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« Reply #555 on: Nov 21, 2014, 07:12 AM »


Bird flu found at second Dutch farm

43,000 chickens are being slaughtered after discovery at poultry farm in Ter Aar, 15 miles from location of first case
   
Associated Press in The Hague
The Guardian, Thursday 20 November 2014 15.02 GMT   

A case of bird flu has been confirmed at a chicken farm in the Netherlands, the second infection identified in the country this week.

The latest case was at a farm in the village of Ter Aar, in South Holland province, 15 miles from a farm where thousands of chickens were slaughtered this week following a bird flu infection.

Tests are being conducted to establish the exact strain of bird flu in the Ter Aar case. The earlier case and another this week at a duck farm in England were confirmed as H5N8, which British officials said posed a very low public health risk.

All 43,000 chickens at the farm in Ter Aar are being slaughtered and the government has banned the transport of poultry and eggs nationwide.


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« Reply #556 on: Nov 23, 2014, 06:24 AM »

Big horn sheep escapes Los Angeles zoo, struck and killed by car on the street

Reuters
22 Nov 2014 at 21:11 ET   

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A bighorn sheep escaped from the Los Angeles Zoo at Griffith Park on Saturday and dashed around the hills in the park for hours before it ended up on a residential street where it was struck by a car and died, a zoo spokeswoman said.

The sheep got free from its enclosure and darted through an area where zoo visitors were gathered. It escaped the zoo, probably by jumping a fence, and scampered around the hills of the park, said zoo spokeswoman April Spurlock.

The animal was loose for about three hours before it was struck by a car on a residential street near the Greek Theatre, she said. The concert venue is about 2 miles southwest of the zoo, on the other side of Griffith Park.

Veterinarians and animal care staff set up a perimeter around the sheep and tranquilized it. The animal died a short time later, Spurlock said, and it appears the sheep succumbed to injuries from being hit by the car but a necropsy is planned to determine the exact cause of death.

The car’s driver did not stop after striking the animal, but witnesses saw the car-on-sheep collision, Spurlock said.

When the sheep was loose in the zoo, one patron “encountered” the animal, Spurlock said, but she could not say if the person was injured.

Zoo officials were still trying to determine how the animal got out of its enclosure, which has four other sheep.

The Los Angeles Zoo has seen a number of animals get free over the years. In 2000, a gorilla got out of her enclosure and frolicked around the zoo as a news helicopter filmed it from above.


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« Reply #557 on: Nov 23, 2014, 08:58 AM »


Cinder’s paws healed; bear cub will spend winter in Idaho

AP
11/23/2014

Cinder, the black bear cub burned in the Carlton complex wildfires, is moving to Idaho for the winter.

The veterinarian for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, where Cinder has been recovering since August, has released the cub from his medical care, and Cinder will leave Sunday for the Idaho Black Bear Rehabilitation Center to hibernate for the winter, according to a post on the organization’s Facebook page.

In the spring, once Cinder’s now-healed paws have had a chance to toughen up, she will be released into the wild, the post said.

Cinder was found under a horse trailer in the Methow Valley, where a fire burned about 400 square miles and destroyed 300 homes. The bear had suffered third-degree burns on her paws. A state Department of Fish and Wildlife officer captured her, and a volunteer pilot flew Cinder to California. When she arrived at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care on Aug. 4, she weighed only 39 pounds. At her latest weigh-in, Cinder was up to 83 pounds.


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« Reply #558 on: Nov 24, 2014, 06:31 AM »

Bodies of 500 sea lions discovered on Peruvian beach

Agence France-Presse
24 Nov 2014 at 05:14 ET                   

Peruvian authorities were investigating Sunday the deaths of some 500 sea lions whose rotting corpses were found on a northern beach.

Environmental police told the official Andina news agency that the decomposing bodies of adult and juvenile sea lions were found on a beach in Santa province about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Lima.

Police are investigating a complaint from the governor of the local Samanco district, who said the sea mammals had been poisoned by marine farmers and fishermen who harvest shellfish.

Sea lions come close to the shore to look for seafood and scallops to eat.

City workers hauled away the corpses, which risked posing a public health hazard.

In early November, the bodies of another 187 sea lions were found in the Piura region farther to the north of Peru, along with four dead dolphins and the corpses of sea turtles and dozens of pelicans.

Wildlife officials are investigating those deaths but have yet to announce their findings.

A range of possible causes are being considered, including disease, entanglement in fishing nets, the ingestion of plastic trash and hunting.


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« Reply #559 on: Today at 07:06 AM »

Nepal: setting out to challenge the world's largest animal sacrifice

Half a million animals are beheaded in a mass slaughter to please goddess Gadhimai in Nepal every five years – this bloody ritual must be stopped

Jayasimha Nuggehalli
The Guardian
Tuesday 25 November 2014 12.38 GMT   

Every five years, in a tiny region of Nepal, as many as half a million animals are beheaded in an extraordinary mass sacrifice.

