Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Book on Ethics of Meat-Eating

Sounds pretty powerful. I'm trying to come up with a book for my book club about animal rights. What do I choose? All of them are meat eaters, two because their "doctors" told them they had to eat meat. One is a huge supporter of animal research. I don't want anything too radical and was thinking about Dominion by Matthew Scully. But now we have "Eating Animals,"by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Farm Animal Welfare Fight Heats Up in Ohio

Issue 2 in Ohio would create 13-member state board to oversee the care of farm animals in the State. The Humane Society and other groups oppose it as a power grab by big agriculture to prevent another Proposition 2 (the initiative passed last year in California to improve standards for farm animal care.) And, of course, this board would be dominated by big ag's people, so I think they're right. There may also be unintended consequences. Would such a bill lead to jurisdiction over puppy mill breeders as well?

It's an issue to follow though. If it passes, it will encourage other states' ag industries to go on the offensive to protect their "raw materials."

Groups Urge FDA Ban on Feeding Chicken Feces to Cows....Wait, WHAT???

Well, you learn something new every day...
A coalition of food and consumer groups that includes Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the Food and Drug Administration to ban the practice. McDonald's Corp., the nation's largest restaurant user of beef, also wants the FDA to prohibit the feeding of so-called poultry litter to cattle.
Yeesh. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Elizabeth Kucinich and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Cool! She's the new Director of Public Affairs and she's already started lobbying for the Great Ape Protection Act, which would phase out invasive medical research on chimpanzees. (For you international readers, she's Dennis Kucinich's wife. He's a US Congressman who has run for President twice.)

Tiger Dies from Poaching Injuries in Malaysia

Sad. Another tiger lost.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Animal Researchers Use Billboards to Promote Themselves

The "brave" animal researchers are taking their argument to the public and bypassing animal right activists.

Here's an example...a billboard funded by the Foundation for Biomedical Research.

"Ever had leprosy. Thanks to animal research, you won't."

I for one welcome them coming out of the woodwork and forcing animal research into the public forum. Let's discuss the research. Let's talk about what they do, and why, and how. Let's talk about the redundancy, the waste, the pain. Let's see the pictures. If we can't outlaw the practice, perhaps researchers will become more transparent. Then we can finally stop the horrific abuses that they perpetrate within their windowless ivory towers.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Quote of the Week

OUCH!
Of all the creatures, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creature that cannot.

---Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tigers To Go Extinct in 15 Years? Thanks China!

It's not only China, but all Asian countries that are playing a major role in reducing this beautiful animal's number. As this article points out, tigers are worth more dead than alive if you use humanity's flawed accounting system.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mean Lady Hates Pet Bereavement Groups

Here's a random story.

I was standing near the information desk at the library for no particular reason when a pear-shaped woman in her fifties with frizzy perm-damaged hair stopped by. Apparently there was an announcement at the desk for a pet bereavement group.

She shook her head and said to the librarian at the desk, "Well, is there anything they won't do? A pet bereavement group. What a waste. Now I've seen everything."

I was pretty shocked and just stared at her.

The librarian responded "Well, some people really need it. I just lost my five-year-old dog and it was very hard."

The woman responded (I think a little embarrassed by now by what the librarian said and the fact that I was kind of staring at her), "Well, we had a cat once and it was so sick and the best thing we could do was put her down. It really was for the best."

The librarian said, "Uh huh."

The woman walked right past me and I just stared at her. I was THIS CLOSE to saying something really nasty. But instead, I went to the librarian and said, "I just want to counter what that woman said. I think pet bereavement groups are really important and I think that's a horrible thing to say. I don't want you to think that everyone feels that way."

The librarian was totally cool and talked about how devastated she was when her dog died, who was only five years old and her baby.

That incident has stuck with me because I thought it was so mean-spirited and I really regret not saying something. No one has any right to criticize a person's grief. People grieve for all kinds of things that mean something to them. I also suspect that this woman would not have the same criticism of people who grieve for an inanimate object like a lost wedding ring or other keepsake. She seemed to have an issue with animals.

Nasty woman.

Bugs!

Here are some seriously cool up close pictures of bugs. H/t to Andrew Sullivan.

