Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dutch public broadcaster pays to clone pet dog for new show

DutchNews, October 24, 2016

Photo: BNN still

A Dutch public broadcaster is claiming it had a pet dog cloned in South Korea for a new show. It is illegal to clone animals in the Netherlands, but not to import a cloned pet from abroad. 

The dog which was cloned was a 12-year-old bulldog called Joep, which lived in Rotterdam. Joep has since died, but the owner is extremely happy with the clone, named Pipo, according to the Telegraaf.

‘It is not just his appearance, which is almost identical,’ the owners told the paper. ‘We are surprised on a daily basis how much his behaviour and character matches with our old dog. It is unbelievable.’ 

Joep’s owners had responded to an appeal by BNN which was looking for people who wanted to have their pet cloned and were willing to send a tissue sample to the company, named by the Telegraaf as Sooam Biotech. 

Sooam is said to be the leading laboratory in the world for dog cloning and has produced more than 700 dogs for commercial customers. 

The Telegraaf says it cost the broadcaster €50,000 to have the dog cloned. 

Opposition MPs have criticized the idea of cloning animals to order and animal welfare groups point out that hundreds of dogs in animal shelters could do with a new owner. 

The programme, Klonen: Wens of Waanzin?, is part of a series about cloning around the world and will be broadcast on Friday.

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Mouse cloned from drop of blood

“The Akashic System” – Sep 11, 2010 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)
“… Animals

I speak of the precious animals all the time and how they're here to service humanity and how they do it so completely. I've spoken about how some of them are here to be eaten. Many don't like to hear this, but understand that collectively the animals understand this. They have to be part of the Human food chain, since humanity doesn't have the ability to grow things fast enough and distribute that food. So that's a service, you see? For those of you who are vegan, you might say, "I never eat them!" That is a choice for your health. It's appropriate and accurate, but doesn't hold true for the survival of the Human race, for animals are needed for Human nourishment and survival at the moment.

So let's divert for a moment and give you some valuable information about Human consumption of animal life. Many Humans need to eat them, but never understanding that the animal knew this when it came in. Is this too spooky for you? This is known by those who know of animal spirits and can see the sacrifice and appropriateness of this. It was also very well known by the ancients. But here is the question, dear Human: How do you treat them? With that kind of purpose on the planet, how do you treat them before they become your food? How did the ancients treat them? Now that's a hard question, isn't it? Let me give you an attribute of truth. Did you know the better they're treated, the more nutritious they'll be within your body? "Kryon, please don't talk about that. We don't want to think about it." Dear one, if not me, then who? Listen, if these animals are willing to come and be so grand a part of the life-force of this planet and help it to vibrate higher by keeping you alive so you can make choices, don't they deserve respect and comfort while they are growing up? The end result will be a far better contribution to your health. Let the scientists lead the way and do some comparison studies to show that the nutritional values increase dramatically when an animal is honored during its short lifetime. The ancients knew this and honored each animal before it became part of their life-force.

There is no Cave of Creation for the animals. They are here in support of humanity. Some of them are here to love you and you know that. We speak of the ones in your home. They're here to love you - another great service to Humans. You look in their eyes and they look back. They see the old soul within you, did you know that? They know the system. But they don't live very long, do they? Sometimes there is heartbreak when they leave. But the good news? Yes, they can reincarnate! They have choice with you to continue the love affair! I don't know how many dear ones in the room are aware of that system and I want my partner to develop this more clearly so those animal lovers will know this. When their dear loved animals die, they can continue the love affair if they want to by looking in the right place and finding the returning soul, picking it up and continuing what they had. There's somebody in the room and reading that needed to hear that. There is a system for their core souls to return!

So in a way, many animals have souls, too, but they're not in the Cave of Creation. They don't have the profound system of planetary change that you do, which is a consciousness that can increase itself by free choice. The Human is the only being on Earth who can do this, because the Human has divinity in the DNA. It was implanted there, appropriately and with love, approximately 100,000 years ago by that which is from another star system.

