Malaysia closes 6 zoos over unsafe, unsanitary conditions

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KUALA LUMPUR: Animal rights activists are praising a government decision to close 6 zoos across the country after they failed to meet the new standards established by the Wildlife and National Parks Department.

The department said that the zoos are being closed after they failed to comply with the new measures and are unsanitary and unsafe for the animals.

They have also not complied with the Wildlife Conservation Regulations 2012, the new regulations regarding the country’s zoos, which came into effect February 1.

The 6 zoos to be closed are Lye Huat Garden in Kedah, Kuala Krai bird park in Kelantan, Countryview Recreation in Pahang, PD Mini Zoo in Negri Sembilan, Taman Kuang in Ajil, Terengganu, and Animal Wonderland at Mines Wonderland in Selangor.

The department said the 6 were closed following examinations by staff at 45 zoos and animal parks across Malaysia.

“All the affected animals will either be released to their natural habitats after a rehabilitation process (for local species) or handed over to other zoos in the country,” the department said in a statement on Wednesday.

Under the new regulations, zoos and animal parks are required to ensure that the welfare, health and safety of the animals are being closely monitored.

The closures also come as another set of regulations are to be established this month, but animal rights activists are tentatively optimistic they will make an impact.

Malaysian Animal Welfare Society president Shenaaz Khan told The Sun newspaper that she believes that without a strong enforcement operation, the laws are meaningless and zoos can continue to treat animals poorly.

Under these new regulations, even forcing animals to ride a bicycle and juggle balls is an act of cruelty to animals because it is not their natural behavior,” she said.

But she fears that without proper government enforcement and ending permits for new zoos in order to focus on the existing zoos and their conditions, these acts will persist.

The new regulations for zoos in Malaysia are in line with international standards, and have garnered the support from animal rights groups and activists, despite the worry over enforcement.

They include minimum cage sizes as well as having quarantine areas and a veterinary clinic or animal hospital with a full-time veterinary on site.

Shockingly, some “animal sanctuaries” in the country do not currently have an on-site veterinary to treat animal injuries.

Also, zoos and other facilities must deliver vaccinations to all animals, “supply nutritious and adequate food, maintain cleanliness and keep a proper medical record of the animals, perform euthanasia when necessary, conduct wildlife shows involving the animals’ natural  behaviour and submit a deposit to the Wildlife Department for the upkeep of animals in the event of a seizure.”

For the country’s local activist community, it is all part of new direction for Malaysia on animal issues and anti-cruelty measures.

“We have long struggled with these issues in Malaysia and finally there is some movement,” Mahathir Abdul Aziz told Bikyamasr.com. “I have been to these places and documented the poor conditions. Already, though I see places starting to change how they work and treat animals.”

News Link:http://www.bikyamasr.com/76498/malaysia-closes-6-zoos-over-unsafe-unsanitary-conditions/

 

Mark Dumas, Animal Trainer, Swims With Polar Bear In Pool (VIDEO)

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In a video that’s both nerve-wracking and beautiful, Mark Dumas swims with an 800-pound polar bear like it’s nothing out of the ordinary.

The experienced animal trainer has been working with Agee the polar bear since she was a cub. According to video released by Barcroft Media, the bear grew up in Dumas’ household, where she was bottle-fed and even played with the family’s pets.

In the clip, Dumas hugs and kisses the bear like an oversized toy as they continually wrestle on land and in the water.

It’s important to point out that exotic animals can be potentially dangerous and shouldn’t be kept as pets.

But while some may gawk at Dumas’ bold actions in disbelief, the trainer saysexperience has taught him how to interact with the animal.

“I have worked with bears for 40 years, so I can read Agee’s body language and know how to behave safely,” Dumas told the Sun in 2011.

Dumas and his wife, Dawn, own “Beyond Just Bears,” a company that trains animals for scenes in movies, television shows and advertisements. The pair have a combined 50 years experience working with animals on set.

Agee, which is touted as the only trained polar bear in North America, has starred in various commercials and even had a role in the movie “Alaska.”

According to the company’s website, “Beyond Just Bears” has worked with a variety of wild animals, including cougars, wolves and deer.

Nevertheless, the use of animals in the entertainment industry has come under scrutiny after multiple reported incidents of alleged animal abuse and deaths on movie and television sets.

News Link:-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/mark-dumas-man-swims-with-polar-bear_n_1568549.html

 

Published on 11 Apr 2012 by 

ABBOTSFORD, CANADA: Grizzly man Mark Dumas, 60, is the only man in the world who can touch a polar bear. And as these incredible pictures show the fearless bear handler from Abbotsford, British Columbia, even goes for dip in his swimming pool where he and 16-year-old polar bear Agee enjoy a watery cuddle together. Mark and wife Dawn, 60, train the 60-stone (800lb) friendly beast – the world’s largest land predator – to star in high-budget TV adverts. She has even performed in movies like ‘Alaska’ in 1995 when she was just a few weeks old. With his incredibly intimate bond Mark wrestles on the grass with Agee, kisses her, puts his head in her huge jaws, and even bear hugs her as she rears up on her hind legs to over seven feet. Mark and Dawn have owned Agee since she was six weeks old and the colossal mammal even lived in their home as a cub where she played with the family dogs and was bottle fed.

BAYWATCH babe Pamela Anderson has urged Euro 2012’s organisers to step in and stop Ukraine killing thousands of dogs for the tournament.

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The model today directly appealed to UEFA’s president Michel Platini to put an end to the slaughter, carried out to clean up the streets for the contest.

Blonde Pam, 44, spoke out after The Sun exclusively featured an investigation from animal rights group PETA on the cruelty.

The actress decided to hit back when she saw new footage from the German branch of the charity showing the heartless slayings are still going on.

In the letter to Mr Platini she said: “As the event’s host, UEFA is responsible for the suffering that animals endure for the sake of this football championship.

“UEFA should function as a role model for all parties involved in this event and take a stand in support of protecting Ukraine’s homeless animals.

“Please show cruelty to animals the ‘red card’ by demanding that the Ukrainian government stop the mass killings of homeless dogs.”

Pam’s intervention came after investigators discovered dogs were still being shot, poisoned and hanged by street-cleaning squads.

It is still going on despite Ukraine’s environment ministry in November urging the country’s municipalities to stop and build shelters for them.

The slayings disgusted millions of Sun readers when we revealed the investigation’s findings in December last year.

Ukraine is co-hosting the tournament but there is no evidence of any wrongdoing in Poland.

UEFA said it had done everything it could to stop any problem but told The Sun it would look at any new evidence.

A spokesman said: “UEFA has repeatedly contacted the Ukrainian authorities, asking for appropriate measures to be developed that respect the dignity of animals.

UEFA also made a donation to the Kiev branch of the Society for the Protection of Animals to help finance its activities and has acted as a link between specialised animal protection entities and the authorities to allow for adequate solutions to be put in place.

“Following several encounters between UEFA and the Ukrainian authorities, the environment minister of Ukraine, Mykola Zlochevsky, officially announced an immediate ban on the killing of stray dogs.

“The Ukrainian authorities also informed that animal shelters would be built and that animals that could not be housed there would be sterilised before being released. New laws will also be adopted to make it compulsory for city mayors to enforce such new regulations or run the risk of facing prosecution.”

News Link:-http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4296093/Pamela-Anderson-to-Euro-2012-football-chief-Michel-Platini-stop-the-dogs-slaughter.html

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