Archive for the ‘Enviroment’ Category

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.

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 . 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 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 and can send a letter to the New York Times at

Statement on Scottish Government animal welfare announcements

May 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Scotland for Animals welcomes the Scottish Government announcement yesterday that some areas of welfare provision are to be reviewed.

We also welcome the inclusion of a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, however we are disappointed that this will have a very limited protective impact due to it’s scope.
We are further concerned that there is no mention of improvements regarding legislation concerning the farming and slaughter of animals, which by it’s nature and the sheer number of animals involved, presents arguably the largest welfare issue.

We are particularly surprised that given the huge amount of public support for mandatory, independently monitored CCTV in abattoirs and an end to unstunned slaughter these measures have been ignored.

Not least due to SfA’s campaign for proper enforcement and tougher sentencing with regards to animal cruelty we are heartened that the Scottish Government has at long last pledged to review sentencing. 

In light of previous betrayals we hope that this is not yet another round of soft measures and empty promises. There is history of government championing relatively easy wins to gain public approval without the risk of taking on the meat industry or investing hard work in creating a proper legal framework for ending everyday cruelty. 

We will be holding Ministers to account on all of these claims and pressing for the inclusion of meaningful, far reaching changes which are at present not on the table.

“What a Fish Knows” on KPCC’s Take Two 5/11/17

May 12, 2017 Leave a comment

The KPCC (Los Angeles NPR) station show “Take Two” aired a terrific interview this morning with Jonathan Balcombe, author of “What a Fish Knows,” which has just come out in paperback. Balcombe smashes myths about fish such as that they are primitive, dimwitted, emotionless or unfeeling. The six minute interview is a delight to listen to or read. You’ll find it on line at 
Please let KPCC know you appreciate it by leaving a comment beneath it, or even liking other comments that are already there, and by sharing the interview on social media. Or go to and choose “content issues” from the pull-down menu. 

Sea world slump and meat free news

May 11, 2017 Leave a comment

There’s lots of good news: A USA Today headline, Wednesday May 10, tells us, “Crowds fall as SeaWorld changes format; Attendance plunges 15% amid phase-out of killer whale shows.” And last weekend’s papers were bursting with plant-based milk and “clean meat” from meat breweries.

The USA Today article, by Charisse Jones, opens with:
“As it starts to downplay killer whale shows, SeaWorld said Tuesday that it hasn’t been drawing the same massive crowds to its aquatic parks as it has in the past.”

While a good chunk of the article leans towards suggesting that attendance is falling because orca shows are being phased out, the piece ends with a strong quote from PETA’s Tracy Reiman, making clear that the performances are hardly the only issue, and that the public wants to see less rather than more of the orcas in captivity. Reiman says:

“As Ringling Bros. circus prepares to shut down this month because of its failure to evolve, SeaWorld could save itself by not fighting a losing battle against the sea change of public opinion and set a plan immediately to move these long-suffering animals to seaside sanctuaries.” 

You’ll find the full article on line at

USA Today takes letters at or via this form: 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.”

It is up to us to make sure the public knows that things are not okay now at SeaWorld, just because breeding and orca performances have stopped. Please write. 

Now let me share great news from Parade Magazine, the insert slipped into hundreds of Sunday newspapers in the US and thereby distributed to tens of millions of households. An article and page of recipes titled “Dairy-Free and Delicious: Nondairy Milks Are All the Rage” opens with:

“Dairy alternatives are all the rage. In fact, 49 percent of Americans now prefer nondairy milk. That’s why we’ve created a light springy soup and creamy popsicles perfect for experimenting with new plant-based ‘milks.’ For the soup, we used milk made with pea protein, which is increasingly showing up in products like snack bars or veggie burgers as a meat-free source of protein. For these recipes, any nondairy milk will taste great (as will reduced-fat cow’s milk).”

As Stewart David, who kindly sent me the link, pointed out, 49% must be a taste-test figure. I checked actual sales figures and found out, from, that nondairy accounted for about ten percent of the US milk market in 2016. Given that when I began working in this movement it was more like 1%, that is still wonderful news! And an article like this will only help those numbers. 

You’ll find it on line at

I was unable to sign in or register to comment, and as there are no comments I suspect others had a similar problem. But clicking the Facebook or Twitter link under the headline is a comment in and of itself, and it helps spread the wonderful word! And, if you like, you can add your own comment on Facebook or Twitter as to why “reduced fat cow’s milk” is not a good substitute for pea-protein milk. Please, at least, hit the button and share the article on social media. 

Meanwhile, Shelley Frost let us know that in last Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle, “the entire Food + Home section is titled ‘Special Report- What is Meat?’.” She described it as “a 14 page section filled with alternative meat articles that closes with vegan recipes.” Here’s the introduction:
“What is meat?

Does its provenance — a living animal — define meat? Or is it simply the sum of its parts? If something is chemically identical to meat — or for that matter, wine — does that make it so?

“These questions are worth asking, because thanks to a confluence of wealth, innovation and culinary knowledge, the Bay Area is uniquely positioned to be a major player in the global alternative meat industry. The cause is well known: Animal consumption, especially on the factory farm levels, is an unsustainable proposition.

Welcome to the real future of fake meat.”  

Here’s the link to it:

You’ll find articles with titles such as, “Cellular agriculture: Growing meat in a lab setting” and “Faux shrimp leads new round of plant-based proteins” and “‘Meat breweries’ that make protein instead of beer,” which I hope you will love and share widely.

Glasgow animal right protest

May 6, 2017 Leave a comment

An animal rights protest in aid of farmed animals.