BORN FREE: Please forward copy below and Tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that You Support “Threatened” Listing For African Lions

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PLEASE COULD YOU ALL FIND THE TIME TO COPY THE FOLLOWING TEXT IN RED & FORWARD IT ON TO USFWS; TO HELP PROTECT THE LIONS.

Dear Julie,

I have good news for the lions, but they still need your help! In October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a proposed rule concerning the fate of African lions. In response to a petition submitted by Born Free USA and other animal protection organizations back in 2011, USFWS proposed listing African lions as “threatened” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Although not the “endangered” listing we requested, the threatened status will be accompanied by a special rule requiring a permit for any importation of sport-hunted lion trophies—which should only be issued for lions originating from countries with a scientifically sound management plan for the species. Born Free, of course, wants to see no sport hunting of lions. But, if it’s not going to be prohibited completely, a strong permitting system is critical, because the U.S. imports over half of the hundreds of lion trophies brought home by trophy hunters globally each year.

USFWS is seeking comments from the public regarding this proposed ruling. Please let USFWS know that you support the listing, urging them to be diligent about not giving permits to kill lions from any at-risk populations—and to keep an attentive eye on the situation to assess whether strong actions are needed.This comment period ends next Tuesday, January 27, 2015, so be sure to send your comment as soon as possible. A sample comment is below for you to use or modify.

Some populations (such as those in West and Central Africa, or East African countries like Ethiopia) are clearly endangered, and permits should never be granted for imports of lion trophies from these countries. But, bear in mind: even trophies of an “endangered” species can enter the U.S. under a permitting scheme if it is determined that such importation enhances the survival of the species in the wild. (That’s the technical language.) As a result, I am heartened—not disappointed—by the proposed rule.

Lion populations and the habitat available to them have diminished dramatically in recent years due to trophy hunting, bone trade, meat and organ consumption, disease, and agricultural expansion. Born Free and our partners on the ground in Africa will keep vigilant watch on lions and lion trade to ensure that the U.S. government’s decision enhances conservation in the future. The lion has no margin for error.

For the animals,

 

 

 

 

P.S. Share this email with your friends and invite them to show their support for the listing by writing to the USFWS.

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Sample comment to submit here by Tuesday, January 27, 2015:

I wish to express my support for the proposed rule to list African lions as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The African lion is in crisis; its numbers have declined by more than half in the last three decades. Potentially fewer than 32,000 remain today. A recent study found that the West African lion population is critically imperiled, with roughly 400 lions in total found in only four protected areas (down from 21 in 2005). Furthermore, current estimates state that there are approximately 2,000 lions left in Central Africa; 18,000 in East Africa; and 11,000 in Southern Africa.

The threats facing the African lion are numerous and varied. These include over-exploitation by recreational trophy hunting and commercial trade, loss of habitat and prey species, retaliatory killings, disease, bone trade, meat and organ consumption, and other human-caused and natural factors. While I do not believe that any trophy hunting is reasonable for such a vulnerable species, I applaud the step that the USFWS has taken toward limiting trophy kills with the special rule regarding permitting and country of origin. If trophy hunt imports cannot be banned outright, a strong permitting system is critical because the U.S. imports over half of the hundreds of lion trophies brought home by hunters globally each year. I urge the USFWS to be diligent about not giving permits to kill lions from any at-risk populations—and to keep an attentive eye on the situation to assess whether strong actions are needed.

For the reasons stated above, this proposal is both scientifically sound and urgently needed. Thank you to the USFWS for acknowledging that this iconic species is in grave trouble. I respectfully ask the USFWS to uphold the threatened listing for African lions in its final rule.

PLEASE SEND ABOVE TO THE LINK IN RED OR HERE:-http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-R9-ES-2012-0025-3488

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Like if you agree, wild animals DO NOT belong in circuses!: “Animal circuses”: Cruel entertainment or a dying art?”

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“I understand, there may be some circuses who do put the animals needs first; I’m not saying all circuses are cruel to their animals! But I still don’t think wild animals should be in cages, travelling from town to town; to perform unnatural tricks, to the paying public; no matter how well they are cared for. The circuses may very well maintain their animals are well fed & cared for, that’s all well & good. But no pitched circus can provide its animals with a likeness to the animals own living habitats. It would be impossible for circuses to provide lions or tigers with rocks, caves, trees, brush or access to a lake, for tigers & other animals that love the water. These are the basics, so the animals can exhibit their natural behaviour; especially when they are constantly on the move! The council floor space granted to the circuses probably just about holds all the wagons carrying the animals, along with all the trucks needed to erect the circus tents, caravans & other stalls etc. So there is little room for the animals between performances; to act in a natural way!

Horses & zebra love to run round etc. but In the News Link below, it says that ponies are tethered to the circus tents, camels are tethered in fields, with horses in temporary stables & makeshift paddocks; animals can not express their natural instincts when denied their normal living habitats! Where do the tigers or lions go when not performing; tigers love to swim! Or do they just stay in their beast wagons? I’ve seen enough evidence to convince me that circus animals are not happy animals! They are denied their basic instincts, they are not meant to perform or stay in holding cells in between shows. As such many animals exhibit repetitive stereotypical behaviour; due to their lifestyles, they would never do it in the wild! So I still say wild animals do not belong in any type of exhibit where they are forced to perform…it’s wrong & about time our Government got off their backsides & implemented a BAN like they promised! .”

POST By Jonathan Brown 26/9/2014 http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/ 

Changing times: With a legal ban on the use of wild animal acts in UK circuses impending, Jonathan Brown goes behind the scenes at one of only two left in the UK to get to the heart of the debate.

Petra Jackson pictured with Zebedee the zebra at Circus Mondao, in Tingley, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Petra Jackson pictured with Zebedee the zebra at Circus Mondao, in Tingley, Leeds. Picture by Simon Hulme

Behind the big top at Circus Mondao – one of only two licensed animal circuses in the UK – zebras, camels and reindeer are roaming to the disgust of animal rights campaigners.