New Pocast Up

You can listen in the sidebar there, or better yet look for Critter World News on Itunes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

UC Davis Named in Criminal Complaint for Mistreatment of Lab Animals

From the Los Angeles Chronicle...
The University of California, Davis is the focus of a major federal complaint charging it and two other nationally known university research centers have killed dozens of primates through traumatic injuries, veterinary negligence and other violations. The others are the University of Michigan and University of Louisiana/New Iberia.

A protest will be held today at the UCD Quad (1 Shields Ave.), sponsored by SAEN {Stop Animal Exploitation Now}, an Ohio-based animal research watchdog group.

SAEN said UC Davis is responsible for the deaths of at least 14 monkeys over an 11-month period from June of 2008 to April of this year, and that the deaths violated federal law. The primate center at UC Davis has been cited several times after monkeys were killed in preventable lab mishaps.

Farmed Fish Are No Easy Solution

Many believe that the solution to our wild fish problems is to promote farmed alternatives. But, as with any kind of mass production, this is filled with all kinds of risks.

Here's an article spotlighting farmed fishing in Chile.

It's really damned if you do and damned if you don't. Eat wild runs and cause their extinction. Eat farmed fish and create other environmental perils.

Best not to eat either.

Bo Celebrated Birthday with Veal

Ugh. Bo Obama celebrated his birthday with a doghouse cake made out of veal. When I was still a meat-eater, the two foods I would not touch were veal and lamb. Veal is especially cruel, even for factory farming, although now I think foie gras is a strong competitor.

Certainly disappointed in the Obamas for such a poor choice of "cake."

Boo!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two Examples of Mice Experiments - Valid or Not?

I came across these stories about two different medical experiments using mice.

In this experiment,
scientists tested whether lighting can cause depression. They used different lighting situations to see how they affect mice moods. One of the conclusions? That children who watch television late at night could be “more likely to develop depression."

I'm not convinced that I as a taxpayer would approve funding of this project. Aren't there better things to research? You would need to be watching television late at night regularly in order for the lighting to have an impact. Children shouldn't be regularly watching television late at night for many reasons other than depression. Like they should be sleeping! Are parents who are not paying attention to their kids suddenly going to send them to bed because they might get depressed? Plus, are mice comparable to kids (although I would prefer mice subjects to primates who are so much more sensitive)?

Whether intentionally or not, the title of the article catches the frivolity of the research...."Don't let your mouse watch TV."

Please.

Here's another experiment
using mice to determine whether stress and chemicals in plastic is leading to messed up male genitals and, therefore, infertility. The mice are exposed to certain chemicals to see the impacts. But see the qualifications in the article....

....The animal research has offered one explanation for the rising number of babies born with these conditions. However, it involved exposing rats to chemicals at levels that humans are usually not exposed to. This means the conclusions should be treated with caution.

....As this study was mainly about the effect of high doses of a chemical called phthalates on the number of rats born with undescended testicles, it is premature to report that stress has a part to play in reducing fertility in men.


So, why put the animals through this if it's not even a reflective experiment. Sounds like they did it because they could and who cares if you destroy a few carcasses for the hell of it.

Dogs and Cats Bad For Planet?

Two authors in New Zealand claim that the carbon footprint of pet animals are the same as owning a car.
New Zealand-based authors Robert and Brenda Vale base their findings on the amount of land needed to grow food for pets ranging from budgerigars to cats and dogs.

They say an average Collie eats 164kg of meat and 95kg of cereals a year, giving it a high impact on the planet.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cat Got Some Skills

Our cats just whine and throw up on the carpet...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Paul Watson Gets His Australian Visa

Ecorazzi has the story. Sea Shepherd is gearing up to go out again.

Japanese whaling continues, with 59 Minke whales killed off Kushiro. The stunning conclusion from their "research": Minke whales eat krill, pollack and anchovies. Wow, whales eat krill? Who knew?

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Thin Green Line" Surveys Wildlife Crime in UK

Here's another book I'll need to add to my list.

Aussies Deny Foot-Dragging in Sea Shepherd Visas

The Australian government has denied accusations that they are delaying Visa applications for Sea Shepherd crew.
In response, Australian immigration has stated, “our standard procedure is to follow-up certain matters disclosed to the department in a visa application, and that’s what is occurring.”

The department went on to state that the delay may be linked to the fact that Watson is applying to enter Australia on a short-term business visa, rather than a tourist visa, with which he previously entered the country.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Michael Vick Refuses to Visit Victims

Coward.

Appeal Denied for Six Activists Convicted Under AEPA

It was a 2-1 decision by the US Court of Appeals.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer...
Six members of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty were convicted at a 2006 trial in New Jersey of conspiracy to violate the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act. The law, since revised, aimed to protect animal research laboratories from illegal, sometimes violent protests.

The group was formed to protest the activities of Huntingdon Life Sciences in Franklin Township, N.J. The company had been a target of animal activists since video footage surfaced on television in the 1990s depicting animal abuse at its laboratory in the United Kingdom.

Huntingdon used mostly mice and rats , but also some dogs, monkeys, fish and guinea pigs , in its research in New Jersey.

The activists posted the home addresses of Huntingdon officials and contractors on the group's Web site, and harassment, vandalism and violence sometimes followed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Book Shows Mark Twain an Early Advocate Against Animal Cruelty

A new book by author and Stanford professor Shelly Fisher Fishkin reveals that Mark Twain was an early advocate against animal cruelty. Called Mark Twain's Book of Animals, the book contains a number of his writing about animals. From the review:
Twain writes about cruelty to animals in a range of contexts, criticizing, for example, the insensitivity involved in the exploitation of animals for sport or entertainment. Twain may have been the first American to call attention to the brutality of the so-called sport of cockfighting, which he describes in graphic detail.

Several pieces express Twain’s contempt for the idea of hunting for sport, including a memorable passage from a sequel to Huckleberry Finn in which Huck shoots a bird and feels immediate remorse and shame (“Huck Shoots a Bird”). Another text in the book--from an unpublished piece of autobiographical writing -- makes it clear that Twain based this account on an experience he had himself as a child (“Assassin”).

Twain wrote a searing account of an English earl’s behavior on a buffalo hunt (in “Man’s Place in the Animal World”) and wrote an impassioned anti-bullfighting novella (A Horse’s Tale).
Interesting. The book also contains writings by Twain against vivisection.

You can buy it here.

Factory Farming and Latin American Devastation

Here is an interesting 10 minute documentary about the effect of growing cheap animal feed in Latin America for European factory farms and how it effects the environment and people.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Man Kills Goldfish in Domestic Violence Attack, Gets Probation

Wow. I'm posting the whole article because it's so short. Another example of how animals (even goldfish!) become victims of domestic violence.

I know some people may think it's just a goldfish and this punishment is too much, but he wasn't just stabbing the goldfish, he was symbolically stabbing his girlfriend. A lot of times the perpetrator is simply taking out his anger against the victim by attacking something she cares about. Who knows what the next step could be?

I hope she has some kind of protection against him.

From Pets News...
PORTLAND, Ore. — A 27-year-old man who attacked his ex-girlfriend and killed her pet fish has been sentenced to two years probation and a psychological evaluation. Court documents say Donald Earl Fite III wanted to reunite with the woman in July, but she wasn’t willing. Fite shoved her against a wall and tossed her against a bathtub. The woman fled, then returned to find her fish on the floor with a knife through it.

Court documents said Fite told an officer, “If she can’t have me, then she can’t have the fish.”

The Oregonian newspaper reported Fite declined comment Tuesday. His attorney, Tom Macnair, said stabbing the fish was “a very low point” in his client’s life.

Fite pleaded guilty to animal abuse and domestic-violence assault.

Why No Fuss About Michael Vick?

Michael Silver, some Yahoo Sports guy, has a column about why Michael Vick's return to the NFL has turned out to be so anticlimactic (I was wondering the same thing myself recently.)

These are his thoughts....
I know plenty of people still detest Vick for what he did, but if there are protesters at his games or outside the Eagles’ training facility, I haven’t heard about them. And in his cameo appearances in the two games since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell lifted his suspension, Vick hasn’t done anything to cause a commotion, either.

It’s now clear that the odds of Vick starting a game for the Eagles are roughly equivalent to those of coach Andy Reid being named Mr. Universe. McNabb has played brilliantly in his two starts, reaffirming his status as The Man. During the two games McNabb missed with a fractured rib, third-year backup Kevin Kolb repositioned himself as Philly’s quarterback of the future, throwing for more than 300 yards in each of his first two career starts, something no NFL passer had ever accomplished....

It’s starting to look like the Eagles’ signing of Vick was essentially a courtesy to a fallen star, a chance to let him transition back into the league and break a slight sweat on Sundays without figuring in anything important.

The Eagles are probably good enough to afford that luxury. I’m not so sure how good Vick is anymore, or whether he’ll ever get another chance to be an NFL starter. Those are questions that, barring a dramatic change of events, will be answered in another city in another season.

I don't understand why there hasn't been more outrage or rowdiness. Certainly, he's on his best behavior and the Humane Society is using him to battle dog-fighting rings. But where's PETA? I don't get it.

If the Eagles offered a courtesy to this guy by signing him, I'd say that the $1 million contract he received would be charity best spent elsewhere.

Nike Reaches Non Agreement with Michael Vick

Nike does not have a contract with Vick!
"Nike does not have a contractual relationship with Michael Vick," Nike said in a statement yesterday. "We have agreed to supply product to Michael Vick as we do a number of athletes who are not under contract with Nike."
Right. They just want to give him free stuff. But that doesn't mean, like, they endorse a guy who hung and electrocuted dogs to death. Geez, they just want to give him some free stuff so people will see him wearing the stuff on TV!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quote of the Week

When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

-Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Student Researcher Says "Hooray for Animal Research"

This kid is a biochem major at the University of Southern Mississippi. He's helping to investigate possible drug cures for obesity.

Listen to this...

Freeman says that the most difficult thing he has encountered so far in his research comes not from the lab, but from people’s attitudes about animal testing. He said this research, along with other research that could vastly improve human quality of life, could absolutely not be done without animal testing, and wishes more people understood that “animal research is not cruel or inhumane, it benefits us all.”

Interesting that animal research is not cruel or inhumane because it benefits US. Does it benefit the animals? Why do humans always have to get everything we want and we have to do it at the pain and expense of animals?

And by the way, I can tell you the cure for obesity. Diet (eat less!), exercise (walk more!) and counseling to ease off the psychological dependence on food. Drugs are not the cure for everything, although they are very profitable for whoever licenses them.

Another young person indoctrinated by the animal researchers.

Burning Bunnies in Sweden

In Sweden, the way they deal with rabbit problems is to shoot them and burn them for fuel.
The targeted rabbits are the unwanted inhabitants of capital Stockholm's parks, which are culled to protect the shrubs and trees which they gorge on.

Many of them are domestic pets released by uncaring owners which then go on to breed.

Six thousand were killed last year, frozen and their cadavers sent to a special heating plant in Karlskoga, central Sweden.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Animal Researchers Promote Sob Stories

I don't support animal research and I have no sympathy for animal researchers. I don't believe they are working for human welfare. I don't believe they want an honest dialogue about what they are doing to animals. I do believe they want prestige, tenure, royalties and patent rights. I believe they want to be gods in the laboratory. I don't believe they are "brave" for "standing up" to animal rights activists. I think they are clever cowards who use extremists to hide their work and to obfuscate the truth about what they do to animals and whether it is truly necessary.

I would never advocate violence against a researcher. It's not effective and it earns them undeserved sympathy. Plus it's hypocritical to take one life to save another. But as far as they are concerned, I am still an animal rights terrorist for the mere fact that I disagree with them.

I almost quit a book club a year ago because one of the members is a proponent of medical research. She is a data tech for a clinical testing company (for profit by the way.) I posted on this blog about quitting because of the New Iberia scandal in Louisiana in which the Humane Society found primates being abused. I got no support from my book club "friends" on this matter and I was going to leave in a huff.

Then I realized that if I left, then no one would ever challenge anything she said. The other women wouldn't. They're too busy eating their pot roasts, reading chick lit, and chasing after babies. I had to stay in that group because she must be challenged. All of this BS by medical researchers must be challenged. Otherwise, they portray themselves as the real victims and the rest of us as violent terrorists.

The title of this article
is "Researchers to animal-rights activists: We are not afraid."

I'm sorry, but I am not moved.

Activist Indicted on Contempt Charges

I'm late on this one. The article is from October 5.

Fox 13 Now reported...

A federal grand jury has indicted an animal rights activist who refused to testify about the release of thousands of mink from Utah ranches. Jordan Halliday, 22, served several months in jail for contempt of court after he said he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination. When he was released in June, he was handed a federal grand jury indictment for contempt.