We have given you all this before. In all appropriateness, the Humans on this planet received their spiritual seeds from the Pleiadians in a beautiful way, in an appropriate way, in a divine way, in a perfect way. There were no wars, no conspiracies, and these beautiful star souls are still here. They're your brothers and your sisters and a piece of them is in you. You're in a quantum state with them. I can't explain that anymore either. But some of you can feel it. Some of you can see it. It's beautiful, and it's not inappropriate, odd or scary. Instead, it is the real creation story on the planet and can be found in the indigenous writings all over the planet. Look for references to the seven sisters and the stories about creation.

In your DNA surges all that you ever were, old soul, and we have told you in many channellings how you can access this. This access is not just as spiritual information, but as the ability to access some of the Human attributes that you had in the past. The essence of the energy of who you used to be is in your DNA. Therefore, this Akashic information has the ability to communicate to the blueprint of your stem cells. Remember, it's all within the same double-helix structure that contains the protein-encoded section, your genes! Are you understanding this? Your DNA is, therefore, a far larger system than any medical authority has ever believed it to be. It is an interdimensional system that has the ability to modify itself at any time. It explains spontaneous remission. Spontaneous remission is the Human Being who decides they're done with the disease, and who then picks up the energy from a past life that never had the disease. Many Humans have rid themselves of the most virulent diseases known to man. They suddenly come up clean with no trace of it - spontaneous remission. The dreaded disease simply goes away. I'll tell you, dear one, that is not a miracle from above. That's a miracle from within.  …”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dutch army brings in yoga teacher to help soldiers de-stress

DutchNews, October 19, 2016

Photo: American Forces Press Service 

The Dutch armed forces have brought in a yoga teacher to see if yoga exercises can help soldiers process stress and traumatic experiences, according to the AD

Johan Noordloos will focus primarily on teaching army sports instructors to incorporate yoga into their programmes, the paper said. 

Noordloos told the AD that yoga and being trained to kill are not incompatible. 

Dutch soldiers do kill, but they do that to protect others, he said. ‘This is the world we live in,’ he said. ‘But I can help people who have been trained to deal with war to experience peace.’ 

The lessons will be voluntary and no soldier will be forced to take up yoga, although officials say they do believe the practice will be useful. 

‘Being in the army puts soldiers in stressful situations,’ spokesman Jeroen de Vries told the paper. ‘Yoga can help restore the balance in their lives. We want to find out if it helps them deal with difficult situations more easily.’ 

Jean Debie, head of the VBM military union, has welcomed the move. ‘Why not learn the technique if it helps your relax and beat stress,’ Debie said. 

According to the AD, yoga is already used in by the British and US armed forces.

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"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration LecturesGod / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems  (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it),  Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse),  Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) (Text version)

“… "Wow, Kryon, how long is that going to take?"

The Humans in the room control that and those listening later and reading. When you leave this room, what are you going to do? Go home, report this, rub your hands together, and wait for it to happen? It won't. For the Humans in the room and the old souls hearing and reading have got work to do, and I've told you this before. You've got work to do.

There's an alliance that you're going to have to create with one another and with another group - the young people of Earth. The youth of this earth are changing the way things work. Can you see it? You're not supposed to sit around and watch them either, because they need you, old soul.

It's time for you to align with the indigos and the concepts of the youth of the planet. Do not think for a moment that their age shows their wisdom. These two attributes are not commensurate with one another; they're not linear. These young people may be older souls than you are! Don't think that because they've got technology that you don't understand that you can't be one with them. Their technology is social networking, the very thing we are talking about, where everyone can talk to everyone. The new consciousness on the planet starts in two areas - the children and the old souls.


This is the message of the day. The recalibration of awareness is going to change systems, education, government and finance. Those who don't choose to be spiritual at all will still move with a new awareness, for they will be aware of something that they are not aware of now - a softer way of living.

We close with a trite statement that we've given before, but that many have stated in jest: "If women ran the world, they would never send their sons to be killed on a battlefield."

Many laugh. How trite, how simple minded. Indeed, there have been women leaders who have put wars together; they had to. They sent their sons, so that's not really a correct statement. However, it's more right than you may think, dear ones.