At its current resting place at Thorpe Lane, Tingley, there are Shetland ponies tethered to the circus tent, camels tethered in the fields, while its seven horses are split between airy temporary stables and makeshift paddocks to keep them separated from the freely wandering elderly zebra ‘Zebedee’.

By any means it’s a strange, if not slightly unnatural, sight to see at fields between Leeds and Wakefield nevertheless the animals seem contented and oblivious to the legal and moral storm that surrounds Circus Mondao’s very existence.

Next month draft legislation to enforce an outright ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, which could eventually come into force by December 2015, will have its crucial second reading amid increasing public protests.

Touring the circus on its eighth visit to rural Tingley in as many years, a vast convoy of 17 trucks, cars and caravans hauled around the country by a 30-strong workforce nine months of the year is gearing up for its next show.

We’re led around the site by veteran ringmistress Petra Jackson as Romanian gymnasts warm up in the big top and the animals are given time to relax outside. She is immediately on the defensive. “Have a look at where our animals live – you can’t believe everything you read on the internet,” she said. “It’s very hard to get our voice across. They are not kept in a shoebox under the bed, they’re grazing freely with fresh food and fresh water.”

It’s not surprising that she is on her guard. Life on the road with a modern day animal circus consists of a relentless stream of protests and media criticism outside of daily performances and weekly travel.

But having entered circus life aged 16 to train and care for dogs and ponies, Ms Jackson is used to the pressure. She has spent 22 years in the industry and joined Circus Mondao nine years ago.

Forthright in her view that all her animals live fulfilling lives, she is adamant that traditional circus is by no means the “Victorian relic” campaigners suggest.

“The people who come and see the show don’t say it’s outdated – it’s not what the general public are saying,” she said.

“The Great British public want to be able to make their own decision about what they want to see. If they didn’t want to see animals perform in the circus they wouldn’t come to see us and we would be out of business.” “The public did make their own decision about animals in circuses, according to a report by Born Free Foundation and RSPCA (2006).   “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

 98.9% of readers of the Sunday Mirror newspaper who expressed a view thought that the UK’s only remaining circus elephant (see section 6.1 – UK Circus elephant) should retire (2005). 

The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee The Environment,Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) is a cross-party committee appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure,administration,and policy of the Department for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and its associated bodies. In its examination of the Animal Welfare Bill,the Committee has recommended that: In addition,to date (11/01/06),92 Members of Parliament have signed Early Day Motion No.468 recognising that the circus environment cannot provide for the needs of wild animals. The use of wild animals in circuses be prohibited The use of all other performing animals in circuses,television,theatre,films,advertising etc.be licensed “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

In spite of her defiance, the evidence suggests the days of UK animal circus acts are numbered – even aside from the looming change in the law.

From 1998/9 the number of circuses practicing with wild animals in the UK fell from 20 to four in just five years, with dwindling audiences and high-profile animal cruelty cases contributing to the fact that only two such circuses exist today.

Circus Mondao, with its collection of over 30 mainly grazing stock, and Peter Jolly’s Circus, which features five lions and tigers, have rarely been out of the headlines as a result.

And having worked with big cats herself, Ms Jackson is hardly damning of their use. “The natural environment out there isn’t what it used to be with deforestation and there is so much more poaching and hunting going on,” she said. “People don’t realise they (big cats) relax a lot in the daytime and what they do in the circus is no different to what they do in the wild – they jump and leap from one rock to another, it’s just a trained movement.

She argues that most circus animals are “captive bred” and are used to a circus routine which causes them no harm, meaning animals such as Mondao’s zebra and one of its mules have easily outlasted their predicted life expectancies.

“The tide of opinion is against us. There’s no scientific evidence against us. We’ve been inspected by the Government, they have licensed us and all the inspections that have happened previously didn’t find anything wrong with the animals in the circus, it’s just that the animal rights people don’t think it’s right to have them in captivity.”

5.3 Abnormal behaviour
It is known that wild animals in captivity often display abnormal behaviour,with a particular problem being repetitive, seemingly functionless actions referred to as stereotypic behaviour. Stereotypic behaviour may be the result of frustrated needs,or be a coping mechanism developed in a current or previous inadequate or stressful environment,and the presence of stereotypic behaviour is generally acknowledged to be an indicator of current or previous poor welfare. Evidence exists for stereotypic behaviour being significant in circus animals (e.g.Friend & Parker 1999,Gruber 2000,Krawczel et al.2005, Schmid 1995),and this is supported by anecdotal evidence and video footage. Indeed,legislation in New Zealand attempts to tackle the problem,stating that animals displaying continuous signs of distress must not be held or used in circuses. Presence of stereotypic behaviour in some species may serve as partial evidence that circuses are unable to meet the needs of wild animals.  “See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

Nationwide around 200 local authorities, including Leeds City Council, have pre-empted a wider ban by refusing to warrant animal circuses using council-owned land.

The arrival of Circus Mondao and Peter Jolly’s Circus in West Yorkshire last year attracted the attention of protestors in Otley and Queensbury, Bradford, last year, and Circus Mondao’s visits to Thornton, Calverley and Tingley so far have attracted similar responses from the likes of Leeds Animal Protection and Bradford and Calderdale Animal Friends.

Meanwhile Animal Defenders International has called on residents to avoid the circus as wild animal acts are an “outdated practice which is overwhelmingly opposed by the public”.

Jan Creamer, president of ADI, said: “Most people are now aware of the terrible suffering of wild animals in circuses and shun such acts. A national ban has been promised but, until it is brought in, these animals are forced to perform silly tricks and endure conditions which deny them their natural behaviours. We urge local people not to support circus suffering.”

Recent high profile cases of mistreatment have scarred the perception of animal circuses for many. Circus owner Bobby Roberts was given a three-year conditional discharge in 2012 for mistreating the UK’s last circus elephant. The conviction came after a groom was secretly filmed striking the 58-year-old elephant, called Anne, with a pitchfork in early 2011.

Nevertheless animal cruelty and circuses are not necessarily intertwined. Both remaining UK animal circuses are regularly vetted and have been licensed by DEFRA.

