Archive for March, 2017

Prints for sale

March 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Signed Prints at £20 each 7 x 5 framed. Many more of Scotland can be seen on my flikr site. Just follow the link on the right side of the blog.


from the Animal Defenders

March 17, 2017 Leave a comment

What a difference a week has made for spider monkey Zumba! ​

A week ago today, we were tracking a circus around the capital city of Peru, Lima, following confirmation that a monkey had been seen. This is in violation of Peru’s ban on animal circuses and their new animal welfare act. 

Since we seized the animals from Peru’s circuses and relocated them, we and our supporters and partner organisations in Peru have been alert to anyone breaking the law. We had to make sure circuses knew there would be penalties if they used animals again. So, as we continued to track the circus, a flurry of calls and plans were made with government officials and on Sunday we moved in, alongside wildlife officers and police. That was Zumba’s last day in the circus.

The owner of the circus was arrested and will be prosecuted. It was important to show Peru will have zero tolerance for the use of wild animals in circuses, and of course, sweet Zumba is our 110th rescued animal during this whole operation.​

In the first instance, Zumba was taken into temporary custody in a zoo, although under ADI’s care (our own temporary custody centre has now been dismantled). The ADI team enriched the enclosure and gave him lots of attention, and he has clearly been enjoying himself swinging around on the ropes!

Before Zumba could be moved to his permanent home at our sanctuary partner where we have Pepe and the other monkeys, our veterinary team sedated him and performed a full examination, samples taken for testing, as well as neutering him to prevent breeding. The new animal protection legislation also requires specific new permits and tests to be carried out to ensure the health of the animals at his new home.

With your help we will be taking Zumba back to the Amazon forest where he will be carefully introduced to Pepe and our other rescued spider monkeys. Zumba will be a perfect addition to their family!

We will be flying Zumba to Iquitos and then it will be a ride along the river to Pilpintuwasi, to move next door to his new family so that he can get to know them!

Can you help get Zumba home?


Clean meat!

March 17, 2017 Leave a comment

The Thursday March 16 Wall Street Journal, page B3 Business headline reads, “Start-up Serves Chicken from the Lab.” 
The article, by Jacob Bunge, opens with: 

“A Bay Area food-technology startup says it has created the world’s first chicken strips grown from self-reproducing cells without so much as ruffling a feather.

“And the product pretty much tastes like chicken, according to people who were offered samples Tuesday in San Francisco, before Memphis Meat Inc.’s formal unveiling on Wednesday.

“Scientists, startups and animal-welfare activists believe the new product could help to revolutionize the roughly $200 billion US meat industry. Their goal: Replace billions of cattle, pigs and chickens with animal meat they say can be grown more efficiently and humanely in stainless-steel bioreactor tanks.”

As Uma Valeti, Memphis Meat’s co-founder and CEO, says in the in the accompanying video, “Chicken is the most consumed meat in the United States,” so this is a wonderful breakthrough. 

The accompanying video tells us that Valeti hopes to have the product on the market in 2021!

If you are a Wall Street Journal subscriber, you can read the full article on line at , and if not, you can read the opening but either way, you can WATCH THE VIDEO at that link, which does a better job of telling the story anyway. And please share the link, which includes the video. 

Importantly, if you are excited to see this issue covered in the Wall Street Journal, please share that excitement via a letter to the editor, making any point about the development that moves you. The Wall Street Journal takes letters at 

Always include your full name, address and phone number. 

I send thanks to the Bruce Friedrich of the Good Food Institute ( ) for making sure we saw this article. 

Licence refused for South Lakes Safari Zoo 

March 16, 2017 Leave a comment

As you may have heard already, it is with cautious relief that I tell you that the council unanimously decided to refuse the Zoo Licence application from David Gill for South Lakes Safari Zoo. I have been wanting to update you sooner but the past weeks have continued to be non-stop, dealing with press and queries. 
On the day of the hearing, we were there to present our case against this licence application. It was sad and frustrating to hear from zoo inspectors how much the animals had suffered at this zoo. To hear the decision to refuse was exhilarating and a big relief.

But soon after the joy, I realised that this was not the real battle – the animals are not safe yet. We have a much tougher fight on our hands.

A second zoo licence application has been submitted for Cumbria Zoo Co. Ltd. to take over the zoo. We must stop this application being granted!

At least some of the key management who are named under Cumbria Zoo Co Ltd were in similar roles at South Lakes Safari Zoo. They have been involved over the years when serious welfare concerns and deaths have taken place. How can they then be considered to take over the zoo?

Please donate now to fight for a better future for the animals at the zoo 

We have less than two weeks to submit our report against this recent application, to try to convince the zoo to refuse it and shut the zoo down for good. 

We are sure you agree that we should give the animals the chance to live out the best lives possible going forward, not to be used in some kind of experiment to see if the next owner can do a better job.

Please, if you can, donate before the 24th March so we can prepare the strongest possible case against this company who want to continue to exploit animals for profit.

The ultimate question is, what is best for the animals? Haven’t they been through enough? We think so. This zoo needs to be closed once and for all so please help if you can. 

Citizen Jane

March 16, 2017 Leave a comment

 Citizen Jane: Battle for the City – Official trailer


Watch the new trailer for Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a film on activist Jane Jacobs which comes to cinemas on 5 May. Jacobs’ epic battles with property mogul Robert Moses in 1960s New York have informed, defined and framed the fights we are having over cities in the modern era of mass urbanisation and the global megacity.

Animal testing

March 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Before I share the grueling animal testing segment from CTV’s W5, let me note that I have been offline since Friday, at a natural products expo, and would like to apologize to those of you who had letters bounce after being sent to the National Post address I offered. I am glad quite a few people seem to have worked out that the address was missing the “s” at the end of the word “letters.” Thank you!

And I would have liked to have sent Saturday’s front page Toronto Star article out to you (particularly to my Canadians) more quickly, but letters are still appropriate. The article is about that stunning animal testing story, which aired on CTV’s W5 on Saturday. As that is a weekly show, the episode is currently featured on the website and we are not at all late for feedback. 
I wonder how most Canadians watching CTV’s popular news magazine show, W5, on Saturday March 11, responded to the half hour segment, “Undercover investigation reveals what goes on inside Montreal animal research lab.” I warn you that it is hard to watch — beagles being repeatedly slapped in the face, or frothing at the mouth and vomiting after having ingested poisons, and monkeys wallowing in cages or struggling in restraints. And it is hard to listen to, as pigs have their backs burned with chemicals. But it is important to watch and to especially to share, and so important to thank W5 for the coverage. You’ll find it on line at 

And W5 says:

“You can e-mail your comments or questions to Every e-mail is read and acknowledged by W5’s producers. Due to the volume of mail received if you have a specific question or story proposal please be patient.”

Please take just a moment to thank the producers:

And Canadians (and others who are moved) please respond to Kevin Newman’s story about the segment, which was on the front page of Saturday’s Toronto Star. Here is just a small section of the lengthy article, titled, “Undercover at the animal test lab; Hidden cameras capture scenes of apparent abuse of dogs, pigs, monkeys in Montreal-based lab”:

“Last Chance for Animals’ undercover footage provides what is believed to be the first inside look at a Canadian testing facility and focuses attention on an industry, largely unregulated, that makes animals sick so humans won’t be.

“The public rarely gets to see what the animals endure. While animal testing is legal, it is nevertheless very upsetting to watch.

“Every year in Canada, an estimated three and a half million animals are used by science, some of them exposed to experimental drugs, household products and even cosmetics to test their tolerance to them.

“The vast majority are mice, fish and birds, but 12,000 dogs and 5,000 monkeys are also involved in more advanced testing. The animals are bred for the purpose, sold to the labs, and live very short and often painful lives.”

You’ll find the full article on line at 

Letters to the Editor go to The Star notes: “Letters must include full name, address and all phone numbers of sender (daytime, evening and cellphone). Street names and phone numbers will not be published. We reserve the right to edit letters, which typically run 50-150 words.”

While I noted above that the story is hard to watch, its having appeared on a popular half hour news show, and on the front page of one of the world’s leading papers, is truly encouraging. We have a long way to go as we strive for animal liberation, but we are making great strides, and the pace at which we are making them is heating up. Thank you for being part of the good fight. 

Holocaust comparison 

March 10, 2017 Leave a comment

The Toronto Pig Save trial is on the front page of Canada’s National Post today, Friday March 10, surely due to the bold tack taken by Anita Krajnc’s defense lawyer, Gary Grill.The headline of the article, by Adrian Humphreys, reads, “Pig activist like Gandhi or Mandela, says lawyer.”

The story opens with: 

“A trial for a woman charged with giving water to a pig on its way to slaughter took on grand proportions Thursday with the treatment of pigs equated to the extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany and the accused being compared to some of history’s greatest human rights champions: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Susan B. Anthony.

“In making closing submissions in the case against Anita Krajnc, who is charged with mischief after giving a roadside drink to a pig packed in a truck outside a Burlington slaughterhouse in 2015, her lawyer Gary Grill evoked the Holocaust.”

We learn that outside the court Grill commented on the Holocaust comparison:

“There are many important parallels that we can draw from the two things. One is our inability to have emotional contagion, somehow. Why don’t we feel the suffering of others? How do we close ourselves out to that, whether it be Jews being herded into a train or whether it be pigs?” 

We read:

“In his no-holds-barred defence, Grill summarized testimony from the five days of evidence that factory farming damages the environment and that ‘bacon is potentially lethal’ and that feeding bacon to a child is child abuse.”

And we learn:

“Instead of merely asking the judge to acquit Krajnc on a paucity of evidence brought by the Crown of any harm stemming from her actions, Grill encouraged the judge to strike a legal precedent – to accept her actions were justified for the public good.”

You’ll find the full, fascinating, National Post front page story (which apparently, oddly, is on the front page in all but the Toronto edition) online at 

I would be surprised if the article doesn’t get some heavy pushback, so I urge you, today when it is so needed, to lend animals your voice in a letter to the National Post. The paper takes letters to the editor at . Always include your full name, address, and telephone number when sending a letter to the editor.