Tag Archives: animal rights

End to Circus Elephants in USA?


Representative Jim Moran (D-VA) has reintroduced the Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act (TEAPA) to Congress. If this bill passes, it would restrict the use of exotic, and non-domesticated animals by traveling circuses in the United States.

The Bill is being pushed by Animal Defenders International (ADI), which has successfully lobbied thirty countries to ban, or limit the use of animals in traveling circuses. TEAPA aims to end the use of exotic and wild animals in circuses, because they are subjected to cramped quarters, and forced to perform under fear of being physically assaulted if they refuse.

“Magnificent wild animals have no place in a traveling circus, and with this bill, the US joins almost 30 countries across the world that have taken action to end the suffering. Due to the very nature of the traveling circus, wild animals cannot move around or exercise naturally, they live their whole lives chained or tied up, or in small cages that fit on the back of a truck. Our investigations have also shown that violence to control animals is part of circus culture; animals are beaten, whipped and electric shocked to make them perform tricks. This brutality has no place in modern society,” said ADI President Jan Creamer.

ADI has been working with Moran, and is supplying members of Congress with detailed evidence of animal abuse in traveling circuses. “From video and photographic evidence, it’s clear that traveling circuses aren’t providing the proper living conditions for exotic animals. This legislation is intended to target the most egregious situations involving exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses,” said Moran. “The mounting evidence of inhumane treatment and the growing public concern for these animals demands that we reconsider what are appropriate living conditions for these intelligent, social creatures,” he added.

ADI estimates that around three hundred wild animals tour the United States with circuses. Already, over forty local ordinances have been passed in twenty states, but ADI argues that it is vital the issue be addressed federally, because a circus may train animals in one state, but move them between a dozen, or more states during the year.

The Bill would see the United States join almost thirty diverse countries that have already passed similar legislation including Austria, Belgium, Greece, India, Bolivia, Colombia and Panama. Other countries that are currently considering legislation include Great Britain, Brazil and Mexico. British Prime Minister David Cameron, recently promised that a ban would be passed within the next twelve months.

In October 2013, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban the use of bullhooks and “other implements and tools designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training and controlling the behavior of elephants” in circuses and traveling shows within the county. Stephen Payne, vice president of Field Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Bros. “Really what this bill does is it bans the use of the guide for our circus. We’ll be unable to bring Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey back to the city of Los Angeles.” The bill is not go in effect until 2017

Judging from the amount of countries that have already banned the use of wild animals in circuses, it is fair to say that animal circuses are no longer an acceptable form of entertainment. Shows with human performers such as ‘Cirque de Soleil’ are rapidly growing in popularity.

Images below were taken at Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus Elephant “Training Facility”. Here baby elephants are taken away from their mothers and beaten until submission so they will perform tricks for human amusement




 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc.
Christopher J. Gervais, Founder & CEO
LinkedIn: Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
Twitter: @WCFF_org




Bears Rescued in China from Bile Farm


10,000 bears imprisoned in China, living in horrible conditions and misery

A Chinese government owned company is handing over its bear bile farm to an animal welfare group. The group plans to convert the farm in the southern Guangxi region’s capital Nanning into a bear sanctuary. The handing over of the facility will see 130 bears currently resident there given a new lease of life.

Hong Kong based Animals Asia signed the contract with state owned company Flower World after the company said it was moving out of the bear bile industry as it was unable to make money. The new sanctuary will offer a home to Asiatic black bears which are commonly known as moon bears because of the crescent moon fur markings on their chest.

It is not just the lack of profits though that has lead the company to move away from bear bile farming. Increasingly people’s attitude in China is changing in regard to wildlife and animal welfare. The current practice of bile extraction where bears are strapped down and needle inserted into their stomachs is coming under increasing scrutiny in China.

“Particularly in the last two years, there has been a lot of public discussion about the practice of extracting bear bile from live bears. Most people oppose it, so we consider prospects for the bear bile business will be less and less optimistic,” Flower World General Manager Yan Shaohong explained at the press conference. “Actually, the company has always been investing money but not making any,” Mr Yan said. Bear bile extraction at the farm actually stopped over 2 years ago because the company could not find a market for the product. This despite investing over US$1.2 million in the facility

Animals Asia will take over the ownership of the facility in May and will start to retrain the staff there on how to look after the bears rather than extract bile from them. The group are setting aside over US$5 million for the retraining and upgrading of the facilities. Animals Asia also hope to use the facility as a sanctuary for other moon bears rescued from the bear bile trade.

ImageTerrified baby, unaware of its fate, life it will endure as a prisoner to satisfy human’s greed.

ImageAs many as 10,000 bears held captive in China

ImageUnspeakable horror, the conditions the bears live and will die in


China can end the practice of all “bear farming”.
In doing so take the world stage as a “Leader” in conservation
and become a Global Hero for Wildlife Conservation

New Beer has whale meat as ingredient


Whale meat ingredient for new beer

An Icelandic brewery is going to produce a beer that includes dead whales as one of its ingredients has dismayed conservationists across the globe. ‘Whale beer’ is the brainchild of the Icelandic Steðjar brewery and fin whaling company, Hvalur, and its launch is timed to coincide with the Icelandic mid-winter festival of Þorrablót (Thorrablot) held in honour of the Norse god, Thor.

Brewery owner, Dabjartur Arilíusson, said: “This is a unique beer, brewed in collaboration with Hvalur hf. Whale beer will include, among other things, whale meal.”

“The WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) has become increasingly used to Hvalur’s desperate hunts for new outlets for his whale meat,” says Vanessa Williams-Grey, WDC’s Icelandic whaling campaign lead. “Demand for this meat is in decline with fewer and fewer people eating it. Even so, reducing a beautiful, sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get. The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what price the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?”



