The dogs will receive veterinary care before being placed for adoption

Humane Society International / Mexico


Meredith Lee/HSI

AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico—Twenty-three dogs have been rescued from a house in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in what rescuers describe as some of the most squalid and filthy conditions they have ever witnessed. The State Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROESPA), teamed up with Humane Society International/México and Amigos Pro Animal to seize the desperate animals after receiving a report of serious animal cruelty and neglect. On entering the house, the dogs were found living in tiny enclosures without food or water, many of them emaciated, and the floor covered in feces.

Felipe Márquez Muñoz, animal cruelty program manager at Humane Society International/México, who was one of the responders on the scene, said: “These dogs had been left to fend for themselves in absolutely squalid conditions, some of the worst I have ever seen. Their paws were red and sore from standing in their own feces, many of the animals were emaciated and dangerously dehydrated. When we arrived, they were extremely excited to see us and desperate for attention. If we had not intervened, I dread to think what would have happened to them. Now they are getting the care they so desperately need and will have a chance to be adopted into loving families.”

The report that alerted PROESPA to this case is one of hundreds received by the agency. Records up to October 2021 show that 65% of the 1,500 reports the agency received pertained to animal abuse.

The dogs’ owner voluntarily surrendered the dogs to the authorities, and they were immediately transferred to a temporary shelter funded by HSI/México and set up specifically for the case, where they are receiving urgent veterinary treatment and behavioral assessment so that once they are recovered they can be put up for adoption. Amigos Pro Animal in association with HSI/México, holds weekly adoption events and activities in Aguascalientes to find homes for neglected, abandoned and abused animals.

Download photos and video of the rescue.

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Media contact on behalf of Humane Society International/México: Magaly Garibay: (+52 55) 5211 8731, ext. 104; mgaribay@idee.agencia

Humane Society International / Global


Mice in a cage
Guven Polat/istock

SEOUL—Humane Society International/Korea has issued an urgent call for the National Assembly to enact legislation to reverse the alarming and unconscionable increase in cruel animal testing. Statistics published this month by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency reveal that animal use has increased dramatically over the past five years, from 3.08million in 2017 to 4.9million in 2021, with nearly half (45%) of all animals subject to the most severe pain and suffering since 2017. These statisitcs show no commitment from the government to reduce, refine and ultimately replace the use of animals for testing.

So-called “Grade E” experiments subject animals to extreme distress, unrelieved pain and death. The proportion of these especially cruel experiments occurring in Korea (45%) is dramatically higher than in Canada (1.8%), the European Union (11%) or any other developed countries. A common example of “Grade E” experiments are  lethal poisoning tests in which animals are forced to swallow or inhale a massive dose of  industrial chemicals, pesticides or other products and are observed for up to two weeks for signs of toxic reactions. These  can include seizures and other neurological impairment, hypersalivation, diarrhea, lethargy, coma and death. Other examples include extremely invasive surgical procedures induction of severe stress or shock, burn or trauma infliction on unanesthetized animals, or any experiment where pain cannot be prevented or effectively managed.

Last year, the Ministry of Environment announced its ambition for most new chemical test data to be non-animal by 2030. However, the new statistics reveal a 119% increase in animal use for chemical testing, suggesting that a major regulatory intervention is necessary to meet MOE’s 2030 vision.

The statistics also show a 50% increase in animal use for basic research. This research   studies fundamental biology, physiology, biochemistry, etc. This trend illustrates a failure by research funding bodies in Korea to prioritize funding for human-centered, non-animal technologies. This preferred testing includes  computational systems, organoids and organ-on-chips, which are ideally suited for studies of basic biology.

These negative animal welfare trends are further exacerbated by government and private companies’ decisions to fund the expansion of animal testing infrastructure by constructing new laboratory animal buildings. For example, Jeju National University secured 123,000 dollars of budget to build a new laboratory animal center by 2024.

The Act on the Promotion of Development, Dissemination and Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing Methods (Paam Act) was designed to reverse these backward lab animal testing trends by requiring Korean regulatory and research ministries to work together to develop long-term roadmaps with the goals of:

  • prioritizing research development of state-of-art methods that better mimic human biology rather than cruel and outdated animal models.
  • encouraging authorities to revise regulatory testing requirements to more rapidly phase-in animal-free approaches which support advancements in medicine and consumer safety without harming animals.

HSI/Korea Senior Policy Manager Borami Seo said, “The increase of laboratory animals does not correlate to the advancement of medicine, consumer safety or environmental protection. Modern non-animal technologies can simulate human biology more accurately than tests on monkeys, mice or dogs. We are living in an era that celebrates innovation, and it’s time for Korean central ministries to commit to a future without animal testing. Assembly members can lay the foundation for this shift by enacting the Paam Act.”

View the 2021 laboratory animal statistics report.

ENDS

Media contact: Borami Seo: bseo@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Global


Andy Gent

CANNES, France—Save Ralph, the star-studded stop-motion animated short film by Humane Society International, has been awarded the Grand Prix for Good, prestigious recognition as the top non-profit film entered into this year’s Cannes Lions Festival. Save Ralph, which HSI created to build support to ban cosmetics testing on animals worldwide, also was awarded Gold in the non-profit film category. The Cannes Lions Awards are recognised as one of the most prestigious global awards in creative excellence and the Grand Prix for Good recognizes and celebrates the use of creativity to positively impact brands and the world at large.

Save Ralph features a star-studded cast including Oscar-winner Taika Waititi as Ralph, along with Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff and Tricia Helfer. The film was also produced or subtitled in multiple languages to support HSI’s efforts to influence lawmakers in Canada, Brazil, Chile, Europe, Mexico, Southeast Asia, South Korea and beyond. The film was written and directed by Spencer Susser and produced by Jeff Vespa and the Arch Model studio of puppet-maker supreme Andy Gent.

Donna Gadomski, Humane Society International’s senior director of external affairs and Save Ralph executive producer, was in Cannes to accept the Grand Prix for Good award and said: “We are absolutely ecstatic that Save Ralph was awarded the Grand Prix for Good. This prestigious recognition by the Cannes Lions jury is an honor and a testament to Ralph’s powerful message that testing cosmetics on animals is cruel and needs to stop. It was truly a privilege to accept this award on behalf of the extraordinary Save Ralph filmmakers and the brilliant HSI team working tirelessly around the world to end cosmetics animal testing for good. We are very grateful to Cannes Lions for this high-profile opportunity to keep the issue in the global spotlight and we hope that it adds momentum to our efforts to end this unnecessary cruelty.”

Andy Gent, Save Ralph puppet maker and set designer said: “A few small stop motion frames in camera and one giant leap forward for animal testing kind.”

Although banned in 41 countries, cosmetics animal testing is still perfectly legal in most of the world, and tragically is making a comeback in Europe, subjecting untold thousands of animals to needless suffering and death. Save Ralph features HSI’s spokesbunny Ralph, as he goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab—using the story of one bunny to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals suffering in laboratories around the world, engaging citizens to become part of the solution.

In some parts of the world, rabbits like Ralph are locked in neck restraints and have cosmetic products and chemicals dripped in their eye and on to the shaved skin on their back. Guinea pigs and mice have the chemicals spread on their shaved skin or on their ears. None of these animals are given pain relief, and all of them will be killed at the end.

Watch Save Ralph and find pictures of the Cannes Lions Festival’s Ceremony

Europeans can help animals like Ralph by signing the citizens’ initiative at SaveCrueltyFree.eu, and others can help by signing HSI’s global petition.

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Media contact: Cassie Bodin-Duval, international coordinator in media relations: cbodinduval@hsi.org

Campaigners saved 50+ terrified dogs from his slaughterhouse; dogs to be available for adoption in Canada

Humane Society International


Ekky Bogor/AP Images for HSI Lola Webber hugs the dog once more to show what kind of treatment that it deserve as a living being.