European Military Exercises May Threaten Dolphins

According to the BBC....
The moving of Europe's biggest military exercise to the outer Moray Firth poses a threat to bottlenose dolphins, conservations have claimed.

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) said noise from warships' sonar could harm the animals.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

10000 Mink Released in Denmark

Animal activists released 10 thousand mink from two fur farms in Denmark.
Media in Denmark have reported that more than 10,000 mink were released from cages at Danish fur farms this week. During the night of October 6, 6000 mink escaped from a farm near Søndervig after cages were opened and fences surrounding the property were destroyed. Then, early on October 9, 5000 mink were freed from cages at a farm in Fousing.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Bo Obama!

Today was his birthday, dada dadada!!

Enjoy!

Why is Reuters Putting News Releases From the United Egg Producers on Their Site as "News"?

The United Egg Producers issues a press release claiming that egg prices will rise 25% if animal welfare advocates get their way. All according to a study by some agribusiness related consulting firm. Reuters dutifully puts it on their website, which then gets picked up on my Google news page. Nice.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What if the Public Truly Probed Animal Research Funding?

This is a great short column by Martha Rosenberg. It's in response to the arrest of Yale animal technician Raymond Clark for the murder of Annie Le, but makes some important points about animal research.
There's a reason for the security that keeps Beagle burn videos from surfacing like egg farm videos. Animal research is too lucrative for the university/government/pharma complex to risk macaques on YouTube and the public judging the asinine and repetitive experiments many researchers know they live on.

Do you think Northwestern University--or the National Institutes of Health (NIH)--want to acknowledge that every year from l978 through l985 Associate Professor Dr. Charles Larson fused monkeys' necks to their skulls and deprived them food five days per week to make them cry out in a specific manner according to Concerned Citizens for Ethical Research? At a tax payer cost of $472,370? To "gain insights into some of the neurological disorders affecting vocalization?" Even as his colleagues scoffed?

...No, for animal researchers the bigger fear from Le's murder than technicians like Clark is the public seeing the heaps of unsupervised government pork behind their Plexiglas curtain. No wonder the research community wraps a "saves lives" cloak around its work whether falsified journal articles or Larson's "speech" studies.

It keeps the public from saying YOU'RE FUNDING WHAT? For how many years? With what results? about its tax dollars.

Sucks to be a Walrus Nowadays

Global warming is screwing walruses over...and it could get worse as their ice disappears.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quote of the Week

"When a man has pity on all living creatures then only is he noble."

--Buddha Siddhartha Gautama

Vick to Get Own Reality Show on BET

Looks like BET will have a new reality show based around Michael Vick. Wonder if he'll talk about the dogs he helped hang and electrocute to death. He'll get paid to tell everyone what a wonderful person he is. Sorry, but I think someone who kills dogs like he did can't just change. That kind of lack of compassion and cruelty is just too cold blooded.

Shame on BET.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stupid TLC Show Called "My Monkey Baby"

Thanks to Chimpanzee Information for pointing this travesty out.

It's a TLC show about humans that adopt monkeys and treat them as their children. This is seriously weird stuff.
Monkey business is big business in the United States, where some people pay up to $5,000 to adopt a monkey of their own, often a capuchin monkey, which can grow up to 22 inches and 9 pounds. There are hundreds of videos on the Internet of proud parents enjoying their monkeys, and an estimated 15,000 monkeys live with humans as pets or surrogate children in the United States.

And in some cases, monkey babies are more than pets: They are sons and daughters. These families dress their monkeys, feed them at the dinner table and treat them like any other member of the family.

I don't care how much these people love their "babies," these are wild animals that should be with their own kind. They are not humans and it's not psychologically healthy for them to be treated that way. Remember Travis? Second of all, this exploitative show only encourages people to make stupid impulse purchases or adoptions. Who suffers? The individual primate and the species that is depleted for this "trade."

Stupid TLC. Where is the "learning" in that name?

Southwest Primate Center "Celebrates" 10 Years

This place is celebrating its 10th year with ground-breaking research into what makes us all fat. How? By destroying the health of baboons with fast food. (Fast food is bad for you? Really?)
After more than 50 years of studying the ways a fatty diet contributes to heart disease in San Antonio baboons, it might seem there wouldn't be much left to learn. Then Anthony Comuzzie started feeding them soda pop.

