Brierley Hill family Jailed For Animal Cruelty To Horses

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Walter, Kevin and Amanda Hickman, who have all been jailed for animal cruelty

A BRIERLEY Hill family who kept horses in conditions the RSPCA called medieval have been jailed for animal cruelty.

Amanda and Walter Hickman and their son Kevin, all of Wallows Road, were told by a judge they showed no remorse and were in denial bordering on arrogance.

The trio, who appeared at Dudley Magistrates Court today (March 20), had pleaded guilty to a total of 44 charges under the Animal Welfare Act in connection with four horses recovered from Fens Pool Nature Reserve.

RSPCA prosecutor Nick Sutton said: “These horses were treated in a way which displayed a total lack of knowledge of horse care, they were in an appalling state – close to death.

“They were tethered and suffering with parasites, their hooves needed to be attended to.

“These people should not be near horses or any other animals.”

The case began when RSCPA inspectors were called to the Hickmans’ home in June 2011 to find a foal collapsed in a horse box on the property.

The animal, which was just weeks old and unable to reach its mother to feed, could not be saved and was later destroyed.

Due to its age the foal’s plight could not form part of the case against the Hickman family however evidence was gathered involving four other animals which were seized by animal welfare workers at the Brierley Hill nature reserve.

 The Hickmans’ solicitor, Stephanie Brownlees, told the court her clients’ level of care fell short but they loved the horses and were “shell shocked” by their loss.

She added 23-year-old Kevin, who suffered with cancer as a child and had a long-term memory condition, “went there several times a day to feed them, he did feel he was doing all he could”.

Miss Brownlees said: “The defendants appear to have bitten off more than they could chew, they were ignorant of appropriate levels of care, with the issue of horses being thin they felt they could deal with it by feeding them more.”

District judge Michael Wheeler banned all three from keeping horses for life and jailed Amanda, aged 49, for 16 weeks and Kevin for 18 weeks.

He also jailed wheelchair-bound Walter, aged 52, who suffers from diabetes, kidney failure and has one leg, for 18 weeks.

The judge told the trio: “You intended to plead not guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence and ran up a huge legal bill, we allowed for a three day trial and you waited until the first morning to plead guilty.

“I have been told as a family you kept horses and knew what you were doing, I find that impossible to believe. It is a miracle these animals survived.”

Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Paul Seddon said: “These horses were kept in medieval conditions. We have had numerous dealings with this family, you come to a point where you offer advice to them and they seem incapable or unwilling to take it.”

News Link:

Sheep & Cattle Still Suffer As Live Export Breaches Continue In Kuwait

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An Animals Australia investigation has again found Australian sheep being illegally sold in a cruel livestock market in Kuwait, despite Animals Australia first notifying Australian authorities of breaches at this market some five months ago.

Under the new live export rules, exporters must ensure that animals remain within approved supply chains. New evidence from Animals Australia has revealed that months after our initial complaint, Australian sheep have continued to be sold and brutally slaughtered at the notorious Al Rai livestock market, in Kuwait. Animals at this marketplace are known to have their legs bound together, be stuffed into car bootsdragged over concrete slabs, and have their throats cut while fully conscious.

This footage taken in August 2012 sparked Animals Australia’s original complaint to the Department of Agriculture.

Warning Very Graphic Video

In January 2013, an investigator returned to the Al Rai market and found even more Australian sheep being offered for sale by at least 11 separate merchants.

Many admitted knowing that they shouldn’t have Australian sheep and ear tags had been ripped out or removed despite the fact that Australian sheep are clearly distinguishable from local sheep in the region. All of the merchants at the market offered slaughter onsite as an ‘after sales’ service.

The Al Rai market in Kuwait City is notorious for cruelty. Animals Australia has conducted a number of investigations there, each time documenting the brutal handling, transport and slaughter of Australian sheep. Preventing Australian sheep from being sold in such circumstances was a cornerstone of why the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System was implemented. Yet nearly one year after ESCAS came into effect in Kuwait, rules continue to be breached and animals continue to suffer.

Al Rai market was already the obvious place in the Middle East for exporters to monitor – the fact they have not done so, even after breaches were discovered, shows how little they care and their willingness to thumb their nose at government regulations. If exporters are not prepared to follow the rules they should have their export licence removed.

