers, too.”

Omar, Wallace and Razorback were three orphaned male bovines, just a few days old, when Simpson adopted them a few months after she lost her job. She has photographs of them – though not of the day, last spring, when she walked into their paddock carrying a large bale of hay and a bag of liquorice. When they had almost finished eating their treats, she got out a syringe and administered a powerful sedative. Within minutes, they were unconscious. Then Simpson shot each of them twice through the head. “I couldn’t afford to feed them any more and it would have cost about $300 to euthanise all three,” she tells me, referring to the barbiturate she’d have needed to buy.

Simpson, who hadn’t worked since her dismissal, was seriously broke. As her distress over losing her position increased, she was placed officially on sick leave. A battery of mandatory consultations with various mental-health specialists followed. Severely depressed, she slept for about 23 hours a day, began suffering from severe headaches and dizziness, and lost a large amount of weight, only to put on 20 kilograms later. Three psychologists and four psychiatrists concluded she was suffering from an adjustment disorder (also known as AD or situational depression) – that is, when a patient is unable to cope with, or adjust to, a major life event. “Yeah, I just couldn’t adjust to being screwed over by the government,” she says with a bitter laugh.

Simpson’s own doctor believes she has been suffering from post-traumatic syndrome disorder. Unfortunately, the antidepressants she was prescribed only left her feeling worse; she uses the word “suicidal” to describe her mental state during this time. Acknowledging the AD diagnosis, ComCare (the government compensation system) agreed in October 2013 to pay her 75 per cent of her former salary, a standard arrangement that will last until 2036, when Simpson will turn 65. She resigned officially from the DA only in May this year.

Money is still very tight. Simpson is now suing the Commonwealth for breach of contract and is also fighting a personal-injury claim. She won’t say how much she has paid in legal bills, but she currently has six lawyers working for her. She has partly funded the cost by selling a property she owned at Eden Creek, near Kyogle, on the NSW-Queensland border. The ongoing legal proceedings are cited as the reason why Karen Schneider, who still works in the DA, and Phillip Glyde, now CEO of the Murray Darling Water Authority in Canberra, are unable to speak to Good Weekend for this story.

The day we meet, Simpson is due to attend a directions hearing to set a date for mediation with the DA. In some ways, though, she’d rather go to court and see further airing of the national disgrace that Australia’s live-export industry has become. “My ultimate goal is some financial restitution because I’ll never get my career back again,” she adds. “But really, it’s about the animals. If I were to walk away from this case, I’d be walking away from a fantastic opportunity to fight for them.”

Inside the farmhouse, a huge painting of a dead bull lying in its own blood dominates a wall in the living room. The blood is seeping from a gaping cut in its throat. “It’s an image from one of the ships,” says Simpson, who is the artist. The painting is a work in progress for an exhibition being held later this year by Soldier On, the Canberra-based group that supports former service men and women who’ve been affected by their experiences of war. It made her a member when she became a volunteer worker in July 2015. She tells me that she still has to launch a flotilla of tiny ships on the sea of blood and then it will be finished.

The painting exudes a powerful melancholy. The fate of Australian livestock, whether on ships or in abattoirs, is now common knowledge and, increasingly, people are speaking out against both. Some DA employees were so affected by watching A Bloody Business they needed counselling. Simpson says the program left her aghast, too. It seems incredible, in her job, that she hadn’t heard stories about the appalling treatment of animals in overseas abattoirs, I point out. She never did, she replies. “I worked extremely hard on those ships and, after watching A Bloody Business, I wish I hadn’t. I wish now I’d shot more,” she adds grimly.

When I suggest that her painting of the bull shows that her years on live-export ships have perhaps affected her more than she admits, Simpson disagrees. “I still eat meat,” she points out with her trademark forthrightness, “though not slow-cooked lamb – ever.”

Simpson’s living room is bathed in sunlight on this freezing-cold day. Through the windows, there’s a spectacular view of the surrounding hills. If Simpson weren’t the story, her house would be. It’s filled with objects from her live-trade travels: a bullock cart from Rajasthan forms the base of her dining-room table; ancient slave shackles from Libya hang beneath a huge wooden horse’s head that Simpson carved herself. A second, huge painting of Nelson Mandela turns out to be her handiwork as well.

Simpson, who lives alone, talks briefly of a man she loved, an Israeli cattle importer called Roni, whom she met in the port city of Eilat in 2005. “Up the ramp walked this gorgeous guy,” she recalls. The two hit it off immediately and were soon in a serious relationship, and Simpson visited Israel often.

But only six months after they met, fighting broke out with Hezbollah in Lebanon on the same day in July 2006 that Simpson, who’d been staying with Roni in Haifa in Israel’s north, was due to fly back to Australia from Jordan. Roni dropped her off at the border crossing but, by the time she reached the airport, she saw on the TV monitors that Haifa was being bombed. She rang Roni, but only got a recorded message. The same message was still playing months later. Simpson never heard from Roni again and still has no idea whether he’s dead or alive.

Simpson had no family to turn to for comfort. The vet has a mother and brother, but doesn’t know where either of them lives. She and her mother are incompatible, is all she’ll say on the subject. She was six when she decided to become a vet, after a relative told her a vet was an animal doctor. “I got very excited that such a thing existed,” she says. She has never wanted children.

Making light of her background is her way, perhaps, of masking a great sadness. When Simpson was 12, her father, David, was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He died when she was 15. Six months earlier, one of her brothers, who was with the Australian Federal Police, had been killed in a motorbike accident on his way home. Her parents, along with her two much older brothers, had immigrated from Glasgow. David Simpson transferred to Australia with NASA in 1969 and worked as a technician at the Orroral Valley Tracking Station, south of the capital. He and his wife, Lorna, spent their free time in clubs, playing the pokies. The Canberra-born Simpson, who was left alone a lot of the time, doesn’t know whether her parents were serious gamblers, “but growing up alone, and being emotionally self-sufficient, probably made me more prone to being able to cope well at sea,” she says.

Mandy Peters, one of her closest friends, believes Simpson probably learnt something of family life after the two got to know each other in Perth in 1996. Simpson, who’d moved there after winning a place at Murdoch University’s School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, rented a granny flat from Peters and her husband. She, the couple and their three children were soon close. Simpson embarked on her first live-export voyages from Perth, and Peters remembers her friend always pushing her hair up into a cap and putting on a wedding ring before boarding the all-male ships.

The wedding ring wasn’t much protection. Twice, on two separate voyages, a crew member tried to rape Simpson. On both occasions she fought off her assailant. Her late brother, Jim, she explains, taught her self-defence – and no, she says in her breezy manner, it didn’t put her off working at sea.

Simpson was 26 by the time she began studying vet science at Murdoch University. At school, she’d always been one of the brightest kids until the deaths of her brother and father in 1985 and 1986. She started skipping classes and her grades slipped. She left school in Canberra with no plans and spent three years kicking around in the Northern Territory before picking up her books again. Eventually, she would complete a master’s degree in veterinary epidemiology, often studying late into the night on board the ships.

Working as a casual wharfie on the Fremantle docks in the late 1990s as one of only four women employed by Western Stevedores gave Simpson plenty of contacts in the live-export trade. She remembers being horrified when she saw dead and injured animals being dragged off trucks after the road-transport leg of their journey. When she was offered her first voyage to Jeddah on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia in November 2001, just one month after graduating, she took it. She did three voyages back to back before starting work in a veterinary practice in Canberra in 2002 – but was bored within weeks. The pull of the sea and the accompanying sense of adventure, as well as the sheer scale of what her job involved, were irresistible. “I soon realised I’d rather spend my days helping large numbers of animals in life and death situations than investing eight to 12 hours a day doing surgery on the leg of one spoilt dog,” she says.

She talks nostalgically of her former life and about one old, rusty ship – with its crew of Palestinians and Pakistanis from the country’s troubled Swat Valley – that became a second home to her. “I spent five years of my life on and off that ship,” she says. “It was like living in our own tiny village. I had a pot plant in my cabin, which the stewards looked after when I wasn’t there.”

Simpson adds that she sometimes imagines living in an apartment overlooking a city port so she can watch the coming and going of the ships. “I pine for the ships, though not the cruelty,” she goes on. “I miss the meaningfulness of my work and the camaraderie. We had to have each other’s backs. It’s probably the closest you get to being in a military platoon. You’re in extreme environments where death is everywhere around you.”

Simpson could write a book, and intends to, though it will be a harrowing read. She’ll describe sheep so stressed they can’t eat – so they die. She’ll describe the phone call she once received from a rattled vet on a badly designed ship without proper ventilation, who told her the cattle in his care were literally disintegrating. (“To clean up, they were trudging through what he described as a soup of melting cattle,” she tells me.) There’s also the time she used the blunt end of a fire-axe to knock 22 cattle unconscious on a ship in Russia, before cutting their throats, after the Russians had confiscated her gun. She empathises with the Vietnamese abattoir workers vilified recently after they were filmed killing Australian cattle with sledgehammers. “They’ve got poor equipment, poor training and don’t know any better,” she says.

Bidda Jones, who got to know Simpson when she was appointed technical adviser to the ASEL committee, believes she’s more vulnerable than her outer resilience suggests. “I like Lynn’s ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude,” she says, but on the night 7.30 aired, Jones drove to Simpson’s house so the woman who’d become her friend wouldn’t have to watch the program alone. She has struggled, in recent years, to understand how Simpson could ever have gone to work for the live-export industry in the first place. “The [cattle] walk off that ship and face a truly awful slaughter. Didn’t that occur to her?” she says. “Lynn had pretty much shielded herself from that realisation. We eventually had that conversation where I understood [that] she felt by working on a live-export vessel, she could help more animals than in a small-animal practice. It took her some time to realise that it’s such a corrupt industry, and improvement so unlikely, that the best thing for it is to just stop.

“The draft version of ASEL that could have led to substantial improvements for exported animals is now just another file in the department’s vast electronic archives.”

Simpson agrees that she felt she could do more good by working inside the trade and with various industry groups consulting her at frequent intervals, she thought she was actually getting somewhere. But then she points out a 1985 Senate Select Committee report had already made clear everything the industry needed to fix, from better stocking densities to improved bedding for the animals. She has come to the conclusion that live export would prove to be commercially unviable were every recommendation acted upon. “But I strongly believe that if they’d acted on those recommendations, the live export trade would be proven to be non-commercially viable,” she says.

The Department of Agriculture doesn’t respond directly to any of my questions about why live-export animals continue to suffer, emailing instead a routine statement detailing how issues are identified and addressed and listing various improvements, such as a new heat-stress model that has been updated four times, significantly reducing mortalities. Bedding and space requirements have also been increased for “higher-risk consignments”, the statement reads.

After Simpson’s appearance on 7.30 in June, the chairman of the Australian Livestock Exporters Council (ALEC), Simon Crean, told the ABC that ALEC had not put any pressure on the DA to have Simpson dismissed. The possibility of a workshop run by the council, in which Simpson would participate, was mooted by him on the program, but Simpson says she hasn’t been approached by anyone.

“Dr Simpson was indeed held in high regard by many in the industry,” Crean confirms in an email, adding that ongoing changes “embraced by the industry” since 2013 meant a fresh perspective on “past attitudes towards people and organisations that challenged the status quo and, in Dr Simpson’s case, who sought, with the reflection of hindsight, to provide constructive advice to exporters on improvements”.

Lyn White, the high-profile Animals Australia campaign director, remains scathing about the industry. “The level of influence the exporters wield over the Department of Agriculture is obscene,” she says. “That they were able to successfully seek the removal of Dr Simpson from her position is nothing short of outrageous, especially when she was the only departmental employee with any shipboard experience.”

The live-export trade was worth $1.16 billion in 2014-15, according to figures supplied to Good Weekend by the Department of Agriculture. Simpson, who doesn’t name individual exporters, says she regards them as business opportunists pushing the limits of what the legislation allows. And the government just signs off on those limits. This is the real problem.

