Posts Tagged ‘Animal Welfare’

4 days until voting starts in my home country Ireland.

The number of Irish candidates who have signed the Animal Welfare pledge is now at 5. All four candidates are from the Dublin constituency so my followers from that area are now spoiled for choice 😉

Paul Murphy MEP (Socialist Party):

Paul was the first Irish candidate to sign the Animal Welfare Pledge back in February. He is also strongly against the cruel “sport” of hare coursing and has been a strong voice for animal welfare throughout his time in the European Parliament.

Visit his Facebook and Webpage for more information.

Paul Murphy with the Animal Welfare Pledge

Paul Murphy with the Animal Welfare Pledge

 

Nessa Childers (Independent):

Nessa shortly followed Paul in signing the Animal Welfare pledge. I didn’t deal directly with Nessa but her office was very quick to respond and she signed as promised within days of my request. She is also strongly opposed to Hare Coursing.

Visit her Facebook and Webpage for more information.

Nessa signing the pledge.

Nessa signing the pledge.

 

Mary Fitzpatrick (Alliance of Liberals & Democrats in Europe/Fianna Fail):

Mary Fitzpatrick showed her support for the Animal Welfare pledge earlier this week. If elected this will be her first time in European Parliament and I hope she will stay true to the pledge and give animals a voice 🙂

Visit her Facebook and Webpage for more information.

Eamon Ryan (Green Party)

Eamon is the latest to sign the pledge from Ireland and given he is the current leader of the Irish Green Party , his signing came as no surprise. Eamon is strongly opposed to Fox Hunting and Hare coursing in Ireland and in 2012 he attended an anti-coursing protest outside Dublin Castle.

Visit his Facebook and Webpage for more information.

 Damon Matthew Wise (Fís Nua)

Damon is no stranger to the Animal Welfare scene having volunteered for Second chance Animal Rescue and was a member of Brighton Animal Rights campaign in England when at college. As soon as I had informed him of the pledge he replied promptly, with interest and has now signed and showed his support.

 

You can find more information about the pledge on the Vote for Animals webpage. Eurogroup have released a new feature which now makes it very easy to check out the Animal Welfare Friendly candidates in your country. Simply click on on the drop down box, choose your country and a list of candidates from that country who support Animal Welfare will appear. Check it frequently to stay up to date 🙂

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Give animals a voice 🙂

PS: Don’t forget to “like” my facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pawsforamo

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It has been over 2 weeks since I started my individual campaign to get as many Irish candidates on board the “Animal Welfare pledge” laid out by the Eurogroup for animals. The response (or lack thereof) is worrying …

Still struggling on making a decision? Love animals? Want to see a Europe wide change in attitudes to Animal Welfare? Well then keep an eye on this:

http://www.voteforanimals.eu/site/

So far only 2 Irish candidates have signed: Paul Murphy and Nessa Childers. Existing MEPS who are looking to get re-elected have no excuses. The Eurogroup campaign has been ongoing for several weeks now and there has been ample opportunity to sign the pledge and it has been well advertised.

I am only beginning to directly contact candidates outside my own constituency as I wanted to put the focus on my area first so I could make an informed voting decision. I have been disappointed so far. Here is a table outlining who I have contacted in the Midlands-North-West:

The Candidate: Date of first contact: Their response so far (up to 2nd May): Signed:
Jim Higgins 22/04 “Thank you for contacting the office . . . . . . . We will pass on your message”. No
Mairead McGuinness 17/04 No reply. No
Lorraine Higgins 22/04 No reply. No
Pat The Cope Gallagher 14/04 “Will pass on the message” No
Thomas Byrne 22/04 No reply. No
Mark Dearey 22/04 Apologised for the oversight, is opposed to Bloodsports, will take a look ASAP. No
Matt Carthy 30/04 No reply. No
Marian Harkin 17/04 No reply. No
Rónán Mullen 29/04 No reply. No
Mark Fitzsimmons 02/05 No reply. No
Luke “Ming” Flanaghan 22/04 & 27/04 No reply. No

 

In addition to the pledge, on a local level I have been keeping an eye on the the Ban Bloodsports. facebook page. They post candidate views on Bloodsports as they receive them and a list of politicians and information with regards to Animal Welfare and Bloodsports can be found here: Views

I will update the table in this post as and when I get responses, or when someone signs !

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Did you know that there are less than 1000 Bactrian Camels left in the wild? The number is currently estimated to be around 500-600. This is a startling number, considering how popular these two-humped ungulates are in zoos and circuses across the world, not to mention thousands of Bactrian camel herds which have been bred domestically over the years living in large herds (app 2million).

