Forward Food is inspiring institutional dietary change that is kinder to people, animals and the planet

Humane Society International / Global


HSI

LONDON—As world leaders prepare to meet for the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November, to discuss vital climate change mitigation strategies, the need to reduce the environmental impacts of our diets has never been more urgent. As well as urging COP26 leaders to ensure that animal agriculture is on the event agenda, Humane Society International/UK also launched a virtual plant-based culinary programme through its Forward Food programme, to help institutions play their part in helping Brits eat for the planet with more plant-based menus.

Reducing meat and dairy production and consumption is one of the most effective actions we can take to avoid catastrophic climate change. Animal agriculture, which breeds, raises and slaughters more than 88 billion animals per year, is recognised as a major contributor to climate change, responsible for an estimated 14.5%—16.5% of human induced greenhouse gas GHG emissions globally. This makes the emissions from farming animals for food on par with the emissions from the entire transport sector. Scientists agree—including the 107 experts who prepared a report for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the more than 11,000 signatories from 153 countries to a recent paper in the journal BioScience—that global shifts towards more plant-based diets will be key in tackling climate change.

HSI/UK’s interactive online culinary workshop equips chefs with the knowledge, skills and inspiration they need to develop delicious and nutritious plant-based dishes in the comfort of their own kitchens. By now offering this training online, HSI/UK not only caters for kitchens that are still operating with a reduced capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, but also helps meet the growing demand for plant-based trainings by reaching more kitchens and chefs throughout Britain. The video-based workshop, led by HSI/UK’s Forward Food chef and renowned food writer, Jenny Chandler, consist of four toolkits exploring key aspects of plant-based cooking: umami flavour, texture, pulses, and grains and seeds. As part of the training, HSI/UK also calculates greenhouse gas savings from kitchens that are shifting away from meat and dairy-based menus to more plant-based options.

Charlie Huson, HSI//UK’s Forward Food programme manager, says: Demand for tasty and satisfying vegan options in Britain’s canteens and kitchens is growing rapidly, as students, customers and caterers across the country realise the incredible health, environmental and animal welfare benefits of a more plant-based diet. Reducing meat and dairy consumption is one of the single most important actions we can all take to tackle climate change, so we are incredibly excited that by launching our Forward Food training on a new virtual and interactive platform, we can help even more universities, corporate kitchens and catering companies meet growing demand for more plant-centred menus. Plant-based foods are going mainstream, and kitchens can now serve a plant-based version of almost anything from burgers to brownies. Our Forward Food virtual toolkits are entertaining, super easy to follow, and a must for chefs eager to explore the world of plant-based cooking.”

Watch the teaser video for HSI/UK’s virtual plant-based culinary workshop here.

HSI/UK’s Forward Food programme has already been implemented at top universities across the country including Cambridge, Oxford, St. Andrews, Winchester, Portsmouth, London School of Economics and Political Science, City University, University of London, Swansea, Harper Adams, Central Lancashire, Oxford Brookes and Sheffield. Major British foodservice professionals such as Sodexo UK, Compass Group and Baxter Storey have also implemented the programme.

The very first Forward Food virtual plant-based culinary programme was conducted with the University of Winchester last month. Dave Morton, University of Winchester Catering Operations Manager, said, “We are proud that HSI/UK’s first Forward Food virtual training was held with the University of Winchester. We have noticed a demand for more plant-based menu options, so since 2016 our catering team has worked to reduce our meat and dairy offering, and in 2018 we started collaborating with HSI/UK to create more delicious plant-based meals. We pride ourselves in having a strong commitment to sustainability, animal welfare and social justice, and we are happy to share that by reducing our procurement of meat and dairy, we have lowered our food-related carbon footprint by 39%. The Forward Food virtual training is a great way to further engage our catering team, despite the current restrictions.”

Plant-based diets boast many other benefits. Studies show that people who eat fewer animal products have lower rates of a range of health issues including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. Replacing meat, milk and eggs produced by industrial animal agriculture also benefits farm animals, billions of whom spend all or part of their lives in cages or crates, where they are unable to exercise, engage in their natural behaviours and often cannot even turn around because of lack of space.

TAKE PART: If your institution is interested in the Forward Food virtual plant-based culinary programme, please contact Charlie Huson, HSI//UK’s Forward Food programme manager, at CHuson@hsi.org.

FARM FACTS: 

  • 2 billion terrestrial animals are raised for food in the UK every year, with around 3.4 million animals slaughtered every day; which equates to 143,200 per hour; 2,400 per minute and 40 every second (FAO)
  • Animal agriculture is responsible for an estimated 5%—16.5%of GHG emissions globally—roughly equivalent to the exhaust emissions of every car, train, ship and aircraft on the planet. (FAO) In the UK alone, the GHG emissions from a meat-centric diet are 2.5 times that of one without animal products. (NCBI)
  • In the UK 20% of 16-24 year-olds and 12% of adults follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. (Mintel)
  • Nearly half (44%) of people in Britain do not eat meat, have reduced the amount of meat they eat or are considering cutting down.(NatCen British Social Attitudes February 2016)

ENDS

Media contact: Leozette Roode, media and campaigns manager for HSI/UK: LRoode@hsi.org; +27 (0)713601104

Humane Society International / HSI in Viet Nam


Nam Huong First Nam Huong’s cage-free barn.

