Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, both human and non-human.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, both human and non-human.
BREAKING NEWS: Bear bile replacement breakthrough in China
06 August 2015
Hopes for an end to China’s bear bile farms have been boosted as Chinese manufacturer Kaibao Pharmaceuticals announced it has successfully synthesised a substitute for use in traditional medicine.
Animal welfare charity Animals Asia is calling it a step that could eventually save thousands of protected moon bears from farms.
In addition, with Kaibao’s project being backed by the Chinese government – Animals Asia believes it shows a clear intent at the highest levels to move away from the current extraction of bile from bears. This is also in accordance with statements by China’s President Xi Jinping to create an “eco civilisation” and a “green China”.
State-run media Wen Hui News this week ran a prominent article on the breakthrough acknowledging the current format of bear bile production as incompatible with animal protection and conservation.
Wen Hui News reported:
“In recent years, some bear species numbers have been reduced due to the bear bile trade, and the emergence of bear bile farming cannot serve as a sustainable solution to medicines made from animals. The medical field is faced with an ethical dilemma between animal protection and human needs.”
“Kaibao Pharmaceuticals’ project, first announced last year, is heavily backed by state funds having attracted more than US$1.8 million in government funding.”
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill Robinson MBE said:
“This project has the potential to drastically scale back China’s bear bile industry by providing an alternatively-sourced product that traditional medicinal practitioners and patients are happy to use.
“The fact that it is government-funded and sanctioned is hugely important. It shows that both businessmen and policy makers have realised there is no future in bear bile farming and are actively seeking ways to make it obsolete.”
While ursodeoxycholic acid, the active ingredient in bear bile, has long been artificially produced around the world for use in health care, the entire chemical make up of bear bile has never been successfully synthesised.
Kaibao Pharmaceuticals is currently the number one consumer of bear bile purchasing around 18 tonnes of powdered bile annually, approximately half of all purchased. The new artificial bear bile is created using poultry bile.
Over 10,000 bears are currently believed to be held on industrial scale bile farms around China. The animals are kept in highly unsuitable conditions with little regard for their welfare and endure regular bile extraction.
Hong Kong-based charity Animals Asia runs two bear sanctuaries for bears rescued from the bile industry. Since 1998, the NGO has rescued over 500 bears and offers them a lifetime of care in rescue centres in Chengdu, China, and Tam Dao, Vietnam. They have been campaigning to end bear bile farming for over 17 years.
Dave Neale, Animals Asia’s Animal Welfare Director said:
“For those of us who choose to live cruelty free lives – pharmaceuticals offer their own dilemma. Not just for our own use but also for the people we care for. The vast majority of mass-produced drugs contain either animal products or are tested on animals.
“The campaign to make medical and pharmaceuticals industries cruelty free is a global one. The pragmatic view in this case is it’s unlikely chickens will be killed specifically for these drugs as chicken bile is already available as a byproduct of meat processing – while its introduction is likely to help end the suffering of thousands of bears.
“With that in mind we welcome this move by Kaibao and the Chinese government as a step in the right direction. Clearly we also believe that all industries worldwide utilising animals, ultimately have to go further. In that respect pharmaceuticals join a long list of products including food, cosmetics and clothing – but what we are seeing here is undoubtedly progress.
“While it would make little economic sense to breed chickens specifically for bile – should that ever prove to be the case then obviously our position would change.”
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Today’s headlines speak of the death of Cecil the lion. Shot with a bow and arrow by a dentist from the USA, the injured lion was then hunted for 40 hours before he was shot. This incident has made headlines as Cecil was well-known and was also a research subject. However, this is not the only case of hunting lions or other wild animals.
Cecil was on a game reserve and was fitted with a collar. He spotted some meat and thought it would be an easy meal. The meat was being dragged behind a vehicle that led Cecil out of the game reserve where he was then shot.
The dentist who shot Cecil with a bow and arrow and injured him is now blaming his guides. I wonder if he would be blaming the guides if Cecil hadn’t been fitted with a collar? The fact is that this guy paid $35000 so that he could injure and torture a living creature. He was ok with Cecil being conned into following the meat. He was ok with using a bow and arrow, which obviously isn’t going to kill outright. He was ok with a wounded animal taking 40 hours to die. He has blatantly posted pictures of himself with other dead animals, so he is ok with killing.
Would you want this person working on your teeth? Would you want to be sitting in his dentist chair while he is using implements on you? Would you allow a killer around your children?
The guides have been arrested and will pay for what they have done. I doubt that it will be enough. This dentist should also pay. However, he is not the only person to have done this kind of thing. Not the only businessman or politician to do this. Look at Sarah Palin – leaning out of a helicopter to shoot moose.
These people have to use something to hunt these animals. Whether it’s deceiving the animal by using bait, injuring the animal so it’s weaker, or using the safety of some kind of vehicle – these people are cowards. Cowards that are killers.
If they want to hunt why can’t they go after terrorists or criminals? This is dangerous though isn’t it? Hunting animals is safer. Hunting animals is more suitable for cowards.
The following is copied from the above link. There is a petition attached to this. Please sign if you care.
“Cecil the lion (seen above), who was 13, was one of Zimbabwe’s most famous and prized lions and a star attraction at Hwange National Park. A video of the animal, regal, indifferent and looking sleepy, has been widely disseminated.
The head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) told the BBC that Cecil “never bothered anybody” and was “one of the most beautiful animals to look at”.
The iconic animal had a GPS collar fitted several years ago for a research and project by Oxford University that allowed authorities to track its movements, but Walter Palmer, a dentist from a small town near Minnesota, didn’t seem to care. He had paid $55,000 for the chance to kill a lion, and he wanted his money’s worth.
How Cecil Died
According to Johnny Rodrigues, head of the ZCTF, on July 6, professional hunter Theo Bronchorst took Palmer to Hwange National Park.
“They went hunting at night with a spotlight, and they spotted Cecil,” Rodrigues said. “They tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of the park, and they scented an area about half a kilometer from the park.”
Cecil took the bait and came closer, at which point Palmer fired his bow-and-arrow, managing to shoot the lion.
But Cecil didn’t die; instead he stumbled around, wounded, for 40 hours, before the two men found him and shot him with a gun.
The Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association confirmed Cecil was killed on private land outside the park, and an investigation is ongoing into the legality of the hunt.
Over 226,000 People Demand Justice For Cecil
Responding to this horrific and brutal murder, Care2 member Ruth McD created a petition demanding justice for Cecil the lion, and her petition has already garnered over 226,000 signatures — for now, that is. The number of petitions signers is going up so fast, we can’t keep up!
How on earth can any human being be proud of such cowardly and inhumane behavior? How can Dr. Palmer dare to hold his head up after murdering a wounded animal that couldn’t run away?
Even worse, according to Rodrigues, when the two men saw the GPS collar on the lion’s neck, they tried to destroy it.
They then beheaded and skinned Cecil, and left his rotting carcass lying outside the park.
Are such people seeking to prove their superior nature by their ability to murder innocent animals? How can they take joy in such acts?
According to the BBC, Mr. Palmer defended his actions and insisting that his guides had secured “all proper permits” for the hunt.
“I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” he said in a statement on July 28.
He said he had not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or the U.S. but said he “will assist them in any inquiries they may have.”
“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” Palmer’s statement read. “I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
I don’t hear any sign of sadness or recognition of what a horrible action he committed, nor what havoc he has wrought.
Cecil’s Murderer Never Had a Hunting Permit
In fact, the situation is even worse. Rodrigues told NPR, “We got the information that … there was no quota, no license or permit for that area and that the people that actually lured the animal didn’t have a permit. There was no allocation for these animals in that area and that’s how it was found out.”
As a result, two Zimbabwean men – a professional hunter and a farm owner – have been charged with poaching offences because the group did not have a hunting permit.
They could face up to 15 years in prison in Zimbabwe if they are found guilty. They are due to appear in court on July 29.
And what about Palmer? Will he be brought to justice?
Making matters worse is the fact that with Cecil dead, Jericho, who is the next lion in the hierarchy, will almost certainly kill all Cecil’s six recently born cubs, so that he can take over and insert his own bloodline into the female lions.
Palmer is a big game hunter, who hunts the world over, so Cecil was just another target for the dentist to check off.
Palmer’s love of hunting is no secret. In 2009, he was interviewed by the New York Times about his paying $45,000 at auction to take part in the slaying of a prize elk; the article also noted that the dentist had learned to shoot at age five and was “capable of skewering a playing card from 100 yards with his compound bow,” As the hunting season began, Palmer was on probation for lying to authorities over the exact location where he had killed a black bear in northern Wisconsin in 2006.
People on social media are not impressed. Not only have over 226,000 people signed Care2’s petition, but angry commenters have inundated the Yelp and Google Review pages for Palmer’s dental practice, and he has been vilified worldwide, as #CecilTheLion quickly became a top worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
So cheers to the thousands who’ve posted negative “reviews” of the dentist on Yelp, maybe the fastest-growing Yelp campaign ever. Let’s keep spreading the word–people should know their dental-care dollars finance this horrific person’s killing magnificent beasts for sport.
Perhaps it’s not so surprising that this is happening in Zimbabwe. Remember how the president of Zimbabwe celebrated his 91st birthday? His guests were fed a young elephant, and in addition two buffaloes, two sables and five impalas were donated to the president by a local landowner. He also threw in a lion and a crocodile to be stuffed as an extra gift for Mugabe.
Take Action Now
Zimbabwe, like many African countries, is battling to curb illegal hunting and poaching which threatens to make some of its wildlife extinct. About a century ago there were around 200,000 lions roaming across Africa but that figure has dropped to less than 30,000 in recent years.
Rodrigues is deeply concerned about hunters like Palmer: “It’s very big. And the whole thing, this has been going on too long. We’ve already lost about 23 lions, collared lions, which are being studied and researched on. And this is where the problem comes in.”
He believes strongly that the government must bring in hunting bans on certain species of animals, like the lion, so that this never happens again. If you agree, please sign the petition to demand justice for Cecil! Tell Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits to kill endangered animals.”
This last week I’ve been on holiday.
It was nice not to be at work. Nice not speaking to grumpy customers. Nice not dealing with complaints. Nice not to hear all the moans and groans about work. Nice to have time to myself. Nice to be with the family. But now it’s ended 😦
I had a weeks sojurn down Brean Sands with the family. Managed to see my parents who live in Bridgwater too. Lots of money spent.
The cats went to the cattery. My cat and our little stray, Star, who is now living with my daughter. They were both glad to be home. Especially my cat, Smudge, who apparently spent most of the week hiding under the carpet in his enclosure.
We all felt guilty about leaving the cats but knowing where they were, and that they were looked after was very important to us.
Now I’m back home I have the exhausting and never ending job of gardening to do. The grass in the back garden is at least 2 feet high. Not good.
I’ve got new next door neighbours. I say new but they actually moved in over a year ago. I don’t see them that often as I work full time. It’s normally to either take parcels or to fetch parcels, or a quick hello if they’re outside when I’m going to work.
I have been seeing one member of their family quite frequently. He’s been following my cat into the house, eating his food, and the two of them have regularly been seen playing in the garden. This morning was totally different however.
I grabbed the basket of washing at about 8.30 this morning, and as I walked into the back garden I found Branston lying by the bins choking. I thought at first it was a hair ball, but I realised it was something worse because he was lying on his side and was retching blood.
I ran round to the neighbours and the woman came back with me. She was very upset of course. I phoned the emergency vet who said to bring him in and I grabbed my cat basket. It was then that the poor animal lurched and passed away. I was just as upset as my neighbour.
My first thoughts were poison or vehicle. Thinking about it, it was probably a vehicle. Cats often run when they have internal injuries because of the shock and adrenalin. It must have run into my front garden and jumped up on the fence. Jumping down again probably made the injuries worse.
Branston was a lovely, friendly cat, and quite young. It was horrible to see him suffering in that way. I’m going to miss my little visitor, and Smudge is going to miss his buddy.