In fact after publishing the Wild Animals in Circuses Report which looks set to bring about the ban on wild animal acts, committee chair Anne McIntosh MP said “there is no overwhelming welfare case for a ban on wild animals in travelling circuses”, stating there are already laws in place to deal with welfare abuse.

But whether wild animal acts are at all necessary or viable remains debatable. Either way, the impending ban looks set to spell the end of a 150-year-old industry.

Ms Jackson added: “We don’t know what’s going to happen, that’s very true. We don’t think like to think about it.”

HISTORY OF ANIMAL CIRCUSES IS CHEQUERED

  • The use of animals in the circus dates back around a century and a half.
  • Prior to travelling circuses and the advent of public zoos, those wanting to lay their eyes on exotic wild animals would head to fairs.
  • Before animals were exhibited, travelling shows were likely to be exhibiting people with physical abnormalities, regarded at the time as ‘freaks of nature’.
  • From the 19th Century animals were taken on tour as displays of exotic creatures before they were combined with traditional circus shows – the first true animal acts involved horses.
  • US circus performer Isaac Van Amburgh is recognised as the first wild animal trainer in circus history, having entered a cage with several big cats as early as 1833.
  • Equestrian circus became a world phenomenon during the 1800s, with travelling circuses pitching up American-style big top tents from the mid 1830s.
  • In Europe, the travelling circus and menagerie reached its peak between the two world wars.
  • But while exotic animals once drew large crowds, the animal rights movements of the 1960s onwards pressured circuses to re-think their links with animals.
  • Shows began to present circus in a more artistic light, while many circuses began to end or amend their association with animal acts.
  • Although not a travelling circus, German-American duo Siegfried & Roy who performed with white lions and tigers in Las Vegas ended their 13-year stage careers after Roy was attacked and nearly killed by a seven-year-old male tiger named Montecore in 2003.
  • Such high profile accidents were added to by cases of ill treatment among some of the more unscrupulous circuses and began to shape perceptions.

News Link:-http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/animal-circuses-cruel-entertainment-or-a-dying-art-1-6862167

 Public Opinion.
Recent decades have seen increasing public exposure to media such as television documentaries and to foreign travel, allowing people the opportunity to observe either directly or indirectly animals in the wild, their natural behaviour and habitats. In addition, examples of animal cruelty such as those uncovered during the investigation and successful prosecution of individuals from the Chipperfield family in 1997-1999 have aroused considerable public concern. It is of little surprise therefore that there has been a concurrent decline in the popularity of circuses featuring performing wild animals, which in turn may have led to circuses disposing of their wild animal acts. There have been several polls that serve to indicate this change in public opinion:“See Link To PDF – Its time Parliament changed it’s act;Below”

NOW:-Take action!

Ask the government to keep their promise to end the use of all wild animals in circuses by 2015!

If your local authority has allowed animal circuses on council-owned land, you can write a letter expressing your concernto your local councillor.
[1]  Harris S, Iossa G & Soulsbury CD (2006) A review of the welfare of wild animals in circuses (PDF 404KB). Report submitted to the Circus Working Group, 4 December.

Relevant documents

News Link:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/captivity/circuses

Wild animals in captivity

In 2012, the Westminster Government announced it would finally grant wild animals in circuses their long overdue ban. Two and a half years later and it appears that the government has turned its back on wild animals in the circus.

Our last chance before the election lies with Jim Fitzpatrick MP who has tabled a banning bill to pick up where the government has left off. The banning bill will have it’ssecond reading on 17 October. This is a very important date as it could be our very last chance to see this much discussed ban become a reality.

 News Link By RSPCA: http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop/-/articleName/CAM_The_Big_Stop_v2

Breeding animals for a few generations doesn’t wipe out thousands of years of evolution; essentially a tiger born in a circus has the same needs as a tiger born in the wild.

We’re not saying that the wild is an idyllic place free from problems – it’s not! But animals have evolved over thousands of years, adapting to live in certain types of natural environments.

Placing an animal in surroundings that are unsuitable for the species can cause stress and behavioural problems. Animals kept in an improper environment or fed the wrong diet can suffer, resulting in illness or death. In some environments, we believe it’s best not to keep certain wild animals at all, as their needs cannot be met – particularly if the animal is there for entertainment. Examples are;

If you cannot meet the needs of an animal then you should not keep that animal.

 News Link By RSPCA:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/captivity/-/articleName/WLD_InCaptivity

Wild animals don’t belong in circuses…

Take ActionThe complex needs of wild animals can never be adequately met in a circus environment and regular transport, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance are all unavoidable realities for the animals.

We have no confidence in the licensing scheme introduced by the government as an interim measure while the ban was being passed. Put simply, it does virtually nothing to protect the welfare of wild animals in circuses.
So what are we waiting for? In March 2012 the Westminster Government announced it would ban wild animals in circuses and the Welsh Government later announced they were keen for Wales to be included in the legislation. However, the animals are still waiting.

Take action, email your MP now and urge them throw their support behind this ‘last chance’ bIll…

News Link RSPCA:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/bigstop/-/articleName/CAM_The_Big_Stop_v2

GRAPHIC VIDEO; WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES IN THE UK…Why no ban yet?? Please help!

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“Please, if you care about wild animals being exploited for entertainment & money, take action & send an email to the links below; I don’t know about you, but I am sick of being hoodwinked! The BRITISH Government are stalling for some reason, whilst other Countries (even those known for their poor welfare of animals) have managed a ban….why not England?? All those in government need to watch the video at the end of this post, even though posted in 2010, little has changed, for animals are still being beaten into submission by cruel trainers, taking their own frustrations out, on sentient beings, who can’t speak about the abuse. Circuses are interested only in the money their animal performances bring in, which brings horrific suffering to those entrusted to entertain…THE ENGLISH GOVERNMENT HAVE TO HONOUR THEIR PROMISE OF A BAN ON WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES ASAP…I only feel total empathy & sorrow for those sentient beings left, like horse & dogs etc. Who will still suffer the abuse, confinement & training of circus life; it’s heartbreaking to see horses with stereotypical behaviour!”

