Yulin Festival 2017

June 18, 2017 Leave a comment

With the horrific torture fest of Yulin happening this week despite everyone’s attempts to ban this brutality, we want to share with you some positive news and thank you for all your donations and support. We cannot stop this festival – it’s up to the Chinese government to stop it, or not – but it has significantly reduced in size since we first took to the streets in 2012. Unfortunately media attention and celebrity interest has encouraged butchers to increase the prices they charge for the dogs, and dogs are being shipped in especially just so ‘rescuers’ can buy them only abandoning them to die after the festival has ended. Talk of closing slaughterhouses there has only ever been talk, since most slaughterhouses are makeshift anyway.It is our decision along with respected groups to boycott Yulin. This does not mean we won’t save dogs bound for slaughter. Our group was one of the first to work with activists in China stopping trucks. It just means we will not hand over money to dog meat butchers and thus increase demand. Throughout May and this month also we have been staking out warehouses where the stolen pets are kept and working to raid them. These trucks do not just go to Yulin they are on the move in broad daylight regularly to Dongbei which is in the North of China. Here there is a large Korean population and over 400-500 dogs are brutally slaughtered daily. 
Our pledge this Yulin is to take in up to 100 lives and keep them in our shelter south of Beijing caring for them until they find homes. Rescue is only ever the beginning of a long journey for the animals and the people who care for them. On June 21st, our London Team will join protests outside the Chinese Embassy as well as spreading awareness in Chinatown. Our CEO Julia also has a meeting with the OIE (World Health Organisation) to discuss our concerns on food safety and reiterate the systematic torture that they fail to address. We do this to stand in solidarity with activists in Asia giving them a voice, and it is also a wonderful way people can meet our rescues.
This year we will have Annabel with us. Annabel is an apricot chow chow, gentle and kind. She was on a truck bound for Yulin in 2015 and her injuries were so bad she lost her eye. Our friend Sarah Pinq rescued her and gave her refuge pending her recovery in her small shelter. Three days before we came to pick up her to start her new life in Europe Sarah’s shelter was demolished with just 36 hours’ notice by the Government of Tianjin. Sarah is now in a holding yard with her 120 dogs and has to start from scratch and we have pledged to help her.
People like Sarah and our own Mr Zhao who runs our partner’s shelter south of Beijing are the real heroes of Yulin. They work very hard and risk their lives day in day out to make a difference and struggle just to feed the dogs. That is why we need your help to donate whatever you can. With your help we have been able to vaccinate all the dogs previously saved, build a cattery and start to microchip them. Our plan is still to build a medical facility that can be used by other small groups for a low fee helping more dogs and cats and we will let you know more how you can be involved.
Despite the sadness we hope you can enjoy the photos of our lovely rescues needing sponsors and homes and we hope you will take three minutes to watch this wonderful video which shows how dedicated Mr Zhao is.


June 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Pull up a chair at Dogwoof Directors Roundtable at Sheffield Doc//Fest and join filmmakers Jairus McLearly, Jon Olshevski, Dan Sickles, Lana Wilson and Nick Broomfield as they discuss the current state and future of documentary filmmaking in a live discussion on Facebook. 

Scottish water conference 2017

June 8, 2017 Leave a comment

How can Scotland optimise its unique position in the water sector, and what opportunities exist for the supply chain? The 2017 WWT Water Scotland Conference will bring key stakeholders together to answer these questions and more on 7 December in Glasgow. With support from Scottish Water, Scottish Government and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, this is a unique opportunity to gain expert insight from water industry leaders, including:

  • Bob Irvine, Deputy director water industry, Scottish Government
  • Mark Dickson, Director of capital investment, Scottish Water
  • Terry A’Hearn, Chief executive officer, SEPA
  • Sue Petch, Drinking water quality regulator, Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland
  • Dr Marc Stutter, Lead of the waters research programme, The James Hutton Institute
  • Sara Thiam, Regional director, Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland
  • Johanna Dow, Chief executive officer, Business Stream
  • Sam Ghibaldan, Consumer futures unit manager, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Mark Bevan, Chief executive, Scottish Council for Development and Industry


Attend this CPD-certified event to:

  • Hear directly from Scottish Water to reflect on SR15
  • Address how to maintain a resilient and environmentally secure water industry
  • Discuss how water will be operated, managed and delivered in the future
  • Learn about the innovative projects currently underway in Scotland

Last year’s event sold out, so early booking is essential. Book now to guarantee your place.

Fox hunting UK

June 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Today, Wednesday June 7, US animal advocates can weigh in on the UK fox hunt, or, preferably, on the treatment of animals here in the US, in response to an article in USA Today titled, “Fox hunting a battleground in U.K. general election; Animal rights groups angry at Theresa May’s support for it.” (Page 3A). That second part of the heading (which does not appear in the online version) is a little misleading, and perhaps indicative of what reporters are used to seeing the US, where both major parties support hunting and only animal rights activists are assumed to oppose it. The article, however, by Jane Onyanga-Omara tells us, “The Labour Party is urging people to sign a petition against overturning the ban.”
Not mentioned in this USA Today article is that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently tweeted, “Fox hunting is barbarous. Under my Labour government it will remain banned and we will advance animal rights. #KeepTheBan ”

You’ll find the full USA Today article on line at http://tinyurl.com/y7gb6bsg

It badly needs comments underneath it. Please join the conversation. Also, please consider a quick letter to USA Today, using the article as a springboard for your words on behalf of animals. USA Today takes letters at letters@usatoday.com or via this form: http://tinyurl.com/zs4ftbu and advises, “Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length. Submissions of 200 words or fewer have the best chance of being published. Letters that include a name, address, day and evening phone numbers, and that are verified by USA TODAY, are considered for publication.”

