Stop The Taiji Dolphin Hunt

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The controversial annual dolphin hunt begins in Taiji, Japan today. The killings were the focus of the Academy award-winning documentary The Cove.

“September 1 is the start of an annual drive hunt, in which Japanese fishermen use the dolphin’s sonar as a means to capture them in the cove and cull them,” says Nicola Harris, dolphin campaigner.

“23,000 dolphins and porpoises are killed annually in Japan… [today] is an important day for dolphins because it is part of a annual migrational course in which they pass the beautiful beaches of Taiji.”

Harris explains that today “dolphin lovers and members of environmental organisations gather to spread awareness of this drive and the disgusting and inhumane way they are slaughtered”. Harris is organising the Dolphin Day event in Perth today, but there are events happening around the world – including in Sydney and Melbourne. Click here for more info.

Many organisations worldwide are opposed to the slaughter that takes place in Taiji, such as the Humane Society International (HSI). This morning, HSI-Australia told G magazine that they believe the actions in Taiji at this time of year are “brutally inhumane”.

The International Whaling Commission does not recognise or regulate the killing of small ocean mammals. Harris explains that this could be because “the Japanese have powers of persuasion within the International Whaling Commission that enable then continue the slaughters… Fishermen have told protesters in the past that the killings are a form of pest control”.

The slaughters are often referred to as part of Japanese culinary culture. However, very few Japanese people actually eat dolphin meat – possibly due to its high mercury content – so the meat is often sold labelled or unlabelled as whale meat. “Sometimes the meat is simply disposed of,” says Harris.

“Besides the fact that these animals are highly intelligent and have a long history of relations with human beings, Australians should be worried about the amount of damage killing off masses amounts of marine life does to the oceanic environment,” argues Harris.

For more information, and to show your support, visit the Oceanic Preservation Society and Save Japan Dolphins websites.

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August 12 World Elephant Day

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On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.

The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants,  and when appropriate reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.

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Source:http://worldelephantday.org/about

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

India bans captive dolphin shows, says dolphins should be seen as ‘non-human persons’

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Dolphins have long been one of our favorite ocean-going animal counterparts, blurring the line that separates human intelligence and emotion from the wildness of nature. Sadly, though, this attraction has resulted in dolphins around the world being exploited for our entertainment, subjected to a life in captivity.

But now, in a bold move to protect the well-being of dolphins, India has moved to ban dolphin shows — a push that helps elevate their status from creatures of mere curiosity to one that borders more closely to that of personhood.

Late last week, India’s Minstry of the Environment and Forests released a statement banning “any person / persons, organizations, government agencies, private or public enterprises that involves import, capture of cetacean species to establish for commercial entertainment, private or public exhibition and interaction purposes whatsoever.”

In so doing, India became the largest of four countries to ban the practice — which includes Costa Rica, Hungary, and Chile. But the ministry didn’t stop there; their thoughtful reasoning behind the ban seems squarely aimed at the dozens of countries across the globe, like in Europe and the United States, where dolphin shows are big business.

“Whereas cetaceans in general are highly intelligent and sensitive, and various scientists who have researched dolphin behavior have suggested that the unusually high intelligence; as compared to other animals means that dolphin should be seen as ‘non-human persons’ and as such should have their own specific rights and is morally unacceptable to keep them captive for entertainment purpose,” reads the ministry’s statement.

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Costa Rica to Close its Zoos and Release Animals

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Costa Rica has announced that it plans to close both of the country’s public zoos in May 2014 so that animals can be released from captivity.

Rene Castro, the Environment Minister revealed that the 97-year-old Simon Bolivar zoo in central San Jose, as well as  the Santa Ana Conservation Center would be shut down and the 400 animals would be released into the wild or sent to rescue centers.

“We are getting rid of the cages and reinforcing the idea of interacting with biodiversity in botanical parks in a natural way,” Environment Minister René Castro told the Costa Rica Times. “We don’t want animals in captivity or enclosed in any way unless it is to rescue or save them.”

Costa Rica’s move to shutter its zoos comes on the heels of other recent legislation aimed at protecting animals from a life in captivity. Earlier this year, India became the largest nation to ban the exploitation of dolphins, joining the ranks of Costa Rica, Hungary, and Chile.

Despite occupying just 0.03% of the planet’s surface, Costa Rica’s lush forests are home to an incredible 500 thousand unique organisms — representing over 4% of all the known species on Earth.

According to the Associated Press, Costa Rica banned circuses with animals in 2002 and has also barred sport hunting.

Source: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/

What books should we read: Animal Rights. Current debates and new directions

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Animal Rights. Current debates and new directions

Authors: Cass R. Sunstein and Martha C. Nussbaum
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Language: English

Millions of people live with cats, dogs, and other pets, which they treat as members of their families. But through their daily behavior, people who love those pets, and greatly care about their welfare, help ensure short and painful lives for millions, even billions of animals that cannot easily be distinguished from dogs and cats. Today, the overwhelming percentage of animals with whom Westerners interact are raised for food. Countless animals endure lives of relentless misery and die often torturous deaths. The use of animals by human beings, often for important human purposes, has forced uncomfortable questions to center stage: Should people change their behavior? Should the law promote animal welfare? Should animals have legal rights? Should animals continue to be counted as “property”? What reforms make sense? Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum bring together an all-star cast of contributors to explore the legal and political issues that underlie the campaign for animal rights and the opposition to it. Addressing ethical questions about ownership, protection against unjustified suffering, and the ability of animals to make their own choices free from human control, the authors offer numerous different perspectives on animal rights and animal welfare. They show that whatever one’s ultimate conclusions, the relationship between human beings and nonhuman animals is being fundamentally rethought. This book offers a state-of-the-art treatment of that rethinking. Contributors include: Elizabeth Anderson Cora Diamond Richard A. Epstein David Favre Gary L. Francione Gisela Kaplan Catharine A. MacKinnon Richard A. Posner James Rachelsl Lesley J. Rogers Peter Singer Mariann Sullivan Stephen M. Wise David J. Wolfson

Please sign!!

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Please sign & share this petition. Thank you!

“As concerned global citizens we call on you to push members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to save rhinos by immediately suspending trade in all rhino products. Furthermore, enforcement measures should be strengthened and consumer countries must honour their promises to run far-reaching public awareness campaigns. Your action today can end deadly poaching and save the species from extinction.”
http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_rhinos/?tta