In defiance of a global moratorium on commercial whaling, Norway has again issued an annual kill quota of 1,278 minke whales for their barbaric 2021 whaling season.
On Friday, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen, Norway’s Minister of Fisheries, announced the quota, which remains unchanged from last year. Ingebrigtsen said he hopes the “upward trend in demand for whale meat will continue.” Sickening! Echoing Ingebrigtsen’s sentiment, the whaling industry also claims that demand for whale meat has improved, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, a recent survey commissioned by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and others found that only 4% of Norwegians polled admitted to eating whale meat “often,” while two-thirds either have never eaten it or only did so “a long time ago.”
Norway’s 2020 whaling season ran from April 1st to September 30th. Slightly more than 500 whales were killed, compared to 429 in 2019. This is the highest total since 2016, when nearly 600 whales were killed. Sixteen whaling vessels requested a permit to hunt whales last year, but only 13 participated.
Last spring, the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate relaxed a number of whaling regulations to encourage additional vessels to participate in whaling. AWI joined with a number of other organizations in contesting the agency’s plan, but to no avail. The government also permitted whalers to forego qualifying tests for rifle shooting.
“Allowing whalers to skip these necessary tests is unacceptable, and could have serious repercussions for animal welfare,” Kate O’Connell, AWI’s marine animal consultant, said in a statement. “Each year, dozens of whales who are shot by grenade-tipped harpoons do not die instantly; they must be shot by rifles to end their suffering.”
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) imposed a global moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, yet Norway formally objected and resumed commercial whaling 11 years later. Since that time, the country has killed more than 14,000 minke whales.
In December, the Vestvågøy Fishing Association requested that the Norwegian government support the whaling industry in order to “make it more attractive to catch whales,” including offering whalers an increased cod quota.
Norway and other countries that continue these brutal and senseless hunts must catch up to the rest of the world and put an end to the archaic and cruel whaling industry for good!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
The post Breaking! Norway Plans To Slaughter More Than 1,200 Minke Whales During Their Gruesome 2021 Whale Hunting Season appeared first on World Animal News.
Photos by: Katie Cleary
Tragically, despite the pandemic, Dallas Safari Club’s annual trophy hunting convention is taking place again this year February 10-14, but this time virtually. The notorious trophy hunting organization is once again auctioning off hunts of some of the most beautiful, rare, and endangered species on the planet, all to raise an estimated 3.5 million dollars for their organization. The Safari Club promotes the ruthless killing of defenseless animals, with guns, as well as bows and arrows, for so-called ‘sport,’ putting the future of our wildlife in jeopardy.
In 2017, WAN went undercover at the Safari Club Convention in Las Vegas and saw shocking displays of endangered dead animals, deplorably deemed ‘trophies’ by some; a wide array of easily accessible guns and ammunition; fur coats with the faces and feet of animals still attached; and wildlife outfitters that target hunters wanting ‘opportunities’ to kill wildlife for obscene amounts of money. Making matters worse, the promotion of the senseless violence associated with trophy hunting, took place amidst a flurry of men, women, and horrifically, some children.
“While walking into the Safari Club International Convention in Las Vegas, the feeling of horror and anxiety was overwhelming,” said Katie Cleary, President and Founder of Peace 4 Animals and WAN. “The glorification of killing some of the world’s most endangered and threatened species on the planet was on display in such a shocking and heartless manner, it is a wonder how any human being can participate in such a cruel and selfish industry. We must do something to end the travesty of trophy hunting once and for all.”
“As we looked around at the massive crowd of 20,000 plus attendees, we couldn’t help but wonder what the method to the madness was,” continued Cleary. “There seemed to be a common thread throughout the convention with many trophy hunters justifying their actions based on what they claim to be ‘conservation,’ saying that if there wasn’t a value or price put on these animals, then there would be no incentive to protect them in the wild. The incentive to protect these animals lies in eco-tourism and photo safaris which brings in more money per year than trophy hunting ever will.
“Many of the species that were on display at the convention are listed on Appendix I of CITES, including: Snow Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos, and others like African Leopards, Polar Bears, Wolves, and African Lions. Many other imperiled species were stuffed and put on display, others were said to be realistic replicas.”
As noted by Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Humane Society International (HSI) in a new shocking analysis of the 2021 Dallas Safari Club annual convention, beginning tomorrow, trophy hunters, hunting outfitters, and other businesses from around the world will gather online to buy, sell, and auction the opportunity to kill iconic animals, including canned hunts in the U.S., South Africa, and Argentina. Canned hunts involve the victimization of captive animals who live inside a fenced in area and have no way to escape the hunter. They are also refereed to as captive hunts, estate hunts or high fence hunts.