Animals here in the US need your attention and your voice. Please take a moment for them, and write a few words. 

Ban UK live exports

June 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Whatever the result of the UK general election tomorrow, let’s make this the beginning of the end for live exports.

Despite increasing opposition and protest amongst the general public, and even MPs, live exports are still occurring from the UK. For decades, successive British governments have blamed EU free trade law for their failure to ban this abhorrent trade.

With Brexit underway, there are now no more excuses.

We only have a limited window of opportunity to push a ban to the top of the list for the new Parliament. With your support, we’ll fight for a better future for farm animals, and for live exports to be made illegal from the day the UK leaves the EU.

Elephants in the news

June 7, 2017 Leave a comment

An in-depth report on IFAW’s tenBoma programme has just been featured on NBC, one of the US’ biggest news channels. It explains what we’re trying to achieve so well that we wanted you to see it, too!
Reporters travelled to Kenya to interview our Chief of Staff and tenBoma programme architect, Lt Col Faye Cuevas, about the work we’re doing to protect elephants and fight poachers.

Faye talks about how seeing her first elephant in the wild changed her life – so much so that she moved her family to Africa and is now using the skills she learned in the military to stop poachers before they kill.

In the report, IFAW’s tenBoma programme is featured front and centre as one of the leading conservation efforts helping to combat poachers and the larger criminal networks that traffic ivory around the world.

With the tenBoma framework, IFAW, in coordination with local and global partners, uses information collected from communities, wildlife rangers, and police to predict – and prevent – a poacher’s next strike.

Every year, 20,000 elephants are killed for their ivory – that’s 55 elephants each day. Our mission is to bring this number down to zero. Thank you for standing with us.

Megyl Kelly on elephant poaching 

June 6, 2017 Leave a comment

The first episode of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” Sunday June 4 on NBC, included a segment on women fighting elephant poachers. And the Tuesday June 6 New York Times includes a feature article on the illegal trade in wildlife in Asia, which is decimating populations. 

The story on the fight against Kenya’s elephant poachers, reported by Harry Smith on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” had a notably feminist feel. Earlier in the show viewers were informed, “Coming up: The race to save the elephants: women are leading the way.” The opening of the story focused on Faye Cuevas, a lawyer and a lieutenant colonel in the US air-force reserve, who works with IFAW to catch poachers and save elephants. But the story also looked at local women who had been leading efforts and included a brief interview with Kenya’s Secretary for the environment, Judy Wakhungu, who showed off the ashes at a site where $100,000,000 worth of elephant tusks had been torched to show, “Ivory has no value unless it is on a live elephant.” The show did inform us that elephants are in dire straits, but shared, “The hope here is community based conservation, like the efforts we witnessed, will be the strategy that ultimately slows and stops the slaughter, efforts that seem part
icularly effective when women are involved.”

You can watch the whole show, which I enjoyed, and which includes an interview with President Putin, and with a drug company whistle-blower, on line at http://tinyurl.com/y77fo8p9 . Or you can go straight to the elephant segment on NBC’s YouTube channel at 

Please let this new show know how much we viewers appreciate animal issues being included in the first episode. You can do that by sharing the YouTube video of the episode on social media and tagging @MegynKelly and/or by going to the NBC contact page at http://www.nbc.com/contact-us and choosing “I have feedback” and “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.” I did both. 

Tomorrow’s, Tuesday June 5, New York Times story is titled, “Animal Farms.” It opens with a description of three caged tigers on a farm in Laos, none of whom likely “had long to live.” It covers the farming of wild animals in various Asian countries for their body parts, and notes that the animals are mostly wild caught though sold as captive bred. Government efforts to curtail the businesses are questionable:

“Officials in Vietnam recently granted permission for the wife of Pham Van Tuan, a twice-convicted tiger trafficker, to import 24 tigers from the Czech Republic ‘for conservation purposes.’”

The article covers bear bile farming:

“An estimated 10,000 bears are legally kept on Chinese farms for their bile, an ingredient in traditional medicine that is collected through a tube permanently implanted in the animals’ gall bladders, or through a hole in their abdomens…..

“In 2002, Vietnam faced a similar dilemma when it made bear farming and bile sales illegal. Fifteen years later, around 1,200 bears still live with their original owners.

“Many are kept in horrific conditions — in cages scarcely larger than their bodies, suffering from rampant disease and lacking adequate food and water — and their bile continues to be collected illegally.

“Animals Asia runs a rehabilitation center near Hanoi that houses 160 bears rescued from the trade, but the center has permission to keep only 200 animals. Even if that cap were eliminated, however, the group lacks the funds and space to care for all of Vietnam’s remaining captive bears.”

The responsibility of the US is not ignored in the piece:

“The pet trade is also a problem. Indonesia annually exports over four million reptiles and small mammals labeled captive-bred — including thousands shipped weekly to the United States. But virtually all are caught in the wild, according to Dr. Shepherd.”

And we read:

“Conservationists believe that international pressure may be crucial to persuading Asian governments to close tiger, bear and other wildlife farms, but that strategy’s effectiveness is compromised by an awkward fact: An estimated 5,000 tigers are held in backyards, petting zoos and even truck stops across the United States.

“While those animals are predominantly kept as pets, they compromise negotiations with other countries on this issue, said Leigh Henry, a senior policy adviser at the World Wildlife Fund.”  

She is quoted:

“When fingers are pointed at China about their tiger farms, they tend to point the finger back at the U.S. and say, ‘They have as many tigers as we have, why are you not criticizing them?’

“The priority is closing the tiger farms in Asia…but the U.S. needs to set a strong standard, and that starts with cleaning up the situation in our own backyard.”

You’ll find the whole article on line at http://tinyurl.com/y958jrrw and can send a letter to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com