Displaying items by tag: Slaughter

Talkin' Pets News, July 22, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jay Stutz - Good Dog U Animal Planet

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - George Burgess - Sharkfest 2017 on Nat Geo Wild - Weeklong Event Begins Sunday July 23 at 8/7c

Talkin' Pets News, July 22, 2017

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Jay Stutz - Good Dog U Animal Planet

Producer - Daisy Charlotte

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Executive Producer - Bob Page

Special Guest - George Burgess - Sharfest 2017

 

ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative has granted over $2 million to protect former racehorses from
being sent to slaughter

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that it has granted $200,000 to 18 equine rescue groups across the country to assist their efforts to rescue and rehabilitate retired racehorses. The grants were awarded as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative, a major grants program that launched in 2010 and provides funding for equine rescues and sanctuaries that protect retired racers by offering alternatives to slaughter. Now in its seventh year, the program has awarded over $2 million to retired racers to prepare them for life after their racing careers come to an end.

“The ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative allows us to provide much-needed grant funding to the many equine rescue groups around the country who provide critical resources to former racehorses, offering them medical rehabilitation, re-training or sanctuary to prevent them from being sent to slaughter,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “Their racing careers may have ended, but these retirees still have much to offer as they transition into new and varied careers – a process that requires significant time and resources.”

Selected recipients include a wide range of equine rescues from 12 states, who will each be awarded a grant ranging from $5,000–$24,000, to help the groups increase their capacity for rescuing more horses. The organizations joining the list of rescues and sanctuaries as part of the ASPCA Rescuing Racers Initiative for 2016 are:

  • After the Homestretch, Ariz.
  • CANTER/National
  • CANTER, Mich.
  • CANTER, OH
  • The Exceller Fund Inc., Ky.
  • Foxie G Foundation Inc., Md.
  • Friends of Ferdinand, Ind.
  • Kentucky Equine Humane Center Inc., Ky.
  • Makers Mark Secretariat Center, Ky.
  • MidAtlantic Horse Rescue, Inc., Md.
  • Neigh Savers Foundation Inc., Calif.
  • New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, Ky. and OH
  • Old Friends Inc., Ky.
  • Racer Placers, Wis.
  • ReRun Inc., N.Y.
  • Safe Harbor Equine and Livestock Sanctuary, Tenn.
  • Standardbred Retirement Foundation, N.J.
  • Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Ky.

In 2015, the ASPCA awarded over $1 million in grants to support 124 equine rescues and sanctuaries across the country. The grant money supported several areas of equine welfare including large-scale rehabilitation, emergency relief grants, safety net programs, and ASPCA Help a Horse Day, a nationwide grants competition of equine rescues and sanctuaries that is designed to raise awareness about the year-round lifesaving work they do to care for local at-risk horses who’ve been abused, neglected or find themselves homeless.

Horses have been central to the ASPCA mission since the organization’s founding 150 years ago. The ASPCA’s efforts to further equine protection include supporting equine welfare through legislation, public advocacy, professional development, horse rescue and targeted grants. Most recently the ASPCA launched a broad “Adopt a Horse” public service campaign featuring “2 Broke Girls” actress and horse advocate Beth Behrs and her rescue horse Belle, to encourage potential horse owners to make adoption their first option. The campaign highlights the many benefits of adopting a horse from one of the nation’s hundreds of equine rescue groups. It also aims to connect the many horses in need of permanent homes with the 2.3 million Americans who, according to a recent survey, say they have adequate space, resources, and strong interest in adopting a horse.

To learn more about the ASPCA, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Appropriations bill will prevent U.S. horse slaughter operations in FY2017 by eliminating funding for horse slaughter inspections

WASHINGTON—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commends the members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee for approving an anti-horse slaughter amendment to its fiscal year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The Udall-Kirk Amendment, introduced by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), and cosponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Jack Reed (D-RI) was passed in the full committee by a bipartisan vote and will continue a ban on the gruesome horse slaughter industry on U.S. soil by preventing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using taxpayer dollars to conduct horse slaughter inspections, which is a requirement for slaughterhouses to operate. An identical amendment was approved by the House Appropriations Committee in April.

