Category: Animal Advocacy


WHALES AHOY


by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) April 18, 2014

Japan said Friday it would redesign its controversial Antarctic whaling mission in a bid to make it more scientific, after a United Nations court ruled it was a commercial hunt masquerading as research.

The bullish response, which could see harpoon ships back in the Southern Ocean next year, sets Tokyo back on a collision course with environmentalists.

Campaigners had hailed the decision by the International Court of Justice, with hopes that it might herald the end of a practice they view as barbaric.

“We will carry out extensive studies in cooperation with ministries concerned to submit a new research programme by this autumn to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), reflecting the criteria laid out in the verdict,” said Yoshimasa Hayashi, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Japan, a member of the IWC, has hunted whales under a loophole allowing for lethal research. It has always maintained that it was intending to prove the whale population was large enough to sustain commercial hunting.

But it never hid the fact that the by-product of whale meat made its way onto menus.

“The verdict confirmed that the (IWC moratorium) is partly aimed at sustainable use of whale resources.

“Following this, our country will firmly maintain its basic policy of conducting whaling for research, on the basis of international law and scientific foundations, to collect scientific data necessary for the regulation of whale resources, and aim for resumption of commercial whaling.”

Hayashi, who had met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day, confirmed a previous announcement that the 2014-15 hunt in the Southern Ocean would not go ahead.

Last month’s court ruling does not apply to Japan’s two other whaling programmes: a “research” hunt in coastal waters and in the northwestern Pacific, and a much smaller programme that operates along the coast, which is not subject to the international ban.

 

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SBS News

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    (AP)
   
Hundreds of Japanese officials and pro-whaling lobbyists have eaten whale in defiance of a international court ruling that ordered the country to stop its Antarctic whaling program.
By

SBS with AAP
UPDATED 2:05 PM – 16 Apr 2014

The 26th whale meat tasting event in Tokyo was hosted near the nation’s parliament and was attended by lawmakers, officials and pro-whaling lobbyists.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told attendees that the country must protect its whale-eating culture.

“[Japan] has a policy of harvesting and sustainably using the protein source from the ocean, and that is unshakable,” Associated Press quoted Mr Hayashi as saying.

Meanwhile, a lower house MP criticised the arguments against whaling as emotional and not based on reason.

“Japan’s whaling is based on scientific reasons, while counterarguments by anti-whaling groups are emotional, saying they are against the hunts because whales are cute or smart,” the Japan Times reported Shunichi Suzuki of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party as saying.

 

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Japan ‘will continue whaling in Pacific’

Updated: 15:21, Friday April 18, 2014

Japan 'will continue whaling in Pacific'

Japan has decided to continue its whaling program in the Pacific Ocean, reports say, despite losing a United Nations court case on its other “research” hunt in the Antarctic.

If confirmed, the move will likely spark anger among environmentalists who hailed a ruling in March by the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Tokyo’s hunt in the Southern Ocean was a commercial activity disguised as science.

Japan has exploited a loophole in a 1986 moratorium that allowed it to conduct lethal research on the mammals, but has openly admitted their meat makes its way onto dinner tables.

Campaigners urged Tokyo to follow the spirit of the ruling, and not just its letter, which specifically referred to Japan’s hunt in the Antarctic, not its other research scheme in the northwest Pacific or its smaller coastal program.

But after the ICJ verdict, a government review has said the Pacific hunt should press ahead, public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News Agency reported on Friday.

The review suggests the Pacific mission should reduce its catch and focus more on carrying out research that does not involve catching whales.

A spokesman for the fisheries agency said he was unable to comment.

 

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A photo of a fishmonger peeling the spine from a tuna.

A worker peels the spine from a tuna at New York’s Fulton Fish Market—the world’s largest after the Tsukiji Market in Tokyo, Japan—on March 29, 2013.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN MINCHILLO, AP

Brian Clark Howard

Published April 9, 2014

Do you know if the fish on your plate is legal? A new study estimates that 20 to 32 percent of wild-caught seafood imported into the U.S. comes from illegal or “pirate” fishing. That’s a problem, scientists say, because it erodes the ability of governments to limit overfishing and the ability of consumers to know where their food comes from.