“Shipping, as a whole, is a super-secretive industry with lots of brass plaques in places like Panama obfuscating transparency of ownership,” comments Grant Rowles, the Melbourne-based co-founder of Asia Shipping Media, which publishes Splash 24/7, a widely read online shipping magazine. “Live export tends to be even more secretive due to the sensitive nature of the cargo and the questionable practices at sea – such as the washing of decks,” he adds.

Simpson, who has started writing for Splash 24/7, spelt out exactly what this means in a recent article. “Maritime pollution regulations are a bit ambiguous to read and sometimes we were not sure where we could discharge so much slurry of livestock shit and urine, so we would wash [the ships’ decks] at night to avoid detection by satellites as it left quite a distinct discolouration in our wake,” she wrote.

Her readership is growing.

 

 

 

 

Serbia: Official Request To Have All Serbian Zoos Closed Down.

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This is our official Request to close all zoos in Serbia.

Slavica.

zoozatvaranjesvihusrbijipozakonu-_1_

 

 

 

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/07/29/serbia-pitiful-footage-of-a-polar-baer-at-belgrade-zoo-and-what-will-the-serbian-government-do-nothing-as-usual/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2011/07/14/serbia-jagodina-zoo-park/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2012/08/06/serbia-can-we-go-and-see-the-animals-having-fun-at-the-zoo-daddy-the-real-side-of-palic-zoo-serbia-and-the-animals-that-exist-there/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2011/07/27/serbia-270711-investigation-reveals-illegal-zoo-operating-and-a-minister-who-does-not-have-a-clue-about-things/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2011/07/20/sav-and-help-animals-belgrade-join-forces-for-serbian-zoo-animals/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2011/07/18/serbia-take-action-for-zoo-animals-write-to-government-minister-responsible-sample-letter-to-send/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2011/07/11/serbia-we-now-have-serbian-zoo-standards-documentation-is-this-legislation-a-paper-smokescreen-for-animal-prisons/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2011/07/04/expose-040711-serbian-zoos-%e2%80%93-a-move-to-improvements-in-serbian-zoo-animals-living-conditions-using-the-eu-commission/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/08/01/bear-update-1816/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/07/30/england-uk-we-now-undertake-new-work-for-bears-and-other-zoo-animals-in-serbia/

 

 

animal-agriculture

 

 

 

 

B&H: 8/9 – Possibly Some Positive News On The Shelter – The Ministry Respond and Will Comply With The Charge.

bosnia-and-herzegovina

Ref link to our earlier post:

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/09/06/bosnia-and-herzegovina-6916-breaking-news-and-pictures-authorites-have-until-89-to-clean-up-or-we-then-take-further-action/

Further Update 8/9.

Dear all;

Despite saying that we will publish names and e mails at noon (GMT) today in our earlier post; we have held back on this as things have progressed during the day today.

Slavica has been working hard – and today the main Veterinary Inspector has written back to her and said that immediately after the charge by Slavica, the veterinary inspector will start immediately with controls, which is being treated as an urgent case.  Most importantly, he stated that they will send a report of what they have done after the work has been completed.

 

The Ministry also confirmed that they will send copies of all the documentation that is requested in the formal charge.

Now Slavica / we are allowing 15 days for everything to be sorted and provided to us as per the charge sent.  Slavica is in charge of this program, and we are working with her and on her advice.  We have not had any response from the EU, but we cannot say for sure that despite not contacting us, they have not acted on our e mail of 7/9 and put extra pressure on the B&H Ministry.

 

So now we wait to see what happens and if promises are kept.  We are ready to act in defence of the dogs at the shelter as we have done; and we will not hesitate to take further action should the Ministry not provide all the data within the time frame; and taken clean ups at the shelter as they have promised.

We will keep you all informed of any future news on this issue.

SAV.