So now I will make the statement I have made over and over in these recalibrated channellings: "When recalibrated Humans run the world, there will come a day when they will never send their sons into the battlefield." You see, awareness will change all of that. They will eventually see the wisdom of unification, new ways to settle issues, and the intuitive attribute of putting things together instead of tearing them apart.

There will be a time when government armies will not need to be large, and weapons will not be as powerful. Slowly, government won't need them. Slowly, slower than you want, these things will happen as the old soul carries his light and looks at the masters of the planet and emulates them.

You've all heard it: There will come a time when the masters will come back to Earth, and there are many who are waiting for this. However, it has already happened! They couldn't come back until the alignment was right and now it is right. This is what you are feeling in 2012 and beyond. It's starting to happen, and they're back. But they're not back as corporeal Human Beings. They're back as the energy of recalibrating of the awareness of God.

I wouldn't say these things unless they were true. Watch for these things, dear ones. Remember where you heard them first and when some of them start to occur in your news. And when you see the earth working in this fashion, dear one, maybe you'll realize that what I have given today is real.

Be circumspect. There is no perfect timing. Humans will create all this at their own pace. Do not be in fear of the things that might follow, for I say it yet again that the old energy will show itself soon in survival mode and it won't be pretty.

In this beginning of new energy, stand tall and turn on your light. Darkness will shirk before you. That is the truth of the day.

I am Kryon, in love with humanity.

And so it is.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Activists Don Animal Costumes to Protest Jatinegara Wildlife Market

Jakarta Globe, Ratri M. Siniwi, October 14, 2016

Activists from Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group wore animal costumes
 to protest at the Jakarta City Hall on Thursday (13/10), calling on Jakarta
Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama to shut down the Jatinegara wildlife
market in the eastern part of the capital. (Photo courtesy of Scorpion
Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group)

Jakarta. Activists from Scorpion Wildlife Trade Monitoring Group, a local animal welfare organization, wore animal costumes to protest at the Jakarta City Hall on Thursday (13/10), calling on governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to shut down the Jatinegara wildlife market in the eastern part of the capital.

"Every day, we see acts of cruelty against animals, they are locked up in small cages without water. Some of them are protected species," the group's senior investigator, Marison Guciano, told

According to Scorpion's investigation from September, approximately 2,300 illegally trafficked animals were available for sale at the Jatinegara market, 2,000 of them birds. The rest were long-tailed macaques, civets, turtles and snakes.

The governor said he was unaware of the report.

"I have not received the report, but [illegal wildlife trade] is certainly prohibited," Ahok told

World's oldest captive giant panda, Jia Jia, dies aged 38

After weeks of deteriorating health, the world's oldest giant panda in captivity has died at a Hong Kong theme park. Jia Jia was a gift from Beijing on the second anniversary of Hong Kong's independence from Britain.

Deutsche Welle, 16 Oct 2016

Hong Kong giant panda, Jia Jia

Veterinarians were forced on Sunday to euthanize the world's oldest captive giant panda in Hong Kong in order to prevent the animal from further suffering.

"This is a day we knew would eventually come, but it is nevertheless a sad day for everyone at the Park, especially for the Park's keepers who took care of her over the years," Ocean Park chairman Leo Kung said in a statement.

Giant panda Jia Jia was born in the wild and was taken to a wildlife reserve's breeding centre in 1980, when she was around two-years-old.

Euthanasia to 'prevent suffering'

After taking medication for high blood pressure and arthritis in old age, Jia Jia's condition deteriorated significantly over the past two weeks. As her food consumption plummeted from 10 kilograms (22 pounds) a day to less than three, the panda dramatically lost weight.

"Her state became so debilitated that based on ethical reasons and in order to prevent suffering, veterinarians from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and Ocean Park [authorities] agreed to a humane euthanasia for Jia Jia," the theme park said.

Race to save the species

Although pandas are traditionally symbolic animals in China, Jia Jia carried extra significance as she, along with another panda An An, were gifts from Beijing to Hong Kong in 1999 on the occasion of its second anniversary of independence from Britain.

