Scotland’s mountain hare

March 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Since last Thursday, our petition to protect mountain hares in the Cairngorms National Park has collected over 3500 signatures, and we’ve only just started. We would love to get to 5000 today, so please take action and sign now.Last week, the mountain hare killing paused for the closed season. Shockingly, in the last few hours of the open season, a nature photographer snapped a disturbing image. An ATV packed with the dead bodies of mountain hares – scroll to the end of this email if you want to see it. A chilling reminder of what we’re up against. 

At least mountain hares are safe for the next five months. They can leap and bound across the hills, mate and breed, and graze the heather freely. Until August, when the killing can start again. Unless we come together and show we care for the mountain hare!

Here’s how one OneKind supporter, Cartoon Ralph, summarises the situation.

Mountain Hare by cartoon ralph

We believe our National Parks should be at the forefront of stopping the culls, so we’re sending a giant postcard to the Cairngorms National Park calling for an end to mountain hare culls within the Park. If you haven’t added your name to our postcard yet, then there’s still time to do it! 

Mountain hares are killed in huge numbers across Scotland by hunting parties who view it as a legitimate sport, by gamekeepers to manage land for red grouse shooting, and, to a lesser extent, to protect forestry. As it’s a free-for-all it’s hard to say how many are killed. The only official estimate is that 24,529 mountain hares were killed in one year back in 2006/07.That’s ten times more than the number of badgers killed in England’s badger culls in 2015. 

We believe that decisive leadership by the Park would not only protect mountain hare in the Cairngorms, but would be the first step towards greater protection of this iconic species across Scotland. 

TAKE ACTION NOW

The postcard will be handed in with your name on it alongside everyone else’s, sending a powerful message that we won’t stand for mass culls in our National Parks. Click here to sign the postcard now.

Please feel free to share this email with your family, friends and colleagues and encourage them to support our campaign too. 

Let the lobsters live

March 10, 2017 2 comments

I was delighted to see that Australia’s animal cruelty conviction, for cruelty to a lobster, had made the Washington Post and Canada’s National Post, even before I read the Post article right through to the utterly perfect ending. Titled, “A seafood company killed a lobster – and was convicted of animal cruelty,” Arin Greenwood’s article appears in the Thursday March 9 edition of the Washington Post on page A14. A truncated version of the same article appears on page B3 of Canada’s National Post, titled, “Claw and order; New South Wales Firm Convicted For Cruelty To Lobster.”

Greenwood relays a story, as reported in The Guardian, which says that the Nicholas Seafood Company workers were convicted, having been seen, “butchering and dismembering lobsters with a band saw, without adequately stunning or killing them.”

She writes, 

“Depending on your perspective, this might both churn the stomach and raise confusing questions. Are you behaving monstrously if you boil a live lobster – a fairly common cooking method? Could you be found guilty of animal cruelty if so?

“The answer to the second question is pretty straightforward: As things stand now, you are highly unlikely to be convicted of animal cruelty for behaving badly, even very badly, toward a lobster.”

But this case, and this article, are big steps in the right direction! 

The article tells us, “In the United States, neither fish nor crustaceans are covered under the federal Animal Welfare Act, and they are mostly exempt from state animal-cruelty laws as well.” And we learn, “Laws regarding slaughter do not cover fish – or chickens.”
Then Greenwood writes:

“Why aren’t fish, crustaceans and chickens given these legal protections? It’s not because these creatures aren’t smart or don’t experience pain. There’s good evidence that they are and that they do. Jonathan Balcombe, author of the book ‘What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of Our Underwater Cousins,’ said he believes fish are sentient creatures with highly complex lives and societies.

“‘Their lives matter to them,’ he said. ‘I’ve become firmly convinced they deserve equal moral consideration to all other vertebrates.’

“Balcombe said the situation with crustaceans, as opposed to vertebrate fish, is ‘less clear.’ But research has shown that crustaceans do ‘remember and learn from apparently painful events,’ and that should bring them into our moral universe, he said.

“‘Sentience is the bedrock of ethics,’ he said.”

While the truncated Canada National Post version ends on that important note, the original Washington Post version continues with quotes from Hal Herzog, the author of “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat,” and from Steve Colman of Australia’s RSPCA, who says:

“We hope this conviction will expand the circle of empathy and welfare to crustaceans and more animals that often do not evoke the same level of compassion as others. With the scientific community proving lobsters feel pain and the New South Wales legislation backing that up, we’re excited to see such progress in the space of animal welfare, and we hope that this case can be a guiding light for others.”

And then, after letting us know where we can find out how “to dine on lobster but minimize its suffering,” Greenwood ends with,

“Or you could avoid all these questions and let the lobsters live.”

On line, there is an extra phrase, so the ending reads, “Or — just a friendly suggestion here — you could avoid all these questions and let the lobsters live.”

Friendly indeed!

You’ll find that Washington Post article on line at http://tinyurl.com/z27f6r4 

You’ll find the truncated but still superb version that appeared in today’s National Post (Canada) at http://tinyurl.com/j4u2t7k 

Canadians can respond to the latter, making the suggestion that got left out of the shortened piece, though please don’t use Greenwood’s exact words. Letters species — fish and chickens, for example, are specifically mentioned in the article. 

The Washington Post takes letters at letters@WashPost.com and Canada’s National Post takes them at letters@nationalpost.com   

Always include your full name, address, and telephone number when sending a letter to the editor. 

Dalserf

March 5, 2017 Leave a comment

A place I enjoy walking my dogs is along the banks of the Clyde, locally known as the Clyde Walkway which stretches from Lanark to Glasgow. An enjoyable walk, but due to funding, not well kept, although some locals do pick up litter, a lot of people do use the facilities but do not pick up and take their trash home with them, which is a shame. Anyway, these two photographs were taken one night whilst out with my big dog Tyson.

Pentland Hills

March 5, 2017 1 comment

Managed to get up Tinto with weather cold, but photography wise, looking good. Took my Tamrac rucksack up with me as its a saturday bag and has room for all the stuff I take with me without being too heavy. I have since purchased a few ARC system attachments for it to incorporate a water bottle, my filters, and my flash gun. Although the flash gun pocket does not seam quite secure and is definitely not weatherproof. Maybe use this for something else. Anyway, got a few great photos at the top looking on to the Pentland Hills. I will upload the rest to my Flikr site which can be viewed at the bottom right of this page. Anyone wishing to purchase any, please feel free to email me.

Tinto

February 27, 2017 1 comment

Thought I would head up to Tinto Hill this afternoon, at 2332 ft it is an easy one to climb, especially just to get some sunset photos. Before I tell you any more, here is some facts.

Tinto Hill is the graceful cone shaped hill on Lanarkshire’s southern horizon. At 707 metres it is the highest point in central Scotland and the perfect introduction to hill walking.

The best reason for climbing Tinto hill is the excellent view. On the clearest days the view takes in the Lake District, the mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland, Ailsa Craig and Arran in the Firth of Clyde, the Arrochar Alps and as far north as Lochnagar in the Cairngorms.

Points of Interest along the Walking Route:
1. Tinto tearoom open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (all year round), selling delicious home baking, quality teas and coffees – opened in 1938 at the height of the craze for the great outdoors.

2. Iron Age fort – observant walkers will spot the double ditches and ramparts of this prehistoric defensive site. It is more obvious on the way down.

3. Summit cairn – dating from the Bronze Age it is largest cairn in Scotland. It is tradition to carry a rock from the bottom and place it on the top to keep Tinto growing.

Anyway, half way up a snow storm appeared out of no where. Total wipeout. Thought it would be gone when I got to the top. Nope, just worse. The temperature on my watch went from 14C to 1C, never mind the wind chill. So much so, all I got was a couple of photos on my iPhone.

 

Article 50: ‘Brexit does not mean Brexit’ – who are the peers with EU pensions likely to frustrate Brexit and what have they said about it? – The Telegraph

February 21, 2017 Leave a comment

PETA sues department of agriculture 

February 14, 2017 Leave a comment

hqdefaultPETA, a coalition of other organizations and Harvard Animal Law & Policy Fellow Delcianna Winders just filed a lawsuit this morning in U.S. district court. Hitting the “delete” key on inspection reports and other documents was illegal, the suit argues, and the agency must reinstate every one of them and add all new records in the future.

We’re not going to let the feds get away with hiding abuse at roadside zoos, laboratories, circuses, and other facilities that exploit animals!