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Supermarkets pledge to help WSPA end long-distance transport of live animals
Hawaii-based stores will no longer purchase pork from pigs shipped live from mainland U.S. Two supermarket chains in Hawaii – Foodland Super Market Ltd and Times Supermarkets – have agreed to no longer purchase pork products from pigs transported live from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii for slaughter, citing animal welfare reasons for their change. The supermarket chains decided to adjust their pork purchasing policies in light of WSPA’s recent “No Paradise for Pigs” investigation, which focuses on the transport of thousands of pigs from mainland U.S. to Hawaii every year. WSPA encourages Hawaii-based retailers to consider safer and more humane approaches – such as supplementing local production with imported, USDA-certified chilled and frozen meat from animals raised and killed humanely in mainland U.S.

WSPA rejects temporary suspension of live cattle exports from Australia to Indonesia
Australian Minister for Agriculture, Senator Joe Ludwig, has stated that he will work with the live export industry with the aim of resuming the trade within six months. And yet, Minister Ludwig is relying on the industry itself again to make a difference in more than 120 Indonesian slaughterhouses in just six months. Whether it is cattle shipped to Indonesia or sheep shipped to the Middle East, the only way to fully protect Australian animals is to process them within Australia. WSPA and thousands of our supporters from around the world are calling on the Australian Government to take meaningful action by announcing an end date for live animal exports to all countries.

Protecting pigs: major live importer to end shipments
Recent campaign activity has taken the Handle with Care coalition – which seeks to end the cruelty of long distance transport for slaughter – a step closer to stopping live pig imports from the US mainland to Hawaii. After a targeted advertising campaign and a legal petition – questioning the labelling of meat from transported animals as ‘Island-produced pork’ – the largest importer has now indicated it will stop importing live pigs to Hawaii. Handle with Care’s legal petition, filed with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, asks for an investigation into the labelling of meat from imported animals as ‘island produced’. The print ad included a clip-out coupon to send to the three Hawaiian grocery store chains that sell pork from imported pigs with ‘island produced’ labels, and online petitions targeting the stores were produced by coalition members in the USA.

Victory for Cows in the UK!
After a year of campaigning against Nocton Dairies’ plans for a factory dairy farm in Lincolnshire, England, WSPA is thrilled to announce that the plans have been withdrawn. “While the Environment Agency's objections were the final nail in the coffin for the Nocton plans, our own research made it clear that there were numerous reasons why Nocton should not be given the go-ahead. WSPA hopes that the small dairy farmers and NFU members who spoke out against these plans will continue to gather support from the wider industry for conventional, pasture-based systems – not large-scale, intensive ones.

Twelve thousand cattle at risk in Argentina
Heavy rains since October 2006 have caused flooding of the lowlands and islands of the Paraná River in the Santa Fe Province of Argentina, with 500,000 cattle at immediate risk and 100,000 already evacuated. The situation worsened recently with severe rains leading to a surge in the river level. Between 30,000 and 50,000 cattle have died due to the flooding and a further 12,000, evacuated to roadsides by small scale cattle farmers, are at risk of starvation and need immediate help. In support of the provincial government relief efforts, WSPA will provide enough feed for adult cattle and calves to last for the next few weeks.

Act now: Situation remains critical for Egypt’s pigs
Information from Cairo suggests that more than half the country’s pig population has now been culled, despite there being no proven link between pigs and swine flu transmission. But the OIE lacks the mandate to intervene, and the remaining pigs are expected to be killed within two weeks – a decision challenged by thousands of WSPA supporters internationally. WSPA continues to question both the need for the cull and the methods used – before swine flu was publicized authorities had planned to re-home overcrowded city pigs outside Cairo. With no link between pigs and swine flu transmission, no acceptable reason has been given as to why pigs from the city could not be moved to the new farms.

Cattle die in severe floods
The President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has officially declared a national disaster after flooding and torrential rain severely affected humans and animals. Stranded livestock are being tended to and fed where possible, but it is proving difficult to reach all the affected animals in time. Farmers who have managed to transport their cattle to Trinidad Port by boat are finding that there is a lack of feed and nowhere to house their animals. A WSPA team is also heading to Santa Ana and Santa Cruz, areas also severely affected by the floods, to assess what animal welfare assistance is required. As a Member Society the RSPCA is kept up-to-date with all of WSPA’s work and is generously supporting this disaster management intervention.

WSPA calls for action as new footage in Australia exposes the cruelty of live cattle export
WSPA is calling for an immediate end to live cattle exports from Australia to Indonesia, following the exposure of horrific cruelty inflicted on animals in Indonesia’s slaughterhouses on Australia’s Four Corners program. Jessica added, “Surely no one in the Australian government, at Meat and Livestock Australia or the farming industry could possibly justify the widespread and absolutely horrific abuse cattle endure in largely unregulated Indonesian abattoirs. WSPA is calling on the Australian Government to really take heed of the evidence Animals Australia and the RSPCA Australia have provided and immediately end the cattle trade to Indonesia, and announce an end date for live animal exports to all other countries.

Good news for North American pigs
Smithfield Foods, Inc., the nation's largest pork producer with 1.2 million sows, has announced plans to phase out the cruel practice of confining sows to “gestation crates” that don't allow them to move around during their lifetime of repeated pregnancies. It is happening in response to pressure from the company's customers who know that U.S. consumers are more aware and concerned than ever before about the suffering animals experience to put food on their tables. Sadly, the phasing in of larger group pens will take far too long—10 years at company owned farms and 20 years at farms that are sub-contractors.

New, comprehensive text on long distance transport launched
Long Distance Transport and Welfare of Farm Animals – the book that provides the scientific basis of the Handle with Care campaign – was launched at the 76th General Session of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in Paris. The largest and most comprehensive academic reference text on the long distance transport of animals for slaughter was presented to almost 100 of the world’s Chief Veterinary Officers in a reception on May 26 2008. The reception was also attended by nearly 250 delegates of the general session, including the OIE Director General and Deputy Director General. The following day, Peter Davies, Director General of WSPA, addressed the OIE general session and highlighted the Handle with Care coalition’s global transport campaign.

Egypt hosts meeting on animal transport
This month, a conference in Cairo explored the relationship between Islam, animal welfare, and the long distance transport of animals for slaughter. The eminence of the speakers reflected how seriously the debate is being taken in the region. At the end of the conference, delegates agreed that the teachings of the Qur'an and the internationally agreed OIE guidelines on transport and slaughter basically address the same issues. This is a solid foundation for the Handle with Care campaign to build on. The suspension of the import of live animals from Syria due to animal disease was also cited as a reason why reliance on live animal imports was unwise.

Emergency help for Bihar’s stranded communities
WSPA Asia’s disaster assessment and response team is on the ground in the flood-stricken Bihar region of India, with further specialist veterinary help and medicine on its way. More than two million people have been affected by the floods, which are the worst to hit the region in decades. WSPA’s team of experienced vets is working in a coordinated effort alongside vets from the region (including from the Bihar Veterinary College), assessing the extent of the animal welfare need and allocating resources. WSPA will be working to prevent pneumonia, skin infections and the spread of other contagious diseases, all of which can attack animals kept in humid, crowded conditions.

WSPA announces new Director General
Peter’s retirement marks the end of a very successful chapter for the organization, during which WSPA saw massive growth and development – not just in size, but in capacity and ability to influence policy and legislation worldwide. Peter Davies said, “When I reflect on my time here, there is much WSPA has to be proud of – not least our creation of this truly global animal welfare movement. Today, WSPA has a presence in over 150 countries around the world and the commitment displayed by every member of this alliance has allowed for some truly impressive achievements – the sound of so many voices speaking on individual issues has been a powerful tool for advancing global animal welfare.” Through partnership with hundreds of member societies we strive to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia