Archive for June, 2010

Don’t forget the animals

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Dear Friends of Wildlife

The Budget – Yes. Cutbacks for animals – NO!

Well, it looks like pain all round – public employees, businesses, the less well off, the middle-class and the wealthy. Everyone is going to have to shoulder some pain to handle the public debt and who knows if the medicine will work.

But one thing is sure, we cannot let the animals that we care about be victims of this economic crisis. The dolphins stuck in a swimming pool in Turkey; two little chimps rescued from traders in Central Africa; the elephants confronted by the bloody ivory trade; the thousands of animals in slum zoos across Europe and the rest of the world; the wild animals still exploited in circuses in the UK; the millions of animals slaughtered for bushmeat; wild animals held by private individuals as ‘pets’; the rescued animals that we care for every single day in our sanctuaries around the world; the campaigns that we fight of behalf animals around the world who have no-one to speak for them except Born Free and you.

I am sure that as the financial changes just announced sink in, you will begin planning to manage your finances for the times ahead.

But I hope that you will decide to make animals in need a priority part of your plan, that you will include Born Free in your budget and that you will make sure that, as far as you can, the financial pain we will all feel does not mean more real suffering for animals in need.

My pledge to you as CEO of Born Free, as someone who has worked now for 26 years for a cause I truly believe in, is that with every penny, every pound that we receive we will do the very best we can to care for, protect, rescue and help the animals, whatever the future holds.

Blogging off

Will

Tiger and two camels stolen

Monday, June 21st, 2010

***Update***
LATEST NEWS JUNE 22: I am happy to report that, despite mounting fears for their welfare, the three animals have been found alive and well inside the abandoned trailer. However, this still leaves many more questions than answers: How did the two original drivers lose the animals in the first place? Who took them and why? Why are wild animals being shunted from location to location by Bowmanville Zoo in the first place and is this form of animal exploitation acceptable? Should the zoo, in fact, be reclassified as a kind of circus?

Details are still sketchy at this point, but we will let you know any further news when we get it.

Background story:

It was reported over the weekend (20th June) that a truck and trailer containing a tiger and two camels from a Zoo in Ontario, Canada, had been stolen.

En route from Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada, the truck and trailer containing the three animals disappeared when the driver parked them outside a motel for the night. Initial claims of an “opportunistic” robbery became increasingly unlikely when the truck, without trailer, was found 73km away from the site of the theft.

Born Free Foundation is particularly concerned that an unsecured trailer containing three wild animals was simply left outside a motel while the driver slept. Furthermore, the fact that a tiger, a large carnivore, and two camels were enclosed within this same trailer may have subjected the animals to significant levels of stress. Both these situations seem to show little regard for the animals’ welfare or for their safety.

Born Free hopes that this situation, which has become a worldwide news story, will be resolved as soon as possible for the sake of the animals. We also hope this is a ‘wake up call to the authorities in Ontario, exposing, as it does, their almost total lack of adequate regulation regarding the welfare, security and transport of wild animals. According to ZooCheck Canada, Ontario wild animal legislation does not have any licensing or permitting component that requires current or potential animal owners to have the necessary expertise, experience or financial wherewithal to properly house and care for wild animals.

The supplier of the animals, Bowmanville Zoo, offers Animal Encounters and Animal rides on its website, and is famous for hiring out its animals to the television and film industry – a form of animal exploitation that is becoming increasingly controversial. This, surely, is another area the authorities should bring under control.

In the meantime, we hope to hear soon that the animals are being well-cared for wherever they are.

Blogging off

Will