(Un)necessary evil? Taiwan authorities spark outcry after KILLING 154 rare-breed cats seized from smugglers — RT World News


Some 154 rare-breed cats seized from smugglers in Taiwan ended
up culled, prompting massive outrage. The authorities defended the move,
blaming the demise of the cats on criminals and promising to tighten
anti-smuggling laws.
The haul of cats was
seized by Taiwan’s Coast Guard last Thursday during a botched attempt to
get the animals on the island, claimed by China as an integral part of
the country.

The cats were found concealed in hidden compartments
on a fishing boat. Multiple animals were crammed into a single crate,
footage released by Taiwan’s Coast Guard administration shows.


total of 62 cages containing 154 animals were found on the boat. The
haul was estimated to have a value of TN$10 million (around US$357,000)
and included such rare and fancy breeds as Ragdoll, British Shorthair,
Persian American Shorthair and Russian Blue cats.

bust of the smugglers, however, did no good to the cats that ended up
in the hands of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection
(BAPHIQ). Citing veterinary rules, the BAPHIQ put all the cats down,
saying they might have carried assorted diseases and potentially posed a
danger to local domestic and wild animals.

The decision by the
Taiwanese authorities turned out to be extremely ill-received, prompting
widespread outrage, with the country’s nationals and animal rescue
groups alike blasting the authorities over the euthanasia. Adding insult
to injury, the mass culling of the ill-fated cats occurred on
International Homeless Animals Day.

“Animals are innocent. There are rules about border regulations, but they can actually check whether animals are sick or not,” said a spokesperson for the Taiwan Animal Emergency Rescue NGO. “I
understand the importance of laws and regulations for the domestic
ecology, but… I hope that the law can be amended and treat these lives
in a more humane way.”

The outrage was so huge that the issue
was addressed by Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen. The president
herself owns two cats, which frequent her social media feeds.

In a Facebook post, Tsai said she understands the outrage over the culling, stating that many pet owners “share the same feelings” over the affair. At the same time, she blamed smugglers for the demise of the cats, stating it was their greed and treating of “life as an illegal cargo” that had ultimately led to the deaths. The president also called for amendments to existing laws to handle such incidents “with the spirit of humanity” in the future.

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The extermination of the cats was also defended as a necessary
evil by the head of the Council of Agriculture (COA), Chen Chi-chung.
The official claimed that even after a quarantine the cats could have
posed danger to the local ecosystem, taking full responsibility for the
ill-received move.

“Even after quarantine, these cats could
still carry… diseases due to the long latency periods of viruses, which
could pose a major threat to pets and farm animals in Taiwan,” Chen told a news conference on Sunday.

COA minister also announced proposed changes to the existing laws.
Namely, the COA suggests allowing prison sentences for live animal
smugglers of more than seven years, which is currently the maximum
penalty. Apart from that, the agency seeks to bump up fines for animal
smuggling, which currently range from NT$100,000 to NT$3 million (some
US$3,500 to US$107,000). If the change is adopted, the fines would start
from the NT$3 million mark, according to Chen.

Oregon Ballot Initiative Would End Animal Agriculture, Hunting, Fishing | PA Pundits – International

By Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. ~ America’s rural-urban divide is wide and getting wider. Moneyed coastal elites rarely ever miss an opportunity to show their disdain for the rubes in flyover country. Anyone doubting the depth of the discord need look no further than Oregon, where a ballot initiative would all but put an end to the state’s rural economy and way of life. The Oregon Initiative Petition 13 (IP 13), known as the Abuse, Neglect, and Assault Exemption Modification and Improvement Act, would ban the harvesting of any animal by hunting, fishing, and trapping and would only allow a self-defense exception. IP 13 also criminalizes common animal husbandry practices, as well as slaughter for food and common breeding practices, such as artificial insemination. Proponents of the initiative say it will make Oregon a “sanctuary state” for animals and hope other states will follow Oregon’s example. IP 13’s supporters have until June 22, 2022 to collect 112,000 valid signatures to get it on the ballot, so that it can be voted on in November 2022. Jeopardizing Funding for Conservation The people whom the initiative targets and the very ones who fund the majority of the state’s conservation efforts. If the ballot initiative becomes law, not only will hunting, fishing, and trapping end, but all wildlife in Oregon will suffer due to lack of conservation funding...

Because no animal reservoir has been found for SARS-CoV-2, it cannot properly be termed a zoonosis.* Should we call it a labnosis? And what does that mean? | Aletho News


By Meryl Nass, MD | July 12, 2021

After a year and a half of seeking but not finding SARS-2 in any wildlife anywhere (apart from domesticated or zoo animals that appear to have caught it from humans) is it time to say, yes, it didn’t just escape from a lab. It was created, built, assembled in a lab. Or many labs

Coronavirus scientists have been constructing new viruses out of bits and pieces of other viruses for a long time.

