Horse Recovering Well After Sinking In Mud


A horse in Geelong, Australia, survived with only minor bruising after getting trapped in quicksand-like mud.

The horse’s owner Nicole Graham remained by 18-year-old Astro’s side, holding its head above the mud as rescuers arrived at the scene.

In an interview with local media on Tuesday Graham said she knew she needed to stay with her horse.

“As we sank deeper and deeper into the mud and time went on I was really starting to get scared. I knew if I stayed with him he wouldn’t panic either and him not panicking meant that we would both get out OK,” she said…

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Protection for Hares Introduced In Scotland

Humane Society International:

The first of February 2012 saw a watershed for hare protection in Scotland.

The introduction of the Wildlife and Natural Environment Act 2011 makes it an offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take brown hares from 1 February to 30 September, and mountain hares from 1 March to 31 July.

Speaking during the Scottish Rural Affairs and Environment Committee on 22 December 2010, Roseanna Cunningham, the then Environment Minister, said: “We have introduced close seasons for hares to provide greater protection at times of greatest welfare concern.”

The new legislation brings Scotland in line with Northern Ireland and much of mainland Europe where similar laws are already in place. In England however, hares still lack any such protection…

FOUR PAWS Calls On Clothing Industry To Stop Using Grey Geese Down


FOUR PAWS and British newspaper “The Sunday Times” have exposed that The North Face is using feathers from force fed grey down geese in their clothes. Celebrities such Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway and Renee Zellweger wear clothes made by “The North Face”. Four Paws is calling on celebrities and consumers to avoid buying clothes from The North Face until the company stops using down which involves animal cruelty.

After pressure from FOUR PAWS, clothing company “Patagonia” admitted a problem with their down, now outdoor clothing giant “The North Face” has admitted, what they had denied for years. Confronted with evidence from FOUR PAWS investigators, they confirmed the ugly truth about their down. Grey down geese used in their jackets and sleeping bags is sourced from the force feeding industry. The down from the hungarian force fed geese, mostly kept in small cages is cheap. Companies can make large profits out of expensively priced clothing that is masquerading as eco-friendly”.

Across the EU most countries have banned force feeding of birds. In California, the home of “The North Face” even the sale of fatty goose liver called foie gras, as well as the force feeding of geese is banned by law. However, the production of the liver itself is only part of the profit of this trade in animal suffering. The grey down used increases the profit by up to 15% per goose. “The North Face” had assured its customers for years that it did not use down from force feeding. The truth is different: North Face is using down from Hungary. It is not a big secret what grey down is bred for in Hungary.

“White goose is for meat and kept free-range, while the grey goose mostly ends up in small cages and is force fed three times a day until they can take no more.” said Marcus Müller, FOUR PAWS campaigner. “The North Face committed itself for many years
not to use feathers from live plucked geese. Clearly this barbarian method of obtaining down for jackets and sleeping bags is still being practiced widely in Hungary”, added Muller. This is a common practise in the hungarian foie gras industry. Northface’s incorrect statements regarding force feeding raise the question as to how true and credible their statements on live plucking are.

The use of down from force feeding factory farms raises a huge question mark on the promises on traceability, consumer protection and green sourcing.

“Companies speak about their environmental footprint but some are using down that harms the environment, wastes water and other resources. This irresponsible policy shows the real face of this outdoor clothing company. To profit from animal cruelty is wrong. We are sure that celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway and Renee Zellweger have no idea about the cruelty involved in the clothes they are wearing. We hope these celebrity role models will take action to convince The North Face to stop making money from animal cruelty” concludes Müller.

FOUR PAWS is demanding clothing giants “The North Face” and “Patagonia” completely stop using grey down in their clothes and that the labeling of the clothes on the shelves reflects this. FOUR PAWS also wants the companies to clearly label the products with down from animal cruelty that are on the shelves now.

FOUR PAWS Rescues Brown Bear Potap

A rescue team from animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS rescued an abused brown bear in Luhansk (Ukraine) yesterday from a life of misery. The bear will be transferred today to the bear rehabilitation centre Synevyr. In Synevyr he will live a free and happier life according the best animal welfare practises.

The three year old bear Potap was bought from a circus, and for the last two years has lived in squalid conditions on the premises of a dog breeding and private sports club in Luhansk. He lived a miserable existence in a tiny eight square metre cage with concrete floor. Potap is extremely malnourished and has an open wound on his neck, as a result of a leather collar that was too small for his neck.

Many dogs live on the sports club property, which are being bred and trained for hunting. Potap was used as a training tool for the dogs – so that when the dogs hunt they are not afraid of bears in the wild.

In a joint rescue mission the FOUR PAWS team, employees of the bear rehabilitation centre Synevyr and the Ukrainian authorities, Potap was confiscated yesterday. Potap was checked by veterinarians on site. He was weak but able to undertake the 30 hour journey in a mobile vet clinic to the bear rehabilitation centre Synevyr.

According to information obtained by FOUR PAWS, there are more than 40 brown bears living in very poor captive conditions across Ukraine. “Most of the bears are living in small cages next to restaurants, hotels, filling stations or bars”, says Dr. Amir Khalil, FOUR PAWS Director Project Development.”Together with the Ukrainian authorities we will continue our fight against the cruel treatment of the bears.” On 3 February 2012 FOUR PAWS and the Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mykola Zlochevskiy signed an agreement for the rescue of and care for the privately owned brown bears.

Many Drugs ‘Non-Vegetarian And Need Better Labelling’

BBC News:

People who choose not to eat animal products may be unaware that common medicines could contain them, a study suggests.

Many tablets and liquid medicines use gelatin, derived from animal bones or skin.

A survey in the Postgraduate Medical Journal shows a quarter of patients are unknowingly prescribed drugs containing gelatin contrary to their beliefs.

The report authors say clearer drug labelling is needed…

Wildlife Trust Boss Sparks Anger By Suggesting South East Is Suffering Worse Drought Than Ethiopia


A wildlife trust boss has provoked outrage by saying that people in the south east of England have less water-per head than famine-hit Ethiopia.

Dr Tony Whitbread, the chief executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust and a prominent ecologist, said that the drought declared by Defra last week meant that the 8.5m people living in the south east were worse off per-head than in Ethiopia.
His comments come during a massive humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia and other countries in East Africa, which since July last year have been suffering the area’s worst drought in 60 years.

Millions of people are affected in Ethiopia alone, along with the populations of Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda – with around 10m people already severely affected by the drought.

Dr Whitbread said the current situation in the south east is now ‘so bad’ that there will have to be continuous rainfall for three months for water levels to be replenished…

Climate Change Blamed For Drought And Schmallengerg Virus As Cases Reach 83


Climate change has been blamed for an increase in drought and animal disease in Britain as the number of farms hit by the deadly new Shmallenberg virus hits 83.

An update from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) today said that Schmallenberg virus had now been detected in 78 cases in sheep and five in cattle, on farms across southern and eastern England.

Five more cases were reported in West Sussex as well as one more farm each in Kent, East Sussex, Hertfordshire and Surrey…

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RSPCA Attacks Animal Welfare Laws

Meat Info:

The RSPCA has pledged its commitment to increasing the proportion of farm animals reared under higher welfare conditions, saying that the current laws are not up to scratch.

Dr Julia Wrathall, head of the RSPCA’s farm animals science team, said: “The RSPCA does not believe welfare laws are good enough to ensure all farm animals have a good quality of life and are humanely transported and slaughtered”…

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