Please send an urgent message to your Federal MP to express your opposition to this cruel trade and demand that, while it continues, tough sanctions must be placed on exporters who fail to adhere to the rules.

Petition in link For Australian Citizens only:-

Petition for other Countries:

Australian cattle are again at the centre of a shocking expose that is making international headlines.

Frightened animals being bashed, hit, shocked with an electric prod in the eyes and face before suffering a terrifying death… these are the images filmed by Israeli journalist and undercover investigator, Ronen Bar.Watch his interview…

WARNING: contains Very graphic images.

Published on 11 Dec 2012

WARNING: Graphic vision. YOU CAN HELP: 1) Like & comment. 2) Go to to sign an instant letter against live animal export.

Please email your Federal MP — express your opposition to this cruel trade and demand that while it continues, there must be independent inspection and oversight in importing countries. For Australian Citizens only:-

Live export cruelty continues

Sadly Australia is one of the biggest exporters of live animals for slaughter. In 2011 Australia exported around 700,000  cattle predominantly to Indonesia, and around 2.5 million sheep mainly to  the Middle East.

WSPA Australia works actively on this issue of live exports, and the campaign is called ‘Humane Chain’. 

During the journey animals can experience stress, heat exhaustion and extreme temperatures. Many don’t eat, are injured or suffer from disease. Despite efforts made by both the Australian Government and the live export industry to regulate the export process, tens of thousands of animals continue to die every year while being exported.

Almost half of all deaths on board sheep vessels are due to starvation because some sheep are not able to identify the unfamiliar pellets they’re given as food.

For every animal that dies, many more suffer further cruelty

Moving to the alternatives to live animal export will not only help animals, it’s also better for our economy

There are alternatives to live animal export that will benefit farmers, jobs, our economy and the animals.

According to an independent assessment (S G Heilbron, 2000) live animal export costs Australia $1.5 billion in lost GDP, $270 million in lost household income and around 10,500 lost jobs.

WSPA funded researched in 2012 that shows that northern cattle farmers could increase their income by 245% if they had access to an abattoir. It would also add $200 million to the regional economy each year and create 1300 jobs. Read the research here.

WSPA funded research in 2010 that shows a sheep processed in Australia is worth 20% more to the economy that one exported live. Read the research here.

WSPA Live Sheep Exports It’s Just so Cruel

This video shows evidence collected during WSPA’s recent investigation into the mistreatment of Australian sheep. Investigators have documented cruelty throughout the live export supply chain, from transportation on ships, through to holding yards and abattoirs in the Middle East. You can take action to help end this cruel trade by visiting

Petition for any Country:

You can watch a short video that explains the benefits of moving away from live exports and the next steps we should take here.

Halal certified chilled meat products from Australia are accepted both in the Middle East and in Indonesia. There’s no excuse to continue the live animal export trade.

Australians want an end to live animal export

Three quarters (74%), or 12.4 million, of Australians claim that they are more likely to vote for a political candidate who promises to end live animal export, according to a Longeran Poll from May 2012. 

Those animals that survive the journey arrive on foreign soil where they are no longer under Australian protection. Few  countries to which Australia sends animals for slaughter have equivalent animal welfare protection laws. Many animals will be slaughtered fully conscious.

Links Animals Australia:-

Links WSPCA:-

Heartbreaking Story Of A German Shepherd Named Prince, Thrown Out Like Old Rubbish

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“Posting for Anita Kelsey, I saw your request on Twitter & so wanted to help in the only way I can. I know nothing will bring Prince back, but I hope this helps, in some small way…God bless all at Mayhew Animal Home, for their outstanding commitment to Animal Welfare.

R.I.P Prince x

R.I.P Prince, a beautiful sweet boy, taken too soon. Now running free, under the bright blue sky & soft fluffy clouds, through sweet-smelling flowers & never-ending green grass, gone to the place all animals go; just over Rainbow Bridge. Jules xx

Please read his story below:

On Friday 12th October Animal Welfare Officers from The Mayhew Animal Home were called to the emergency rescue of a dying dog. The dog had been discovered buried amongst fly-tipped rubbish in a North London park.

The elderly German Shepherd was found collapsed, surrounded by dumped rubbish, litter and a filthy mattress and was initially assumed dead.