“All circus animals live a life of abuse, confinement & constant beatings (often for no reason, other than the trainer feels like letting off some personal steam) just to entertain the public…which is simply not right & should be banned ASAP! Personally I don’t think any animal wild or domesticated animal, should be used & abused for monetary gain; all animals should be banned from circuses!! They don’t belong in solitary confinement, with repetitive beatings… simply going stir crazy, because they are so distressed… pacing back & forth in cramped cages, no animal deserve to suffer this stereotypic behaviour??PERIOD!”

“I would so love to see those who beat the animals, get a taste of their own medicine! But then, as is usual, any animal that attacks a human (irrelevant of the constant beatings it has endured over the years etc) will ultimately be shot; can no one see why these animals attack? They are mentally broken, beaten & humiliated….I wouldn’t blame any animal that struck back at its human trainer….perhaps if the animals were not so scared of the beatings, there would be more!!

“Those who watch the video & or still choose to go to circuses etc; are on the wrong blog! There is nothing here for those who don’t understand the suffering these sentient beings endure, at the hands of humans! If you have no interest in helping animals & sticking up for the voiceless…PLEASE…bog off from my blog!!!”

The Born Free Foundation has been working steadily for many years for an end to the use of wild animals in circuses.

No Animal Should Be Used and Abused For Entertainment

No Animal Should Be Used and Abused For Entertainment

In the UK, we participated in a government-convened Circus Working Group in the late 1990s and again in 2006. We have investigated and exposed the treatment of wild animals in circuses on many occasions, and helped to relocate animals from circuses to better conditions.

Numbers of circuses with wild animals and the number of wild animals used by circuses have declined in recent years but we consider that a ban on wild animals in circuses across the UK is long overdue. travelling circus environment simply cannot provide for the needs of wild animals.

For the latest on the progress towards a ban in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, please see our news items.

 URGENT! – ASK CAMERON AND CLEGG TO BRING CURTAIN DOWN ON WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES

Dear Supporters and Friends

I was shocked when I discovered that the ban on wild animals in travelling circuses in England was not mentioned in the Queen’s Speech in June 2014. I am sure you are as disappointed as I am.  But I will certainly not give up.  There is still a slim chance that the Government could make the dream of a ban a reality – but I need your immediate help.

It is vital that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister hear from compassionate citizens as a matter of urgency and I am, therefore, asking you to take 5 minutes to contact them, urging them to ensure that a ban is introduced by Government as a priority.

The key points to make in your letter or email are:

  • The Government made a commitment to bring in a ban on wild animals in travelling circuses in England in March 2012, and has repeatedly confirmed their commitment ever since.
  • There is now a very limited window of opportunity for the government to make good on its promise of a ban within this session of Parliament. Parliament is scheduled to be dissolved at the end of March 2015.
  • Draft legislation to ban has already been introduced in Parliament. This legislation is not considered to be controversial, has the overwhelming support of Parliamentarians, and could progress quickly through Parliament.
  • There is strong public support for a ban which would be a quick and easy “win” for this Government.
  • Any delay in bringing in a ban in England could reduce the chances of bringing in bans in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Leading animal protection organisations including the Born Free Foundation, RSPCA, the Captive Animals’ Protection Society, and the British Veterinary Association are all agreed that a ban is long overdue.
  • Quite simply, a ban is the right thing to do in a compassionate society that cares about animals and we must not let this opportunity be lost!

Please help and take five minutes to contact the offices of Prime Minister Rt Hon David Cameron MP and the Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP by following these links:

https://email.number10.gov.uk/

http://engage.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/deputy-prime-ministers-office/contact-the-deputy-prime-minister/

Or write to them:

The Prime Minister-

10 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

The Deputy Prime Minister

Cabinet Office
70 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2AS

Thank you so much for reading this and I do hope you will help.

With all good wishes

Virginia

NB. If you wish to help Born Free’s ongoing work on captive wild animals, please consider making adonation to assist our Zoo Check campaign

News Link:-http://www.bornfree.org.uk/campaigns/zoo-check/circuses-performing-animals/uk-circuses/

Ugliest Show On Earth

Uploaded on 7 Apr 2010 – ANIMAL DEFENDERS INTERNATIONAL.

The Ugliest Show on Earth report (USoE) and video chart the findings of an 18-month study and investigation into the use of animals in circuses – the most comprehensive study of animals in circuses ever undertaken.

Between 1996 and 1998, ADI undercover Field Officers worked in 13 UK animal circuses and winter quarters, and 5 foreign circuses which were exhibiting animals supplied by UK circus animal suppliers and trainers.

The team of five people involved in the undercover work made observations totalling 7,280 hours. Over 700 hours of videotape was recorded, with nearly 400 hours of this being used in evidence for the prosecutions which followed the publication of the report and release of the video programme of the same name.

The video highlights the main findings of the study and is probably most famous for the shocking scenes of brutality to elephants and chimpanzees at Mary Chipperfield Promotions in Hampshire, UK. These scenes allowed ADI to issue summonses for cruelty to animals which were subsequently taken over by the UKs Crown Prosecution Service, and convictions for cruelty were secured against Mary Chipperfield Cawley, her husband Roger Cawley, and their elephant keeper, Michael Steve Gills.

2 Posts; POLAR BEAR ARRIVES IN ZOO IN ENGLAND- VICTOR ARRIVES AFTER 12 HOUR JOURNEY

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“My first post in a while, just taking it slowly, waiting for next spinal op!!. I sincerely hope this park is to help polar bears, not breed them or just have them for entertainment. If only they could rescue Yupi; currently housed at Morelia Zoo in Mexico! I hate to see wild animals behind bars, but have to also say this is a pretty impressive enclosure, shame they couldn’t add icebergs & snow….but living in England myself, he may just get a taste of life in the snow; however nothing like the habitat this bear should be in…wild & free!!!”

