Tag: Plan

Breaking! Despite Public Outrage, Namibia Moves Forward With Their Controversial Plan To Auction Off 170 Wild Elephants

This morning, WAN was shocked to read the official statement from the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism of Namibia, we were appalled by the attacks against true conservationists and the animal welfare community who has worked so hard to protect and save 170 wild elephants from being auctioned off by the Namibian Government for so-called ‘conservation’ and financial gain. 

Reportedly, while the details of the elephant auction have yet to be publically shared, the travesty took place on January 29th despite over 100,000 concerned petitioners who have urged the Namibian government and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism to stop its plan.

The population of Namibia’s elephants is estimated to be only 24,000, but in comparison to neighboring countries like Botswana, which has 130,000, Zimbabwe, which has 80,000, and Zambia, which has 50,000, Namibia’s elephant population is still very low despite their claim that it has tripled since 1995.

Conservationists argue that the government’s numbers are inflated and fail to factor in elephant migration. They estimate that between 73%-84% of the government’s quoted elephant population figure consists of ‘trans-boundary’ elephants, those moving between Namibia, Angola, Zambia, and Botswana. They put the resident elephant population in Namibia at only 5,688. They are worried that with 170 elephants being auctioned off, that Namibia will be losing 3% of its elephant population.

The Namibian Government said in a statement that the ‘off-take’ of the 170 wild Namibian elephants is extremely ‘conservative’ and below sustainable ‘off-take’ levels. The government does not define the term ‘off-take’ or specify what will happen to the elephants who are auctioned off. This leads us to believe that the elephants will be auctioned off to trophy hunters.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism of Namibia announced in a statement on February 1st, that the money made from the auction will be deposited into the Game Product Trust Fund this week to be used for so-called wildlife ‘conversation’ and rural development projects. There has also been speculation that the government is making room for extensive oil drilling in Namibia’s Okavango Basin.

Meanwhile, elephants being one of the most intelligent species on the planet with very strong family bonds and groups will be torn apart at the hands of the Namibian government. Tragically, bull elephants, mothers, and their babies, will all be killed for money and greed.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism is defending the elephant auction as a way to mitigate human-wildlife conflict, to control their small elephant population, and raise money for ‘conservation.’ Ironic, considering a 2019 bribery scandal resulting in the imprisonment of the Ministers of Justice and Fisheries has raised major concerns about the controversial auction.

Shockingly, Namibia was among three African nations denied permission to sell off its stock of ivory by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Those who vetoed the appeal said they feared the one-off sale would create a sharp increase in the demand for ivory and a spike in poaching. 

It is unfortunate that the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism of Namibia made false accusations in a statement on February 1st, about conservationists and the animal welfare community. Regardless of the unwarranted attack, we must continue to fight to protect Africa’s last iconic species for the future and health of our planet.

The post Breaking! Despite Public Outrage, Namibia Moves Forward With Their Controversial Plan To Auction Off 170 Wild Elephants appeared first on World Animal News.

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Breaking! 551 Organizations Urge President-Elect Biden To Solve The Pollution Crisis With The New Presidential Plastics Action Plan

A coalition of more than 550 community and conservation organizations today released its Presidential Plastics Action Plan, urging President-elect Joe Biden to take eight key executive actions to solve the plastic pollution crisis.

These include a moratorium on new plastic production facilities, using federal purchasing power to curb single-use plasticplasts, tightening up regulation of the petrochemical industry, ending fossil fuel subsidies, and protecting environmental justice communities from pollution.

Photo of plastic pollution projection in Philadelphia. Photo by Rebecca Begans.

The plan responds to the plastic industry’s aggressive expansion of facilities using the country’s oversupply of fracked gas to make throwaway plastic that fills our oceans, landfills, and landscapes. Petrochemical-plastic projects harm frontline communities with toxic air and water pollution and worsen the climate crisis.

