Displaying items by tag: born free

Bill will prohibit interstate commerce of monkeys, apes and other primates

Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Texas is home to more than 600 primates, many of whom were previously “pets”

Washington, DC, (July 31, 2013) – Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, applauds U.S. Representatives  Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore. and Michael G. Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., for introducing H.R. 2856, the Captive Primate Safety Act, and urges the bill’s swift passage. The bill seeks to prohibit interstate commerce of monkeys, apes and other primates for the exotic pet trade.

Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA said, “The captive primate trade involves horrific animal suffering and serious threats to human safety. The animals often spend their lives confined in small cages as someone’s ‘pet,’ and face barbaric treatment such as  having their teeth extracted. We cannot allow animals to be mutilated in the name of companionship.  There is no excuse for keeping nonhuman primates as pets. They cannot be domesticated or tamed.  Their natural behavior is dangerous and they belong in the wild, not in someone’s home.”


About half of the states already prohibit private possession of some or all primate species as pets, but primates are easily obtained via the Internet and through out-of-state dealers and auctions, making a federal law necessary to support the efforts of state law enforcement and to promote global conservation efforts. Similar legislation has been passed in the House of Representatives previously.

Infant monkeys used for the pet trade are typically removed from their mothers, as babies are in high demand.  However people quickly discover that primates are extremely active, messy, destructive, and bite. Ultimately, weary of attacks on people and damage to the home, pet monkeys are often relegated to a life of isolation, loneliness, frustration and neglect. When people do decide to relinquish them, there are few places to turn.

The 186 acre Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley Texas, is home to more than 600 primates, some of whom are former “pets”. Roberts explains, “The conditions we have found many of these animals in is truly unimaginable and sickening – small cages in dark basements covered in their own feces. We are happy to be able to provide some of these victims with a large open place to live out their lives in freedom, with proper food and care, social interaction with other primates, and grass and trees for the first time in their lives.”

Since 1990, more than 250 people – including dozens of children – have been injured by primates, and many more incidents go unreported. Primates also pose disease risks, including transmission of Ebola, tuberculosis and herpes-B.  The Born Free USA primate sanctuary exotic incident database www.bornfreeusa.org/database tracks primate incidents as well as other wildlife (lions, tigers, reptiles).  So far in 2013, a dozen incidents have been reported including dangerous escapes in Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana and injuries to humans in Missouri (six year old boy bitten), and Texas (police officer bitten).

“Passage of the Captive Primate Safety Act cannot happen soon enough.  These animals are suffering every day and humans are in serious danger,” Roberts emphasizes.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade.  Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.  More at www.bornfreeusa.org, at Twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and one Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Born Free USA to reimburse family for veterinary bills

Washington, D.C., March 21, 2013 -- The family of “Skeeter,” an eight year old chocolate Labrador mix in Millington, Tennessee, is the latest recipient of financial support from Born Free USA, a national leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

Earlier this month, the Wilson family’s dog was playing with another neighbor's dogs when all three dogs ran onto another neighbor’s property where Skeeter was caught in a leghold trap that had been allegedly put out by the property owner with the intent of catching the dogs, who he believed were harassing his chickens.

Skeeter, who was wearing a collar with identification, was then shot at point blank range in the head by the property owner – a local fireman. Mr. Wilson was allegedly not allowed to retrieve Skeeter until authorities arrived. Skeeter was still alive and rushed to a local vet. It was determined he could not be saved and he was euthanized.

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, “Born Free USA receives dozens of heartbreaking reports from traumatized victims around the country who have seen their own pet trapped and severely injured or killed by a trap that was set for wildlife. But this is the first time we have encountered a situation where a domestic dog was actually the intended victim. The fact that Skeeter was then shot makes this tragic tale even more despicable.”

According to Bill Wilson, "Skeeter was a fantastic dog - well trained and worth a million dollars to me. I just wish I was half the person he thought I was. We are so grateful to Born Free USA with their assistance in covering Skeeter's veterinary costs. His loss is one from which we'll never fully recover, but knowing there are groups out there fighting the injustice of trapping gives us hope that another family might not have to suffer this kind of cruel loss."