The estimated illegal catch is valued at $1.3 billion to $2.1 billion annually and represents between 15 and 26 percent of the total value of wild-caught seafood imported into the U.S., report scientists in a new study in the journal Marine Policy.

Study co-author Tony Pitcher says those results surprised his team. “We didn’t think it would be as big as that. To think that one in three fish you eat in the U.S. could be illegal, that’s a bit scary,” says Pitcher, who is a professor at the fisheries center of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

To get those numbers, Pitcher and three other scientists analyzed data on seafood imported into the U.S. in 2011. They combed through government and academic reports, conducted fieldwork, and interviewed stakeholders.

The scientists report that tuna from Thailand had the highest volume of illegal products, 32,000 to 50,000 metric tons, representing 25 to 40 percent of tuna imports from that country. That was followed by pollack from China, salmon from China, and tuna from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Other high volumes were seen with octopus from India, snappers from Indonesia, crabs from Indonesia, and shrimp from Mexico, Indonesia, and Ecuador.

Imports from Canada all had levels of illegal catches below 10 percent. So did imports of clams from Vietnam and toothfish from Chile.

Graphic showing percent of seafood imported into the U.S. that is illegal and unreported.

NG STAFF. SOURCE: P. GANAPATHIRAJU, ET AL., MARINE POLICY

In response to the study, Connie Barclay, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Fisheries, said, “We agree that [pirate] fishing is a global problem, but we do not agree with the statistics that are being highlighted in the report.” Barclay says data are too scarce to make the conclusions verifiable.

But, she adds, “NOAA is working to stop [pirate] fishing and the import of these products into the U.S. market.” She points to recent increased collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and improved electronic tracking of trade data.

Pirate Fishing

The U.S. is important to consider when it comes to fishing because it is tied with Japan as the largest single importer of seafood, with each nation responsible for about 13 to 14 percent of the global total, says Pitcher. Americans spent $85.9 billion on seafood in 2011, with about $57.7 billion of that spent at restaurants, $27.6 billion at retail, and $625 million on industrial fish products.

However, what few Americans realize, says Pitcher, is that roughly 90 percent of all seafood consumed in the United States is imported, and about half of that is wild caught, according to NOAA.

Pirate fishing is fishing that is unreported to authorities or done in ways that circumvent fishery quotas and laws. In their paper, the authors write that pirate fishing “distorts competition, harms honest fishermen, weakens coastal communities, promotes tax evasion, and is frequently associated with transnational crime such as narcotraffic and slavery at sea.” (See: “West Africans Fight Pirate Fishing With Cell Phones.”)

Scientists estimate that between 13 and 31 percent of all seafood catches around the world are illegal, worth $10 billion to $23.5 billion per year. That illegal activity puts additional stress on the world’s fish stocks, 85 percent of which are already fished to their biological limit or beyond, says Tony Long, the U.K.-based director of the Pew Charitable Trust’s Ending Illegal Fishing Project.

“The ocean is vast, so it is very difficult for countries to control what goes on out there,” says Long. He explains that pirate fishers are often crafty, going to remote areas where enforcement is lax. They may leave a port with a certain name on the boat and the flag of a particular country, engage in illegal fishing, then switch the name and flag and unload their catch at a different port.

 

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The oceans are vast and humans are small — as the monthlong hunt for a vanished Malaysian jetliner demonstrates. Think of the challenge, then, for law enforcement and fisheries managers in going after fleets of shady boats that engage in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. These criminals ply the seas and sell their catches with impunity, making off with an estimated 11 million to 26 million metric tons of stolen fish each year, a worldwide haul worth about $10 billion to $23.5 billion. Many use banned gear like floating gillnets, miles long, that indiscriminately slaughter countless unwanted fish along with seabirds, marine mammals, turtles and other creatures.

