Northen Ireland; Circus Ban On Council Land

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Circuses which use wild animals in their acts could soon be banned from bringing their shows to council land in Antrim and Newtownabbey.

On Tuesday, February 10, Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council’s Policy Resources & Service Convergence Committee agreed to ban such circuses from using council-owned land.

DUP Councillor Phillip Brett proposed the motion: “That this council recognises that it is inherently cruel and unjustifiable for circuses to use wild animals to perform tricks or engage in behaviour that they otherwise would not do in the absence of coercion, and adopts a policy to prohibit circuses including wild animals from using council owned property.”

The motion was seconded by Councillor Thomas Hogg and agreed by members.

The committee’s decision still has to be ratified when the full council meets on February 26 at Mossley Mill.

Councillor Brett said that it will be up to the council to decide whether or not circuses which use horses and dogs in their shows will be subject to the ban, or just those which use exotic animals such as lions, tigers and elephants.

News Link:http://www.antrimtimes.co.uk/news/local-news/circus-ban-on-council-land-1-6592778

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Petition: RSPCA – Circuses are no fun for animals, Hold the Government to its promise!

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“I don’t know about anyone else but I am sick & fed up of contacting my MP about a ban on Wild animals in circuses across England & Wales. How come other Countries have managed to introduce a ban with no problems? Just WTF are the Government dithering about for? I just pray for all the animals forced to perform, that the Government will not go back on their word & will introduce the much-needed ban ASAP!”

In 2012, the Westminster Government announced it would finally grant wild animals in circuses their long overdue ban.

No Animal Should Be Used & Abused ForEntertainment

No Animal Should Be Used & Abused For Entertainment

Two years later and there is a real danger that Parliamentary time will simply run out to deliver the ban and wild animals could languish in circuses for many years to come…

We’ve come this far, we can’t let the animals down now! If you live in England or Wales act now using the form below to make sure the Westminster Government keeps its promise…

The wild animals unfortunate enough to be part of a circus act today live lives of forced performance, prolonged confinement and unnatural social groupings.

 The 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.

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, two years and one meaningless circus licensing scheme later, the animals are still waiting.

 Take action and urge your Government not to break its promise…
Use the form below to email your MP (or if you live in Wales, the Minister for Natural Resources & Food, Alun Davies AM) urging them to ensure the Government keeps its promise! 
Use this link to the form to Contact Your MP:-http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/bigstop/takeaction
RSPCACircuses Are No Fun For Animals

Published on 15 Nov 2012

Join the campaign to end circus suffering at: http://www.rspca.org.uk/CircusesAreNoFun

Despite the Westminster Government’s promise to ban wild animals in circuses, the licensing scheme planned for the interim period could mean even more suffering, for even more animals…

In fact, we could still see wild animals suffering in travelling circuses in 2020! It’s time the Government listened to the majority of the people in this county and granted the animals their long overdue ban. Please share this video and spread the work that Circuses are #NoFunforAnimals

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WSPA: Welsh Government Takes Forward Factory Dairy Petition

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“Finally some good news, received via email,  not over yet; but proves petitions do work!!!”

Dear Jules

We have good news to share with you.

The World Society for the Protection of Animals’ (WSPA) petition calling on the Welsh Government to stop factory dairy farms in Wales has successfully passed its Petition Committee hearing.

You might remember that we wrote to you back in December, following news that Welsh Planning Minister Carl Sargeant had approved plans to build a 1000-cow intensive dairy farm, asking you to join us in urging the Welsh Assembly to update relevant planning documents to better support decision-makers faced with factory dairy applications.

The petition received 9246 signatories, including Welsh actor Gareth David-Lloyd, who came with WSPA campaigners to hand it in to the Welsh politicians.

The concerns laid out in the petition were heard by the Committee on 18 February, who have decided to take the issue further.

Thank you for helping make this one of the most-signed petitions to the Welsh Government.

The fight to stop factory dairy farms in the UK is far from over, but we wanted to celebrate this positive decision with you.