CENTRAL JAVA, Indonesia—A dog slaughterhouse owner in Sukoharjo, Indonesia who bought and killed thousands of dogs every year for human consumption has been sentenced to 12 months in jail and a fine of 150 million Rupiah ($10,000 USD). More than 50 terrified dogs were rescued during a police interception at his property last year, and were cared for by campaigners from the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition. The dogs had been trafficked from West Java on a grueling 365-mile journey, tied up in sacks and many had their muzzles bound shut. DMFI member groups Humane Society International and Jakarta Animal Aid Network are preparing to fly the dogs to Canada to seek adoption and help them put the trauma of Indonesia’s dog meat trade behind them.

Suseno, the slaughterhouse owner, was found guilty of breaking Law 18 of 2009 chapter 89 regarding animal health and husbandry. The trade within which he operated sees pet and roaming dogs stolen from the streets in West Java to meet demand in dog meat eating hotspots in Central Java. One such hotspot is the city of Solo, the birthplace of Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo, where an estimated 13,700 dogs are killed for meat every month. Across Indonesia, an estimated one million dogs are killed annually. The DMFI coalition is calling for a national ban on the brutal trade.

This marks the country’s third conviction of a dog meat trafficker since the national government’s declaration in 2018 that “dogs are not food.” The Dog Meat Free Indonesia coalition applauds the Sukoharjo police for pursuing the case but says only a nationwide ban and zero-tolerance enforcement will stamp out the cruelty of this dangerous trade.

Karin Franken of Jakarta Animal Aid Network and national DMFI coordinator, said: “The Sukoharjo police are to be congratulated for not giving up, and using the laws available to them to secure this conviction. But our police forces could be greatly helped in cracking down on this cruelty if only the government introduced an explicit national ban on the dog meat trade. The brutal trafficking and butchering of companion animals is rife in many parts of Indonesia, including president Jokowi’s home city, making a mockery of the government’s public statements that dogs are not food. Criminals like Suseno need to be brought to justice to protect animal welfare and public health from this crime-fueled, disease-spreading and cruel trade.”

Bali-based Lola Webber, Humane Society International’s director of campaigns to End Dog Meat, was at the police interception to help rescue the 50+ dogs. Webber recalls: “Seeing the terrified and traumatized faces of those dogs huddled together in the back of the truck is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. They were skin and bone, dehydrated, weak and bewildered. But at the Dog Meat Free Indonesia shelter we’ve been able to heal their fragile bodies and give them the love and care they deserve. Soon, we will fly them to Canada where they will be available for families to adopt them into loving homes. It’s very satisfying knowing that the man who caused them so much suffering is going to prison, but many more dogs will continue to suffer until a definitive law is in place.”

Nationwide opinion polls show that only a small minority of Indonesians (4.5%) ever consume dog meat, and 93% of all Indonesians support a ban. Despite this, over one million dogs are still stolen, trafficked, slaughtered and sold for human consumption every year across Indonesia, jeopardizing anti-rabies efforts and representing a substantial public health threat. Rabies is endemic across most of Indonesia, with only eight provinces holding rabies-free status. With dogs being routinely stolen from rabies positive areas and trafficked into rabies-free areas, the dog meat trade actively undermines attempts to control the deadly disease.