Why did they do it?

One answer is that it was relatively easy to do. Easier than for many other viruses. Scientists like to tinker.

Okay, but after the SARS-1 outbreak in 2002-3, and a series of SARS-1 lab leaks over the ensuing several years in China, Taiwan and Singapore, which killed a few people, especially lab workers, didn’t scientists know it was dangerous to do this?

SARS viruses were designated by the US government as “Select Agents,” meaning they had the potential to cause a deadly pandemic and/or severe economic damage to crops or livestock. Scientists had to handle them in special ways, and get permission to transfer or share them with other labs. Scientists working on SARS coronaviruses had to have been aware of the risks in what they were working on.

I previously cited a statistic from STAT. The statistic is that Fauci’s NIAID has been funding coronavirus research for over twenty years, and at a price of up to $51 million per year, pre-Covid. Until 2002, everyone thought that all coronaviruses did to humans was cause colds: 10-30% of all colds. NIAID doesn’t spend money on colds.

Coronaviruses do cause animal diseases. But still, animal diseases are not in NIAID’s bailiwick. USDA funds research on them.

Some coronavirus research made sense, such as the 2005 CDC study that showed chloroquine killed SARS-1 at achievable human doses, in the test tube. Or the 2014 NIAID study that showed chloroquine killed MERS.

But no new drugs or vaccines came out of the hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus research sponsored by NIAID. And when Covid hit, Fauci and his NIAID hid information on the drugs they had found to be effective against coronaviruses in the lab.

So, what were Fauci and NIAID actually doing with all the coronavirus research? What were they looking for?

It seems they were remarkably successful in creating new chimeric, pathogenic coronaviruses. But they buried the research on effective treatments.

Americans need to ask, what in heaven’s name were Fauci and his masters trying to accomplish? Who are his masters? And what other deadly viruses have they created, with or without their friends in Wuhan?

We need to know what they heck they were doing. What did these programs create? Why did these programs exist?

We need to know now, before the fear of the variants wears off, and the next dangerous bug might appear.

* https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725765/pdf/fpubh-08-596944.pdf

Other than circumstantial evidence of zoonotic cases in mink farms in the Netherlands, no cases of natural transmission from wild or domesticated animals have been confirmed. More than 40 million human COVID-19 infections reported appear to be exclusively through human-human transmission. SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 do not meet the WHO definition of zoonoses. We suggest SARS-CoV-2 should be re-classified as an EID of probable animal origin.

COVID live updates: Meanwhile … a zoo in California is inoculating animals with an experimental vaccine – ABC News


Meanwhile … a zoo in California is inoculating animals with an experimental vaccine

…A zoo in California is inoculating its big cats, bears and ferrets
against the coronavirus as part of a national effort to protect animal
species using an experimental vaccine.

Russia registers world’s first Covid-19 vaccine for cats & dogs as makers of Sputnik V warn pets & farm animals could spread virus — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union


A pioneering new formula that protects animals against
coronavirus has been registered in Russia days after one of the
country’s top scientists warned that the deadly pathogen could soon
begin spreading through homes and farms.
Rosselkhoznadzor, the
state agency responsible for veterinary medicine, announced on Wednesday
that the formula, developed by its researchers, had been officially
registered for use. Named Carnivac-Cov, the officials claim it is “the first, and to date, the only Covid-19 product in the world for animals.”

trials of the vaccine began in October last year, testing its potential
on carnivores including dogs, cats, arctic foxes, minks and other
animals. According to the scientists, “the results of these studies
allow us to conclude that the vaccine is safe and highly immunogenic,
since all vaccinated animals that were tested developed antibodies to
the coronavirus.”

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Now, the team behind the jab says mass production of the vaccine
can begin as early as April, using the facilities of Russia’s Federal
Centre for Animal Health, the largest producer of veterinary medicine in
the country.

In a statement, Rosselkhoznadzor said that “the
vaccine is particularly important because, as the World Health
Organization for Animal Health notes, some species are susceptible to
Covid-19. Animal cases have been registered in many countries of the

In Russia, the authorities say, two cases of cats
infected with coronavirus have been registered, one in the capital,
Moscow, and another in the Siberian city of Tyumen.

On Monday,
Alexander Gintsburg, the director of Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, which
developed Sputnik V, the country’s first domestic Covid-19 vaccine for
humans, warned animals could become a new frontline in the fight against
the virus. He said that the pandemic “has not yet realized its
pathogenic potential… The next stage is the infection of farm and
domestic animals. And when we protect humanity with the help of good
vaccines within a year, pets will be infected by that time, and no one
is going to get rid of their beloved pets.”