The danger that illegal fishing poses to vulnerable ocean ecosystems is self-evident, but the harm goes beyond that. Illegal competition hurts legitimate commercial fleets. And lawless fishermen are prone to other crimes, like forced labor and drug smuggling. The convergence of illegal fishing with other criminal enterprises makes it in every country’s interest to devise an effective response.

That’s the job of the Port State Measures Agreement. It is a treaty adopted by the United Nations in 2009 that seeks to thwart the poachers in ports when they try to unload their ill-gotten catches. Many countries have been unable or unwilling to enforce their own laws to crack down on poachers flying their flags.

 

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Family finally reunited with beloved Buddy the dog SEVEN YEARS after he went missing during San Diego wildfires that destroyed their home

  • John Hartman and his family lost their home during the devastating fires of 2007 in California
  • He and his wife moved to Oklahoma but recently returned to San Diego to visit their son
  • By chance they received a call from San Diego Animal Services saying that Buddy had been found thanks to his microchip

By Louise Boyle

 

A beloved dog who vanished during the huge firestorm which engulfed San Diego in 2007 has been reunited with his family.

John Hartman and his family not only lost their home during the firestorm but also their black Labrador retriever Buddy. 

Soon after the fires, someone found the two-year-old Lab and took him to a vet’s office but the dog escaped. The Hartmans moved to Oklahoma but never gave up on their beloved Buddy.

John Hartman and his wife were reunited with their dog Buddy after seven years after losing his during the devastating San Diego wildfires in which the couple lost their home

John Hartman and his wife were reunited with their dog Buddy after seven years after losing his during the devastating San Diego wildfires in which the couple lost their home

 

However by an amazing stroke of luck, the Hartmans received a call from the Department of Animal Services during a recent trip to San Diego to see their son. Long-lost Buddy, now ten, had been found.

The dog had been found running loose in the Imperial Beach neighborhood and was dropped off at Gaines Street Animal Shelter on March 28.

 

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Published on Mar 27, 2014

Our Fort Worth shelter rescue baby, born with no front legs is 10 days old today! ♥ This little guy is a fighter – weighing in at 5.7 ounces and continues to thrive! ♥ He was rescued and is being raised by Friends Of Emma of Fort Worth, TX ~ Visit our Facebook page here:
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfEmm…

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All her life, Lola, an extremely friendly black Labrador retriever mix lived in one home; the only home she ever knew. Last Saturday, seven-year-old Lola was surrendered to the high kill San Bernardino County Animal Shelter because the dog’s owner just didn’t feel like fixing the fence where Lola played.

Now Lola cries in her kennel; she is just so lonely and misses her family. Sadly, they are never coming back for her.

Late last week Lola started coughing. Due to the limited funding at the shelter, upper respiratory infections often shorten the adoption alternatives. A volunteer is extremely worried about this sweet dog:

“Lola is getting sick, her sadness and disappointment put her immune system low and now she got sick. I am worried…she is older, fragile, and it will decrease her chances to be adopted. HELP!!!!!”

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Published on Mar 22, 2014

World famous and inspirational Duncan Lou Who the two legged boxer puppy goes to the beach for the first time, along with Mane ( who was featured in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and The Shake Book ) , Rou, Ducky and Miso. Duncan was born with severely deformed rear legs that had to be removed. He has a wheel chair, but can’t stand to use it. So we let him be free and just walk on his two legs. There is some slow motion in this video, but NONE of the video has been sped up, this gives you an idea of how fast Duncan really it. All footage taken with a GoPro Hero 3.

Follow Panda Paws Rescue on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/PandaPawsRes…

Shake Book: http://carlidavidsonphotography.com/S…

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Peek-a-boo: Beautiful moment polar bear and her cub poke their heads out of their den after 8 days

  • Wildlife photographer Christine Haines captured the images after she spent eight days watching the den
  • Patience in the cold was rewarded as cub then mother peeked heads out of the hole in the Wapusk National Park
  • She said cub poked its head out of den for the first time on day seven, while they finally left the den three days later

By James Rush

 

Emerging from its den with its mother, a polar bear cub raises its head above the snow and looks out at the freezing world it calls home.

Wildlife photographer Christine Haines captured the images after she spent eight days watching the den.

Her patience in the biting cold of the Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada, was rewarded when she managed to capture pictures of first a cub, then its mother peeking out of their hole.

Above the snow: A polar bear mother lifts her head above the snow after caring for her cub in their den

Above the snow: A polar bear mother lifts her head above the snow after caring for her cub in their den

Sniffing for danger: The cub's mother also poked her head out of the den before sniffing the air to check for any danger, such as wolves

Sniffing for danger: The cub’s mother also poked her head out of the den before sniffing the air to check for any danger, such as wolves

 

Peek-a-boo! A polar bear cub pokes its head out of its den after a photographer spent eight days waiting at the Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada

Peek-a-boo! A polar bear cub pokes its head out of its den after a photographer spent eight days waiting at the Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada

Read More and view Additional Photos Here

 

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Posted: 04/02/2014 9:55 am EDT Updated: 04/02/2014 5:59 pm EDT
ORGANIC EGGS
ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

When most Americans think about organic meat or eggs, they picture animals on small farms, allowed to root in the soil, feel sun on their backs, and engage in their natural behaviors. What they don’t picture is tens of thousands of hens crammed into massive sheds with no access to soil and extremely limited outdoor access.

Unfortunately, the USDA stamped its seal of approval on the latter scenario by refusing to implement its own advisory board’s animal welfare recommendations, which would have created a level playing field for the hundreds of small organic farms that were the basis for the standards. These recommendations would not have required “good” conditions, but they would have set a reasonable floor by requiring improvements from the five massive “organic” egg farms that provide the worst hen welfare.

The USDA’s decision doesn’t just violate our moral intuitions and the expectations of organic consumers; it also violates the Department’s legal mandate in at least two distinct ways.

First, USDA is statutorily required “to establish national [organic guidelines that] meet a consistent standard.” In 2005 and again in 2010, USDA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that animal welfare standards were applied inconsistently, in violation of the Act’s legal requirement that USDA ensure “that [organic] products meet consistent, uniform standards.”

By requiring improvements from the five mega-farms such that their hen welfare standards would align with that of the hundreds of smaller farms, adopting the advisory board’s recommendations would create this statutorily-mandated consistency. Ignoring those recommendations places USDA in violation of its legal mandate.

 

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At first glance, rescuers thought they were dealing with an aged chihuahua who had lost his teeth because of neglect. Tragically, the pooch has been rushed to the veterinarian on Saturday evening; his rescuers state this dog is less than two-years-old.

Rescuers believed tiny little Nemo has been badly abused and his teeth have been knocked out.

“Only a monster would knock the teeth out of a helpless little chihuahua,” stated Kathleen Godwin of Ithaca, New York. “It’s beyond horrible to think of what this poor little one must have suffered and the pain he must be in now.”

 

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According to San Antonio Pets Alive (SAPA), a senior Chihuahua is in dire need of emergency care at an animal control agency in Texas.

The non-profit organization shared the following information about the 9-year-old dog in need on Saturday:

This sweet ol’ guy just came in to ACS and he needs a hospice foster. He is a medical emergency. He will need to have his eye enucleated and SAPA will provide his medical care for a foster or adopter.

He is a sweet and gentle 9 yr old Chihuahua and he has been through hell and back and is very emaciated and has a painful Upper respiratory infection (like havinga bad cold). He is contagious to other pets for the next 7 to 10 days but he is so tiny and east to keep separated.

Chewy needs a warm space away from the others until he is feeling better. He weighs approx 8 lbs. This sweet little man just needs to be comfortable and loved for the short time he has left. Please email if you can help him.

 

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