Campaigners welcome SNP move to ban wild animals in travelling circuses

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“Well let’s hope this has more luck than the supposed ban on animals in circuses in England…which after several years of being promised is still no further on; pitiful & Lame! Scotland I hope you implement the new laws quickly & put England to shame!”

By:-Daniel Sanderson, Scottish Political Correspondent

The move follows concern over the treatment of animals exploited to entertain circus crowds

ANIMAL rights campaigners have welcomed a commitment to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in Scotland.

The move would deliver on an SNP manifesto commitment and follows a 2014 consultation in which 98 per cent of the public backed a ban.

That year, it emerged that two lions and three tigers were spending the winter in small cages in Aberdeenshire, leading ministers to commit to “look carefully” at introducing legislation.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman confirmed that it now “intends to ban the use of wild animals in travelling circuses.” She added: “We are currently investigating the best mechanism for introducing legislation on ethical grounds and will make further announcements in due course.”

The Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity, said it was “delighted” with the pledge, which means Scotland is on course to become the first part of the UK to introduce a ban, although they are widespread across the world.

However, it said questions remained over the timescale and called for swift action. Chris Draper, programmes manager for captive wild animals, said: The Government in Westminster has promised a similar ban in England but has not proceeded with bringing in the already-written legislation. We would hate to see Scotland replicate the mistakes and delays that have occurred south of the border, and urge the Scottish Government to act swiftly to end the practice once and for all.”

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and its Scottish Branch also welcomed the announcement.

A spokesman said: “The welfare needs of non-domesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus in terms of housing nor being able to express normal behaviour. While this specific issue may not affect a great number of individual animals in the UK, we nevertheless believe it is emblematic of the way we treat all animals under human care.

“We are pleased to see the new Scottish Government not only identifying opportunities to improve animal health and welfare in Scotland, but taking hold of these opportunities with both hands – and we would urge other UK Governments to follow their lead.”

News Link:-http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/14556767.Campaigners_welcome_SNP_move_to_ban_wild_animals_in_travelling_circuses/

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Rare Asian bird kKlled By Wind Turbine As Avid Spotters Watched

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One of the world’s fastest birds has died after flying into a wind turbine as scores of people watched.

The white-throated needletail, which is native to Asia, was spotted on the Isle of Harris, off the west coast of Scotland, this week and is believed to have arrived on Monday.

Bird spotters travelled to the island to catch a glimpse of the bird and many posted pictures on Twitter, but they then saw it die when it flew into a community-owned wind turbine on Wednesday.

The Rare Bird Alert, an on-line service that notifies users of sightings, had passed on reports of the white-throated needletail on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the service said users had told them the bird died on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, the service tweeted: “The white-throated needletail on Harris flew into a wind turbine and has died, pathetic way for such an amazing bird to die.”

The needletail is a migrating bird and is black with white patches around its throat and undertail. It is small but has a large wingspan and is said to be able to fly up to 70mph.

A spokeswoman for the RSPB Scotland said they did not know the exact details of the case but migrating birds can be blown off course when travelling and the needletail may have lost its bearings and ended up in Harris.

She added: “Whilst the collision of this unusual visitor with a small domestic wind turbine is very unfortunate, incidents of this sort are really very rare.

“Careful choice of location and design of wind farms and turbines prevents, as much as possible, such occurrences happening on a large scale.

“Wind energy makes a vital contribution towards mitigating the impacts of climate change, which is the biggest threat to our native birds and wildlife.”

News Link:-http://news.stv.tv/scotland/231100-rare-asian-bird-killed-by-wind-turbine-while-migrating-to-scotland/

Man Forced To Shoot His Own Dog After Seal Attack In Scotland

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A CALL for a seal cull in one of Scotland’s nature reserves was made last night after a dog mauled by a seal had to be ­destroyed.

Matthew Will had to shoot his dog after it was attacked by a seal

• Dog owner forced to shoot pet after it was attacked by seal

Matthew Will said he had to shoot his black labrador, Fly, after it was severely injured by a bull seal in a stream on the Ythan estuary in Aberdeenshire.

Wild fowler Mr Will was shooting ducks when his three-year-old labrador ran into the water to retrieve a downed bird. Fly was dragged under the water and bitten by a seal more than twice the dog’s size.

It was the latest in a series of seal attacks on dogs at the estuary, which borders the Forvie National Nature Reserve, owned by Scottish Natural Heritage and home to more than 1,000 grey and common seals.