HO CHI MINH CITY—Viet Nam is joining other Southeast Asian countries in the movement to promote cage-free eggs with the opening of the country’s first cage-free barn. Most of the more than 8 billion eggs that are produced in Viet Nam annually are laid by hens kept in wire, battery cages, which are so small the hens cannot even stretch their wings.

As Nam Huong Director Le Van Hoa sees it, the future is cage-free. Nam Huong is an established mid-scale egg producer in Tien Giang, one of the Mekong Delta provinces, about 150 km west of Ho Chi Minh City. Its current capacity is 700,000 laying hens producing about 200 million battery cage eggs per year. Following visits to cage-free operations in the United Kingdom, technical workshops, insights from 14 years of battery cage production, and the mounting shift in consumer demand, Hoa is establishing one of the first commercial cage-free facilities.

Hoa shared that the transition to a cage-free system could be a good path for his business: “Vietnam is one of the fast-growing economic countries in the region. I have seen the cage-free egg movement growing in our neighboring countries, such as Thailand and Malaysia. Consumers’ concern regarding animal welfare is increasing and I am expecting Nam Huong would be one of the first producers in Vietnam to make the switch to cage-free housing.”

In 2019, Viet Nam had 77.07 million hens who laid 8.2 billion eggs, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. There are thousands of egg producers in the country, with varying sizes of production.

The transition to cage-free requires investment and specialized management, and with technical support from Humane Society International, Nam Huong is converting two original battery cage houses to cage-free. This initial project will help to free 3,000 laying-hens in the first year.

HSI applauds Nam Huong for this transition to higher animal welfare practices. Unlike battery cages, cage-free housing allows the hens to move freely and to express their natural behavior, such as dustbathing, nesting, perching and scratching in loose litter. Hang Le, Farm Animal Welfare Manager, HSI in Viet Nam stated “With the movement from producers, like Nam Huong, HSI urges individual consumers and the food industry to consider farm animal welfare when buying or sourcing eggs. By supporting cage-free producers, consumers can drive Viet Nam’s egg production industry toward a more humane way of farming”.

HSI has worked to protect animals, including farm animals, in Viet Nam since 2013, and collaborated with the Department of Livestock Production to endorse humane practices for farm animals in the Animal Husbandry Law that came into force in 2020. The new law is an important vehicle to improve the lives of farm animals in Viet Nam. HSI applauds the Viet Nam government for its forward-thinking approach, keeping animal welfare at the forefront to ensure not only that the animals are well cared for but that farming systems keep pace with international markets.

Mr. Nguyen Duc Trong, Deputy Director at the Department of Livestock Production in the Viet Nam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said, “The cage-free egg production system is a science-based, and higher animal welfare alternative. Nam Huong is one of the first egg producers in Viet Nam to implement humane treatment in livestock production, the Article 69 of Viet Nam Animal Husbandry Law. We welcome pioneers like Nam Huong on this transition. We urge businesses and consumers, please join to support the activities of agribusiness companies and individual producers who are leaders to implement the Law in order to integrate into the growing trend around the globe.”

HSI is helping buyers and producers to transition to cage-free egg production in many ways such as hosting events for a range of stakeholders, from technical workshops for producers to companies that are changing their supply chain throughout Southeast Asia. A recent HSI webinar focused on the hospitality industry, aiming to support the cage-free transition efforts in Asia by illuminating opportunities and successful strategies to transition, including lessons learned.

Nam Huong has committed to working with HSI on improving the living conditions of laying hens in Viet Nam. Both parties will work together in the upcoming years to plan and convert additional battery cages to cage-free for tens of thousands of hens. This humane journey could not be done by any party alone—awareness, participation and support from the government, society and consumers will be crucial.

ENDS

Media Contacts:

  • Phuong Tham, Humane Society International in Viet Nam: phuongth@hsi.org
  • Le Van Hoa, Nam Huong: lehoa83@yahoo.com

Humane Society International / Europe


Cecil the lion
Brent Stapelkamp Cecil the lion.

BRUSSELS—Marking the sixth anniversary of the killing of Cecil the lion by an American trophy hunter, animal and nature protection NGOs, members of the European Parliament, and conservation experts from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya are calling on the EU to ban the import of hunting trophies. In a webinar, Humane Society International/Europe discussed a new analysis of trade data revealing that the European Union is the world’s second biggest hunting trophy importer after the United States, importing nearly 15,000 hunting trophies of 73 internationally protected species between 2014 and 2018.