“Therefore,” he argued, “the focus of this pathogen will
constantly be around us, and it will keep evolving. That is to say, we
must be prepared for a long existence with this pathogen.”

December, Denmark was forced to cull more than 15 million minks that
were being reared for their fur over fears of a mutated form of the
virus detected on several farms. However, a number of the animals
resurfaced from mass burial sites because of pressure from the gases
produced during their decay. This sparked fears of contamination, and 4
million mink corpses are set to be exhumed as part of a plan to deal
with the crisis.

Let them be free: stop live elephant exports to China, ban trade in ivory permanently | “OUR WORLD”


We, the nature-loving people of Namibia and like-minded international friends:

  • Record our utter dismay at the intention of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia to re-instate international trade in ivory over the clear objections from the other 14 elephant range countries in Africa;
  • Are shocked and disappointed at their threat to break away from CITES , should their demand the right to auction off their official ivory stockpiles;
  • Are dismayed at their strong-arming tactics that are tantamount to political blackmail of CITES , especially after their trade proposal was overwhelmingly rejected at the last COP meeting;
  • Remind the responsible officials that the past two ivory auctions were a complete failure because the Asian buyers colluded to keep the prices ridiculously low;
  • Remind them that this led to increased trade and speculation that saw a massive surge in elephant poaching since then;
  • Object to Namibia’s plans to remove and sell off 170 elephants from their natural habitats in Namibia to Chinese and other buyers for US$5,500 apiece , while an elephant is worth US$1.6 million in eco-tourism opportunities it generates in its life-time;
  • Object to the continued falsification and gross inflation of Namibia’s resident elephant population data by the Min of Environment, Forestry and Tourism to keep justifying unsustainable levels of trophy hunting ;
  • Express our deep concern over the true state of our wildlife heritage and key protected species such as elephants, black rhinos, giraffes and other endangered wildlife, the loss of which will destroy our country’s tourism economy which contributes one-third of the national GDP and thousands of direct and indirect job opportunities;
  • Caution that these reckless actions by Minister Pohamba Shifeta and MEFT management officials amount to wilful acts of environmental and economic despoliation , and are in violation of the legal imperatives imposed by Art. 95 of the Constitution to maintain and protect bio-diversity;
  • Caution the responsible officials that we reserve the right to hold them liable in their personal capacity for financial losses caused by their reckless mismanagement of a priceless resource.

Namibia’s wildlife is its single-biggest tourism asset, attracting thousands of with visitors flocking from all over the world to see especially iconic big-game species such as elephants, black rhinos, lion, giraffe and other game.

One of the most unique attractions is the opportunity to see elephants in their natural environment outside of the national parks in the surrounding communal areas, managed by the MEFT under the communal conservancy model.

Under this model first implemented in 1996, rural conservancies are granted the right to issue tourism and/or hunting concessions. Because trophy hunting generates large annual fees to the government and the communal conservancies, this led to a proliferation of the hunting conservancy model in rural areas, an approach widely lauded by the WWF as an example of an African conservation success story.

These concessional rights includes elephant trophy hunting rights within the boundaries of the KAZA trans-frontier park, located along the elephants’ seasonal migratory route between the Okavango Delta and the Quito floodplains in Angola.

From 1996 to 1999, the new 500 km-long Trans-Caprivi Highway was constructed across the length of the West Caprivi, further interceding the trans-frontier elephant herd’s seasonal migratory routes.

In late 1999, the Angolan Army used the new highway to launch an attack on their former rebel foes UNITA, using local recruits to conduct a scorched earth campaign along the common border. This influx of weapons triggered a surge in poaching in especially the West Caprivi, with armed gangs running rampant in the area and on one occasion, gunning down an entire herd with automatic weapons in full sight of shocked tourists at a lodge on the opposite Namibian side of the Kavango river border.

From the early 2000s, the over-concentration of elephants in Botswana was becoming evident in Chobe Park as the increase in heavy road traffic and human settlement along the Trans-Caprivi Highway scared away especially breeding herds with small calves.

In order to prevent the spread of bovine lung-disease, Botswana erected a 700km-long game-proof fence along their north-eastern and northern border with Namibia to replace the collapsed old Namibian fence in 2009.

Two 15-km-wide openings were left in the fence on the western and eastern end to allow for the elephants’ seasonal migration, both located opposite elephant hunting concession areas in Namibia.

The combined impact of the Trans-Caprivi Highway and the fence thus stopped any seasonal migration between Botswana, Namibia and Angola, with tracking data showing only the odd bull occasionally crossing the border at those gaps in the fence. This led to the MEFT allowing trophy hunting operators to hunt elephant cows in 2017 to recover their trophy fees paid in advance to the communal conservancies.