After discovering the extent of the suffering and neglect the dog had endured, the charity – a rescue centre in North London – is appealing to the public to help them find the dog’s owner so that they can be held accountable for their actionsWhoever owned this gift from don’t deserve to breathe the same air as humans because you yourself are an animal!! I hope you read this, & I sincerely hope that each time you close your eyes to rest, you will be awoken by the terrible images of the dog you let die. I hope the nightmares continue to haunt you, as you are reminded of Princes pleading eyes, burning into you, begging for some type nourishment. But you didn’t care, did you! Does it make you feel proud, knowing you let a sentient being starve, to near death? Not a lot to ask was it??”

The 13-year-old dog was wearing a collar naming him as Prince and was covered in his own faeces. His coat was matted into hard rocks of hair and he was too weak to lift his head.

The Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officer, Zoe Edwards, said:

“When I initially saw Prince I thought he was dead. He was lifeless, filthy and the smell coming from him was like sewage.
I really don’t understand the mentality of some people. This was obviously someone’s pet who loved them enough to once get him a decent collar and have his name engraved on it.“To the owner of Prince, do you remember getting the dog, you must have loved him at some point…why couldn’t you have taken him to a shelter if he was no longer loved or wanted…it would have been the kindest thing to do…but you left him out like a piece of trash…well just remember Karma is a bitch!”

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It is hard to believe that someone owned this dog for this long only to discard him alongside some old rubbish in a park. The condition of the dog indicated to me that this would have taken several months, if not years, for him to get into this mess.Does anyone recognise the dog? did you have a dog live near you who looked like Prince, but who suddenly vanished? Please, ease your conscience & do the right thing by telling the police or the Mayhew Animal Home; unless you too want to be visited by Karma every night too!!

I always give people the benefit of the doubt in my job and always try to be non-judgemental but in this case there is no excuse for the way this dog had been left. Someone must have seen the state that Prince was in and you would have had to have been blind to not see how this dog was suffering.”

Mayhew vet, Gen Wilkinson, said:

“This is an absolutely horrifying case of cruelty and neglect. Prince was severely dehydrated and had irreparable neurological damage, meaning that he was unable to move his back legs or tail and was doubly incontinent.

He was suffering immensely and this had been going on some time. He was also very underweight and tried to eat when we offered him food despite being so weak.

After shaving his matted hair we discovered maggots burrowing into the pressure sores on his body which had been caused by his low weight. “OH dear lord, maggots burrowing into his pressure sores, it must have taken months for him to become like that…somebody owned that sweet dog; yet left him to starve!!”

The only decision we were left with was to bring his life to a peaceful end but he should not be forgotten. 

Someone must know who Prince belonged to”. “Someone does know who this beautiful sweet soul belonged to, & if they don’t want the same done to another animal or worse; I suggest they ease their conscience by telling the police or The Mayhew Animal Home. I’m sure it can be done in complete confidence!”

The Mayhew’s Head of Marketing, Alison Morgan, said:

“This case is certainly one of the worst cases we have seen, which is why we need to take action and urge the government to push ahead with compulsory micro-chipping for all dogs. If Prince had been microchipped we would have had a better chance of finding out who was accountable for his neglect”.

Sign the petition to enforce micro-chipping:-

Heartbreaking video of a dog named Prince

Published on 11 Mar 2013

Music: One Hundred Thousand Angels by Bliss: – PERMISSION GRANTED TO USE THEIR TRACK.

This video was made to highlight the terrible suffering of a German Shepherd, called Prince, and to raise money for The Mayhew Animal Home who worked through the night to try to save him, although in vain. The Mayhew Animal Home is based in London and survives only on donations from the public. They are a registered charity.
DONATION LINK – All donations go directly to The Mayhew. 

Prince Facebook memorial page:…

Official site of The Mayhew Animal Home

SONG: One Hundred Thousand Angels by Bliss. Permission has been sought to use this song for this video.

Princes Page:-

I am raising money in the name of Prince who The Mayhew found dumped under a pile of rubbish in a London Park, barely alive . Sadly Prince could not be saved but I want his death to lead to something positive so that his memory can live on.

Anita Kelsey 05/03/13 13:25

Just one of the main news story:-

One of the worst cases of pet neglect and cruelty seen by the Mayhew Animal Home in Kensal Green

An animal charity is appealing for help to find the heartless owner of a dying dog found dumped in Roundwood Park.

