“Force-fed & Murdered” Website Launches In Foie Gras Sales Protest As Law Change Goes Into Effect Today

Today, PETA launched a brand-new website featuring the words “Force-Fed & Murdered” presented in a way that evokes the style used by Fortnum & Mason for its company branding and logo. PETA’s website also evokes the overall look and feel of Fortnum & Mason’s site. Its launch makes PETA the first campaigning organisation to take advantage of a change in copyright law that went into effect today at midnight. The website, ForcefedAndMurdered.com, reflects the store’s shameful support of foie gras, a vile food product made by force-feeding terrified ducks and geese until their livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their natural size.

The government has amended the number and scope of permitted acts in relation to works protected by copyright to include limited copying on a fair-dealing basis for the purposes of parody, caricature and pastiche. The changes to the parody law bring the UK more in line with similar laws in the United States, where PETA US has successfully created a number of parody websites, such as KentuckyFriedCruelty.com and BloodyBurberry.com. Until now, PETA UK has been unable to include the creation of parody websites in its campaigns.

“Fortnum & Mason’s image has already been tarnished by its sale of unethical foie gras, which is so cruel that its production is banned in Britain, and now we are bringing further attention to this by using another British value: ridicule”, says PETA Director Mimi Bekhechi. “It’s a scandal that Fortnum & Mason, a store that trades on its British heritage, continues to sell foie gras, when the majority of Brits support a ban on the sale of this vile victual.

A PETA undercover investigation into the farms in France from which Fortnum’s distributor obtains foie gras revealed that force-fed geese have knives plunged into their throats during slaughter without prior stunning. During foie gras production, huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into the stomachs of geese through pipes that are rammed down their throats several times a day. Their distended livers press against their lungs, making breathing difficult and causing them to pant constantly. Veterinarians and avian experts agree – there is no humane way to produce foie gras.

Almost every major store in the UK, including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and House of Fraser, has dropped foie gras, as have all major supermarkets. Other British institutions that have disassociated themselves from this inhumane product include the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Prince Charles himself refuses to allow it on Royal menus.

For more information and to view the video footage, please click here or visit PETA.org.uk.

FOUR PAWS brings traumatised lions from Gaza to Jordan

London/Gaza, 1.10.2014. International animal welfare charity FOUR PAWS has successfully transferred three traumatised lions from a bombed out zoo in Gaza to Jordan, working with officials and representatives from Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the State of Palestine to secure the rescue.

Veterinary surgeon Dr. Amir Khalil from FOUR PAWS, who coordinated the operation on-site, was particularly keen to secure rapid assistance for the lions (two males of around six years, and one pregnant female of seven years). “This was about more than species-appropriate shelter, sufficient food and medical treatment. After all, lions are dangerous wild animals. After the air strikes, the enclosures were far from safe for the keepers and for anyone visiting the zoo. That’s why we looked for a solution away from Gaza.”

On Tuesday morning, the lions were anaesthetised, given a medical check, and loaded into transport crates. They were then transported in convoy to a transit station in Jordan, where on the same day they were successfully released into their temporary compound. As soon as their new enclosures are ready (these are still being built), the lions will move into their permanent new home. FOUR PAWS is currently setting up a new animal shelter, the ‘Al Ma´wa for Nature and Wildlife’, around 45km from Amman in Jordan.

A solution will also be found for the remaining 30 or so animals remaining in the zoo, including a macaque, vervet monkeys, wild cats, wolves, ostriches, pelicans, birds of prey, porcupines and a crocodile). Amir Khalil: “We can see how much the people in Gaza love their zoo and its animals. So FOUR PAWS is pledging its expertise and financial support for the correct reconstruction of the enclosures. We also want to train the local team in how to deal with the animals.” More support is also being provided by French animal welfare organisation 30 millions d’amis.

Al Bisan Zoo, situated in the North of Gaza, was heavily damaged by air strikes in early July, and over 80 animals died. Last week the FOUR PAWS emergency relief team provided the 30 or so surviving animals with food, water and medical treatment, including vaccinations and emergency operations. With local help, the badly-damaged enclosures were also temporarily repaired, cleaned and disinfected. The wrecked water supply was also re-established. Aid came not a moment too soon, as the animals had gone for days without fresh water or food.

DONOR LINKS – www.four-paws.org.uk/donate

Zoo drama in Gaza – to look after the animals there, the FOUR PAWS team urgently needs more financial support from people who care.

