Tag: Million

Breaking! South African Customs Seize More Than USD $3.5 Million Worth Of Rhino Horn Headed To Malaysia

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Customs Unit seized a shipment of rhino horn that was destined for Malaysia. The estimated value of the recovered horn is R 53 172 000, which is worth more than $3.5 million U.S. dollars.

The Customs Detector Dog Unit at O.R. Tambo International Airport found a suspicious shipment that was declared as ‘HP Cartridges Developers.’ The three-piece shipment was taken to a X-ray scanner for inspection, where the image analysis reflected objects resembling the shape of rhino horns. The shipment was then taken for physical inspection and that’s when 18 pieces of rhino horn weighing 63kg were found concealed in clothing.

This is the fourth rhino horn bust by SARS Customs at the O.R.Tambo International Airport between July of 2020 to February of 2021. The overall weight of the rhino horn seized in these four cases was 277.30kg with an estimated value of R 234 114 206, which is worth more than $15.7 million U.S. dollars.

When the rhino horns were discovered, Customs officers immediately called Hawks, the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation, who confiscated the shipment for further investigation.

Commissioner Edward Kieswetter congratulated the Customs officers on their excellent work and warned the perpetrators of this crime that SARS, together with other law enforcement agencies, would spare no efforts in confronting and dealing decisively with any criminal malfeasance. Those that are involved in such egregious and merciless killing and mutilation of rhinoceros will be brought to justice.

“Those that are determined to destroy the rich natural endowment of our country, which is a common treasure and heritage for all, which we should look after for future generations, will be met with unwavering commitment of our officers to enforce the law,” Kieswetter said in a statement.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post Breaking! South African Customs Seize More Than USD $3.5 Million Worth Of Rhino Horn Headed To Malaysia appeared first on World Animal News.

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Breaking! U.S. Senate Increases Funding For The Protection Of Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales By $2 Million Dollars

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Breaking! Lawsuit Launched After U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Expands Hunting On 2.3 Million Acres Of Land That Jeopardizes Endangered Wildlife

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.

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Trump Administration Shockingly Opens 1.6 Million Acres Of Arctic Refuge To Oil Drilling For The First Time

This week, the Trump administration released a Coastal Plain Oil and Gas Leasing Program Record of Decision finalizing plans for oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, opening up the 1.6 million acre coastal plain of the public-lands area to fossil fuel development for the first time.

“The Trump administration never stops pushing to drill in the Arctic Refuge—and we will never stop suing them. America has safeguarded the refuge for decades, and we will not allow the administration to strip that protection away now.

“This is an egregious intrusion into the sacred lands of the Gwich’in and other Indigenous People. It threatens the heart of the largest pristine wildland left in America—the birthing grounds and nursery for the Porcupine Caribou Herd, and home to polar bears, musk oxen, migratory birds and other precious wildlife.

“The administration’s reckless, relentless boosting of the oil industry will irrevocably damage this cherished place and compound the global climate crisis. We will not let it stand,” said Gina McCarthy, President of NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council).

The Trump administration rushed out an environmental impact statement last September for the Arctic Refuge after Republican leaders in Congress slipped a provision directing Arctic Refuge leasing into the 2017 tax bill.

“President Trump’s decision runs roughshod over laws designed to protect wildlife like polar bears and caribou, which have used the coastal plain since time immemorial as a refuge to give birth to their young every year,” said Earthjustice Deputy Managing Attorney Erik Grafe. “The administration’s plan to ruin this place for short-term private oil profit is unlawful, and we will soon see them in court. The sacred, wild, and irreplaceable Arctic Refuge is the last place we should be surrendering to dead-end oil development that will only worsen the climate crisis.”

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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Moving Towards A Net-Zero Emissions Economy & Plant-Based Food Structure Could Generate 19 Million New Jobs In Latin America & The Caribbean By 2030

The report is “the first of its kind to highlight how shifting to healthier and more sustainable diets, which reduce meat and dairy consumption while increasing plant-based foods, would create jobs and reduce pressure on the region’s unique biodiversity.”

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U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Amendment Increasing Funding By $1.5 Million For The Protection Of Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Yesterday, the United States House of Representatives approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2021 Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, increasing funding for monitoring and researching the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale by $1.5 million.

The additional funds will also help develop and test new anti-entanglement technologies, like ropeless fishing gear.

This is especially critical following the announcement earlier this month that the North Atlantic right whale was moved from Endangered to Critically Endangered on the recently updated IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The amendment, co-sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Rep. Golden (D-Maine), Rep. Rutherford (R-Fla.), and Rep. Posey (R-Fla.), increases total funding for the right whale to $6.5 million.

“Forty-one right whales since 2017 have died or been critically injured. That represents 10% of all the right whales we have left on planet Earth. We can choose to act and be the generation that brings this species back from the brink,  or, the one that stands by as it goes extinct,” Rep. Moulton shared in a post on his Facebook page. “I’m choosing action through the SAVE Right Whales Act and an amendment to increase funding for right whale research.”

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species. Fewer than 400 survive today, with only 95 females of breeding age. Once hunted by generations of European and New England whalers, the North Atlantic right whale continues to face human-caused dangers along the eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States.

“We are grateful that representatives on both sides of the aisle and from across our nation recognize the North Atlantic right whale’s dire situation and are responding with action. However, funding is only half the battle,” Jane Davenport, senior attorney at Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement. “We urge Congress to pass the SAVE Right Whales Act, allowing the government, fishing and shipping industries, and nongovernmental organizations to organize and protect the right whale from extinction.”

Even when entanglements are not fatal, they often maim whales or prevent them from building adequate fat stores, limiting females’ ability to birth calves.

Females and calves are also uniquely vulnerable to vessel strikes. Out of 10 right whale calves born in the 2019-20 calving season, two have already been killed by vessel strikes and their mothers have not been resighted since.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

The post U.S. House Of Representatives Passes Amendment Increasing Funding By $1.5 Million For The Protection Of Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales appeared first on World Animal News.

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