The issue of trophy hunting has become increasingly controversial over the past decade not simply for the animal cruelty, but also due to concerns about the biodiversity crisis. Momentum is growing to take action to curb hunting trophy imports. France banned the import of lion trophies in 2015 and the Netherlands banned trophy imports of over 200 species in 2016. In Germany two political parties (Greens and Left) have included a trophy import ban in their party manifestos.

The webinar, held in collaboration with the European Parliament’s interest group MEPs for Wildlife, Humane Society International/Europe, Born Free Foundation, Eurogroup for Animals and Pro Wildlife, explored how trophy hunting places unsustainable pressure on endangered and other imperiled species, and whether this practice really does make a significant contribution to wildlife conservation as claimed by its proponents.

German MEP Manuela Ripa (Greens/EFA), who hosted the event, said:

“It is crucial that Members of the European Parliament address the issue of the killing of wild animals, endangered or otherwise, purely for the purpose of procuring trophies to hang on their walls. Especially in the wake of the EU Biodiversity Strategy it is important to consider the impact that European citizens travelling to far-flung destinations solely to shoot and bring home animal body parts may be having on wild animal populations elsewhere around the world. Instead of having tightly regulated trophy hunting, I pledge for tightly regulated ‘photo hunting, which  would have a bigger benefit for species, support ecosystems and the communities involved. I strongly urge the European Commission to address the issue of trophy hunting in its upcoming evaluation of the EU Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking.”

Dr Joanna Swabe, Humane Society International/Europe’s senior director of public affairs, noted:

“The shocking role of European citizens in global trophy hunting should not be underestimated. Humane Society International’s new EU Trophy Hunting by the Numbers report reveals that shockingly the EU imported nearly 15,000 hunting trophies from 73 species between 2014 and 2018, despite them being protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It is shameful that the EU is the world’s second largest importer of hunting trophies, bringing in almost 3,000 trophies every year, including African lions and elephants, black rhinos, leopards, zebra, cheetahs, lynx and polar bears. Germany, Spain and Denmark account for 52% of all imported trophies, and the trade data shows that trophy import numbers have actually steadily increased by almost 40% during the period studied despite opinion polls showing that the vast majority of EU citizens oppose the gratuitous practice of killing wild animals for pleasure, display and bragging rights.  The only way we should be shooting wild and endangered animals is with cameras, not guns or arrows.”

Dr Mark Jones, head of policy for the Born Free Foundation, added:

“Born Free is ethically opposed to the hunting or killing of any animal for sport or pleasure. We also challenge the claims made by proponents of trophy hunting that it delivers significant conservation and community benefits, or that it positively contributes to the sustainable use of wildlife. Studies have consistently shown that trophy hunting does not provide a significant source of income to rural people, and certainly pales in comparison to other wildlife-related activities such as ecotourism. The killing of animals by trophy hunters also causes immeasurable animal suffering, and negatively impacts wildlife conservation by removing individual animals that are key to their populations. The trophy hunting industry is wracked by corruption, with excessive quotas being set that are often exceeded. We urge European nations to take action to stop their citizens jetting off to exotic locations to kill and imperil wild animals elsewhere in the world.”

Reineke Hameleers, CEO at Eurogroup for Animals, said:

“The trophy hunting practice of primarily removing the largest and most physically impressive animal specimens, puts species conservation in jeopardy, disrupts social herd structures and weakens gene pools of species that are already threatened. In a time of global biodiversity crisis, it is urgent for the EU and Member States to acknowledge that it is irresponsible to allow rich elites to shoot endangered species for pure pleasure, and finally ban the import of hunting trophies. We need to move away from the unethical consumption of wildlife and look at how the EU can instead encourage and reward investment in wildlife so that concrete and significant benefits can be achieved by local communities through its non-consumptive and ecologically sustainable use. Wild animals should be worth more to these communities alive than dead.”

Daniela Freyer, co-founder of Pro Wildlife, added:

“Germany has the dubious honour of being the top importing nation for hunting trophies in the European Union. It is sickening that a very small minority of my fellow German citizens still enjoy travelling to faraway places to kill animals for fun, pose with their dead bodies for tasteless selfies and hang their body parts on the walls back home. Trophy hunting is not only cruel and unnecessary, but it also poses a significant risk to wildlife conservation and biodiversity. The majority of EU citizens, including Germans, are opposed to the unethical practice of killing wild animals for trophies. It is time for Germany and other EU Member States to act and prohibit the import of hunting trophies.”

