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News & Press
Welcome to all the latest news and press from Animal Aid.
Home Office minister calls for an end to animal testing
Norman Baker, the minister responsible for regulating animal experiments in the UK, has called for an end to animal testing. Speaking to the BBC, he said that a ban ‘would not happen tomorrow’, but that he was working to persuade industry of the economic advantages to ending the practice.More about the statement Read the article on the BBC website
Growing backlash against the brutality and rural vandalism of grouse shoot owners
A new Animal Aid report charts the growing backlash against grouse shooting, and attacks the Tory-led coalition government for the way in which it has ‘increased the flow of public money in the moor owners’ direction while stripping away controls that could moderate their reckless excesses’.More on Animal Aid's updated report, Calling the Shots 2014, which reveals that wealthy moorland shoot owners are receiving even more financial and regulatory encouragement to wreak havoc on sensitive moorland habitat Take action and write to Defra now
Animal Aid has launched a powerful addition to our campaign for mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses: a new film hosted on a dedicated website – SlaughterhouseCCTV.org.uk. The website outlines the support for the campaign from the public, animal protection groups, vets, supermarkets, the Food Standards Agency, UNISON and MPs, and calls for the public to sign a Number 10 petition.More about our new website calling for mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses SlaughterhouseCCTV.org.uk Visit the website now
Two-thirds of British chicken contaminated with campylobacter
An undercover investigation by The Guardian has revealed a string of appalling hygiene and biosecurity failures at slaughterhouses and factory farms that is fuelling the 280,000 cases of campylobacter food poisoning from chicken meat each year.More about campylobacter contamination in British chicken Watch The Guardian's undercover investigation
Giving up meat is better for the environment than giving up your car, says new study
New research from the USA has found that cutting meat consumption would do more to reduce carbon emissions than getting rid of your car. The scientists behind the report singled out beef farming as being especially damaging to the environment and proposed cutting subsidies for meat production in order to reduce consumption.Moreabout the environmental impacts of meat production
Keep animals cool in hot weather
With the recent arrival of hot weather, we should be reminded that animals suffer and die when temperatures rise. Dogs die very quickly in hot cars and they should not be left inside them even for very short periods. Opening a window a few inches is not sufficient.
It’s not just dogs who suffer in heatwaves. We offer advice on caring for rabbits, smaller animals and wildlife.More about how to help animals in hot weather
Appeal for common sense from new Environment Minister
Owen Paterson’s time as Environment Minister was dominated by tribal allegiances to the farming and pro-hunting, pro-shooting countryside fraternity, which resulted in irrational and highly damaging policies, such as the disastrous badger cull. But with his sacking in the latest cabinet reshuffle comes the opportunity for a more rational, common sense approach to farming policy in the UK.More about the change of Environment Minister
Another increase in animal experiments: Government tries to airbrush GM animal suffering
The number of experiments conducted in British laboratories in 2013 was the highest in nearly 30 years, according to government statistics published today. The total of 4.12 million ‘procedures’ exceeded the 2012 figure by 11,600. The use of genetically modified (GM) mice once again dominated the Home Office’s (HO) annual figures, and the department’s strategy is a clear one: to suggest that little or no suffering is involved in this area of research because most of it involves benign breeding programmes.Moreabout the 2013 animal research statistics and our analysis
Culling badgers ‘won’t control bovine TB’
Computer modelling by the universities of Warwick and Cambridge has accurately reproduced the spread of bovine TB and the number of cases. Furthermore, the study, which has been published in Nature, has concluded that culling badgers will not control the disease.More on the study into how to prevent the spread of bTB Read the BBC article
Animal Aid Shop achieves high rating in Ethical Consumer survey
Animal Aid is proud to announce that our online shop has come third in an Ethical Consumer (EC) survey of 25 leading online ethical retailers, based on the sites most used by EC’s readers and web visitors. We were also nominated as a ‘Best Buy’.Moreabout the Animal Aid Shop's high ethical rating Visit our highly acclaimed online shop
Open letter regarding Cheltenham Racecourse
Animal Aid has today sent an open letter to horse racing’s regulatory and representative bodies, strongly criticising their decision to ignore an important report analysing the reasons why Cheltenham Racecourse kills more horses than any other in Britain. The letter has been sent to the British Horseracing Authority, the National Trainers Federation, the Professional Jockeys Association, the Racehorse Owners Association, the Jockey Club and Cheltenham Racecourse.Read the open letter Read our report on horse deaths at Cheltenham Racecourse
New poll reveals overwhelming opposition to battery cages for game birds
A YouGov poll, commissioned by Animal Aid, has found that more than three-quarters of respondents (77 per cent) oppose the use of battery cages for the production of ‘game’ birds. The figure rose to 87 per cent when counting only those who expressed a view.
