Animal Welfare Board of India bans circus use of elephants

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November/December 2013:
MUMBAI––The Animal Welfare Board of India on November 15,
2013 announced that it will no longer license elephants for circus use,
and will prosecute circuses that use sick, injured, and unlicensed
animals.
The AWBI acted in response to a nine-month investigation by a
team including representatives from the advocacy organizations
PETA/India and Animal Rahat, reported Vijay Singh of the Times of
India.
“PETA/India’s findings will be forwarded to the Central Zoo
Authority for further action,” Singh added.
The Central Zoo Authority in November 2009 decreed that
elephants may no longer be exhibited by zoos and circuses, but had been
unable to enforce the decree against circuses while the Animal Welfare
Board continued to authorize elephant use.
The Supreme Court of India in 2001 upheld a ban on the use of
bears, monkeys, and big cats in circuses. More than 280 lions, 40
tigers, and scores of aging ex-performing bears were transferred to
CZA-accredited Animal Rescue Centres near Agra, Bangalore, Bhopal,
Chennai, Jaipur, Tirupati, and Visakhapatnam. Since many of those
animals are now deceased, some of the Animal Rescue Centre space may
now be converted to house ex-circus elephants.
India has about 3,500 captive elephants, the most of any
nation; a 3,500-year history of elephant use and exhibition; about
28,000 elephants left in the wild, more than half of the total
population of Asian elephants; and the longest record of protecting
both elephants and elephant habitat, beginning about 2,240 years ago.

Closing live markets stopped killer flu

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)  

HONG KONG–Closing 780 live poultry markets in the Chinese cities of Shanghai,  Hangzhou,  Huzhou and Nanjing stopped an April 2013 outbreak of a deadly new subtype of the H7N9 avian flu strain,  confirmed Hong Kong University researchers Hongjie Yu,  Joseph T. Wu,  Benjamin J. Cowling with data published in the October 31,  2013 edition of The Lancet.  Read more

Taiji plans swim-with-dolphins attraction

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

TAIJI,  Japan––Notorious as scene of the dolphin massacres shown by the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove,  Taiji “has begun researching a plan to section off part of a cove and turn it into a place where people can swim in the water and kayak alongside small whales and dolphins,”  Agence France-Presse reported in October 2013,  confirming rumors circulating since March 2012. Read more

Illegally captured Korean dolphins freed

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

The Korean Animal Welfare Association in July 2013 celebrated the successful release of the bottlenose dolphins Sampal and Chunsam,  shown en route to release,  and Jedol,  who were the surviviors among 11 dolphins who were illegally captured in  2009 for the Jeju Pacific Land marine park. Jeju District Court Judge Kim Kyeong-seon in April 2012  fined Jeju Pacific Land $9,000,  issued suspended jail sentences to the company president and one employee,  and ordered that the five dolphins from the illegal capture who were still alive and still at the marine park be released.  Five dolphins had died. Jedol had reportedly been traded to the Seoul Grand Park Zoo for two sea lions.   Read more

China drops animal testing rule for cosmetics, shampoos & perfumes

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.) 

BEIJING––Effective on June 1,  2014 China will no longer require that cosmetics,  shampoos,  and perfumes be tested on animals,   the China Food & Drug Administration announced on November 5,  2013. Instead of having to submit products to CFDA laboratories for testing,  Chinese manufacturers will be allowed to submit the product safety data compiled to demonstrate the safety of raw ingredients,  which may include data from past animal testing.  Alternatively,  the manufacturers may submit the data from non-animal safety testing methods accepted by the 27-nation European Union.  Read more

Jakarta and other Indonesian cities move against monkey acts

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  October 2013: (Actually published on November 20,  2013.)

JAKARTA––It’s curtains for street corner monkey acts in northwestern Java,  hopes Jakarta Animal Aid Network founder Femke Den Haas.  Locally called topang monyet,  meaning “masked monkeys,”  the acts have proliferated over the past decade,  becoming a JAAN campaign target in 2009. Read more

Ending animal acts boosts Nanjing Zoo paid attendance

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

NANJING,  China––Ending trained animal acts in 2011 led to two consecutive years of record attendance at Nanjing Zoo,  show attendance figures obtained by the Animals Asia Foundation.  The Nanjing Zoo attracted 867,513 visitors in 2010,  the last year that the zoo featured animal acts,  but drew more than a million visitors each in 2011 and 2012. “Too often zoos fail to realize that they are losing customers because appetites for animal performances and exploitation are diminishing fast,”  commented Animals Asia Foundation welfare director Dave Neale.

Vietnam agrees to five-year suspension of dog imports to control rabies

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  September 2013: (Actually published on October 8,  2013)

HANOI––“After two days of sometimes difficult negotiation and discussion,  representatives from the governments of Thailand,  Vietnam, Laos,  and Cambodia meeting in Hanoi,  Vietnam,  have agreed to a five-point program, to end the dog meat trade and eliminate rabies, including a five-year ban on the import of dogs from other countries into Vietnam,”  Soi Dog Foundation president John Dalley announced on August 29,  2013. Read more

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