Jia Jia, whose name translates as 'excellence,' held the Guinness World Record as the oldest living giant panda in captivity. The average lifespan for a panda is only 18 to 20 years in the wild, although that jumps to 30 for pandas in captivity.

Due to their low birth rate and the destruction of their natural habitats, captive breeding programs have become essential to ensuring the species' survival. According to Ocean Park, Jia Jia gave birth five times to six panda cubs whilst in captivity.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that there are fewer than 2,000 giant pandas now left in the wild.

tm/jlw (AFP, AP)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Cow manure power plan steams ahead

DutchNews, October 4, 2016

Grass: a new potential power source.
Two hundred farmers will soon be generating electricity from cow manure and there are plans to recruit 1,000 in four years, reports NOS on Tuesday.

FrieslandCampina, the largest dairy collective in the Netherlands, set up a business in September called Jumpstart to channel subsidies to farmers who want to install mono-digesters that break down waste into biogas.

Henk Kamp, minister for economic affairs, has committed €150m to the project and turned on the first mono-digester in Friesland on Tuesday morning.

FrieslandCampina plans to pay farmers a surcharge of €10 per thousand litres of milk they sell if they buy a mono-digester, and currently works with 13,500 of the Netherland’s 17,000 farmers. The organisation has committed to carbon-neutral growth, and currently most of the 13% of carbon emissions from the agriculture sector come from methane released by cow manure. 

There has been some debate about whether it is sustainable to generate electricity from cow dung, since mono-digesters only become profitable for a farm of at least 150 cattle. 

On Monday, FrieslandCampina announced that it wants to change its profit-sharing scheme with members, abolishing a quantum allowance and effectively stopping seasonal payments to farmers. It intends to increase its premium for outdoor grazing to €1.50 per 100kg of milk (from €1), and final proposals will be agreed in December.

Related Articles:

(39) Question: Dear Kryon: I've noticed how many children are developing severe allergies to foods (my daughter included). When I've researched this, it seems that most of the allergies are essentially to seeds, grains, legumes, eggs, and dairy. I've noticed that these foods all hold the potential for life, or in the case of dairy, are essentially used to sustain the first stages of life in an animal's baby. My feeling is that because we're not releasing the life force within these foods (that is, sprouting, etc.), they're becoming harmful to us. I would like your impressions of this.

Answer: For thousands of years, these foods have worked for humanity. In these cases you speak about, the main culprit continues to be the way in which these foods are collected and processed. You won't find these allergies in third-world countries, and you won't find them within the children who work on farms, where they eat the foods directly. There will eventually have to come a day when you relax some of your efficiency attributes and go back to the way food was meant to be collected and eaten. And yes... there are effects from how the dairy animals are treated, too. Going back to some basics will help, and so will eliminating some of the procedures that supposedly create a "safer food." These procedures have instead made them begin to look like foreign food to the Human body.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

'Puppy farm capital' Ireland dogged by trafficking

Yahoo – AFP, Douglas Dalby, October 3, 2016

Some of the 59 puppies that were rescued at the port of Dublin during an
operation involving the DSPCA, Gardai and Customs officials (AFP Photo)

Dublin (AFP) - Illegal dog-breeding on an industrial scale has turned Ireland into the "puppy farm capital of Europe", according to campaigners who say a recent crackdown is failing to curb the lucrative business.

Thousands of puppies worth hundreds of euros (dollars) each are shipped to British ports and then on to mainland Europe every year, many of them secreted in the back of vans and cars.

Ireland's canine trade is "a national disgrace", said Brian Gillen, head of the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA).

"Our aim is to put them out of business," he said. "The more we interrupt their trade, the more it hits them where it hurts: in their pockets. We want to make it uneconomic for them to continue."

Although buoyed by recent seizures at various ports throughout Ireland, welfare agencies continue to face an uphill battle against an export industry -- much of it illicit -- involving at least 30,000 pups a year worth up to 20 million euros ($22 million).

