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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.

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.

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.

WSPA battles the elements
Tweet An estimated 50,000 cattle have died as a result of flooding in Bolivia, with heavy rainfall continuing to damage housing, infrastructure and agriculture. The extreme climatic events also resulted in over 250,000 people being displaced, leading to concerns for companion animals left behind. A WSPA assessment team has been sent in to the affected area and is working with its member society, Animales S.O.S, to assess the needs of surviving livestock and companion animals.

WSPA brings emergency relief to drought-hit Kenyan region
WSPA has initiated an emergency relief mission to Mwingi District in central Kenya to save the many donkeys, goats, camels, cattle and sheep suffering the effects of the drought, thus protecting the livelihood of the local population. The ambitious operation, requiring five teams to concentrate efforts at ever-shrinking watering holes spread over a vast area, was carefully planned and funded by WSPA. As the emergency relief effort continues, in the coming days, animals will be fed at the watering points with hay, purchased by WSPA, as well as receiving further medical treatments. Since the initial aid was delivered, rain has started to fall in Mwingi District and farmers report that their animals are in a better condition than before.

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.

Disaster drill shows preparation pays
The operation gauged the agencies’ and community’s ability and readiness to care for animals if the Turrialba volcano were to erupt. With immense natural resources comes the intrinsic risk of natural disasters, and Costa Rica has had to deal with several different kinds of emergencies in the recent past, threatening both people and animals. On Saturday September 26, all the local agencies that would normally be involved in disaster relief operations – the Red Cross, Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal (SENASA, the government agency responsible for the welfare of animals), the police and civil defense – were joined by a WSPA team and a veterinary emergency response unit (VERU) in the drill.

Ecuador volcano - WSPA distributes food to animals
The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) has distributed emergency food relief to around a thousand animals at risk of starvation following the eruption of the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador. Mark Yates, WSPA’s Director of Disaster Relief, said: Animals were left without food and farmers without a source of income as a result of the burnt fruit and their starving livestock. WSPA’s intervention was delivered by its Member Society Fundación de Protección Animal Ecuador (FPA) who distributed food to cattle and pigs, as well as dogs in a newly created shelter which was set up as a result of an influx of displaced dogs into the town of Cotaló.

European Commission acknowledges need to handle with care
The European Commission has publicly responded to the WSPA-led Handle with Care coalition’s demands for better enforcement of existing EU legislation on animal transportation and - in the longer term - a complete end to long distance transport. While the EU has good legislation setting out the conditions for live transport, all too often these are not enforced, with grim consequences for the animals. With chilled and frozen meats - slaughtered humanely close to the point of rearing - widely available, this cruelty is not even necessary to deliver fresh meat to consumers. The Handle with Care website provides information, news and ways to get involved in campaigning against this cruel and unnecessary form of animal cruelty.

Swine flu: WSPA disputes need for pig cull
Egypt is still culling pigs despite there being no known link between the recent outbreak of swine flu and pigs. News on the spread of swine flu continues to develop, but there have been no significant discoveries that directly concern pigs, pig farming or pork products. It was initially reported that the pig cull in Egypt was intended as a precaution against spread of infection from pigs to humans. WSPA objects strongly to the inhumane handling and slaughter methods of pigs shown in recent news coverage, and insists that handling and slaughter should follow the relevant OIE guidelines agreed by Egypt and all other member countries of the OIE.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia