Another Month on the frontline for animals

Another month of ADI campaigns and activity around the world has flashed by. Here’s the news on how together, we are changing the world for animals:

Two decades ago, ADI sent a team to investigate the circus industries of Spain and Portugal. Our investigators moved across the country, monitoring and working inside circuses, securing horrific images of elephants being jabbed in the face with bullhooks, animals whipped and beaten, a dead tiger was dragged from its cage, beheaded, and skinned in front of his cage mates. NOW THE MISERY IS OVER. ADI’s campaign in Portugal won the first ban, and now Spain’s new animal welfare law includes a ban on wild animals in circuses – joining 50 other countries. Isn’t it time the US joined them? Support the reintroduction of TEAPSPA to prohibit wild animal acts in the US.

Two rescued wild tortoises have joined our native leopard tortoise population on the ADI Wildlife Sanctuary, after their rescue from wildlife traffickers. Stolen from the wild, the SPCA saved the tortoises when they were up for sale on the internet and asked ADI to help.
Did you know: ADI has rescued and returned to the wild more tortoises and turtles than any other species (mainly in seizures from traffickers with Peru wildlife officials)?

A symbolic victory saw the 300-year-old Hudson’s Bay Company, once the heart of the global fur industry, go fur-free. In Massachusetts, Lexington became the state’s sixth municipality to ban the sale of new fur products, and in Hawaii, ADI is backing a fur sales ban which has passed the state Senate and House and now goes to conference, where the House and Senate must agree on the amendments made to the bill. Other state bills to ban fur sales are being supported in Washington DC, New York, and Massachusetts. If you live in one of these states, find out how you can take action here. In Europe, the European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) to end fur farming and stop the sale of farmed fur products closed with 1.7 million signatures. The European Commission must now respond.

For the third reading of the UK Hunting Trophy (Import Prohibition) Bill, we joined Ranulph Fiennes, Charles Dance, Vicki Michelle, Peter Egan, Felicity Kendal, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, and Marc Abraham at a parliamentary reception with Ban Trophy Hunting. The bill was passed and moves to the House of Lords.
The same day, The Animals (Low Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill, to stop UK advertising of cruel animal attractions overseas like bullfights and elephant rides, also passed its third reading.

ADI’s worldwide investigations of monkey factory farms has exposed miserable welfare, brutality and how western lab importers seem to turn a blind eye. In another twist, eight people, including two Cambodian officials, have been charged in the US with smuggling wild endangered monkeys for experiments and passing them off as captive bred. Now the US Department of Justice has subpoenaed Charles River Laboratories in its investigation into Cambodia’s primate supply chain. In addition, Quebedeaux’s Transport has been shut down by the US Department of Transportation for illegally transporting monkeys. Last year one of the company’s trucks crashed and macaques imported from Mauritius escaped, later captured, and killed.

ADI investigators and lawyers have been working intensely in Ayacucho, Peru to prevent the return of the horrific Jalatoro bull run. ADI previously exposed the event, where drunken, baying mobs punched, kicked, spat at, and tormented terrified young bulls in the streets. Last year’s ban was a huge victory, but ADI learned of plans to stage it anyway this year. ADI Peru has been speaking with members of Congress and officials and held press conferences with former Congressman Urquizo (instrumental on Peru’s animal circus ban) and community leaders, to stop the event proceeding. The campaign appears to have been successful, but ADI is now investigating reports of small, illegal events in the region.

A new anti-bullfighting mural in Bogota will greet members of Congress when they return after the Easter recess. ADI Colombia and Colombia sin Toreo coalition lobbied and staged events at Congress until recess and will be back when Congress resumes work. The bill to ban bullfighting was passed by the Senate and is supported by President Gustavo Petro. It now goes before the House of Representatives. This is a huge battle, with Congress divided by a powerful lobby working to block the ban.

As part of a study of Africa, I had a 45-minute Zoom call with pre-k and kindergarten students from New Jersey’s Lacordaire Academy. The students were able to get up close with our Cusco family (Kiara, Amazonas, Scarc, and Mahla) as I talked through their stories, rescues, and characters. They also got to meet our Resident Welfare Team, who care for our residents every day. Education and awareness are a huge part of ADIWS work, and later this year we will be ready to start the development of the Jean Warner Sprague Education Center, where we will welcome South African schools to study animals and the environment. We are always happy to do live talks to students like this from ADIWS. Get in touch if you are interested.

The UK’s Online Safety Bill aims to place more responsibility on social media platforms to moderate/restrict illegal and harmful content to protect children and vulnerable people. We’re calling on the government to include online animal cruelty content within its scope. This can include dog fighting, to terrorizing animals in fake rescues, to staging puppies or kitten being eaten by snakes. A study has shown children who witness animal cruelty are up to 8 times more likely to abuse animals themselves.

Pima County Fair in Arizona (April 20-30) is to feature a tiger show, sea lions, petting zoos, and a reptile show. Email them at office@pimacountyfair.com and America@pimacountyfair.com. If you’re on Facebook message them here.