Seven intelligence-led seizures at Irish ports over the past two months alone have yielded 150 puppies.

Some of the 59 puppies that were rescued at the port of Dublin during an
operation involving the DSPCA, Gardai and Customs officials (AFP Photo)

Most were so-called "designer breeds" such as Beagles, Bichon Frises, French Bulldogs or King Charles Spaniels. One shipment discovered in a car boot was worth just under 30,000 euros.

Many of the puppies are too young to travel, lack mandatory pet passports and microchips and are a potential health risk due to a failure to inoculate them against the deadly rabies virus.

All of them, according to welfare agencies, will likely develop mental and physical illnesses as a result of in-breeding and their treatment.

Raids on illegal puppy farms have found cramped conditions, little or no exercise or interaction, poor sanitation and even lack of access to water.

Campaigners say that the vast majority of smuggled puppies continue to escape detection.

Prosecutions are rare and to date nobody has been jailed for even the most flagrant breaches.

"We do not believe that local authorities are best placed to enforce the regulations," said Suzie Carley, a spokeswoman for Dogs Trust, a Dublin-based animal welfare group, calling on the central government to take control of the crackdown.

'A money racket'

The DSPCA has already worked with government agencies in Britain to develop a co-ordinated strategy for stemming a trade facilitated by the immediacy of the internet and the popularity of certain smaller breeds.

Some of the 59 puppies that were rescued at the port of Dublin during an
operation involving the DSPCA, Gardai and Customs officials (AFP Photo)

The twin-track approach involves high-profile seizures of "cargo" at ports in Ireland and Northern Ireland as well as public education campaigns to raise awareness among would-be buyers of the animal cruelty they are facilitating and the potential trouble they face for purchasing dogs illegally.

Gillen said the export trade from Ireland is particularly prevalent due to "historically useless" legislation and "lax controls", although the government has toughened laws in recent years.

Official figures show there are 73 registered puppy farms in the Republic of Ireland producing at least 30,000 dogs a year. In contrast, 895 establishments in Britain produce only around 70,000 puppies.

According to welfare organisations, some farms have more than 500 breeding bitches. The DSCPA said it would like to see them limited to 10 or fewer.

"It's certainly a money racket. I would hesitate to call any dog a 'fashion statement' but there is little doubt that celebrity culture combined with the instant gratification enabled by the internet is fuelling this horrible trade," said David Wilson, spokesman for the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Northern Ireland.

"Traditionally, you would contact a reputable breeder who would put you on a list but nowadays people are not prepared to wait.

"You can go online now in the morning and pick up the dog in a car park without any questions being asked -- it's that simple nowadays."

Monday, October 3, 2016

Global trade in African grey parrots banned

Yahoo – AFP, October 2, 2016

African Grey parrots on sale at a bird market in Kuwait City (AFP Photo/
Yasser al-Zayyat)

Johannesburg (AFP) - Delegates at a global wildlife conference on Sunday voted to ban international trade in African grey parrots, one of the world's most trafficked birds.

Prized for their ability to mimic human speech, the birds are a highly sought-after pet, but their numbers have been decimated in recent years by poaching and the destruction of their forest habitats.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meeting in Johannesburg voted 95 to 35 in a secret poll to ban the global commercial trade of the parrot.

The African grey parrot will now have 
"the highest level of protection" (AFP
Photo/Ronaldo Schemidt)
CITES said the vote result would give the African grey the "highest level of protection" by listing it in "appendix 1", which outlaws all international trade in animals facing possible extinction.

Dr Colman O'Criodain of conservation group WWF called the move "a huge step forward" in protecting the bird.

"Fraud and corruption have enabled traffickers to vastly exceed current quotas and continue to harvest unsustainable numbers of African grey parrots from Congo’s forests to feed the illegal trade," he said.

"Banning the trade will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to crack down on the poachers and smugglers, and give the remaining wild populations some much-needed breathing space."

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) estimates that between 2.1 and 3.2 million African greys were captured between 1975 and 2013.