The next steps will see the Committee write to both Carl Sargeant, Minister for Housing and Regeneration, and Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food, for more information.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on progress, and you can read more about this on our website.

Thanks for your support,

Suzi Morris

Wild Animal Circus Ban Under Threat!

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“Lets be honest, the UK Government have done nothing to instil public confidence into their ability to make sure wild animals are protected! Hence, this is another person not getting their vote! They have done nothing but lie about their real intentions on the circus bill & I just hate those who try to pull the wool over your eyes!! Countries who hardly have any animal welfare rules have managed to implement the bill, so why not the UK?? Like I said in a previous post, what are they scared of??? They are pathetic & I’m ashamed to be English!!”

Recommendations made to Government that circus ban should not remove a single wild animal from the big top

A select committee report released this morning following the consideration of the UK Government’s proposals to ban the use of all wild animals in circuses has been strongly criticised by animal protection campaigners for its recommendation that any initial prohibition should be limited to big cats and elephants only.

CAPS and campaign partners point out that, given that there are no elephants or big cats in English circuses, any ban introduced along these lines would fail to protect any of the wild animals still being used in big tops around the country. A spokesperson said “in effect, a ban introduced on the basis that has now been recommended would be absolutely meaningless for those wild animals that the Government has promised to protect”.

A draft bill was published in April and, in line with the long-term discourse on the use of wild animals in circuses, the calls made in various parliamentary debates and the results of the 2010 public consultation on the matter, the Government proposed to seek a full ban on the use of all wild animals in circuses. This news was welcomed by campaigners who have worked for many years to secure this new law.

However, in today’s report to Government following scrutiny of this draft bill, the EFRA Select Committee suggests that public concern is limited to species of wild animal such as elephants and big cats, but not to animals such as snakes, racoons and zebras. The report goes on to make the claim that public concern on the issue stems from the mistaken perception “that large numbers of elephants and big cats are still used in performances in travelling circuses”. However there is no evidence to support this assertion which, according to campaigners, “appears to be little more than ill-informed conjecture”.

A spokesperson for CAPS, The RSPCA, The Born Free Foundation and the British Veterinary Association said:

“To make this suggestion is to ignore the calls of the 94% of respondents to the 2010 public consultation on this matter, to dismiss the reams of evidence and opinion published in Hansard, and to overlook the outcome of dozens of hours of parliamentary debate, dating back to 2005 and earlier; all of which clearly demonstrate the overwhelming support for a ban on all wild animals in travelling circuses. We request in the strongest possible terms that the Government rejects this recommendation and continues with its commendable plan to ban the use of all wild animals in circuses in England, as promised.”

CAPS Director, Liz Tyson, added:

“If the EFRA committee’s recommendation is followed, not one of the animals currently performing in circus shows in the England will be covered by the ban.  It is vital that we make our voices heard on this important issue; not just for the 21 wild animals who are currently being exploited in English circuses, but for the future generations of animals that will be subjected to the same for years to come if we do not secure an all-species ban”.

The 2009/2010 consultation on the use of wild animals in circuses asked the question of respondents: “Do you think that there are any species of wild animal which it is acceptable to use in travelling circuses?” and 95.5% of respondents answered “No”.


ACTION ALERT!

CAPS is calling on supporters to take urgent action by writing to the Defra minister, Lord de Mauley, to ask him to reject any suggestion of narrowing the scope of the ban and deliver on his promise that “this legislation will end the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in this country. It will also help ensure that our international reputation as a leading protector of animals continues into a new global era”.

Please don’t delay – this quick and easy action will help to demonstrate that the public want a ban on the exploitation of all wild animals in travelling circuses.

Email Lord de Mauleydemauley@parliament.uk


Our work is only made possible for your kind support. We still have a long way to go to get the animals out of the circus. Please consider making a donation to help us to help them.