Unreported World: Vietnam’s Dog Snatchers Channel 4, 7.30pm, 3 October

Reporter Nelufar Hedayat and director Daniel Bogado travel to Vietnam to investigate how dog thieves have infiltrated the lucrative dog meat trade and are stealing thousands of pet dogs from family homes to meet demand. The crime wave has provoked outrage across the country and led to the mob killing of scores of dog thieves. Unreported World reveals disturbing evidence of how dogs are stolen, transported and slaughtered in an illegal trade which has shocked the nation.

The Vietnamese have a long tradition of eating dog meat, which is served in packed restaurants across the country. In one busy Ho Chi Minh City street market the Unreported Worldteam films at least eight dog meat stalls. Live dogs are arriving all the time from suppliers, to be packed into small cages until they are slaughtered for customers.

Most dogs used to be trucked in from neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia and Laos but in recent years, animal rights groups have largely succeeded in closing down these routes. It’s led to a big increase in demand for dog meat from inside Vietnam and an opening for unscrupulous thieves targeting other people’s dogs.

The Unreported World team heads to Nghe Ann, a province under constant threat from dog thieves. One local man, Dang, tells Hedayat that keeps his pet in a cage to prevent it being stolen. Along his road all the families have lost dogs with almost 300 being stolen over the last few months.

The Unreported World team heads out on night patrol with Dang. The patrol seeks safety in numbers and their fear is justified. In another village, the team meets the family of 18-year-old Bau Huynh who was killed a few weeks beforehand by dog thieves. His family tell Hedayat that Bau was profoundly upset when thieves stole two dogs he had raised from puppies. Together with two other boys, he gave chase but the thieves fired a homemade stun gun at them, killing all three boys.

There’s no prison sentence for dog theft in Vietnam and officials have rejected tougher punishments for the crime, saying there isn’t enough room in Vietnam’s jails for all the dog thieves. So the rewards far outweigh the risks. On the outskirts of Hanoi Hedayat speaks to two dog thieves. One of them tells her that he’s stolen more than 3,000 dogs in the seven years he’s been doing it, earning up $100 a night from the dogs he catches.

But the risks are high for the thieves as well. The team visits the village of N-hi Trung, in an area of the country where 20 dog thieves have been reportedly killed in the past five years and many more have barely escaped with their lives. Hedayat talks to villagers who admit to beating two dog thieves to death though they tell her that they only intended to hurt them. Ten people were prosecuted for the murders though four of them have had their sentences suspended.  One villager tells her that in 80 years he’s never seen such a large number of dog thieves.

Every day, trucks deliver more than seven tons of live dogs to Hanoi. The team visits a village in the north of the country which is one of the largest dog trading spots. The street is lined with holding pens, each with up to 200 dogs inside. The dogs are sold by weight and the team films as the animals are force-feed through feeding tubes to increase their value before being packed into incredibly cramped crates. At busy times, the holding houses on this street process around 2,000 dogs in a single day.

Back in Hanoi the team visits a slaughterhouse specialising in dog. Owner Kieu Vu tells Hedayat that they slaughter up to 30 dogs a day. The dogs are kept in a cramped pit before being brought out and despatched quickly and – according to her husband – painlessly. There are rules for the slaughter of cattle, pigs and poultry in Vietnam but not for dogs.  And the government has no plans to introduce any regulations. A previous proposal was abandoned when animal rights groups opposed it, saying it would legitimise the trade.

Animal rights groups are trying to convince the government to introduce at least basic rules about welfare and protection for animals, including dogs.  The talks are at very early stages but because of the violence surrounding dog theft, people are starting to talk about the many problems of the dog meat trade and bring about changes.  But without real punishment for dog thieves, and laws against animal cruelty, there’s no end in sight to the pain, for people or animals.

For more information visit: www.channel4.com/unreportedworld  or follow the programme on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/unreportedworld and #unreportedworld

Reporter: Nelufar Hedayat

Director: Daniel Bogado

Makers of ‘Crush Porn’ videos in Philippines sentenced to life in prison


…A Philippine court found Vicente and Dorma Ridon guilty of child abuse, cruelty to animals, human trafficking, and wildlife-protection crimes for forcing girls to torture and kill puppies, rabbits, and other animals in “fetish” videos, and sentenced both defendants to life behind bars. The Ridons have been jail since June 2012 (throughout their trial) and will now reside there permanently.

