Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Save The Mute Swans

Save The Mute Swans

The following news snippet was taken from a FoA post

Will Maryland's Latest Attack Mean Mute Swans Will Be Gone Forever?

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) insists on wiping out the Mute swans, The Baltimore Sun now reports.

In what many believe will be the final word in a long fight, Secretary of Natural Resources John Griffin on Monday (8 June 2009) accepted the report of a hunter-dominated task force on the swans, saying that his staff is “unfortunately compelled” to continue population control efforts on the fewer than 500 birds still living on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

That means shooting adults or snapping their necks, and shaking eggs to kill the embryos.

The report claims mute swans “would be a constant and perpetual source of competition for scarce conservation resources,” but in fact mute swans compete with hunters who want to kill ducks and geese that eat the same underwater vegetation the swans do.

To camouflage their hunting scheme, the task force, which includes bureaucrats and hunting groups such as Ducks Unlimited, assail mute swans erroneously as “feral” birds who are “an environmental hazard to the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.”

Defenders of Wildlife and the Maryland Ornithological Society back the killing of mute swans. Some animal-protection groups support hazing the birds to wreck their eggs.

Why? Of the many hundreds of thousands of birds living at the Bay, the community of mute swans adds up to a mere 500. Just six years ago, there were approximately 4,000 but Maryland Department of Natural Resources is systematically killing them to eradicate them from Chesapeake Bay.

Mute swans are deemed “invasive” by the DNR — a loophole from federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act protections — but they are naturalized members of the biocommunity.

Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral states, “They’ve found an ecological niche here. Let them be. The DNR’s assault on mute swans is deeply dishonest and deplorable.”

“We too have come onto the continent and proliferated. We should be disrupting the lives of free-living animals as little as possible, and addressing the main causes of the state of the Chesapeake Bay, the country’s largest estuary.”

The demise of aquatic vegetation is mainly caused by sewage treatment plants, runoffs from animal agribusinesses, construction and road-building. All of these factors degrade water quality, making the Bay water turbid and blocking sunlight that gives underwater vegetation the energy it needs to grow.

“NPR and other media outlets have said plenty about how the chicken-selling industry is damaging the Chesapeake,” observes Feral. “But Maryland officials fiddle, and target undomesticated birds.”


Ask the Office of Governor Martin O’Malley to intervene now to stop the killing off of Maryland’s Mute swans.

Telephone:Colm O’Comartun Director of Governor’s Office 410-974-3901 EmailSue Casey Senior Advisor to the Governor 410-974-5041 Email

Also contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR): John R Griffin, Secretary; and Jonathan McKnight, Associate Director.

Call Jonathan McKnight at 410-260-8539 Email

Let them know killing Mute swans is no answer to the Bay’s problems. Tell them to stop the killing now.

Or call toll-free in Maryland at 1-877-620-8DNR (8367) (Weekdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)Out of state: 410-260-8DNR (8367) (Weekdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)

By US Mail: Maryland Department of Natural Resources580 Taylor AvenueTawes State Office BuildingAnnapolis, MD 21401
(by a FoA blog editor)
Two animal protection groups sat on a task force, opposed the killing of swans and then did nothing more. One even suggested oiling swan eggs.
Petitions will be ignored. Please generate lots of e-mail appeals and phone calls to the DNR.
Swans are being shot and others have their necks broken, and that’s straight from the DNR’s John McKnight. Phone 410-260-8539.
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Help Elephants (IDA) - Alerts

Help Elephants (IDA) - Alerts:


Late last week, a 39-year-old African elephant, Affie, died prematurely at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. While no cause of death has been released, she likely suffered from painful foot and/or joint disease, conditions prevalent in zoos due to inadequate conditions for elephants.

IDA immediately filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stating: “If in fact Affie did succumb to a disease caused by zoo conditions, the Brookfield Zoo should be found in violation of the Animal Welfare Act.” We also called for the zoo to immediately send the sole remaining elephant, Christy, to a sanctuary and shut down its elephant exhibit.

In response to IDA, the zoo issued a statement and further comments that contained a number of gross misrepresentations and falsehoods. IDA today released its own statement of fact, setting the record straight.

It would be inhumane to continue to keep Christy at the Brookfield Zoo, especially now that she is alone. Bringing in another elephant is not the answer because the Zoo cannot provide a high quality of life for elephants. Even if the exhibit is further expanded, it will not significantly change overall conditions.

Elephants are highly intelligent and physically vigorous animals that hail from warm climates. In the wild, they range seven to fourteen miles or more per day, and are active for 20 out of 24 hours, as they forage, explore, socialize and raise their young. Yet, at Brookfield Zoo elephants are held in a cramped elephant exhibit where they spend the majority of the long Midwest winters in tiny indoor cages that do not allow for adequate movement or mental stimulation.