Thank you

Read the full EFRA committee reporthttp://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news/wac-report/

News Link:-http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2013/07/wild-animal-circus-ban-under-threat

With Your Invaluable Support, The League, RSPCA And Other Organisations Will Continue To Oppose The Badger Cull in 2013.

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“Please watch the video below, from last year…then please sign petitions etc. Together we can save the badgers”

The Government’s proposed badger cull, set to go ahead last year was postponed after a sustained and comprehensive campaign that involved numerous organisations, including the League and our supporters, coming together as Team Badger.

Last year over 160,000 people also signed a Government e-petition, far exceeding the 100,000 signatures needed to be considered for a House of Commons debate, which went ahead on 25th October.

The Parliamentary vote against the badger cull was overwhelming: 147 votes to 28 votes, with the majority of MPs agreeing with scientists, animal welfare organisations and the general public, that the cull is wrong and would be ineffective on scientific, humanitarian and practical grounds.

However, the vote is not binding and the Government are still planning to resume culling this summer.

The League, our partner organisations and supporters are committed, therefore, to continue with the campaign to ensure the cull isn’t just postponed, but abandoned for good, in favour of vaccinating badgers and developing an effective bovine TB vaccine.

As part of Team Badger, the League recently submitted evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee inquiry, which is looking into vaccination alternative to culling and is due to report later this year.

Vaccination has already been a proven success in Wales, where over 1,400 badgers have already been protected against bovine TB as part of a five year programme of work to eradicate TB completely. The badger vaccination initiative in Wales reflects the constructive alternative to culling that the League, along with “Team Badger”, is calling for. It also demonstrates the co-operation that is possible between the farming industry and government in taking swift, positive and decisive action against the spread of Bovine TB.

The League, alongside our campaign partners, believes strongly that vaccination of both badgers and cattle and better husbandry are the most effective and long-term way to tackle this terrible disease. Together we successfully came together to ensure badgers had a stay of execution in 2012 and we are now working for a full and permanent pardon in 2013.

What can I do to stop the cull happening this summer?

You should contact your MP to remind them that the badger cull is set to go ahead in summer of 2013. You should ensure that they know the evidence and science against the cull and ask them to make sure they will continue to oppose the cull in 2013.

Link:-http://www.league.org.uk/faq/32/Badger-Cull-FAQs

Keep checking back at this site for more news & next steps to take:- http://www.league.org.uk/content/643/Badger-Cull

Badger cull to begin from June, Environment Secretary confirms

Conservative MP Owen Paterson said that, if successful, the cull aimed at stopping bovine tuberculosis would be rolled out across the country next year.

It has not been confirmed where this summer’s pilot culls will take place, however the National Farmers Union (NFU) said it believed they would be in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Animal rights campaigners expressed dismay, claiming there is still no scientific evidence to support the cull and that the move is against the wishes of the British public.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Paterson said: “We need to make sure that these two trials are carried out in a professional and scientific manner and if we prove that this works we will continue.”

The Government wants to stop the animals spreading the disease which has cost the taxpayer £500m in the last decade. That figure is expected to rise to £1bn in the next 10 years.

Adam Quinney, the vice president of the National Farmers’ Union, welcomed the decision and said they had expected the cull to go ahead this summer.

“The two licences have been issued for two areas in Gloucestershire and Somerset and they still stand.

“There have been discussions about looking at alternative areas just because it is prudent,” he said.

A spokeswoman for The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed: “The earliest the cull can take place is from June 1, and it will definitely be going ahead this summer.”

The cull cannot take place before then for a number of reasons, including licence restrictions and welfare concerns for badger’s caring for their young.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said they were “deeply disappointed” with the plans to cull the animals tomorrow as there is no “real proof” that it will help either cows or badgers and called for Defra to look again at alternatives including vaccines.

They said: “The Government must think again and the RSPCA will continue to campaign against the cull until it does so.

“After this year’s postponement we had hoped that the government would finally see sense and pay attention to the vast amount of scientific research showing that a cull will be ineffective, wasteful and potentially damaging to the welfare of both farm and wild animals.

“The vaccination of both badgers and cattle along with more effective biosecurity is the only approach which addresses the welfare of both cattle and badgers and the long term livelihood of farmers.

“This announcement flies in the face of the views of a huge majority of MPs who voted against the cull as well as the majority of the British public and the overwhelming weight of scientific opinion. The RSPCA stands ready to work alongside all those seeking an alternative to this barbaric cull.”

News Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/farming/9828358/Badger-cull-to-begin-from-June-Environment-Secretary-confirms.html

British Badger Cull – Channel 4 News

Published on 19 Sep 2012

UK channel 4 news item with Brian May, badger supported and guitarist with Queen and Jan Rowe, cattle farmer, debating the badger cull which is taking part in the UK now. 
This programme was first shown in the UK on Monday, September 17th, 2012 
If you are against the cull please support http://www.teambadger.org

Relevant sites & petitions:-

A selection of related items, to find more, type Badgers in the search box in my blog:-

Circuses Blow Their Top At Lion Licensing Plan

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“The Government have promised to enforce a ban, then used an Austrian case as a get out clause…it’s stupid there is absolutely nothing stopping the UK Government from implementing a ban apart from their own stupid red herrings. It’s costing a fortune for the licence system when it would have cost nothing had they just used the amended Animal & Welfare Act to implement a ban.

“I’ve already done a lot of work regarding a ban, now it’s just getting F-ing ridiculous, makes me not proud to live in a Country that will probably be the last in the worl, to ban wild animals in circuses; when it should have been the first, as they have had years worth of undercover video to prove the beatings etc. I’m overwhelmed & shock at their disrespect for the majority of British public & back bench Ministers who want a ban on wild animals in circuses”

Owners say proposal is ‘disrespectful’ and could drive them out of business“Good”

A plan to force circuses to license all their lions, tigers and elephants – thrashed out after the Government shelved an outright ban on performing wild animals – could still drive many circuses out of business, owners have warned.

Circus representatives told ministers the compromise was “disrespectful”, imposed unreasonable costs and would stop them hitting animals to control and train them. Notes from a secret meeting between the sides, obtained by The Independent on Sunday, show that circuses were also angered by a government press statement headed “Animals deserve our respect”.

Animal-rights activists insisted the documents confirmed their “long-held concerns about the welfare of wild animals in circuses”.

The official report of the meeting, between senior figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, three circuses, the Performing Animals Welfare Standards International and the Classical Circus Association, said the costs to circuses were too high and “unreasonable”, given that a ban was still possible, and that the costs should be absorbed by the Government.

The document also reported that the circus delegates had complained that “no hitting at all ignores various circumstances (such as breaking up fights)”, and thatkeeping animals in exercise areas overnight [was] not possible or safe”. “Exactly, they are wild animals & should not be used for entertainment, if i was poked & prodded I would get pretty upset & want to plant someone…in the animals case…perhaps take off a leg or arm!!”

It added: “Animals have to be chained so that keepers can sleep. Tethers (chain or otherwise) are not only appropriate but vital. Elephants will sleep for five to ten hours every day as a minimum – [keepers] can’t sit and guard them for that time.”Well God forbid the keepers don’t get any sleep…F-ing stupid response”

One delegate, who asked not to be named, said: “We put forward constructive proposals, but there was no movement. They are asking us to pay to be licensed for three years and then banned at the end of it.”Why shouldn’t they pay?? Christ I have to pay a TV Licence to watch TV, along millions of other people…its all looking like like the circuses are only interested in the money they will lose, not the welfare of their animals…which should be the case!”

But Will Travers, chief executive of the Born Free Foundation, said the document showed that circuses “clearly want to continue to be able to hit animals under certain circumstances, to chain animals overnight and keep [them] in tiny spaces”. “That sums up a circus quite nicely Will, thanks!”

MPs called for a blanket ban last year, after well-publicised cases of animal cruelty in British circuses, but the Government initially opposed the move, fearing lawsuits from disgruntled owners. Robin Hargreaves, the president-elect of the British Veterinary Association, said: “The BVA has strongly supported a ban because we believe the welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within the environment of a travelling circus.” “If vets say the welfare of animals can’t be met, then they can’t be met, time to say bye bye to circuses. If only the public would stop going, I really can’t understand how, after all the documented brutality to the animals…that public still want to go!”

Martin Burton, owner of Zippo’s Circus – which does not use wild animals – said: “There are animal rights activists who lie and cheat and cause harm, but it is the circuses that the Government comes after.” Well of course a circus owner is going to say that..but pictures or video can only show & tell the truth!” 

News Link:-http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/circuses-blow-their-top-at-lion-licensing-plan-8326458.html

“Take a look at how animals are treated, then ask yourself whether it is fair to support the cruelty they face on a daily basis?”

Uploaded by  on 5 Dec 2006

The Truth About The
Treatment of Animals In Circuses

Filmed by Animal Defenders International,
this video lifts the lid on the use and abuse
of animals in entertainment.

• the violence used to train and control
the animals

• the small cages, temporary pens, and
chains the animals live and die in

• the long journeys

• the unnatural conditions

• the animals driven out of their minds
by boredom and deprivation

“There is only one sure fire way of stopping animals from being beaten in circuses around the world…

THAT’S FOR THE PUBLIC TO STOP GOING…IT’S IN YOUR HANDS …SO BLOODY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT…TAKING A CHILD TO A CIRCUS WILL ONLY TEACH THEM THAT IT’S OK FOR WILD ANIMALS OR ANY OTHER ANIMALS TO LIVE LIKE THAT…TAKE THEM TO A WELL A WILD LIFE SANCTUARY – THEY WILL LEARN MUCH MORE ABOUT THE ANIMALS THERE, PROMISE!!!

 

Charities Warning Of Potential Crisis For Horses And Ponies

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“Redwings is one of my favorite charities in the UK, they do immense work taking care of neglected, sick & abandoned horses; but their name is not as well known as World Horse Welfare etc. I support all equine charities, just wish I could help more.  I rescued 1 but can’t take anymore as I don’t have any fields anymore, I now keep mine in full livery (due to my disability)  which is expensive, but I know they are well taken care of. I do have several virtual adoptions & fosters, which is a great way to help the charities; without physically having the horses!

 Redwings is working alongside other welfare charities to call for government and public help in a landmark report that warns of an impending crisis in England and Wales which could leave the welfare of many thousands of horses at risk.

The report, ‘On the Verge: the approaching Equine Crisis in England and Wales’, predicts that another harsh winter will leave animal charities physically unable to cope and asks what will happen to the increasing numbers of horses being abandoned or suffering from welfare concerns

We are asking the public to rehome more horses; for horse owners to take responsibility for their animals and not pass the problem onto local authorities, charities and landowners; and for the Government and other agencies to meet us halfway and help rein in this problem before another winter of misery for hundreds of horses and ponies.

  • All the organisations have seen increasing numbers:
  • The RSPCA took in more than twice the number of horses, 304, between April 2011 and March 2012 as it did the previous year.
  • World Horse Welfare has seen the numbers of horses taken into its centres rise by 50% from 129 in 2006 to 194 in 2011 and has had to restrict admissions to the most severe cases.
  • Redwings has seen a 28 per cent increase in equines being taken in from 2006 to 2011 and has seen abandonments rise from 160 in 2009 to 450 in 2011. So far this year we have had an astonishing 636 horses and ponies reported to us as abandoned up to the end of September.
  • Last winter HorseWorld saw a threefold increase in the number of abandoned and neglected horses it rescued, compared with the previous year.

Nicolas de Brauwere, Head of Welfare at Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Chairman of the National Equine Welfare Council, said: “It is an extremely serious state of affairs. In February this year, for example, we had a situation where a group of more than 60 horses and ponies that had been left to fend for themselves in Wales were facing euthanasia by the local authority which had found itself in an impossible situation through the irresponsible actions of a callous owner. On that occasion several charities stepped up at the last moment and offered them a home, but we had to stretch ourselves and our teams to the limit to do so.