As director of the Indian branch of Humane Society International, I have spent many years campaigning to end this slaughter, and I’m about to witness it in Nepal myself. The footage I have viewed over the years has haunted me. I have seen terrified animals corralled into the festival site. One by one they have their roped heads yanked down, their kicking hind legs restrained, and then their heads sliced off with a machete. Others are so exhausted from travelling hundreds of miles to the festival without food or water, that they simply languish even as all around them buffaloes and goats are being decapitated. I have even seen calves trying to nuzzle comfort from the severed heads of their mothers lying on the ground.

The people carrying out this brutal sacrifice are farmers and factory workers, all hoping that this bloodshed will bring them prosperity from the Hindu goddess Gadhimai. The sights and sounds are unimaginable. Pools of blood, animals bellowing in pain and panic, wide-eyed children looking on, devotees covered in animal blood, and some people even drinking blood from the headless but still warm carcasses.

In the years since we have been campaigning to stop this and similar animal sacrifices, we have received colossal support from people globally, but most crucially from people in India, from which most of the sacrificial animals are imported illegally to Nepal. Swami Agnivesh, president of the World Council of Arya Samaj, has urged Hindu devotees to stop the sacrifice. At a press conference in Patna he said: “India was a pioneer in introducing the principle of ahimsa [non violence] to the entire world. Rituals like Gadhimai where scores of animals are mercilessly sacrificed only corrode our values of compassion.”
calf slaughter

The supreme court of India has also backed our campaign, issuing an order directing the government of India to stop animals being illegally transported across the border for the sacrifice at Gadhimai. The court asked animal protection groups and others to devise an action plan to ensure the court order is implemented.

The festival itself is already underway, with the sacrifices due to take place on the 28 and 29 November. There has been much activity on the Indian borders: so far there have been 114 arrests, and police have confiscated nearly 2,500 animals. Thanks to these collective efforts, the number of animals in Gadhimai is far down from previous years.

I will be there with a small team from HSI/India, People for Animals India and Animal Welfare Network Nepal, to patrol the border as well as the festival itself, and to ensure that as many illegally smuggled animals as possible are seized and spared the sacrifice. It is a life-saving mission I know I must make, but I go back to Gadhimai full of dread and fear. I know it is going to be hard, but someone needs to help these animals. Compassion for animals is written in India’s constitution, so we owe them our best efforts.

Jayasimha Nuggehalli is director of the India branch of Humane Society International.

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The Gadhimai sacrifice is grotesque

The ritual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals runs counter to Hindu principles of reverence for life

Anil Bhanot   
theguardian.com, Wednesday 25 November 2009 12.00 GMT   
     
Yesterday, Mangal Chaudhary and Dukha Kachadiya, descendants of a feudal landlord and a village healer adept in the Hindu occult, who in the 18th century started a mass animal sacrifice to the goddess Gadhimai, presided over a ceremony to begin this year's festival by beheading 10,000 buffalo. Their deaths are being followed by the slaughter of a further quarter of a million animals and birds today. It is all happening in Bariyarpur, a village in the south of Nepal, bordering the state of Bihar in India. The region is well known as the homeland of the Bhojpuri people, a close-knit ethnic community devoted to the worship of Gadhimai.

The history of this bloodthirsty event began when Bhagwan Chaudhary, the feudal landlord, a imprisoned in Makwanpur fort prison about 260 years ago. He dreamed that all his problems would be solved if he made a blood sacrifice to Gadhimai. Immediately upon his release from prison he took counsel from the local village healer whose descendant, Dukha Kachadiya, started the ritual yesterday with drops of his own blood from five parts of his body. Apparently then a light "appeared" in an earthenware jar, and the gory sacrifice began.

To me it all seems utterly abhorrent. Yet the Nepalese government made a ridiculous decision to give 4.5 million rupees to the organisers to build an abattoir so as to avoid pollution and disease but undoubtedly also to hold on to Bhojpuri votes. The whole incident has quite rightly sparked an international outcry from animal welfare campaigners, Indian politicians like Menaka Gandhi and religious icons like the "Buddha Boy" Ram Bahadur Bomjan, among others.

Personally, I see this practice as one utterly opposed to the non-violent principles of my Hindu religion. Five to six thousand years ago our Vedic seers recognised that we can only survive by taking life from a lower level of consciousness to ours as is the case with plants and animals, but never did they condone senseless and purposeless killing. In Hinduism all life is sacred and the whole idea of animal sacrifice in those ancient days was based on the principle that we must pray to God before killing an animal for food – by reciting Vedic mantras to God – and simply put that we think twice before taking a life for our own consumption.

Many Hindus may not like it, because we like to think we are tolerant, but I see several superstitious practices in what otherwise is a wise and profound religion, and issues such as this which should be robustly challenged are instead allowed to pass.


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