 

Here is a copy of the letter sent by the Ministry to Slavica:

 

Poštovani,

Ocjenjujući hitnim Vaš zahtjev za poduzimanje mjera iz nadležnosti Inspektorata veterinarske inspekcije, koji je jučer 07.09.2016.godine dostavljen veterinarkoj inspekciji Kantonalne uprave za inspekcijske poslove KS, kantonalni veterinarski inspektori su istog dana izvršili inspekcijski nadzor na oklnosti navedene u dostavljenom zahtjevu. S obzirom da postupak inspekcijskog nadzora u predmetu koji se odnosi na Prihvatilište za napuštene pse Žunovnica u Općini Hadžići još nije okončan, poduzete su i dodatne radnje i aktivnosti koje imaju za cilj pravilno utvrđivanje činjenica,to u ovom momentu ne možemo otkrivati više detalja, posebno iz razloga što je po nalogu Tužilaštva KS u slučaj istovremeno uključen i Odsijek nadležne krim policije. 


Također, potvrđujemo da smo danas zaprimili i Vaš Zahtjev za informacijama od javnog začaja, te s tim u vezi bićete blagovremeno obaviješteni po okončanju započetog inspekcijskog postupka.

 

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bh4 

 

 

 

England / UK: We Now Undertake New Work For Bears and Other Zoo Animals In Serbia.

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30/7/16 – New news.

Today has been a very busy day with regard the Polar bear which is suffering at Belgrade Zoo.  See our post and the video of the suffering bear at:

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/07/29/serbia-pitiful-footage-of-a-polar-baer-at-belgrade-zoo-and-what-will-the-serbian-government-do-nothing-as-usual/

Well now we have some great news which we can share with you.

We are now starting to work with a UK organisation which campaigns globally for bears – ‘People Advocating for Caged Bears’  –  and here is the link to their website:

http://www.freecagedbears.com/

As you can see at  http://www.freecagedbears.com/#!caged-bears/c1rb8  the group is working on behalf of bears all over the world.  They have kindly offered their services to establish a section on bears in Serbia; of which our polar bear at Belgrade was the starting point, and we as an organisation will be working with campaigners in the group to expose further the suffering of animals, especially bears, at Serbian zoos.

Between us we can put extra pressure on the Serbian government and Ministry responsible; and we can expose to the whole world when action is not being taken; such as with the Belgrade polar bear

Have we not exposed the situation of the government Ministry not doing its job properly in the past ? – see her just a few of our posts.:

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2011/07/27/serbia-270711-investigation-reveals-illegal-zoo-operating-and-a-minister-who-does-not-have-a-clue-about-things/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/serbia-we-now-have-serbian-zoo-standards-documentation-is-this-legislation-a-paper-smokescreen-for-animal-prisons/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tTtV7AYWBM&feature=channel_video_title

https://serbiananimalsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/belgrade-zoo-park/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/serbia-jagodina-zoo-park/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/serbia-palic-zoo-park/

We hope you will find this project a new and exciting one for the zoo animals in Serbia – especially caged bears.

The Serbian government cannot keep hiding behind the bars of the cage all the time.  We will expose them and show them up for the actions that they are not taking for the welfare of their animals.

In addition, we as a combined campaigns group can forward all our information to the EU Enlargement Commission, and remind them that states wishing to join the EU, such as Serbia; do have responsibilities to ensure that they comply with the rules of law – that is Serbian law which is not being enforced for the animals at this present time.

We look forward to our future work with http://www.freecagedbears.com/   which will include input and information from Serbian bear rescue groups such as our friends Branka and Pavel at ‘ARKA’ who we have dealt with in the past:  https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2009/02/19/bosnia-and-herzegovina-arka-banostor-shelter-bears-come-out-of-hibernation-to-give-their-weather-forecast/

SAV.

http://www.freecagedbears.com/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2012/08/06/serbia-can-we-go-and-see-the-animals-having-fun-at-the-zoo-daddy-the-real-side-of-palic-zoo-serbia-and-the-animals-that-exist-there/  

 

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2012/08/09/serbia-part-2-palic-zoo-investigation-can-we-go-and-see-the-animals-having-fun-at-the-zoo-daddy-the-real-side-of-palic-zoo-serbia/  

 

 

 

Mr Van Goethem and EU Others – All Talk And No Action – A Real Head In The Sand Situation.

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Dear campaigner friends worldwide,

Have we had enough of the European Union (EU) ? – you bet we have.

Here is a reflection to summarise what the EU has done for one of my main welfare / investigation campaigns for (me) the last 26 years – live animal transport / live exports.

This is quite a long post.  It is long because of the continual problems associated with live EU born animals being exported to Turkey – a non EU nation, which slaughters animals without stunning; which is in direct opposition to the standards and regulations of the EU which declare that animals should be stunned before their throats are cut.  Note that even in the EU, many gutless national governments do not even attempt to stop non-stun slaughter in their own nations because they fear religious comeback.  Hence some non stun slaughter is undertaken in Europe; but with most sensible nations; most animals are still stunned prior to their slaughter.  Obviously, EU nations do not have the backbone to say to certain religions ‘you are in Europe now; we stun animals before slaughter and you therefore will do the same’; they run scared and have to allow religions to practice just whatever they want anywhere in the EU, regardless of EU regulations.  Oh does this ring a bell so much !

Our petition against live EU animals being exported to Turkey is still going – you can access and sign at the following if you have not done so already –  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/763/168/053/eu-commissioners-fail-live-animals-transported-to-turkey./?taf_id=22743166&cid=email_na

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You can see the disturbing video on the same EU – Turkey exports issue made by  Lesley at ‘yes on Animals’ (NL) by clicking on the following link –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udReHkAumrY&feature=youtu.be

Remember that this evidence has been gathered on the Turkish border for well over 5 years.  Lesley’s disturbing video is a culmination of 5 years of frustration – presenting the clear evidence of abuses to the EU Commissions; who then just sit, bury their heads in the sand, and DO NOTHING.

Clear video evidence has been presented many, many times to the EU ‘officials’, although  we would give them another name; and despite what is clear documented and filmed evidence; the EU HAS DONE NOTHING !

Officials at the EU such as Marco Valetta and Bernard Van Gorthem; the very people who they claim are responsible for ‘animal welfare’ at the EU, and who should be acting in defence of animals, continue to spout their weasel words of improvements and meetings; both of which amount to nothing.

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Have a laugh at this:

http://www.politico.eu/article/policing-the-food-chain/     “Policing the food chain –

Bernard Van Goethem on why working for the European Commission is preferable to having his arm up the back end of a cow”.

“Food safety in the broad sense is the responsibility of the vets,” he says. For him and 200 other veterinarians employed by the Commission, that task involves not only ensuring the welfare of animals, starting with the quality of vegetables and grain used in animal feed and controlling pesticide levels and residues, but also monitoring and tracking food in their ‘farm to fork’ approach of standards, controls and checks”.

 bernard van goethem

Ensuring the welfare of EU animals – but maybe not to Turkey eh !

Above – Bernard Van Goethem.

When are you actually going to start ‘ensuring the welfare of animals’ Mr Van Goethem ? – we have clear evidence that you appear to do nothing re EU – Turkey exports.  All talk and no action as usual.

We say again; the EU Commission is utterly useless, and the people who work in animal welfare within it are even lower – they talk the talk but in reality they do very little.  What is more important – a hand up the back end of a cow or working at the EU Commission and having your head buried in the sand ? – ask Mr Van Goethem; he may give you an answer if he pulls his head out.

At the end of this post you will find many of our links which relate to the work we have been undertaking on EU – Turkey live exports.  This will hopefully give you a little insight into the work that we and many others such as Lesley and her crew are doing / have been doing to show how utterly useless the EU Commission and its officials are when it actually comes to their prime responsibility, which is looking after the welfare of animals.  The EU has a Regulation which should be enforced by ALL its member states – it is Regulation 1/2005 on ’the welfare of animals during transport’.  Here is a link to this legislation which you can read in many formats and languages – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32005R0001   – just select ‘your’ language and format you wish to read in.  For example, the English version can be found at ‘EN’; and you can select either PDF or HTML styles.

Below you can read the latest from Lesley.  As she says; “it is the worst it has ever been”.  Where is Van Goethem ? – the man at the EU who has the task of ensuring the welfare of animals ? – little head deep in the sand again no doubt.

It is because of complete and utter incompetents like Van Goethem that the British people have now voted to get out of the EU.  Who wants to sit and listen to crap from people like him all day when they never do anything ? – “ensuring g the welfare of animals” – ask the pregnant ows giving birth on livestock transporters at the Turkish border who exactly is ensuring their welfare !! – Big clue – certainly not van Goethem and all his other Commission sand headers.

Please mail van Goethem and Marco Valetta and tell them both how utterly useless they are in every ones eyes.

get involved 2

Here are their e mail addresses:

Van Goethem –  Bernard.Van-Goethem@ec.europa.eu

Marco Valetta –  marco.valetta@ec.europa.eu

Fed up with EU incompetents; glad the UK has voted ‘OUT’ ?

– YOU BET I AM.

Mark.

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Message from Lesley:

Dear donors and friends,

Only a few weeks ago we were at the Turkey/EU border inspecting livestock trucks arriving from all over Europe and heading towards slaughterhouses and farms throughout Turkey. We wish we could tell you that the situation has finally improved at this border crossing but the suffering of the animals was the worst it has ever been. Because the control post in Bulgaria was temporarily closed (there was a disease outbreak in Bulgaria of Lumpy Skin) the animals were on board for longer than ever without being unloaded to receive water and feed and fresh bedding and air. Several cattle on board different trucks collapsed and died from exhaustion, heat stress and dehydration right before our eyes. Five pregnant heifers had no choice but to give birth on board the crowded trucks while waiting at the border. One pregnant cow didn’t survive this stress. The drivers pulled so hard at the dead unborn calf stuck in her that her whole uterus was torn. Here below is a daily account of our efforts at the border. By clicking on the photo, you can read the details of each inspection day.

Doomed journey video – 8/7/16.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOVtq-M0-Is

Meanwhile one of our teams was in Turkey documenting and assisting the animals at the border, another team was in the Netherlands and alerting all the responsible EU and Member State authorities and media about the urgent situation there. We even managed to give a talk to the members of the European Parliament about the problems on this route.

A bit of light at the end of the tunnel: The Netherlands now forbids transport to Turkey in the summer We have a small piece of good news: the Dutch livestock sector has agreed to not export animals to Turkey at least in the months of July and August as of now. This was included in their heat-protocol. Eyes on Animals was involved in the development of this heat protocol, together with the Dutch authorities.

Exposure of this animals cruelty in the media Last Sunday Lesley Moffat, director of Eyes on Animals, was on the popular Sunday-morning Dutch radio program “VroegeVogels” talking about the cruelty to animals sent on this route. Karen Soeters, director of the scientific-research office of the Dutch Political Party for Animals and founder of PiepVandaag was also interviewed. She and her team had joined our team in Turkey for 2 days. Listen to the radio program here.

Additionally, for the past few months, a German journalist has been working on an in-depth TV documentary about the suffering of animals sent on this export route and our efforts. Eyes on Animals and our dear colleagues at AWF|TSB are both interviewed. It should be broadcasted on July 31th on the German TV program “Europamagazin”Read more on their website

EoA June 4

EoA June 2

EoA June 5

EoA June 3

You can help! Sadly, in a world where money, it is not easy changing the situation on the ground for animals very quickly. Patience is required but we must not give up! The European Commission, authorities from the exporting Member States and transporters are feeling our pressure and exposure more and more and a time will indeed come when this will stop. PiepVandaag and Eyes on Animals have started a petition against the export of animals to Turkey so that everyone can help take action. Please will you sign this petition today?

Thanks to your donations we were able to be at the EU/Turkey border last week to record and expose the cruelty to animals and on-going violations. Thanks to your donations we were able to be there, where the animals are, to give them water and call for help. We are extremely grateful for your support. Please do continue to support us. The animals need us to be there more than ever!

