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19th-Jan-2009 02:51 pm - British kill entire elephant herd
Daniel Foggo
The Times
January 18, 2009

Hunting parties are paying out thousands to kill elephants, including calves, in Zimbabwe


Surgeon Benjamin Chang on top of the elephant he killed in Zimbabwe, 2008.

BRITISH hunters, including a prominent Harley Street surgeon, have been paying the Zimbabwean authorities thousands of pounds each to take part in a mass elephant cull.

They are among groups of hunters who have been permitted to track and kill whole herds, including their calves, before taking photographs of themselves with the carcasses.

Continued )
29th-Dec-2008 09:14 am - A dozen pups skinned alive to make one fur coat – why China must halt pelt trade
By JENNY HAWORTH
Scotsman
29 December 2008

A BAN on the "abhorrent" trade in cat and dog fur comes into force in the UK this week. From Thursday, it will be illegal to import, export or sell the fur harvested from millions of cats and dogs slaughtered each year in the Far East.

The fur is used for products ranging from children's soft toys, to coats, trims on clothes, linings in boots, pet toys and rugs. It has been found for sale across Europe, including the UK.

The majority of the cats and dogs are killed in China, where they are kept in cruel conditions and sometimes skinned alive.

Continued )
11th-Oct-2008 11:51 am - Soldier who saved puppy from life of hardship in Iraq could see her dog executed by U.S. superiors
By Eddie Wrenn
Daily Mail
7 October 2008

**Please sign the petition to save Ratchet

**See also the SPCA article on Ratchet

A soldier who saved the life of a young puppy in Iraq and expected to bring him back home with her could see her dog executed by her U.S. superiors.

Sgt. Gwen Beberg befriended puppy Ratchet while serving in Iraq, and sent regular dispatches to her home in Minneapolis charting the dog's process, with 100s of fans tuning in on Facebook to follow the pup's life.

Young Ratchet could face the death-penalty by U.S. Army officials

But the U.S. military takes a strict line with soldiers befriending animals, and confiscated Ratchet as Sgt. Beberg prepared to fly home from Baghdad Airport at the weekend.

Now animal charity Operation Baghdad Pups, which has the motto 'No buddy gets left behind', is pleading with the U.S. Army to allow Ratchet to fly out of the country - amid fears the military will shoot the puppy in the head execution-style.

Sgt. Beberg's mother Patricia said: 'This year has been extremely difficult on my daughter and her family. It has been a year of disappointments, loneliness, and fear because of all the sacrifices the army has required of Gwen.

'Ratchet was the savior of her sanity. Now they have cruelly ripped Ratchet away from her and sentenced him to death. I don't know how my daughter will cope. Ratchet has been her lifeline.'

Sgt. Beberg is also under military investigation for befriending the dog that saved her life.


Gwen with 'lifeline' Ratchet in Iraq

A close friend of Sgt Beberg said: 'It hasn't been easy for her - and the puppy she saved has been one of the few things that has kept her going.

'She's shared pictures of him as he grew from a frightened ball of fur to an adorable young dog.

'She's kept us up-to-date on his travel schedule, and badgered us into contributing money to bring him home.

'Soldiers can face immediate court-marshal for befriending animals and some even see their animals brutally murdered by a direct gunshot to the head from commanding officers who will not bend the rules.

'It was so close... Ratchet was on his way to the airport. And now he might be killed, just because some power-hungry officers decided to flex their muscles and punish an innocent animal because Gwen dared to care about him.'


Ratchet as a puppy: An international campaign has now been set up to save the Army's policy

One soldier wrote to Baghdad Pups: 'I have sacrificed a lot to serve my country. All that I ask in return is to be allowed to bring home the incredible dog that wandered into my life here in Iraq and prevented me from becoming terribly callous towards life.'

The charity Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals International has joined Baghdad Pups in asking the U.S. Army to show clemency to Ratchet, and allow the dog to return to gwen's parents in Minneapolis and friends of Gwen have launched a campaign to get American senators to intervene.
4th-Aug-2008 03:45 pm - African elephants face extinction by 2020, conservationists warn
Telegraph.co.uk
04 August 2006

Samuel Wasser, of the University of Washington, said the elephant death rate from poaching was currently 8 per cent, higher than the 7.4 per cent rate which led to the international ivory trade ban in 1989.

African elephants face extinction by 2020, conservationists warn.

Recent reports have shown that demand for ivory is growing in places such as China, Japan and the US

Writing in the journal Conservation Biology, Dr Wasser and fellow researchers warned that without public pressure to ensure a strengthening of anti-poaching measures, most remaining large groups of elephants will be extinct by the end of next decade.

The population in the 1980s was around 1 million, with around 70,000 elephants being killed a year. The total African elephant population is now less than 470,000.

Dr Wasser said the loss of the animals will have a negative impact on their ecosystem and other wildlife that depend on it - as well as on the cashflow they generate from tourists.

"If the trend continues, there won't be any elephants except in fenced areas with a lot of enforcement to protect them," he said.

"The situation is worse than ever before and the public is unaware. It's very serious because elephants are an incredibly important species. >>Read on )
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