Born Free is providing financial relief via its Trapping Victims Fund in the amount of $180.50 for the exam and X-rays and eventual euthanasia of Skeeter. The Fund was established last year and this is the fifth recipient. Born Free USA established the Fund to help defray emergency veterinary care costs for companion animals or wildlife impacted by traps and for specific costs associated with rehabilitating and releasing a wildlife trapping victim back into the wild.

Born Free USA estimates that over 300,000 non-target animals are the unintended victims of body-crushing wildlife traps and snares set each year. Cats and dogs are often severely injured or killed as a result of the remorseless jaws of traps set for wild animals by trappers who plan to capture them and strip their fur. Born Free USA says that for every target animal trapped an estimated two non-target animals are brutally captured. The organization keeps a database at www.bornfreeusa.org/databse, of non-target victims of traps.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at: www.bornfreeusa.org; twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Born Free USA: “Will world leaders push iconic species to brink of extinction or hand them a lifeline at UN wildlife convention?”

Washington, DC, February 25, 2013 – Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, a leader in wildlife conservation and animal welfare, and a board member of Species Survival Network (SSN), warned today, “We are presiding over a slide towards extinction for many of the world's most iconic species.” Roberts, along with members of the Born Free international team and SSN, will attend the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) March 3 to 14 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Born Free is calling on the 177 Member countries that are signatories to CITES (www.bornfreeeusa.org/cites) to urgently put in place effective measures to prevent the further loss of several key-stone species. Born Free also urges the international community to dig deep and find the essential resources necessary to shatter the organized crime syndicates that are behind today's poaching epidemic and equip the men and women who regularly lose their lives on the conservation frontline.

According to Roberts, "This is a tragic state of affairs. We are witnessing the decimation of some of the world’s most beautiful creatures and it must stop. The public is led to believe that the natural world is holding its own, and that is far from the truth. For some species, the question is not whether they will go extinct in the wild in my daughter’s lifetime, but in mine.”

Will Travers OBE, the CEO of Born Free and President of SNN adds, "The situation is now so bad, the poaching and slaughter of wildlife now so inextricably linked to international organized crime syndicates, that without a dramatic step-change in our efforts and without the resources for effective species conservation, we shall, in my view, end up with a handful of 'wildlife fortresses' - heavily guarded National Reserves and Parks, protected by garrisons of armed rangers and wardens - and that's it."

Recent announcements by former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, echoed by the UK Environment Minister Richard Benyon, on his recent trip to Kenya, indicate that criminal operations coordinated by terrorist organizations such as al-Shabab, Boko Haram, and the Lord's Resistance Army, are intimately connected with wildlife crime, the proceeds of which fuels their efforts to plunder and terrorize.

"The resources and the forces we have at our disposal to resist the tide of poaching are simply not enough,” said Travers. "Until the international community recognizes the need to meet this threat head-on, then endangered wild animals will lose their lives, people will be murdered, local communities will be destabilized, and environments will be destroyed."

Key Statistics:

