Daphne D- AR: The Next Social Justice Movement

I am the voice of the voiceless: Through me, the dumb shall speak; Till the deaf world’s ear be made to hear The cry of the wordless weak. And I am my brother’s keeper, And I will fight his fight; And speak the word for beast and bird Till the world shall set things right.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Baby seal hunting banned in Northern Russia‏

26 February, 2009,

The government has banned the hunting of baby seals in the regions surrounding the White Sea.Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called seal hunting a "bloody industry"."It is clear that it should have been banned a long time ago," said Putin at a meeting with the Minister of Natural Resources.Putin acknowledged the importance of the hunting industry in the region and said that he would require the government to compensate incomes of the White Sea people in connection with the ban on hunting."This is one of their means of existence. Therefore, simply banning is inadequate.A system of support measures must be worked out to secure employment and income of those who live and work there," said PutinMany of the residents around the White Sea depend on sales from the seals, especially their fat, for survival.The Ministry of Natural Resources is also preparing proposals to ban the hunting of seals up to the age of one.Recently, the Russian representative of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) along with other ecological organisations repeated their call for a moratorium on the hunting of baby seals.The IFAW's Russian representative even challenged the myth that seal hunting provides the indigenous people with a stable living, saying they can earn no more than $US 200 a month from their exploitation."Developing ecological tourism would provide a more stable source of welfare," said the representative.Professor Aleksey Yablokov, an associate professor at the Russian Academy of Science, believes that the seals could soon number no more than 150 thousand."This is a real biological catastrophe. At the current rate, in a few years the seal could become a rarity in the White Sea," said Yablokov.Currently around 800 thousand inhabit the White Sea.Yablokov agreed with current scientific investigations that if the quota is lowered by up to five per cent, a balance will be kept.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Urge the Olympic Committee to Help End the Canadian Seal Slaughter

All eyes are on Canada as it prepares to host the 2010 Winter Olympics. This extra attention will bring increased scrutiny and comes with the added responsibility of setting a positive example for the world. That's why we are calling on the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee to help stop the Canadian seal slaughter.
During Canada's annual war on seals, hundreds of thousands of baby seals are killed for their skin in the most horrific ways imaginable. Seals stand no chance against club-wielding trappers who are after their fur, and they must look on as fellow pups are bludgeoned to death before meeting the same bloody fate.
These seals, many of whom are only weeks old when they're barbarically killed, have their skulls smashed in or are shot point-blank by hunters who are driven by profit and greed. The anguish that a mother seal feels as she watches her baby being beaten to death just a few feet away from her is horrifying and can be heard in her desperate cries and seen in her attempts to get to her baby.
Last year, more than 205,000 individual seals were killed during the massacre, which is nothing more than a money-making scheme orchestrated by professional fishers, and Canada will soon begin its annual merciless attack on seals for their fur. We need you to speak up for seals now and demand a permanent end to the cruel seal slaughter.
Please write to the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee and demand that they help bring an immediate end to the seal slaughter.

Take Action on This Issue

SIGN THE PETITION : http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/seal_hunt_09?c=weekly_enews

Help Stop McDonald's Cruelty Now!

Almost everyone has heard of McDonald's, and most people have eaten at the chain at least once, but many people don't know about the horrific cruelty that goes into every portion of chicken served under the Golden Arches.In the slaughterhouses of McDonald's U.S. chicken suppliers, birds are dumped out of their transport crates and hung upside-down in metal shackles, which often results in broken bones, extreme bruising, and hemorrhaging. Workers have the opportunity to abuse live birds, and birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious. Many birds are immersed in tanks of scalding-hot water while they are still alive and able to feel pain.McDonald's has the ability to end these abuses.
There is a less cruel method of chicken slaughter available to McDonald's suppliers called controlled-atmosphere killing, or CAK, and it would cost the corporation nothing to demand that its suppliers use it. CAK would eliminate the worst abuses currently suffered by chickens killed for McDonald's in the U.S. In fact, a 2005 study about CAK produced by McDonald's concluded that it is far better for animals than the current method of slaughter.
Write to McDonald's now, and demand that it phase in the exclusive use of chickens killed by CAK by requiring that its suppliers switch to this method.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Major victory for dogs in Vietnam

Here's Tuan at our rescue centre with Max, a puppy bred for slaughter. Max is now part of our Vietnam family

Major victory for dogs in Vietnam
Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 10:16
I’ll never forget filming dogs being slaughtered in a restaurant in Hanoi several years ago. For two long hours I silently cried on the inside, while making a pathetic attempt to look calm on the outside, so that the people slaughtering the dogs would really believe that I was writing a travel brochure on the delights of “exotic” food in Vietnam. In full view of the others, these dogs were dragged out of “pig crates”, bludgeoned over the head with a hammer, and then bled out via a knife into their jugular and heart. It was brutal and cruel – especially seeing the dogs waiting for death turning their heads away from the strangled screams and the last struggled breaths of life.

