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Ruddy Duck Index
Ruddy Ducks Need Your Help Now!
The government has announced that £3.3million of public money will be
used for the mass slaughter of Britain's ruddy ducks. Not only is this
a vicious, insane and massively expensive exercise, but it is also
logistically impossible to eradicate a whole population spread over a
thousand UK sites and across 20 countries. Introduced to Britain in
the 1940s, ruddy duck escapees have successfully bred and some have
migrated to Spain where they are said to have mated with the
endangered white-headed duck. The resulting offspring are considered
'impure' by conservationists and bird watchers. Ruddys have,
therefore, been sentenced to death in the name of blood purity.
Hunting and habitat loss are the reasons the white-headed duck is
endangered and conservation should start with habitat protection, but
it's far easier to target a small duck.
STOP PRESS: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has organised a cull at Filey
Dams Nature Reserve, due to commence any day. We need your urgent help
to stop it.
Action: Write to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust
1 St George's Place
Tel: (01904) 659570
Fax: (01904) 613467
You might also like to write to your local Wildlife Trust who may be
supporting the ruddy duck cull. Contact Animal Aid for their details -
specifying your county and nearest major town/city.
Please also contact:
Barry Gardiner MP
Biodiversity Minister for Defra
17 Smith Square
Express your opposition to the demonisation of the ruddys. Urge Defra,
even at this late stage, to change its mind.
Help to ban cat and dog fur
A TV programme featuring celebrity animal activists Paul McCartney and
Heather Mills McCartney reported about the horrific trade in the skins
of domestic cats and dogs, who are raised and killed in Asia. These
skins are now finding their way onto the EU market, and the
McCartneys, along with MEP Struan Stevenson, are calling for an
EU-wide ban on the import of cat and dog fur.
Fur farming was outlawed in the UK in 2002 because so many people
opposed the practice. However, fur imported from abroad is still
available and, worryingly, the programme revealed that even some
'fake' fur on sale in the UK is, in fact, real fur.
Action: Lend your voice to the campaign and sign Heather
Please also write to Ian Pearson, Minister of State for Trade,
Department of Trade and Industry, Response Centre, 1 Victoria Street,
London SW1H 0ET, or email dti.enquiries.TakeThisOut@dti.gsi.gov.uk.
You may also wish to contact Markos Kyprianou, EU Commissioner for
Health and Consumer Protection, The European Commission, Rue de la Loi
B-1049, Bruxelles urging him to implement a total EU ban on the import
of cat and dog fur.
Read our press release
Scapegoating the aliens
Stop the Slaughter of Grey Squirrels!
The grey squirrel is the latest species to be added to Defra's cull
list. Biodiversity Minister Jim Knight blames the grey squirrel for
damaging woodland and for the decline of the red squirrel in England.
However, the grey is being used as a scapegoat for the environmental
and animal welfare problems caused by humans. Thanks to climate
change, disease, woodland destruction and hunting the red squirrel was
already in decline long before the grey was introduced, more than 100
years ago. The grey is better adapted to life in broadleaved woodland,
which is predominant in England. If we want to preserve the red
squirrel we should be conserving the coniferous woods in which they
are presently thriving. If the grey squirrel cull goes ahead,
thousands of squirrels will be horrendously killed. One government
approved method involves the use of a blood-thinning drug which causes
the animals to die a slow and painful death from internal bleeding.
Other squirrels are cage-trapped, stuffed into sacks and battered to
Action: Please contact Barry Gardiner MP, the biodiversity minister
for Defra, who announced the cull, asking him to take grey squirrels
off death row!
Email Barry Gardiner or write to him at:
Barry Gardiner MP
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR
Read our press release
Scapegoating the aliens
Help Stop the Badger Cull!
Since the 1970s badgers have been scapegoated as the cause of bovine
TB, even though studies found that 6 out of 7 badgers tested were not
infected with bTB. The real villain is the dairy industry. When
animals are crowded together in dirty conditions and exploited to
their physical and mental limits, disease is inevitable and easily
spread. Rather than taking responsibility, farmers blame the badgers.
To appease the farmers, DEFRA conducted a consultation on a badger
cull (the results of which have yet to be released). If killing goes
ahead, thousands of badgers will be trapped and shot.
The easiest and most effective action anyone can take is to stop
eating dairy products and go vegan. Not only will you be helping the
badgers, but you'll help save the lives of some of the two million
cattle who are killed every year in the UK alone. This includes dairy
calves, who are stolen from their mothers when they are just a few
days old and used in cheap processed foods, shipped to continental
veal crates (now that cattle live exports have resumed) or shot and
disposed of. However, if you're not quite ready to go vegan then you
can support a Boycott British Butter campaign by Protect Our Wild
Animals. Do not buy British butter and other British dairy products
while the dairy industry refuses to clean up its act and uses badgers
as a scapegoat.
Action:Write to DEFRA with your views
Ben Bradshaw MP,
Animal Welfare Minister,
17 Smith Square,
Contact Animal Aid for stop the badger slaughter leaflets and
petition. Email mail.TakeThisOut@powa.org.uk for Boycott British Butter leaflets
and more information on this campaign.
Please write to the Home Office asking them to commission a national
validation study into Botox.
We need your support in bringing to an end the killing of thousands of
animals every year in the notorious LD50 test (and its variations).