Dog meat trade facts:

  • Dog theft for the meat trade is a serious problem in Indonesia. Dog Meat Free Indonesia has interviewed many residents who have described their terrifying ordeal with armed traders stealing their pets at night. Despite the obvious law-breaking, thefts are rarely taken seriously by law enforcement, so the thieves often go unpunished.
  • The dog meat trade in banned in 17 cities and regencies across Indonesia: Karanganyar, Sukoharjo, Salatiga city, Malang, Semarang city, Semarang Regency, Blora Regency, Brebes Regency, Purbalingga Regency, Magelang city, Jepara, Blitar city, Mojokerto City, Mojokerto Regency, Temanggung, Magelang Regency and Medan city.
  • Across Asia, opposition to the dog and cat meat trades is increasing, with an ever-growing number of countries and territories (Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and two major cities in mainland China) banning the trade in and slaughter, sale and consumption of dogs. In September 2021, South Korea’s then President Moon Jae-in suggested it could be time to consider a dog meat ban, and a government-initiated task force is currently considering the issue. President Yoon Suk-yeol has stated he would not oppose a dog meat ban provided there is social consensus.
  • The Dog Meat Free Indonesia campaign comprises local campaigners Jakarta Animal Aid Network and Animals Friends Jogja, and international groups Humane Society International, Four Paws and Animals Asia.
  • The rescue of dogs at the Sukoharjo interception was conducted under COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, and a veterinarian was on site throughout. At the DMFI shelter the dogs received rabies, DHPP, coronavirus, distemper and parvo vaccinations. The dogs also underwent quarantine for at least 30 days, and will be health certified again prior to transport overseas.

ENDS

Download Photos/Videos

Media Contacts:

  • Lola Webber, Humane Society International’s End Dog Meat campaign director, and Dog Meat Free Indonesia international coordinator; Tel: +6281337408768 E-mail: Lwebber@hsi.org
  • Karin Franken, Jakarta Animal Aid Network Founder, and  national coordinator Dog Meat Free Indonesia Coalition Tel: +6282122487794 E-mail: jaan_adopt@yahoo.com

Humane Society International helps animals caught up in the war

Humane Society International / Global


Giovanni Tesei

LVIV—A truck loaded with 23 tonnes of emergency pet food and supplies for the dogs and cats caught up in the war in Ukraine, has arrived safely in Lviv where it will be distributed to families, shelters and veterinary surgeries struggling to care for their animals during the conflict. The aid has been supplied by animal protection organization Humane Society International, and includes pet food, carriers, collars and leashes, kennels, and a wide range of essential veterinary supplies such as parasite treatment and disinfectant. Kyiv-based animal welfare organization, Uanimals, which has been helping animals in Ukraine since war broke out, met the truck in Lviv and will distribute the aid throughout the country to support animals in need and the people caring for them.

The transport left Trieste, Italy on 24th May, organized by HSI’s team in Italy in coordination with international shipping company Alfa Spedizioni Srl, which offered free brokerage services.

Martina Pluda, HSI/Europe’s director for Italy, said: “In recent months and weeks in Ukraine, thousands of families with pets, hundreds of shelters, veterinary clinics and rescue centres, have found it increasingly difficult to find food and provide care for their animals. We are pleased to be able to strengthen our support for UAnimals with this vital aid to sustain hundreds of dogs and cats in Ukraine, many of whom are in desperate need of food. This war has certainly shown how deep the relationship between people and animals is, to such an extent that many risk their lives to avoid leaving their animals. We hope this pet aid truck will bring hope and help to those caring for the animals of war.”

Olga Chevganiuk, cofounder of UAnimals, said: “UAnimals is extremely grateful for the constant support of Humane Society International which since the beginning of the war has enabled us to deliver animal supplies to the most dangerous areas of Ukraine, amongst other activities. Pet food and medicines will be distributed to many animal shelters and owners, particularly in the East: Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia. Thank you HSI for standing for every life!”

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Humane Society International has been active in helping people and their pets caught up in the conflict. In Italy, Germany, Romania and Poland, HSI is helping refugees arriving with their pets, working with local organizations to provide food, first aid and support. In addition, with the “Vets for Ukrainian Pets” programme, HSI offers free veterinary care in 38 European countries to pets fleeing Ukraine with their families. HSI is also urging airlines and bus companies to authorize pet-friendly passage for refugees travelling with animals to avoid pets being left behind at airports and train stations. Inside Ukraine, HSI has been working with UAnimals since early in the war to provide the organization with the funds it needs to help rescues, veterinary clinics and even zoos care for animals in Ukraine.

