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France’s hunger for frogs’ legs is “destructive to nature” and endangering amphibians in Asia and south-east Europe, a group of scientists and vets have warned.
More than 500 experts from research, veterinary and conservation groups have called on Emmanuel Macron, the French president, to “end the over-exploitation of frogs” and afford the most traded species better protections.
The EU imports the equivalent of 80-200 million frogs each year, the majority of which are consumed in France.
Most come from wild populations in Indonesia, Turkey and Albania, as well as from farms in Vietnam.
( Ajit Niranjan, 09.03.2024 )  ..

The way meat and dairy is produced is responsible for all sorts of damage, and taxpayers end up footing the bill.
Though it’s true that technically most of the farms in the United States, including many of the largest, are considered family farms, that label mostly comes down to legal jargon, says Eric Belasco, PhD, an economist at Montana State University.
More than “95% of farms are technically family owned,” he says, but that definition essentially just means “people from the same family are running what are essentially corporations.”
These corporations are responsible for a lot of damage — climate emissions, labour abuses, air and water pollution and animal suffering — yet the corporations aren’t paying for it, taxpayers are.
( Grace Hussain, 07.02.2024 )  ..

Shutting This Vile Man And His Company Down Is A Massive Victory For Animals.
A British firm selling holidays to slaughter endangered rhinos and other breeds has closed down after its owner was exposed in an investigation of prolific hunters.
London-based Wattoo Safaris was recently offering a special discount deal on hand-reared lions that British trophy hunters could shoot in an enclosed field at a cost of £7,500, a “saving” of almost £1,000.
The website of Wattoo Safaris boasts: “We Will Make Your Dream Come True”.
The firm, set up by Brit Asif Wattoo, also offered help to bring the animal parts back to the UK, saying: “Your hunt is never complete, until you receive your animals at home for you to reminisce and re-call your experiences for the rest of your life.”
The firm was exposed by the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting as part of a book on prolific hunters.
But Companies House records show it has now been dissolved.
Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting said: “Shutting this vile man and his company down is a massive victory for animals. It is one step further towards banning this evil trade. But we cannot stop there. That is why it is vital that the Government supports John Spellar MP’s bill.”
( Supertrooper, 24.03.2024 )  ..

Dozens of koalas have been killed or injured and left for dead during logging of blue gum plantations in South Australia, according to former employees of the harvesting company and a conservation organisation that tried to save the marsupials.
Ex-employees of the company managing the plantation estate, Australian Agribusiness Group, said they tried to save at least 40 injured koalas and saw about 20 that had been killed as plantations on Kangaroo Island were cleared for agricultural use.
They described injuries including broken skulls, jaws, arms and hips.
Guardian Australia has seen photos of seriously injured and dead koalas taken at the site.
Injured koalas were taken to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Network, a volunteer organisation that rescues and rehabilitates injured and sick animals.
The network’s president, Katie Welz, said 21 had to be euthanised due to the severity of their injuries.
“We have koalas being injured, orphaned, displaced and killed by logging practices on a weekly basis and we are frustrated and astounded at the lack of guidance from government on this issue,” Welz said.
( Daniel Clarke and Adam Morton, 04.03.2024 )  ..

Hens On “Free-Range” Egg Farms Found Living In Appalling Conditions.
Free-range egg farms that supply supermarket chains have been stripped of their RSPCA Assured status after an undercover investigation found hens living in ‘appalling’ conditions.
The covert investigation, conducted by Animal Justice Project (AJP), flew drones over the farms discovering that the ‘free-range’ hens were not let out on any of the multiple days that they filmed.
Instead, secretly filmed footage revealed that the tens of thousands of birds were living in dark and cramped sheds and were surrounded by the bodies and skeletons of dead hens.
They also found injured and sick hens that were unable to reach food or water on the upper tiers and so were left waiting to die.
The five farms that were investigated were Harper Farm in Leeds, owned by BFREPA director Jack Stephenson, BFREPA director Pauline Jones’ family farm in Powys, Wales, and BFREPA director Lucy Hinch’s three family farms in Leicestershire.
The farms provide eggs to brands on sale at major supermarkets across the UK, including Sainsbury’s.
One worker in the farm’s award-winning cafe was covertly filmed stating Harper Farm supplies eggs to James Potter Eggs, which are sold at Tesco, Co-Op, Sainsbury’s and ASDA.
( Freya Barnes, 24.03.2024 )  ..

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza In U.S. Dairy Herds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a dairy herd in Idaho.
APHIS shared on Friday, March 29, 2024 that its National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, was working to confirm presumptive positive test results from an Idaho herd; this announcement is a follow up to that information.
This marks the first known case of HPAI in cattle in Idaho.
To date, USDA has confirmed the detection of HPAI in dairy herds in Texas (7) Kansas (2), Michigan (1), and New Mexico (1).
( Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 02.04.2024 )  ..

The Harsh Brutality Of Mother Nature Inflicted On Elephants.
Heart-rending images have laid bare the devastation wrought on Zimbabwe’s elephant population amid a brutal drought in 2023, with experts fearing more deaths could follow.
Around 160 of the gentle giants perished in a matter of weeks in the country’s Hwange national park, which did not experience a single drop of rain between February and November 2023.
By August 2023 the park’s animals were hard-pressed to find sustenance, with the lack of water also having a significant impact on the abundance of food sources and nutrition.
Some images showed elephants collapsed in a heap on the bone-dry turf, their corpses painted with the faeces of opportunistic vultures digging into the rugged skin.
Other yet more evocative pictures showed elephant carcasses lying in a pool of water after the rains arrived at the end of November, with one park spokesperson claiming many of the beasts died just a few hundred feet from a water source.
Once the rains came, yet more elephant calves died after they became stuck in the mud, unable to free themselves in their weak, starved state.
The shocking photographs highlight the harsh but unbiased brutality of Mother Nature, exposing the cruelty of drought conditions in which only the strongest survive.
( Supertrooper, 17.03.2024 )  ..

Smugglers Use Thailand To Transit Wild Animals.
Customs officials in Thailand arrested six Indian nationals for attempting to smuggle dozens of wild animals, including a red panda and cotton-top tamarin monkey, out of the country.
Officers found 87 animals, including monitor lizards, birds and snakes, packaged inside the suspects’ checked luggage at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.
They were trying to fly to Mumbai.
Thailand is one of the world’s major hubs for illegal wildlife smuggling, a multi-billion-dollar transnational trade due to its rich biodiversity, location and infrastructure.
Smugglers use Thailand to transit animals to be sold in China and Vietnam, and recent years have seen an increase in trafficking to India.
( Rebecca Ratcliffe, 07.03.2024 )  ..

Bird flu may have killed thousands of penguins in Antarctica, researchers have said.
A scientific expedition last month found at least 532 dead Adelie penguins in Antarctica, with thousands more thought to have died.
Researchers suspect the deadly H5N1 bird flu virus killed the penguins, however field tests were inconclusive, the university said.
Samples are being shipped off to labs that the researchers hope will provide answers in coming months.
Scientists are concerned specifically that the often fatal H5N1 influenza could decimate threatened species of penguins and other animals on the remote southern continent.
The disease has spread more aggressively in wildlife than ever before since arriving in South America in 2022 and rapidly made its way to Antarctica, where the first case of H5N1 was confirmed in February 2024.
The dead Adelie penguins were found frozen solid in the sub-zero temperatures and covered in snow on Heroina Island.
( Supertrooper, 10.04.2024 )  ..

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