• Don Lichterman

Two White Giraffes Killed, Billion-dollar wildlife industry & Trafficking, Animal & Wildlife Report!

Welcome to the Animal & Wildlife Welfare, Abuse & Crime Report brought to you by the Sustainable Action Network (SAN)!

Kenya's only white female giraffe and her baby were slaughtered!

The scientific and conservation community is mourning a family of rare white giraffes in Kenya after two of its herd — a mother and her calf — were found dead and decomposing in a conservancy in northern Kenya. Officials announced that the deaths were at the hands of poachers, whose murderous act slashed the Kenyan population of this extremely rare giraffe to just one — a bull whose entire family was taken from him.

Sign to demand the Kenyan authorities find and prosecute these poachers!

The worldwide population of giraffes has been in jeopardy for decades.

The reticulated giraffe, the species you most likely picture when thinking of the iconic creatures, has suffered a population decline of almost 50% in just 30 years. The white giraffes seemed to facilitate a much-needed dialogue about conservation, not just for these rarest of animals but all of their giraffe relatives. Now there is only one.

Please help urge authorities to find the responsible poachers and hold them accountable today!

Allowing Vets to Report Animal Cruelty & Crimes

Kentucky is the only state in the country where veterinarians are not legally allowed to report the abuse of animals under their care unless permission is granted from the animal’s guardian or the vet is under court order. But that could change soon.

Recently introduced, Senate Bill 21 seeks to remove this restriction and allow vets to help these abused animals get away from their cruel supposed caretakers and find safety.

Unable to speak for themselves, animals are at the mercy of others to report their suffering, and veterinarians are often the first to alert authorities about cruelty. All other states recognize the importance of speaking out against animal abuse, and it is time Kentucky puts the rights of animals before the rights of their abusers.

Sign this petition urging Senator Robert Stivers, President of the Kentucky Senate to make this important bill a legislative priority, treating it with the urgency it deserves and ensuring a quick passage before more animal cruelty goes unreported.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman has indicted 27 people – including trainers, vets, drug suppliers and distributors ­– on charges related to an international racehorse doping scandal.

The charges in the four indictments were brought following an investigation by the FBI New York Joint Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force and law enforcement partners at the New York State Police, FDA and DEA.

Investigators discovered that insiders in the horse racing industry were secretly obtaining, selling and administering performance-enhancing drugs to racehorses on a large scale at tracks in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky and the United Arab Emirates.

“This is the most far-reaching prosecution of racehorse doping in the history of the Department of Justice,” Berman told reporters in New York. “These defendants engaged in this conduct not for the love of the sport, and certainly not out of concern for the horses, but for money, and it was the racehorses that paid the price for the defendants’ greed. The care and respect due to the animals competing, as well as the integrity of racing, are matters of deep concern to the people of this District and to this Office.”

The substances administered to the horses were intended to force them to run faster than they naturally would, which increases the likelihood of heart problems and leg fractures. Sudden cardiac arrest while racing and broken bones spell death for these innocent creatures, and the trainers, vets, drug suppliers and distributors involved in this tragedy were playing with animals’ lives.

If found guilty, the defendants face maximum sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years in prison.

Yummy, cat and dog meat

Officials in Shenzen, China have finally moved to end the deadly cat and dog meat trade amid fears of devastating illnesses like coronavirus.Add your voice to help save cats and dogs by urging officials to pass the proposed ban immediately. Sign The Petition. This bill would protect wild animals, too, by outlawing consumption and sale of turtles, frogs, snakes, pangolins, and more.These poor creatures await their deaths in small, cramped cages. Dogs and cats may be beaten, sliced and even burned alive.This must end, and the ban in Shenzen could create a ripple effect throughout China and the rest of the world, and finally stop the cruelty.

Sign the petition to join Lady Freethinker in supporting this ban and calling to protect animals from suffering, and shield humans from future pandemics.

Stand With Vietnam Stop Wildlife Trafficking!

OneProtest started this petition to The Standing Committee of the National Assembly of Vietnam

This petition acts as a show of support to Vietnam's prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The Prime Minister has asked the country's agriculture ministry to draft a law that would stop the illegal trade and consumption of wildlife to prevent the spread of disease.We hope the Prime Minister's request is granted and other countries follow suit. This is a time when we need global leaders to speak up and take action against the wildlife trade, both legal and illegal, as well as other agricultural practices that pose a significant threat to the health and wellbeing of people and animals worldwide.Please sign and share!