849 exhibitors from 32 countries will participate virtually.
351 of those exhibitors will offer hunting trips to kill 319 species, including critically endangered black rhinos, cheetahs, brown bears, and kangaroos, in 70 countries.
183 hunts in 24 countries were donated for auction to kill over 200 animals from leopards to bears.
“The pandemic is not slowing down the vile trophy hunting industry and the shameless conventions that celebrate the violent, needless slaughter of wild animals,” said Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, in a statement. “As millions of people struggle to survive the pandemic, trophy hunters spend millions of dollars on grim globe-trotting trips to shoot beloved, iconic animals for bragging rights and collections of heads to hang on their wall.”
The HSUS/HSI analysis shows that the over 800 exhibitors registered to participate in the convention will also sell wildlife body parts and products such as taxidermies, knives made of giraffe bones, furniture made of ostrich skin, boots and belts made of shark skin, and elephant leather, as well as other home décor and fashion accessories made from animals.
The 185 items that are expected to be auctioned off include donated hunts to kill at least 205 animals in 24 countries, among them: elephants, giraffes, hippos, Cape buffalos, and crocodiles. There are at least 16 U.S. canned hunts being auctioned off. Eight are in Texas. The remainder which include the hunting of elk, exotic sheep, and various antelope and deer species, are in Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania,
Among the most expensive hunts for auction are a $70,000 excursion for desert bighorn sheep in Mexico and a $52,850 brown bear hunt in Alaska. Other deplorable hunts include killing elephants in Zimbabwe and Zambia, giraffes in South Africa, and leopards in Namibia. Items like firearms; apparel made of beaver, mink, and lynx fur; Swarovski Optik equipment such as a riflescope; and an $80,000 diamond necklace are up for auction as well.
“When WAN witnessed the disconnect to our natural world and the lack of compassion while undercover at the SCI convention, we realized that there’s still a tremendous amount of work to be done to create and enforce laws to protect our most threatened species in every country and continent around the world. Most of us are born with compassion in our hearts but it has to be nurtured. We can help foster compassion by educating others about the plight of these incredible species and spread knowledge to have respect for all living beings. If we work together in a collective effort, we have the ability to change the hearts and minds of those who do not share the same love for animals. But, it has to be done with compassion first,” said Cleary.
A summary of progress made in 2020 to stop the trophy hunting industry is posted HERE!
Members of the public who are opposed to this senseless cruelty can sign the pledge against the trophy hunting of wildlife HERE!
The post Breaking! Dallas Safari Club Holds Vile Ego-Driven Trophy Hunting Convention Virtually February 10-14 Auctioning Off Threatened & Endangered Species appeared first on World Animal News.
Shockingly, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) currently allows hunters to kill up to 1,700 black bears in a single season. This legislation would ban all ‘sport hunting’ of black bears, while this is a historical move in protecting bears throughout California, there are sadly still exemptions including situations in which bears can be killed to protect human safety, public property, livestock, and endangered and threatened species, and for scientific research.
If successful, California would be the first state to offer this level of protection for bears and would set an example for the rest of the nation.
As a symbol for not only California, but for the rest of North America, it is believed that as many as two million black bears once roamed the majority of wooded areas on the continent. Sadly, agriculture, urban developments, and intensive hunting devastated their population by 1900.
Although their population has improved, increasing stress due to climate change and wildfire-induced habitat loss has put a serious strain on California’s black bears, and recreational hunting has only further endangered their population. While habitat loss has created an uptick in human-bear conflicts in recent years, hunters rarely remove those problem bears from the population. Instead, they target non-offending bears in remote areas, far from where conflicts occur.
California has already implemented many protections for wildlife, including bans on hound hunting of bears and bobcats, the hunting of mountain lions and bobcats, and all recreational trapping. A recent poll showed that 70% of California voters do not support sport hunting of black bears, and 62% would support legislation to ban the practice.
“Over the past few years, black bears have faced unprecedented habitat loss due to climate change and wildfires, and continued ‘sport hunting’ in California makes survival an even tougher climb,” said Senator Wiener in a statement. “It’s time we stop this inhumane practice once and for all.”
“Californians deeply value the environment and have shown time and again that they don’t want to see their iconic wildlife slaughtered for sport,” said Sabrina Ashjian, California State Director for the Humane Society of the United States. “By passing The Bear Protection Act, California can cement its position as a leader in protecting our natural resources and spare thousands of California’s majestic and beloved black bears from a needless and unnecessary death.”