Facts

  • Trophy Hunting: Conservation Tool, or a Threat to Wildlife? was organised by MEPs for Wildlife in collaboration with Humane Society International/Europe, Pro Wildlife, Born Free Foundation and Eurogroup for Animals on 30th June 2021 with the participation of the following speakers and panelists:
  • Dr Audrey Delsink, wildlife director, Humane Society International/Africa
  • Paula Kahumbu, wildlife conservationist and CEO, WildlifeDirect; Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year
  • Lenin Tinashe Chisaira, environment lawyer and director, Advocates4Earth, Zimbabwe
  • Miet van Looy, International Relations Officer – CITES and EU Wildlife Trade Regulations,DG Environment, European Commission
  • Dr David Scallan – secretary general, European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE)
  • Opinion poll results demonstrate that the vast majority of EU citizens (over 80%) oppose trophy hunting and want to end trophy imports.
  • HSI/Europe’s Trophy Hunting by the Numbers report reveals that Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, France, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the top trophy importing EU Member States, with Namibia, South Africa, Canada, Russia, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan and the US representing the top exporting countries to the EU. Spain, Poland, Hungary, Germany and the Czech Republic are the top importers of captive lion trophies. EU trophy import statistics for individual animals (2014-2018), include:
    • 3,119 Hartmann’s mountain zebra.
    • 1,751 Chacma baboon.
    • 1,415 American black bear.
    • 1,056 brown bear.
    • 952 African elephant.
    • 889 African lion (of which 660 were captive-bred lions in South Africa).
    • 839 African leopard.
    • 794 hippopotamus.
    • 480 caracal.
    • 415 red lechwe.
    • 297 cheetah – the EU is the largest importer of cheetah trophies in the world.
    • 65 polar bears
    • Six critically endangered black rhinos.

Watch a recording of the webinar.

ENDS

Media Contact: Wendy Higgins: whiggins@hsi.org

Almost 3,000 trophies imported annually including zebra, lions, baboons and elephants

Humane Society International / Global


Cathy Smith Wild African elephants

BRUSSELS—A new report published in the week marking the six- year anniversary of the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by an American trophy hunter reveals that the European Union is the world’s second biggest hunting trophy importer after the United States. EU Trophy Hunting by the Numbers,issued by Humane Society International/Europe shows that EU countries imported nearly 15,000 hunting trophies of 73 internationally protected species between 2014 and 2018, an average of almost 3,000 trophies every year, including African lions, African elephants and critically endangered black rhinos. Zebras, cheetahs, Asia’s near threatened Argali sheep, and polar bears classified as vulnerable to extinction were also imported. Germany, Spain and Denmark accounted for 52% of all imported trophies. In the five-year period analysed, the EU imported trophies taken from 889 African lions, 229 of whom were wild lions just like Cecil.

Although media reports tend to focus on high profile U.S. trophy hunting incidents such as the killing of Cecil by dentist Walter Palmer or the dead giraffe selfie by Rebecca Francis, HSI’s report shows that the  role of EU hunters in this deadly pastime is often overlooked. Europeans regularly travel to foreign countries to kill iconic species and bring home body parts for display.\

HSI’s comprehensive analysis of trade data from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) shows that an average of 2,982 trophies are imported into the EU every year, or more than eight trophies every day. Trophy import numbers have been steadily increasing by almost 40% between 2014 and 2018 despite the fact that opinion polls show the vast majority of EU citizens (over 80%) oppose trophy hunting and want to end trophy imports.

EU trophy import statistics for individual animals (2014-2018), include:

  • 3,119 Hartmann’s mountain zebra.
  • 1,751 Chacma baboon.
  • 1,415 American black bear.
  • 1,056 brown bear.
  • 952 African elephant.
  • 889 African lion (of which 660 were captive-bred lions in South Africa).
  • 839 African leopard.
  • 794 hippopotamus.
  • 480 caracal.
  • 415 red lechwe.
  • 297 cheetah—the EU is the largest importer of cheetah trophies in the world.
  • 65 polar bears.
  • Six trophies of critically endangered black rhinos.

Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, France, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the top trophy importing EU Member States, with Namibia, South Africa, Canada, Russia, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan and the U.S. represent the top exporting countries to the EU. Spain, Poland, Hungary, Germany and the Czech Republic are the top importers of captive lion trophies.

Dr. Jo Swabe, senior director of public affairs, Humane Society International/Europe says: “EU trophy hunters kill for kicks many thousands of wild animals, including endangered or threatened species. In addition to the cruelty, as the world faces a biodiversity crisis, it is irresponsible to allow rich elites to shoot imperiled species for pure pleasure. Being able to have these gruesome body parts shot, stuffed, packed and shipped home for display is a major motivation for these hunters, so if more EU countries were to ban trophy imports, it would effectively help stop the killing.”

Trophy hunting has little to do with conservation or supporting local communities. Hunters pay huge sums of money to kill the strongest and most impressive animals for gratification, display and bragging rights. They enter their achievements into record books kept by trophy hunting membership organizations such as Safari Club International which ascribes competition points for killing the largest animals. Studies show that typically only 3% of money from trophy hunting ever reaches local communities. Wildlife-watching eco-tourism generates far more income and jobs to support conservation and local jobs.