The elderly German Shepherd called ‘Prince’ was found collapsed, surrounded by dumped rubbish, litter and a filthy mattress and was initially assumed dead when he was discovered last Friday (12).

He was taken to the Mayhew Animal Home in Trenmar Gardens, Kensal Green, where he was found to be covered in his own faeces, his coat was matted into hard rocks of hair and he was too weak to lift his head.

The 13-year-old dog was wearing a collar with his name but not microchipped.

Due to the severity of his condition he sadly had to be put to sleep.

Price’s plight is one of the worse cases of cruelty and neglect of a pet seen by the charity in its 126-year history.

Gen Wilkinson, a vet at the Mayhew, said: “This is an absolutely horrifying case of cruelty and neglect.

“Prince was severely dehydrated and had irreparable neurological damage, meaning that he was unable to move his back legs or tail and was doubly incontinent. He was suffering immensely and this had been going on some time. He was also very underweight and tried to eat when we offered him food despite being so weak.

“After shaving his matted hair we discovered maggots burrowing into the pressure sores on his body, which had been caused by his low weight.

“The only decision we were left with was to bring his life to a peaceful end but he should not be forgotten. Someone must know who Prince belonged to”

The Mayhew is urging anyone with information about Prince’s owner to come forward.

They are also asking people horrified by this case to sign their petition, calling for compulsory microchipping for all dogs and for the government to push ahead with this in response to the DEFRA consultation. “See petition link above or below”

Zoe Edwards, the Mayhew’s animal welfare officer, said: “When I initially saw Prince I thought he was dead. He was lifeless, filthy and the smell coming from him was like sewage.

She added: “I really don’t understand the mentality of some people. This was obviously someone’s pet who loved them enough to once get him a decent collar and have his name engraved on it. It is hard to believe that someone owned this dog for this long only to discard him alongside some old rubbish in a park.


The condition of the dog indicated to me that this would have taken several months, if not years, for him to get into this mess. “I always give people the benefit of the doubt in my job and always try to be non-judgemental but in this case there is no excuse for the way this dog had been left. Someone must have seen the state that Prince was in and you would have had to have been blind to not see how this dog was suffering.”

The Mayhew Petition can be signed at

If you have any information on the identity of Prince’s owner you cal call the Mayhew on 020 8969 0178 or email

News Link:-

St. Albans Couple Faces Felony Animal Cruelty Charges

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St. Albans , Kanawha County , West Virginia –  

“Stupid morons, I hope they do get jail, nothing less than they deserve! Were the horses out to pasture or stabled? If Stabled surely even a child of 7 would know that animals need feeding.  But if the animals were out to pasture, then the same 7 year old would probably think, they got grass, their ok. Which ever it was, the owners didn’t give clear instructions, that, or the teenager just couldn’t be arsed to feed them; but it’s still down to the owners! Video will be posted to twitter & Facebook separately, I cant add it here!

A Saint Albans couple faces felony animal cruelty charges for allegedly allowing one horse to starve to death and nearly starving a second. 

It’s not a place you would expect to find horses starving and dead from starvation. But one look at a 600-pound mare who should weigh 900 pounds is evidence of a serious problem . 

The problem led to the arrest of Anita Weber and felony charges against both her and her husband, Arthur. 

The criminal complaint states veterinarian Clara Mason witnessed one horse die and assessed the surviving animal at 300 pounds underweight. A humane officer said the couple had allegedly left a teenager in charge of the horses’ care with disastrous results. 

“The parents put the care of the horses in their son’s hands to teach him responsibility or something along those lines,” said Joshua Mullins, a humane officer in Kanawha County.

Senior magistrate Kim Blair set a $10,000 bond for the library employee, plus payment for the surviving horse’s care. 

The care of the animals has turned into more a case of criminal responsibility than teaching a child responsibility. Both could face prison time if convicted. 

News Link:

Upper Darby Woman Faces Animal Cruelty Rap

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UPPER DARBY — The owner of a small black poodle is facing charges after the dog had to be euthanized because of its poor physical condition, police said.

The dog’s owner, Melissa Lewis, 21, of the 500 block of Timberlake Road, Upper Darby, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals and related offences for allegedly starving the canine.

“Initially, she said the dog was a stray and followed her home,” police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said. “In reality, the animal warden had been to her home for prior cruelty investigations involving dogs. One of the dogs was a small black poodle so she was not truthful. She abused the dog and caused the dog’s death. It was severely malnourished and underweight with feces-matted fur.