News Link; Post 1; BORN FREE

Yorkshire Wildlife Park has announced the import of a polar bear, Victor, from Rhenen Zoo in the Netherlands. According to their website, Victor is a 15-year-old bear who has been “retired” from the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP).

The arrival of Victor represents the first time that a polar bear has been kept in a zoo in England since the death of Mandy at Flamingo Land in 2004. (However, we believe that there is a female polar bear at a private facility in Oxfordshire).

There are considerable threats facing wild polar bears and their habitat, but Born Free firmly believes that breeding more bears in zoos has no genuine role to play in polar bear conservation. Furthermore, experience of polar bears in zoos the world over has shown us time and again that polar bears simply do not fare well in captivity – partly as a consequence of the restricted environment. It must be taken into account that the average polar bear enclosure in captivity is 1 million times smaller than the natural range of a polar bear in the wild.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the UK has not become “polar bear-free”. After many years of campaigning, Born Free was instrumental in securing the transfer of Mercedes, the last polar bear at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland, to their sister site at Highland Wildlife Park. Mercedes had been kept in a wholly unsuitable “traditional” bear enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo since 1984. Highland Wildlife Park brought in a young male from the Netherlands, just prior to Mercedes’ death in 2011. Another male polar bear was then imported in 2012 from a zoo in Germany.

According to news reports, Victor is expected to be joined by two other polar bears by the end of the year, although it is currently unclear where these bears will be arriving from. Yorkshire Wildlife Park has so far not ruled out breeding polar bears at their new facility.

In October 2013, Yorkshire Wildlife Park launched a £150,000 appeal to rescue Yupi, a female polar bear currently housed at Morelia Zoo in Mexico in what most experts believe is a very inappropriate climate and enclosure. The offer to rehome Yupi is yet to be accepted and it is unclear whether there is any realistic chance of Yupi being relocated to Yorkshire.

If Yorkshire Wildlife Park truly wants to help polar bears, it will focus on genuine rescues of polar bears from the most unsuitable zoos worldwide, rather than act as a facility for European zoos to offload bears surplus to requirements from the European breeding programme. Furthermore, Yorkshire Wildlife Park should ensure that they do not breed from any bears, to avoid adding to the numbers of bears in captivity with no prospect of release to the wild.

For more information see link & post below:

http://www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com/#!news/c1qh1

Help us monitor their behaviour and protect them in the wild by adopting the Hudson Bay Polar Bears

News Link:-http://www.bornfree.org.uk/news/news-article/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1657

News Link; Post 2 DAILYMAILCO,UK

I’m bearing up nicely! After a 12-hour journey, Victor, England’s only polar bear, chills out in his new home

  • Victor, a 1,058lb polar bear, has become England’s only polar bear after moving to Doncaster from Holland 
  • The 15-year-old was retired from a breeding programme because he is father to nearly all of Europe’s polar bears
  • He has moved into a 10-acre park in Yorkshire Wildlife Park, which includes 8m deep lakes and an Arctic climate
  • More polar bears will be arriving to give him some company over the next few months, park officials say

By OLLIE GILLMAN FOR MAILONLINE and CHRIS BROOKE FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Frolicking in his new home, England’s only polar bear is a picture of contentment.

But moving the 75-stone animal from a Dutch zoo to this purpose-built enclosure was a tricky proposition – not least for Victor himself.

With his breeding days behind him, the 15-year-old was picked to be the first occupant of an £850,000 facility at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster, complete with an eight-metre-deep lake and swathes of grassland, designed to resemble the Arctic tundra in the summer.

To reach it, however, he had to endure a 12-hour journey locked inside a cramped metal box. After being trained to walk into the cage, he was loaded on to a lorry and then ferried to Hull from the port of Zeebrugge, receiving fish and water through the bars along the way.

His new keepers were relieved that upon his arrival on Thursday they were met by a ‘very confident’ and ‘laid back’ character – rather than a polar bear with a sore head.

After spending the weekend in a holding area to give him time to adjust, Victor was finally let loose in his new home yesterday. He quickly settled in with a refreshing dip in the man-made lake, before a rest in one of the caves dug into a bank at the side of the water.

His enclosure is one of the biggest in the world, and could hold up to ten more animals. Victor is expected to be joined by two others by the end of the year – but for now he has all ten acres to himself.

Cheryl Williams, the wildlife park’s director, said: ‘He is quite greedy and loves meat and fish, with his favourite being mackerel, but he is not very impressed by vegetables. I have been told he likes the occasional peanut butter sandwich but we haven’t tried that yet.

‘He weighs about 480kg (1058lbs) so he is pretty chunky, but that is his summer weight. When it comes up to winter he will become a real hungry Horace and eat lots more, when it gets colder he will probably be about 500kg (1102lbs).

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To reach it, however, he had to endure a 12-hour journey locked inside a cramped metal box. After being trained to walk into the cage, he was loaded on to a lorry and then ferried to Hull from the port of Zeebrugge, receiving fish and water through the bars along the way.

His new keepers were relieved that upon his arrival on Thursday they were met by a ‘very confident’ and ‘laid back’ character – rather than a polar bear with a sore head.

After spending the weekend in a holding area to give him time to adjust, Victor was finally let loose in his new home yesterday. He quickly settled in with a refreshing dip in the man-made lake, before a rest in one of the caves dug into a bank at the side of the water.

His enclosure is one of the biggest in the world, and could hold up to ten more animals. Victor is expected to be joined by two others by the end of the year – but for now he has all ten acres to himself.

Cheryl Williams, the wildlife park’s director, said: ‘He is quite greedy and loves meat and fish, with his favourite being mackerel, but he is not very impressed by vegetables. I have been told he likes the occasional peanut butter sandwich but we haven’t tried that yet.

‘He weighs about 480kg (1058lbs) so he is pretty chunky, but that is his summer weight. When it comes up to winter he will become a real hungry Horace and eat lots more, when it gets colder he will probably be about 500kg (1102lbs).

Victor, who retired from a breeding programme after fathering ten cubs, is the first polar bear to live in England for about a decade. He was born in captivity in Rostock, Germany, before moving to Rhenen in the Netherlands.

