UK bees

May 17, 2016 1 comment

British bees can breathe a tiny sigh of relief. The Westminster government’s decided to keep its ban on bee-killing pesticides south of the Border. [1] Borders don’t mean anything to bees so this is great news for the campaign to protect them in Scotland too.
Here’s how we did it together:  
250,000 of us signed the petition to keep bee-killing pesticides off our fields. We delivered every name to government ministers last week, just before the decision was made.

Thousands of us emailed our MPs to make sure they had copies of our hard-hitting report that proved last year’s decision to lift the ban on pesticides was wrong. And we delivered it directly into the hands of the government’s expert advisors.

We caused a buzz on social media when tens of thousands of us tweeted the UK government ministers making the decision on bee-killing pesticides.

Then amazingly, almost a hundred MPs came to listen to a panel of experts at our event in Parliament last week. [5]

This shows the enormous power we have when we come together. Here in Scotland we have a great chance to go even further. Our government’s already temporarily banned the worst bee-killing pesticides. We could push the government to ban them from Scotland’s fields forever.
More than 13,500 members of 38 Degrees have already signed a petition calling on the Scottish Environment Secretary to ban these horrific chemicals permanently. Imagine the impact it will have if thousands more of us sign up. It’ll really show the newly-elected Scottish Government that we want real action – right now. Please can you take a moment to add your name?

RSPCA

May 16, 2016 1 comment

Both the Times and the Daily Telegraph, Saturday, May 14, carried articles about the new RSPCA chief’s vow to tone things down.
The Times article, page 7, is titled, “RSPCA made mistakes with prosecutions, new head admits.” The RSPCA’s new chief executive, Jeremy Cooper, is quoted as saying the RSPCA is “very unlikely to bring a prosecution against a fox hunt in the future” and “he wanted to rebuild relations with farmers, who have been attacked for involvement in the badger cull.”
You’ll find the full article on line at http://tinyurl.com/zfkxwth
Letters to the editor should go to letters@thetimes.co.uk and should include your postal address and daytime telephone number
The Telegraph’s page 4 article is titled, “The RSPCA has made mistakes, we have to be honest about that;

Illegal puppy trading, not fox hunting or badger culling, will be the charity’s focus now, says new chief.”
On line it is titled, “RSPCA boss says sorry for blunders and admits charity was too political.”
To underscore the point we see a photo of Jeremy Cooper holding puppies. 
You’ll find the whole article on line at http://tinyurl.com/goqwzxf
An newspaper’s editorial on the issue is titled, “There is hope at last for the RSPCA.” It is on line at http://tinyurl.com/jxpwsm5 
Please take the opportunity to speak up for all animals — not just puppies. 
Letters for publication in The Daily Telegraph can be emailed to dtletters@telegraph.co.uk

Animal Welfare Scotland

May 16, 2016 1 comment

The election is over and and we have new faces in parliament. SfA look forward to working with everyone who has an interest in making our country a world leader in animal welfare.
In an interesting development Scottish Green MSPs have found themselves in a position that could potentially hold the balance of power at Holyrood. As the Greens have secured votes by placing themselves as the pro-animal welfare party this is an opportunity for them to step up and push through measures to improve legislation.
It’s a chance not only for citizens to hold a party and it’s elected members to account but to bring about real change.
If you’re resident in Scotland please contact the Greens Co-Convenor and MSP Patrick Harvie and ask for a firm commitment to drastically improve the welfare of the millions of animals killed every year in Scotland’s abattoirs.
Contact: Patrick.Harvie.msp@scottish.parliament.uk 

Sample text:
Dear Mr Harvie,
I am writing to you in your capacity as Scottish Green Party Co-Convenor. (if you live in the Greater Glasgow area remove this and insert I am writing to you in your capacity as MSP for Glasgow region)
I note that it is being widely reported that due to the Scottish National Party now operating a minority government that Scottish Green MSPs, including yourself, have been involved in negotiations with Ministers with a view to influencing policy in return for Green support.
The Scottish Green Party has arguably more than any other in Scotland captured votes motivated by it’s positions on animal welfare. As your party and it’s MSPs appear now to be in a position to implement real change I ask that you please commit to the insistence, as part of any agreement with government, that legislation for the introduction of mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in slaughterhouses be introduced in Scotland.
Rather than a system of voluntary installation and management favoured by some Scottish animal organisations the above is necessary to ensure proper adherence and enforcement. The flaws of self-regulation and optional involvement with regards to CCTV can be seen in recent exposure of appalling cruelty at abattoirs where voluntary CCTV is already in place.
Further evidence that legislation is required can be seen by last weeks reports that abattoirs are refusing to hand over footage to enforcement bodies.
I trust that you will be aware of details surrounding this issue however I have been informed that the charity Scotland for Animals who lead the campaign for abattoir CCTV in Scotland can provide consultation on request.
I look forward to your reply.