  • African elephants down by 30% in 20 years - there were 1.3 million in 1979, now there may be less than 400,000. Some countries could lose their elephants entirely within five years.
  • 668 rhino of South Africa's 20,000 rhino poached in 2012 alone - up from just 13 in 2007.
  • African lion numbers collapse by 50% to below 35,000 since 1980 and the trade in lion body parts grows in leaps and bounds.
  • 3,500 wild tigers cling to survival, down from 100,000 just over a century ago, driven by poaching for their body parts.
  • At least 38,000,000 sharks unsustainably caught for their fins, primarily for soup.
  • Thousands of Manta Rays caught and traded for their gills which are used for medicinal purposes in the Far East.
  • Approximately 600 Polar bears killed each year, of which 64% are commercially traded as skins.
  • South Africa lost 668 rhino to poachers in 2012. So far in 2013 it has lost more than 100 - at a rate of two rhino per day. Kenya lost seven rhino to poachers in January.
  • The CITES Secretariat estimate that 25,000 elephant were poached in 2012. Others, including Born Free, suggest the total may be more than 30,000 in the last 12 months.
  • Duke University estimates African lions to number 35,000 or less. Born Free estimates the figure may be nearer 25,000 while some lion scientists believe the number to be as low as 15,000.
  • The Shark Trust reports that between 26,000,000 and 73,000,000 million sharks are traded for fins each year (based on 2006 figures).
  • According to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) two thirds of Polar bear populations (estimated to be 20,000-25,000) could disappear by 2050.
  • Traders report a steep rise in the Manta Ray gills trade which are now reportedly worth $680 a kilo.
  • Of the nine recognized tiger subspecies, three are now extinct and some countries, notably Loas and Vietnam, may have less than 20 tigers surviving in the wild. China refuses to close down its notorious 'tiger farms.'

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at: bornfreeusa.org/cites and bloodyivory.org. On Twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa; On Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Actress Joanna Lumley, fashion designer Dalia MacPhee, couture legend Elizabeth Emanuel, costume designer Daniel James Cole, top model and reality star Joanna Krupa and actress Katie Cleary among 2013 judges

Washington D.C., February 1, 2013 - - A team of international experts and celebrities have been assembled this year to judge the Fifth Annual Born Free USA Fur Free Fashion (fffashion) Competition, where independent fashion designers are invited to enter their fur-free creations for a chance to win prizes; significantly boost their fashion career; be featured in a national magazine; and help promote the ethical and environmental benefits of fur free fashion.

Entries will be judged by an international expert panel featuring: award-winning television, film, and theater actress Joanna Lumley; international design and couture legend Elizabeth Emanuel perhaps best-known for creating Princess Diana’s wedding gown; international top model and reality television star Joanna Krupa; actress and television host Katie Cleary; costume designer, fashion historian and professor David James Cole; and Hollywood fashion designer to the stars, Dalia MacPhee. The panel also includes Brita Belli, editor of E/The Environmental Magazine; eco-model, activist and green living expert Summer Rayne Oakes

According to Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate at Born Free USA, who oversees the competition, “This is the fifth year of a campaign that is important to Born Free USA and its mission to help send a message to the fashion industry and consumers that fur has no place in socially-conscious ethical fashion. The competition is a wonderful opportunity for emerging independent fashion designers to be seen by leading experts in the fashion world; gain exposure in the industry; and showcase their talent.

Previous fffashion competition winners include designer Valerie Mayen, a competitor on the 2009 season of Project Runway.

To compete in 2013, designers must create a fur-free woman’s or man’s coat, shirt, pants, dress, skirt or suit. For details, rules, and to enter the competition, go to www.bornfreeusa.org/fffashion. Deadline for entries is April 15, 2013. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place, selected from the top ten finalists. There will also be a “Green Award” and a “Student Award.”

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at: www.bornfreeusa.org; twitter http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Allen to Emcee “Born to Ride for Wildlife” April 2013 event in Sacramento

Sacramento, CA, January 31, 2013 -- Born Free USA, a national leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has announced that award-winning television news reporter and anchor Mark S. Allen, will host "Born to Ride for Wildlife," a fundraising event on Thursday, April 25, 2013 (6:00 PM to 9:00 PM) at Beatnik Studios in Sacramento, CA (2421 17th Street), which will feature a raffle of a 2013 Harley Davidson Iron 883 Sportster valued at over $8,000.

According to Born Free USA Executive Vice President Adam Roberts, “We are excited that Mark will be hosting our event and help bring attention to our mission to keep wildlife in the wild. He has a wonderful stage presence and thinks on his feet with humor and intelligence, so we know that he will be sure that the crowd is having a fabulous time!”