By late 2020, elephants have all but disappeared from the West Caprivi and adjacent communal areas. Elsewhere in north-western Namibia, a severe drought and increased poaching has also taken a severe toll, with only an estimated 250 elephants left in the arid Kunene and Erongo regions.

In 1999 and 2008, the MEFT held two CITES-sanctioned auctions of the best ivory in the official stockpile in misguided attempt to flood and depress the black market demand for ivory and generate income for conservation efforts.

This proved to be an abject failure. The Chinese and Japanese buyers colluded to keep prices low, paying only USD$100 and US$157 per kilogram respectively, and instead of releasing the stocks into the carving markets, drip-fed their new stock at USD$1,500 per kilogram over the following years.

This triggered a 66% surge in elephant poaching and 71% increase in ivory smuggling over the following decade that saw elephant herds decimated in East and central Africa. As result, the African savannah and forest elephant species were declared as endangered and critically-endangered earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the communal conservancy model had started to fail. Due to their tendency to inflate annual game counts and so justify high, cash-generating hunting quotas and a disastrous shoot-and-sell permit system that allowed them to sell off entire herds for cash to local butchers, the once-abundant wildlife in communal areas have all but disappeared.

The elephants’ Appendix I status also thus became an obstacle to the demand from conservancies for ever more cash from elephant hunting due to the limitations it imposed on the number of trophies that may be legally exported.

Because CITES has thus far allowed and facilitated the export of live elephants to Chinese buyers, the MEFT therefore is now resorting to auctioning off entire herds of elephants in order to generate cash to the conservancies, as well as re-open the ivory trade that has historically wiped out over 95% of Africa’s elephant herds over the past 100 years.

This reckless and short-sighted humans-first approach by the Namibian authorities and their colleagues in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe poses a dire threat to the last surviving elephant herds in the KAZA Park.

The MEFT continues to falsely claim that there are 22,000 – 24,000 elephants in Namibia, based on a 1995 base count of 7,000 animals that they claim grew at a biologically improbably and mathematically impossible exponential rate of 3.3% since then.

This fraudulent claims of a huge increase in numbers is immediately obvious from the fact that none of the factors outlined above are in any way reflected in their purported official elephant counts. Claims by Minister Pohamba Shifeta of a rampant rise human-elephant conflict is flatly contradicted by the fact that just one case of human-elephant conflict was reported in 2020.

The official elephant population estimates, inflated by over-counting and systematic inflation of population density factors, are clearly only intended to keep the trophy hunting in business and the ruling party’s rural support base appeased with regular cash hand-outs.

The fact is that Namibia is losing the battle against organised crime and syndicated poaching, with 80% of all rhino poaching since 2005 occurring over the past five years. This largely due to the MEFT’s humans-first conservation policies and poor management of resources, not to mention their obvious ignorance of their own Ministry’s track record in respect of past ivory auctions.

We remind these authorities that they are merely custodians, not the private owners of our common wildlife heritage and that the elephants are not theirs to dispose of as they see fit.

Their plan to resume ivory trading, combined with their poor management, poses a dire threat to the last elephants left in the sub-region and the tourism industry that is an economic mainstay in all four countries involved in this deplorable and reckless attempt to cash in on the elephants for what will likely be one last and final time.

We, the nature-loving people of Namibia and like-minded international friends therefore demand that:

  1. CITES immediately commission an independent audit of all official ivory stockpiles held by Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
  2. CITES demand an independent and verified elephant census in all four countries before granting any further export permits for live elephants;
  3. CITES and the IUCN conduct a full Environmental Impact Assessment on the impact of the Trans-Caprivi highway and the Botswana border fence on the elephants’ seasonal migratory routes and patterns;
  4. CITES and the IUCN require that Namibia and Botswana implement measures to re-establish migratory routes and wildlife corridors across the West Caprivi;
  5. CITES and the IUCN suspend all elephant hunting in the KAZA area until such time that the elephants can freely and without impedance regain access to all their historical range areas within the KAZA Park.



Animals to be formally recognised as sentient beings in UK law | “OUR WORLD”


Set of government measures will include halting most live animal exports and a ban on hunting trophy imports

Animals are to be formally recognised as sentient beings in UK law for the first time, in a victory for animal welfare campaigners, as the government set out a suite of animal welfare measures including halting most live animal exports and banning the import of hunting trophies.

The reforms will be introduced through a series of bills, including an animal sentience bill, and will cover farm animals and pets in the UK, and include protections for animals abroad, through bans on ivory and shark fins, and a potential ban on foie gras.