2 more mountain lions in California have been found dead suffering from similar poisonings as a bill to ban certain poisons sits in waiting. These most recent mountain lions deaths will bring the total to six who've died under similar circumstances involving varying forms of rat poisons.
These poisons, known as anticoagulant rodenticide poisons, are responsible for several wildlife deaths that are considered non target animals. Unfortunately, the problem with these poisons and really any kind of poison is that they are non-discriminatory in their targets. MOuntain lions for example, could come into direct contact with the poison, through eating an animal that came into contact with them like rats or squirrels, or through eating an animal that already consumed an animal full of the poison, like a coyote. The fact is, these rodenticides are not safe and are clearly ineffective in dealing with rodent problems specifically as they should be doing.
These poisons have no place in our ecosystems and without banning them, we will see continued unintended animal deaths that are completely preventable. These options are often cheaper than the alternatives and certainly do the intended job of killing, it's just the unintended victims that go along with these deaths that make these rodenticides unsafe and unnecessary.
It's time for a ban on rodenticides!
California has now become the first U.S. state to ban fur. The ban, beginning in 2023 means that it will now be illegal to sell or make clothing, accessories, or shoes out of fur. Animal advocacy groups are applauding this monumental decision but not everyone is happy with the decision.
Fur Information Council spokesman Keith Kaplan claims it is a "radical vegan agenda using fur as the first step to other bans on what we wear and eat." decrying the decision as nothing more than propaganda. Obviously, a fur lobbyist would be outraged over this landmark ruling but the general consensus from Californians is a positive one.
On top of this, 2023 is 4 years away. Those arguing in defense of fur have plenty of time to look for work that isn't despicable in this time period so one cannot feel bad for them. Fur is assuredly on the way out with so many big name fashion labels already turning their backs on fur, it's obvious that the fur industry has a very short life span remaining. California being the first US state to ban fur is exciting, but also indicative of what's to come. I don't think they'll be the last that's for sure. We are waking up to the cruelty around is and unfortunately for the fur industry, they're the first to go!
Congratulations California, here's to hoping we hear more states jump on this bandwagon in the near future!
kA report looking at 10 years of rhino populations across the globe offers both a positive and negative outlook on whether they have a chance at survival. The report, which looks at rhino populations over the past ten years, examines their growth and decline and the factors that have impacted those statistics. One common factor, illegal poaching and trophy hunting.
Beginning in 2009, there were approximately 21, 000 rhinos across the globe, which given that there are 5 species of rhino, is alarmingly low. Over the course of 8 years, the population of rhinos grew almost 30% to 29, 000 which initially looks like good news. In the past two years however, their populations have begun once again to dwindle thanks to the poaching of white & sumatran rhinos dropping the total rhino population to somewhere around 27, 000. Although this is still an improvement over 10 years ago, it also demonstrates that there is still much work to do in helping to grow and conserve every species of rhino.
In Asia, India and Nepal have done extensive work to protect rhinos with their greatest success being the Indian Rhino which saw numbers jump from only 100 to over 3, 500. On the other hand however, the Sumatran rhino remains one of the most vulnerable to extinction with their numbers dropping 70% in 20 years and fewer than 80 remaining. These statistics show that rhinos of all varieties remain as one of the most endangered species on the planet.
Among the reports findings, habitat loss and poaching / trophy hunting remain the top threats to rhinos in the wild. In some cases, anti-poaching efforts are wildly successful while in other parts, more needs to be done to ensure rhino populations grow. In my opinion, knowing that rhinos face such an unknown future, it's alarming to me that trophy hunting of rhinos is still permitted. Whereas illegal poaching is as the name suggests, illegal, trophy hunting continues to be a legal sport. As it is wholly unnecessary and frankly, feeds a desire for blood thirsty, wealthy humans to get their thrills, it should be immediately banned. There shouldn't even be an argument when it comes to trophy hunting and rhinos, with the dangers they already face through habitat loss or poaching, why are we still allowing any rhinos to be killed for the right price?
As I mentioned, the report paints both a grim and somewhat positive outlook. If anti-poaching is ramped up in high traffic areas, we can bring those numbers back up from their decline and work towards a future for all rhinos to once again thrive.
The first ever conference between government, intergovernmental, and non-profit organizations took place in Peru with the intentions of better protecting South American wildlife. This meeting brought together several people and organizations all working together to sign partnerships within the region to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. This meeting resulted in the signing of the Lima Declaration, a formal agreement in addressing the illegal wildlife trade and a commitment to finding solutions.
South America holds almost 40% of the world's biodiversity and over one quarter of its forests making it a rich area for the illegal wildlife trade. Whether it's organized crime groups sourcing illegal elephant ivory or internally with the sale of exotic birds and reptiles as pets, the illegal wildlife trade is rampant and extensive which is why this meeting indicated the urgency in tackling the illegal trade.
Organized crime is dependant on several factors including a sophisticated network. bribery, and cooperation between large groups of people which is why it's crucial that there is community support in tackling these organizations. This meeting concluded that there needed to be interference in every aspect of the industry including demand, communication, and reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement. Without full cooperation, the trade will continue to flourish.
This meeting marked a very important first step in protecting South America's imperiled wildlife.
A zebra was shot dead in Germany after fleeing a travelling circus along with a second zebra that was successfully captured and returned. The zebra was shot dead after several unsuccessful trapping efforts and damage to vehicles on the highway. This marks the second recent death of a wild animal at the hands of the circus industry.
With shows like Cirque Du Soleil that rely only on human performances being so successful, there really is no longer justification for the use of wild animals. As I said, they don't belong anywhere other than the wild and and unless the use of wild animals is banned across the globe, we will undoubtedly continue to see stories like this. Stories about animals that in one last attempt at freedom are killed for trying to escape. It's wrong.
As wolves continue to be killed in Washington due to livestock conflicts, the Governor has ordered the Washington Fish and Wildlife Services to cease further killing. After recognizing that the status quo for killing wolves was unnecessarily high, he has called for an end to wolf killing in favour of exploring non-lethal solutions to the constant conflict between wolves and the livestock industry.
The letter comes after a record amount of wolves were killed in the year in an effort to protect livestock. An entire pack of wolves were killed with the remaining four of them being killed mere hours before a court hearing on a lawsuit regarding the wolves was to take place. The Center for Biological Diversity has been advocating for the wolves now for some time and are currently embroiled in lawsuits challenging the states wolf killing procedures and policies recognizing that wolves in Washington are in serious risk of going extinct without appropriate protection.
“After years of unscientific, unethical wolf killing by state wildlife officials, it is a relief to have Governor Inslee calling for reforms. Most Washington residents support wolves and wolf recovery. We are grateful that the governor has stepped in to do what is right.” Amaroq Weiss Senior West Coast Wolf Advocate
There are so many more victims in the factory farming industry aside from just those animals that are bred to live horrid lives before being slaughtered for meat. You know, refraining from eating meat isn't just because of the animals involved, it's in protest of everything the factory farming industry stands for. It's in protest of everything that they do to the animals they breed for food but also everything negative they contribute to our planet.
Factory farming is destroying our environment. It's one of the leading producers of environmentally damaging greenhouse gases but that's not all. We grow an abundance of food solely for feeding livestock when we have so many people in other countries that are starving to death. It makes absolutely no sense. The factory farming industry also continues to grow which means more land is required to produce these animals which means more natural habitat for other wild animals being taken away from them. This also leads to increased wildlife conflict like the wolves in this case, who are victims of the livestock industry. Protesting factory farming is so much more than just the animal rights, it's about protesting everything the factory farming industry stands for.
Anyhow, it's definitely an important step in the right direction for Washington in calling for an end to the slaughter of wolves. Governor Jay Inslee is recognizing the importance of protecting wolves and now the Washington Fish and Wildlife Services must explore non-lethal options which is essential to preserving the species and helping them to repopulate.
I will update this story as news becomes available.
Australia has passed a landmark bill finally recognizing animal sentience. The bill, passed on the 26th will recognize the sentience of animals for the first time in Australia's history. This recognition implies Australia's acknowledgement that animals feel pain and emotions and should be held to a certain standard when it comes to their treatment. This recognition will also allow for penalties, fines, and imprisonments pertaining to poor animal treatment.
“Modern animal welfare is about considering how an animal is coping both mentally and physically with the conditions in which it lives.”
Minister for City Service Chris Steel
Recognizing animal sentience is the first step to properly tackling animal cruelty and cracking down on those who commit cruelty to animals in various manners. Sentience is something that is still being recognized across the globe despite years and years of evidence suggesting its validity. Arguing whether an animal feels pain, emotion, or mental instability is comical to me at this point. Animals have brains correct? Much like we do, these brains are capable of many of the same pain receptors, mental turmoils, bonds, and emotions that we experience. Perhaps one could argue to what degree they experience these similarities, but to deny the validity of sentience is ridiculous in this day and age.
With this new laws passed and coming into effect in 6 months, law enforcement can enforce penalties for animal cruelty they were unable to properly enforce before. In the instance of recognized animal cruelty, law enforcement can impose bans on animal ownership of 6 months, seize, retain, sell, or rehome animals when applicable. Not providing animals adequate food, shelter, or water will come with a $4, 000 penalty. This fine will also be imposed on those who keep pets enclosed for long periods of time or restrict their movement. Those who engage in violence involving animals such as dog fighting face a possible $48, 000 fine along with a potential 3 year prison sentence.
Unfortunately, despite livestock being mentioned by Chris Steel, these new laws pertain mostly to domestic animals leaving farm animals in continued danger of abuse. One cannot deny the importance of this bill coming into effect to better protect animals but it's super unfortunate that livestock will continue to be overlooked. A considerable amount of abuse to animals occurs to farm animals because they are viewed more as products and less as living beings.
It's not only Australia that is failing livestock however. Across the globe we are still struggling to figure out how to properly protect farm animals in the factory farming industry. The fact is, these animals often live in squalor, are regularly subjected to beatings and cruelty at the hands of handlers, and suffer immeasurable emotional and mental stress during their very short lives. We must continue to move forward globally in advancing animal rights for farm animals the same way we are moving forward in protecting exotic and domestic animals to truly demonstrate a commitment to animal welfare.
Congratulations Australia on recognizing sentience and here's to a more compassionate future!
House Democrats in the United States have advanced a bill that would better protect African elephants and lions from trophy hunting. The bill would prohibit the entry of trophies into the US from African lions and elephants helping to curb a disgusting industry that caters to wealthy people at the expense of endangered, majestic animals.
Trophy hunting continues to be a prevalent industry that allows those who pretend to be concerned about conservation and happen to have tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to spare to participate in the slaughter of innocent and often endangered animals. The money spent on these hunts allegedly goes towards other conservation efforts but as I've always said, there is no bigger hypocrisy on this planet then the one that says slaughtering endangered animals will help better protect them. These pigs hide behind conservation to justify their actions that are widely recognized by Americans and frankly, the rest of the globe as despicable and unnecessary.
Also introduced was a bill banning the ownership of big cats as pets. Sadly, this too happens across the US with these animals often being stripped from their parents in the wild and either sold immediately or bred to continue to exploit and sell future babies. The bill would protect big cats like lions, tigers, and cougars, from becoming pets freeing them from the often awful conditions they are housed in during private ownership. These wild animals live in massive amounts of space in the wild but when kept as pets, often have very little space to live and live inexcusably shitty lives.