Obviously, this woman should not have control of any animal. This time the dog was having seizures.”

Animal Warden Fred Eckman was called and transported the dog to the Keystone Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Havertown, where the dog suffered additional seizures.

The treating veterinarian recommended the dog be euthanized due to its very poor condition,” Chitwood said.

Eckman transported the poodle to the Delaware County SPCA for a necropsy.

“The veterinarian related that the dog was severely malnourished, underweight and obviously neglected,” Chitwood said. “The veterinarian added that the dog’s seizures could have been triggered by starvation.”

Lewis surrendered to police on Thursday and was arraigned on charges of cruelty to animals, false reports to law enforcement, theft by deception and failure to obtain registration for the dog.

She was released on $20,000 unsecured bail pending a preliminary hearing March 12 in district court.

News Link:

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Tigers And Leopards May Be Killed If Posing Danger To Humans: NTCA

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“This is ridiculous, these big cats only turn man eaters when their other meat has been had for tea by the villagers or gone off elsewhere due to the habit forever decreasing!! The people that live around there don’t wait for officials as it is…so God help the poor animals that the villagers catch up with now!! It hardly seems fair, I mean the tigers were in the forest before people started popping up all over!”

“The big cats habitat is being destroyed at an alarming rate, so what are they supposed to do for food? Obviously they are going to take a villagers goat or cow for supper; they wouldn’t attack & eat humans if they had plenty meat running around the forest! If the villagers don’t want their livestock eaten, they should build bigger fencing; or better still, don’t  live in the tigers domain! Don’t kill the tigers because they got too close to humans; it’s the other way around, the villagers got too close to the animals. Perhaps more birth control wouldn’t go a miss, for all the women of these small villages; that appear to be sprouting up all over the tigers domain!!”

“Going on past history, the villagers have not waited for the forest department to come & capture a tiger or leopard that has attacked & or killed a human or cattle! I can understand their hate toward the big cat; but killing it won’t bring a person back. Capture & release into another part of the forest is the best for all concerned. If only the powers that be, could arrive much quicker, perhaps the villagers would not take matters into their own hands; therefore the whole scenario could be defused without harming the animal!”

 “Now with the added go ahead as laid-out below in the news post, it’s almost giving the villagers more of a green light to kill the animals themselves; which is the worst thing that could happen! The villagers go into a mob mode & I have seen the violence they inflict on the animals they capture; they go absolutely crazy! It’s almost like a celebration, they have caught the cat & so, inflict their own means of punishment towards it! Even if officials are there, they can’t control the mob mentality of the crowds, who seem to come from nowhere? Pushing & shoving, camera phones held high; all waiting to get a glimpse of the killer about to be killed.”

“There are some horrific videos, of villagers who have caught, what they assume is the animal that killed their cattle; whilst in a frenzied mode, they repeatedly club the cornered cat to death! These villagers don’t need even more of a loop hole to kill the big cats. What needs to be done ASAP is have more armed rangers in & around all the villagers, with phones to request backup & trucks that hold cages & more importantly sedatives; ready at a moments notice to rescue a big cat that the villagers have cornered, timing is of paramount importance ! I’m not sure what the forest rangers have by way of authority over the villagers…but that also need to be changed.. as it is very clear the villagers are not afraid of the forest rangers, as is evident in so many videos, where the rangers appear to be doing nothing at all! Perhaps it could be down to numbers, if it’s only 3 rangers to 300 villagers; they are probably more scared of the swelling mob & their safety, than they are of retrieving the cat!!

“I have posted a video, which happens to be one of the worst things I have ever witnessed, it will forever haunt me in my dreams. Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. I’m showing it so that people can see, just how heinous the attacks on the big cats that are caught, really are; it is the cats that need the protecting, for sure! I find it hard to believe, in this era, that so many humans could want to inflict such formidable & macabre acts! Please note I have put the video at the very end, so those who don’t want to see it, will have to stop scrolling down at a certain point.

NEW DELHI: Tigers and leopards, accorded highest protection under the Wildlife Act, may now be killed with due permission from authorities if they pose a threat to human life or are disabled or diseased beyond recovery.