Simply put, the zoo just cannot provide the space and natural conditions elephants need to live long and healthy lives. This is being proven with the death of each additional elephant. Seven elephants have died at the Brookfield Zoo since 1975; more than half did not live to age 40. Elephants have a natural lifespan of 60-70 years.

Help us urge the Brookfield Zoo to do the right thing and send Christy to a natural-habitat sanctuary where she would have a life much closer to what nature intended for Earth’s largest land mammals. Sanctuaries have received elephants from many Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos. Eighteen zoos have closed or plan to close their elephant exhibits.


1. Please write to Brookfield Zoo director Stuart Strahl and politely urge him to send Christy, now the lone elephant at Brookfield Zoo, to a sanctuary without delay.
Stuart D. Strahl, PhDDirectorBrookfield Zoo3300 Golf RoadBrookfield, IL 60513Phone: 708-688-8300Fax: 708-688-7309Email: bzadmin@brookfieldzoo.org

2. Please post a comment to Stuart Strahl’s response and on stories in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Tribunal.

3. Send a letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune.

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The Savage Practice Of Bear Baiting

At the center of the large arena a black bear is standing, shaking in fear. Although she knows what is about to happen she can do nothing to stop it—a rope attached to a metal ring in her nose is tied to a post in the ground, holding her in place. Suddenly, two dogs are released into the arena and lunge at the bear. She tries desperately to defend herself but her teeth and claws have been removed and all she can do is lash out blindly. The attack goes on for several minutes until the bear is brought to the ground and the dogs are declared the winners…

An estimated 70 bears are being used as part of the cruel bear baiting industry in Pakistan today. Wounded, malnourished, exhausted and defenseless these bears are forced to fight a battle that can never be won.

For many of them the only escape from their miserable existence is death. But WSPA and our local member society the Bioresource Research Center of Pakistan (BRC) are working give them an alternative.

Together we can truly make bear baiting a thing of the past.



Animal Rights - Change.org: Campaign to Stop the construction of a primate breeding facility in Puerto Rico for RESEARCH!

Animal Rights - Change.org: Campaign to Stop the construction of a primate breeding facility in Puerto Rico for RESEARCH!: "

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Appleby Horse Fair: Time to Call a Halt to this Festival of Animal Abuse

It's outrageous!! Just watch the video - not only adults but even children kicking the animals!
It has to be stopped, please read Animal Aid alert and send email

Appleby Horse Fair - Time to Call a Halt to this Festival of Animal Abuse Posted 15 June 2009

Appleby Horse Fair takes place every June and attracts some 30,000 visitors who come to see horses being paraded, raced and bathed, and to get a taste of what they think is a Romany tradition that supposedly dates back to 1685.

The reality of this event is quite different. The Fair made national news in 2007 when one of the horses was drowned in the River Eden – many of the riders seem to regard it as a macho challenge to completely submerge their horse under water. The river, whilst shallow at one side, has a steep ledge about half way across and horses easily lose their footing.

Year on year, RSPCA presence has been mounting. There were 20 officers on hand for the 2009 event – which was staged from 5-7 June – the largest number ever. Yet, given that there are thousands of visitors and the 10,000 travellers present, they cannot record and act in response to all incidents of animal abuse.

Travellers typically arrive at the start of the week and residents reportedly complain of late night noise and horses being abused. Visitors come to the Fair at the weekend to watch the horses being driven into River Eden and being trotted (known as ‘flashing’) up and down Flashing Lane.

Animal Aid filmed at the 2009 Fair. Amongst the incidents captured were:

* Terrified horses being repeatedly whipped, kicked, yelled-at, pushed and manhandled towards the river
* Scared horses jumping out of the water and onto the river banks
* Horses being ridden into the river and repeatedly kicked and shouted-at to move into deeper water
* Horses thrashing about in the water and nearly drowning whilst having their reins held tightly
* Horses being ridden into the deep water, and then the riders standing on their backs whilst the horses attempt to swim
* Children kicking, whipping and shoving a miniature pony into the river

During some of these events, the RSPCA officers were visible and yet did nothing to warn owners that their behaviour was unacceptable or causing animals distress.

By law, all horses must have passports, the purpose of which is to provide the health and ownership details of all equines in the UK. An RSPCA officer told our undercover reporter that checking passports was a matter for Trading Standards and that those officers had their hands full with checking for counterfeit goods.

One horse was destroyed this year following an injury, reportedly incurred while being raced on Flashing Lane.