Susan Lieberman of the Wildlife Conservation Society said the parrot had experienced "significant population declines throughout its range in West, Central and East Africa".

"It is extremely rare or locally extinct in Benin, Burundi, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Togo," she said in a statement

"If this bird could talk –- and it certainly can -– the African grey parrot would say thank you."

The CITES treaty, signed by 182 countries and the European Union, protects about 5,600 animal and 30,000 plant species from over-exploitation through commercial trade.

The 12-day conference, which ends on Wednesday, is sifting through 62 proposals to tighten or loosen trade restrictions on around 500 species.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

No exceptions to cosmetics animal testing ban: top EU court

Yahoo – AFP, September 21, 2016

The European Court of Justice said EU law bars any cosmetic product containing
 ingredients which have been tested on animals, wherever that may occur (AFP
Photo/Emmanuel Dunand)

Brussels (AFP) - The EU's top court on Wednesday ruled that there can be no exceptions to a ban on animal testing by cosmetics manufacturers in the bloc.

The case arose in Britain after three companies sought to market cosmetics that were developed for sale in China and Japan using animal tests outside the European Union.

The European Court of Justice said EU law bars any cosmetic product containing ingredients which have been tested on animals, wherever that may occur.

"The Court states next that EU law makes no distinction depending on where the animal testing was carried out," the Luxembourg-based ECJ said in a statement.

The law aims to promote the use of alternative methods to meet consumer safety standards and that "objective would be seriously compromised if the prohibitions... could be circumvented by carrying out the animal testing in third countries," it said.

The European Federation for Cosmetic Ingredients (EFCI), which brought the case, had argued that the companies did not break the law since the animal testing had been carried out to comply with regulations in third countries.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dutch fur farm ban must go back to court, advocate general says

DutchNews, September 19, 2016

A legal case in which the Dutch fur farmers association took on the state to have an impending ban overturned must be heard again, the advocate general said on Monday. 

The appeal court which upheld the ban on fur farming last year did not take the financial impact on individual fur farmers sufficiently into account, Paul Vlas said in his recommendations. The advice of the advocate general is not binding but generally accepted by the Supreme Court. 

The ban on fur farming was introduced in the Netherlands in 2013 and included an 11-year changeover period. In 2014 a lower court  found in favour of fur farmers who are furious at being ordered to shut down their companies without compensation. 

The state appealed against that ruling and last year the appeal court said the new legislation does take the interest of fur farmers sufficiently into account because of the 11-year changeover period.

Financial damage

However, the advocate general said on Monday the appeal court ‘wrongly limited its reasoning to the question of whether the changeover period would limit the damage to fur farmers in general’. 

The Supreme Court will publish its ruling in December. 

The Netherlands has some 160 fur farms producing five million pelts a year. The sector employs some 1,400 people. The Netherlands is the third biggest fur farming nation in the world behind Denmark and China.

Related Article:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Legal eagles recruited to take down drones after successful police trial

DutchNews, September 12, 2016

The Netherlands has become the first country to recruit police eagles to take out drones in mid-flight following a successful trial. 

Police began training the birds of prey in January, despite concerns from some animal welfare experts that the exercise could damage their claws. A spokesman told NRC there had been no injuries so far but protective gear could be introduced.

‘A common or garden drone has no impact on the claws of a bird of prey, but very large drones with powerful motors could cause lacerations,’ he said. ‘We are currently looking at protective measures such as a sort of clawed shoe for the birds’ feet.’ 

‘A lot of drones have perished [during the exercise],’ he added. 

The move is in response to concerns about the growing risk of drones being flown in unauthorised airspace, such as close to an airport, or interfering with other aircraft such as rescue helicopters. 

The birds which were trained in the trial are owned by a private company, but police will now recruit their own flying squad for active service.

‘Police have purchased four month-old American sea eagle chicks. From next summer they will go out hunting drones,’ the spokesman said.