Last night, Audrey Forbes-Clarke, the fishery manager for the local Udny Trust, called for a licensed cull at the estuary to combat an “explosion” in seal numbers.

She warned it was only a matter of time before humans were attacked, declaring: “Children are paddling there in the ­summer and they will be fair game for the seals as well.”

Mr Will, 21, of Inverugie, ­Peterhead, had earlier spoken of his terror when his pet was attacked last Friday after it entered the Tarty Burn.

He said: “There was a sudden and terrific thrashing and howling in the water.

This huge seal – more than twice the size of the dog – was flinging Fly around and pulling him under the water. I was horrified. The seal was enormous. It was terrible.”

Mr Will finally succeeded in driving off the seal and dragged his badly mutilated pet to the bank.

“Fly was horribly injured. Both his hind legs were completely crushed and mangled, his rib-cage smashed and his left eye torn out. He was pouring with blood and in spasms of agony,” said Mr Will.

Grief-stricken, Mr Will decided to shoot Fly rather than prolong his suffering.

Mrs Forbes-Clarke said that she had put up warning signs about the risk of seal attacks earlier this year after a Labrador owned by a local hotelier was bitten by a seal. Another seal attacked two dogs owned by a local woman.

Mrs Forbes-Clarke said: “What worries me most is the human factor. One of our regular fishermen was chased out of the water by a seal earlier this year and he said he has never been so terrified in all his life.

She added that there had been an “explosion” in common and grey seal numbers in the ­estuary since the local coastal netting fishery, which had a license to shoot seals marauding their nets, was bought out.

“Every year the numbers are escalating because they are breeding and there is nothing and no-one to control them, and we desperately need a cull to control their numbers,” she said.

Callan Duck, a senior research scientist at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews University, said it was a “particularly unusual” incident.

He added: “Normally seals are not aggressive. I have never heard of anything like that at all. If I had a dog, I wouldn’t be worried about letting it go into the water if there were seals around. I would be more concerned about the dog scaring the seals.

News Link:-http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/calls-for-seal-cull-after-aberdeen-man-s-dog-mauled-by-bull-seal-1-2566386

 

Dog fighting for survival after spending eight days lying by dead owner

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“Oh…this is just heartbreaking, that is one little dog who has, what I wish all dogs could have…Love…unconditional love from the owner to to the dog, from the dog to the owner! Praying the little guy will make it & hopefully, find room in his heart to love & be loved again…watch the video at the link below! 

Vets are battling to save the life of a dog who is believed to have spent up to eight days lying beside the body of his dead owner.

The devoted Jack Russell cross, aptly named Jack, was discovered extremely emaciated and dehydrated at the pensioner’s side last week.

But, despite being hours from death, the loyal nine-year-old pet was devastated to be prized away from the remains of the 72-year-old woman, who had adopted him from a rescue home five years ago.

The identity of the deceased owner is being closely guarded until all family members have been informed of her passing, but she is understood to be a retired nurse who moved to Scotland as a young woman.

Worried friends visited her remote countryside home at Kinnell, near Arbroath, Angus, when they hadn’t heard from her in over a week before finding her dead.

The cause of the woman’s death is unclear as yet, but it is understood she died of natural causes.

Jack was rushed to a local veterinary practice, where he has spent the last few days undergoing intensive treatment.

He is now being cared for at the Arbroath home of Ian Robb, founder of the Help for Abandoned Animals Charity, who said on Wednesday that the dog’s condition is still “touch and go”.

Mr Robb said: “The wee man is not out of the woods yet. He is a very, very sad wee boy at the moment.“He was found by this lady’s side and we believe he could have been there for eight days. We think he was less than a day from death.”

Video & News Link:http://news.stv.tv/tayside/115478-dog-fighting-for-survival-after-spending-eight-days-lying-by-dead-owner/

“Thanks to StrayWays on Twitter for link”

Horse-cruelty woman wins fight to keep dogs

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A PENSIONER convicted of neglecting horses in one of the worst cases its kind in Scotland has won a legal battle to keep pet dogs at her home.

Valerie Pritchard was banned from owning animals for life after she was found guilty of failing to look after more than 20 horses at her farm near Cuminestown.

Animal welfare officers found the semi-feral herd underweight, infested with lice and with badly maintained hooves. The carcase of one horse was found in the field, while one filly was in such poor condition she had to be put down by a vet.

For the full story, pick up a copy of today’s Press and Journal or read our digital edition now

News Link:-http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/2743940

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