It’s a panda party for Fu Ni

Adelaide Zoo has thrown a birthday party for the ninth birthday party of Fu Ni the giant panda.

The event was the female panda’s fifth birthday in Australia since arriving at Adelaide Zoo in 2009, and she was given a number of stimulating, panda-friendly treats.

Fu Ni and her counterpart male, Wang Wang, are part of an international . . . → Read More: It’s a panda party for Fu Ni

Government removed whistleblower following export industry concerns

Simon Crean_1392The Federal Government removed a whistleblower vet from her duties following the presentation of evidence of cruelty on Australian live export ships.
The ABC’s 7.30 obtained evidence which they claim demonstrates that Lynn Simpson was dumped by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources after she made a highly critical report in 2012.
Simpson’s report included pictures of animals suffocating in overcrowded conditions, drowning in faeces and being forced to stand on hard surfaces for weeks on end.
The report was apparently intended to be an internal document, but it was accidentally published on the department’s website.
Simpson was relieved of her duties within weeks of publication, and claims her evidence was soon sanitised.
The then first assistant secretary of the department’s Animal Division, Karen Schneider, contacted Simpson in a letter obtained by the ABC and conceded she was removed from her role because of industry concerns.
“This is because the industry with which we engage has expressed the view they cannot work with you,” Schneider wrote. Continue reading Government removed whistleblower following export industry concerns

Inspectorate investigation for RSPCA Victoria

Liz Walker

RSPCA Victoria has announced an independent review into its inspectorate.
The review will be conducted by former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Neil Comrie AO APM.
The community is invited to make submissions that will help the Senior Reviewer answer the following questions:
• What is the scale of animal cruelty in Victoria?
• What resourcing and approaches . . . → Read More: Inspectorate investigation for RSPCA Victoria

RSPCA’s fears government ‘hands-off’ approach to live exports

Animal welfare groups are calling on the federal government to resist efforts to “water down” regulation of the live export industry.

In a submission to the LGAP (Livestock Global Assurance Program) Committee, RSPCA Australia said new proposals from industry would lead to self-regulation and less government oversight of an industry which has seen serious breaches in animal welfare.

RSPCA Australia’s Senior Policy Officer Jed Goodfellow, said the submission to the Committee had raised concerns over the implications of the “government hands-off” proposals from the industry.

“The LGAP process is industry-driven and funded,” he said.

“It has been promoted on the basis that it is ‘independent of government’ and may appease foreign markets that have opposed the current Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS).”

LGAP describes itself as a joint research project that is “focused on developing a global conformity assessment program that protects the welfare of animals and fosters continual improvement and the attainment of best practice.”

Goodfellow said the industry needs to answer some questions regarding claims that LGAP would operate independent of government. Continue reading RSPCA’s fears government ‘hands-off’ approach to live exports

Fighting decline with tracker turtles

A number of small turtles have been released in western Sydney as part of a program seeking to make amends for a decline in native freshwater species.

Around 20 juvenile eastern long-necked turtles with tiny trackers glued to their shells were released into lagoons at the Western Sydney University Hawkesbury campus, ABC News reports.

The campus is part of the wider Hawkesbury catchment, about 50 kilometres west of Sydney city.

The research was led by zoologist Ricky Spencer, who is worried about the decline in turtle numbers in the Hawkesbury and in other habitats such as the Murray River.

“There’s been a decline of freshwater turtles throughout south-eastern Australia largely because of introduced predators like the fox, which destroy 95 per cent of turtle nests each year,” he said.

“Eastern long-necked turtles are the most common turtle in the Sydney region and can live up to 100 years, but with a decline in the number of juveniles, the species effectively has an ageing population.”

The trackers on these turtles will be operational for about six months, and it is hoped they will reveal how many survive and where they will go. Continue reading Fighting decline with tracker turtles