Tigers are thriving in and around India’s Nagarhole National Park, with a regional population of 250. “If we do everything right, we can have 500,” says big-cat biologist Ullas Karanth.  Read more:

This is part of new guidelines issued by the National Tiger Conservation Authority in the wake of increased incidents of man-animal conflicts.

“Tiger as well as leopard are categorized under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, with highest statutory protection against hunting under Section 9 (1) of the said Act.

“Hence, such species can be killed if they become dangerous to human life or are so disabled/diseased beyond recovery,” the guidelines for declaration of big cats as ‘man-eaters‘ state.

As both tigers and leopards are known to turn into man-eaters, “such confirmed ‘man-eaters’ should be eliminated as per the statutory provisions provided in Section 11 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.”

The guidelines state that the chief wildlife warden of a state alone has the authority to permit hunting of animals which have become dangerous to human life or disabled or diseased beyond recovery.

As per the statutory requirement, a chief wildlife warden has to give in writing the reasons for permitting elimination before hunting, they say.

According to the NTCA, there are several reasons for a big cat to get habituated as a ‘man-eater’ including disability due to old age, incapacitation due to serious injury or loss of its canines, among others.

“However, there may be several exceptions, and hence specific reasons have to be ascertained on a case-to-case basis,” the NTCA said.

The tiger bearing forests and areas nearby prone to livestock depredation, besides having human settlements along with their rights and concessions in such areas, are generally prone to ‘man-eaters’, the guidelines state.

Loss of habitat connectivity in close proximity to a tiger source area owing to various land uses also foster straying of tiger near human settlements, eventually ending up as a ‘man-eater’.

“This is very gruesome & hard to believe human beings could be capable of such a despicable violent act; to an animal already caged. I have sent this video to a friend of mine in India who is an animal advocate & Media Adviser of OIPA in India / PFA Haryana; he will forward this to the right people if not already done so; I read it was filmed in 2008, so it could have already been dealt with. Please note the quality of this video including the sound is very bad quality, it settles after a minute or two!

“WARNING – View Discretion Is Strongly Advised”

 Leopard being burned alive in Uttarkhand, India, PLEASE DO SOMETHING!
A leopard that was killing cattle and local villagers was caught, caged and burned alive in the summer of 2008. It remained alive for several hours after, writhing in agony while the police and forest officials watched. I have the list of people who did this. Forest officials, police, and people of the village. You can download it here:…
We got the information but are at a loss for what to do. Please help!!!!
Please share! Please spread the word! More people should know about what happened. People who can do something about it should do try to do something!
PLEASE!Additional Note: I should have mentioned. Sorry. I did not shoot this video. Someone posted this in FB and we picked it up from there. We shared it with our friends and one of our friends then contacted Indian government under Right to Information Act asking for info on those forest officials. After waiting 6 months they sent the details. The link to download is in description. Then I tried to contact and even tried to meet many politicians and celebs but no one interested yet.
Still trying.Additional additional note: PLEASE don’t make this some country-bashing or religion-bashing thread. You’re taking away from what I’m trying to do. This has nothing to do with poverty or rich, rural or urban or any country in specific. This is about animal rights, empathy and sensitivity of all humans the world over. And I need you to spread the word. That’s all.
Please speak with people about it, online AND offline. Share it with top people. Share it with activists. With celebrities you may know. Your parents. Your friends. Your teachers. At parties. At meetings. Most of all share it with leaders and politicians. I need some help from powerful or important or even famous people. The Indian legal system isn’t much for animal rights in general yet, unless someone important is involved. Thus I will only achieve justice for that animal if you help!

Polar Bears Are Left Out In The Cold By CITIES – Born Free : Videos & Petitions To Sign Please

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“This news arrived in my inbox. Just devastating news from the CITES convention for polar bears…who it seems are going to be left out in the cold!!! Watch the video then read the briefing below!!

Polar bears left out in the cold by CITES

Published on 7 Mar 2013 – Born Free

Will Travers, Born Free CEO, is saddened by today’s vote at the Bangkok meeting of CITES, which soundly rejected a proposal to increase protection from commercial trade for the polar bear, imperiled by the impacts of climate change.

This morning, the Conference of Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) currently taking place in Bangkok, discussed a proposal by the United States asking for higher protection of the iconic polar bear (see video above).

