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Birds Suffer From Plastic Pollution.
Scientists have found a new disease in wild birds caused solely by plastic pollution.
A team of scientists from Australia and the UK decided to name the new disease plasticosis, after seeing widespread scarring in flesh-footed shearwater birds on Australia’s Lord Howe Island.
The disease is caused by small pieces of plastic inflaming the digestive tract.
It is thought that seabirds eat the plastic when fishing and then accidentally feed it directly to their chicks.
Over time, the persistent inflammation scars and deforms the tissue and the birds struggle to digest food and grow properly, affecting their ability to survive.
Affected birds become more vulnerable to infection and parasites and struggle to properly digest food and absorb vitamins.
While plasticosis has only been identified in one bird species, the researchers said that because of the scale of plastic pollution, it may be much more widespread.
( PA News Agency, 03.03.2023 )  ..

Foxes Die From Avian Flu In France.
France has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu among red foxes north-east of Paris.
After three foxes were found dead in a nature reserve in Meaux near where gulls had died, one of the foxes was collected and tested.
Avian influenza, commonly called bird flu, has been spreading around the world in the past year, killing more than 200 million birds, raising concern among governments about human transmission.
The virus infected a cat in France in late December 2022.
It has also been detected in minks in Spain, foxes and otters in Britain, sea lions in Peru and grizzly bears in the United States.
( Sybille de La Hamaide, 07.03.2023 )  ..

Millions Of Farmed Fish Are Killed Prematurely.
Activists are calling for compulsory CCTV on fish farms after new footage shows creatures wounded and losing blood.
Upmarket restaurants, hotels, delicatessens and retailers in the UK and U.S. buy fish from companies that rear them in pens near the UK coast.
Campaigners from the Animal Equality organisation captured rare drone footage of farmed salmon and trout being sucked onto boats and slaughtered, saying it raises questions over practices at British fish farms, where they have little legal protection.
The organisation claimed some fish suffocated to death, while others were left bleeding or semi-conscious after “mis-stunning”.
The UK’s fish farming industry, which activists describe as “secretive”, rears up to 52 million salmon and up to 25 million rainbow trout each year.
Animal Equality has previously said millions of farmed fish are killed prematurely by violent handling or transportation, rough lice treatments, chemical mistakes, algal blooms and infectious diseases.
( Jane Dalton, 25.02.2023 )  ..

People Weigh Around Six Times More Than Wild Land Mammals.
Using observational data and complex statistical analysis, a team of scientists has calculated how many mammals there are in the world and, more importantly, mammals’ total mass.
The team found that wild land mammals weigh about 22 million metric tons altogether.
Collectively, wild sea mammals weigh twice as much as wild land mammals.
The lion’s share of this category is made up of baleen whales such as the fin whale, which has a biomass of eight million metric tons, around 60% of the aquatic mammals.
The sperm whale, a type of toothed whale, also makes a significant contribution of seven million metric tons.
Bats have the highest estimated head count at almost 56 billion animals.
Rodents, an estimated total of 25 billion.
At 0.5 million metric tons for bats and 1.1 million metric tons for rodents, however, the biomass of these mammals contributes practically nothing to the total mass count.
The research team also compared its estimates with the total number and mass of all mammals on Earth.
Of this total mass, wild mammals make up just 6%.
People, livestock and pets dominate the overall picture in every respect.
Homo sapiens contributes a total weight of 390 million metric tons, which is less than the weight of domesticated cattle at 420 million metric tons.
Dogs rank fifth at 21 million metric tons but still constitute about as much mass as all wild land mammals combined.
( Jan Dönges, 08.03.2023 )  ..

Thousands Of Sea Lions Have Died From Avian Flu.
Thousands of sea lions have died in Peru amid an outbreak of bird flu, according to Peru’s National Service of Protected Areas by the State (SERNANP).
Avian flu, also known as H5N1, has spread across multiple species in the country.
An initial outbreak among birds was first reported in late November 2022 along the Peruvian coast.
SERNANP has now reported at least 63,000 dead birds due to the virus, as well as a rising number of deaths in other species.
At least 3,487 sea lions have been found dead due to the virus, according to the agency – over 3% of Peru’s sea lion population.
It has also recorded five fur seal deaths linked to the bird flu.
Peruvian authorities are urging citizens to avoid physical contact with wildlife, dead or alive.
Avian flu has also infected a record number of birds and some mammals across the United States.
Since late 2022, scientists have detected this virus in more than 100 species of wild birds like ducks, seagulls, geese, hawks and owls in the U.S., where cases have also been identified among bears, foxes, bobcats, racoons, bears, and dolphins.
There have also been a handful of human cases.
( Philip Wang and Abel Alvarado, 06.03.2023 )  ..

Beagles Bred For Lab Testing Crammed In Small Cages Covered In Excrement.
Beagles bred for laboratory testing are cooped up at a UK puppy mill in small cages covered with excrement, video footage appears to show.
They pace up and down, showing what campaigners allege is the kind of “repetitive stereotyped” behaviour of animals enclosed in too small a space.
As many as six dogs can be seen in some cages, with little bedding and just a few toys attached to the side of the enclosure.
MBR Acres in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, breeds between 1,600 and 2,000 dogs a year.
The puppies spend all their time in enclosures until they are sold to labs around the country from 16 weeks old.
The video footage, obtained by Dylan’s Films for Animals, appears to show conditions inside the mill owned by Marshall BioResources, a U.S. company with a UK head office in Hornsea, East Yorkshire.
( Nada Farhoud, 15.03.2023 )  ..

The Epitome Of Squalor At UK Pig Farm.
Shocking footage has emerged of pigs at a local farm lying in cramped squalor with some even left for hours to die.
Animal welfare campaigners say the scenes caught by a hidden camera at Bickmarsh Hall pig farm, just south of Bidford-on-Avon, reveal the “grim reality” of UK farming.
Animal Justice Project filmed for three months at the mega-farm where 8,000 pigs are housed in 46 sheds.
The site is Red Tractor-assured, meaning it belongs to a world-leading food chain assurance scheme that ‘underpins the high standards of British food and drink’.
Yet activists say practices at the farm, which rears pigs sold in Asda and Tesco via pork producer Cranswick Country Foods, are some of the worst they have seen.
Footage shows one pig being cannibalised, while a shivering and groaning piglet is trampled on and bitten by others.
Staff took up to 13 hours to remove them.
Farrowing crates, which are legal and confine pregnant and nursing sows, were seen in use while bins were piled high with corpses.
Pigs were kept in pens with no bedding, just hard slats, and investigators said many were covered in excrement.
They were also documented biting and fighting, with only five feed troughs for more than 25 animals.
And cameras captured some staff kicking and slapping pigs when moving them around.
Former pig industry vet Dr Alice Brough said the footage showed “the epitome of squalor” and said it unfortunately represented “the norm for a large proportion of Britain’s pig farms.”
( Paul Suart and Nada Farhoud, 14.03.2023 )  ..

Children In New Zealand Encouraged To Kill Feral Cats And Other Animals.
The despicable North Canterbury “hunting” competition in New Zealand has prompted uproar over a new category where children age 14 and under compete to kill as many feral cats as possible for a cash prize.
Prospective entrants were warned that killing anyone’s pet cat would see them expelled from the running, and any children who produced dead microchipped cats would have their entire entry disqualified.
In 2022, this cruel, backward, cowardly event attracted more than 250 child entrants, and about 650 adults – the children killed 427 animals – mostly possums, hares, and rabbits.
Children often use air rifles in these sick, twisted events which increase the likelihood of pain, distress, suffering and a prolonged death.
Link:   ( 18.04.2023 )

Hunting Dogs In Spain Excluded From Protection Laws.
Draft legislation by the Spanish Government has fueled criticism by animal rights groups after a last-minute amendment excluded hunting dogs from the law’s protection, meeting hunting lobbies’ demands.
Under the “same dogs, same law” slogan, thousands marched in Madrid and dozens of other Spanish cities in coordinated demonstrations to urge the government to restore hunting dogs to the law, which raises fines for animal abuse to 200,000 euros and introduces a possible two-year jail sentence for the most serious cases.
The abandoning of thousands of greyhounds at the end of every hunting season has earned social attention in the last few years in Spain, where the adoption of these animals as house pets has noticeably risen as people become aware of the harsh conditions many of them endure in the countryside.
Greyhounds are used to hunt animals such as rabbits and pheasants.
The ‘No hunting’ platform’s spokesperson, David Rubio, said that Spain is not only the only country left in Europe that allows hunting with dogs but it also holds the record for most dogs abandoned in the EU.
( The Associated Press, 05.02.2023 ) ..

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