 As you can see below; we have ben attempting to improve conditions for EU animals transported to Turkey – we hate it and we will fight it:

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/04/29/england-29416-sav-today-sent-formal-reply-from-eu-commission-on-live-animal-exports-to-turkey/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/04/05/netherlands-live-exports-eu-turkey-from-eyes-on-animals/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/04/05/england-eu-live-exports-to-turkey-latest-news-4416/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/03/08/england-eu-turkey-live-exports-update-8316/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/03/05/england-sav-now-formally-write-to-the-eu-regarding-eu-to-turkey-animal-transport/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2015/08/25/netherlands-eoa-information-regarding-investigations-into-eu-cattle-being-transported-to-turkey-for-slaughter/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/04/06/england-further-update-turkish-live-exports-6416/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/04/01/england-response-from-eu-regarding-turkish-live-export-petition/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2015/11/25/england-over-176000-eu-citizens-sign-to-stop-live-exports/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/06/29/mr-van-goethem-resign-now/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/06/17/uk-map-proves-uk-is-ready-to-wave-eu-goodbye-van-goethem-and-others-have-failed-the-animals/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/06/07/eu-must-ensure-animal-welfare-or-mr-van-goethem-will-get-you-and-the-next-joke-is/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/06/06/the-eu-excuses-get-more-pathetic-by-the-day-contact-mr-van-goethem-and-show-your-disgust/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/07/04/europe-how-much-more-pathetic-can-dg-sante-get-weasel-words-that-mean-nothing/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2014/10/24/england-eu-response-to-our-letter-and-evidence-to-commissioner-borg-re-live-animal-transport/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/07/14/england-netherlands-gripes-about-live-animal-transport-and-an-excellent-new-video-sent-by-lesley/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2016/02/25/england-25216-al-uk-meps-now-supplied-with-video-copy-and-letter-sav-also-supplies-video-and-letter-to-the-european-parliaments-press-service/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2013/07/10/europe-all-eu-citizens-your-meps-in-europe-do-they-support-the-8-hour-limit/

https://serbiananimalsvoice.com/2013/06/17/for-english-supporters-only-do-your-meps-support-the-campaign-for-8-hours-maximum-journey-time-across-europe/

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UPDATE 22/7/16

We immediately sent the above gripe to Mr Van Goethem – after all he should be made fully aware of his failings and how we view his inactions for EU animals destined for Turkey.  We flagged the message and have had confirmation that it has been read – see below response.

The real question though is will the EU do anything or will they continue to just speak weasel words whilst burying their heads into the sand when it comes to being provided with the real evidence such as the videos.  If Mr Van Goethem says it is the responsibility of member states to enforce the rules; then we have to ask what is the point of having him and the Commission ? – do we need those who pass the responsibility to others ? they should be taking action against rogue states who do not enforce, rather than have yet another ‘meeting’.

Definition of a ‘meeting’ –

Those who individually can do nothing, but who together decide that nothing can be done.

Maybe now; after many years of gathering clear evidence and breaches of the regulations, for which the EU does nothing as a result; campaigners in other parts of the EU will realise that ‘their EU’ is nothing really; just a monolith of people being paid big salaries and who in return really do nothing but throw the problems back at individual states anyway.  Big money for actually doing very little.

The UK has voted (much to the disgust of the EU elite !) to get out or Europe; away from all these do nothings; and we hope that now people of the Netherlands, France, Germany, Denmark etc will actually see the real light that the EU is failing them all big time; such as this very typical example.  Already the UK is getting big talks going from other places around the world re new trade deals etc.  The EU is prehistoric monolith – all talk and no real action.

If you are paid members of a club, this is where you need the management of a club to act when members break the rules.  This is where the EU fails – they don’t act and prosecute individual member states who do not enforce the rules – 1/2005 on the welfare of animals in transport, for example.

We call it the EU Commission – what about you !

Your message

To: VAN GOETHEM Bernard (SANTE)
Subject:
Sent: 22 July 2016 00:10:01 (UTC+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris

was read on 22 July 2016 03:02:46 (UTC+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris.