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Chinese Beggar Gang Severe Camel’s Legs

Camel 5  3

Amputating limbs on small children is no longer attracting attention so Chinese beggar bosses have begun mutilating animals as a new gimmick to make sure their beggars bring home plenty of cash.

 Some camels have the lower part of all four legs forcibly amputated, leaving them unable to even stand. Most have had their four hooves brutally severed from their feet.

Camel 12

Camel has all four of it’s lower legs amputated. See the beggars also laying on the safer part of the road, with a chain attached to the mutilated camel. Note the appalling condition of the poor camel.

The latest appalling craze is to amputate body parts from live camels, deliberately mutilating them so they can use the crippled camels to force people to donate to their beggars, out of sympathy.

Notice the broken front leg.

Notice the broken front leg.

Some beggars have their camel laying prostrate on the road, taking up a lane of traffic! The poor camel, which cannot even stand, must be in horrific pain laying on the remainder of it’s legs, all day and night.  As the camel dies, it is replaced with another one, equally as mutilated as the previous one.

It is reported that when people don’t donate money, or even as much money as the beggar wants, beggars will beat the severely injured camels mercilessly. Chinese beggars are now extortionists who use emotional blackmail to extract cash money from people, by inflicting gross animal cruelty on the spot, thereby guilting people into giving them money.

Camel 10

Notice the front leg amputation.

Wild Camel Critically Endangered

The wild camel is the eighth most endangered large mammal on the planet. It is critically endangered.

There are approximately 600 in the Gobi desert in north-west China and 800 in the desert in Mongolia.

Healthy wild camel in it's natural environment.

Healthy wild camel in it’s natural environment.

Camels are migratory and they are diurnal, sleeping at night in open spaces and foraging for food during the day. Shrubs and grass form the bulk of the diet, with the animals being well adapted to feed on thorns, dry vegetation and salty plants, which other herbivores avoid.

Excess fat is stored in the humps and used as a reserve when food is scarce. AUTHOR NOTE: notice the state of the humps on the beggar’s camels. 

The wild camel (Camelus ferus),  was listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2002 as critically endangered.

Healthy wild camel mother and calf.

Healthy wild camel mother and calf.

Many believe that the wild camel can yield up secrets, which will be of great benefit to man. Read more: Wild Camel Protection Foundation.

Beggars use all types of camels. Some authorities, notably the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), use the binomial name Camelus ferus for the wild Bactrian camel and reserve Camelus bactrianus for the domesticated Bactrian camel. Their name comes from the ancient historical region of Bactria.

Beggar Camels

Camels are suffering horrific mutilations with forced amputations such as cutting the animal’s front and  hind legs off below the knees, leaving them with stumps so they cannot walk or even stand. At this stage it is unknown how beggar gangs move the stricken camels from one location to another, sometimes great distances, but they do it somehow – which would be expensive and take money to do. Beggar gangs use camels along roadsides or in shopping areas so that both the camel and beggars can block walkways or shop entrances until their paid money to move.

Some beggars are in need of help, but some are professional beggars, who can earn more than a white collar worker in a month. In Guangzhou, professional beggars can earn in excess of RMB 1,000 per day – which is in excess of US163.00 per day. Beggar gang bosses take most of the money.

Camel 4  3

All four lower legs have been amputated on this camel.

 A week ago two men were seen with a mutilated camel, panhandling alongside a sidewalk near Daping road in Fuzhou, Fujian province, according to ECNS. Local residents said “The injured camel is a cruel ploy to create sympathy among passersby.”
Police arrived at the spot soon after receiving reports from local residents who were concerned about the animal. Crouching down on all fours, the camel had no hooves and the wounds on its legs appeared to have been inflicted on purpose.The two beggars refused to respond to police, who said they will continue investigating.
Camel 3
 A pair of beggars can reportedly make hundreds of yuan in just two or three hours.

In Fuzhou, the camel found by the roadside was taken to a zoo to be looked after, but several days later the owner claimed it back.

Reports said beggars were escaping punishment because it was difficult to find hard evidence they were responsible for the camels’ injuries.

Camels 1
Beggars in Foshan have been photographed in Guangdong, prostrating on the street alongside their severely mutilated camel. A nearby shopkeeper told reporters “Camels eat at least 20 buns, revenue within two begging twenty-three hours there a few hundred (US)dollars.”
The camels attract a lot of attention and passers-by stop and take their photograph and leave them money, which encourages them to keep mutilating more animals.
Along Jiefang Road, Shaoxing, Zhejiang, a disheveled man with a camel went begging from door to door,  shop to shop, along the road. If shop owners would not give him money he would kneel in the doorway of their shop, with his camel blocking the entrance/exit,  until they paid him
 
Another problem for shop owners is that camels keep relieving them-self along the walkways in-front of the shop entrances, which is also off-putting for customers to have walk through camel urine or camel manure.
Camels are supposed to be a first class protected species in China. Chinese web users are asking how such a big animal as the camel – with severed limbs and unable to walk – can be transported to city streets and up and down the country without questions being asked?
Chinese citizen’s responses to the photographs have unanimously been of disgust and outrage, both at the beggars and at the government for so blatantly failing to protect the supposedly protected animal.
Beggar and his ca,el deliberately blocking the shop entrance/exit of a fast-food restaurant.

Beggar and his ca,el deliberately blocking the shop entrance/exit of a fast-food restaurant.

 Guangzhou is a hub for international tourists, flying in and out of China, but in Guangzhou a story in a local newspaper reported that as people walked past the entrance of Huimin Primary School, located at 182 Zhongshan Road, they were confronted with the unusual site of a camel. Fastened to a nearby lamppost, the camel was accompanied by a homeless man begging for money.
According to the man’s sign, he suffers from epilepsy, a brain tumour and needs money to care for his crippled mother. Speaking to a local hawker, the reporter was told that the man often makes an excess of RMB 1,000 per day.Beggar and shop keeper seeing who can last the longest before one of them gives in.

Beggar and shop keeper seeing who can last the longest before one of them gives in.

 Some passersby noted that they encountered the man a few days before in Baiyun District. Apparently, the man has a habit of striking the camel when no one will give him money; but it remains unclear whether this strategy is successful in obtaining donations.There’s no word on where the man keeps his camel or how exactly the poor beast found its way to downtown Guangzhou (YED.)
Local news sources say they have thousands of backed statements saying that “giving money only encourages this shameless behaviour,” “these pieces of garbage don’t deserve a shred of sympathy” and they should “cut off these people’s legs, too.”
In Shaoxing City, Zhejiang Province, the most prosperous Jiefang, two disheveled beggars brought the one camel, kneeling on the sidewalk road begging passers-by to throw them sympathy money. Some passersby bought noodles for them to eat; the two children do not speak, just keep kowtow.
Camel 11

Passerby gave the beggars noodles to eat rather than paying them cash.

The disgusting camel mutilation has been done simply so the beggar gang bosses, who are the owners of the helpless camels, can play on people’s emotions and demand more donations. This is not an isolated incident.

Child Beggars

It has been documented for some time that a number of Chinese children are deliberately mutilated by beggar gang bosses to allow them to get more pity on them from the public and the media, as they beg.
People used to donate to pathetic looking battered and bruised children, especially if they had limbs missing. Then people became accustomed to the sight of mutilated children and found it easier to turn away – which meant they were not donating.
Beggar gang bosses had to get inventive to get the money rolling back in and along the way one of them  thought up mutilating camels, as an emotional ploy. Reports of mutilated camels have been filtering in since April, this year. More and more camels are appearing on the Chinese beggar circuit.
 Behind many beggars is a story of cruelty, which has been inflicted upon them by others and/or they too are inflicting further cruelty upon others, including mutilating animals just to get their hands on your money.
While it is true that some beggars suffer a terrible existence; especially those with horrific amputations or disfigurements, it is equally true that not all beggars are in desperate need.
An example of this was recorded in China when a journalists followed a group of beggars and filmed them eating in five star restaurants and shopping at department stores.
The moral of this is to be aware and take a closer look at what is really going on in-front of you. There are genuine cases where people genuinely need help, but their are also plenty of scams.
Another form of begging in Shanghai, China is the mobile phone scam. If you travel, you might find the following video interesting, about being scammed by a pretty girl who appears to need help.

In Conclusion:

The wild camel is the eighth most endangered large mammal on the planet and critically endangered. It is supposed to be strictly protected by the Chinese government, however it doesn’t take long to find these wretched animals being used as mutilated beggars on busy streets, where they are constantly brutalised at the hands of cruel captors.

If you see a camel beggar do NOT give them money as this only encourages them to keep mutilating innocent animals who are unable to defend themselves, forcing them to live a life of misery and pain until their slow death eventually arrives, where they are left abandoned to die alone and forgotten.

To help critically endangered wild camels, please read more at the Wild Camel Protection Foundation.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

Related article on this website: China: Beating People’s Pet Dogs To Death

Restriction of Lion and Rhinoceros trophy imports into the the European Union.

iarfbantrade

OPEN LETTER & SENT COMMUNICATION 

President José Manuel Barroso
European Commission
Berlaymont, Rue de la Loi, 200
1049 Bruxelles

Date: 17th October 2014 

Re: European Legislation on Restriction of Lion and Rhinoceros trophy imports into the the European Union. 

Brief summary; 

We “International Animal Rescue Foundation” call for European Legislation to restrict the importation of sport hunted Lion and Rhino trophies (only) from “any country” into all European Countries within the European Union. We the named herein only support imports of Lion and Rhino parts or carcasses for veterinary science and museum artifacts for educative purposes only. 

Dear President José Manuel Barroso; 

Your Honorable José Manuel Barroso We International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa ask for your support to implement law[s] to restrict the import/export of Lion and Rhino sport hunted trophies into the European Union from (any country or continent). As set out under the European Union Legislation / Environmentalism and Preservation procedure stated hereto; http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1413671152558&uri=URISERV:l11023 it is the European Union and Commissions responsibility to protect the biodiversity and natural habitats of both Fauna and Flora. As we see it (now) the European Union/Commission and Parliament is failing within its duties under Protocol one of the Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade either live or dead of Lion and Rhino trophies and/or parts.

We International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa call on the European Commission to now regulate trade of both sport “hunted” Lions and Rhinos under the Act of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade for the reasons as set out herein for your information. 

Restrictions on sport hunted Lions and parts under Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating/restricting trade; 

  1. Since the early 1980’s we have lost countless individual Lions and Rhinos to sport hunters and poachers within Africa. While sport hunting may not be seen as a overall major threat to both species of Lion and Rhino it is having a detrimental effect on the now shrinking populations of Lions in Africa. And with regards to “poaching” of Rhinos something now has to give. The Rhino cannot any longer compete with the vast number of poaching incidents occurring daily of which has placed the Rhino now at tipping point. All in all your excellency should the candle continue to burn at both ends we will lose both ionic species of mammalian in under two decades. Poaching is raging out of control within Africa threatening many species alike. With South Africa being the largest country hit by poachers and visited by thousands of European and American tourist hunters a year, time must now come that we as a European Union must take evasive action to slow down and/or halt (extinction). The reasons are set out below for your information.
  2. A century ago there were some 200,000 Lions roaming all over the African continent. Now there are no fewer than a mere 30,000 if that with the lowest estimated figure pointing to a possible 15,000. Within the Lions existing ranges there are no more than 1,000 Lions within each of its African habituated countries of which there are more Lions within canned hunting farms and ranches than in some wild populated areas. Those Lions within canned hunting farms and ranches pose a disease and genetic risk to other species of fauna and wild Lion populations that live around these facilities.
  3. Over the last ten years a staggering two thirds of all Lions hunted for sport were imported from Africa into the United States of America Between 2000 and 2008, some 4,250 wild lions were exported as trophies most of which into the European Union although America was the largest importer and still is to date.
  4. African Lions have vanished from a whopping 80% of their range of which hunting, habitat fragmentation, human species conflict and unsustainable agriculture are primary causes for Lion depletion.
  5. Lions have become extinct in 26 countries. Only seven countries – Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are believed to contain more than 1,000 lions each. Panthera leo is bordering endangerment. Should restrictions not be implemented and or bans put in place then it is a sad fact of life we will lose a further 1/4 of all mature individuals thus seeing more Lions pushed from extant into “regional” extinction.
  6. Although the single biggest threat by far to the animals survival is humans, though not necessarily western hunters. It is just the very, very widespread killing of Lions, mostly in a conflict situation, by anyone who is trying to farm livestock in Africa and finds it very difficult to co-exist with Lions. Hunting of Lions though is still playing a great role in reducing further species of which is seeing many Lions wild and captured depleted. Furthermore the black market trade in Lion bone wine threatens our Lion species greatly. International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa has already this year seen further evidence of European’s involved within the black market trade of Lion bones generating hundreds of thousands “in all”.. While this evidence is within the public domain and has been for some years why are we still not taking the relevant steps to secure the species future?
  7. Between 1999 and 2008, 64% of the 5,663 Lions that were killed in the African wild for sport ended up being shipped to America, it must also be noted numbers had risen sharply in those 10 years, with more than twice as many Lions taken as trophies by US hunters in 2008 than in 1999. Should US hunters continue their rampage followed up with EU hunters least forgetting habitat destruction then its quite likely we’ll begin to see more loclised (regional extinctions) within the next five years. In addition to personal trophies, Americans are also the world’s biggest buyers of Lion carcasses and body parts, including claws, skulls, bones and penises, Asians the second largest and Europeans the third largest buyer. In the same years, the US imported 63% of the 2,715 Lion specimens put up for sale. While the United States, Asia and Europe hunters buy and sell the demand for Lion parts continues thus seeing the species threatened furthermore.
  8. From 1996 – 2008 species populations of Panthera leo has not increased but decreased furthermore seeing few localised extinctions. The African Lion is still listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. Listed as Endangered is the next step – then we will most certainly see the Lion species in danger furthermore.
  9. Demand from the Far East is also driving profits for Lions breeders. In 2001, two Lions were exported as “trophies” to China, Laos and Vietnam; in 2011, 70 Lion trophies were exported to those nations. While the trade in Tiger parts is now illegal, demand for Lion parts for traditional Asian medicine is soaring. In 2009, five Lion skeletons were exported from South Africa to Laos; in 2011, it was 496. The legal export of Lion bones and whole carcasses has also soared. While Tiger populations decrease so will Lions too.
  10. Lastly Eastern European countries such as Russia not aligned with the Cites convention nor the “European Union” are actively selling Lion skins into the market to produce rugs, upholstery, and furniture. This is a threat in its own and with all factors above combined with the trade in Eastern Europe we must now protect our Lion populations more than ever.

Restrictions on sport hunted Rhinoceros and parts under Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating/restricting trade;

  1. In the early 1950s, when Mao Zedong promoted so-called traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a tool for unifying the country he had recently come to lead. Even though Chairman Mao himself did not believe in TCM, he called for its use over Western medicine. Among the many “cures” touted by China’s “New Medicine” was powdered Rhino horn, which was said to cure everything from fevers to cancer. Since Mao made this public Rhinos have been decimated at staggering proportions mostly by poachers. However now as the demand the Rhino horn has increased rapidly within Asia of which the horn can fetch on the market between $50,000 and $70,000kg hunters have been caught in many stings peddling Rhino horns from their “legally” obtained trophies to supply the (TCM) market. Since the year 2000 we have lost over 3,000 Rhinos just in South Africa alone.
  2. Between 1960 and 1995 an astonishing 98 percent of black Rhinos were killed by poachers, either to feed the new and voracious demand for TCM or, to a lesser extent, for horns to be used as ceremonial knife handles in the Middle East. From 2000 onwards both White and Black Rhino populations are now being hit hard by poachers, every day we lose a further 3-4 Rhinos in South Africa alone custodian to the worlds largest remaining Rhino crashes. Evidence. All rhinos suffered; the western black Rhino, already weakened by decades of overhunting, was the hardest hit. The white Rhino is now at “tipping point”.
  3. Back in 2012 the Department of Environmental Affairs (South Africa) banned Vietnamese hunting permits due to the popularity of pseudo hunting and the then past arrests of the Gronwald poaching gang and Chumlong Lemtongthai whom hired pseudo (hunters) from Thailand and possibly other fake hunters from Vietnam. Although banned – Vietnamese hunters this hasn’t stopped foreign citizens from joining in the hunting/poaching trend. It was stated by Hon Edna Molewa and Cites that Eastern European hunting applications had shot up from 2012 by some 1000% of which its now known that Polish, Russian and Czech Republic hunters are mostly pseudo hunters cashing in on the Rhino horn demand thus supplying the Asian market in Vietnam, Laos and China with Rhino horn. Whilst this is clearly evident and “legitimate” hunting practices still ongoing this is placing more pressure on the Rhino species decreasing their populations even more of which this “fake and legitimate hunting” plus poaching has led to the Rhino populations decreasing furthermore.
  4. Trophy hunting does not rake in revenue – A study on the economic benefit behind Lion hunting for example in Africa concluded, “The suggestion that trophy hunting plays a significant role in African economic development is misguided…Revenues constitute only a fraction of a percent of GDP and almost none of that ever reaches rural communities.” Dr. Naomi Rose agrees as stated on the HSUS blog, “Regarding the statement that trophy hunters do a lot for conservation, it’s true that some portion of some hunters’ fees goes to conservation in some countries, but it’s rarely the major source of conservation funding. Usually middlemen—commercial outfitters—take the lion’s share of sport hunting proceeds and local communities and conservation and management agencies get the dregs.” And its quite evident that trophy hunting is not generating revenue – if it was then why is this “alleged $200 million” not seen poaching tackled. It would be quite fare to say that $200 million x 4 years = $800 million is quite enough to sustain species welfare. Yet it hasn’t which is why we call for an immediate ban of LION and RHINO trophies into Europe.
  5. White Rhino is currently listed on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List as (near threatened) Whilst we are aware that evidence has shown an “increase” of White Rhino populations poaching from either African “poachers” legal hunters and others caught (illegally poaching) has since pushed the species of White and Black Rhino to tipping point. Both Rhino species are normally gestate no longer than 15-16 months. One Rhino cow regardless of the species produces a new born every two to three years. However we are losing species of both Black and White Rhino at 3-4 every day. International Union for the Conservation of Nature has placed the number of White Rhinoceros populations at 20,160 (2010). Since 1990 and including the recent poaching figures for (October 2014) we have lost a total of 3,803 Rhinoceros. Most of these deaths have occurred in South Africa that holds a total of 93.2% of the worlds largest Rhino populations. 3,803 is not including “collateral damage” such as unborn fetus nor natural deaths. If we took unborn fetes and natural deaths into account with that of the 1990-2014 poaching figures its quite likely that the current population trend of White and Black Rhinos is nowhere near the 2010 figures of 20,160. As of 2012 International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa communicated to Hon Edna Molewa. In writing Molewa basically quoted from the IUCN the population of Rhino has increased “ten fold” mostly helped by hunters. Yet there is no evidence of such increases by even a “five fold” and if such hunting practices had increased the White and Black Rhino population then why is the Rhino populations within Africa now “threatened and still endangered” of which are standing at “tipping point”? The answer is quite simple. Our “wild Rhino” populations are decreasing rapidly. What Hon Edna Molewa most likely meant was that Rhino populations had increased ten fold on “hunting reserves” while the remainder of the wild populations the government nor Non-Profits know little about. No official census of the wild populations have been seen since the early millennium either. This gives us reason to now ask that all Rhino trophies and parts acquired via trophy hunting are banned from export/import into Europe unless for scientific and/or museum purposes. Why did Molewe not answer International Animal Rescue Foundation’s questions in full? Rather than simply copy and paste a number from the IUCN website? We believe this is because the South African government know little about their own populations of Rhino and what the real figure of wild populations of both black and white stand at. Moving back to the Census – A group of Rhino Activists did lobby the South African government (early 2012) asking for census within their (9 point plan) to be conducted supported by over 29,000 people.
  6. Rhinos still under threat no matter what the South African Government try to do to stem the poaching crisis – 2012 Vietnamese hunting permits were banned due to pseudo hunting. Department of Environmental Affairs believed this would someway “reduce the poaching crisis”. October 2014 though saw yet another Rhino poaching kingpin and accomplices being vets, pilots, even “HAWKS” police, arrested along with the leader himself Hugo Ras a South African hunter and attorney. Ras was known the police with regards to “poaching crimes”. The group is alleged to have contributed to the brutal slaughter and mutilation of 24 Rhinos in state and privately owned game reserves, resulting in 48 horns poached. Only two of the 24 Rhinos that had been attacked, survived, but they were de-horned after they had been darted. Twenty two of the Rhinos were darted with the veterinary drug M99, the other two were shot. An additional 36 horns were either stolen or obtained through other illegal means. The killings took place between 2008 and 2012, during which period the syndicate illegally obtained 84 Rhino horns and killed 22 Rhinos valued at nearly R22 million. International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa and International Animal Rescue Foundation Europe call for an immediate ban of all Rhino parts and trophies into Europe because there is more than likely more Rhino poaching syndicates operating of which Europe is being used as a transit route to peddle legally Rhino “trophies” through onto Asia. By cutting one of the main transit routes out we help to disrupt trade and demand furthermore.
  7. The rate of Rhino deaths has surpassed the rate of births. Rhino poaching has accelerated to a dangerous level. With deaths outweighing births, it puts their species just a few short years away from extinction. 1990 = 14 deaths, 1994 = 27 deaths, 2002 = 25 deaths, 2006 = 36 deaths, 2008 = 83 deaths, 2009 = 122 deaths, 2010 = 333 deaths, 2011 = 448 deaths, 2012 = 668 deaths, 2013 = 1004 deaths and to date October 2014 we stand almost at 900 deaths. While the majority of these deaths have been caused by African poachers killing Rhino to supply the Asian black market hunters, game wardens, farmers, veterinary officers and more are also contributing to deaths that we are still fully unaware of. While SAPS and HAWKS are flushing out corrupt hunters, wardens and vets poaching and corrupt hunting continues. What seems legitimate trophies being exported out off Africa in Europe could well be more sinister. Hence the reasons we call for a trophy hunting ban of Rhino into Europe from Africa based on the level of illegal poaching and that of pseudo poaching that has already been shown to be supplying the black market within Asia.

Since publishing our main petition aimed at Hon Gianni Pittella EPP, Hon Manfred Weber S&D, Hon Martin Schulz President of the European Parliament, Hon Herman Van Rompuy President of the European Council, Hon Jean Lambert MEP and Hon Keith Taylor MEP including yourself your Excellency we have amassed a total count nearing nine hundred signatures that call for a restriction of sport hunted Rhinos and Lions into all European member countries. Australia has already banned the importation/exportation of sport hunted Rhinoceros with a further ban expected of sport hunted Lions.

International Animal Rescue Foundation Africa lobbied with many other Non-Profits the United States too as of last year that has since prompted Director Daniel Ashe United States Fish and Wildlife Service to now look into banning/restricting sport hunted Lion trophies into the USA. Australia and the United States are taking leading steps here and setting positive and professional examples. However as yet Europe is still dragging its heals. While we continue to drag our heals both Lions and Rhinoceros continue to edge closer and closer to extinction. The time for the healing of the wounds has come your excellency.

Sincerely yours 

Board of Directors 

Josa C. Depre 

Jon E. Williamson 

Helen S. Farthing 

Rosalyn Simon

J. C. Dimetri

Muhammad A. Muller

Sonya T. Franklin

Johan N. Strauss   

info@international-animalrescue-foundation.org.uk

Please sign the petition here

iarfban

The Emu: A Gentle Bird Cruelly Farmed For Body Parts

Emu.

Emu.

The Emu is an Australian native bird which is huge in size and personality and can run at 40 m.p.h. Their naturally inquisitive and down right “sticky beaks” who don’t take no for an answer, especially if treats are involved. In 1929 Emu’s survived government machine-gun eradication but are now farmed in India for body parts or abandoned to starve.

Emu baby 1

The Emu’s comical appearance is copied by artists who manage to capture their cute side. Emu skin is used for high end fashion shoes and handbags. Artisans treasure the large Emu eggs to paint and decorate.

Emus Also Like To Dance: (turn the volume up)

EMU dancing

Comedian Ross Noble Describes Emus As “A Bush With A Face”

Emu Fast Facts

Emus are gentle, friendly birds with a strong family life.
The father plays an active role in nest-building and in the 8 week incubation and rearing of the chicks.
They can run up to 40 miles an hour, covering 9 feet in a single stride.
Long, powerful legs and camel-like feet adapted for speed.
Excellent periscopic vision enable them to survey the land for miles in all directions at once.
Emus grow to be 2 metres tall (around 6 foot.)
Weigh around 150 pounds.
Can live up to 60 years old.

emu running

If they appear awkward in captivity, it is because these fleet birds are meant for wide open spaces, where their grace and intelligence can be exercised. They are nomads, designed to roam over vast tracks of land.

They belong to the oldest living family of birds on earth, the ratites or flightless fowl. They range widely into Australia’s interior thriving on shoots, seeds, fruits and insects. When food is abundant they store a thick layer of fat beneath the skin as a reserve for hard times.

emu-eggs

Both parents help the chicks to hatch by pecking at the shell after 6 weeks of incubation. The family stays together for 10 months or more as the young birds learn to fend for themselves. The normally peaceful emu will kick ferociously with their legs and bite with their beaks to protect eggs and young from enemies (Wildlife Protection Council.)

Emu Hatching From It’s Egg

Watch with amazement as a young Emu is hatched:

 Emu Migration

“The southward movement of tens of thousands of emus in certain seasons is one of Australia’s greatest examples of wildlife migration. Their routes are influenced by climate. As they can find more food in humid regions the birds wander always to places were rain was falling down recently. It’s not yet clear how Emus orientate themselves and can detect rain from several hundred kilometers away.

Researchers believe this is a combination of sighting distant rain cloud formations, smelling rain, and hearing the far-off sound of thunder from distances the human ear cannot. Major Emu migrations occur one year in seven.

Emus migrating along the "dingo fence."

Emus migrating along the “dingo fence.”

Plans to extend Western Australia’s ‘rabbit-proof-fence’ [aka Dingo Fence], have been described as cruel and clumsy by environmental groups, who say native wildlife will be the victim.

The dingo fence is now being used to minimise Emu impact on cropping area. But major environmental groups say that vulnerable native species are caught in the fence and meet painful deaths. The Wilderness Society, Gondwana Link and Pew Environment Group say that migrating emus have a history of massing in their thousands along the fence, and then dying of starvation or having to be shot.

Emus.

Emus.

Extending the barrier fence is a major disruption to ecosystems. Dingo expert Dr Euan Ritchie, from Deakin University in Melbourne, argues that excluding predators such as dingoes can be counterproductive, leading to more kangaroos and rabbits where those predators are absent.

Environmental studies will ensure that all wildlife impacts are taken into account before a final alignment of the route for the new fence is made in the near future.

Cute Craft Emus

Cute crotched Emu chicks. Click the here for more assorted crotched Emus by Crochetroo.

Cute craft Emus

Cute craft Emus

Emu Egg Clock. Martha Stewart endorses Emu Egg artwork.

Emu Egg Clock. Martha Stewart endorses Emu Egg artwork.

Do Emus Make Good Pets?

No, Emus do ‘not’ make good pets. Sussex Family man Iain Newby raised his pet Emu “Beaky” from a shell-hatchling. Beaky is now over six foot tall and pecks and breaks everything in the house. She eats 14lb of corn a week and about five pounds of her favourite fruit and vegetables, particularly broccoli, peas and cauliflower.

‘She’s just like a dustbin and will literally eat anything the children toss in her mouth. In fact she’ll eat just about anything if allowed to – keys, drill bits, sponges.’

Hand reared Emu "Beaky."

Hand reared Emu “Beaky.”

But Beaky has now been banished to a summerhouse in the garden because she is too messy and troublesome to be allowed the run of the family home anymore. One of her more annoying habits was a tendency to peck and break household items. Mr and Mrs Newby also run a Dangerous Wild Animal Rescue Facility on the site.

Mr Newby said he ‘would NOT recommend’ raising an emu to the average family. ‘They live 60 years, grow up very strong and not all of them are as friendly as our special Beaky,’ he added. Beaky has an 80 metre pen to stretch her legs in.

Typical Emu fencing needed for pet Emus.

Typical Emu fencing needed for pet Emus.

Pet Emus Are Very Expensive To Keep

Do Emus belong on a farm or in your backyard?

When it comes to pets, emus are a classic example of bigger is NOT better. They have powerful jaw muscles, which make their peck pretty excruciating on your skin, and they also have sharp claws which can hurt people badly. Keeping emus as pets can be expensive in many respects: shelter, food, veterinary needs, time commitment, etc.

Emus will not survive in a small enclosure let alone kept inside a barn or roost all year round. They need wide open space to run, kick, sun bathe, and wallow in the dust. Although the emus are flightless, they can jump over a fence that’s shorter than 7 feet. And the fence should be nothing less than ordinary wood because a single kick from the emu is enough to send a wood plank flying over few meters.

emu-dance-o-1

Emus need a roof over their head and walls to protect them during cold season. A pair of emus can be sheltered in 16 feet by 16 feet housing with roof high enough for good ventilation and walls that are good to protect the birds from wind chills. There should be hay or straw to provide cushion and bedding for the emus.

Emus make a pile of mess which should be cleaned every day to keep their shelter from smelling bad. You can’t skip a day without cleaning the shelter if you want clean, healthy emus.

Emus need specialized ratite feeds you can buy from farm supply stores or order online. If you live far from emu or ostrich farms, chances are you can only get ratite feeds by ordering them online. An adult emu can consume 1-2 pounds of ratite feeds a day, so it can be expensive.

Emus love water!

Emus on an Australian beach – they love water!

For variety and balanced diet, you also need to feed emus with feeder insects, small invertebrates, seeds, nuts, leafy vegetables, etc. Emus even eat macaroni salad, old bread, potato salad, and egg dishes. Besides these alternative foods, you must always keep clean water available to the birds (CHP.)

If you’re planning to keep emus as pets, it’s always recommended to get them as yearlings. Bottom line: do your research BEFORE deciding just by looking at them online. Research, research, research! 

A VERY INFORMATIVE SITE FOR INFORMATION ON PET EMUS is BackyardChickens.com. They have ongoing forums to answer Emu owner’s questions. Many of the questions have serious consequences.

Idiotic Cruel Behaviour Against Tame Bird

Sadly, there is always an element of people who can only think of their own wants and needs and find their own cruel acts against animals to be funny. Riding on the back of a juvenile Emu is NOT funny! This idiot person could easily have broken the birds back. If you see behaviour like this, please report it to authorities immediately.

Behaviour like this should be reported to authorities immediately.

Behaviour like this should be reported to authorities immediately.

Commercial Emu Farming

The centre toes of emus are amputated (often without anaesthesia) because their nails can easily cause fatal injuries when they attack in self defence – they have known to rip open humans. Subjecting emus with their long thin necks and legs, and large fragile eyes, to transport is cruel and inhumane.

Emu feet - Indian Emu farms usually amputate the centre toe, without anesthetic.

Emu feet – Indian Emu farms usually amputate the centre toe, without anesthetic.

Feather Removal

Pulling feathers from the body of a living bird is cruel and painful. A feather is firmly held in a follicle, the wall of which is richly supplied with sensory fibres and nerves. Even clipping the feathers above the nerve endings pulls on the sensitive skin and muscle tissue to which the feathers are attached. Removing a feather from a bird requires a hard steady pull. Feather removal is a barbaric act.
It takes about five minutes for a blindfolded and cruelly restrained bird to be plucked. The bird is released into a holding pen, joining a growing number of others, all plucked, covered in bumps where the feathers were ripped out, streaming blood and waiting…

Emu.

Emu.

Slaughter

Slaughter bound birds and mammals are typically starved for hours and even days before they are killed. Hauled in all kinds of weather, they are forced to endure truck vibrations, heat, stress, cold, damp, thirst and terror. They are then shot with a captive bolt, like cattle or, like poultry, they are electrically shocked (not stunned) and then hung upside down to have their throats cut, being kept alive when their blood drains. They are slaughtered at 12-15 months of age

Commercial Uses For Emu Body Parts

Shoes made out of Emu leather.

Shoes made out of Emu leather.

Emu feathers are cheaper than those of ostrich and used in the fashion, art and craft industries, such as for making of feather dusters, pads, fans, boas, apparel, accessories, masks and for finishing metals prior to painting. The feathers are some times dyed and the plain looking natural ones are used as fillings for pillows and mattresses. General Motors uses the feathers to polish the wheels of Cadillac cars.

Emu leg skin is made into inserts for pockets, watch-straps and belts. Toe nails are used in jewellery settings and worn as lucky charms and trinkets.

Emu leg skin leather.

Emu leg skin leather.

Emu Oil – Cosmetic Or Cruel?

Emus have a thick fat padding on their backs; this camel-like adaptation helps them to survive periods of famine in the wild. Emu oil manufacturers extract the unrefined product from this concentrated source of natural oil. While some manufacturers discard the remaining portion of the emu’s body, others market emu leather and meat as a novelty item or health food. By-products like feet, nerve tissue and feathers may be discarded, incinerated or sold to pet food manufacturers.

Emu Oil.

Emu Oil.

Manufacturers refine emu oil using a combination of mechanical, chemical and thermal techniques. Heat and refrigeration can help to isolate the most saturated portions of emu oil, and mechanical filters can eliminate impurities and inorganic contaminants. Some companies may also use lipophilic compounds or enzymes to isolate the fatty acids found in emu oil. Most forms of emu oil have an unpleasant odor, so emu oil manufacturers may add artificial fragrances to improve the product’s commercial appeal.

Emu Farms In India – Emus Cruelly Treated and Left To Starve To Death

India’s Emu population peaked at about two million Emus in 2012, where their bred to be killed for meat and oil. Emu farming has been rife with monetary scams and the sufferers have been the emus. The farms were marketed as the perfect money making solutions but by 2013 Emu farming was no longer a favoured “get rich quick” scheme.

There were no takers for the birds – live or dead – or their eggs as thousands of birds continued to be abandoned in different parts of the country. Farmers with as little as 10,000 sq feet to spare were being wooed because the area could accommodate 70 to 100 birds.

Emu.

Emu.

It was also reported the country’s first Emu processing unit called Vileena Emu Processing Pvt Ltd would begin slaughtering in April 2012. Spread over 22 acres, the unit’s processing capacity is 300 birds per day.  In August 2012, there was a total collapse of the majority of emu farms in Tamil Nadu. People were getting duped, were unable to repay loans and had gone underground after abandoning the birds.

It is estimated there are about 10,000 unwanted birds. Trying to sell them off on false promises of high returns has backfired time and again. The hype is no longer working and there are no more takers for eggs or emus. It later came to light that most districts have no municipal abattoirs (mandatory place for animal slaughter) so the killing of emus on farms in these areas turns out to be illegal.

Kalpataru Emu Management & Products has claimed to be the sole supplier of emu products in India. The main income is said to be derived from selling EMU OIL (15 litres from one killed bird but according to an officer of the Maharashtra State Animal Husbandry NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO EXTRACT IT!)

Emu mother and chick.

Emu mother and chick.

96% of the emu carcass is sold including feathers, bones, skin, nails, and egg-shells. Emu meat is not as popular as projected. The Emu situation in India was closely resembling the Ponzi rackets of the past,  of “tripling your money in five years.”

As soon as the investment fraud came to light, in August 2012, most Emu promoters abandoned thousands of birds and went underground. The birds began dying of starvation – surprisingly a district collector came to the rescue of Erode’s 8,000 abandoned emus by commissioning food supplies for them.

The financial contagion fast spilled over to neighbouring districts with 40,000 birds involved. The Animal Husbandry Department and the Namakkal Veterinary College were asked to look after emu chicks for three months after which they should be sold.

Emu.

Emu.

Meat of these emus suddenly begun showing up in city restaurants across India even though most chefs complained that the more it is cooked the more it toughens and the only way they can easily serve it is minced. Some animal welfare persons suggested that the abandoned emus be euthanised, but that was not approved.

The fraudulent industry intensified in the North with the birds being moved to other states. In Punjab as many as 1,500,000 birds were sold in six months. In Uttarkhand farms began materialising daily. No license for slaughtering them was given anywhere which made slaughter illegal.

The following video is a sales pitch to entice Indians to buy into Emu farming:

March 2014 the Government of India empowered the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to take action against such get-rich-quick fraudulent Ponzi schemes that promise unreasonable high returns. BWC immediately appraised the Chairman, SEBI that 80% of Emu farms  had closed and thousands of emus had been abandoned. We requested that SEBI take appropriate and swift action against all emu farms in India.

In 2013 an article published in The Indian Express said that unwanted emus were being abandoned in jungles.
In February 2014, the Times of India reported that in Visakhapatnam (Orissa) 2,000 emus were left to suffer, starve and die by a factory which went bankrupt.

The Great Emu War: Shocking History

In 1932 a shocking attempt at exterminating Emus in Western Australia took place, under the guise of a “nuisance wildlife management operation,” USING MACHINE GUNS! The then Western Australian government employed soldiers armed with machine guns, which the media referred to as the “Emu War.”

Emu.

Emu.

After World War 1, large numbers of ex-soldiers from Australia, along with a number of British veterans, took up farming within Western Australia. With the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, these farmers were encouraged to increase their wheat crops. Wheat prices continued to fall, and by October 1932 matters desperate.

The difficulties facing farmers were increased when 20,000 emus arrived, following their regular migration after their breeding season. The emus found the cultivated lands were good habitat, and they began to foray into farm territory. The emus ate the crops and left large gaps in fences where rabbits could enter and cause further problems.

Ex-soldiers were sent to meet with the Minister of Defence, Sir George Pearce. Having served in WWI, the soldier-settlers were well aware of the effectiveness of machine guns, and they requested their deployment. Pearce supported the deployment on the grounds that the birds would make good target practice.

Emu and chicks in their natural environment.

Emu and chicks in their natural environment.

The “war” was conducted under the command of Major G.P.W. Meredith of the Seventh Heavy Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery, with Meredith commanding a pair of soldiers armed with two Lewis Automatic Machine Guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition. Troops were deployed and according to a newspaper account, to collect 100 emu skins so that their feathers could be used to make hats for light horsemen.

The first attempt

2 November some 50 emus were sighted.  As the birds were out of range of the guns, the local settlers attempted to herd the Emus into an ambush, but the birds split into small groups and ran so that they were difficult to target. Later the same day a small flock was encountered, and “perhaps a dozen” birds were killed.

4 November. Meredith established an ambush near a local dam and over 1,000 emus were spotted. This time the gunners waited until the birds were at point blank range before opening fire. The gun jammed after only twelve birds were killed, however, and the remainder scattered before more could be killed.

Emus love swimming.

Emus love swimming.

At one stage Meredith even went so far as to mount one of the guns on a truck: a move that proved to be ineffective, as the truck was both unable to gain on the birds and the ride was so rough that the gunner was unable to fire any shots. By 8 November, six days after the first engagement, 2,500 rounds of ammunition had been fired. The number of birds killed is uncertain: one account claims just 50 birds.

Summarizing the culls, ornithologist Dominic Serventy commented: “The machine-gunners’ dreams of point blank fire into serried masses of Emus were soon dissipated. The Emu command had evidently ordered guerrilla tactics, and its unwieldy army soon split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic. A crestfallen field force therefore withdrew from the combat area after about a month. ”

Mother Emu and her chick.

Mother Emu and her chick.

After the withdrawal, Major Meredith compared the emus to Zulus, and commented on the striking maneuverability of the emus, even while badly wounded.

The second attempt

After the withdrawal of the military, the emu attacks on crops continued. Farmers again asked for support. James Mitchell, the Premier of Western Australia lent his strong support to renewal of the military assistance. Minister of Defence approved the military party to resume their efforts.

13 November 1932, the military found a degree of success over the first two days, with approximately 40 emus killed.  2 December the guns were accounting for approximately 100 emus per week. Meredith was recalled on 10 December, and in his report he claimed 986 kills with 9,860 rounds. In addition, Meredith claimed 2,500 wounded birds had died as a result of the injuries that they had sustained.

The Western Australian government installed a bounty system in 1923 and in 1934, in a month period six months  57,034 Emu bounties were claimed. Shocking!

Australian Coat Of Arms: Kangaroo and Emu.

Australian Coat Of Arms: Kangaroo and Emu.

 In Conclusion

Within India, the organisation Beauty Without Cruelty – India is doing all they can to help Emus in India. If you see cruelty toward Emus, or any other animal, please immediately report it to your local authorities. Emus are a majestic, gentle bird who should be treated with respect for the position they hold on the Australian Coat Of Arms.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

 

Tree Kangaroos Facing Extinction.

tr5

History:

The Tree-kangaroos are a genus of Macropodidae marsupials of the genus Dendrolagus adapted for arboreal locomotion. They inhabit the tropical rainforests of New Guinea, far northeastern Queensland and some of the islands in the region. Most Tree-Kangaroos are considered threatened due to hunting and habitat destruction. The Tree-Kangaroo is the only true arboreal member of the Kangaroo family. Hunting and habitat fragmentation poses the highest risk to all fourteen species of Tree Kangaroo. Lumber companies also pose a danger to these adorable marsupials of which they hunt either for their alleged succulent meat or fur trade which is quite limited.

Hunting:

Tree Kangaroos are one of Australia’s most threatened macropodidae marsupials of the genus dendrolagus. There are some fourteen species of Tree Kangaroo and most are classified as endangered or vulnerable while other species of Tree Kangaroo slowly edging closer to threatened status.

Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo is listed as endangered, Doria’s Tree Kangaroo vulnerable, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroo is listed as endangered, Grizzled Tree Kangaroo vulnerable, Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo is known as least concern, Huon Tree Kangaroo endangered
Wondiwoi Tree-kangaroo critically endangered, Dingiso  listed as endangered a species of Indonesian native tree kangaroo, Ifola tree-kangaroo endangered native to papa new guinea. The Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo critically endangered, Scott’s Tree-kangaroo is listed as endangered, Lowlands Tree Kangaroo listed as vulnerable, Seri’s Tree Kangaroo listed as vulnerable and finally the Vogelkop Tree Kangaroo is listed as vulnerable.

Most species of Tree Kangaroo are endemic to Australia while other species are native to Papa New Guinea and Indonesia. Tree Kangaroos in Australia face many threats of which habitat fragmentation is the largest threat known to these quite adorable macropodidae marsupials. Hunting with dogs was said to be no longer an issue with regards to these amazing tree dwelling species of macropods. Tree Kangaroos have adapted to a life in trees so while there habitat becomes less they become threatened by other predators and dogs of which they would normally be able to hide from within the high canopies of trees.

Tree Kangaroos have been hunted for food by indigenous communities across their range for many hundreds of years. For a number of species, this factor alone has contributed to a sharp decline in population numbers. While few species populations of Tree Kangaroo are stable and not declining the majority of others are sadly on the decline. The Wondiwoi tree kangaroo is critically endangered (possibly extinct) there are said t be no fewer than fifty individuals remaining in the wild as we know it.

Two species of Tree Kangaroo are no longer hunted. Scott’s Tree Kangaroo (known locally as the ‘tenkile’) and The Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo was almost hunted into extinction however the very people that once hunted the species for food now no longer hunt them. Torricelli Mountain Ranges in the north-west of Papua New Guinea did host some fourteen hunting communities. These hunting communities have since now signed a hunting moratorium or a pledge as we know it not to hunt both species.

Conservation Education have achieved major success within the region of Papa New Guinea and instead of hunting Tree Kangaroos into extinction the Conservation Organisation has since established rabbit farms that the locals have implemented into their diets instead of Tree Kangaroos. This form of conservation is known as “sustainable utilization” of natural sources instead of threatened. While rabbits can easily be farmed and bred for food it is helping to preserve the Tenkile and The Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo. Some people may disagree while many others will agree this is indeed a much safer alternative. Failing this the Tenkile and The Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo would have gone extinct long ago.

Picture below depicts Tree Kangaroo Hunters.

hun1

Unfortunately while some of the Papa New Guinea species of Tree Kangaroo may be safe for now many other species within “Australasia” are not so safe.

Unlike other Kangaroos, Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos like to stay in the treetops rather than hopping around on the ground. They choose to live in the treetops to protect themselves from enemies on the ground. The New Guinea Island used to be rich in nature but as it became the major exporter of lumbers and minerals, the forests were destroyed by the human. The more and more safe places to live for Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos are now disappearing. Sadly this is a common threat now to many forest dwelling animals that rely on the forests to survive. Humans want for more wood products and paper for example are decreasing habitat of the Tree Kangaroo all over Australasia.

To make the matters worse, roads have been extended to the middle of a forest. It has made Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos an easy prey for hunters who go after their meat. They are usually active in the morning and evening but those who live in the area where there are many people have become nocturnal. Once they chose to live in the treetops to protect themselves from the enemies; maybe now they have changed their lifestyle for fear of human, their new enemies.

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Matschie’s Tree Kangaroos pictured above are primarily hunted by the natives of Papua New Guinea. They are traditionally hunted by natives with dingos, which sniff the Tree Kangaroos out and grab them from the trees. Doing it this way allows many of them to escape. However, the introduction of guns to the island has placed their future in jeopardy. They are hunted for their succulent meat. Matschie’s Tree Kangaroos are endangered, with only 1400 left in the wild. Breeding programs in zoos worldwide are helping to conserve this species. So all in all those that believe zoos are very bad places must remember that without zoos we cannot breed and preserve some of worlds most endangered species on the planet.

Logging and timber production:

Does felling endanger tree dwelling wildlife such as the Tree Kangaroo and Primates?

logging and timber production have placed the most of the fourteen species of Tree Kangaroo in dire danger. Logging often destroys natural habitats, resulting in the loss of biodiversity and sometimes leading to the local, and possibly global, extinction of species. Although estimates of the rates of loss vary, few deny the reality of the current losses of both flora and fauna. While hunting in some 14 villages in Papa New Guinea may have preserved two species of Tree Kangaroo the logging industry valued at billions of US dollars will never end unless environmental organisations and governments come together to now propagate more sustainable programs that will not harm our already critically endangered fauna. In this case the Tree Kangaroos of Australasia.

Logging companies in Papa New Guinea also have a detrimental affect to human populations thus placing wildlife in danger furthermore. The documentary video below aimed more at “human problems” shows the devastating effect that logging is causing to our critically endangered ecosystem.

According to a joint report by the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Sarawak Forest Department, “Logging causes immediate forest disturbances, long-term habitat changes (e.g. damage to food trees and salt-licks), increased hunting by timber company workers and availability of logging roads as hunting routes. The destruction of wildlife from habitat loss must be recognized to be on an enormous scale”. In Central Africa, the opening-up of the forest by logging facilitates the illegal hunting of wildlife, including protected species such as primates, and is leading to a decline in wildlife populations. So logging and hunting is not just confined to one area of the globe. Deforestation is a primary concern that places all species of forest and tree dwelling animals in danger.

Even so called selective logging severely affects the complex and rich biodiversity of forests through excessive damage to residual stands, destruction of other plant and tree species and the creaming-off of species which are the most valuable for timber. An FAO study in Malaysia has shown that as much as 50% of the standing forest may be damaged and the surface soil destroyed when up to 30% of the ground surface is exposed. During silvicultural treatment in logging operations in Sarawak, so-called uneconomic forest species are deliberately poisoned. This reduces the complexity and species diversity of the tropical forests to only 10% of the original condition, resulting in the systematic elimination of tree genetic resources and contamination of the environment. According to the IUCN the most frequently recorded of all threats to globally endangered tree species is ‘felling’.

faw logging kayu

While palm oil production within Indonesia, Malaysia and Africa places many species of forest dwelling animals in danger of extinction, coffee, rice and what production are threatening the Tree Kangaroo species quite significantly. However there are ways in which we can help to stop “unsustainable agricultural practices” that are endangering our critically endangered fauna and flora.

Think before you shop:

There are now hundreds of thousands of companies across the globe that are helping the environment by sourcing their own “local” brands of foods. Local sourcing not only helps local communities and increases employment it also helps to reduce unsustainable agricultural practices across the globe thus reducing habitat fragmentation, pollution, indiscriminate hunting and poaching plus cuts green house gas emissions too. Least forgetting when one sources their products locally they help to reduce trade slavery that is rampant within still developing worlds.

International Animal Rescue Foundation, Say No To Dog Meat and Environmental News and Media supports (FAIR TRADE) and (LOCALLY SOURCED) that not only helps local and international farming communities but also our environment. You can find Fair Trade AND Locally Sourced products quite easily now. Just look for the Fair Trade and Locally Sourced logo on many products that you purchase from produce to wine and much more. If you are unsure please ask your hyper-market store manager.

Locally Sourced is a great initiative that helps many species of animals. We ourselves would rather purchase coffee, wheat and rice that has been grown within our own countries instead of habitats that are destroying many species of flora and fauna. Think about it. Greener and safer is always the best option.

Kill your Speed not our Wildlife:

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With large scale deforestation rampant in Australia, Indonesia and Papa New Guinea this has led to many Tree Kangaroos becoming a cropper hit by cars or large road trains they face little chance of survival or recovery. Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroos here on the Atherton Tableland, live in highly fragmented patches of rainforest and are frequently hit by cars or attacked by domestic dogs.

Lumholtz’s Tree Kangaroo and Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo are the only two species of Tree Kangaroo that are native to Australia. Deforestation and agricultural practices has led to roads opening up of which has seen many of them sadly killed. Research suggests Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroos prefer forests growing on the Tableland’s rich basalt soils. As this is also the best soil for farming, much of the Tree-Kangaroo’s habitat has been cleared for farms. They have fortunately been able to survive in the strips along creeks and in areas that are too rocky for farming. However, they mostly live on private land, which is unprotected by World Heritage and National Parks status.

This extensive clearing of lowland rainforest greatly reduced the range of Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo. Highland forest logging is further reducing the range, but it is present in reasonable numbers in several national parks and reserves. When on the ground, they are vulnerable not only to dogs, but also to vehicles. Of 27 dead Tree-Kangaroos examined in the Atherton Tablelands from 1992 to 1994, 11 had been hit by cars, six had been killed by dogs, four by parasites and the others by other causes.

As a result of the growing concern for the Tree-Kangaroo’s future, the Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group was formed. The Group meets at 7.30pm every first Thursday of the month at the Malanda Hotel. Annual membership is $10. The Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group is happy to have received a Natural Heritage Trust grant to examine different rainforest fragments as possible Tree-Kangaroo habitat.

While humans continue demanding and reproducing will our species of wildlife ever be safe? At some 7.8 billion humans and growing demand for agricultural products, meat, wood, paper and more will sadly reduce more forest land thus leading to the extinction of planets non-human species.

We must decrease our usage of natural resources. End off.

myrights

 

Thank you for reading this brief insight into Tree Kangaroos. 

 

J. Williamson PhD. Ba. EnVStu 

Environmentalist and Botanist 

Chief Registrar of International Animal Rescue Foundation Europe.

Hundreds of ANIMALS and PLANTS killed off everyday for YOU.

 

WHERE IS THE JUSTICE IN THAT?

 

 

 

 

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo – Threatened With Extinction

The Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo is a “protected species threatened with extinction,” yet still being shot by orchard owners, entire flocks being poisoned, hit by cars and generally wiped out by urbanisation loss of habitat and food sources. In the Perth region they may die out within 15 years!

With their expressive facial expressions, extensive speaking vocabulary and loud shrieking voices, all cockatoos are jesters but the Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo is only found in Southwestern Australia.

Beautiful Carnaby's Black Cockatoo - facing extinction.

Beautiful Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo – facing extinction.

The following video (2.57 minute mark), contains important information related to Carnaby’s cockatoos. Native banksia trees provide the birds with the nectar, seeds and grubs which they need to live on and now the woodlands of Perth’s Sawn Coastal Plain have recently been nominated as a Threatened Ecological Community under the Environment and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

In other words: the birds are facing extinction and now their main food source is under direct threat too. They have lost their breeding and feeding areas, which have been cleared for farming. They have also lost their nesting hollows and food sources to urban development along the Swan River coastal plain.

Threats To The Species

Direct causes of population decline include land clearing and fragmentation of habitat (especially in wheatbelt), the loss of hollow-bearing trees and impact of hollow competitors including Galah, corellas and feral European honey bee, also fires and vehicle strikes. The cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) live for 40-50 years in the wild, but have to be at least four years old to breed and only have one chick a year with a high mortality rate. A large proportion of the remaining population is now past breeding age. When these older birds die, there will be very few younger birds to take their place.

Shot by an orchard grower, this Carnaby was one of Christine Grooms birds in her study. The bird had her identification on it.

Shot by an orchard grower, this Carnaby was one of Christine Grooms birds in her study. The bird had her identification on it.

The Black-Cockatoo is now classified in Western Australia as ‘rare or likely to become extinct’ and federally listed as Endangered. The last 50 years has seen a 50% decline in their population, and their range has been reduced by up to one-third.

It is one of three black cockatoos found in south west WA. The others are Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo and a subspecies of the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. These birds are endemic to the area, meaning that they are found nowhere else in the world. All three are threatened. Because cockatoos are long lived birds (up to 50 years in the wild) and they raise few chicks to adulthood, it is highly likely that the birds we see today are an ageing population. Therefore, it is essential that we protect remaining habitat as well as the birds themselves for the survival of the species.

Highly Valuable On The Black Market

Australia’s seven black cockatoo species are highly sought after, with some individual birds fetching up to $30,000.

Pair of Carnaby's Black Cockatoos.

Pair of Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos.

A 55 year old Western Australian man was reported to authorities after he was spotted stealing a chick from an endangered black cockatoo’s nest hollow, high in a nearby salmon gum tree.

“He literally didn’t think he was doing the wrong thing,” says Nicole White, a conservation scientist studying black cockatoos at Perth’s Murdoch University who identified the bird species. “He was saying: ‘There are plenty of them around. Why can’t I have one?'”

Then the officers heard squawking coming from the neighbour’s yard where, upon investigating, they found a further 14 red-tailed black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii), Carnaby’s black cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) and galahs – most of which require a licence. The neighbour, 59-year-old Herbert Edward Kenyon, was illegally trading thousands of dollars worth of birds and was caught red-handed.

Wildlife theft is a massive, complex and nebulous beast. It ranges from individuals taking the odd bird as a pet, through to organised trafficking by international crime syndicates. Experts have no firm grasp on the size of the problem, but they are certain it poses risks to biodiversity.

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo

Although poaching in itself, doesn’t seem to be directly threatening any Australian species with extinction, it “has the potential to severely affect the sustainability of wild populations”, says David O’Sullivan of Customs and Border Protection in Canberra. “The Australian Government takes the illegal trade of wildlife in Australia very seriously.”

Australia’s seven black cockatoo species are highly sought after, with some individual birds fetching up to $30,000.

And where there’s big demand, there are big profits. According to a report released in February 2011 by the not-for-profit Global Financial Integrity organisation, the illegal wildlife trade is third only to that in drugs and human trafficking in scope and value; numbers in the order of tens of billions of dollars are bandied about, but the true value has not been quantified.

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo

“We’ve never put a figure on it,” says John Scanlon, an Australian who is secretary-general of the UN’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), based in Geneva. “We know it’s a multi-billion dollar business, but we’ve never had the research to have enough confidence in a figure.”

Much of the global trade in endangered species is accounted for by tourist souvenirs, traditional medicine and bushmeat, John says, but live animals are the most lucrative. Like any collector’s market, rare and unusual forms are the most valuable, meaning that the most endangered species are also the most highly prized. But profit margins are “impossible to summarise”, he says. “Depending upon the form of wildlife, they can be huge. We’ve known of a single falcon selling for $200,000.”