Allen says, "The movie Born Free is actually the very first memory I have of ever seeing a movie in a theater and the message has been a part of me ever since. It's fate that all these years later this amazing group at Born Free USA -- a wildlife conservation group founded by the film's stars -- has approached me to host their Sacramento fundraiser. This is a huge honor for me, and I promise an awesome, fun, and most importantly fulfilling night for all!"

Mark S. Allen is a three-time Emmy Award winner, the entertainment anchor for “Good Day Sacramento” on CW/CBS Sacramento, and the producer/host of Mark@TheMovies on CW31 and Reelz Channel Network. He also had a show on Comedy Central for two years called Short Attention Span Theater, and co-hosted a nationally syndicated television show with Lisa Ling called Scratch.

Tickets for the event and the motorcycle raffle are available through www.bornfreeusa.org/borntoride and can also be purchased by calling 916-447-3085 ext. 202. The winner does not need to be present at the event in order to claim their prize. Only 200 tickets will be sold (a one in 200 chance to win).

Tickets to attend the gala and enter the raffle are $100 which includes admission for two to the party; food and beverage; a live performance by Jesse Kalin & the Cool Black Kettle; and silent and live auctions. Event-only tickets (no raffle entry) are $50 per person.

All event proceeds will go to Born Free USA's advocacy work to protect wild animals from cruelty and conserve endangered species.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at: www.bornfreeusa.org; twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Mega-Ivory Seizure Puts Future of Elephants in Doubt

 

December 12, 2012 -- A massive seizure of 1,500 ivory tusks in Port Klang, rumoured to weigh a staggering 20 to 24 tonnes, has stunned the conservation world.

 

"Last year, 2011, was described by trade experts as the worst year for elephants in decades," said Will Travers, CEO Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA. "This latest seizure coming, as it does, on top of 900 kg seized in New York in July, 1,500 kg in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in May and two seizures, one of 3,810 kg in October and another of 1,330 kg in November in Hong Kong, means the bloody ivory trade has reached new heights of destruction and depravity in 2012.”

 

This latest seizure was carried out by Royal Malaysian Customs officers at Port Klang, just outside Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur. The shipment, reportedly, involved 10 crates, divided between 2 containers, shipped from the Port of Lomé in Togo, West Africa, destined for China, via Spain. The ivory was hidden in secret compartments underneath "wooden floor tiles.”

 

Travers continued, "I thought that when the international ivory trade ban was agreed in 1989, we would see a permanent reversal of fortunes for this beleaguered species. How wrong I was - the respite was temporary. Experts estimate that between 20,000 and 30,000 elephants are being illegally killed each year to fuel demand, largely driven by China. No part of Africa is now safe. Across the continent, for the first time, the number of carcasses recorded as a result of poaching exceeds the number reportedly dying from natural causes."

 

And the situation could get even worse.

 

With only three months to run before the 16th meeting of 176 Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a proposal has been put forward by Tanzania seeking approval for the sale of more than 100 tonnes of stockpiled ivory to China and Japan. Analysis by Born Free's trade experts concludes that, far from meeting demand and depressing poaching, this is fuelling demand and incentivising another wave of slaughter.

 

"I fear that elephants may disappear entirely from those parts of Africa least able to protect them from the onslaught" said legendary actress Virginia McKenna, OBE, Founder of The Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA. "The fragile elephant populations of West and Central Africa are most at risk, but even countries such as Kenya, with the well-trained and well-resourced rangers of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), are operating at full stretch and losing their lives in the process."

 

There are no easy answers but Born Free, together with other conservation charities with many years' experience working in Africa, are calling on Tanzania to withdraw its proposal; for China and Japan's ivory trading nation status to be revoked; and for the international community to come forward with the resources necessary to fund the African Elephant Action Plan, the only viable blueprint for elephant survival agreed by all 37 African elephant range States.

 

Born Free is calling on the public to make its opposition to any further ivory trade known by registering at http://www.bloodyivory.org where the latest details of the Malaysian mega-seizure and other interceptions can be found.