His new keepers hope to use their enclosure to re-home bears living in unsuitable homes in Eastern Europe or tropical countries. The animal, who is such a prolific breeder that he had to be retired because he is father to most of Europe’s polar bears, now lives in a 10-acre enclosure which has the environment of an Arctic summer.

Park director John Minion said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Victor to the park and be able to make a contribution to polar bear conservation. ‘Victor has made a great contribution to the European breeding programme and his genes are very well represented now so the decision was made to retire him to the park. ‘He’s actually the most prolific breeder across Europe, so most polar bears in Europe are probably his children.

Published on 18 Aug 2014

Polar bear Victor is set to become the first resident in the Doncaster-based wildlife park’s purpose-built polar bear centre. The 15-year-old polar bear is due to arrive at the park from his home at Rhenen Zoo in Holland next month, – and will be the only one in England.

VIDEOhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2727861/It-s-long-way-t-Arctic-Britain-s-polar-bear-Victor-arrives-new-home-Yorkshire.html#v-3735643981001

‘But that doesn’t stop Victor from being an ambassador for the Arctic. Polar bears are an iconic species that are increasingly threatened in their native habitat and we need to fight their cause. The park expect Victor to live for anotjer 15 years at least, but he will not be lonely for long as more bears are expected to join him soon. ‘We will have more bears arriving in the autumn and will announce those as soon as details are finalised,’ Mr Minion added.

‘So because of that he’s now been retired from the breeding programme and we offered him a home as we’ve just built this specialist enclosure which is the biggest in Europe at the moment.’

And if Victor is anything to go by, the other polar bears will settle in fine at the large enclosure, dubbed Project Polar, which features landscaped hills, valleys, and lakes with water up to 8m deep. Within 10 minutes of arriving he was seen in his house, eating food and having a drink ‘like he had been here all his life’, Mr Minion said. He will be kept of out of the public gaze while he acclimatises to British temperatures, but will be able to explore his new home.

Mr Minion explained what Project Polar includes: ‘The landscaping of the reserves mirror the Arctic Tundra with grass, herbs, shrubs and heathers. There are rocky areas and caves, which provide shelter for the bears as well as their main house. ‘The large lake is 8m deep so Victor will be able to swim and dive. We are sure that Victor will enjoy his new surroundings.’

Last year Yorkshire Wildlife Park offered a home to Yupi, a polar bear trapped in soaring temperatures and a concrete enclosure in a Mexican zoo.

Yupi has been at Morelia Zoo since 1992, after being captured in the wild as a cub. Her current concrete enclosure has virtually no shade, and offers little stimulation, causing campaigners to encourage the zoo to move her to a more appropriate home.

The Doncaster park made an offer to rehouse Yupi, but it is yet to be accepted. Ms Williams said: ‘We would still be delighted to re-home Yupi, who is over twenty years old. It would be wonderful if she could enjoy the rest of her life in the reserve here, so we wait for further news from Morelia.’  There are two other polar bears in Britain, who both live at Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland. One of them, called Walker, is one of Victor’s many sons.

All Pictures In Daily Mail News Link From: FameFlynet.uk.com

News Link:-http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2727861/It-s-long-way-t-Arctic-Britain-s-polar-bear-Victor-arrives-new-home-Yorkshire.html

City Council Vote Means Circus Animals Still Welcome In Worcester

Comments Off on City Council Vote Means Circus Animals Still Welcome In Worcester

“We have seen far too many undercover investigations, showing animals being beaten, slapped or whipped, even struck with electric cattle prods; to know that an animal’s life in the circus is not a good one. Animals do not belong in cages or shackled when not performing! They are forced to entertain the public by doing unnatural & stupid tricks, that can be detrimental to their health! Human safety is also an issue, when animals can’t take it any more & attack! There are plenty videos on YouTube showing trainers being mauled by big cats in the ring & elephants that have trampled their handlers, then charged the crowds looking for a way out; which sadly ends in tragic fatalities for the public & animal!! I personally think NO animal on earth should be forced to entertain humans for monetary gain…it’s wrong & immoral!!”

Also read another post I have added toward the end:- CAPS welcomes Scottish consultation on wild animals in circuses’.

“Please sign just a few of the many petitions to ban wildlife in circuses: at the end of this post or on the Petition Tab above. If you’re in any doubt as to how elephants are trained; watch the video & share it, education is the key; what we share, will make more care!!

By Nick Kotsopoulos 04/02/2014

WORCESTER — The circus, complete with its lions, tigers and elephants, is still welcome in this city. 

Don't Support Circus Cruelty

The City Council Tuesday night rejected a call for the drafting of an ordinance that would have banned the use of wild and exotic animals in travelling shows and circuses that perform here. The vote was 8-3, with Councilor-at-Large Konstantina B. Lukes, District 2 Councilor Philip P. Palmieri and District 4 Councilor Sarai Rivera voting in opposition.

Mrs. Lukes, who advocated for the ban as the past chairman of the council’s Public Health and Human Services Committee, said the intent of her order was not to ban circuses in the city, but rather to ban the use of animals that are subject to extinction, such as elephants.

She said circuses exploit such animals for profit and she believes it is “time to right a wrong” by banning their use in circuses that come here. 

But Councillor-at-Large Michael T. Gaffney, who pushed to have a council vote taken on the matter after it had been tabled last month, said the proposal was not just about banning elephants in circuses.

He said he believes that animal-rights advocates would eventually move to have animals banned in other things, such as petting zoos. 

“This is the first step of saying we shouldn’t have animals period,” Mr. Gaffney said. 

Meanwhile, District 5 Councillor Gary Rosen argued it was time for the council to put the issue to rest.

He said the council had become mired down talking about whether it should ban a legal business such as a circus at a time when it has so many other important issues requiring its attention.

Mr. Rosen said if people object to wild and exotic animals performing at circuses held in the city, then they simply shouldn’t go to them. (What a knob head!!!)

“What are we doing even talking about this?” Mr. Rosen asked. “I think we’re foolish to be talking about banning a legal business from coming to Worcester. If people have a problem with the circus, then they should stay away, but they shouldn’t tell others they can’t go.” 