“Horse slaughter is inherently cruel, environmentally and economically devastating to local communities and unsafe for foreign consumers,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “Eighty percent of American voters oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption and now that both the House and Senate have approved this language we are one step closer to prohibiting the irresponsible and wasteful use of taxpayer dollars to fund this brutal practice. We are grateful to Senators Udall and Kirk for introducing this amendment to ensure this grisly industry does not establish itself in the U.S.”

"New Mexicans regularly write and call asking me to ensure we never allow horse slaughter in the United States, and this amendment will ensure no federal dollars are used to allow the practice to exist," Udall said. "Horses are a beautiful symbol of Western independence. Most Americans find the idea of slaughtering horses for human consumption repulsive, and they have no tolerance for attempts to open horse slaughtering plants. This amendment is a strong step forward, and I will keep fighting to prohibit horse slaughter in the United States." 

"Illinois banned horse slaughter in 2007 and I support the end of the practice in the United States,” said Sen. Kirk. “Americans have a long-established history with horses and overwhelmingly reject their slaughter for profit."

A recent Edge Research poll commissioned by the ASPCA shows that 2.3 million Americans have adequate space, resources, and strong interest in adopting horses. This new data suggests that there are more than enough homes available for the 125,000 American horses shipped to Canada and Mexico last year to be slaughtered for human consumption. The majority of these horses – 92 percent, according to the USDA – are young, healthy animals who could otherwise go on to lead productive lives with loving owners.

Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, the methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. In addition, meat from American horses is unsafe for human consumption since horses are not raised as food animals. They are routinely given medications and other substances that are toxic to humans and are expressly forbidden by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption.

While the Udall-Kirk Amendment prevents slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil for another year, it is not a permanent solution and cannot prohibit the current transport of U.S. horses from being trucked to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. To address this issue, Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 1214 /H.R. 1942)—legislation that would permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to ensure animals have greater protection under the law, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, and celebrating its 150th birthday this year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Nonprofit Horse Rescue Group Leads the Fight Nationwide to Prevent Horse Slaughter and Protect the Public

SANTA FE, NM, February 4, 2016 - Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a national nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education, in collaboration with the Attorney General of New Mexico, has obtained a court order that permanently ends any possibility of horse slaughter for human consumption at Valley Meat slaughterhouse in Roswell, New Mexico.

The court's order, issued by Judge Francis J. Mathew in Santa Fe today, is the culmination of three years of legal efforts by FRER, local residents, and the state to prevent horse slaughter in New Mexico.

The order permanently banning Valley Meat and any associated company or individual from slaughtering horses originated in a 2013 lawsuit initiated by the Attorney General's Office, joined by FRER and four residents of Roswell whose health, safety, and enjoyment were threatened by Valley Meat's operations. This suit successfully obtained an injunction against Valley Meat's horse slaughter operations.

FRER was the first group to discover that Valley Meat was applying to slaughter American horses, and FRER's investigations exposed the company's decades-long record of violating environmental and animal welfare requirements. Over the course of two decades, Valley Meat has accumulated more than 5000 violations of state laws protecting the environment, groundwater, rivers, and other waterways.

Among the most egregious of its misconduct, Valley Meat operated a cow slaughterhouse for nearly three years without any state approval to discharge water at all, thereby avoiding any oversight that might have helped monitor any damage being done. For years, Valley Meat illegally dumped and buried cow carcasses and pieces of dead animals, despite repeated requests from state regulators to cease and desist and clean up its mess.

"We have been working for years through the courts to stop the illegal, inhumane, and toxic practice of horse slaughter," said Hilary Wood, President of FRER. "This is a critical precedent in that effort because prospective horse slaughter operations will not be accepted by this state, and, with the support of other like-minded people, we will fight to ensure that no other American state allows the slaughter of horses for human consumption."