 

About Born Free USA: Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at: www.bornfreeusa.org; twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

 

About the Born Free Foundation: The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care. Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and many more species in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide. For more information visit: www.bornfree.org.uk.

Washington, D.C., December 4, 2012 – The happy ending of a two year saga for 107 macaques and one baboon is finally here. In September, the last group of primates was successfully transported from their former home at the now-closed Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in San Antonio, Texas to their new home at the 186 acre Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary in Dilley Texas. Now, as the year comes to an end, Born Free USA reports that the animals are finally all adjusting and settling into their spacious digs – the place they will call home for the rest of their lives.

According to Tim Ajax, Director of the Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary, "It has been two months since the last group in the transfer arrived, and everyone has settled into their routine. Now cared for in large, open air enclosures the monkeys have made good use of the natural habitat and spend a good portion of each day climbing trees, exploring the ground for insects and tasty new plant shoots, and simply swaying with the treetops in the breeze. Some of these are behaviors they have never had a chance to engage in prior to coming here.”

Ajax adds, “Our new 42 stump-tailed macaque residents have all suffered for years from an allergy condition that caused hair loss and itching and we can see now that it was likely something in the environment at their previous residence since their coats are filling in nicely and there is a healthy sheen to them that was absent before. To see the social, psychological and physical health of these animals turn around, is truly amazing and uplifting.”

Among the 107 animals who arrived, are three babies. All are all doing wonderfully, reports Ajax. “The babies now have room to escape mom's protective clutches to do some safe roaming and appease their innate drive to explore, which is common to all species of primates.”

One of the groups of macaques with a baby is the rhesus group comprised of four males and eight females, including the infant named Reagan. Since they are a cohesive group and very protective of Reagan Ajax and his staff decided to try Chongo, a two year old ex-pet male rhesus, with them to see if he could start learning some monkey social skills, which unfortunately he had never had the chance to learn before. “We set him up in his own area and despite being very human-centered due to having been someone’s ‘pet,’ Chongo is now slowly making progress under the guidance from the adult monkeys. Several females visit him and quietly sit near him to provide reassurance. Transitioning from a confused ‘pet’ to a well-adjusted monkey can be a challenge but the experienced rhesus group is making it much easier for him.”

Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, says, “Challenges remain and we need ongoing financial support to provide the very best for them – and the over 500 other residents at the sanctuary -- for the next 20 years. We are thrilled with how readily the residents from the massive move have adapted to their new natural habitat and larger space. It has been an incredible rescue."

It all started on August 31, 2010, when Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) announced the decision to dissolve its sanctuary “due to overpopulation, underfunding and inadequate housing for the animals.” According to the WAO board, they were in a “do or die situation” and they had to find placement for over 100 macaques, 55 tigers, 14 African lions, 16 chimpanzees, six wolf hybrids, and 20 baboons. Sanctuaries were found for all of these animals, in part through the leadership of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), of which Born Free USA is a member.

In 2011, Born Free USA worked for months with WAO and the Texas Attorney General to find a way to help these animals. If Born Free USA did not step in, the large group of primates would likely have been euthanized. Since finalizing the details in November 2011, the sanctuary spent eight months building proper facilities and preparing for its new residents.

The move presented many challenges. In addition to the number of macaques involved, there were other highly complicated issues including: their sensitive social groupings -- 12 different animal groupings with troops as small as three and as large as 28; the age range -- from under one year old to some in their 30s; many physical health conditions from cataracts to skin and age-related bone issues; and a multitude of mental health issues many still suffer from as a result of their captivity prior to their life at WAO.

Roberts adds “Every day wild animals need to be rescued from ‘pet owners,’ laboratories, roadside zoos, and other abusive circumstances, but this time it is about a large sanctuary having to shut down completely -- a place where these animals were already once saved. Wild animals belong in the wild and these scenarios should never exist at all. Sanctuaries are filled to capacity, costly to run, and are the only aid we can give these animals.”

To learn more about the sanctuary, make a donation, or “adopt a primate” this holiday season visit www.bornfreeusa.org/sanctuary.

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at: www.bornfreeusa.org; twitter twitter.com/bornfreeusa; Facebook facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Over 50 new retailers joined Fur Free Retailer Program in 2012

Washington, D.C, November 15, 2012 -- This year was the biggest year for the International Fur Free Retailer Program www.furfreeretailer.com since its launch in 2006, with over 50 retailers signing on in 2012 and a record number (20) of countries served by the program, reports Born Free USA, Founding Partner and Organizer of the program.

The year not only set a record for how many retailers joined the program, but it also was a year that featured the widest variety of retailers from around the globe including maternity wear, sportswear, eco-friendly, faux fur focused, ballroom, consignment and more.

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President, Born Free USA, “Little by little, retailers are stepping up worldwide to take a stand against the use of fur in fashion. We are proud that the program is attracting an increase in participants and hope this trend continues with great strength. Another year cannot go by when animals are brutally killed for their fur. We need consumers to take a stand to respect wildlife, and encourage and support those retailers willing to go fur-free.”

Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA, adds, “ Fashion designers, retailers and consumers must realize that fur garments are bad for the animals and bad for the environment, and have no place in the future of fashion.”

Some of the largest and most notable retailers around the world to join this year include:

  • ASOS, the UK’s largest online-only fashion and beauty store shipping to over 190 countries.
  • COS (Collection of Style), an H&M concept store with 40 storefronts across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. COS has been fur free since its inception and signed onto the program to further support the concept.
  • Elisabetta Franchi, a top Italian fashion brand with stores in Italy and 35 other locations
  • ZERO, a European fashion company headquartered in Bremen, Germany.
  • Noppies, a retailer specializing in maternity wear available in the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
  • ORMAR, a Croatian online retailer.
  • Sage and Ivy, based in The Netherlands, is an eco-friendly fashion line committed to using materials produced in ethical circumstances.
  • Encore Ballroom Couture in the U.S. features ballroom, specialty, cocktail, and evening dresses, and is the leading consignment and rental company in the industry. Their dresses are seen on the ABC television show Dancing with the Stars.
  • Brunotti, distributed in over 20 countries including throughout Europe, South Africa and Turkey.
  • Designer Dutchess specializes in faux fur and is the first Australian retailer to join.

Engebretson adds, “Consumers can help by only spending their fashion dollars at fur free retailers and designers; never purchasing clothing from designers and retailers who sell or use real fur; and supporting retailers and designers who have signed on to the international fur free retailer program and put their fur free commitment in writing.”

Co-founded by Born Free USA, The Fur Free Retailer Program is an international effort to give consumers accurate information about a retailer's fur policy, allowing consumers to make an informed choice when shopping. The program aims to further the spirit of ethical consumerism and provide shoppers with information about the most compassionate retailers in the world. The program recognizes and supports retailers who have committed, in writing, to a no-fur policy. Without that written commitment, the Fur Free Retail Program will not endorse any company regardless of its current inventory.

Taking an ethical and public stand against fur fashion offers a company a chance to promote a public policy against violence and cruelty, and to lend its support to the international efforts to end this unnecessary and cruel fashion choice.

The program is also supported by the Fur Free Alliance (FFA), an international coalition of leading animal and environmental protection organizations worldwide. These organizations facilitate the Fur Free Retailer program in their country.

See the full list at www.furfreeretailers.com and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/furfreeretailer

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

 

Adam M. Roberts

Executive Vice President, Born Free USA (www.bornfreeusa.org)

Leading expert in captive wildlife issues and compassionate conservation

Adam M. Roberts is executive vice president of Born Free USA (www.bornfreeusa.org) and is based in Washington, DC. He helped found the organization in 2002 to bring the UK-based Born Free Foundation's message of compassionate conservation to the American public.

Adam has significant expertise and over two decades of experience in international wildlife trade and captive wild animals, and serves on the board of directors of the Species Survival Network (www.ssn.org) where he chairs their press and financial committees, the bear working group, and the animals in captivity working group. SSN is dedicated to ensuring that the international wildlife trade does not cause overexploitation of animals and plants. SNN currently includes 82 member organizations from 33 countries.

He is also a founding member of the board and current chairman of the board of Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (www.sanctuaryfederation.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing species-specific humane standards of care for animals held in wildlife and farm animal sanctuaries, and accrediting facilities globally based on these standards.

In 2003, Adam founded The $10 Club, a charity to fund poverty alleviation projects in developing countries. He runs the organization singlehandedly, and as a volunteer. To date, the organization has supported work in more than 50 countries and has given out a quarter of a million dollars in grant awards.

He began his animal protection career in Washington, DC in 1991.

Adam has written over 50 articles for various medical, legal, scientific, and advocacy organization publications around the world. He is a frequent lecturer/speaker at national and international conferences on issues concerning captive wild animals, compassionate conservation and the protection of all animals.

He is interviewed regularly by the media about animal welfare and wildlife conservation issues. Among recent interviews: CNN/HLN, Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Reuters, New York Daily News, NPR, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, and more.

He is a graduate of Vassar College, and resides in Washington D.C. with his wife, two children, two dogs, five cats and two guinea pigs.

Born Free USA asking people to honor bats this Halloween

Washington, D.C., October 8, 2012-- This year is the “International Year of the Bat,” one of the most misunderstood wildlife species and, with Halloween just weeks away, their reputation often suffers this time of year.

Born Free USA, a leader in wildlife conservation and animal welfare, is working to stop the rapid decline in bat populations. “Humans can help bats by dispelling the myths that cause needless harm to and fear about them,” says Monica Engebretson, Senior Program Associate for Born Free USA. “They are actually vitally important to ecosystems and agriculture.”

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, “Bats are extremely valuable to our country’s agriculture due to the incredible number of insects these small animals consume and many homeowners encourage bats to roost near their homes by installing specially designed bat houses to reap the insect control benefits that bats provide.”

“Fear of contracting rabies is the greatest fear people have about bats, however rabies only affects a small percentage of bats – less than one half of one percent, and the risk of contracting rabies is further minimized by following basic precautions such as not handling or touching bats with bare hands,” Engebretson explains.

Bats may choose to roost in exterior building walls or attics and may raise their young in these spaces. If building or homeowners are unable to accommodate the bats, it is a widely accepted best practice to humanely exclude bats from unwanted roosting areas after they have finished raising young and when they are not hibernating. Blocking access to a human occupied interior area of a building is a simple and effective method to prevent contact with bats during this time.

Roberts explains, “Individuals can help offset the threats faced by bats and reap the benefits of having bats around by becoming “bat smart.”

Born Free USA top tips for being bat smart:

  • If a bat flies into your home, as long as no direct human contact has occurred the bat can be released outdoors. First leave a door or window to the outside open to allow the bat to leave on its own. If it does not leave on its own the bat can be safely captured and released outside using a box (cover the landed bat with a box, slip a piece of cardboard between the wall/floor and the container gently tapping the bat inside). Then wait until nightfall and take the box outside and release the bat outside.
  • If you find an injured bat or a bat who appears unable to fly call your local wildlife rehabilitator, your local animal control or public health office.
  • Create roosting sites for bats on your property by installing bat houses – build your own or buy one. Plans for building or purchasing bat houses can be found on the internet.
  • Humanely exclude bats from buildings and spaces that you don’t want them to roost in. Exclusions should only be done when young bats are mature enough to leave the roost and when bats are not hibernating. Bat Conservation International www.batcon.org has detailed instructions for humanely and safely excluding bats from buildings.
  • Take reasonable precautions- never handle bats with bare hands

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to the United States the message of “compassionate conservation” — the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film “Born Free,” along with their son Will Travers, now chief executive officer of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally.

More at www.bornfreeusa.org; on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa; and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

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