In Australia, Customs and Border Protection is the primary authority that detects and monitors the wildlife trade and enforces the law at the borders. In the 2009-10 financial year, customs seized plants or animals and their products on 4014 occasions – but whether that represents a small or large fraction of all smuggling attempts is unknown.

The majority of items are souvenirs confiscated from holidaymakers who are oblivious to the problem, David says. A smaller number of live animals are smuggled via the “extremely inhumane” organised trade, he says.

Our native animals tend to be exported live, with all the associated problems of smuggling living, breathing, moving creatures. It’s one reason that reptiles and snakes are preferred contraband; they are resilient and quiet.

In fact, the younger the better – bird and reptile eggs are small and easy to transport. Animals or eggs can be strapped against the body of a smuggler, hidden in luggage, or even mailed through the post. Customs has found spiders in film canisters, pythons in garden pots, birds stuffed in plastic tubes, lizards stitched into luggage, and eggs fitted in purpose-built vests (up to 50 eggs, in one case).

Carnaby's Black Cockatoos feeding.

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos feeding.

These distressing methods of transport can cause animals to become dehydrated, starve or die a slow death. And if smugglers think they’ve been caught, they may cruelly “kill or destroy their specimens in an attempt to escape detection and prosecution”, David says.

In 2006, customs apprehended a man smuggling 24 cockatoo and galah eggs onto a plane. Before they could stop him, he smashed all but two of the eggs, which were hidden in a purpose-built vest.

While some intercepted animals make it to zoos or wildlife centres, many have to be euthanased because of their poor condition or biological threat they pose. Even native species will be destroyed if their original habitat can’t be determined, says Keith Larner, a wildlife compliance officer in Victoria’s Department of Sustainability and Environment.

“We don’t know what diseases they’ve been exposed to, so we’re reluctant to take them back to a wild population.” Another problem is the mixing of genes between isolated populations of a species. “We prefer animals go back to the exact spot so we don’t contaminate the gene pool,” he says.

Regulations To Stop Illegal Wildlife Trade

Australia, like all 175 signatories, is bound by CITES regulations. The international body, established in 1975, manages the global lists of flora and fauna that can be traded, and under what conditions.

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo in flight

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo in flight

About 34,000 species are protected by CITES. Globally, 600 animals are listed on Appendix I and a further 4400 on Appendix II. In Australia, 67 types of plant and animal – such as orange-bellied parrots and dugongs – are on Appendix I, and 958 – such as Carnaby’s cockatoos and echidnas – are on Appendix II.

DNA forensics – Keeping Track Of World’s Species

Wildlife forensics is an emerging tool providing that proof, but this highly specialised field is only practised in a few museums and small, university-based laboratories.

DNA’s real power, though, is in helping to regulate the licensing system by ensuring species recorded in logbooks are legitimate. Nicole has spent the past four years of her PhD project collecting DNA from Carnaby’s cockatoo chicks (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) to develop a world-first provenance database. “It’s a species that is regularly poached and traded. So there was a need for urgent action.

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo

“Previously, if a wildlife officer was suspicious of someone, and we didn’t have the DNA…they were virtually powerless in proving that that animal held by that person was illegally taken or illegally bred.”

Nicole can even determine whether a bird is wild or captive, and the rough location it came from. After the 2008 Morawa raid authorities used Nicole’s database to confirm the species of cockatoos illegally held by both the 55-year-old man and his wildlife-trading neighbour, Herbert Kenyon. This led to the successful prosecution of Herbert, who was fined $4500.

This painstaking work is yet to be reproduced, and it will be a long time before databases exist for other animals. Authorities are considering DNA sampling every animal for which owners seek a licence, but this must be legislated. “If we integrate some of the sampling into the licensing procedure, we could really make some good inroads into better policing,” Michael says.

Hundreds Fall From The Sky Dead

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo

In a bizarre event in 2010, over one hundred Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos fell out of the sky dead near the southern coastal mining town of Hopetoun. Other species also dropped from the sky dead too.

A Perth newspaper said: “Rangers discovered more than 100 dead white-tailed black cockatoos near a Hopetoun golf course yesterday morning.

This morning at Munglinup, 75km east of Hopetoun, wildlife officers recovered a further 37 dead white-tailed black cockatoos [Caranby's Black Cockatoos], six regent parrots, two galahs, three mudlarks, three ravens, four yellow-throated miners and a kestrel.”

It appears the birds were poisoned, rather than suffering heat stroke in high temperatures.

Hundreds of Carnaby's Black Cockatoos fell from the sky dead.

Hundreds of Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos fell from the sky dead.

The deaths have been labelled ‘devastating’ for Carnaby’s black cockatoo populations, which are being pushed to extinction from habitat clearing.

Birds of Australia Carnaby’s recovery manager Raana Scott said “It has potentially wiped out half the population of Carnaby’s black cockatoos in Munglinup (50km east of Hopetoun).”

“For birds that live for 50 years and don’t breed until they are 4-years-old and only have one chick a year with a high mortality rate, it is going to take a long time for the population there to recover – if they recover,” Ms Scott said.

Department of Environment and Conservation officers are investigating the deaths and cockatoos have been sent to Perth for biopsies. A department spokeswoman said soil, water and vegetation samples had been taken and would be sent to the WA Chemistry Centre.

CBC 11“There are a number of factors that may have contributed to the deaths, and DEC will undertake a rigorous investigation including autopsies, laboratory tests, site inspections and interviews with witnesses,” DEC Nature Protection Branch manager Kevin Morrison said in a statement today.

Lloyd Marshall, editor of Talking Birds newspaper, said it was highly unlikely that high temperatures had anything to do with the deaths of the parrots and cockatoos.

Australian parrots and cockatoos can easily deal with temperatures around 50 degrees and I don’t think those temperature levels would cause stress resulting in death. In those situations the birds find a shady tree and sit still to conserve energy,”

“I have seen black cockatoos, including babies which are more vulnerable, sitting motionless in trees when temperatures were more than 47 degrees.”

“And to find so many birds dead in such a small area would have to point to poisoning, particularly near a golf course, where the birds could have consumed contaminated water,” he said (end of report.)

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo

Carnaby’s Numbers Declining at 15% Per Year

A 2014 report has found Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos may die out in the Perth region within 15 years, prompting calls for the state and federal governments to protect remaining habitats.

The 2014 Great Cocky Count report by Birdlife Australia and Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife estimated the current rate of decline in the cockatoos’ population on the Perth-Peel coastal plain was 15 per cent per year.

The minimum count for the birds in the region was 7154, with 59 per cent of those found around the Gnangara Pine Plantation, north of Perth.

Birdlife Australia said the cockatoos had adapted to the pine plantations in the 1950s to survive the loss of 1,000 hectares of native bush around Perth each year. Pines ‘must be protected’ to save species.

But the group’s head of conservation, Samantha Vine, said 1,000 hectares of pine plantations around the city were also being cleared every year.

She said the State Government’s plan to completely clear the 23,000 hectare Gnangara Pine Plantation, to preserve the vital underground water source which lies beneath, would be catastrophic.

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo feeding.

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo feeding.

If this continues we’re likely to see extinction of the [Perth] population in the next 15 years.

Birdlife Australia’s Samantha Vine called on the Government to stop clearing pine until replacement trees were planted and matured and they want the Gnangara Pine Plantation referred for Commonwealth environmental assessment.

They have also written to the Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, requesting the Government take action to prevent the extinction of the population.

Carnaby's Black Cockatoo

Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo

State Opposition environment spokesman Chris Tallentire said this was further proof urgent action was needed to save the Carnaby’s cockatoos. “Despite repeated warnings, the Barnett Government has failed to act to protect feeding and roosting areas to save the species from extinction,” he said.

The federal Department of Environment website stated it was difficult to know how many Carnaby’s black cockatoos were left but it said it was known their populations had declined by more than 50 per cent in the past 45 years.

They no longer bred in up to a third of their former breeding sites in WA’s Wheatbelt region (ABC.)

Thank Goodness For People Who Care

Christine Groom, PhD candidate, studying Carnaby's Black Cockatoos.

Christine Groom, PhD candidate, studying Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos.

Christine Groom is involved in the community survey  known as the Great Cocky Count, where volunteers count Carnaby’s at night-time roost sites across the southwest of the state (Western Australia), on a single night; usually April 6th.

Christine Groom is  a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia in the School of Animal Biology. She also works as a Research Officer in the Species and Communities Branch of the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife. Christine’s PhD project is on Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos, on the Swan Coastal Plain, Perth, Western Australia. Her project is titled “Roost site fidelity and resource use by Carnaby’s cockatoo on the Swan Coastal Plain”

Baby Carnaby's Black Cockatoo chick being weighed.

Baby Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo chick being weighed.

“I will be investigating aspects of the ecology of Carnaby’s cockatoo to find out how they meet their basic survival requirements on the Swan Coastal Plain. For most living creatures basic survival involves finding food, water and shelter. For cockatoos this translates to finding somewhere to roost at night, a nest to raise young, enough food and somewhere safe to drink.

Carnaby's chick inside it's nest: Carnaby's only lay one egg.

Carnaby’s chick inside it’s nest: Clutch 1–2 (usually only one young reared) and only the female incubates and broods the chick.

I’ll be using a combination of tail marking and tracking devices fitted to my study birds to observe or follow them and find out where they go to roost, feed and drink,” said Christine.

Carnaby's nest inside natural hollows in mature trees.

Carnaby’s nest inside natural hollows in mature trees.

You Can Help!

You can help Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo by using native plants in your garden, or when replanting your local reserve.

Once common across the south-west, Carnaby’s has been lost from over a third of its former range, and numbers have declined to 50% compared to the 1960s. Habitat clearance and degradation are major threats, and development is rapidly reducing their remaining habitat, particularly in the Perth area.

Urban gardens are becoming more important for supporting these beautiful birds. Find out more below about planting for Carnaby’s, including our new Perth-focussed nursery plant label ‘Choose for Black-Cockatoos’.

Planting for Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo: ‘Choose for Black-Cockatoos’ plant selection, Phytophthora Dieback

Support the Black Cockatoo Preservation Society in their fight to stop the Caranby’s Black Cockatoo becoming extinct and lost forever.

Once their gone, their gone forever.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

Join The March To End the Dog And Cat Meat Trade!

SNTDM VIETNAM 13

Saynotodogmeat.Net are calling for people to march with them at 9.00am Saturday April 4th, 2015 to end the pet meat trade. Bring your family, children, friends, pets and banners!

Every year millions of dogs and cats are mercilessly slaughtered in the unregulated dog and cat meat trade, many of whom are stolen pets still wearing their house collars.

Enough is enough. This gruesome trade must be brought to an end and Saynotodogmeat.Net need your help in their fight for governments to realise people are no longer willing to turn a blind eye and look the other way or pretend it’s not happening.

With most families having access to the internet or television, people see the hard core evidence that used to be kept secret: dogs and cats are suffering at the hands of butchers and being eaten in the name of tradition and fake medicine. Not counting war-time famines, dog and cat meat was cleverly marketed as “chic” in the mid-1980’s, following the economic boom of a number of dog and cat eating countries.

This is not about tradtion - it is about stopping crutelty in contries which have abundant foosd supplies and food choices yet chose to inflict deliberate cruelty on companion animals in the false belief that extra pain makes the meat tough, which in turn brings men sexual virility when they eat it. Eating dog or cat meat does NOT help anyone sexually or medically in any way.

We implore you to march with us and become a voice for dogs and cats who are silenced as they cringe, howling and whimpering in death cages, watching their cage mates being slaughtered in-front of them, knowing their turn is coming. Speak up and become their voice! Join our march as we demand government’s take notice to end the pet meat trade now!

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Petitions

The petitions from Saynotodogmeat.Net are a very important step toward ending the pet meat trade. Currently they are still being signed and shared, toward the target of one million signatures. Once signature goals are reached, the petitions will be hand delivered by the Saynotodogmeat.Net Directors to each respective government.

Saynotodogmeat.Net will make sure each Demonstration Leader has enough petition forms so signatures can be gathered on the day. Further information concerning the petitions and where the March will begin and end and how it will be conducted will be released very soon. 

How You can Help

Saynotodogeat.Net need Demonstration Leaders in the different locations, as well as thousands of members of the general public to support the march. Demonstration Leaders need at least one other person to help them on the day. If you would like to be a Leader in your area, please email us at CONTACT@SAYNOTODOGMEAT.INFO no later than January 15th, 2015.

Saynotodogmeat.Net will oversee the event to make sure everyone knows what they are doing in relation to banners, posters, petitions and so on, which will be supplied via free downloads.

Iron-on Saynotodogmeat.Net Logos will be available for your own t-shirts or pet wear. Details to come.

Posters will be published and printed on to as many street corners as possible. If you are in need of posters please contact us at contact@saynotodogmeat.info.

Media

Saynotodogmeat.Net invite media to contact them at contact@saynotodogmeat.info. If you have media contacts, please share this information with them.

List Of Saynotodogmeat.Net Petitions

PETITION FOR SOUTH KOREA

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/president-geun-hye-park-take-dog-cat-meat-off-the-menu

PETITION FOR VIETNAM and THAILAND ANTI-SMUGGLING

https://www.causes.com/actions/1764795-a-petition-to-president-truong-tang-sang-moj-prime-minister-yingluck-shinawatra

PETITION FOR HEALTH MINISTER OF VIETNAM

https://www.causes.com/campaigns/71258-minister-of-public-health-thi-kim-tien

PETITION FOR NAGALAND

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/additional-chief-secretary-take-dog-meat-of-nagaland-menu

PETITION TO BAN THE TRADE IN NIGERIA

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/governor-of-lagos-hon-babatunde-fashola-ban-the-nigerian-dog-meat-trade-lagos

LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES

http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/04/04/email-the-philippines-president-to-end-the-dog-meat-trade/

PLEASE SEND TO THE MUSLIM COUNCIL

http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/01/17/open-email-to-the-muslim-council-of-great-britain/

PLEASE HELP THE PEOPLE OF TURKANA HERE

http://saynotodogmeat.net/2014/01/31/turkana-africa-emergency-aid-letter/

EMAIL THE GOVERNOR OF NIGERIA: New Address: info@nigeria.gov.ng

http://saynotodogmeat.net/2013/12/03/email-excellency-dr-honorable-alausa-excellency-honorable-babatunde-fashola/

In Conclusion

Don’t delay –  mark your calendar now: Saturday April 4th, 2015 and join the march. Speak up and be the voice for desperate dogs and cats in the meat trade. Bring your family, children, friends, pets and banners! Help make this important event be a success as we make a statement to all governments: END THE DOG AND CAT MEAT TRADE NOW!

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

(Header photo used with permission by Luke Duggleby)

Polar Bear – Candle Burning at Both Ends.

Tell Tom Miranda what you think here

 

We know that you do not like viewing these pictures, They must be made public though. After all they are already public but in the wrong sense.

The Polar Bear’s future is literally melting away along with the Arctic sea ice beneath its feet. Meanwhile, some countries continue to allow the bears to be hunted for sport and their body parts to be sold legally in the international commercial market. Miranda pictured here killed this Polar Bear with a bow few years back. Polar Bears are threatened by hunters, illegal poachers and climate change oddly caused by us. Is it OK to then state that this amazing beast must be the worlds most unluckiest animal “still” alive? Tell Miranda what you think above by clicking the photo url.

Antarctica’s polar ice cap is melting at a staggering rate never seen before. Many species of animals are being harmed by this rapid melt that humans have contributed too. One animal that’s in dire need of emergency protection is the Polar Bear.

Unfortunately with climate change on the rise and Antarctica melting away as we speak – men such as Miranda from Ohio now currently residing in Englewood, Florida feels it even more necessary to place the species of Polar Bear in even more danger.

So what’s the the current news on Antarctica?

German researchers have established the height of the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps with greater precision than ever before. And the new maps they have produced show that the ice is melting at an unprecedented rate.

The maps, produced with a satellite-mounted instrument, have elevation accuracies to within a few metres. Since Greenland’s ice cap is more than 2,000 metres thick on average, and the Antarctic bedrock supports 61 percent of the planet’s fresh water, this means that scientists can make more accurate assessments of annual melting.

Dr Veit Helm and other glaciologists at the Alfred Wegener Institute’s Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, report in the journal The Cryosphere that, between them, the two ice sheets are now losing ice at the unprecedented rate of 500 cubic kilometers a year.

Big picture

The measurements used to make the maps were taken by an instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s orbiting satellite CryoSat-2. The satellite gets closer to the poles—to 88° latitude—than any previous mission and traverses almost 16 million sq km of ice, adding an area of ice the size of Spain to the big picture of change and loss in the frozen world.

CryoSat-2’s radar altimeter transmitted 7.5 million measurements of Greenland and 61 million of Antarctica during 2012, enabling glaciologists to work with a set of consistent measurements from a single instrument.

Over a three-year period, the researchers collected 200 million measurements in Antarctica and more than 14 million in Greenland. They were able to study how the ice sheets changed by comparing the data with measurements made by NASA’s ICESat mission.

More complex

Greenland’s volume of ice is being reduced at the rate of 375 cubic km a year. In Antarctica, the picture is more complex as the West Antarctic ice sheet is losing ice rapidly, but is growing in volume in East Antarctica.

Overall, the southern continent—98 percent of which is covered with ice and snow—is losing 125 cubic km a year. These are the highest rates observed since researchers started making satellite observations 20 years ago.

“Since 2009, the volume loss in Greenland has increased by a factor of about two, and the West Antarctic ice sheet by a factor of three,” said Angelika Humbert, one of the report’s authors.

And the Polar Bear?

Robert F. Kennedy quoted;

“The Polar Bear has been sending us a desperate S.O.S. There have been documented reports of Polar Bears drowning and starving — and of snowy dens collapsing on newborn cubs and their mothers from unseasonable rains. The world no longer has any Polar Bears to spare — certainly not to end up as a rug in front of a trophy hunter’s fireplace. We have to put a stop to the worldwide commercial trade in polar bear parts”

-Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., NRDC Senior Attorney

And what a statement to make. True to its point saddening to read we are this stunning animal is the most unluckiest animal facing extinction on the planet or if not hunted to extinction half the population will face a very daunting life in zoological gardens or man made reserves of which the WWF is creating as we speak to help sustain the worlds only Antarctic bear.

Polar bears belong in the wild, living and free — not as mounted decorations in the trophy rooms of wealthy big game hunters.

Upgrading the polar bear’s protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) represents our best hope for saving them from trophy hunting and the ongoing commercial trade in polar bear pelts, fur, claws and skulls.

NRDC is in the final stretch of our intensive two-year effort leading up to the next meeting of CITES, which could act to ban this trade in goods made from polar bears and tighten controls on polar bear trophy hunts.

The video below is extremely traumatizing however IT MUST be shown. We have created this problem now we must help to slow it down. Question> Why is CITES signatories allowing the inhumane killings of Polar Bears for rugs and parts when climate change is also killing the species off? Before you know it, in a blink of an eye lid our Arctic Bears will be gone.

 

Dr Jon Williamson – PhD, Ba, EnVstU

Environmental Scientist – Chief Registrar 

The next Cites conference of parties is this 2015. We MUST all act today and demand that Polar Bear hunting is banned for good and more environmental research is carried out to now sustain our Antarctic fauna and flora.

ACT TODAY – NOT TOMORROW 

Corroboree Frogs – Critically Endangered

Corroboree Frogs are amongst the most visually spectacular frogs in the world and are Australia’s most iconic amphibian species. Listed as critically endangered, the two species have several differences between them, including colour, patterns and even skin biochemistry.

The frogs are around 3centimetres in length and only live in the sub-alpine regions within Kosciuszko National Park, from Smiggin Holes in the south, and northwards to the Maragle Range.  Southern Corroboree Frogs only occur between about 1300 and 1760 m above sea level.

Breeding

Habitat which is critical to the survival of Corroboree Frogs includes both breeding habitat and nearby areas where they feed. The frogs have to be four years old before they can begin to reproduce and adults only have one breeding season around December, when males build chamber nests within grasses and moss near shallow pools, seepages and so on.

Example of breeding area for Corroboree Frogs: grasses by and shallow pool.

Example of breeding area for Corroboree Frogs: grasses by and shallow pool.

Corroboree Frogs tend to breed in water bodies that are dry during the breeding season. Outside the breeding season, Corroboree Frogs have been found sheltering in dense litter and under logs and rocks in nearby woodland and tall moist heath. Northern Corroboree Frogs have been found to move over 300 metres into surround woodland after breeding.

The diet of Corroboree Frogs consists mainly of small ants and, to a lesser extent, other invertebrates. Typically, the pools are dry during the breeding season when the eggs are laid. The males have three call types: an advertisement call, threat call, and courtship call.

Males woo their lady-frogs by singing. Each male will attract up to ten females to his burrow sequentially and may dig a new burrow if his first is filled with eggs.

Corroboree Frog nest.

Corroboree Frog nest.

If a female is attracted to a male, she will lay her eggs in his nest. The male will remain in his nest through the breeding season and may accumulate many clutches. Clutch size for Corroboree Frogs is relatively low for a frog species; 16 to 38 eggs per female.

Within the nest, the eggs develop to an advanced stage, before development stops and they enter what is called ‘diapause’. This effectively means that the embryos remain, without developing further, until flooding of the nest following autumn or winter rains stimulates them to hatch.

After hatching, the tadpoles move out of the nest site and into the adjacent pool where they live for the remainder of the larval period as a free swimming and feeding tadpole. Corroboree Frog tadpoles are dark in colour, have a relatively long paddle shaped tail, and grow to 30 mm in total length. The tadpoles continue growing slowly, particularly over winter when the pool may be covered with snow and ice, until metamorphosis in early summer.

Corroboree Frogs

Corroboree Frogs

Corroboree frogs are the first vertebrates discovered that are able to produce their own poisonous alkaloids, as opposed to obtaining it via diet as many other frogs do. The alkaloid is secreted from the skin as a defence against predation, and potentially against skin infections by microbes. It has been described as potentially lethal to mammals if ingested. The unique alkaloid produced has been named pseudo-phrynamine.

Corroboree frogs hibernate during winter under whatever shelter they can find. This may be snow gum trees, or bits of bark or fallen leaves. Males stay with the egg nests and may breed with many females over the course of one season.

Conservation status

Both species have declined dramatically in the past thirty years. However, the Southern Corroboree Frog has suffered from more serious declines.

Current status

The Southern Corroboree Frog, as of June 2004 had an estimated adult population of 64. This species has suffered declines of up to 80% over the past 10 years. It is found only within a fragmented region of less than 10 km² within Mount Kosciuszko National Park in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. It is only found at 1300 m above sea level (Osborne 1989). It is currently listed as critically endangered and is considered to be one of, if not, Australia’s most endangered species.

Critically endangered Southern Corroboree Frog.

Critically endangered Southern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroboree)

The Northern Corroboree Frog is more widely distributed across about 550 km² of the Brindabella and Fiery Ranges in Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory, and Kosciuszko National Park and Buccleuch State Forest in New South Wales. It is found above about 1000m and is found to have higher population numbers at lower elevations. It has recently been downgraded from critical to endangered by the IUC finding.

Endangered Northern Corroboree Frog.

Endangered Northern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyei)

Cause for decline

The near-loss of these frogs has been attributed to a variety of causes, such as habitat destruction from recreational 4WD use; development of ski resorts; feral animals; degradation of the frogs’ habitat; the extended drought cycle affecting much of southeastern Australia at present; and increased UV radiation flowing from ozone layer depletion.

The drought affects these frogs by drying out their breeding sites so that the breeding cycle, which is triggered by seasonal changes and may require moistening of the bogs in autumn and spring to bring on specific developmental events, is delayed. This may mean that tadpoles have not metamorphosed by late summer when their bogs dry out, and so perish. The bogs themselves are apparently drier than usual.

Location map for  Corroboree Frogs.

Location map for Corroboree Frogs.

Severe bushfires in the Victorian and NSW high country in January 2003 destroyed much of the frogs’ remaining habitat, especially the breeding sites and the leaf litter that insulates overwintering adults. The fire affected almost all Southern Corroboree Frog habitat, however recent surveys have shown that the fire resulted in a lower than expected decline in population.

As with many other Australian frogs, the predominant reason for the Corroboree Frogs’ decline is thought to be infection with the chytrid fungus. This fungus is believed to have been accidentally introduced to Australia in the 1970s and destroys the frogs’ skin, usually fatally. Corroboree frogs’ eggs appear to be immune. Frog populations may eventually be able to acquire immunity, as wild relatively healthy adults have been found with the fungus on their skin.

Conservation efforts

The Amphibian Research Centre had already begun a rescue programme under which eggs were collected and raised to late tadpole stage before return as close as possible to their collection site. Research is now underway into captive breeding and on which lifecycle stage – eggs, tadpoles or adults – promises the best chance of survival following return to the wild.

The national parks authorities in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria have developed conservation programmes, including a captive husbandry programme at Tidbinbilla, ACT, Taronga Zoo in Sydney, as well as Zoo’s Victoria at Healesville Sanctuary.

The two species are the Southern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) and the Northern Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne pengilleyi).

To read more on Corroboree Frogs and how to help them: www.corroboreefrog.com.au

Thank you for reading.

 

The Life Of Pigs In Vietnam

Since the late 1980s, Vietnamese pot belly pigs have been fad pets in countries such as America, while their larger cousins back in Vietnam live a very different life. Many pigs are illegally smuggled from China into Vietnam, arriving diseased and ill. They live on concrete floors, fed swill and are sacrificed in blood lust festivals, to satisfy people’s greed for luck and wealth.

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig in USA.

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig in USA.

The Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig has become a loved pet in many American homes, as well as a dumped pet from many American homes, due to their large size and ongoing need of social boundaries and mental stimulation to keep them on the straight and narrow “nice-pig” path. Pet pig owners agree that pot belly pigs can make the BEST pet or the WORST pet – depending on how their treated.

Vietnamese people see pigs completely different. Their not interested in dressing their pot belly pigs in little outfits or teaching them to ride a skateboard or play golf, like their American counterparts.

No matter which country they are in, pot belly pigs “have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly [more so than] three-year-olds,” says Dr. Donald Broom, a Cambridge University professor and a former scientific adviser to the Council of Europe. Pigs can play video games and when given the choice, they have indicated temperature preferences in their surroundings.

Live pigs being transported in the usual Vietnamese way - strapped to a motorbike.

Live pigs being transported in the usual Vietnamese way – strapped to a motorbike.

Pigs are social, playful animals who can live into their teens, are protective of their young and form strong bonds with other pigs. They are clean animals, but they do not sweat as humans do, so they prefer cool surfaces such as mud, to help regulate their body temperature. (Peta)

Author’s Introduction to Pigs In Vietnam

I was travelling along a major highway in North Vietnam when I came upon a man on a motorbike with seven live pigs strapped to his bike. it was sickening, shocking and horrific all rolled into one. The pigs were suspended by wires and their legs hung down, almost hitting the road as he drove along.

Its one thing to see photos of the treatment of animals in Vietnam, but seeing it in real life is even worse. The feeling of utter helplessness sweeps over me each time I’m confronted with impossible situations where what I ‘want’ to do is not even close to what I can or cannot do.

Pig intestines for restaurants.

Pig intestines for restaurants.

Pig Festival For Human Greed

While American-born Vietnamese pot belly pigs are being over fed, over clothed and learning new tricks, pigs in Vietnam are doing it tough. Pigs are seen as money makers and even their blood is considered a sure fire way to guaranteed wealth.

Each year an annual blood lust festival of live-pig chopping, buffalo sacrificing and fighting is held in Nem Thuong Village, Bac Ninh Province. The excuse used is that its traditional for animals to be used as a sacrifice to the god of fortune and prosperity. People dip their paper money into the pigs blood. 

People dip their money in the pig's blood to give them good luck and wealth.

People dip their money in the pig’s blood to give them good luck and wealth.

An alive pig is carried into a loud arena of cheering people where it’s four legs are tied fully outstretched. As the crowd whips more and more into an hysterical frenzy of blood lust, a man with a large sword steps forward and takes aim directly across the pig’s chest.

As the sword is slowly swung up into the air, far above the perpetrators head, the crowd are screaming with excitement. Above the hysterics of the crowd, the pig can be heard screaming in terror, instinctlively knowing something dreadful is about to happen to him. No-one cares less about the pig or pays any attention to it’s blood curdling screams of terror.

Vietnamese Professor Justifies The Festival

Vietnamese Professor Tran Lam Bien justifies the blood lust festival in an interview with The Thao & Van Hoa newspaper: “In the beliefs of many nations in the world, animal’s blood with its typical red colour is always a manifestation for vitality.

Vietnamese citizens chop pig to get its blood to present to the local god, implicitly seeking the god’s support for plentiful and fertile land as the blood bow offered. Once the animal is slaughtered, its blood is splashed all around into the local land, which also represents such meaning.

Crowds cheer with blood lust excitement as the pig is chopped in half.

Crowds cheer with blood lust excitement as the pig is chopped in half.

It is unfair and wrongly to judge the ritual if we just stand outside and consider them simply as festivals to kill animals for fun. I myself want to ask a question: how many people among those against the rituals have ever spent time and efforts seeking for the rituals’ origin and meanings, or just take a leaf out of homebody’s book and look things through vulgar eyes?

It is obvious that buffalo and pig sacrificing have existed until now because of its spiritual and religious importance to local community. And when masters of these rituals still find the necessity of the rituals in their modern life, let put yourself in their position to think but not quickly allow yourself the rights to judge the practice as “brutal” arbitrarily.

It is hard to say “don’t” because these rituals have been repeated over years and taken roots in the subconscious of local community. It is because, the imbalance in spiritual life will easily make them seek for other value systems.

Gruesome Pig Festival for blood lust.

Gruesome Pig Festival for blood lust.

It’s better to say you should not talk about “conserve” or “remove” [the rituals] at this moment. Besides the local communities, there are a few people that understand the cultural essence of buffalo and pig sacrificing rituals.

In the short term, it is necessary to explain and supply sufficient information about the rituals for the festival-goers, so they can view the practice from perspectives of the ever local residents. They should not, for the sake of anything else, impose or coerce into accepting meanings and feelings from outside.

If one day, young generations in Central Highlands, Nem Thuong Village and Do Son [Hai Phong City] feel that animal sacrificing and buffalo fighting are no longer suitable, they themselves will stop and seek for another type of expression.
As far as we’re concerned, we should respect local cultures and never let ourselves to deal with their affairs.”
Source: VNS

Author: in other words, anyone not in agreeing with the cruelty is being told to be quiet and go away.

Pig Blood Pudding

Collected blood for Pig Blood Pudding.

Collected blood for Pig Blood Pudding.

Vietnam’s Luna New year celebrations in February always involve slaughtering pigs and some people raw pig meat. People end up in hospital with swine bacteria and some die.

A source from the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hanoi said people become infected with the Streptococcus suis bacteria, a pork-based pathogen and that patients had direct contact with pork through butchering, selling pork, or eating “tiet canh,” a type of pudding made with raw pig’s blood. Some developed meningitis, the source said.

Dr. Nguyen Trung Cap from the hospital’s Emergency Department said the dead patients were brought to the hospital after having the blood dish, and their condition became critical quickly with declining liver, kidney and lung functions.

“Half the patients said they ate ‘tiet canh,'” Cap said (blood pudding made of raw pig blood – sometimes dog blood too.)

Live pigs tied upside down under a motorbike engine, next to an exhaust pipe.

Live pigs tied upside down under a motorbike engine, next to an exhaust pipe.

There is a belief among many Vietnamese people that eating the red-colored blood dish would bring them luck in the New Lunar Year.

Doctors said the disease is dangerous as it can cause septicaemia or blood poisoning, meningitis, pneumonia and endocarditis inflammation of the heart membrane.

They said sometimes blood poisoning does not kill, but still causes necrosis, requiring the amputation of legs or hands.

Nguyen Hong Ha, deputy director of the Hanoi hospital, said there are other complications after one is cured, such as hearing impairment, loss of memory and epilepsy.

Live pigs tied onto motorbike, next to the exhaust pipe and engine.

Live pigs tied onto motorbike, next to the exhaust pipe and engine.

Ha said the condition is often mistaken for dengue fever as it starts with high fever, a headache, cold feeling and rashes. “False diagnosis can delay treatment or lead to wrong treatment,” he said, adding that treatment for the disease is costly at around hundreds of dollars for each case.

Globally, records show that fatalities from the bacteria are uncommon, though several have died from it in Vietnam. The Hanoi hospital cited unofficial surveys as showing that around 10 to 30 percent of the Vietnamese population are infected with the bacteria every year. The death rate was nearly 13 percent.

Ha said the hospital received more than 120 infections of the bacteria last year, with 70 percent of the patients eating the blood dish and many among the rest eating pork that was not well cooked.

Lam Quoc Hung, in charge of poison control at the Health Ministry’s Food Safety Department, advised people to stop eating any kind of uncooked animal dish.

Dr. Tran Van Ky from Vietnam Association of Science, Technology and Food Safety, also said the uncooked blood dish should not be a tradition anymore.

“The blood carries many diseases from the animals”¦ People eating raw blood from sick pigs can get swine bacteria, worms, and other digestive diseases, while those having blood from sick chicken can be infected with H5N1 or H1N1 viruses,” Ky said.

He said a large number of pigs and chicken as well as other livestock found in the market do not go through any quality control, given the widespread smuggling and loose management of slaughterhouses.

But caution should be maximized as even healthy pigs carry the bacteria, and they are also found in horses, cats, dogs and birds, doctors said.

They said butchers, farmers and vendors need to wear face masks, clean their hands thoroughly before, during and after work, and provide extra protection for scratches and exposed cuts (TN News.)

Pumping Water Into Pigs To Boost Their Sale Weight

Man caught force-feeding water to his pigs to boost their weight for sale.

Man caught force-feeding water to his pigs to boost their weight for sale.

Their are many similarities between Vietnam’s dog meat trade and it’s pig trade. Starting with the illegal smuggling of diseased pigs from China into Vietnam, for human consumption – just like the dog trade for human consumption where diseased dogs are smuggled into Vietnam at alarming numbers – so too are the pigs being force-fed water to boost their body weight prior to sale. In some areas, Vietnam also does this to the dogs in it’s cruel dog trade.

Pig store owner Nguyen Viet Long was caught red-handed pumping water into pigs to increase their weight before transporting them to slaughterhouses.

Live pigs being transported in Vietnam; very common sight.

Live pigs being transported in Vietnam; very common sight.

Tien Giang’s Police Office on Environmental Crimes imposed a VND5.5 million (US$250) fine on Long for violating the veterinary services and animal feed policy. He had already pumped water into 30 of the 59 pigs at the scene. All of them had been certified by Ben Tre’s Veterinary Department.

Long, who had been operating the business for a month, pumped water into about 30 pigs per day before transporting them to the Tan My Chanh Co-operative slaughterhouse in My Tho City. — VNS

Smuggling Diseased Live Pigs From China Into Vietnam

Pig heads at Yuanyang meat market of Yunnan, Vietnam.

Pig heads at Yuanyang meat market of Yunnan, Vietnam.

According to CGIAR, most of Vietnam’s pork comes from backyard pig producers but pig nutrition on small farms is generally poor and the animals suffer serious deficiencies in protein, especially lysine and methyanine.”

The smuggling of pork and live pigs from China is a strong illegal activity across the border, and the issue of “blue ear disease” is not new. Several years ago Radio Australia announced the following: “Vietnam has ordered a crackdown on the smuggling of pork and live pigs from China to prevent the spread of a mystery disease that has killed 37 people.

The mysterious pig-borne epidemic, reportedly caused by the streptococcus suis bacteria, has so far affected 188 villages in Sichuan province in southwestern China. The number of people infected by the disease has increased to 205.”

Pigs smuggled from China with Blue Ear disease.

Pigs smuggled from China with Blue Ear disease.

A few years later Vietnam called for rapid action against pig diseases: Vietnam must speed investigations into a pig disease that has struck 42 people killing two, the agriculture minister said, calling for urgent measures to contain the bacteria. Initial assessments showed the disease caused by Streptococcus suis bacteria had spread in the country.

The bacteria emerged only recently in the country of 85 million people, infecting 22 people in the northern provinces followed by 20 in the southern region.

People catch the bacteria after coming into direct contact either by hand or eating pork from a sick pig, Nguyen Hong Ha deputy head of the National Institute for Infectious and Tropical Diseases, said in a Voice of Vietnam radio broadcast.

The bacteria causes rapid internal haemorrhage and high fever and can develop meningitis, septicaemia and endocarditis in the next stage leading to death or deafness if the victim survives.

Live pigs being transported by truck - notice the individual wire tunnels.

Live pigs being transported by truck – notice the individual wire tunnels.

Eating pig blood pudding—a popular dish to go with rice wine in rural Vietnam areas—is extremely dangerous due to high density of the bacteria in blood, Ha said.

On Monday, Minister Phat said the PRRS, also known as ‘blue ear disease’, had been spreading fast in the central provinces of Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Danang city partly because officials were unable to stop trading and transport of pigs. (Source)

On the next day, AP dispatched this news: “In China, nearly 90,000 pigs have died or been slaughtered because of blue ear disease, a Ministry of Agriculture official said Wednesday, part of the cause of a spike in pork prices.

The epidemic has now spread to 25 provinces or regions, said Li Jinxiang, a veterinarian with the ministry. China has 23 provinces, five autonomous regions and four self-governed municipalities.

Li told a news conference that by the start of this week, 165,144 pigs had contracted the disease. So 45,546 had died and another 42,728 had been slaughtered.” (Source)

20 pigs crammed into the wire crate on the back of the motorbike, in the hot sun.

20 young pigs crammed into the wire crate on the back of the motorbike, in the hot sun.

In the meantime, Reuters added:

”Two people have died in northern Vietnam from a pig disease while another virus has been killing thousands of pigs in recent weeks in the central region, government and media reports said on Monday.

Twenty two people, most from northern areas, have been taken to a Hanoi hospital so far this year after they fell sick from the Streptococcus suis bacteria. Two of the infected had died.

People infected by the bacteria suffer from rapid internal haemorrhage and high fever after they eat pork from a sick pig or inhale the air near the sick swine. Another pig disease, the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) virus, also known as Lelystad virus, had struck more than 16,000 pigs in the central province of Quang Nam since June.

The syndrome was first recognized in the United States in the mid 1980s and was called “mystery swine disease”. In some other countries including Vietnam it is referred to as ‘blue ear disease’. Since late June the virus has spread to neighboring Quang Ngai province and Danang city, infecting more than 27,000 pigs, nearly 1,500 of them had died, the Animal Health Department said.

On Sunday state-run Vietnam Television said pig raisers in Quang Nam province had thrown hundreds of dead pigs into a local river, causing serious water pollution near the UNESCO-recognized tourist town of Hoi An.”

Vietnamese Pigs Fed Swill – Illegal In Some Countries

It is seen as a weakness for a Vietnamese pig farmer to buy pig-feed from a manufacturer such as Cargill. Pig farmers are told to “become strong, independent, and no longer subject to the fluctuations and uncertainty of the global marketplace.

According to Dr. Paul Oliver: the pig farmer should buy nothing from feed companies, and in growing the plants needed to feed his pigs, he should buy nothing from fertilizer companies. The Vietnamese pig farmer can be easily taught to produce all of the feed he needs to raise his pigs.”

Instead of pig feed specifically for the health of pigs, Vietnamese pig farmers use what is commonly known as “swill.”

Inside a Vietnamese piggery.

Inside a Vietnamese piggery.

What is swill?

Swill is the traditional name for food scraps or food waste that contains or has come into contact with meat or meat products or any other products from mammals, including food scraps, bakery waste, restaurant waste and untreated used cooking oils. This applies to all pigs, including pet pigs. read more: Swill Fact sheet

Why Not Feed Swill?

Meat and mammalian material can contain viruses. Diseases like Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Classical and African Swine Fever, Aujeszky’s disease, swine vesicular disease and Transmissible Gastroenteritis can be carried and transmitted by feeding swill to pigs. Feeding swill to pigs is believed to have caused the outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth disease in the UK in 2001.

Vietnamese Swill For Pigs

Pig farmers in Vietnam collect food waste from restaurants, known as “swill” and feed this waste to their pigs. This collection takes place within all major cities within Vietnam [the same is also done in South Korea.]

Pig farmers also ferment fruit waste, vegetable waste, fish byproducts, fish mortalities, slaughterhouse waste, shrimp shell waste and so on, as well as growing taro and other plants rich in protein to ferment and feed them to his pigs.

Since 98% of the Vietnamese people eat pork, the pig farmer becomes a key player in assuring the security of the supply of food within Vietnam. Note that “slaughterhouse waste” is included in the pigs diet!

Pig Manure On Pig Farms

Manure pit on a Vietnamese pig farm.

Manure pit on a Vietnamese pig farm.

Faeces and urine are allowed to flow together, and often this slurry is discharged into nearby lagoons, streams and rivers. Lagoon water is often used to wash and cool down the pigs. Disease is rampant. Antibiotics proliferate. The stench is unbearable. Both pigs and farmers are often infected with deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria called MRSA.

In spite of the enormous pollution that the pig farmer so often generates, he makes little money. One of the most exciting ways to dispose of pig waste is to raise the pig on soft bedding comprised of sawdust, shredded straw, coconut dust or some other dry biomass. The faeces deposited onto the bedding by the pig is collected twice a day and placed in nearby mesophilic bins or biopods. Both devices are ideal for growing BSF larvae.

BSF larvae grown in the Mekong on nothing other than pig feces.

BSF larvae grown in the Mekong on nothing other than pig feces.

If a mesophilic bin is used to grow larvae, the farmer does not have many feeding option. Here the larvae are destined primarily for chickens who know how to harvest larvae. At night mature prepupae crawl through the aeration holes of the bin and fall onto the ground. They then seek refuge under leaves and other debris around the base of the bin. The following morning, chickens have no problem finding and eating them.

If a biopod is used to grow larvae, the larvae self-harvest into a collection bucket. The farmer is free to feed the larvae to whatever he wishes: chickens, fish, frogs, shrimp and so forth (Erlsa.)

Some pig farmers have discovered a market for selling larvae, red worms and vermicompost as an additional source of income. Pig waste can cause serious environmental pollution.

A study of 30 piggeries was conducted across Vietnam by the Wageningen University Project, 2011, with the following results: the average piggery had 280 pigs, , slaughter weight 101kg, slaughtered at 6.2 months old, 100% kept sows to raise growing pigs.

A growing pig (20 kg) consumed 2.4kg/day, piglests 0.36 kg/day and sows 2.9kg/day.

All piggeries are fenced with concrete floors, roof and no bedding. The ‘growing pig’ area occupies 89% of space.

Each farm uses 6,975 litres of water/day, or 35 litres/growing pig and sow/day. Each farm collects 609kg solid manure/day. 17% solid manure use directly for crop, 83% sold.

70 % farm storage slurry; in which 67 % using anaerobic fermentation slurry; product after that used for crops or discharge to environment, 33 % farms storage slurry in ponds.

STUDY CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Lack of treatment capacity, lack of transport capacity, absence of information regarding manure management improvements, absence of interest in manure management, and lack of access to loans for building manure management system are the important factors discouraging the using manure as fertilizer
  • Socio-economic constraints do not really hinder the decision to use manure as fertilizer on the farms
  • Major reasons to improve manure management because of direct impact on human and animal heath, water quality and odor emissions to residential areas.

Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig’ Facts and Figures

Young pot belly piglet in USA.

Young pot belly piglet in USA.

In the late 1980s the Vietnamese Pot Belly pig rocketed to stardom and it was the most “in” pet you could buy in the United States. Vietnamese potbelly pigs stand 16 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh between 125 and 200 pounds. While still quite large, these are much smaller than farm pigs, which can weigh 800 pounds or more.

All pigs, including farm pigs, are very small at birth (generally between 2 and 4 pounds). That’s why it’s ESSENTIAL, if you’re getting a pet pig, to find out how big its full-grown parents are (and perhaps even its grandparents), as some pigs grow very slowly, even well into adulthood.

To read more on Vietnamese Pot Belly pigs as pets, the positives and the negatives: A Pig As A Pet? You Bet, from the Veterinary Centre for Birds and Exotic Animals.

 In Conclusion

We will continue to monitor the plight of Vietnam’s pigs and watch for movement between China and Vietnam in the illegal pig smuggling situation and bring you updates when applicable.

If you are considering adopting a Vietnamese pot belly pig – do a LOT of research BEFORE you purchase one! Too many pot belly pigs are being surrendered and even abandoned because owners can’t keep up with the demands involved in owning one. Do your research and speak with knowledgable pot belly pig organisations and owners before making any decisions. The pigs are beautiful animals who deserve a long term home.

Thank you for reading,

Michele Brown.

Animals in Conflict.

War 1

ANIMALS IN CONFLICT

Animals at war is a brief document on how war is affecting our environment. Wednesday’s article will be released soon on just how bad war is affecting our wildlife.

While the United States, United Kingdom, France and Arab nations yet again begin to bomb the hell out of Iraq then we think its time to begin showing other species of animals that will be suffering again from large ordnance rounds that can sheer pansy heads of an entire football sized pansy field. No were not joking neither.

From the Awassi Sheep, Jungle Cat, Syrian Brown Bear, Crested Porcupine, Gray Wolf to countless other species of fauna AND flora, animals will yet again suffer a precision guided war from the air, sea and eventually from the land. Its expected that this war will be more jungle and urban warfare that is likely to last some three to four years.

Although hundreds of thousands of animals have died as a consequence of human warmaking, no comprehensive effort has ever been made, to my knowledge, to assess the numbers or types of animal casualties during or after past conflicts. The prospect of killing or injuring animals has never had a deterrent effect on those making decisions about war. A few recent international agreements, reached in efforts to mitigate the impact of war on the environment, have not translated into significant restrictions on military activity, let alone explicit measures to protect animals in time of war.

The relationship between animals and war has received historical attention with regard to the uses of animals in military missions and military research. However, the war in Vietnam marked the first time that the environment and animals received close attention as victims of war. The chemical defoliation of massive tracts of forest in Vietnam killed, wounded, or evicted many of the animal inhabitants.

The Gulf war added a new dimension to the risks for animals as well as humans: the use of oil as a weapon. Along with their economic and tactical effects, oil spills and fires make animals their principal living victims since, for the most part, they are unable to escape their devastated habitats.

The Gulf war was also the first, as far as can be determined, in which some attempt was made to count animal deaths in a systematic way. It was also the first major war in which the military (in this case, U.S. and allied) made an effort to keep animals from harm and to help alleviate animal suffering after the war.

The Gulf war animal casualty count includes thousands of marine birds, migratory birds, livestock animals, horses, camels, and other creatures who bore no responsibility for the conflict. The number of animal casualties is only conjectural, but then again, the full human toll has yet to be determined. The official count of U.S. military casualties reported by the public affairs office of the Department of Defense on August 12, 1991 stood at 765, including 307 dead. The number of Iraqi soldiers killed was at least 10,000 according to Pentagon estimates, but some news accounts have reported 100,000 or more. Casualties among Iraqi civilians, from air strikes and ground attacks, have been estimated to range from thousands to tens of thousands. Disease and hunger now rampant in Iraq, attributable to the war and to the political deadlock over economic sanctions, could take the lives of additional thousands by the end of the year.

In this context, the hundreds of thousands of animals that died or were injured during the Gulf war — and the millions of others (primarily migratory birds) that were placed at risk — must be viewed as one more dimension of a preventable tragedy. The see casualties, enumerated in this article, resulted not only from bombings and artillery fire, but also from the ecological devastation left behind after the ceasefire.

Different animal populations in the Gulf region were affected by the war in different ways. Conversely, specific war-related actions have had more or less unique consequences for particular animals. The major categories of casualties and their causes can be summarized as follows:

1. Crude oil released into the Persian Gulf killed an estimated tens of thousands of marine birds, (l) threatened sea turtles and marine mammals, and probably caused death and injury to migrating birds passing through the region.
2. Toxic smoke from hundreds of oil fires killed migrating birds and may cause respiratory, blood, and immune system illnesses in all living beings, showing up first in birds and smaller mammals, but eventually affecting large animals and possibly humans.
3. Oil pouring from extinguished Kuwaiti wells has created huge petrochemical lakes that are destroying land surfaces and are draining into the sea, posing new threats to marine life.
4. Bombs, mines, and shells — including unexploded cluster bombs and other ordnance left behind after the ceasefire — killed and injured scores of livestock, horses, and camels.
5. The movement of tanks, trucks, and other large military vehicles tore up the desert, destroying fragile wildlife habitats and creating the conditions for unusually severe sandstorms that could take additional animal lives.
6. More than 400 animals at the Kuwait national zoo either were killed by Iraqi soldiers, died of starvation and injuries, or were removed from the zoo to unknown locations.

And that’s just the start of a very large and depressing iceberg.

Humans are not the only living creatures in Earth that suffer from the effects of war. Shell shock in animals has not really been that explored however animals that are within areas where such large bombs are being dropped can suffer hideous psychological and physical injuries from shell shock down to flying shrapnel. Take the daisy cutter bomb for instance. Any living animal anywhere within half a mile of this massive warhead being dropped would be obliterated if in the fallout zone.

The first known animal casualties came during the buildup of U.S. and allied troops in Saudi Arabia. Bedouin-owned camels, accustomed to roaming the desert freely, were struck by artillery shells during military training exercises. Camels were especially threatened during nighttime maneuvers, when heat seeking weapons could mistake foraging herds for targets. Fortunately, only a few incidents occurred before public protests, including letters from the Boston-based World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to U.S. officials, led to assurances that the well-being of the region’s animals would be taken into account during military maneuvers. However, once the war broke out, wildlife and domestic animals stood little chance against thousands of air strikes, the movement of tanks through fragile habitats, and the use of oil as a weapon of mass destruction.

Documentation on wildlife destruction caused by war in still “volatile countries” where fighting it still ongoing is very hard to obtain. Right this minute as we speak the “Un-Islamic State” commonly known as I.S or Islamic State now face a torrent of military action from the United States, United Kingdom, European Allies and United Arab Emirates. Governments have vowed to use precision warhead capable of killing a man behind a car without even damaging the car. Personally we find that statement poor and yet another example of the UK Conservative Government ensuring public satisfaction is met at all times.

More than 80% of the livestock animals in Kuwait — mostly cattle, sheep, and goats — died between the Iraqi occupation in August 1990 and the ceasefire in March 1991. Assigning precise causes to all of the deaths is virtually impossible, but the principal causes include starvation, dehydration, intentional or accidental shooting, slaughter for food, and bombing. Livestock animals, in particular, are almost totally dependent on humans for their well being, and the collapse of Kuwait’s economy and domestic infrastructures, not to mention the flight of Kuwaiti residents from the country, left hundreds of thousands of these animals helpless.

Death also resulted when animals stepped on unexploded mines or cluster bombs, which littered the landscape at the end of the war. (Clearing some areas of unexploded ordnance has been deemed virtually impossible by military officials, and these areas may have to be fenced off to prevent future deaths among nomadic residents and their herds.)

Kuwait’s livestock industry was a relatively small yet vital part of the prewar economy. There were 34 operating dairy farms in the country in August 1990, with 15,000 cows and cattle. Following the ceasefire, only two dairies were functioning in any capacity, and only 2,500 cattle were still alive. A population of 800,000 sheep was reduced to 10,000; 10,000 camels were down to 2,000; and, of 3,000 horses, many of them Arabian and thoroughbred race horses, fewer than 500 could be found in Kuwait at the end of the war. (Some of the most valuable race horses and show horses were removed to Iraq before the air war began. Grooms and other horse handlers who were employed at Kuwaiti stables told staff from the WSPA that Iraqi soldiers arrived with lists of horses whom they demanded by name. The number of Kuwaiti horses currently held by Iraq is unknown.

When Assad released his deadly arsenal of sarin on his own people many hundreds of animals died too. No real estimate of dead wildlife and cattle has ever been reported in full however its alleged that thousands of animals died just in that one single attack. Furthermore its also estimated that many millions of birds, land and sea animals have been slaughtered within Syria from stray ordnance, unexploded rounds, bombings, tank and vehicle movements. The death toll continues too. With not an end in sight its most likely that many animals will be forced into extinction within the next twenty years just in Syria and Iraq alone should this bloody war machine not cease.

What about Africa? 

In Africa many civil wars and wars between countries occurred in the past century, some of which are still continuing. Most wars are a result of the liberation of countries after decades of colonialization. Countries fight over artificial borders drawn by former colonial rulers. Wars mainly occur in densely populated regions, over the division of scarce resources such as fertile farmland. It is very hard to estimate the exact environmental impact of each of these wars. Here, a summary of some of the most striking environmental effects, including biodiversity loss, famine, sanitation problems at refugee camps and over fishing is given for different countries.

Some startling facts;

  • Congo War II – Refugees hunt wildlife for bush meat, either to consume or sell it. Elephant populations in Africa have seriously declined as a result of ivory poaching. Farmers burn parts of the forest to apply as farmland, and corporate logging contributes to the access of poachers to bush meat. A survey by the WWF showed that the hippopotamus population in one national park decreased from 29,000 thirty years previously, to only 900 in 2005. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed all five parks as ‘world heritage in danger’.
  • Ethiopia & Eritrea – During the war severe drought resulted in famine, particularly because most government funds were spend on weapons and other war instrumentation. The government estimated that after the war only 60% of the country received adequate food supplies. The war resulted in over 750,000 refugees. It basically destroyed the entire infrastructure. Efforts to disrupt agricultural production in Eritrea resulted in changes in habitat. The placing of landmines has caused farming or herding to be very dangerous in most parts of the country. If floods occur landmines may be washed into cities. This has occurred earlier in Mozambique.
  • Rwanda Civil War – Between April and July 1994 extremist military Hutu groups murdered about 80,000-1,000,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus in Rwanda. Over 2,000,000 people lost their homes and became refugees. Rwanda has a very rich environment, however, it has a particularly limited resource base. About 95% of the population lives on the countryside and relies on agriculture. Some scientists believe that competition for scarce land and resources led to violence prior to and particularly after the 1994 genocide. It is however stated that resource scarcity only contributed limitedly to the conflict under discussion. The main cause of the genocide was the death of the president from a plane-crash caused by missiles fires from a camp.
    The many refugees from the 1994 combat caused a biodiversity problem. When they returned to the already overpopulated country after the war, they inhabited forest reserves in the mountains where endangered gorillas lived. Conservation of gorilla populations was no longer effective, and refuges destroyed part of the habitat. Despite the difficulties still present in Rwanda particularly concerning security and resource provision, an international gorilla protection group is now working on better conditions for the gorillas in Rwanda.
    Somalia civil war – A civil war was fought in Somalia 1991. One of the most striking effects of the war was over fishing. The International Red Cross was encouraging the consumption of seawater fish to improve diets of civilians. For self-sufficiency they provided training and fishing equipment. However, as a consequence of war Somali people ignored international fishing protocols, thereby seriously harming ecology in the region. Fishing soon became an unsustainable practise, and fishermen are hard to stop because they started carrying arms. They perceive over fishing as a property right and can therefore hardly be stopped.

War has a devastating effect not just to humans but also our wildlife and domestic animals. Humans are not the only sufferers here. Now the United States and Great Britain and her allies want to go back into war to fight the UNISLAMIC STATE from which they actually armed.

Where is the justice in that?

 This Wednesdays article will be focusing on animals in war zones. 

www.speakupforthevoiceless.org

 

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