The poll’s results mark the start of a key new phase of Animal Aid’s campaign to achieve a ban on the units – known in the industry as raised laying cages, and used for pheasants and partridges kept for breeding.Moreabout the campaign for a ban on battery cages for game birds View our new undercover footage Read our briefing sheet
'They just want to cull badgers'
A member of the Independent Expert Panel – the body charged with assessing the humaneness and effectiveness of the badger culls – has spoken out strongly against the government’s culling policy. Having found that the 2013 pilot culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire had failed on both counts, Professor Tim Coulson said ‘I am tempted to speculate that the Government no longer wants to know whether the pilots are effective or humane. They just want to cull badgers, regardless of whether the population or humaneness consequences can be assessed.’More about Professor Coulson’s statement Read the Independent article
Royal Ascot – Three Horses Dead
Amid the pomp and hype of the Royal Ascot race meeting, three horses lost their lives. They were two-year-old Case Statement, five-year-old Sir Graham Wade and five-year-old Tiger Cliff.More about the deaths of Case Statement, Sir Graham Wade and Tiger Cliff at Royal Ascot
Crustaceans feel anxiety
New research – in which crayfish were stressed using mild electric shocks – indicates that the species experiences anxiety. This adds to a growing body of evidence that decapod crustaceans experience pain and fear and, Animal Aid argues, should therefore be protected by the Animal Welfare Act. Currently, the Act offers protection only to vertebrates.More about crustaceans feeling anxiety Read the briefing sheet Read the article in The Independent
Going to the Dogs - Channel 4
Animal Aid this morning (11 June) saw a preview of the Channel 4 programme Going to the Dogs, which will air tomorrow night. While we knew that this was a documentary rather than a campaign film, we did not expect the subject to be treated with such deference. In a newspaper interview, filmmaker Penny Woolcock states that the ‘dogs are loved and largely well treated’, even as the film shows unforgiving training methods and a ‘fangs into flesh’ fight.More about Channel 4's documentary Going to the Dog
New reports reveal animal and human cost of fish trade
A recent publication from the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) has highlighted the fact that farmed fish have little protection in law at the time of slaughter, leading to terrible suffering, whilst an imminent report from Washington reveals that a Thai company supplying fish to British supermarkets uses slave labour on its vessels.More about the new reports on the fish industry
Buzzards in the firing line again
According to a press statement by the RSPB, Natural England is considering an application to kill 10 buzzards on a pheasant shooting estate. Buzzards are protected birds of prey, but their numbers have suffered due to years of illegal persecution.More about the proposal to kill buzzards to protect a pheasant shoot Please write to Natural England, demanding that it rejects any applications from the shooting lobby to kill protected species
Take action to help end secrecy in laboratories
The government is holding a public consultation on the future of Section 24, the notorious secrecy clause that has long been used to prevent even the most basic information about animal experiments from being released. If we can persuade the government to remove Section 24 – and not replace it with further mechanisms to restrict openness – we will be able to obtain detailed information about individual experiments, and shed light on the animal suffering and faulty science involved. The consultation is open only until June 13, and we urgently need as many people as possible to respond to it. We make it easy for you to do so! Please read on.More about the Section 24 public consultation See our response to the consultation See our quick guide to responding to the consultation Respond to the consultation
Help Us Compile New Farming Deaths Report
Compelled by the deaths of more than 1,500 hens in a recent lorry collision on the M62, Animal Aid has begun compiling reports of similar mass farmed animal deaths from around the country – and we need your help. If your local media reports animals dying en mass because of flooding or fires on farms, fatalities during live transportation, incidents at markets, or exposure to harsh weather, please get in touch.More about how you can help compile our new report on farming deaths Report an incident
CCTV in Slaughterhouses: Time to Act!
Animal Aid continues to work hard on its campaign for mandatory CCTV in UK slaughterhouses. The welfare of animals at slaughter is a devolved issue, and the UK governments have now asked the Farm Animal Welfare Committee to review the effectiveness of CCTV. Animal Aid responded to the consultation.Read our response to the consultation.
We have also just launched a Number 10 Petition, so that whoever is in government after the General Election next spring, will have to face this issue squarely. Please sign and share it widely. We need to get 100,000 signatures to make the government take notice.Please sign the petition now
Vivisectors' concordat a public relations ploy
Animal Aid has dismissed a ‘concordat on openness’, signed by 72 practitioners or advocates of animal research, as a manoeuvre to boost dwindling public confidence in vivisection and how it is regulated. If the sector is seriously committed to transparency, says the national campaign group, it would call for an end to the legal mechanism that currently throws a blanket of secrecy over even the most basic information relating to the conduct of vivisection. This is the notorious Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act.More about the 'concordat of openness' signed by pharmaceutical companies, universities and medical charities on animal research
Euro Elections – 22nd May
Please vote for the animals!
Animal Aid wrote to the key political parties standing at the European elections to ask for their animal protection policies. We also put to them five questions relating to animal issues affected by European laws. The Green Party, Animal Welfare Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru all responded in the required timeframe, although not all responded to our questions. Read on to find out what they said, and – above all – please do turn out to vote. The animals need a strong voice in Europe.More about the animal welfare policies of the EU political parties
Two horses die at Plumpton's Sunday races
Two horses, both aged six-years-old, lost their lives at Plumpton Racecourse yesterday afternoon (Sunday 11 May).
In the first race of the day, Head Rush was pulled up injured, halfway through the two-mile hurdle race in which he was competing. Then, in the final event of the day, a National Hunt flat race, grey gelding Eastbury fell to the ground injured and was seen struggling to get up.More about the deaths at Plumpton race course
Halal furore has nothing at all to do with animal welfare and everything to do with prejudice
A statement released today by the leading animals rights group, Animal Aid, says that the public furore and hand-wringing over the labelling of halal meat is categorically not rooted in concern for animal welfare. Much of the noise springs from ‘ignorance at best, and both prejudice and hypocrisy at worst’.More about Animal Aid's statement on the halal furore