Download Photos/Videos

 Reference in this article to any specific commercial product or service, or the use of any brand, trade, firm or corporation name is for the information of the public only, and does not constitute or imply endorsement by Humane Society International or any of its affiliates of the product or service, or its producer or provider.

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 Media contacts:

Yulin authorities urged to ban Summer solstice dog meat event to protect public health and animal welfare

Humane Society International


Vshine

Chinese animal activists intervened to save the life of the last dog found alive at a dog meat shop in Yulin, Guangxi province, a month before the city’s summer solstice dog meat eating gets underway. The dog, named Lucky by his rescuers, was found chained up outside the shop, with a dog meat for sale sign in front of him. The Akita was the last dog of the day due scheduled for slaughter before the activists persuaded the shop keeper to give him up. There were obvious signs he had once been a pet dog and had therefore likely been stolen by dog thieves.

In light of China’s COVID-19 precautions, Chinese animal activists are urging Yulin authorities to ban the city’s annual June gathering for the so-called “Lychee and dog meat festival” for which the slaughter of dogs and cats for consumption increases. Launched in 2010 by dog meat traders to boost flagging sales, the event starts on June 21st and can attract thousands of visitors from across the province in southern China, who gather to eat dog meat stew and crispy dog meat at the city’s restaurants and stalls. Activists are appealing to local authorities to stop the mass public gathering from going ahead, to protect public health and animal welfare.

Liang Jia, a Guangxi activist, said: “The streets of Yulin are relatively quiet right now, and although you can see a few dog meat shops, stalls and dog slaughterhouses like normal, it’s nothing compared to how it will look in mid-June. While elsewhere in China, cities are in COVID-19 lockdown, it makes no sense for Yulin dog meat traders to be allowed to encourage visitors to travel across the province and into the city. As well as the appalling animal cruelty that will take place with thousands of dogs and cats bludgeoned to death, it’s an obvious public health risk. The Yulin authorities should be taking this seriously because it would be hugely embarrassing for the Yulin dog meat festival to become a super-spreader event.”

Most people in China don’t eat dogs, and even in Yulin, polls show that most citizens (72%) don’t regularly eat dog despite efforts by dog meat traders to promote it. Nationwide, there is significant Chinese opposition to the dog meat trade as concern for animal welfare grows. In 2020, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs made an official statement that dogs are companion animals and not “livestock” for eating. That same year, two major cities in mainland China – Shenzhen and Zhuhai – banned the consumption of dog and cat meat, a decision polling showed was supported by nearly 75% of Chinese citizens.

Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for Humane Society International which supports the care of dogs rescued from China’s meat trade, said: “Lucky had a narrow escape because only one blowtorched dog carcass was left on sale at the shop, meaning he would have been next. But Lucky is just one of millions of dogs who suffer at the hands of dog traders across China, and one of thousands who end up in Yulin for the summer solstice event. His rescuers say he was super friendly, used to walking on a leash and happily jumped into the back of the activists’ car without hesitation, so it seems clear that he was once someone’s pet, and indeed many of the dogs killed for meat are pets stolen from back yards, outside shops and even from cars. COVID-19 precautions add another compelling reason to crack down on dog trade gatherings like this, in addition to the brutal cruelty and criminal activity.”

Download photos & video here.

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Media Contacts: 

  • United Kingdom: Wendy Higgins, HSI director of international media: whiggins@hsi.org

Humane Society International/Korea says taskforce is vital to “close this miserable chapter in South Korea’s history”

Humane Society International / South Korea


Jean Chung for HSI Dogs are shown locked in a cage at a dog meat farm in Hongseong, South Korea. The operation is part of HSI’s efforts to fight the dog meat trade throughout Asia.