Related Article:

Eagles v drones: Dutch police to take on rogue aircraft with flying squad

Monday, September 12, 2016

World governments urge end to domestic ivory markets

Yahoo – AFP, Kerry Sheridan, September 11, 2016

After fierce debate, including opposition from Namibia and Japan, a motion was 
adopted at the IUCN World Conservation Congress to urge closure of all 
domestic ivory markets (AFP Photo/Tony Karumba)

Miami (AFP) - In a bid to stop the killing of elephants for their tusks, world governments voted at a major conservation conference to urge the closure of all domestic ivory markets.

After fierce debate -- including opposition from governments like Namibia and Japan -- the motion was adopted on the final day of the International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress, a 10-day meeting that drew 9,000 people to Honolulu, Hawaii this month.

"Today's vote by IUCN members is the first time that a major international body has called on every country in the world to close its legal markets for elephant ivory," said Andrew Wetzler, deputy chief program officer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"It's truly a landmark moment, and a victory for elephants that will hopefully be repeated later this month at the next meeting of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Johannesburg."

Although the motion is non-binding, it "urges the governments of countries with domestic ivory markets to take all necessary legislative and regulatory efforts to close them," according to the IUCN.

Experts say that domestic ivory markets help fuel poaching by allowing traffickers a cover for their illegal imports and exports.

The United States and China, among the biggest consumers of ivory, have already agreed to enact near-total bans on their domestic markets.

Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) rangers prepare a pyre in preparation for a burning 
of tonnes of ivory, rhino-horn and other confiscated wildlife trophies (AFP Photo/
Tony Karumba)

At the IUCN meeting, Japan and Namibia -- which also have thriving domestic ivory markets -- sought to soften the language of the motion by making 20 different amendments, but those efforts were rejected.

"The global conservation community is stepping up," said Wildlife Conservation Society President and CEO Cristian Samper.

"No more domestic ivory sales. Elephants have had enough of the ivory trade and so has the world."

Poaching persists

CITES banned the international commercial trade in African elephant ivory in 1989.

But illegal poaching of endangered elephants for their tusks persists at dangerous levels, according to research released at the start of the September 1-10 conference, the largest of its kind in the conservation community.

Savanna elephants have declined at a rate of 27,000 -- or eight percent -- per year, with a total of 144,000 lost in less than a decade, said the findings.

Poaching hotspots identified include Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania, where "staggering population declines" were found, said the study funded by Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen.

The US and China, among the biggest consumers of ivory, have already agreed
to enact near-total bans on their domestic markets (AFP Photo/Tony Karumba)

Other populations face "local extinction" in northeast Democratic Republic of Congo, northern Cameroon and southwest Zambia.

Wildlife groups hailed the IUCN move and called for more action at the CITES talks in Johannesburg later this month.

"There, we remain hopeful the delegates will be emboldened by the IUCN vote to adopt a resolution submitted by African governments that also calls for closure of domestic ivory markets," said Samper.

"The shutting down of domestic ivory markets will send a clear signal to traffickers and organized criminal syndicates that ivory is worthless and will no longer support their criminal activities causing security problems in local communities and wiping out wildlife."

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Three arrested with suitcases full of reptiles at Schipol

DutchNews, September 6, 2016

One of the suitcases. Photo: 
Three Spanish nationals have been arrested at Schiphol airport after customs officials found 259 reptiles stuffed into four suitcases they were carrying. 

The haul included snakes, lizards and tortoises, 10 of which had died during the journey. If they had been traded on the open market, the reptiles would have had a value of some €80,000, officials said. 

The three men were on their way from Mexico to Spain when they were stopped at Schiphol. Many of the reptiles in their bags were protected species, including 14 chucawallas, a lizard found only on the Mexican island of San Esteban. 

Last month, a German man was arrested at Schiphol airport after customs officials found dozens of snakes, lizards and other reptiles hidden in his suitcase. 

The man was on his way from South Africa to Germany to sell the animals at a reptile fair. Some 40 reptiles were stuffed in a plastic box in the suitcase and several had not survived the journey. 

And at the end of August, police and customs officers  seized a record haul of illegal animal products, including swordfish horns, mounted crocodiles and coral from five storage units in North Brabant, together with €500,000 in cash and gold.

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