Copenhagen Zoo Kills Again


The same Danish Zoo that killed and publicly dissected Marius the giraffe last month is sadly back in the news. Today, March 25, 2014, two adult lions and their two 10-month-old cubs have been euthanized to make room for a new male.

The Copenhagen Zoo released a statement in an attempt to explain their reasoning: “Because of the pride of lions’ natural structure and behavior, the zoo has had to euthanize the two old lions and two young lions who were not old enough to fend for themselves,” the statement read. According to zoo officials, the new male lion would have killed the young cubs “as soon as he got the chance.” The zoo claims it tried to find a new home for the lion family, but was unsuccessful.

Unlike Marius, the lions won’t be cut up in public, because “not all our animals are dissected in front of an audience,” a zoo spokesman said.

The new lion is set to arrive in a few days. The zoo is bringing him in to start a new pride as part of its lion breeding program.

Why is it necessary to kill four healthy lions to breed more lions? And when the zoo is done with the new male lion, will they euthanize him to? Is it possible with all of the zoos, sanctuaries and animal groups around the world, no one was willing to care for the lion family.


World’s biggest online ivory and whale meat retailer exposed


World’s biggest online ivory and whale meat retailer exposed

A report by the Environmental Investigation Agency and Humane Society International has exposed Japanese retail giant Rakuten as the world’s biggest online marketplace for elephant ivory and whale meat products.

The report “Blood e-Commerce: Rakuten’s profits from the slaughter of elephants and whales” –reveals that the company’s Japanese website carries more than 28,000 ads for elephant ivory products and some 1,200 whale meat products ads.

EIA President Allan Thornton said: “Rakuten’s ads are effectively as deadly as giving bullets to elephant poachers and harpoons to whalers. Rakuten must act immediately to ban all ads selling elephant and whale products or its global brand will be irrevocably tainted with the ongoing mass slaughter of these species.”

The report stated “Many of the whale products originated from species that have been protected since 1986 under the moratorium on commercial whaling established by the International Whaling Commission, The species receive the highest level of protection by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which prohibits international trade.”

“We call on Rakuten subsidiaries in the U.S., UK, Canada, France, Germany, Austria and elsewhere to urgently press Rakuten headquarters in Japan to ban all ads offering ivory and whale products,” said Kitty Block, vice-president of HSI.

Ratuken has major stakes in the websites Buy.com, Play.com, the e-book reader Kobo and is a major shareholder in Pinterest.




“Zoo of Death”


Indonesian officials are investigating the mysterious death of an African lion found hanged in his own cage in Indonesia’s “zoo of death”, where a number of animals have perished due to neglect, starvation and mistreatment in the past few years. The 18-month-old lion was found suspended from the roof by steel cables on Tuesday in Surabaya zoo, east Java, where the eighth animal to die at the zoo in the last 10 months.

Agus Supangkat, a spokesman for the zoo, denied any wrongdoing and said the lion, called Michael, must have caught himself accidentally in between the cables. “Michael was relatively young – he was only one and a half years old,” he told the Jakarta Globe. “It could be that he was playing around and somehow his head got stuck.” But forestry minister Zulkifli Hasan ruled out an accidental death and said there would need to be an investigation. “We want the perpetrator arrested. The death of the lion seems to have been caused intentionally,” he was quoted as saying by the national news agency Antara. Police are investigating the cause of Michael’s death but initial efforts were hampered after it was discovered the lion’s body had been cut down before officials could inspect the cage.

 Surabaya zoo was built under Dutch colonial rule and is home to about 3,500 creatures, including African lions, elephants and capuchin monkeys. But a number of animals have died there in recent years, among them a Sumatran tiger who ate meat laced with formaldehyde and a giraffe that had an 18kg ball of plastic in its stomach – the result of consuming plastic wrappers discarded in its cage by visitors. In 2010, it was estimated that about 25 animals at Surabaya zoo were dying prematurely every month.

Michael’s death this week followed that of a wildebeest just two days earlier, who was found dead from stomach problems. Conservationists point to a lack of animal welfare at the zoo and have raised concerns over possible staff involvement in illegal wildlife trafficking.

 Rosek Nursahid, the director of animal charity group Pro Fauna Indonesia, told local media that mismanagement at the zoo was to blame and warned that tourists would be boycotting the zoo and city in protest at the animals’ treatment. An online petition has requested the government to close the zoo, but no other facility has apparently offered to take on the remaining animals.



Animals living in misery, suffering from malnutrition and
neglect at the “Zoo of Death” in Indonesia

End fur farms


As fashion weeks concludes in New York City, I have seen in disgust far too many people wearing the skin of another animal – an animal forced to live in a cramped, filthy cage before having the hide ripped from his or her back. This is a pretty gruesome fashion choice and shouldbe condemned by the industry. The only “statement” it makes is that the wearer has a total lack of regard for animals’ suffering. Too many “models” this past week were seen wearing belts, boots, handbags, and coats made from the suffering of animals. When I asked several of these “models” why they made this choice to wear the skin of another animal, the response was “um, I don’t know” and the shrug of shoulders. Cleary education of animal cruelty has not yet become important in the fashion industry.

The fur industry’s victims include 1 billion rabbits and 2 million cats and dogs each year in addition to fox and minks. Many of these animals are skinned while they are still alive, and their hearts may continue beating for five to 10 minutes after their bloody bodies are tossed aside by fur farm workers. Other animals languish for days in traps or are gassed, beaten or electrocuted.



Fur farming is illegal in some countries but not all. China and Ireland are just two countries that allow this disgraceful practice to continue. Avoid buying fashion products from these countries and others that allow these defenseless animals to live in horror and suffering.

Join the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (WCFF) to end animal cruelty, suffering and to preserve global biodiversity. www.WCFF.org