SEOUL—The South Korean government taskforce deliberating a ban on the country’s dog meat industry has announced a delay of two months in publishing its recommendations. Humane Society International/Korea, which has rescued more than 2,500 dogs from South Korea’s dog meat industry, says opinion polls show public support for ending the industry, with nearly 84% of South Koreans not eating dog, and almost 60% favoring a ban.

Lola Webber, Humane Society International’s End Dog Meat campaign director, says: “With more than one million dogs a year needlessly suffering for a meat that hardly anyone eats, and with so many dog farmers struggling to make a living in light of dwindling consumer demand, we hope that the taskforce will deliver a bold plan to close this miserable chapter in South Korea’s history. As a candidate, President-elect Yoon Seok-yeol pledged support for ending dog meat provided there is social consensus, and opinion polls show we’ve reached a tipping point in public opinion, so we hope to see that momentum for change reflected when the taskforce makes its recommendations.”

The taskforce was established last year to assess social consensus after President Moon Jae-in suggested the time is right to consider a ban. President-elect Yoon has three cats and four dogs, including Tori the rescued Jindo, a breed typically found on dog meat farms.

Since 2015, HSI/Korea’s Models for Change program has helped dog farmers in South Korea transition to new, more humane and profitable livelihoods such as chili plant and parsley growing or water truck delivery. Most of the farmers involved experience mounting societal, family and financial pressure to get out of farming dogs. With growing concern for animal welfare, and over six million pet dogs now living in Korean homes, demand for dog meat has dwindled. HSI/Korea has permanently closed 17 dog meat farms and rescued more than 2,500 dogs who find adoptive homes in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom with a small number rehomed in South Korea.

Dog meat facts:

  • Although most people in South Korea don’t eat dog, the belief that dog meat soup will cool the body and build stamina during the hot summer, particularly during Bok Nal season across July and August, still holds with some, especially the older generation.
  • Most dogs slaughtered for meat in South Korea are killed by electrocution although some are also hanged.
  • Dog meat is banned (with varying degrees of enforcement) in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, India, Thailand and Singapore, as well as the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai in mainland China and Siem Reap province in Cambodia. In Indonesia, 14 cities, regions or regencies have banned dog meat: Karanganyar, Sukohrajo, Salatiga city, Malang, Semarang city, Semarang Regency, Blora Regency, Brebes Regency, Purbalingga Regency, Magelang city, Jepara, Blitar city, Mojokerto city and Mojokerto Regency. Despite these growing bans, an estimated 30 million dogs a year are still killed for meat across Asia.

Download photos/video of HSI/Korea’s dog meat farm closure program in action.

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Media contact: Wendy Higgins, director international media: whiggins@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Global


Ralph wins webby
HSI

WASHINGTON, DC—Save Ralph, the star-studded anti-animal testing film by Humane Society International that became a viral sensation last year, has been named best Public Service & Activism (Branded) video in the 26th Annual Webby Awards in both juried and people’s voice categories. The stop-motion animated short film was produced in several languages with the help of an A-list international voice cast to support Humane Society International’s campaign to ban cosmetic testing on animals worldwide.

“We are thrilled that Save Ralph has received two Webby Awards. This prestigious recognition is an honor and a testament to Ralph’s powerful message regarding the cruel reality of animal testing. We are very grateful to The Webby Awards for this high-profile opportunity to keep the issue in the global spotlight,” said Donna Gadomski, HSI senior director of external affairs and Save Ralph executive producer.

The film features HSI’s spokesbunny Ralph, as he goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab—using the story of one bunny to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals suffering in laboratories around the world, engaging citizens to become part of the solution. The English-language film features a star-studded cast including Oscar winner Taika Waititi as Ralph, along with Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff and Tricia Helfer. #SaveRalph was also produced in French, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese, and subtitled in multiple other languages, to support HSI’s efforts to reach the hearts and minds of consumers and lawmakers in Canada, Brazil, Chile, Europe, Mexico, Southeast Asia, South Korea and beyond. The film was written and directed by Spencer Susser and produced by Jeff Vespa and the Arch Model studio of puppet-maker supreme Andy Gent.