Dr. Swabe from HSI/Europe says: “Killing the largest or strongest animals, who play an important ecological role in genetic diversity and resilience, jeopardises species conservation, disrupts social herd structures and weakens gene pools of wild animal populations already facing a myriad of threats. The conservation argument is a sham employed by people who know it is unsavoury to admit they simply enjoy killing animals for fun and tasteless selfies. With so much at stake, and the vast majority of EU citizens opposed to the killing, it’s time for EU member states to ban trophy imports.”

A few European countries have taken limited action to curb hunting trophy imports. France banned the import of lion trophies in 2015. The Netherlands banned trophy imports of over 200 species in 2016. In February 2021 the UK Prime Minister expressed his government’s intention to end the import of trophies, and in March this year the Finnish parliament presented a motion proposing a trophy import ban. HSI/Europe believes its analysis showing the shocking extent to which EU countries enable the global trophy hunting industry, should inspire member states to introduce comprehensive bans as quickly as possible.

Media Invite:

 On 30th June, HSI/Europe will hold a webinar “Trophy Hunting: Conservation tool, or a threat to wildlife?” in collaboration with MEPs for Wildlife and other NGOs. Hosted by Manuela Ripa MEP (Greens/EFA, Germany), and with guests HSI Africa elephant biologist Dr. Audrey Delsink, WildlifeDirect CEO Dr. Paula Kahumbu, environmental lawyer Lenin Tinashe Chisaira, DG Environment’s Jorge Rodriguez, and Dr. David Scallan from the European Federation for Hunting and Conservation, the webinar will ask whether trophy hunting places unsustainable pressure on endangered species or, as claimed by its exponents, makes a contribution to wildlife conservation and local people. Register to attend.

Download Photos/Videos

Download the Report in French, German, Spanish , Italian and Polish

ENDS

Media Contacts:

Notes:

HSI/Europe obtained data for this report from the WCMC-CITES Trade Database website (https://trade.cites.org/) on March 4, 2021. Trade data for the years 2014-2018 were analysed, filtering for mammal species (“Class” = “Mammalia”) and using Comparative Tabulations, with imports calculated based on Importer Reported Quantity and Exports calculated based on Exporter Reported Quantity. To estimate the total number of mammals traded as trophies, we analyzed the term “trophies” for purposes “personal” and “hunting trophy” for all species, as well as several species-specific terms (such as “bodies”, “skins”, “rugs”, etc.) for the purpose “hunting trophy”.

A representative opinion poll conducted in March 2021 and commissioned by HSI/Europe surveyed opinion in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Poland. Results reveal that 85% of respondents do not support trophy hunting of internationally protected species. A similar proportion (81%) also feel that people should not be allowed to import trophies of dead animals from other countries.

Since 2016, the EU has overtaken the US as the world’s largest importer of captive bred lion trophies after the US listed the African lion in its Endangered Species Act.

The EU is also an exporter of hunting trophies, including foreign species and native species strictly protected under the EU Habitats Directive. The top trophies exported from the EU were from the brown bear, Barbary sheep, African leopard, hippopotamus, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, grey wolf and African elephant. The top five EU Member States exporting mammal trophies of EU and non-EU species were Romania, France, Spain, Denmark and Croatia. During the period of analysis, the EU exported 246 brown bear trophies, nine Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) trophies and 35 grey wolf trophies. The top countries of origin for brown bear trophies exported from the EU were Romania, Sweden, Croatia, Germany and Slovenia while the primary countries of origin for Eurasian lynx trophies exported from the EU were Sweden, Russia and Latvia. Romania, Spain, Bulgaria, Latvia and Russia were the key countries of origin of grey wolf trophies exported from the EU.

Sir Paul McCartney, Dame Judi Dench, Mary McCartney, Leona Lewis, Nathalie Emmanuel, Maggie Q among stars saying no to fur

Humane Society International / United Kingdom


Dave Benett

LONDON—A host of celebrities and influencers from the world of music, film, fashion and photography have joined forces with iconic British designer Stella McCartney and global animal protection organisation Humane Society International to call for a global end to fur cruelty. Launched as part of McCartney’s Autumn 2021 ‘Our time has come’ campaign, which dropped earlier this month with a tongue-in-cheek nature mockumentary narrated by British comedian David Walliams, the celebrities posted fur-free video messages on Instagram wearing a variety of animal costumes featured in McCartney’s short film.

In the video messages, Stella McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney and Mary McCartney wearing animal head costumes, call for their audience to sign HSI’s petition to end deadly fur globally. Dame Judi Dench disguised as a bird is joined by singer Leona Lewis, actresses Nathalie Emmanuel, Maggie Q, Kat Graham and Rain Phoenix, influencer Aaliyah Ramsey, model Ariish, photographer Megan Winstone, and activists and content creators Jack Harries of Earthrise Studio and Ed Winters of Earthling Ed. The celebrity posts urge their Instagram and Twitter followers to sign Humane Society International’s petitions for a UK fur sales ban and a global end to fur farming.

The latest phase of the campaign came before the close of the British government’s Call for Evidence to consider the case for a UK fur import and sales ban, something Stella McCartney passionately supports.

Claire Bass, executive director of Humane Society International/UK, says: “Stella McCartney’s new campaign and brand is everything the fur trade isn’t –fresh, innovative, sustainable and cruelty-free. So we’re thrilled to be working with her, and to have the support of so many compassionate celebrities, to magnify the message that the age of fur fashion is dead. As the UK government considers our call for a ban on the import and sale of fur from animals who have suffered overseas, this light-hearted campaign sheds light on a serious subject – the terrible and needless cruelty that is stitched into every fur garment. The vast majority of Brits agree that the time for a #FurFreeBritain is now, and Stella McCartney is a fantastic example of how British brands can lead the world in delivering compassion in fashion.”

Having never used fur, leather, skins or feathers since it launched in 2001, Stella McCartney is asking its global community of changemakers to sign Humane Society International’s Stop Deadly Fur (North America, Europe, Asia) petition calling on all countries to ban fur farming and highlighting the trade’s danger to both human and animal lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year, over 100 million animals are killed for fur—with Stella McCartney’s use of Fur Free Fur helping prevent 60,000 animal deaths. The brand is also raising awareness for HSI’s Fur Free Britain petition, urging the UK government to ban the import and sale of fur. There is already a strong desire, with 72% of Brits supporting the proposal and a further 93% against wearing animal fur, with fur farms already illegal in the nation.

Key animal-cruelty facts:

  • Around 96 million animals are killed in fur farms annually, crammed into small barren wire cages for their entire short, miserable lives—unable to act out their natural behaviours such as running or digging.
  • Many millions of wild animals are additionally trapped for their fur each year, including over 3 million in the United States and Canada alone. Wild-roaming coyotes, wolves and foxes are caught in brutal leg hold traps, which are banned or heavily restricted in over 100 countries worldwide due to their cruelty.
  • Animals caught in traps can be left for days, unable to seek food, water or shelter, or protect themselves from predators, until the trapper’s bullet or boot puts them out of their misery. In their desperate struggle to break free, the animals can break their teeth or even gnaw off their own limbs.
  • There have been outbreaks of COVID-19 in over 400 mink farms in 12 countries across Europe and North America; not only do the mink suffer, but intensive factory fur farms have the potential to act as reservoirs for deadly viruses such as COVID-19 that could affect both human and animal health.

ENDS

Media Contact:

  • Wendy Higgins, Humane Society International, director of international media: whiggins@hsi.org

Sir Paul McCartney, Dame Judi Dench, Mary McCartney, Leona Lewis, Nathalie Emmanuel, Maggie Q among stars saying no to fur

Humane Society International


Dave Benett

LONDON—A host of celebrities and influencers from the world of music, film, fashion and photography have joined forces with iconic British designer Stella McCartney and global animal protection organisation Humane Society International to call for a global end to fur cruelty. Launched as part of McCartney’s Autumn 2021 ‘Our time has come’ campaign, which dropped earlier this month with a tongue-in-cheek nature mockumentary narrated by British comedian David Walliams, the celebrities posted fur-free video messages on Instagram wearing a variety of animal costumes featured in McCartney’s short film.

In the video messages, Stella McCartney, Sir Paul McCartney and Mary McCartney wearing animal head costumes, call for their audience to sign HSI’s petition to end deadly fur globally. Dame Judi Dench disguised as a bird is joined by singer Leona Lewis, actresses Nathalie Emmanuel, Maggie Q, Kat Graham and Rain Phoenix, influencer Aaliyah Ramsey, model Ariish, photographer Megan Winstone, and activists and content creators Jack Harries of Earthrise Studio and Ed Winters of Earthling Ed. The celebrity posts urge their Instagram and Twitter followers to sign Humane Society International’s petitions for a UK fur sales ban and a global end to fur farming.

The latest phase of the campaign comes before the close of the British government’s Call for Evidence to consider the case for a UK fur import and sales ban, something Stella McCartney passionately supports.

Donna Gadomski, senior director of external affairs at Humane Society International, says: “Stella McCartney is a leading light in the global trend of sustainable, fur-free fashion, so we are so honoured to collaborate with her for this exciting initiative calling for a global end to fur cruelty. The celebrities standing with us join the voices of millions of compassionate consumers across the globe calling for an end to fur fashion. Every petition signature counts in our fight to stop animals on fur factory farms enduring deprivation and anguish, and animals trapped and drowned in the wild suffering terribly too—simply for fashion items no-one needs.”

Having never used fur, leather, skins or feathers since it launched in 2001, Stella McCartney is asking its global community of changemakers to sign Humane Society International’s Stop Deadly Fur (North America, Europe, Asia) petition calling on all countries to ban fur farming and highlighting the trade’s danger to both human and animal lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year, over 100 million animals are killed for fur—with Stella McCartney’s use of Fur Free Fur helping prevent 60,000 animal deaths. The brand is also raising awareness for HSI’s Fur Free Britain petition, urging the UK government to ban the import and sale of fur. There is already a strong desire, with 72% of Brits supporting the proposal and a further 93% against wearing animal fur, with fur farms already illegal in the nation.

Key animal-cruelty facts:

  • Around 96 million animals are killed in fur farms annually, crammed into small barren wire cages for their entire short, miserable lives—unable to act out their natural behaviours such as running or digging.
  • Many millions of wild animals are additionally trapped for their fur each year, including over 3 million in the United States and Canada alone. Wild-roaming coyotes, wolves and foxes are caught in brutal leg hold traps, which are banned or heavily restricted in over 100 countries worldwide due to their cruelty.
  • Animals caught in traps can be left for days, unable to seek food, water or shelter, or protect themselves from predators, until the trapper’s bullet or boot puts them out of their misery. In their desperate struggle to break free, the animals can break their teeth or even gnaw off their own limbs.
  • There have been outbreaks of COVID-19 in over 400 mink farms in 12 countries across Europe and North America; not only do the mink suffer, but intensive factory fur farms have the potential to act as reservoirs for deadly viruses such as COVID-19 that could affect both human and animal health.

ENDS

Media Contact:

  • Wendy Higgins, Humane Society International, director of international media: whiggins@hsi.org

An historic moment in the fight to end cruel fur fashion, says Humane Society International

Humane Society International / Canada


Nathan Hobbs/iStock.com

MONTREAL—Canada Goose has today announced that it will end the use of all fur in its products. The brand will end the purchase of fur by the end of 2021 and end manufacturing products with fur by the end of 2022.

Rebecca Aldworth, Humane Society International/Canada’s executive director, responds: “We applaud Canada Goose for taking this compassionate and fashion-forward decision to end its relationship with fur. This is an historic moment in the fight to end cruel fur fashion. Canada Goose’s trademark parka jackets with coyote fur trim can now be replaced with fur-free garments that symbolise sustainable, cruelty-free fashion fit for the twenty first century consumer. This is a major step forward for animal protection and also a sign of changing consumer habits. Clearly, the future of fashion is fur free.”

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

Policies developed in partnership with HSI/Canada will come into effect by end of year

Humane Society International / Canada


Fox in the snow
Robert Postma/Alamy

MONTREAL—Holt Renfrew has announced an impressive suite of new sustainability commitments, joining the rapidly growing collection of retailers and fashion labels who are opting for sustainably and ethically sourced materials.

Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International/Canada, stated:

“Holt Renfrew’s progressive suite of sustainability commitments, including ending the sale of animal fur and exotic animal skins, is a tremendous step forward for animal protection and also a sign of changing consumer habits. Today’s consumers are increasingly informed and motivated to ensure that their purchases are cruelty-free and sustainable. We commend Holt Renfrew for these progressive commitments and the company’s leadership role in reflecting compassion in fashion. Clearly, the future of fashion is fur free.”

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Media Contact: Michael Bernard, HSI/Canada, deputy director: 613-371-5170; mbernard@hsi.org

Sodexo Canada will convert 20% of its current ingredients purchasing to plant-based to improve animal welfare, sustainability, and human health in the next few years.

Humane Society International / Canada


Ruben Rapetti/Sodexo Canada Scalloped Potatoes prepared by Chef Ruben Rapetti during one of HSI/Canada’s plant-based trainings with Sodexo Canada.

MONTREAL—Sodexo Canada and Humane Society International/Canada are excited to announce a new development in their national partnership: Sodexo Canada has signed onto the Forward Food Pledge, committing to transition 20% of its protein purchases across Canada to plant-based. To achieve this goal, HSI/Canada is supporting Sodexo Canada by providing culinary trainings, recipes, and menu development to Sodexo’s culinary team across Canada.

“Health and wellness are at the heart of our diverse food offer and increases awareness to improving animal welfare. Together with Humane Society International/Canada we have refreshed our strategy to bring our teams the tools they need through training and engagement, data analysis and responsible sourcing strategies to achieve our commitment to reducing emissions and providing increased healthy and delicious plant-based menu offerings,” says Davide Del Brocco, Sustainability Manager at Sodexo Canada.

“Our Love of Food program incorporates the creativity of our chefs and the resources of our Corporate Responsibility team directly into the menu development process. This synergy with HSI/Canada’s Forward Food program enables us to achieve our mutual goals of creating menus that speak to the needs of Canadians and drive sustainable business practices,” says Kyle Mason, Sodexo Canada’s senior manager of culinary development.