These bills are in my opinion, a direct message to President Trump that the House, along with millions of Americans despise trophy hunting and want to see these majestic animals better protected. His administration has repeatedly made evident their lack of concern for the well being of endangered species and I truly hope these bills pass the senate and become active immediately. The future of elephants and lions depends on tackling trophy hunting!
I will update when I hear more.
Zimbabwe is home to some of the most imperiled and endangered species on the planet and poaching remains these animals greatest threat. Poaching of animal like elephants, lions, rhinos, and leopards, had lead some of these beautiful animals down a dangerous path towards extinction. Efforts to curtail poaching have been in place for years but the black market is strong and people continue to poach in hopes of making big money off the sale of parts from these wild and endangered animals and that's where Akashinga come in.
In 2017, a story emerged about Zimbabwe's very first all female, vegan anti-poaching group. Originally a 16 woman group, the success of the movement has been astronomical and the numbers have continued to swell with more and more women dedicating themselves to protecting their land and the animals that live in harmony with them. The women's troop was special because they were easily able to build relationships with local communities and form bonds relaying the necessity of conservation and working with locals to strengthen the efforts.
The increase in interest and desired participation has now led to a new training program for 240 new women who wish to dedicate themselves to this amazing cause. These women; all of which are vegan, are the next round of recruits which will allow for more area to be monitored and more poachers to be targeted leading to an even further decline in elephant and other animals being poached.
Damien Mander, the organizer of the group can't speak enough praises about the women and the hard work they do. Originally when creating this team, he trained both men and women but found the women to be more dedicated and willing to push themselves to help with conservation. He says that a woman's natural instincts to protect are what make them such fierce anti-poaching allies. Simply put, women are natural nurturers meaning they are naturally inclined to protect. These instincts make them the ideal candidates for such difficult work because they understand the importance of protecting and conserving the species that are poached here.
With such a strong force of dedicated, amazing women, I imagine we will see a continued decline in poaching and an increase in arrests as the group spreads out and takes on more wildlife game reserves. These women deserve the praise for doing some of the most dangerous work on the planet. Their dedication to protecting endangered animals is quite magnificent.
Head to the link at the top of the page for the full story on this group of amazing women!
Heartbreaking news as the 31st horse has died following a complication from a fractured pelvis at the Santa Anita race track in California. The horse sustained the injury during training and although initially seemed fine, by nightfall it was evident the horse was getting worse and eventually succumbed to its injuries. The track put out a statement claiming to be heartbroken and investigating what could have led to the horse's injury.
Although we must expect the track to put out a statement claiming to be devastated by the loss of this beautiful horse, it seems a touch clueless and ignorant when you consider this has happened 31 times in less than a year. When one animal dies under your care, you should already be on alert for problems and such but 31? When do you recognize that perhaps the sport in itself is what's killing the horses? The answer is they won't because despite being "heartbroken", they need these horses to continue making profits.
Horse racing is simply another example of humans profiting off of animals disregarding their well being for our own entertainment. It amazes me that we are on one hand crying foul with the circus but endorsing horse racing. There is no difference between these things aside from our perception. With the circus, we see wild animals forced to perform which seems wholly unnatural but with horse racing, we know horses can run fast and therefore it doesn't seem as unnatural or cruel. The fact is, any form of exploitation of animals for our entertainment is wrong, plain and simple and this latest death is evidence that horse racing is dangerous for horses.
Horses are beautiful animals that have been with us as civilization has continued to grow. Prior to vehicular travel, horses were seen as a means of travel and carrying goods between villages or towns however as time went on and we developed other means of travel, we moved away from using horses in this manner. There is no place in today's society for the use of horses in any capacity aside from allowing them to live their lives in peace without us forcing them into these ridiculous situations endangering them. Horse drawn carriages and horse racing are abominations that should be completely banned across the globe. Horses have served us well in history so it's time we repayed them appropriately by releasing them from their destiny of servitude to us.
Enough is enough, it's time to ban horse racing!
Stay educated and remain involved in animal welfare. Together, we can all make a difference!