This species, completely dependent on sea ice for survival, has seen its number s fall to around 20,000-25,000 in recent years. This has in part been caused by a dramatic decrease in the extent of both winter and summer sea ice (showing a reduction of up to 20%) over the past 30 years, exacerbated by hunting for domestic and international trade amongst other factors.

Found in just five countries in the circumpolar region (Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Russian Federation, and the United States), this species has caught the attention of the international community in recent years as the story of their decline has become common knowledge.

So, what will CITES Parties do to increase its protection and offer a life line to the world’s largest and best known bear species…WELL NOTHING!!!!

The precautionary principle, on which this proposal was largely based states that where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation’.

So what this means is that if we are not sure of the effects an action is having, better to stop and reassess rather than proceed, possibly past the point of no return.

Today however, the Parties to CITES unfortunately threw precaution to the wind and voted not to increase global protection through greater trade restrictions despite the numerous current and ever looming threats to this species. It remains to be seen how this will contribute to the polar bear’s demise

News Link:-


Uploaded on 2 Oct 2010

Polar bears are inquisitive, flexible and opportunistic, adept at exploiting their Arctic habitat.  Global warming is considered to be polar bears’ greatest threat and causes ice to melt earlier and freeze later. 

Bears have less time to hunt, have a longer summer fast and wait longer to resume hunting, causing loss of condition and potential conflict situations when hungry bears come in contact with peopleMeanwhile in captivity, intelligent and adaptable polar bears can suffer particularly badly in zoos, circuses and marine parks.

Polar bears are dying. As global warming accelerates, the sea ice they depend on for survival is literally melting away. Bears are starving and drowning as they have to swim farther and farther to reach solid ice. Some are even turning to cannibalism in a desperate search for food. Those trapped on land hundreds of miles from the nearest ice often wander near villages in search of food and are shot.

As if that weren’t enough, oil and gas drilling is destroying and polluting their fast-dwindling Arctic habitat.

A third of all polar bears — including all bears in Alaska — will be extinct by 2050 if current trends continue. The rest of the species will be gone by the end of the century.

But it’s not too late to save the polar bear if we join together and take immediate action. The science is clear.  We know what needs to be done — we just need to build the political support to do it.

Please sign the petition below to encourage President Barack Obama to rein in global warming and save the polar bear now.

Click the link below to sign the petition please:-

Petition & News Link:

Global Ban On Polar Bear Trade Turned Down

Published on 7 Mar 2013

An international conference of 178 member nations of an environmental group opts to allow trading of polar bear parts to continue.An international ban on trade in polar bears has been banned because of fears it would distract from the bigger threat of global warming.
The proposal put to representatives of the 178 member nations of the Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species (Cites) had divided conservationists.
They all agreed that the main risk to the world’s largest carnivorous land animal came from habitat loss but differed over whether international trade also put the bears at risk of extinction.
Polar bears, widely seen as the animal on the front line of global warming, are predicted to be hard hit by melting polar ice caps.
But the debate at the Cites meeting in Bangkok focused on the additional threat to the species posed by international trade. “The polar bear is facing a grim future, and today brought more bad news,” said US delegation head Dan Ashe who warned the polar bear population could fall by two-thirds by 2050.
“The continued harvest of polar bears to supply the commercial international trade is not sustainable.”
The ban was rejected by 42 votes to 38, with 46 abstentions among the nations who participated in the poll in Bangkok – the proposal needed a two-thirds’ majority support to be passed.

Polar bears are prized for their skins – particularly in Russia – as well as other body parts such as skulls, claws and teeth and their are strict controls over their international trade.

About half of the roughly 800 polar bears killed each year end up in the international trade, mostly wild bears from Canada, according to expert estimates cited by the US.

The US, Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and Norway are home to a global population of 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears.

The WWF, which chose to oppose the ban in favour of concentrating on global warming said “habitat loss from climate warming, not international trade, is the primary driver” of an expected population decline.

Canada, which hosts the largest portion of the global population of polar bears and is the only country that still exports polar bear parts, opposed a ban, citing the need to preserve the traditions of the Inuit, an indigenous minority living mostly in the north of the country.

“The polar bear advances strong emotion. It is an iconic symbol of the Arctic,” said Canadian delegate Basile Van Havre.
Глобальный запрет на Polar Bear торговли Отклонен
Prohibición mundial de oso polar Comercio Rechazado
Proibição global de urso polar Comércio recusou

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