Billion-dollar wildlife industry in Vietnam under assault as law drafted to halt trading

Vietnam’s prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, has asked the country’s agriculture ministry to draft a directive to stop illegal trading and consumption of wildlife over fears it spreads disease.The directive, seen as a victory for animal rights organisations, will lead to a clamping down on street-side markets dotted across the country, increase prosecutions of online traders and ideally put pressure on thousands of farms with known links to illegal wildlife trading.Vitenam’s move to ban the wildlife trade follows similar moves by the Chinese government, after the new coronavirus pandemic appeared to have emerged from a wet market in Wuhan.Both illegal and “legal” wildlife trading flourishes in Vietnam, where the trade has grown into a billion-dollar industry. There are thousands of markets around the country, many of which include stalls selling animals for food or as pets. Anyone walking around some of the street-side stalls of the Mekong delta can see fish tanks stuffed with sea turtles or skinned-alive frogs.There is also a thriving online trade in animals. Many sellers advertise on Facebook, uploading photos of leopard cats caught in mesh nets, dead pangolins stored in a freezer, slaughtered macaque monkeys, frozen tiger cubs, butchered bats or even freshly barbecued wildlife. They are bought as status symbols, pets, food, or to be used in traditional medicines.

Pangolins smuggled from Laos and found in a bus in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province. Photograph: HANDOUT/AFP/Getty Images Yet the largest issue in terms of Vietnam’s wildlife trade is the nation’s “legal” commercial farms, where you can see maltreated civets in metal cages or an array of rare reptiles. Across Vietnam, bears are still trapped in tiny cages on bear bile farms, while Nghe An province in central Vietnam is known for tiger farms.“Opportunistic farmers can legally acquire licences for a plethora of species. Some of these species are incredibly difficult to raise in captivity while others are not economically viable to raise and sell profitably, but it has not been a common practice to involve third parties in the process of licensing farms, so the authorities are issuing permits to trade native species that can only be sourced from the wild,” Douglas Hendrie, director of enforcement for local environment NGO Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) told the Guardian.“Additionally, in some cases farmers can get away with trading completely protected species which are not even allowed to be farmed due to authorities lacking education on species protection. With such a poorly regulated and enforced commercial wildlife farming industry few fear prosecution.” “Animals from these farms and ‘conservation’ facilities are then sold via a huge ‘legal’ industry to businessmen, restaurants, traditional medicine shops and even across the border into China,” Hendrie added.On 20 November, Vietnamese authorities investigated a wildlife farm and temporarily seized 57 animals from 19 different species, the Guardian has learned. In this case, the owner was caught in possession of more than 10 species protected by law – a criminal offence punishable by up to 15 years in prison. It is this diversity of species – as seen in Wuhan’s wet market – that can lead to the spread of disease.According to Hendrie, online trading has grown in appeal as sellers can hide their identity while reaching more buyers. Entire Facebook pages are dedicated to ivory, rhino horns and bear claws or posting photos of animals being caught or slaughtered. Last year ENV recorded more than 2,400 advertisements in violation of wildlife protection laws on Facebook, YouTube, Zalo and other online platforms, along with more than 600 people caught illegally possessing wildlife.There is a thriving online trade in animals such as macaque monkeys (pictured), tiger cubs, bats or even freshly barbecued wildlife.

They are bought as status symbols, pets, food, or to be used in traditional medicines. Photograph: Nhac Nguyen/AFP/Getty Images Vietnam began recognising protected wildlife species listed by Cites (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) in 1994. Currently, Vietnamese law prohibits the trafficking of protected wildlife products, such as pangolins or rhinos, and the illegal trading or killing of wildlife. Yet campaigners say the illegal trade continues to flourish thanks to poor enforcement. Convicted criminals can face imprisonment or a fine of more than $600 (£500).Hanoi-based wildlife NGO Pan Nature recently sent a letter to the prime minister’s office – signed by 14 other environmental NGOs including WWF, Animals Asia, ENV and Traffic – calling on authorities to close markets and other locations where illegal wildlife is on sale. And the prime minister has now asked Vietnam’s agriculture ministry to draft a directive and present it by 1 April.Trinh Le Nguyen, executive director at Pan Nature, said the conservation community in Vietnam has “unanimously joined hands” to propose recommendations to the government.

A moon bear rests in a pool inside an enclosure at the a bear rescue centre in Tam Dao national park. Across Vietnam, bears are also still trapped in tiny cages on bear bile farms. Photograph: Minh Hoang/EPA “We welcome the proactive response from the prime minister with specific guidance to relevant agencies for drafting the directive to completely ban illegal wildlife consumption and trade in Vietnam,” he said. “We hope to see Vietnam as a country free of illegal wildlife trade in a very near future. We expect unanimous actions of government agencies in enforcing wildlife protection laws.”The exact actions made possible by the new directive will become clear when it’s presented at the beginning of April. The 14 NGOs that signed the letter are pushing for the closure of wildlife markets, increased policing of online sales and an end to permits for transporting large quantities of wildlife.

Any suspicious shipments, they say, should be reported to police, while large deliveries of “legal” wildlife should be investigated to determine whether laundering was involved. If there is evidence of crime, farms’ licences could be revoked and sentences of up to 15 years handed out.

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