“President-elect Biden can begin solving the plastic pollution crisis in his first days in office without any help from Congress,” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Implementing this historic plan would protect vulnerable frontline communities and marine life while addressing a key driver of climate change. It’s time to rein in the fossil fuel industry’s insidious plans to keep fracking for plastic and polluting poor communities here and around the world.”

The Presidential Plastics Action Plan includes detailed steps Biden can take as part of eight priority actions:

  1. Use the purchasing power of the federal government to eliminate single-use plastic items and replace them with reusable products;

  2. Suspend and deny permits for new or expanded plastic production facilities, associated infrastructure projects, and exports;

  3. Make corporate polluters pay and reject false solutions;

  4. Advance environmental justice in petrochemical corridors;

  5. Update existing federal regulations using the best available science and technology to curtail pollution from plastic facilities;

  6. Stop subsidizing plastic producers;

  7. Join international efforts to address the global plastic pollution crisis through new and strengthened multilateral agreements;

  8. Reduce and mitigate the impacts of abandoned, discarded, and lost fishing gear.

Today’s plan builds on the momentum of the Break Free From Plastic movement and the bill by a similar name. The plan is endorsed by 551 groups, from national environmental organizations to small community groups fighting plastic pollution.

Photo of plastic pollution projection in San Francisco. Photo by Drew Photography.

“Plastic production and pollution impact public health, the environment, and climate and it has reached crisis levels around the world, with the United States as one of the biggest contributors. It is for this reason that Senator Tom Udall, Senator Jeff Merkley, and I introduced the comprehensive Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act this year, and will reintroduce it next year,” stated Rep. Alan Lowenthal. “The Presidential Plastics Action Plan lays out how the incoming Biden Administration can lead on this plastic waste issue and enact real solutions like updating important regulations and greater cooperation with the international community. We are running out of time to deal with this crisis, but our bill and the Presidential Plastics Action Plan are important approaches to put us on the right track moving forward.”

The plan dispels the industry-promoted myth that most plastic can be recycled, citing federal figures that only about 8% of plastic consumed in the United States is recycled. Plastic pollution accumulating in the oceans is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.

The plan calls for Biden to appoint a Plastic Pollution Czar to coordinate plastic reduction efforts across federal agencies and internationally. It also requests that he directs the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new ways to measure and reduce plastic pollution and to update and better enforce its decades-old regulations for petrochemical plants that make plastic, something many groups behind this plan also demanded of the EPA in a pair of legal petitions last year.

“Rejoining the international community means not only rejoining Paris, it means joining the global fight against plastics as a partner, not an obstruction,” said Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law. “President-elect Biden should commit the United States to actively support a new global treaty on plastic pollution; use U.S. trade power to support real development, not plastic polluters; and move quickly to reverse U.S. subsidies and export policies that are accelerating the plastic crisis globally.”

Anti-plastic activists across the country also recorded segments for a new video urging Biden to adopt the plan and become the first #PlasticFreePresident. They also projected anti-plastic messages on significant buildings in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. among other cities.

Photo of plastic pollution projection in Washington, D.C.. Photo by Greenpeace.

“Everyone in America, regardless of the color of their skin, where they live, or how wealthy their community is, should be able to take a breath or pour a glass of water without ingesting dangerous chemicals and microscopic plastics,” said Senator Merkley. “America was creative enough to invent a million uses for plastic, and now we have to use that creativity to clean up our act and design better alternatives.”

Azulita Project, Beyond Plastics, Break Free From Plastic, Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research and Education, Clean Air Council, Food and Water Watch, and Plastic Pollution Coalition are among the convening partners for the plan.For a full list of supporting organizations, Click Here.

Tell your members of Congress to protect oceans and marine life from plastic pollution by voting in favor of a first-of-its-kind recently introduced bill that would phase out certain single-use plastics and shift the burden of plastic waste to the companies producing it. Please sign in support of The Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, HERE!

