AIA’s International Campaigns Secretary, Marian Hussenbux is responsible for AIA’s global animal advocacy work. This involves writing to people of influence about animal suffering and cruelty around the world, sometimes in support of the campaigns run by other organisations and sometimes in support of AIA’s own campaigns.
AIA’s Campaigning Activity – from April 2018 to July 2018
With reference to Operation Galileo, an initiative of Lincolnshire Wildlife Crime Police, we complimented them on their strong action against the illegal coursing of hares. Our commendation has been put on the personal files of the police officers involved.
We wrote again to the Wildlife Crime section of Suffolk Police about the alleged killing of hares by Easton Harriers. In the end, there was unfortunately not enough evidence to prosecute.
Trail hunting on National Trust land
We also wrote to the new Director-General of the National Trust asking them to disallow trail hunting on their land.
In Scotland, we once again appealed to the First Minister, asking for a ban on the killing of mountain hares, or, at least, a close season.
Scottish Natural Heritage issued licences to kill 300 ravens in Perthshire over the next 5 years, ‘a trial’ to protect rare ground nesting birds, such as curlews; we were one of very many groups objecting to this slaughter and the proposal is now the subject of legal action. 69 ravens were killed this year on the Strathbraan Estate.
Live export of calves
On the live exports of cows and calves from Scotland, which featured on the BBC’s Country File – we asked Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary, to bring this trade to an end post-Brexit. Judging by his reply, this will probably not happen, because it would be viewed as prejudicial to Scottish agriculture, but he stated that “the Scottish Government has been funding an international research project to gather evidence on the welfare of the 4-6 week old dairy calves transported from Scotland to Spain via Ireland and France for further rearing for beef production. The research is being done by leading animal welfare scientists in Spain and Scotland who are monitoring the welfare of calves after commercial journeys which are part of a now well-established trade.”
Moving to European issues, we wrote yet again to Irish Ministers about hare coursing, and to the Veterinary Council of Ireland again about personal involvement of vets at coursing meetings. Having received a reply from the Council explaining that vets were permitted to take part in any legal activity which did not bring the profession into disrepute, we wrote again, maintaining that this was just the sort of activity which did that. It is a cruel anomaly as, every day, vets work to save lives, not destroy them. We asked for the Council to adopt a voluntary policy that vets might accept.
More positive is the news that the Solidarity Party in the Republic is sponsoring a bill in late September to ban fur farming in Ireland. There are currently three facilities in the Republic in which 200,000 mink are kept caged.
We wrote to the Labour Party and Sinn Féin, asking them to support this proposal, and the good news is that they say they will be doing so.
Again, Sinn Féin – we thanked them for their intention to update their Animal Welfare policy and hope that a ban on hare coursing – which they previously supported – will at some point be re-instated in it.
Long distance transport
We wrote to the French Agriculture Minister and the Bulgarian authorities to protest against cows from France having been held up for two weeks in July, unloaded, unfed and watered, on the Bulgarian-Turkish border.
Promoting bullfighting to children
We asked the Education Department of the city of Nîmes not to allow children to be shown an exhibition promoting bullfighting.
Thank you to Luce Lapin
Luce Lapin, with whom Quaker Concern for Animals had been in contact over a few years, writes an animal welfare column in the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’ . Having been very active in the French anti-bullfighting group CRAC, she is now standing down to devote herself to promoting the ICE, the European Union’s Citizens’ Initiative to end the Cage Age. We thanked her for all her excellent work for the animals and shall stay in touch.
In Portugal, the charitable organisation Misericordias is boosting bullfights in the 35 arenas they control, so we wrote to ask them to reconsider.
San Sebastián de los Reyes near Madrid is one of the many Spanish towns which hold becerradas, in which calves are tormented and sometimes killed. We are one of the organisations which have signed on to a letter opposing these cruel fiestas.
We wrote to the Prime Minister of Iceland complimenting her on the establishment of a whale sanctuary at Klettsvik Bay in 2019. Two belugas are due to be transported from an aquarium in Shanghai to live in peace in this sanctuary. The irony is that Iceland has a small commercial whaling industry which will be reviewed later this year, so we asked the Prime Minister to work to end it.
For the second year, we protested to the Mayor of Chilliwack against their annual rodeo, specifically three particularly cruel events– calf-roping, steer-wrestling and team-roping.
This year, the Mayor replied, suggesting that, if we sought to influence the character of the rodeo, we should write to the British Columbia Rodeo Association to this effect. We await their reply.
Coyote killing contests
In the United States, we contacted the town of Vestavia Hills in Texas about the trapping of coyotes, thanked two Vermont Congressmen for opposing coyote- killing contests in their state, and protested to the town of Lakeway, Texas, about the netting and killing of deer.
The Southern Resident Orcas in Washington State are starving as dams on the rivers are blocking access to salmon, their main food. The recent death of a calf half an hour after her birth exemplifies the urgency of this terrible situation. We joined many organisations and individuals asking the Governor and State Senators for the dams to be opened.
Live exports banned
In India, we wrote to the Chief Minister of Maharasthra State, thanking him for scrapping a proposal to export 100,000 live sheep and goats by plane to Sharjah.
(Stop press August 10 – The Union Ministry of Shipping has decided to ban the export of livestock from all sea ports in the country for an indefinite period. At this time of year, they would be going to Middle Eastern countries for Eid slaughter.)
After the closure of Macau Canidrome, some 600 greyhounds needed rehoming. We wrote to the Chief Executive of Macau, asking him to have the dogs released to a reputable rescue group, and understand that this will be happening.
Cat and dog eating banned
We wrote to the Indonesian ambassador in London, asking him to pass on our appeal to President Joko Widodo against the consumption of cat and dog meat.
(a ban has just been announced and we shall write to thank the authorities)
In Africa, we asked the President of Zambia not to allow a cull of hippos.
Live transport of sheep
In common with many, we wrote inprotest toseveral Australian ministers about the latest appalling revelations of death and suffering reported on the ships bound for the Middle East, and thanked opposition politicians for their pledge to stop live sheep exports if and when they are in government.
We thanked Minister Sussan Ley for her Private Member’s Bill on the live export of sheep, but as she had excluded cows and other animals we asked for them to be included too.
Animals Australia is an excellent organisation. We thanked their legal team for the sterling work they do in general and, specifically, against the cruelty of live exports.
Policy to eradicate non-native species
In New Zealand, a national policy is in place to eradicate non-native species to protect their own fauna – ‘Predator Free 2050’. If this were not enough of a concern, they encourage the public to join in, so there are many events at which introduced species such as stoats, ferrets, rats and rabbits are killed. We protested to the Drury School about their possum-killing contests, on the grounds that teaching young people to kill is wholly unedifying.
~ Marian Hussenbux. August 2018
Animal advocacy continued – August 2017 to March 2018