Last year, the City Council Public Health and Human Services Committee asked the Law Department to review a model ordinance drafted by Born Free USA, a national animal advocacy group. 

ele1

As part of its recommendation, the committee has also asked the city administration to draft an ordinance along the lines of the model ordinance that would keep out circuses and travelling shows that feature elephants, tigers, lions and chimpanzees. 

At the request of Mayor Joseph M. Petty, the council tabled the proposal until it received a report from the city administration on the impact of such a ban.

In a report that went before the council Tuesday night, City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said the proposal raises a number of concerns, including legal issues since it would ban an activity permitted by state and federal law.

City Solicitor David M. Moore said it is his opinion that any municipal ordinance prohibiting the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses staged in the city would be “invalidated” as pre-empted by federal and state law. 

He said it would also trigger contractual issues between the city and SMG the company that manages the city-owned DCU Center (The DCU Center is an indoor arena and convention center complex, located in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts, USA).

SMG reports that the circus has an economic impact of $1.5 million during those years it comes to the DCU Center.

That economic impact includes ticket revenue, concessions, merchandise and parking for the approximately 20,000 people who attend the circus shows at the DCU Center.

Ms. Rivera said if Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was not allowed to come back to the city, she believes that families would spend their entertainment dollars elsewhere in the community.

“That money will be spent in the local economy whether the circus is in town or not,” she said. “Families will find a place to take their children. Putting dollars to such (animal) cruelty; we have to ask ourselves what kind of a community we are? This is a serious issue and something we need to consider.” 

News Link:-http://www.telegram.com/article/20140204/NEWS/302049735/1116

Please note the above images are not connected in any way to this news post!

More News On Circuses:

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014  CAPS welcomes Scottish consultation on wild animals in circuses

Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that the Scottish Government has opened a new consultation to gauge public opinion on the use of wild animals in circuses. A CAPS spokesperson welcomed the news, saying “this presents us with an opportunity to move a step closer to a UK-wide ban on the cruel practice of exploiting wild animals in the circus ring”.

England has already promised to bring in a ban, and Wales has also shown willing to do the same. CAPS has worked with campaign partners for many years to encourage Scotland to follow suit, with a full public consultation forming the first step in that process.

Said Liz Tyson, CAPS Director:

“We encourage our Scottish supporters to get involved in the process and join us in calling for an outright ban on the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland. These measures are long overdue and this is the opportunity for compassionate members of the public to make a difference”.

CAPS has presented evidence to the Scottish Government in recent years on this issue and will be putting together a detailed response to the consultation and working with campaign partners towards a ban

The consultation closes on the 16th April and all relevant information can be found by visiting this websitehttp://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/farmingrural/Agriculture/animal-welfare/AnimalWelfare/Circuses

Please help to support our vital work for animals by making a donation today. Thank you!

News Link:http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2014/01/caps-welcomes-scottish-consultation-on-wild-animals-in-circuses/

“Don’t support the cruelty! See how elephants are really trained to perform tricks; then tell everyone”.

Ringling Bros. Circus is NO FUN FOR ELEPHANTS! – End The Elephant Tragedy America!

http://breakthechainus.com/
Animals in the circus have not been asked to be there. They are stolen from the wild, babies ripped from their mothers and beaten into submission to perform. Elephants live a majority of their lives in chains. Tigers are crammed in into tiny cages for months on end. This atrocity must end now and we are putting a stop to it. But we can’t succeed without you!
http://www.ad-international.org/adi_u…

UPDATE: Circus Malta: Petition Supporting Animal Circuses Gains 5,000 Signatures

Comments Off on UPDATE: Circus Malta: Petition Supporting Animal Circuses Gains 5,000 Signatures

Thursday 9 January 2014

Most animal charities & the public want to see a ban worldwide of wild animals being used in circuses. Now the owner of this circus is circulating his own petition to keep his Malta circus open. So please if you don’t agree with animals performing degrading tricks, kept behind bars & of course the cruelty that has been documented in circuses: PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS BELOW. We can’t let this circus continue, if it does through its petition, the flood gates for circuses using wild animals may open again; that would be tragic after all the hard work has been done to stop them!!

Circus promoter says 2013 could be last year for animal circuses in Malta due to the proposed ban.

But circus promoter Silvio Zammit has collected 5,000 signatures as part of a petition to overturn a proposal to ban animal circuses.

The circus has now moved to Ghajnsielem, Gozo, where Zammit hopes to continue collecting more signatures. The petition will then be passed on to the competent authorities.

Zammit, who has been bringing circuses to Malta for the past 16 years, said he could not allow the banning of animal circuses from Malta without taking any action.

“It was a personal initiative after finding out that the government had moved on to publish a White Paper proposing to ban animal circuses,” he said.

See all the animals, such as, Long horn cattle, Donkeys, Lama, Camels, Lions, Tigers, Zebra, Elephant, Giraffe, Baboon, Horses, Ponies, Donkeys performing pitiful & degrading acts; acts they would never do in the wild. The animal acts stop at 12 mins; then the human artists perform!I believe the only thing not seen is the Hippo; but is in a video below!!

Circo Orfei Floriana Malta 1st January 2012

Uploaded on 2 Jan 2012 – By levelone12

He argued that only 390 persons took part in the consultation process initiated by the government, of which 49% said they were against such a circus.

“We know that the majority of these were NGOs, and NGOs do not reflect popular opinion. I am doing this petition on my own. I know that there are many others who would like to sign it, but I have neither the time nor the manpower to go on a nation-wide petition,” Zammit said.

He said he was “very happy” with the number of signatures collected: “This shows that the Maltese do love the circus. They won’t flood the streets of Valletta with placards to support the circus.”

He also said that a number of MPs from both sides of the House visited Circo Orfei this winter. “Some came with their children while others accompanied their grandchildren. They thanked me for the level of the show and all said they had fun,” Zammit said.

He however refused to name them.