“Save Ralph has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” said Claire Graves, executive director of The Webby Awards. “This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.”

“#SaveRalph has had a tremendous impact on Humane Society International’s efforts to promote a future without animal testing,” said Troy Seidle, HSI vice president of research and toxicology and Save Ralph executive producer. “This film has motivated millions of people around the world to support legal reforms in their countries, propelling Mexico to become the first North American country to ban cosmetic testing on animals, and helping advance our efforts in multiple major economies. We’re excited that the Webby recognition may help continue this momentum.”

As a Webby winner, #SaveRalph will be honored in a star-studded show at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, May 16. Winners will have an opportunity to deliver one of The Webby Awards’ famous 5-Word Speeches. Past 5-Word Speeches include Steve Wilhite’s “It’s Pronounced “Jif” not ‘Gif’; NASA’s “Houston We Have A Webby”, and Solange’s “I Got Five On It.”

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Media contact: Cassie Bodin-Duval, international coordinator in media relations: cbodinduval@hsi.org

Naturalist Chris Packham joins Humane Society International/UK in celebrating ban

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


CreativeNature_nl/iStock.com

LONDON—The public’s use of glue traps to catch mice and rats will be banned across England after a government-backed Private Members Bill received unanimous support during its third and final reading today in the House of Lords. The ban has been welcomed by animal charity Humane Society International/UK, which led the “Unstuck” campaign to end the public use of the “inhumane, indiscriminate and indefensible” glue boards, which immobilise the small mammals in strong adhesive in which they can suffocate, rip off skin and fur and break their limbs in desperate efforts to escape.

Despite their potential to cause prolonged and extreme animal suffering, glue traps are currently widely sold to the public in DIY and corner shops, as well as online, for as little as 99p. The traps also pose a serious risk to other species, with numerous reports each year of animals—including protected and endangered species like hedgehogs, wild birds and bats, and even pet cats—being caught and suffering often fatal injuries.

The legislation contains a limited exemption for so-called “pest” control operatives to apply to the Secretary of State for a licence to use a glue trap, which may be granted where there is “no other satisfactory solution” and where the action is required for “the purpose of preserving public health or safety”. The exemption mirrors that of the 2015 glue trap ban in New Zealand, where glue trap licences have fallen year on year since the ban’s introduction, with no approvals for use in 2021.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said: “Glue traps are crude devices that cause horrific suffering to millions of animals. It is absolutely right that their public use will be banned, and we hope this will precipitate their removal from sale by retailers since it will be illegal for their customers to use them. It is immoral to subject small, sentient wildlife to being immobilised on these sticky boards, only to suffocate in the glue, die slowly of their injuries, or be ineptly killed by unprepared members of the public who resort to drowning or throwing them in the rubbish while still alive. The licensing regime for glue trap use by the ‘pest’ control industry will need to be strictly managed to ensure that these cruel products are no longer casually used with impunity.”

Once the Bill receives Royal Assent, the new law will make it an offence in England for a member of the public or any “pest” controller without a licence to set a glue trap to either deliberately or accidentally catch a rodent, with a fine and/or up to 51 weeks in prison. Discovering a glue trap but failing, without reasonable excuse, to ensure it is disabled will also constitute an offence.

Naturalist and campaigner Chris Packham, who supported HSI/UK’s Unstuck campaign, joined the charity in welcoming the ban, saying: “When wildlife, like mice and rats, are successful at living alongside humans, we label them ‘pests’ or ‘vermin’ and seem to think that’s a green light to completely disregard their welfare. Glue traps are a prime example of this. That attitude has to change. I commend HSI/UK on their Unstuck campaign victory and I’m delighted that cruel and unnecessary glue traps will now be taken out of public use, prompting a more compassionate and also effective approach to dealing with unwanted wildlife. This law is great news for mice and rats, but also for the many unintended victims who get stuck in the glue, such as delicate birds, grass snakes, frogs and hedgehogs.”