Facts:
• More than 135,000 American horses are exported for slaughter each year.
• The USDA has documented the abuse and misery horses suffered at U.S. slaughterhouses.
• Virtually all horses used for meat spend most of their lives as work, competition, or sport horses, companion animals, or wild horses, and are not raised or regulated as food animals.
• During their lives, owned horses are subject to a constant regimen of drugs and other substances which are either illegal for food animals, or are potentially dangerous to the health of consumers.

For over a decade, FRER has worked to prevent the slaughter of American horses, and intends to continue its efforts until the practice is permanently outlawed.

About Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER)
Front Range Equine Rescue is a 501c3 nonprofit working to end the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education. Since 1997, FRER has assisted thousands of horses through its rescue and educational programs. Many of FRER's rescued horses are obtained directly from livestock auctions and feed lots, which without FRER's intervention would have shipped to slaughter. For more information see www.frontrangeequinerescue.org.
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SMITHTOWN, NY – (October 6, 2015) –According to the Korean Animal Rights Advocates, approximately 2.5 million dogs are killed each year and around 100,000 tons consumed annually. Every day, thousands of dogs are transported from horrific dog meat farms to slaughter at the local markets for dinner in South Korea. The South Koreans’ culture believes that dog meat makes men more virile and strong. The more the dog is beaten prior to death, the more tender the meat. Guardians of Rescue, a nation-wide animal rescue organization, is teaming up with Save the Korean Dogs to step in and rescue as many innocent dogs as possible from a horrific death.

“No dog deserves to live or die like this,” says Robert Misseri, Guardians of Rescue founder and president. “We plan to do whatever it takes to save as many as we can. The cultural beliefs in South Korea consider dog meat a delicacy. It is beyond our comprehension that this exists. We are campaigning against this cruel, barbaric slaughter of mans best friend.”

Guardians of Rescue has teamed up with Nami Kim of Save the Korean Dogs, to save innocent dogs from being abused, tortured and boiled for soup. In the past, Guardians of Rescue have been a powerful force of opposition against the dog meat trade in South Korea.

Now, they are planning to save a mother dog and her pups from the sad fate thousands of dogs face. Tera and her three puppies are just four in a sea of doomed dogs, farmed for meat.

Guardians of Rescue is seeking donations to continue their campaign, “Real Men Don’t Eat Dog!”

“We are trying to raise funds to get these four dogs to our shelter partner, Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue on Long Island,” says Misseri. “The flight to JFK airport is $2,000… money well spent to save this momma and babies from being boiled alive. We are asking everyone to please donate to the cause. Tera and her puppies deserve a happy life and this is a step forward in helping thousands of South Korean dogs.”

Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to animals out on the streets, helping to rescue them, provide medical care, food and shelter, and find foster-home placements. They are also instrumental in helping military members with their pets, and to provide service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. To learn more, or to donate to save Tera, her pups and others like them that face slaughter, please go to www.guardiansofrescue.org.

About Guardians of Rescue
Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including facilitating foster programs, rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.

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A new video by Mercy For Animals documents the horrible treatment of ducks and ducklings at Reichardt Duck Farm in Sonoma County, California. To watch this video, click on www.MercyForAnimals.org/Ducks.

Ducks are waterfowl. To be healthy, ducks need not only to drink lots of fresh clean water; they need to swim and bathe regularly in water for the health of their skin, feathers, and eyes. In nature or a sanctuary, ducks rinse their eyes frequently during the day. Deprived of water to rinse their eyes in, ducks develop an eye disease called ophthalmia, or “sticky eye,” in which a yellowish discharge mats down the feathers around their eyes causing their eyelids to stick shut. Untreated, sticky eye can cause blindness. Not surprisingly, sticky eye is a disease of ducks raised indoors, and of course these ducks never receive treatment.