After the “crush” videos surfaced on the internet, PETA Asia notified the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation and worked with authorities to ensure that the Ridons were found, arrested, and prosecuted…

Pizzeria Responds to Growing Demand for Dairy-Free Toppings

Edinburgh – Local Italian favourite La Favorita Delivered is rising to meet the growing demand for healthier, more eco- and animal-friendly food by rolling out the city’s first vegan cheese pizza. After speaking with animal rights group PETA, CEO Kenny Scott decided to introduce a dairy-free cheese made from rice milk, which will be featured on La Favorita Delivered’s new menu beginning on 1 October. It will be available at the pizzeria’s four branches in Edinburgh: Blackhall, Morningside, Portobello and Leith. The vegan topping will also be offered in the new store on Gibson Street in Glasgow that’s due to open before the end of the year.

“Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant or just trying to be more health conscious, we’re sure you’ll love our new delicious dairy-free cheese pizza. We carefully selected the dairy-free Italian mozzarella and thoroughly tested the texture and taste to make sure it was just right”, Scott says. “We’re delighted to be providing choice for Edinburgh’s growing free-from market. Whatever your preferences, we’ve got a pizza for you.”

The consumption of dairy and other animal products has been linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity and cancer. According to recent reports, dairy products are now the single most avoided food type in Britain, as one in 10 Brits now abstains from all dairy products.

“From restaurant and sandwich chains to artisan food companies, astute food retailers are waking up to the fact that more and more people are ditching dairy products as well as meat, fish and eggs”, says PETA’s Yvonne Taylor.

In addition to the suffering of animals on dairy factory farms, raising and killing animals for food is catastrophic for the environment. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of water consumption, pollution, land degradation and the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change. The United Nations has said that a move towards a vegan diet is necessary to offset the worst effects of climate change.

Whether out of environmental concern, to alleviate animal suffering or for health reasons, interest in a plant-based diet is higher than ever before. Google searches for “vegan” have jumped 15 per cent in the past year, and the UK’s non-dairy market has grown by 155 per cent in just the last two years. Celebrities such as former US President Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Anne Hathaway, Jared Leto and Scotland’s own Alan Cumming are praising the benefits of a plant-based diet, so it’s no surprise thatForbes magazine recently named high-end vegan dining a top food trend.

Animal Defenders International offers to help rehome wild animals from British circuses

Rescue team currently assisting in enforcement of circus ban in Peru

Ahead of the anticipated wild animal circus ban promised by Government, Animal Defenders International (ADI) has offered its expertise to help rehome animals currently touring with circuses in Britain, should their owners be willing to allow them a peaceful retirement after a lifetime of performance.

The organisation’s offer comes as an ADI rescue team works with Government authorities to help enforce a wild animal circus ban in Peru. ADI is currently transporting animals from circuses across the country to its Operation Spirit of Freedom rescue centre, where they are being cared for ahead of relocation to suitable, permanent homes.

Unlike the situation in Peru, the British ban would not require circuses to give up their animals, yet ADI hopes that owners will consider providing their wild animals with the opportunity to be relocated to sanctuaries where they will be able to enjoy the company of their own kind, leaving their performance days behind them.

ADI President Jan Creamer, who is currently overseeing Operation Spirit of Freedom in South America, said: “Although British circuses will not be required to give up their animals when the ban comes into force, we hope, as will the public, that owners will provide them with the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives away from the big top, and retire in the company of their own kind.”

ADI has worked all over the world rescuing and relocating animals, often in difficult circumstances. In 2011, ADI successfully worked with the Bolivian Government to enforce a nationwide ban on all animal circus acts. The mission, known as Operation Lion Ark, saw 29 lions from eight circuses airlifted to safety in the US, and numerous other animals rescued and relocated in Bolivia. The operation is the subject of the award-winning documentary, Lion Ark.

As part of its Operation Spirit of Freedom mission in Peru, ADI has also been called upon to relocate nine lions seized from a circus by Government authorities in Colombia. The animals are the first to be relocated following Colombia’s ban on wild animals in circuses which, like the ban in Peru, was passed after a long campaign by ADI and local animal protection groups.

The British Government has remained committed to banning the use of wild animals in circuses since it announced it would prohibit such acts in 2012. However, with progress appearing to have stalled, former Defra Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP has introduced a Bill with the same wording as the Government’s draft legislation to try and secure the ban ahead of the General Election.

Public support for a ban on the use of wild animals in British circuses has been consistently high for 15 years, with a Defra public consultation showing a resounding 94% of respondents supporting a ban. Over 200 local authorities in Britain already have bans on the use of animals in circuses, and 27 countries worldwide have national restrictions in place.

ADI’s campaign to stop circus suffering in Britain is supported by politicians of all parties, leading animal protection groups and celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Dame Judi Dench, Brian Blessed, Twiggy, Eddie Izzard and Sir Roger Moore.

ADI is calling on members of the public to contact their MP to support the circus bill, which will have its second reading on October 17 www.stopcircussuffering.org