Sign this petition urging President Biden to be the leader we need in the fight to end the plastic pollution crisis, HERE!

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Breaking! A Plan By Strauss Meats To Build A Massive Slaughterhouse That Would Kill 500 Cows Per Day Has Been Rejected By The Common Council Of Franklin, Wisconsin

Last night, the voices of animal advocates were heard and plans by Strauss Meats to build a massive new slaughterhouse in Franklin, Wisconsin, were rejected. This is the same company that reportedly fired 29 workers who complained about unsafe working conditions after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

After what was described as “five hours of heated debate,” the Franklin Common Council voted 4-2 against issuing a special use permit to Strauss so that the company could expand into a more than 150,000 square foot facility where a minimum of 500 unwanted dairy calves and mother cows would be slaughtered each day.

“This is a David and Goliath kind of victory against huge corporate animal agriculture interests and the corrupt politicians who put profits over people,” Robert Grillo, Founder of Slaughter Free Chicago, stated in a post on the group’s Facebook page.

Launched in 2018 by Free from Harm, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping end animal exploitation through grassroots activism and public education, Slaughter Free Chicago is a campaign to end slaughter in the state that once promoted itself as the slaughter capital of the world.

The group, which is part of a larger Slaughter Free Cities campaign, works tirelessly to spread the message that slaughterhouses are “bad for everyone, including animals, workers, and communities,” as well as the planet.

As per a post by Free from Harm, staggering statistics from the Food and Environment Reporting Network indicate that as of October 16th, at least 45,588 meatpacking workers, 11,348 food processing workers, and 8,471 farmworkers have tested positive for COVID-19, and at least 215 meatpacking workers, 37 food processing workers, and 17 farmworkers have died from it.

“With meat processing plants now identified as COVID-19 hotspots around the globe, and numerous scientific reports calling industrial animal farming the single most risky behavior for future pandemics, the last thing we need is more killing factories,” the nonprofit noted. “It’s clear now more than ever: slaughterhouses do not belong in a post-COVID future. They belong in the dustbin of history.”

Help Slaughter Free Chicago urge city officials to enforce the law and end illegal slaughterhouses in the state by signing HERE!

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

The post Breaking! A Plan By Strauss Meats To Build A Massive Slaughterhouse That Would Kill 500 Cows Per Day Has Been Rejected By The Common Council Of Franklin, Wisconsin appeared first on World Animal News.

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Tragically, Only 9 Critically Endangered Red Wolves Remain In The Wild; A New Lawsuit Is Pushing For A Recovery Plan To Save Them

Photo by B. Bartel, USFWS

According to a legal agreement reached as a result of a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must update its plan for saving critically endangered red wolves in the next two and a half years. Red wolves, which are native to the southeastern United States, have sadly dwindled to only nine known individuals in the wild, living in the eastern part of North Carolina.

“With only nine wolves known to remain in the wild, the red wolf desperately needed this good news,” Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center, said in a statement. “The science shows that the red wolf can be saved, and I am hopeful that a new recovery plan will put the species back on the road to recovery.”

The agreement, approved on October 2nd by a North Carolina federal court, requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to complete a final revised recovery plan for red wolves by February 28, 2023.

This victory is the result of the Center’s 2019 lawsuit, which challenged the Fish and Wildlife Service’s failure to revise the outdated recovery plan from 1990. The Center filed its suit after the Service failed to follow through on its commitment to update the decades-old recovery plan by the end of 2018.

The Endangered Species Act requires that the agency prepare plans that serve as roadmaps to species recovery, identifying measures needed to ensure conservation and survival, such as reintroductions.

Last year, the Center released a report identifying five potential reintroduction sites that together could support nearly 500 breeding pairs of red wolves. All the sites are on public lands in: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

The Fish and Wildlife Service has not taken steps to reintroduce red wolves elsewhere and has stopped taking action, such as widespread sterilization of coyotes to prevent hybrid animals from harming the gene pool which is necessary to conserve the remaining wild population.