The debate as to whether Malta should ban animal circuses for good has been going on for a number of years, with animal rights NGOs insisting that circuses solely operate to maximise profits while completely disregarding the safety of the animals and the adverse effects they may impose.

Animal Rights Coalition said veterinarians only attend to the animal’s physical needs and as a result, the psychological issues brought about by the circuses are not being addressed.

With a number of countries moving to ban animal circuses for good, Zammit said in Italy alone there were 800 circuses. He said the UK was one of the countries which will stop animal circuses as from next year. “But this was the result of many circuses caught mistreating their animals,” he said, adding that the circus he brought to Malta did not see animals performing any tricks and only a minimal part of the show was dedicated to animals.My pic4

Zammit argued that the circus animals were born in captivity “and therefore they do not know otherwise. Their trainers threat them like their pets”.

He said Animal Welfare Department officials and veterinarians made regular checks to verify that the animals were well-kept.

Circo Orfei’s travelling team is made up of 60 people, whose living depends on the shows, Zammit said.

“This is their life. They are a community who live on the road and have been doing so for years on end. This is how they earn a living… their bread and butter,” he said.

The Animal Rights Coalition has also called for a full ban on dolphinaria and aquaria. The coalition has said it was unjust to deny dolphins the right to roam free in their natural habitat and called for the ban on dolphinariums as these restrict the creatures to a mere pool.

The Coalition also said that this should extend to aquaria as in this case, animals are likewise being “confined to cages and restricted from roaming in their natural habitat”.

Protesters outside circus. Image from http://www.timesofmalta.com

But Zammit feels that two weights and two measures were being applied when talking about animal circuses and aquaria.

He also said that circuses gave people the opportunity to see animals which would otherwise require them to travel abroad to zoos or safaris.

He insisted that a proper discussion was required and said he agreed that animals like elephants, pandas and monkeys should be banned. “What we have in our circus are horses, ponies, donkeys and tigers,” he said, adding that tigers in captivity lived for an average of 25 years while those in the wild lived for 12 years.

Circo Orfei also has a hippo and an emu as part of their travelling repertoire. 

News Link:http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/national/Petition-supporting-animal-circuses-gains-5-000-signatures-20140108

Petitions to ban wild animals in circuses:-We must get the ban in place before this circus succeeds with their petition to continue

Published on 7 Jan 2013 – This video shows the hippo in the ring, but its towards the end of the video, after the trapeze act! What the hell is a hippo doing in a circus? Bloody outrageous!! Search Circo Orfei on You Tube to see all the animals when not entertaining  :-http://youtu.be/GEMx3YVIRmg 

Published on 10 Jan 2013 – Tiger & Lion Act:-http://youtu.be/aHeMPaW_d20

Published on 6 Sep 2013 – This is about the lions & tigers in the outside enclosure plus RARE WHITE LIONS & TIGERS?? Are they interbreeding??:-http://youtu.be/K40RjOFsX4c

My previous posts on circus in Malta etc.:

THE FINAL CURTAIN: UK Government Announces 2015 Ban On wild Animals In Circuses In England

Comments Off on THE FINAL CURTAIN: UK Government Announces 2015 Ban On wild Animals In Circuses In England

“At last, the big top is falling…but I wish it applied to all animals.  All animals in circuses are deprived of their basic needs to exercise, roam, socialize, forage, and play. Horses will still be  forced to perform confusing and physically challenging tricks. Former Ringling animal crew employees contacted PETA & reported that horses are grabbed by the throat, stabbed with pitchforks, punched in the face, given painful “lip twists,” and whipped. All animals feel pain, fear, loneliness, stress etc. So why ban one & not the other?? Or am I asking too much? I am very happy that wild animals will finally be banned; but I would have felt a lot happier had it been a ban on all animals performing in circuses!”

UK Government announces 2015 ban on wild animals in travelling circuses in England 

Today, draft legislation was announced that would see it become an offence to use wild animals in travelling circuses in England from 2015.

baby ele1touched up

The Born Free Foundation has worked consistently for an end to the use of wild animals in circuses since its inception in 1984. Foundation representatives participated in the first Circus Working Group in the mid-1990s, and the second in 2004. Over the years Born Free has seen many lows, and precious few highs. Yet, throughout, the message has been the same: a travelling circus simply cannot meet the needs of wild animals.

Virginia McKenna OBE, Founder of the Born Free Foundation, said: “It has taken a long time – too long – but at last the end is in sight. I know for many, many people this will be a reason to rejoice. I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make a ban a reality, including Parliamentarians of all Parties. Victories for common-sense and compassion are all too rare. “

It is disappointing that it has taken this long to get to this stage, given that the recent initiative to ban originated in discussions that took place prior to the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Nonetheless, the draft legislation should be welcomed as finally reflecting public, Parliamentary and expert opinion.

Born Free remains committed to supporting the enactment of similar legislation in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and for an end to the use of wild animals in circuses worldwide.

Will Travers OBE, the Foundation’s CEO, commented: “I hardly dared imagine we would see such a day when, year after year, meeting after meeting, the NGOs participating in the various Circus Working Groups churned through the evidence, debated the practicalities, fought against Defra’s institutional inertia and Government opposition to a ban. Our supporters have been amazing as have our colleagues in other organisations. One more form of wild animal exploitation is on its way out.”

It would not have been possible to achieve this without the support of campaign partners the RSPCA, CAPS and the BVA, and without the help of Born Free supporters. The work of the Zoo Check team is central to the work of the Foundation, and they work tirelessly to protect animals in zoos, circuses, as pets and in the tourist trade around the world.

Anne Elephant in England Abused By Groom. Owners were charged

Anne The Elephant, Abused in Great British Circus By Groom. Owners were charged

If you would like to help support the Foundation’s work on captive animal welfare, please consider becoming a member of the Born Free Foundation or making a donation: www.bornfree.org.uk/give

News Link:http://www.bornfree.org.uk/index.php?id=34&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1294&cHash=65344dfb5e3eb3050faa966a39c7b845&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BornFreeNews+%28Born+Free%3A+Latest+News%29

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