With our staff and resources limited, we knew that it made sense to focus on bears in Vietnam – where bear farming was illegal too – and so we agreed to postpone a dog and cat campaign until the bear rescue and sanctuary were well under way। As ever, fate played a hand। In early February, Tuan Bendixsen, our Vietnam Director, received an official letter from the Central Department of Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture. Apparently they had received official requests from various provincial governments in the country asking the department to provide them with the government's guidelines on the slaughtering of dogs for human consumption. Tuan's heart stopped when he heard this news and he began to work on a submission to the department – in defence of dogs. Tuan knew it was important to collate evidence from other Asian countries that had banned dog eating, rather than only using laws from the West, and we immediately contacted Nita, Anna and team from PAWS, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (who coordinate our Dr Dog programme in Manila) as we knew that we could count on their support. Within a heartbeat, Anna was sending over all the relevant documents and legislation from the Philippines – summarising a campaign that they had worked on for so many years until dog-eating became illegal. Tuan’s final letter to the government outlined our Dr Dog programme in seven countries of Asia and why the benefits of being in the company of companion animals far outweighed their value as a food source. He stated that no country in the world has developed a humane method of dog slaughter under intensive farming practices and that countries, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan had already banned dog meat from the table.Tuan even touched on the economics of raising dogs as food compared with raising them as companions – citing the growing pet industry in Beijing and how much pet owners were contributing to the economy. And of course he made clear about the health risks to those involved in the dog-meat trade and to consumers themselves, highlighting parasites, rabies, leptospirosis, and other disease. Finally he offered Animals Asia’s help in promoting public education programmes across the country as we are currently doing in China – emphasising why dogs are our friends, not food. Within a few days, the response came back and here, in Tuan’s own words this morning, is the official announcement from the government: ”I’m very happy to announce that the Central Department of Animal Health has put out an official letter saying that the Central Government of Vietnam will not enact a regulation on the processing of dog meat for human consumption. Although the local government can enact such a regulation for their own area, usually they will not go against the Central Government’s directive. I’m now looking at getting the Central Govt to officially ban it instead of just not enacting it. Thank you every one and especially Anna from PAWS. Although this is an important first step, we still have a long way to go to achieve our main goal of ending the consumption of companion animals in Vietnam.” This is an incredible victory for the dogs of Vietnam – and potentially in China too where we can use this development in our efforts to persuade similar bans there. Tuan, I know that everyone reading this blog will be so proud of this first, significant step for the dogs of Vietnam.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Video: NYC Stores Caught Mislabeling Fur

Fashion Week is in full effect and The Humane Society of the United States is watching out for our furry friends, as usual। This morning the organization led a press conference with NY State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal following an investigation that uncovered some big NYC retailers selling unlabeled fur-trimmed garments in violation of state law (which requires that all apparel with real or fake fur be labeled as such, giving shoppers access to product information)। All the big names were on their list, including Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue।

Footage of the investigation shows what may happen to confused customers:


This morning Rosenthal stated that she "passed this law to ensure that consumers in New York could make informed decisions about the type of clothing they are buying. Many people prefer not to wear animal fur, and they should be able to tell at a glance whether an article of clothing is made with fur or not. Retailers have had more than a year to comply with this law, and it is appalling that so many have disregarded it." Just last November the HSUS filed suit against a number of major retailers including Macy's, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue for mislabeling fur. The organization's VP Michael Markarian declared that there's "widespread deception in the fashion industry, and consumers simply don’t know whether they’re buying synthetic fur, or fur from animals skinned alive in China." Here's a gruesome look at the fur trade.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tell President Obama: No compromise on saving whales' lives‏

Tell President Obama to strengthen the whaling ban

During the last several years, the United States has reversed its long-term leadership role of protecting whales from commercial hunting and has initiated efforts to allow Japan and possibly other whaling nations to expand hunts to coastal waters.

By leading closed-door meetings to discuss compromises that would allow an expansion of whaling, the current U.S. delegation, a holdover from the previous administration, to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is contradicting U.S. policy on both whaling and transparency in government. U.S. citizens and the international public are against the commercial slaughter of whales. We depend on the U.S. to protect whales from cruel and ecologically unsustainable hunts.

Please join us in urging President Obama to strengthen, rather than weaken, the global commercial whaling ban and to restore U.S. leadership on whale conservation before the next IWC meeting which will be held March 9-11, 2009.

Help strengthen the global commercial whaling ban and protect thousands of whales from slaughter. Show your support by signing our petition to President Barack Obama, copying Judd Gregg, U.S. Secretary of Commerce-Designate. The deadline for signing is February 28।