This poisoning test - which many people think is all but banned - is
actually being used for cosmetic purposes in the vanity product,
The government insists that only 'therapeutic' botox products (used
for people with conditions such as Parkinson's, bladder problems,
etc.) are tested using the LD50, but their denial is based on slippery
and dishonest language. There already exists a completely non-animal
test - the SNAP-25 - to replace the use of mice in the testing of
The SNAP-25 already meets all the standard criteria of a
scientifically sound replacement to the LD50:
It has been published in the European Pharmacopoeia (a pharmacopoeia
is an official compilation of pharmaceutical substances and how they
are manufactured to provide a legal standard for regulatory
It has been used for several years by a government-appointed
laboratory - the National Institute for Biological Standards and
Control (NIBSC) - sparing the lives of 5,400 mice annually.
The only thing holding up the SNAP-25 is an inter-laboratory
validation study. The only thing holding up an inter-laboratory
validation study is public pressure on the authorities to get on with
the job. An international validation study can take several years to
complete and final regulatory approval may require anything up to an
additional five years. However, a national inter-laboratory validation
study can be just as scientifically valid - and takes far less time to
obtain regulatory approval than international validation.
Action: Please write to Home Office Minister Andy Burnham calling on
him to commission a national validation study without delay.
Andy Burnham MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
2 Marsham Street
Key points to include in your letter:
In view of the severity of suffering caused to mice by the LD50 test
(and its variations) with respect to botulinum toxin, I respectfully
ask you to commission a National Validation Study without delay.
An international validation study can take several years to complete
and final regulatory approval may require up to an additional five
The validation of a non-animal method can be performed at the national
level - as opposed to the EU level - with a significant reduction in
the time and bureaucracy required for regulatory approval.
The LD50 test was developed in 1927. We are now in the 21st century.
Stop the Oxford University Animal Research Centre!
The battle to stop the building of the Oxford animal labs continues.
There is still a chance the university can be convinced to to channel
its funds into a modern, non-animal laboratory, using state-of-the-art
human-based technologies, rather than wasting money on old-fashioned,
unreliable and unethical animal experiments that are not helping human
Campaigns group SPEAK organises peaceful protests every Thursday
outside the site of the proposed labs on South Parks Rd, Oxford, from
1pm to 5pm. Also monthly protests on the 4th Saturday of each month.
Please support as many of these events as possible and help show the
University that this new animal laboratory is not wanted.
For details of times and locations, please visit the SPEAK website at
Pet Trade Campaign Index
Wyevale Garden Centres should stick to plants, not pets!
The Wyevale Garden Centres chain sells animals - including fish,
'small furries' and exotic birds - in approximately half of its
stores. It is intrinsically unethical to purpose-breed and sell
animals, but a particular concern with outlets such as garden centres
is that people often buy a new baby rabbit or guinea pig on a whim,
only later to abandon them once the novelty has worn off or to leave
them languishing, ignored and unloved, in a hutch or cage at home.
Animal sanctuaries are always full to bursting with healthy animals in
need of a new home. Anyone wanting to take on a companion animal will
be able to give a lonely little soul a second chance by adopting from
a rescue centre. Buying from pet shops perpetuates the cycle of
animals being bred and sold and then abandoned or forgotten about.
Action: Please send a polite message to Wyevale urging the company to
stick to plants, not pets! Wyevale can continue to sell animal
supplies so its pet departments could stay operational and its profits
need not suffer.
Email the Buying Director at glyn.price.TakeThisOut@wyevale.co.uk or phone
FREEPHONE 0800 413 213
Please ask your MP to sign EDM 92, calling for an independent
evaluation of the use of animals in drug testing and medical research
A small but important opportunity arises to gain political support for
a new idea/law/initiative with the tabling of a parliamentary
statement of principle (known as an Early Day Motion - EDM). An EDM
basically constitutes the logging of an issue by a particular MP, to
which other MPs can add their name and thereby register support. Mike
Hancock MP has tabled EDM 92: Animal testing of drugs. It states:
"That this House, in common with Europeans for Medical Progress,
expresses its concerns regarding the safeguarding of public health
through data obtained from laboratory animals, particularly in light
of large numbers of serious and fatal adverse drug reactions that were
not predicted by animal studies; is concerned that the Government has
not commissioned or evaluated any formal research on the efficacy of
animal experiments, and has no plans to do so; and, in common with 83
per cent. of general practitioners in a recent survey, calls upon the
Government to facilitate an independent and transparent scientific
evaluation of the use of animals as surrogate humans in drug safety
testing and medical research."
Action: Please urge your MP to sign this EDM and build up pressure for
a transparent, independent inquiry into animal experiments. To find
out who your MP is, go to www.locata.co.uk/commons.
You can find out
if your MP has signed EDM 92 at edm.ais.co.uk. EDM numbers 98, 257 &
323 also relate to animal welfare and may be of interest to you.
Help provide animals at markets with water
A new report by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) gives
recommendations for improved animal welfare at ‘livestock’ markets.
The most noteworthy recommendation is, “the provision of water to all
animals when not involved in a ‘defined activity’, such as movement
prior to or following sale.”
Animal Aid would like to see the back of markets altogether. However,
the provision of water is a practical interim measure to eliminate the
unnecessary stress that animals experience at such sales. We would,
therefore, welcome this development. But, simply providing water is
not enough. Market operators will often simply offer water taps,
buckets and troughs…leaving it to market users to take water to the
animals. This practically never happens, therefore the government must
oblige market operators to provide all animals with direct access to
water. This will inevitably lead to lower stocking densities in sheep,
cattle and pig pens, in order to allow the animals free movement.
Action: Please write to Ben Bradshaw MP (Animal Welfare Minister for
Defra) urging him to provide direct access for all animals at markets
when implementing any new legislation. Write to: Ben Bradshaw MP,
Animal Welfare Minister, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London,
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