A ban on live animal exports and the keeping of primates as pets was promised by the UK Government and the Kept Animals Bill was introduced to parliament in 2021. However, the Bill has not moved since May 2022. ADI is calling for the Leader of the House of Commons and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to bring back the Bill. Please contact your MP to press the government to include online animal cruelty in the Online Safety Bill.

After five decades living in Miami Seaquarium’s tiny tank, the company has announced that 57-year-old orca Lolita could be returned to the ocean. The plan is to airlift Lolita to a sea pen in the waters off Washington state, where she will learn to feed herself again, under 24-hour care. Whether it will be possible for her to learn to fend for herself or not, a sea pen will hopefully be a vast improvement on a concrete tank – perhaps she may be able to communicate with other orcas. Her loneliness is hard to imagine. We await developments on this desperately sad story.

With a million species threatened with extinction, the world is facing a biodiversity crisis. Yet, since the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) came into force in 1975, wildlife trade has increased ten-fold. In a joint letter, ADI and others have called on CITES Parties and Secretariat to play a more effective role in tackling the crisis.

More positively, the UN High Seas Treaty has been signed, to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. This provides a legal framework to establish and manage marine protected areas in the high seas and could prohibit or limit commercial fishing, oil or gas drilling, and other damaging human activities to protect the ocean from biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change.

Held on April 24 each year, World Day for Laboratory Animals (Lab Animal Day / World Day for Animals in Laboratories) commemorates the suffering of animals in laboratories and it’s an opportunity to show the problems of species differences and how advanced scientific non-animal methods are the way forward for research and testing. This World Day we’ll be calling for positive change to help lab animals and hope we can count on your support! Find out more here. Contact your elected representative and ask them to support a move to advanced technology to replace animals – better for humans and animals.

In a horrific development, there are plans to establish the world’s first industrial octopus farm in Gran Canaria, Spain, with plans to rear a million animals. These complex, intelligent, and sentient animals will suffer terribly. ADI supports the call for an EU wide ban on octopus farming.

In March, we were live on Facebook all day as Dr Peter Caldwell and Dr Gerhard Steenkamp examined animals and performed dental surgery. Rey Cusco and David both had dental surgery while Tarzan, Tanya, Sasha, Kimba, and Tomas were sedated, examined, and moved to beautiful new habitats. The key events from the live broadcasts have been compiled into a video giving a great insight into the sanctuary. It has the added bonus of seeing the animals in their new homes at the end. Watch here.

AND FINALLY – Welcome to Milo!
Many of you will be familiar with our lovely sanctuary protector, Rollo, the lovely Anatolian/cross dog who came with the property and monitors the humans, ducks, chickens, turkeys, and guinea fowl to ensure we are all in order. We always planned for Rollo to have a rescued friend, but the COVID shutdown put all our plans on hold. We are delighted to welcome a new rescue, Milo, who has proved to be a great friend for Rollo and learning his guard dog duties.

As usual there is not enough space to cover all the campaigns to protect animals here, but do follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where we publish daily updates.
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Our campaigns are vital for bringing lasting change and enabling us to rescue animals, please keep us on the frontlines for animals with a donation for this essential work. Donate here.

British Government’s report card – good and bad

In response to a question from Mike Hancock, MP, the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has admitted to plans to spend £261,000 on developing the unwanted wild animal circus licensing scheme for the UK, despite calls for a ban from 95% of the public – and approaching 63% of Members of Parliament.

It almost defies belief that in this grim economic climate, the Government is prepared to spend so much money on their unpopular policy. This issue is an ethical and political matter – a ban can be passed on a vote of Parliament. Yet the savage beatings and extreme environmental and social deprivation suffered by these animals is ignored while Defra dithers about – probably hoping that we will all go away.

Meanwhile the UK Home Office gets a slightly better report, having confirmed that the British ban on the use of stray cats and dogs for experiments will remain in place when the new law is introduced next yet.  However, exceptions will be made where it is claimed that the use of feral domestic species might be essential for “essential studies relating to either the health or welfare of the animals or a serious threat to the environment or to human or animal health and where the purpose can only be achieved by using feral animals”. Something to watch very closely and insist that there is full public consultations whenever use of ferals is proposed.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles our battle continues to persuade the City Council to ban the use of wild animals in traveling circuses – Ringlings is attempting to use economic muscle to push the City around, but we hope that the City’s residents will not stand for this kind of interference.

The Bogota office are still pressing authorities in Argentina and Paraguay to move on the seizure of the circus lions and tigers that were stopped at the border and don’t appear to have correct paperwork. There’s a surprise.  The cats are currently being cared for in the local zoo. Let’s hope officials in these two countries will stand up for what is right and protect these vulnerable cats.

Don’t forget to join us for Lion Ark Night on October 13 in the Hollywood Hills! Meet Bob Barker, Jorja Fox, Tonya Kaye and other celebrity supporters to help us save animals.  Private preview of Lion Ark, the movie – the story of the Bolivian circus ban and how we emptied the country of circus animals.  See http://www.adievents.com/