Showing posts with label Environment News Service. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Environment News Service. Show all posts

22 November 2018

Award Winning Charity Reveals Travel Associations Could Do More to Protect Wildlife

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Baby elephant tied up, waiting to entertain tourists at a venue in Thailand. After brutal training as youngsters, elephants like this one spend their lives forced into unnatural interactions with tourists
Baby elephant tied up, waiting to entertain tourists at a venue in Thailand. After brutal training as youngsters, elephants like this one spend their lives forced into unnatural interactions with tourists. (Photo: World Animal Protection)
Just over half a million captive wild animals globally are suffering to entertain tourists, including elephants, sloths, tigers and dolphins. Many animals are beaten, chained up, isolated and forced to perform tricks. These experiences often cause the animals pain and psychological trauma. Many tourists are animal lovers who don't realize these attractions harm animals.
Travel trade associations, for the most part, are looking the other way. World Animal Protection commissioned the University of Surrey to review 62 travel associations on whether they provide their members with animal welfare guidelines and require them to be met. 

The research shows only three of the 62 associations provide guidelines (TA (UK), ANVR (Dutch Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators) and GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) and only one (ANVR) is monitoring its members' progress in implementing the guidelines.
The research also states that around 110 million people annually visit cruel wildlife attractions, either independently or through tour operators or travel agents.
Not only is all this harmful to animals but there are also major safety risks to tourists participating in wild animal attractions. In Thailand, 17 fatalities and 21 serious injuries were reported in venues with captive elephants between 2010 and 2016.
"We hope travel associations will consider the research findings, step up, show leadership and take action to protect animals," says Melissa Matlow, the Senior Wildlife Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection. "Some travel companies have committed to not selling cruel attractions, but many still do. There will be a big impact on animals' lives if travel companies align with tourist values on animal welfare."
Strong views on wildlife protection are especially common in younger generations. Research firm, Northstar, recently conducted a series of traveller focus groups for World Animal Protection that showed people under 35 are more aware of animal cruelty issues. They prefer seeing animals in their natural habitats rather than in forced interactions.
World Animal Protection is also working with various travel companies in Canada, including G Adventures and World Expeditions.
G Adventures is shifting tourist demand towards more ethical wildlife tourism. They are also part of CEWT (The Coalition for Ethical Wildlife Tourism) along with World Animal Protection. 

This coalition was created to encourage stronger industry standards and legislation to phase out using wild animals for tourist entertainment.
"Travel trade associations have a very important role to play in educating their members about responsible travel," says Jamie Sweeting, Vice President for Social Enterprise and Responsible Travel at G Adventures, "Too many animals continue to be harmed by tourism and we call on travel trade associations globally to do more to work with their members to put a stop to this cruel and unnecessary behaviour."
Several recommendations from World Animal Protection were put forward from the report. Vague language – such as 'good conditions' and 'natural behaviour' – should be avoided within any animal welfare guidelines. Elephant riding and other direct visitor interaction and forced performances with wild animals must be classed as unacceptable.

Many animals like monkeys, tigers and elephants endure painful training to force them to do unnatural things like give people rides, perform tricks and allow people to get close to them for a photo.
Many animals like monkeys, tigers and elephants endure painful training to force them to do unnatural things like give people rides, perform tricks and allow people to get close to them for a photo. (Image via World Animal Protection)
Although it's clear more work needs to be done, the mission of World Animal Protection is not going unnoticed. It was recently announced that the charity grabbed the top spot in the "Best for Wildlife" category at the World Travel Market, in London, U.K, based on the success of its global Wildlife Not Entertainers campaign to improve animal welfare and wildlife conservation. The charity now has over 200 travel companies no longer selling captive elephant entertainment.
Over 1.6 million people have signed World Animal Protection's animal friendly travel pledge. This signals there is a demand to phase out cruel wildlife attractions, like elephant riding, dolphinariums, and tiger selfies once and for all.

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17 February 2017

EPA Workers' Union, AFGE, Responds to Scott Pruitt Confirmation

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Scott Pruitt 
J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents more than 9,000 employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, today issued the following statement in response to the Senate's 52-46 vote to confirm Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator:
"As head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt will be responsible for leading the agency's efforts to ensure the safety of our air and water, repair our aging infrastructure of water lines and treatment plants, clean up hazardous waste sites, and enforce environmental laws and regulations that help protect our precious natural resources.

EPA's workforce is smaller today than it was in 1999, despite a significant growth in responsibilities. Starving this vital agency of the resources it needs to carry out its important work threatens the health and safety of all Americans.

The biologists, scientists, lab technicians, engineers, and other civil servants who work at the EPA must be able to do their jobs without political interference or fear of retribution. Ensuring the independence of our career civil servants at EPA and all federal agencies is an essential part of our democratic government and something that we will fight to maintain."

AFGE logo. (PRNewsFoto/American Federation of Government Employees)
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
For the latest AFGE news and information, visit the AFGE Media Center.

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30 January 2016

Treading Water: Flint's Water Crisis and What It Says About America Today

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The complicated story how Flint, Mich. is a striking example of American inequity today.
Photo: Flickr user Ken Lund (PRNewsFoto/American Federation of Governme)
AFGE tells the complicated story of how one city is a striking example of a nationwide problem
You get what you pay for. So when officials cut corners to find a cheaper source of water for the financially-strapped community of Flint, Mich., half of its children tested positive for elevated lead levels. Images of brown, rancid water dominated headlines and social media nationwide. Residents are now forced to survive on bottled water with little hope for relief in sight.
 
What you may not know is that it's not just Flint that is suffering.

26 June 2014

Let's Tell Tesco To Sell Seafood, NOT Slavefood!

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We call on Tesco to immediately cease purchasing of seafood from Thailand until they can conclusively and transparently demonstrate that their supply chains are free from slavery. 
Following a number of recent reports into slavery in the Thai seafood industry, including a recent Guardian exposé and investigations from the Environmental Justice Foundation, it has become clear the seafood sourced from Thailand is highly likely to be tainted with slavery. 
As consumers, we want to know that the seafood we buy has not been produced by slaves.

13 January 2013

Japanese Government Funding Cuts Could End ‘Research’ Whaling

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English: Japanese whaling factory Tonan Maru n...
English: Japanese whaling factory Tonan Maru no. 2 (1937) damaged by a Dutch submarine while taking part in the landing at Kuching, Borneo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Japanese Government Funding Cuts Could End ‘Research’ Whaling (via Environment News Service)
Japanese Government Funding Cuts Could End ‘Research’ Whaling TOKYO, Japan, November 12, 2009 (ENS) – A review of Japanese government spending now underway could put an end to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, according to Greenpeace, an environmental group that has campaigned…


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