“Time is running out to save red wolves and government foot-dragging has only made the problem worse,” continued Adkins. “It’s frustrating that we’ve had to sue time and again to get action. Hopefully this win finally gets these vulnerable wolves the help they need.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to release a draft revised red wolf recovery plan next year. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft plan.

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

The post Tragically, Only 9 Critically Endangered Red Wolves Remain In The Wild; A New Lawsuit Is Pushing For A Recovery Plan To Save Them appeared first on World Animal News.

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Call To Action! 300 Demonstrators Protest National Park Service’s Plan To Kill Tule Elk & Expand Ranching In California; Your Help Is Needed Before October 18th

Photos by Tony Seghal, In Defense of Animals

Yesterday, a crowd of 300 people gathered at a large-scale, modern dairy facility operating inside of the Point Reyes National Seashore. The demonstration was in response to the plan by the National Park Service (NPS) to kill Tule elk and expand ranching and other commercial businesses like Airbnbs and animal slaughter inside the San Francisco Bay Area’s only national park.

300 locals protested the killing of California’s wild Tule elk to further expand private ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore. Photos: In Defense of Animals/ForELK/Rancho Compasión

“We are devastated by the disappointing news,” Diana Oppenheim, of ForElk said in a statement sent to WAN. “This plan is incredibly reckless, cruel, and anti-wildlife.”

Despite overwhelming opposition to commercial ranching in Point Reyes National Seashore, the NPS recommended “Alternative B,” allowing the shooting of native Tule elk, who only recently recovered from near extinction, expanding ranching and dairy operations, and extending their private leases from 5 to 20 years.

The recommendation by the NPS of Alternative B is the exact opposite of what the public wants. In the Park Service’s own survey, 91% of 7,624 respondents wanted native Tule elk protected and cattle ranching removed from Point Reyes.

The announcement comes amid a growing furor over a mass-die-off of Tule elk who are trapped without enough water in the Park. Local activists previously delivered fresh drinking water to troughs for the elk, only to have it promptly taken away by NPS staff.

Tragically, locals have already discovered 15 dead elk in the park and the drought is expected to last for months.

Blocked from accessing water by cattle ranchers, fifteen elk have died from thirst and malnutrition in Point Reyes National Seashore in recent weeks. CREDIT: Matthew Polvorosa Kline polvorosakline.com

This is a repeat of similar “forced die-off” by thirst and starvation that the agency created in 2013-2014, killing over 254 elk in a herd of 540. Unfathomably, the agency did nothing as half of the herd died, trapped behind fencing preventing them from reaching water and food that were available elsewhere in the park. The fencing of wildlife in a national park unit was erected at the request of the commercial cattle operations.

The NPS recommended plan also allows all ranchers to kill and “process” farmed animals on site, to add even more cows, and introduce other species to the Seashore including goats, sheep, and chickens.

Even with a cap on animal herd sizes, this will exacerbate lethal conflicts between ranchers and Tule elk, in addition to other wild species that will predate domesticated animals living in the park.

“The NPS is going to shoot elk and allow more cows in Point Reyes National Seashore to prop up private, for-profit ranches and dairies that were paid millions of dollars and supposed to vacate the park years ago,” said Jack Gescheidt, of TreeSpirit Project. “The Seashore has a charter to favor wildlife over commercial enterprises, not the other way around.”

Over a third of the Point Reyes park’s so-called “wilderness area” is occupied by modern industrial animal businesses. Taxpayers pay for the maintenance on these concentrated animal feeding operations which supply beef and milk to brands including: Clover Sonoma, Straus Family Creamery, Nicasio Valley Cheese Company, and Cowgirl Creamery. 

The public has been led to believe that these smaller companies mitigate the environmental harm that larger meat and dairy operations do, not realizing they actually contribute as much or more greenhouse gases, and greater land and water inputs.