Seeing how industrially raised ducks are tortured every which way, including de-billing with burning metal, it is supremely sad to know that the only splashing and abundant water these ducks will ever experience in their lives – in their precious eyes – is the cold, salted electrified water in the slaughterhouse through which they are dragged, face down, to paralyze their bodies for feather release after they are dead. This is how we treat our feathered friends. This is why the word “food,” unless it is vegan, increasingly sounds like – and is – an obscenity.

For more information, go to www.upc-online.org/ducks.

Animal activists protest slaughterhouses throughout North America for World Day for Farmed Animals

Bethesda, Md. - Beginning this weekend, there will be a coordinated, targeted series of demonstrations at slaughterhouses and other animal agriculture facilities around the world headed by national nonprofit group Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM), one of the nation's oldest and most established animal advocacy organizations.

The events are held to observe World Day for Farmed Animals, during which activists around the world gather peacefully to respect and memorialize the 65 billion land animals killed for food every year. World Day For Farmed Animals, now in its 30th year, was established by FARM in 1983.

Protests and events will be held in more than 100 U.S. cities including Washington, DC at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's building, and at slaughterhouses in Brooklyn NY, Chicago IL, Los Angeles CA, Milwaukee WI, Milford DE, Phoenix AZ, and San Diego CA. In Canada, FARM is organizing protests in Vancouver BC, Toronto ON, Burlington ON, Maidstone ON, Breslau ON, and Lethbridge AB. FARM demonstrations are scheduled in several other countries, including England, Spain, Chile, India, and Israel.

"Farmed animals are confined, mutilated, and bred to grow so large, so quickly, that many of them literally suffer to death," said Michael Webermann, FARM executive director. "Each year, World Day for Farmed Animals seeks to expose the public to the shocking truth of animal agribusiness, and has become an international movement to take action on behalf of these innocent animals."

The international day of action typically includes vigils, marches, and demonstrations, and takes place each year on or around October 2 in conjunction with the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an outspoken advocate of non-violence towards animals.

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated," Gandhi famously said. For more information please visit www.DayForAnimals.org.


About FARM
Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization working to end the use of animals for food through public education and grassroots activism. FARM believes in the inherent self-worth of animals, as well as environmental protection and enhanced public health. The organization is based in Bethesda, Md., and works through a volunteer network in all 50 U.S. states and two dozen other countries. For more than 30 years, as FARM has grown, so has public awareness of farmed animal abuse and the benefits of veganism. For more information please visit http://www.farmusa.org.

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NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), and Animal Protection of New Mexico are dismayed over the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent decision to approve an application for a horse slaughter facility at Valley Meat Company LLC in Roswell, N.M. on the grounds that killing horses for human consumption is inhumane and creates a serious health risk to consumers. Similar applications are pending for Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, Mo., and Responsible Transportation LLC in Sigourney, Iowa, and could be approved as early as Monday.

Valley Meat is slated to be the first facility in the U.S. to be green-lighted to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed after Congress voted to eliminate funding for horse meat inspections. This surprising move to reopen a horse slaughter plant defies common sense, given Congress’s recent votes to eliminate funding for such inspections and the scandal in the European Union, where horse meat was found to be mislabeled as beef in prepared food products. On June 13, the House Appropriations Committee voted to include language prohibiting the use of tax dollars for horse slaughter inspections in its Agriculture Appropriations bill, and on June 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favor of including the same language in its version of the Appropriations bill. These bills are both expected to move for floor action in July, signaling revocation of the USDA’s inspection abilities in a matter of months.