Please contact your state lawmakers to voice your support for banning the hunting of bears throughout California and urge them to commit to passing this critical bill. Find your representatives HERE!
The post Breaking! Urgent Action Needed To Ban ‘Sport Hunting’ of Black Bears Throughout California appeared first on World Animal News.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a formal notice of its intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the agency’s new rule expanding hunting and fishing on 2.3 million acres, in 147 wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries across the United States. The rule authorizes damaging practices like the use of lead ammunition and killing of ecologically important top predators such as mountain lions.
The rule opens hunting on numerous refuges previously reserved for protecting endangered species or other wildlife. Today’s notice asserts that the agency has violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to analyze and mitigate harmful impacts from the hunting expansion on endangered wildlife, such as: grizzly bears, ocelots, and whooping cranes.
“We’re going to court to ensure that our nation’s wildlife refuges can actually provide refuges for wildlife,” said Collette Adkins, the Center’s carnivore conservation director, in a statement. “We’ve never before seen such a massive expansion of bad hunting practices on these public lands. There’s no sound reason for this, and the Fish and Wildlife Service has either ignored or downplayed the many risks that hunting poses to endangered wildlife.”
The expansion will allow hunters to use lead ammunition, which was prohibited at the end of the Obama administration but then reinstated by former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. For example, endangered whooping cranes rely on numerous refuges in the Midwest, like the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, where the Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized use of lead ammunition but failed to consider the risk of lead toxicity on the birds.
Endangered species like grizzly bears and ocelots can also be poisoned by scavenging on lead-contaminated carcasses. And grizzly bears are now at risk from being killed in mistaken-identity or self-defense shootings by hunters, such as those targeting black bears in grizzly bear territory in Swan River National Wildlife Refuge in Montana. Shy ocelots living on Texas’s Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge may also be disturbed by hunters’ gunshots and risk potential vehicle strikes.
“This rule is just another handout to trophy hunters at the expense of the rest of us who recognize the importance of the national wildlife refuge system to the vulnerable wildlife the refuges were created to protect,” said Adkins. “Rare and beautiful animals like grizzly bears and ocelots now face increased risks of poaching, disturbance, ingestion of toxic lead and more. It’s tragic, and I’m hoping the court will set things right.”
The Center’s supporters submitted more than 30,000 letters opposing the rule when it was proposed this spring. Despite this, the agency finalized the rule, which is now in effect.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has 60 days to respond to last week’s notice. If it does not, the conservation group can then sue under the Endangered Species Act.
The post Breaking! Lawsuit Launched After U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Expands Hunting On 2.3 Million Acres Of Land That Jeopardizes Endangered Wildlife appeared first on World Animal News.
A Michigan hunter named Kurt Johnston Duncan was sentenced Tuesday under a plea deal after being accused of poaching numerous species, including 18 gray wolves over the past 18 months.
Wolves are protected in Michigan and are on the federal endangered species list, they are off limits to hunters.
56-year-old Duncan pleaded guilty in September to seven poaching crimes following an investigation by Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.
Chippewa County District Court Judge Eric Blubaugh sentenced Duncan to pay a total of $36,240; $27,000 as reimbursement for the animals illegally taken and $9,240 in court fees and costs. Duncan also received 90 days of jail time; 30 of which will be held in aside should he violate probation which will last between 18 and 24 months.
Perhaps most importantly, Duncan was penalized with a lifetime revocation of all hunting and trapping licenses in Michigan; including that he may not assist anyone else in any hunting or trapping activities. Duncan is not allowed to hunt in 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.
“This is a historical case for the division and department,” Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “We hope this poaching case acts as a deterrent to criminals for committing future wildlife crimes such as this. Our officers did an excellent job working as a team and building this investigation so it could move quickly through the criminal justice system.”
Species involved in the charges also include: deer, turkey, bear, and bobcat. DNR law enforcement detectives said that Duncan was using the animals for a variety of reasons including crafts and selling or disposing of them. They also stated that he was catching the animals because he could and “likes to do it.” That is sick.
On September 24th, Duncan accepted a plea deal by Chippewa County Prosecutor Robert Stratton. Duncan pleaded guilty to three counts of the illegal take and possession of wolves, three counts of the illegal take and possession of bald eagles, and one count of illegal commercialization of a wolf which, as noted above, is a protected species in Michigan.
Conservation officers in Michigan are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety, and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and life-saving operations in the communities they serve.
Anyone witnessing a natural resources crime or has information about such a crime is encouraged to call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching Hotline at 800-292-7800.
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
The post Michigan Hunter Kurt Johnston Duncan Receives Jail Time & Is Banned From Hunting For Life After Poaching 18 Gray Wolves & Several Bald Eagles appeared first on World Animal News.
Animal Advocates across the United States are heartbroken after a reported 62 black bears were horrifically killed at the start of New Jersey’s annual bear hunt on Monday.
According to NJ.com, Sussex County had the most bears killed on Monday, with a total of 26. Morris County had 17 bears killed and 11 bears in Warren County. Passaic County had three bears killed and one bear each in Bergen and Hunterdon counties.
WAN recently reported hopeful news after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that the New Jersey Fish and Game Council proposed changes to the state’s “Game Code” that would end bear hunting in New Jersey after 2020.
Unfortunately, the proposed changes have not yet been implemented and the New Jersey bear hunt has been allowed to take place this year. Sadly, 62 black bears have already been killed in the hunt and that number is expected to rise as the hunting season continues.
“The 62 bears that were killed today are a perfect example of how out of touch wildlife agencies are with public opinion. Wildlife belongs to every citizen as a collective trust, not just those that want to hunt them,” Adam Sugalski, Founder and Executive Director of One Protest told WAN.
“Several people and groups have fought for years against corrupt government officials that have allowed this hunt to continue, despite public outcry and non-lethal solutions to bear-human conflicts.
“After our organization helped successfully stop the Florida black bear hunt in 2016, we assisted N.J. bear advocates in their fight to stop bear hunting. We have provided flyers, posters, advice, and a petition that now has over 33,000 signatures. We have learned that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to stop bear trophy hunting in the United States, and the most remarkable victories achieved for bears and other wildlife happen when people are willing to roll up their sleeves and work together,” concluded Sugalski.
The bear hunt is sadly open for bowhunting through Wednesday and muzzleloaders will also be allowed Thursday through Saturday of this week. A second segment of bear hunting, for sickos with firearms, will open on December 7th.
Former Democratic State Senator from Union County, Raymond Lesniak, announced that a coalition of animal rights activists plans to sue the state over the statutory makeup of the New Jersey Fish and Game Council.
Please contact the numbers below and urge them to end the New Jersey bear hunts this year. You can also sign the petition HERE!
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
The post Breaking! 62 Bears Killed On First Day Of New Jersey’s Bear Hunting Season; Help Us End The 2020 Hunt appeared first on World Animal News.
Photos by: Sea Shepherd
Animal activists from around the world are mourning the death of hundreds of whales and dolphins after the Faroe Islands’ horrific whale hunting “tradition” continued last month.
Many had hoped for this year’s whaling season to be cancelled due to the pandemic, but sadly, it was given the go ahead by fishing ministry Jacob Vestergaard on July 7th.
Fishermen used vessels to herd the whales and dolphins into the bay off Hvalba, a village on the island of Suduroy, where 252 long-finned pilot whales and 35 Atlantic White-sided dolphins were brutally killed with spears.
Sea Shepherd has long condemned this “barbarous practice,” while demanding an end to the Faroe Islands’ outdated whale hunting season.
Every year, up to 1,000 migrating pilot whales and other dolphins are hunted and brutally killed in the Danish protectorate of the Faroe Islands. Sea Shepherd has led opposition to the grindadráp since the 1980s, saving the lives of hundreds of pilot whales and bringing global attention to the ongoing slaughters.
A total of 28 Sea Shepherd volunteers have been arrested for interfering against the grindadráp, many of whom were subsequently deported for the “crime” of defending pilot whales.
Although Sea Shepherd was able to successfully disrupt the whale hunting season in 2014, the organization was hit with legislation that allowed Danish military to keep the NGO outside Faroese waters.
ORCA, another animal rights organization based out of California, posted on twitter, “To the beautiful family of pilot whales that were brutally murdered in the Danish #FaroeIslands, we are so deeply sorry….We will keep fighting to end this insane blood sport. RIP Beautiful family.” The organization also urged people to “Please Boycott the Faroe Islands!”
Please sign this Care2 petition to help put an END to this sick and horrifying tradition once and for all! SIGN HERE!
The post Hundreds Of Whales Brutally Slaughtered In The Faroe Islands During Sickening Whale Hunting Season; This Must End! appeared first on World Animal News.