The wild Bactrian Camel is currently found only in Northwest China and in Southwest Mongolia (Gobi Desert).In order to survive the harsh conditions of their main habitat the Bactrian Camel features a double set of eyelashes, a hair lined inner ear and thin nostrils to protect against dust and sandstorms. After the harsh winters they can quickly shed their thick shaggy coats to adjust effectively to the changing seasons.

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Batrian Camel shedding lumps of fur for the warmer weather.

Food and water are not always readily available and the Camel has a great coping mechanism for this as well , being able to last sometimes for months on end without water. They do this by converting the fat stored in their two large humps into water when resources are scarce. It also helps that they can feed on dry and sometimes thorny plants that most herbivores avoid as well as drink salt water when fresh food and water are hard to find.

The Bactrian Camels demise is entirely down to human interference. The main reasons for their endangerment being: Habitat loss due to industrial development, and increasing human population forcing the mixing of wild populations and domestic herds. While they are masters of survival in their harsh habitats the battle against humans and extinction is proving one battle they may not win unless conservation efforts see a huge turn around in the future.

For more information on the conservation of the wonderful Bactrian Camel check out :

http://www.wildcamels.com/

http://www.edgeofexistence.org/mammals/species_info.php?id=8

Don’t forget to like the Pawsforamoment Facebook Page for quick and up to date Animal related news 🙂

…. Just not for the Turkey.

Did you know that every year in America up to 40 million Turkeys are slaughtered for the celebrations? Never mind the huge influx in poultry deaths, but what about all the cruelty surrounds the mass production of Turkeys. The same cruelty, unfortunately is common in any type of mass animal breeding production however given the time of year, my focus is currently on Turkeys. Right from the day they are born Turkeys bred for meat in battery farms are exposed to a world of stress and pain, for what short, rushed lives they have. Some of the following content will be a little disturbing to some, especially the video, so viewer discretion is advised.

Turkeys as you might imagine them

In order to prevent aggressive behaviour between the groups of Turkeys in intensive farming utilities, the tops of their beaks and toes are often cut off (without anesthetic) in order to prevent major injuries. This practice can cause infection in the beaks and discomfort thus leading to the Turkeys refusing to eat. They can also refuse food due to the stress of close living and general factory life. In this case the Turkeys are often force fed using a pipe, in a similar fashion to the Fois gras Geese highlighted in a previous article. This all seems pretty “Dark Ages” but unfortunately it is very 2012.

The Turkey you see on wildlife documentaries or on Thanksgiving posters are nowhere near the Turkey on your plate, due to genetic engineering. Turkeys have been bred out to grow twice as fast, twice as fat and have huge breasts in order to satisfy customer needs and demands. This abnormal growth can be very harmful and lead to a number of health issues including heart trouble, lung collapse and deformed legs due to the carrying of extra weight.

Factory farmed Turkeys [Image 1: Vegans peace home]

Butterball is a name which is pretty familiar to Americans around this time of year. They are one of America’s largest producers of Turkeys, and repeatedly being uncovered as one of the cruelest producers of turkey. Animal welfare organisations time and time again have exposed cases of abuse towards the animals kept on intense Turkey farms and a video was this year released by Mercy for Animals outlining some of the disgusting practices happening on Butterball farms today. The video shows keepers, kicking and injuring the already stressed out animals and one farmer even admits that the wounds these Turkeys carry are often infested with maggots. Imagine, a live animal being feasted on by maggots?

I would rather not, but it is happening every day , and I cannot highlight enough how important it is for you to be careful in choosing where you get your meat from, or better still, try a veggie option.

Image rights : Image One was taken from http://www.veganpeace.com/animal_cruelty/turkey.htm , no copyright infringements intended.

Don’t forget to like the Pawsforamoment Facebook Page for quick and up to date Animal related news 🙂

 

As many as 20,000 Leatherback turtle hatchlings and eggs have been destroyed in a disastrous industrial accident on the banks of the Grand Riviere in Trinidad. Government construction employees were attempting to divert the flow of the Grand Riviere River which has been threatening the foundations of the local Mt. Plasir estate hotel. The hotel has been a traditional meeting place for tourists coming to observe the nesting rituals of the leatherbacks on the sandy banks nearby for decades.

Leatherback Turtles are the largest turtles in the world, known to grow to a massive seven feet long and to weigh as much as nine hundred kilograms. Their evolutionary ancestry is traceable back over 90 million years. Unlike their sea turtle cousins, they have developed a soft, malleable shell, which is described as being rubbery in texture, yet still durable enough to provide protection (hence their name Leatherback).

