Chris Packham joins NAVS in saying ‘NON!’ to Air France lab monkey flights

TV presenter Chris Packham has said ‘NON!’ to cruel Air France monkey shipments as part of a week of action organised by the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) during its annual Lab Animal Week, which is now in its 35th year. Lab Animal Week runs from 21st-27th April and was founded by the NAVS to highlight the suffering of animals used for unreliable and unnecessary tests. Air France became the last remaining passenger airline shipping monkeys to laboratories when China Southern Airlines updated its policy earlier this year.
 
NAVS Chief Executive, Jan Creamer: “We are very glad of Chris’s support to raise awareness of the cruel lab monkey trade. Our investigations show that lab monkeys endure brutal lives on breeding farms. When the day comes, they are placed into tiny boxes and flown to laboratories; many have died en route. Please join Chris and the NAVS to help monkeys this Lab Animal Week by letting Air France know you will refuse to fly with them until they stop.”
 
In 2012, the number of monkeys experimented on in the UK rose by nearly 50% to over 2,000. In the same year, 1,500 monkeys were imported into the UK for experiments; two out of three came from Mauritius.
 
Before monkeys reach the laboratory, many are subjected to harsh conditions on breeding farms in Mauritius. The NAVS investigations have revealed how pregnant monkeys are manhandled and swung by their tails; newborn babies are torn from their mothers to be pinned down and tattooed for identification; animals are wrenched from cages by their tails and subjected to terrifying tests. The barren environment they are subjected to contrasts starkly with how the inquisitive and intelligent animals would live in the wild.
 
When the time comes to send them to the laboratory, breeders lock the monkeys into crates barely bigger than their bodies. Long tailed macaques are known to deal poorly with stress and struggle to cope with the long journey, some die before they reach their destination.
 
In the UK, and despite the availability of advanced alternatives, monkeys are used mainly to test drugs, with animals typically enduring force-feeding or injections of experimental compounds; and immobilisation by being strapped into chairs. Investigations by the NAVS have found monkeys suffering rectal prolapse from the stress of being restrained, others suffered blackened lungs, trembling, collapse, bleeding and self-mutilation. The next largest area of primate use in the UK is neurology, which can involve electrodes and bolts being screwed into the monkeys’ heads.
 
There are a growing number of alternatives to using monkeys in experiments. These provide data based on likely effects in humans, rather than in monkeys, therefore avoiding the misleading results and past disasters when results from monkeys have been applied to humans.
 
Members of the public can find out more and take part in the week of action against Air France at labanimalweek.org and on Twitter using #nonairfrance #labanimalweek.

Australia’s native wildlife under threat as land stewardship declines

Guardian:

The steady urbanisation of Australia’s population is having an unexpectedly negative impact upon native wildlife left behind in wilderness areas, a leading conservationist has warned.

Dr Barry Traill, a zoologist and director of Pew Australia, said that land management practices in Australia’s outback, which covers around 70% of the country, have been stripped away as people depart for towns and cities…

Mouila the gorilla dies aged 54 at Howletts wild animal park in Canterbury

Kent Online:

A gorilla who made it into the record books as the oldest Western lowland gorilla in the UK has died aged 54.

Howletts boss Damian Aspinall tweeted Mouila’s death earlier today, saying: “Sad news – Mouila our oldest gorilla, 54, died last night of old age.

“I knew her my whole life. She was a sweet friend to me. I will miss her”…

The True Price of Pets

dog

Many people wouldn’t be able to put a price on the value of their cherished pet – for millions across the country, their cat or dog is a part of the family. Nevertheless, if you’re thinking of getting a pet it’s important that you’re aware of the true cost of keeping it, so the level of care you can provide for it isn’t compromised by any financial difficulties.

The pet itself
While it’s possible to get cats and dogs free from rescue homes, if you want a pedigree breed you’ll need some serious money. Labradors can cost anything from £300-£1200, while fashionable pugs can fetch as much as £3000. Even cats can prove very expensive, with a Bengal cat sometimes costing as much as £1,750.

Kennels and catteries
If you ever plan going on holiday or even away for the weekend you may have to leave your pet at a kennel or cattery if you don’t have anyone to look after them. Kennels can cost as little as £11 a day, but you can pay as much as £50 a night. While catteries are generally more affordable, they will still cost at least around £10 a night.

Food
While you might be able to cut the cost of owning a pet by picking one from the rescue centre and having friends or family look after it when you go away, there’s no way to cut corners when it comes to feeding it. There’s obviously a range of products available, and the amount you need to feed your pet will depend on its size, but the average annual cost for feeding a dog or cat is around £400.

Microchip
To make sure your pet is returned if it goes missing, you don’t need to take plenty of pictures ready to put on posters in your local newsagents – you just need to get it microchipped, and that can cost in the region of £20-30. Bear in mind that from April 2016 every dog must be microchipped by law, and owners failing to do so could face a fine of up to £500.

Vet bills
Vaccines, boosters, routine examinations and having your pet wormed all costs at least £100 annually. In the event that your pet should need surgery the fees could simply become unaffordable, so you’ll need to take out pet insurance. Dog insurance could set you back around £28 a month depending on the level of cover, but will at least save you money and put your mind at ease should your pet become ill or get injured. Furthermore, some insurers offer considerably cheaper cover – even as little as just £4.69 a month from MORE TH>N, for example.

Toys and treats
Even the most affectionate pet owner will need to buy their cat or dog toys to keep them stimulated, and will probably want to treat them from time to time (pets have birthdays too!). While toys aren’t particularly expensive – you can get high quality toys for under £10 – you’ll want a selection of toys and they will need to be replaced because of general wear and tear.

Miscellaneous items
From leads and collars, to bedding and bowls, there are plenty of little bits and bobs that need to be bought for your pet that you might have forgotten about. While none of these are particularly expensive on their own, put together, the costs add up.

Pet flap and cage
If you want your pet to come and go as it pleases you’ll need a pet flap. While a basic one for a small cat may be cheap, these usually don’t have anything stopping stray cats getting in. Prices for more advanced cat flaps, or flaps big enough for a medium-size dog, start at around £25, and cages for transporting your pet are yet another expense to consider.

You can’t buy love
While it’s said that money can’t buy happiness, you should know that the happiness that comes from a loving pet doesn’t come cheap. So before making any hasty decisions about getting a pet, it’s best to check your finances, make sure you can afford it, and then budget accordingly.

This article was written by freelance writer and pet lover Michael Truby, who’s a regular blogger on everything to do with dogs, cats and other animals.

Image credit – dog from public-domain-image.com                                                  Sources: www.pets4homes.co.uk, lekf.co.uk, www.thisismoney.co.uk/, www.morethan.com/, www.staywell.co.uk, www.guardian.co.uk

Violent Seal Killers Threaten Sea Shepherd UK Crew – Caught on Camera

Sea Shepherd:

As predicted by Sea Shepherd on Good Friday, the killing team of the Scottish Wild Salmon Company escalated tensions in the Scottish seal killing grounds with an unprecedented attack on a member of Sea Shepherd UK’s campaign crew.

As residents of Gardenstown were preparing for breakfast on Easter Monday, Sea Shepherd crewmembers were already being threatened with violence by the Scottish Wild Salmon Company’s seal killers…