Riana Topan, campaign manager for HSI/Canada, says, “We are delighted to be partnering with Sodexo to increase their plant-based and plant-forward menu options, which will save an estimated 510,000 animals each year, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of their clients and meet Canadians’ unprecedented demand for delicious, environmentally and animal-friendly food choices. Sodexo is setting a meaningful example for the foodservice industry in Canada by taking the Forward Food Pledge for every one of its accounts that serve food and working to reduce its use of animal proteins by 20% over the next two years.”

This transformative target and milestone make the foodservice industry in Canada more compassionate, sustainable, and nutritious.

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Summer solstice dog meat eating begins in Yulin

Humane Society International / China


68 dogs saved from Yulin are now safe at a shelter.

BEIJING—Chinese animal activists in Guangxi have intercepted a dog truck outside the city of Yulin, just as the summer solstice dog meat eating gets underway. The truck was packed with 68 terrified and exhausted dogs headed for Yulin’s slaughterhouses, having already endured a long journey on the highway without food or water. The activists had been urging Yulin authorities to set up more highway checkpoints to stop and confiscate dogs from inbound dog trucks, but in the absence of official action they took matters into their own hands and stopped the truck by themselves.

The 68 dogs were crammed so tightly into rusty wire cages in the suffocating heat, they could hardly move, and they were found panting and traumatised. Many of the dogs were in poor physical health with infected eyes, and several showed behaviour that indicated to the activists these were stolen pets.

Liang Jia, a Guangxi activist, said: “It was so frustrating to watch trucks of dogs arrive in Yulin when the authorities were supposed to be stopping them and confiscating the dogs. So we decided to save some dogs ourselves and waited on the highway for the next truck to arrive. When it did, we flagged it down and convinced the truck driver to hand over the dogs because they were clearly stolen pets for whom he didn’t have the legally required paperwork. The dogs offered us their paw just like a pet at home, and they had healthy teeth which means someone was looking after them before they were stolen. The Yulin authorities have a responsibility to protect public health, even if they don’t also care about the animals like we do. These poor dogs look sick, and thankfully now they will receive veterinary care, but who knows what diseases they could carry that would end up in the food market.”

The dogs were moved to a temporary facility to rest, recover and receive veterinary care before making the journey to a shelter supported by Humane Society International.

Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for Humane Society International which supports the care of dogs rescued from China’s meat trade, said: “These activists are typical of a new generation in China who strongly oppose the dog and cat meat trades and are prepared to take action to see it ended in places like Yulin. The truth is that most Chinese people, including those in Yulin, don’t eat dogs. The suffering of these animals in Yulin is of course a tragedy, but we need to be calling for an end to this brutal trade every day across China, not just a few days in June in one city.  HSI addresses the dog meat issue throughout the year and the country to advocate for an end to the dog and cat meat trades. Thankfully these 68 dogs are now safe after what must have been a terrifying ordeal, but for thousands more dogs in Yulin and millions across the country, the cruelty continues. Through dog theft, illegal trans-provincial transport and inhumane slaughter, the trade not only subjects animals to suffering but also risks public health with the potential for the spread of rabies and other zoonotic diseases. These are compelling reasons for the Chinese authorities to end this trade once and for all.”

Facts about China’s dog meat trade

  1. Most people in China don’t eat dogs, in fact dog meat is only eaten infrequently by a small per cent of the Chinese population. Even in Yulin, most people (72%) don’t regularly eat dog despite efforts by dog meat traders to promote it (2017 survey conducted by Chinese state-registered charities and assisted by research staff from the Yulin Municipal Government).  And nationwide, a 2016 survey found that most Chinese citizens (64%) want to see an end to the Yulin festival, more than half (51.7%) think the dog meat trade should be completely banned, and the majority (69.5%) have never eaten dog meat. (Poll conducted by Chinese polling company Horizon, and commissioned by Chinese group China Animal Welfare Association in collaboration with Humane Society International and Avaaz).
  2. China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs made an official statement that dogs are companion animals and not “livestock” for eating. The announcement came as the Ministry published its final Directory of Genetic Resources of Livestock and Poultry. That same year, two major cities in China – Shenzhen and Zhuhai – banned the consumption of dog and cat meat, a decision polling shows is supported by nearly 75% of Chinese citizens. (Poll conducted April 2020 online portal com which surveyed 378 million people in mainland China).
  3. When the Yulin festival was first launched in 2010, as many as 15,000 dogs were killed during the core event days, but Chinese and international pressure has seen this figure reduce to around 3,000 dogs. However, many hundreds are still killed each day in the weeks leading up to the festival.
  4. An estimated 30 million dogs a year are killed across Asia for their meat, some 10-20million in China alone.

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