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Bear cub rescued by Tennessee Member Society
ABR is a unique black bear rehabilitation facility located in the Smokey Mountains that has been rescuing and releasing bears for over a decade. Lisa wrote to WSPA to let us know about their latest bear cub and his journey to recovery at ABR. The other day he bit me and huffed at me, but the bite was not as bad as that of a mosquito and the "huff" was more like a tiny sneeze. It breaks my heart to know that there are so many more out there that we haven't found yet, and I wish we could help them all.

Twister and four other bears set free in Idaho
After a long and bumpy ride, Twister stepped out of her crate, looked around and jumped off the back of the truck that had carried her and four other bears from Idaho Black Bear Rehab (IBBR) into the wilderness outside of Boise. Thanks to Maughan's expert care and rehabilitation techniques, Twister and four other Black Bears joined the more than 140 cubs that have been successfully raised and released back into the wild by IBBR. Only a few years ago, bears such as Twister would have faced life in captivity or euthanasia. From a larger enclosure to care for more bears to a new roof and the flatbed truck that transported Twister and other bears, WSPA has been there to support IBBR's work since 1998.

Find out the latest on welfare issues facing bears around the world
Victor Watkins, WSPA Wildlife Advisor, is heading to the Republic of Georgia to attend the 2010 International Bear Association (IBA) conference and will be reporting back on the big issues faced by the world’s bears in a dedicated blog. The IBA conference provides bear experts (organizations and academics) with a platform to share their knowledge of issues facing bears around the world, to encourage best practice and deliver solutions. Victor is extremely passionate about protecting bears from cruelty and suffering and has been a pivotal character in WSPA's work for bears around the world for nearly two decades.

New facility offers special care for baited bears
An up-to-date clinic made possible by a generous supporter is now enabling staff at a WSPA-funded sanctuary in Pakistan to give rescued bears the very best care and treatment. It currently provides veterinary care and a safe haven for 22 bears formerly used for baiting. Bear baiting is a savage blood sport in which dogs are set upon a tethered and defenseless bear. Mellun had been rescued from a landlord who had used him in baiting events for six years. Thousands of key religious leaders have denounced baiting as un-Islamic and so far 235 landlords – who run the events – have given it up.

Dr Gus Thornton, a former WSPA president, has died following a long illness
Dr Thornton and his granddaughter Rose © Courtesy of the MSPCA-Angell He grew up and went to veterinary school in Oklahoma, USA. Through his work for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA), he helped WSPA set up its first office and later served two years as WSPA President. Mike Baker, Director General of WSPA, said: “He was a great veterinarian and humanitarian, and he was a true leader in both fields, nationally and internationally. He cared so very deeply about animals and people, was a kind and generous person, and he spent his life helping others….he will be greatly missed.”

WSPA and partners get animal welfare onto Earth Summit agenda
With the focus of world leaders and the world’s public on the event, WSPA is working to ensure that animal welfare is firmly on the agenda. WSPA succeeded in having animals and sustainable agriculture inserted into the Rio Conference declaration – the so-called “Bonn Declaration” – which will feed into the planning process for the Earth Summit and the texts used to prepare it. WSPA also co-organized and chaired an event at the conference with other organizations and academics to discuss the importance of animal welfare to sustainable agriculture and food consumption. The Bonn Declaration states that animal welfare should be safeguarded and notes that, “sustainable development can only be ensured if humanity, directed and led by government policies, embraces humane, sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles and adopts sustainable livelihoods”.

WSPA denounces latest proposal to 'trade whale quotas'
In the latest issue of Nature, through a feature entitled "Conversation Science: A market approach to saving the whales," three researchers proposed a system that would give countries permits to catch a certain number of whales. WSPA criticizes this proposal on grounds that it ignores a fundamental reality: that whales are conscious, intelligent animals who suffer slow, agonizing deaths when hit by the whalers’ exploding harpoons. The researchers estimate that whaling generates about $31 million a year in profits, while environmental groups spend about $25 million campaigning against whaling. Read more about whale watching, including how to distinguish a responsible tour operator from one that puts whales at risk.

WSPA Report Reveals Plight of Captive Dolphins in Holiday Hotspots
Throughout Mexico and the Dominican Republic, holiday meccas for North American and European tourists, a bleak picture of life for the dolphins in captivity has been uncovered by a new WSPA report. The report describes in detail the state of the two countries’ captive dolphin facilities which are largely found in or near resorts frequented by international tourists. The report also documents the acts of cruelty suffered by captive dolphins as well as the consequences of this cruelty to the animals’ welfare. The report details the generic layout of captive dolphin facilities, in existence in Mexico since 1970 and in the Dominican Republic since 1995.

Disney artist and WSPA celebrate the Caribbean’s whales
The completed, colourful wall will support the Caribbean anti-whaling movement and celebrate the successful whale watching industry as a more humane and profitable alternative to whaling. Recent studies reveal that whale watching activities generate up to US$23 million each year in the Eastern Caribbean islands alone. WSPA firmly believes that whale watching is more economically significant and sustainable for communities and people worldwide than whaling. For WSPA, this means more than a profitable business that benefits many communities in the region – it represents a future in which humans and whales can coexist without the unnecessary and inhumane killing demanded by the whaling industry.

Help Protect Captive Tigers Living in the U.S.
The good news is that Tony will likely be free of his roadside cage and placed in a sanctuary very soon. The bad news is that Tony is not the only captive tiger in the U.S. who needs our help. According to a 2008 report, there are an estimated 5,000 additional captive tigers in the U.S. used in roadside attractions and zoos, bred for profit and owned as exotic “pets” – that’s more tigers than are even left in the wild, worldwide! The proposed action would close loopholes that currently hinder federal oversight and enforcement of captive tigers in the U.S. For instance, owners of “generic” tigers are not required to report annually to FWS about activities conducted with the tigers or provide a year-end inventory.

WSPA champions life saving work of vets in Bali on World Vet Day 2011
Every year, rabies kills more than 55,000 people across the world – the vast majority is children who suffer untreated bites from infected dogs. The human health implications of rabies remain so grave that the World Veterinary Association has chosen to highlight the disease as its chosen theme for 2011. Attempts to bring the outbreak under control had largely failed, relying on the inhumane culling of the island’s dogs – regarded as an ineffective and cruel measure by the World Health Organization and WSPA. Bali’s new rabies control campaign enjoys mass support locally, with top regency officials and village leaders facilitating the program. They listen carefully to information and love to get involved in interactive segments where they can answer questions.

WSPA urges G8 leaders to start serving humane and sustainable farming
Industrial leaders meeting at the G8 summit this week again failed the millions of people around the world who are hardest hit by the current food crisis, failing to recognize the damage done to livelihoods by factory farming. As outlined in our recent report – Industrial Animal Agriculture – Part of the poverty problem –industrial agriculture is not only responsible for the suffering of billions of animals around the world, is also a key part of the poverty problem. Significant environmental and health costs are also created by the countries involved, rather than by the foreign-owned corporations profiting from the goods.

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A stray dog that has survived flooding, Colombia