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Walrus In The Arctic Dies From Bird Flu.
Researchers have confirmed the first known case of a walrus dying from bird flu in the Arctic.
Found on Hopen Island in the Svalbard archipelago, this walrus succumbed to the virus in 2023, shedding light on new concerns regarding wildlife diseases in marine mammals.
Christian Lydersen, from the Norwegian Polar Institute, reported that the walrus was discovered among six others that died on the islands, located about 620 miles from the North Pole.
Preliminary tests conducted by a German laboratory identified the presence of bird flu in the deceased walrus.
However, the sample size was insufficient to pinpoint the exact strain, be it H5N1 or H5N8.
( Supertrooper, 06.05.2024 )  ..  focusingonwildlife.com

A Gang Of Creeps In The U.S. Kill Deer For Their Heads, Hides And Antlers.
In a disturbing escalation of wildlife crimes, a group of seven individuals has been charged with systematic deer poaching in Nevada County, California, U.S.A.
Over several months in 2023, the group engaged in illegal night hunting using car headlights and spotlights to target deer, predominantly for their antlers, which are highly valued on the black market.
The perpetrators used a variety of weapons including a 7mm rifle, and 12 and 20 gauge shotguns.
After killing the deer, they harvested valuable parts such as heads, hides, antlers, or horns, leaving the rest of the carcass to waste.
( Supertrooper, 19.05.2024 )  ..  focusingonwildlife.com

Another 19,570 badgers were murdered by the UK Government in 2023, bringing the total since 2013 to more than 230,000.
Every year for the past decade, England’s badgers have been targeted between September and the end of October in designated ‘cull zones’.
Contractors, employed to carry out the killings, wait till the sun goes down, head to the borders of fields, and murder the animals.
The men lure the badgers into the fields by laying peanut baits in the day time (badgers love to eat peanuts), and then shoot them dead in the evening.
Meanwhile, a few badgers are trapped and then shot.
Despite much scientific evidence showing that the cull is senseless, the government and beef and dairy farmers still insist that the murder-spree is vital for combating bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cows.
( Eliza Egret, 18.04.2024 )  ..  protectthewild.com

Police In Thailand Raided Wildlife Smuggling Site.
In a pair of busts that will end up costing criminals millions, Thai police raided a suspected wildlife smuggling site and saved hundreds of animals.
48 lemurs, 30 primates of various species, several crocodiles, and over 1,000 rare tortoises were seized when a convoy of four smuggling trucks was raided in Chumphon, Thailand, as well as a farming front connected with the subjects.
Valued at over $2million on the black market, this seizure spells good news for endangered species.
Radiated tortoises and all the lemur species are listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I, meaning that trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
Both species are native to Madagascar and are highly sought-after commodities in the global illegal pet trade market.
( Supertrooper, 08.05.2024 )  ..  focusingonwildlife.com

The Sea Turned Red With The Blood Of Animals.
The most brutal whale hunt campaigners say they have ever documented saw at least 138 pilot whales slaughtered as they were driven into a shallow harbour, in a gruesome ritual which lasted ‘hours’.
The latest grindadrap in the Faroe Islands – a Viking tradition which sees the animals rounded up and hacked to death – was the second of the year and involved a pod of more than 200 of the animals.
The sea turned red with the animals’ blood as they were slashed and stabbed after being held in an inescapable part of the harbour at Hvannasund, a village on the west coast of Viðoy, the northernmost island in the archipelago.
( Supertrooper, 15.06.2024 )  ..  focusingonwildlife.com

The Unnecessary Murder Of Badgers And Dairy Cows Farmed To Exhaustion.
In March 2024, the UK Tory government announced plans to overturn its promise to phase out the badger cull.
Instead, they plan to reduce the badger population even further, continuing to scapegoat this majestic species whilst ignoring the real driver of bovine tuberculosis: dairy farming.
Some people believe that culling badgers is the solution to the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in farmed cattle.
While cows can catch bTB from other animals, including wildlife, they are also more likely to catch the disease if kept in poor conditions or suffering ill health.
This is because respiratory diseases, like bTB, spread more easily when animals are housed in crowded, poorly ventilated sheds or confined closely together in transport vehicles or at market.

Dairy cows are farmed to exhaustion, which takes a huge toll on their bodies and their ability to withstand infectious diseases and illness.
For example, in unfettered conditions, a female cow will produce around 1,000 litres of milk per lactation and carry only 2 litres in her udders at any one time.
But in modern dairies, she’ll be expected to produce between 6,000 – 12,000 litres per lactation and carry around 20 litres in her udders.
Combine this with being housed for 6 months of the year (or longer in ‘zero grazing’ systems) in close proximity to hundreds of similarly unhealthy cows and it’s not surprising that 94% of bTB cases are transmitted from cow to cow – not from badger to cow.
Despite this, badgers continue to be persecuted.

In England in 2023, at least 19,570 badgers were murdered under government-issues licenses and 20,243 cows were slaughtered.
According to the Badger Trust, in some areas of England, the government can’t find any more badgers to kill with ‘minimum kill targets’ being repeatedly missed because badger populations simply aren’t recovering.
Disturbingly, an independent report found badgers taking over 5 minutes to die from bullet wounds, blood loss and organ failure raising serious animal welfare concerns.
In addition, badgers are not tested for TB before being killed (the government has repeatedly rejected calls for testing and vaccinating badgers) meaning thousands of healthy animals are being needlessly murdered every single year.

Animal farming creates conditions that are ideal for the rapid emergence and spread of disease.
Huge numbers of highly stressed animals bred for fast growth and high production, who are housed in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions provide the perfect breeding ground for infections.
And it’s not just bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
Outbreaks of avian flu are more likely in countries, including the UK, who operate large-scale, intensive chicken farming, while cases of swine flu have increased in line with the intensification of pig farming seen over the past 50 years.
As long as the relationship between humans and animals is one based on production and profit rather than respect and compassion, animals will continue to suffer – from the cows exploited as milk machines to the scapegoat mass killing of wildlife.
( Animal Aid, 02.05.2024 )  ..  animalaid.org

Orangutan Treats His Wound With A Pain-Relieving Plant.
Even though there is evidence of certain self-medication behaviours in animals, so far it has never been known that animals treat their wounds with healing plants.
Now, biologists from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour, Germany and Universitas Nasional, Indonesia have observed this in a male Sumatran orangutan who sustained a facial wound.
He ate and repeatedly applied sap from a climbing plant with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties commonly used in traditional medicine.
He also covered the entire wound with the green plant mesh.
Thus, medical wound treatment may have arisen in a common ancestor shared by humans and orangutans.
While sick and avoidance behaviour can be regularly observed in non-human animals, self-medication in the form of ingestion of specific plant parts is widespread in animals but exhibited at low frequencies.
The closest relatives to humans, the great apes, are known to ingest specific plants to treat parasite infection and to rub plant material on their skin to treat sore muscles.
( Supertrooper, 09.05.2024 )  ..  focusingonwildlife.com

Chimpanzees Are Dying Of The Common Cold.
This phenomenon of animals catching diseases from humans, called reverse zoonoses, affects species around the world – from mussels contaminated with hepatitis A virus to tuberculosis transmitted to Asian elephants.
But because of their evolutionary closeness to humans, great apes tend to be most vulnerable.
For some great ape populations that live in protected areas, reverse zoonoses are an even bigger threat than habitat loss or poaching.
In a group at Uganda’s Kibale national park, for example, respiratory pathogens such as human rhinovirus C and HMPV have been the leading chimp killers for more than 35 years, accounting for almost 59% of deaths from a known cause.
For conservationists, the phenomenon presents a thorny problem.
In many places in Africa, people live in close proximity to great apes.
Great ape tourism has also become a central pillar of these endangered species’ conservation, ensuring habitats are preserved and local people are incentivised to support wildlife.
But the same industry that funds protection of many apes could also be helping to drive them towards extinction, as close proximity to humans can expose the animals to deadly pathogens.
( Supertrooper, 10.05.2024 )  ..  focusingonwildlife.com

The Murder Of Badgers Is A Politically-Motivated Decision And Not Based On Scientific Advice.
The UK Conservative Government has issued 17 new badger cull licenses, disregarding the advice of Dr. Peter Brotherton, the scientific advisor from Natural England.
Badgers have been culled to near local extinction due to their alleged role in spreading bTB, a disease that devastates cattle herds.
Scientific evidence suggests that culling is not the most effective method to control the disease.
Dr. Peter Brotherton recommended that culls be halted and suggested vaccination as a viable alternative, which would maintain low badger populations and help prevent disease spread.
Critics, including ecologist Tom Langton and the Badger Trust’s executive director Peter Hambly, condemned the decision.
Langton called for an immediate halt to the cull and a review of bTB control methods, while Hambly accused the government of making a politically motivated decision rather than one based on scientific evidence.
Despite previous promises to phase out the cull by 2025, the Conservative Government reversed this decision, citing an “artificial deadline” and maintaining its commitment to the cull as part of a broader disease control strategy.
( Supertrooper, 11.06.2024 )  ..  focusingonwildlife.com

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