Conservative MP Jane Stevenson, who sponsored the Bill, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that my Glue Traps Bill has passed its Third Reading, meaning it will soon receive Royal Assent and become law. The banning of the use of glue traps by the general public is another step forward in the strengthening of animal welfare legislation in England, and I want to thank everyone involved in making this happen. The use of glue traps is cruel and barbaric, and has often led to animals not intended to be caught in these traps dying in the most inhumane way. Together with ministers at Defra and organisations such as HSI/UK, the RSPCA and others, I am pleased to have made a positive difference.”

HSI/UK advocates an ethical approach to wildlife management, addressing the root cause of problems through human behaviour change strategies and wildlife control and mitigation measures that are humane, with lethal interventions used only as a last resort to protect public health and safety. As well as being inhumane, killing animals like mice and rats typically does not offer a permanent solution to the problems their presence might cause, whereas measures such as removing food sources and blocking up access holes are effective in addressing such situations.

The ban will come into effect in England two years after receiving Royal Assent. In Scotland, the government made a commitment in January this year to ban glue traps following a review by the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission, and the Welsh government has also been seeking stakeholder views on a possible ban.

ENDS 

Media contact: Wendy Higgins, director of international media: whiggins@hsi.org

Humane Society International / Europe


Vets for Ukrainian Pets will cover the cost of veterinary care for the pets of refugees. Charlotte Brocker for HSI

Update: The deadline for this program has been extended to 31 August 2022.

Ukrainian refugees who have fled the war with their pets can access free veterinary treatment in countries across Europe thanks to Vets for Ukrainian Pets. Download leaflet.

Vets for Ukrainian Pets will cover the cost of veterinary care of dogs, cats, horses or other pet animals, where care is considered necessary by a professional veterinarian.

 

What kind of veterinary care is covered by Vets for Ukrainian Pets?

  • Certification/licensing requirements—legalisation of a pet in a European country where these costs are not already being funded by national authorities. This may include rabies vaccination, rabies serology, parasite treatment, microchip implantation/registration and official documentation.
  • Standard preventive care—core vaccinations and parasite treatments to ensure the overall health of the animal.
  • Medication (up to four months’ supply)—medicines previously prescribed by a veterinarian or needed to treat a newly identified condition. This includes previously prescribed medications that did not accompany the pet during evacuation, or for which supplies have been depleted.
  • Acute care—treatment for acute conditions where the prognosis following treatment is good, such as wounds, ear inflammation or alleviation of pain.

What veterinary clinics participate in this scheme?
All licenced clinics and practicing veterinarians throughout Europe are eligible to participate. Please ask at the nearest veterinary clinic.

What if I have more than one pet requiring care?
The plan covers costs for up to five pets or horses. If you have more than five pets in need of veterinary care, please discuss this with the clinic.

Do I have to pay at the clinic and then ask for reimbursement?
No, the veterinary care is free. We will reimburse the clinic up to €250 for each animal.

What if the plan cannot cover the care my pet needs?
We encourage veterinarians to provide discounted or free-of-charge care where other funding or charity contributions are insufficient to cover the full cost.

How long will the Vets for Ukrainian Pets plan be available?
The plan will be running until 30 June 2022. If you need veterinary care for your pet or horse beyond that date, please contact Humane Society International at VetsUkrainePets@hsi.org.

Where can I find more information on Vets for Ukrainian Pets?
Please visit our website: apply.vetsforukraine.com/how-it-works/.

Vets for Ukrainian Pets is fully funded by Humane Society International, with the generous support of Mars, Incorporated, in collaboration with the Federation of Veterinarians in Europe and the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations.



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