“The writing is on the wall – Americans don’t want our horses slaughtered, here or in any other country. Moving ahead with a government program to fund horse slaughter inspections is a cruel, reckless and fiscally irresponsible move,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations.  “Recent polling shows that 70 percent of New Mexicans, along with the overwhelming majority of Americans, are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. Given the recent firestorm of concern and outrage over horse meat entering the food supply in Europe, this decision is shocking. The USDA is knowingly diverting tax dollars from programs that protect American consumers to programs that jeopardize them. It is time for Congress to take action to prevent American horses from suffering this terrible fate and stop horse slaughter in the U.S. once and for all.”

Horse slaughter is inherently cruel and often erroneously compared to humane euthanasia. The methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, these equines suffer incredible abuse even before they arrive at the slaughterhouse, often transported for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, and in dangerously overcrowded trailers where the animals are often seriously injured or even killed in transit. The majority of horses killed for human consumption are young, healthy animals who could go on to lead productive lives with loving owners. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were sent to a cruel death by a grisly foreign industry that produces unsafe food for consumers.

“I am baffled and greatly disappointed that the USDA has chosen to approve this application despite strong opposition from the state of New Mexico, the U.S. Congress and the American public,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI.  “Given an earlier statement from USDA Secretary Vilsack opposing horse slaughter and calling for alternatives and recent votes in Congress against this practice we had hoped no plant would be allowed to open.  It just means we will have to redouble our efforts to pass the SAFE Act which will ban slaughter and ensure our horses are safe from this cruel and predatory industry.”

“New Mexicans reject the idea of a horse slaughter plant in our state,” said Lisa Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection of New Mexico. “Horses are a valuable part of our heritage, and we have worked hard to develop a robust safety net for them, not condemn them to slaughter.”

“Despite the federal government’s decision to legalize horse slaughter for human consumption, I believe creating a horse slaughtering industry in New Mexico is wrong and I am strongly opposed,” said New Mexico Governor, Susana Martinez. “Like the overwhelming majority of Americans across the country, New Mexicans oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Not only is there not a domestic demand for horsemeat, the act of slaughter itself is considered inhumane by experts, given that a horse’s biology makes them difficult to stun, leaving them conscious during the slaughter process.”

“Granting an inspection of the proposed horse slaughtering facility does not resolve the issues of potential violation of New Mexico State requirements,” said New Mexico’s Attorney General, Gary K. King. “Our office has expressed concern that under current practices it is unlikely that the plant can show that it meets the requirements of the New Mexico Food Act in their manufacture and delivery of horse meat for human consumption. The plant will also likely be required to meet State environmental standards for their discharges.”

“As a veterinarian, natural resource manager, and someone who has had the great good fortune to grow up with and around horses, I am very concerned about their health and safety. If a horse is hurt, terminally ill, or has no chance to find a loving home, then humane euthanasia is an important option,” said New Mexico State Land Commissioner, Ray Powell, D.V.M. “I am told the USDA is considering the proposal to open a horse slaughtering facility in our state. Since we do not have enough unwanted horses in New Mexico to make this economically viable, it means that horses would be trucked in from across the nation. We do not have the safeguards and oversight in place to ensure their humane handling, transport, and euthanasia. New Mexico can do much better by these intelligent and gentle creatures, and I strongly oppose this ill-conceived proposal.”

The decision to allow facilities to slaughter horses adds further to the burden on U.S. taxpayers at a time when spending cuts associated with the sequester could curtail food safety inspections for U.S. meat products. Additionally, with the opening of a horse slaughter plant in the U.S., it will be more difficult to prevent the kind of comingling between horse meat and beef products that has occurred in Europe.

In March, U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., introduced the Safeguard American Foods Export (SAFE) Act (S. 541/ H.R. 1094), bipartisan legislation that will prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. AWI, APNM and the ASPCA urge Congress to swiftly pass the SAFE Act to protect horses and consumers.

 

 

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About the Animal Welfare Institute
The Animal Welfare Institute (www.awionline.org) is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people.  AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and other important animal protection news.

About Animal Protection of New Mexico
Animal Protection of New Mexico has been challenging historic and widespread animal cruelty in New Mexico since 1979.

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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.

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