“Another case like that may be the final straw, which is why we urgently need the help and support of both the public and the government as this winter approaches.”

Overbreeding

Horses are still being bred on a large scale and continue to be imported from Ireland and the continent, despite there being no market for them. This has led to the market becoming saturated, with animals being sold at some markets for as little as £5.

Economic climate

Horses can cost up to £100 per week to look after and in the current financial climate, people try to cut back on vet costs, hoof care and feed. This inevitably leads to welfare problems.

Both factors have led to a visible increase in the problem of fly grazing – illegal grazing of horses on public and private land. Fly grazing is a problem for farmers, landowners and local authorities, and increasingly it is leading to welfare concerns, as too often these owners do not provide basic care for their animals.

RSPCA head of public affairs, David Bowles, said: “We have a perfect storm of horses continuing to be bred and imported to the UK adding to a rising population and people, suffering under the economic climate, cutting back on animal care bills.

“People need to start realising that there is very little financial reward in breeding horses and ponies, especially where there is poor husbandry or the animals have genetic problems. You won’t make your fortune, all you will have is lots of horses and animals on your hands which need feeding, shelter and care and which you will not be able to sell.”

  • What the Government can do:
  • The Government should introduce criminal legislation targeting fly grazing – punishing offenders with fines and seizure of horses
  • – Introduce legislation or mechanisms to better link horses to owners to tackle irresponsible ownership
  • – Increased intelligence-led enforcement of horse imports and exports
  • – Review the Tripartite agreement** that allows the import and export of vulnerable horses and ponies into and out of Britain from Ireland and France
  • – Encourage responsible breeding through guidance and education
  • – More assistance for local authorities including provision of places to keep horses on a temporary basis
  • – Improve enforcement and cooperation between enforcement agencies and charitiesWhat YOU can do:
  • – The horse owning public can play an important part by keeping on top of their own situation. If you need help, please contact our Welfare helpline on 01508 481008 for advice before the situation escalates into a welfare problem.
  • – If you think you could give a good new home to a horse or pony you can view the horses we have available for rehoming here: www.redwings.co.uk/rehoming. The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) is a membership organisation for over sixty horse charities and welfare organisations and details of how to rehome a horse from any of its members can be found at http://www.newc.co.uk/
  • – Members of the public can also write to their MP  (click the link below to send email) and ask them to lobby the Secretary of State Owen Paterson about the national horse crisis and ask him to support tougher laws to encourage responsible ownership and improve enforcement. http://campaign.publicaffairsbriefing.co.uk/emailsupport.aspx?cid=defb0b88-91af-4aab-a047-f6aff6db6c97

    Tiny Tilly was dumped on the side of a road with a severe leg injury

And of course, please continue to support us so we can help as many horses as we can, just like those below…and thank you for all your support in the past from everyone here at Redwings. Thank you!

Left on the verge

Horse welfare charities need your help to handle what could become a ‘horse crisis’ in England and Wales.

We are under immense pressure due to the increasing number of horses and ponies needing our help. There are 2,800 equines in our rehoming centres, which are now at capacity, and it is estimated that a further 6,000 horses are at risk in England and Wales. There is real concern that should there be another harsh winter, we will be physically unable to cope with the number of horses needing urgent care.

World Horse Welfare, the RSPCA, Redwings, The Blue Cross, The British Horse Society and HorseWorld are working together with the support of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) to try and overcome this crisis, and have produced a report showing the problem and our proposed solutions, but we also need the support of the horse owning public, government agencies and local authorities. 

Please help us by emailing your MP and asking them to support us in dealing with this crisis. We need Government support for the solutions in our report. By contacting Ministers, MPs can use their influence to help us – but we need you, their constituents, to ask them to do so.

News Link:http://www.redwings.org.uk/news-horsecrisis.php

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