Land laws and tax dodging Scotland

March 15, 2016 Leave a comment

In just 32 hours we have a chance to make a real difference to tax dodging in Scotland.
Right now, our country is a tax dodger’s dream. Lax land laws mean that 750,000 acres of land in Scotland are owned by shadowy corporations in tax havens – and we have no idea who owns what or why. [1] But this Wednesday our MSPs will be voting on a law that would ban secrecy around who owns Scottish land.
Pressure from 38 Degrees members and campaigners forced the Scottish Government to make plans for a public register of who owns what. But wealthy landowners have been whispering in politicians’ ears, and the plans have been watered down. [2] If we all write to our MSPs ahead of Wednesday’s vote, together we can drown out those whispers.
Please can you email your MSP now and ask them to vote for amendments that ban secret landownership? Use the button below – there’s some suggested text on the page and it should take less than two minutes to send your message:

EMAIL YOUR MSP

Right now the big landowners in Scotland can hide behind obscure company names or complicated legal arrangements. A register could fix this injustice. Rural affairs committee member Sarah Boyack MSP has put down amendments that would make sure this register gets real teeth – and quickly. [3] She’s spoken about how persuasive she found emails from her constituents on this issue. She’s proof our pressure works. [4]
As 38 Degrees members we’re campaigning for a fairer Scotland for all. Just last year we called for justice for the Stoddart family – farmers in East Lothian who were being forced off a farm they’d run for 20 years. [5] Our pressure last year means Wednesday’s land reform bill will include measures to help tenant farmers.
Banning secrecy in Scotland’s land ownership would make Scotland a fairer country. So together let’s email our MSPs and tell them to do the right thing on Wednesday and stand up for the many, instead of the wealthy few. Please click here to email your MSP now:
EMAIL YOUR MSP

World Canals Scotland 2016

March 11, 2016 Leave a comment

The 2016 World Canals Conference is shaping up to be the best yet, with an array of world-renowned speakers and high-profile sponsors signing up to take part in the prestigious event in Inverness this September.
 Speakers

The prestigious four-day conference has already attracted a wide range of speakers, academics and experts at the pinnacle of their fields. Each keynote speaker will focus on one of the conference’s four themes and include:

Dr Jonathan Chambers, Team Leader in Geophysical Tomography, British Geographical Survey

Professor Mark Horton, Presenter of BBC’s Coast & Professor in Archaeology, University of Bristol

Professor Steven Mithin, Deputy Vice Chancellor & Professor of Archaeology, University of Reading

Professor Bruce Prideaux, Director of the Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities, Central Queensland University

Dame Seona Reid, Deputy Chair, Heritage Lottery Fund

Darren Parkinson, National SCADA/ICA Manager, Canal & River Trust

Sea World infiltrates Animal Rights Group

February 28, 2016 Leave a comment

On Thursday, SeaWorld chief executive Joel Manby told investors the theme park operator had employees pose as activists to infiltrate People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.This admission comes months after PETA accused SeaWorld employee Paul McComb of working for the animal rights group under the alias Thomas Jones. PETA claimed McComb attended anti-SeaWorld meetings and protests, asked for insider secrets from other protesters, and encouraged aggressive and illegal tactics during demonstrations.

At the time, SeaWorld officials denied the claims but put McComb put on temporary leave. He has since returned to the company, according to Manby.

“Following the completion of an investigation conducted by independent outside counsel, the board has directed that the company’s management team end a practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists in connection with efforts to maintain the safety and security of company employees, customers, and animals in the face of credible threats that the company had received,” SeaWorld said in a statement issued after Manby discussed the issue with investors during a conference call Thursday.

International Animal Rights Conference 2016!

February 27, 2016 1 comment

The sixth international animal rights conference in Luxembourg will take place on September 8th until 11th 2016 at the Kulturfabrik in Esch, Luxembourg. We welcome all animal rights activists and all people who care about animals, the environment, and would like to learn more about animal rights in both theory and practice.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • viewpoints on animal liberation / animal rights
  • learning and networking options
  • presentations, workshops, discussions
  • stalls by animal rights groups and vegan shops
  • animal rights concert
  • of course vegan meals
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