The Leatherback is currently registered as an endangered species, and with good reason. The global population is declining alarmingly despite the best efforts of various conservation groups and animal welfare minded governments. One of the most prevalent threats to this majestic creature is the pollution of water bodies, namely the discarding of various plastic products. The turtles routinely mistake plastic floating in the water for their primary source of food, jellyfish. Ingesting plastic is generally fatal to the animals and accounts for a huge percentage of avoidable fatalities.

The approach of the work crews to the procedure, in Trinidad, has been widely criticized for the lack of forethought and consideration. It is understood that a far larger portion of the beach was crushed than was necessary by bulldozers and other industrial equipment, uprooting the defenseless eggs and hatchlings in the process. According to eyewitness reports many of the hatchlings were killed by hungry packs of stray dogs and opportunistic vultures that sensed an easy meal.Onlookers who had come to the Grand Riviere to witness the nesting rituals of a rare and beautiful species instead were treated to the aforementioned grisly spectacle.

Ironically Trinidad has been a progressive and civic minded nation when it comes to the conservation of leatherback turtles, banning the killing of the creature way back in 1966. Native conservation groups have also aided in the efforts to maintain the turtle numbers by protecting the numerous nesting grounds and raising awareness of the how vulnerable the leatherback turtle really is.The Trinidad department of works has issued a statement which places culpability on the shoulders of the workers themselves, claiming that after the initial logistic error the crews panicked and made a bad situation worse.

Wherever the blame lies one thing is for certain, the leatherback turtle continues to suffer in the wake of human carelessness.

 

 

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A full week of glitz, glamour and gambling galour  . . . great right? Not so much . . . . This year’s Cheltenham festival was a blood bath with 5 horse deaths in the opening 2 days. This is hardly justifiable considering it is supposed to be a well organised and regulated sporting event.

This is not the first time death has spelled in the horse racing business in the UK, in fact over 804 horse deaths have been recorded due to racing since March of 2007 alone. This is not counting those slaughtered during the breeding procedures of racing horses (something I will go into at a later date).

Coming back to the Cheltenham races a little known fact (for obvious reasons) is that more horses have died on this particular race track then on any other in the UK over the last 5 years. A statistic that should not be over looked the conditions at this race track need to be seriously reviewed.

The issue of horse racing will always be up for debate, and there will always be people either side pushing for and against but at the very least there needs to be a further push towards better racing standards and loop holes need to be tightened with concerns to the breeding of these powerful animals.

The RSPCA have said they will be investigating the deaths and will also be looking to into the punishment procedures of those accused of “over whipping” or “incorrect whipping” during the races. So far 5 people have been penalised for this offence according to the GaurdianUk

Image Rights:

Image 1: http://www.horsedeathwatch.com/

The use of real animal fur in the fashion industry has been under the spotlight by animal organizations all over the world for years now and while progress is being made in the prevention of fur farming, there is still plenty of room for improvement. I for one am completely against the slaughter of animals simply to “look good”.

The year 2000 saw the fur Farming (Prohibition) Act coming into place and all fur farms in England and Wales where given until 1st of January 2003 to close down. This was yet another big step forward in the evolution of laws to protect animal welfare.

In 2003 Northern Ireland and Scotland followed suit and in 2004 Austria become yet another country on the growing list of countries to ban the breeding of animals for fur. It is now 2012 and Ireland has yet to join in with their British neighbours in the banning of fur farming.

Mink and the silver fox are the main animals bread in Ireland for their fur and while you need a license to farm mink since the debates in 2005, no license is needed to farm foxes as of yet. The conditions they are kept in far from meet the animal welfare needs.

In order to cut costs intense farming methods are used, providing the bare minimum of space and often housing mink together. Mink are not a social animal so immediately you see the problem in housing several mink in close proximity to each other.
The following is an image obtained from an irish mink farm which appeared on indymedia.ie
Mink in irish fur farm

The mink are raised for up to 6 months then they are removed and placed into gas chambers to be killed in large groups. They are then skinned and whats left over disposed of by means of rendering. No vet needs to be present during the killing procedure. These skins are then sent abroad where they will be used to make clothing. Foxes are slaughtered by means of electrocution.

Fur is not a necessity and merely a show of vanity. Fake fur provides a very close alternative and is easier to keep so why people still feel the need to promote the suffering of animals by wearing real fur is hard to understand.

Ireland is supporting this cruel trade by allowing the farming of animals for their fur and needs to get with modern times and agree that the law needs a serious looking at.

For further information please check out these useful websites in relation to the fur farming issue:

http://www.banfurfarms.ie/

fourpaws.org.uk

compassionforworldfarming