“It is no secret that animal factories, commonly mislabeled ‘agriculture,’ are the world’s greatest contributor to air, soil, water, and ocean pollution, yet NPS is ensuring this continues at Point Reyes,” continued Gescheidt.

Local entrepreneur Miyoko Schinner of Miyoko’s Creamery told demonstrators and farmworkers to give themselves a better lifestyle by participating in the future of food, not its dying past. The award-winning plant-based cheese producer explained how she has grown her business to be twice as profitable as all the dairies on the Seashore combined, employs three times as many people, and has done so without harming wildlife or cows, or taking taxpayer subsidies.

Thousands of American citizens and dozens of local organizations including: In Defense of Animals, ForELK, TreeSpirit Project, Rancho Compasión, Save Point Reyes National Seashore, Resource Renewal Institute, The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Peace 4 Animals and WAN supportAlternative F” as does over 7,600 citizens surveyed.

“Alternative F” would phase out private ranches over five years, remove fencing to allow Tule elk to roam free, and improve opportunities for the park’s 1.7 million annual visitors.

“There are more cattle in all of Point Reyes than there are Tule elk left in the world,” stated Fleur Dawes, of In Defense of Animals. “It’s ridiculous that ranchers are getting taxpayer handouts to exploit and pollute public wildlands. Tule elk are trapped and dying of thirst in the park because of ranchers. Now, they will shoot this endemic California species. We have just days left until NPS Regional Director Woody Smeck signs the Tule elk death sentence. Please act now to save what’s left of our Seashore.”

The Seashore’s “death warrant” is scheduled to be signed on October 18th, one month after the National Park Service released its Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The public is encouraged to help stop the atrocious “Alternative B” from being signed and finalized before October 18th.

In Defense of Animals is requesting that people contact three officials that can use their influence to oppose “Alternative B” on the Environmental Impact Statement for the Point Reyes National Seashore. 

You can say, “I oppose expanded ranching and shooting of Tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore, recommended in “Alternative B” of the Environmental Impact Statement. Can you stop this travesty? Please urge further inquiry, such as water quality tests and a supplemental environmental impact report on drought and wildfires, before National Park Service Regional Director Woody Smeck signs this disastrous plan.”

Please Call: California Coastal Commission, Executive Director, John Ainsworth, (415) 904-5202, John.Ainsworth@coastal.ca.gov

California Governor Gavin Newsom, (916) 445-2841, gavin@gavinnewsom.com

California Congressman Adam Schiff, (818) 450-2900, https://schiff.house.gov/contact

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

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France Announces Multi-Faceted Plan To Ban Wild Animals In Traveling Circuses, End Mink Farming & The Confinement Of Dolphins & Orcas In Captivity

In a news conference today, Barbara Pompili, France’s Minister of Ecological Transition, announced numerous measures to improve the welfare of captive wildlife throughout the country.

The multi-faceted plan includes gradual bans on wild animals in traveling circuses, ending mink farming, and banning the confinement of dolphins and orcas in unsuitable dolphinariums.

While some of these steps may take years, beginning immediately, three marine parks in France will not be allowed to import or breed dolphins or orcas any longer. Solutions for all of the once-captive animals will be determined “on a case-by-case basis.”

Sadly, the ban does not apply to wild animals in other permanent shows or zoos.

“Big cats, elephants, killer whales, dolphins, or even mink, it is time to open a new era in our relationship with these animals,” said Pompili, who also noted that they should be treated with respect and integrity.

The French government also plans to implement an 8 million-euro ($9.2 million) package to assist people working in traveling circuses and marine parks to find employment in more humane industries

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

The post France Announces Multi-Faceted Plan To Ban Wild Animals In Traveling Circuses, End Mink Farming & The Confinement Of Dolphins & Orcas In Captivity appeared first on World Animal News.

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