Comuzzie, a nationally prominent obesity researcher and geneticist at Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, recently induced metabolic syndrome — risk factors associated with the human epidemic of diabetes and heart disease — by making the baboons' high-fat diet tastier and adding a sweet drink flavored with high-fructose corn syrup. The baboons tended to guzzle several liters of the stuff with their meals.

“Without giving away the name so we don't get sued, we modeled the diet after a fast-food value meal,” Comuzzie said Thursday at a 10th birthday celebration for the Southwest National Primate Research Center, which maintains the foundation's massive colony of baboons, monkeys and chimps.

And let's not forget the required sanctimonious quote from an animal researcher
“Our primates are essential partners in medical progress, as are mice, rats, guinea pigs and opossums. Without them we would be stripped of the very tools we need to open new paths of discovery and to challenge old dogma.”

Oh brother.

Cookie and Coco: Anatomy of an Internet Chain Email

We are once again getting a lot of hits over the saga of Cookie and Coco. They are two dogs that once needed to be adopted. They eventually were (in 2007, I believe.) But, the story won't die. You can read about our coverage of it here.

People keep forwarding this chain email around. Since our site comes up number two in Google, they find out the story from this website. Or at least a version of it. Someone told us it involved Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue. Snopes has it originating in California. Either way, the story is OLD.

So, next time you see one of these "forward this to everyone you know" emails, don't. Chances are, it's either a hoax or is so old it effectively is a hoax. Now if you get one from the brother-in-law of the recently deceased Finance Minister of Nigeria, that's probably real...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Benicio del Toro Writes Letter Opposing Monkey Breeding Facility in Puerto Rico

Actor Benicio del Toro has written a letter to the governor of Puerto Rico opposing a new monkey breeding facility.
The Puerto Rican actor has penned a letter to the governor of Puerto Rico urging him to halt the construction plans for Bioculture's massive monkey-breeding facility. As you might remember, Bioculture—a company that supplies primates to laboratories—plans to capture monkeys from their homes in Mauritius, hold them captive in Puerto Rico, and then sell thousands of their babies for use in painful and deadly experiments around the world.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Australia Starts to Crack Down on Sea Shepherd Leader

The Australian government appears to be cracking down on Sea Shepherd at the request of the Japanese. Earlier this year they seized records and videos from the Steve Irwin, and are now holding up Paul Watson's visa requests.
The Federal Immigration Department has cracked down on Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson, demanding to know the anti-whaling group leader's police and court records as it reviews his visa.

Until now, authorities had let Captain Watson, who holds a US passport, come and go from his Australian-based ship on a tourist visa.

The department has told him he must satisfy exhaustive new good-character requirements to get a business visa.
I expected better from the Rudd government. Maybe the Japanese have something on him...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kenyans Seize Huge Amount of Illegal Ivory

Kenya seized almost 700 kilograms of ivory worth millions of dollars in a night-time raid at the country's main airport. Elephants are being screwed by Asian demand for ivory. It's a mess.

From the BBC....

Officials say the sales have fuelled demand for ivory in Asian countries, especially China, contributing to a sharp increase in elephant poaching.

So far this year poachers in Kenya have killed 128 elephants for their ivory; last year 98 were killed.

In July, Kenyan authorities intercepted 16 elephant tusks and two rhinoceros horns being illegally exported to Laos from Mozambique.

Some wildlife experts have attributed the increase in elephant poaching to the presence of Chinese workers in Africa.

With demand for ivory products increasing back home, some Chinese workers on low salaries in Kenya are reported to have become middlemen in the ivory trade.

Sad About World Farm Animals Day

World Farm Animals Day was today. Perhaps it's because of gloomy October or maybe it's because I'm getting over the flu, but I felt very sad. There was a picture on the bus commemorating the event with a picture of a cow looking, dare I say it, noble and long-suffering.

But I just kept wondering if anyone besides me on that bus cared? How depressing.....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

US Considers Removing Humpback Whales from the Endangered Species List

I don't feel too comfortable about this. Seems a little premature, even though the population has been recovering well.

Dolphins Threatened by Australian Oil Spill

The World Wildlife Fund has reported that dolphins and other marine life have been swimming around in an oil spill off the coast of Australia. There have not been many deaths yet, but the toxicity could lead to long-term health effects for the animals.