There is ample evidence of systematic cruelty and regulatory failure with which to justify the New South Wales government's decision to ban greyhound racing. But this is a single industry in a single state. If we step back and look at the wider picture we see a telling lack of consistency in animal welfare policy and practice around the nation.
New South Wales has become the first state in Australia to ban greyhound racing, with an announcement on July 7 that it will be banned from July 1 next year.
Premier Mike Baird said the government was left with "no acceptable course of action except to close this industry down" after it considered an 800-page report by a special commission into the "widespread and systemic mistreatment of animals" in the industry.
In 2013 the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics (OCAE) was commissioned by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) and Cruelty Free International to produce an independent review of the ethics of using animals in research.
The BUAV is not a neutral bystander in the debate about animal testing, but it was prepared to commission independent academic research on this topic.
OCAE was founded in 2006 to pioneer ethical perspectives on animals. The centre is independent, and is not under the aegis, control or sanction of the University of Oxford.
Amid so much bad news about so many species of wildlife in danger of extinction, it is encouraging that there are finally some good stories about endangered wild animals.
There has been good news regarding rhinoceros conservation in India. The Indian state of Assam’s environmental ministry recently revealed that the population of Indian one-horned rhinoceros in the state had grown by 27% since 2006, hitting a high of 2544 animals. The Indian government has a goal of 3000 rhinos by 2020. There were only about 200 Indian rhinos in the early 1990s.
Friends of the Earth released this statement on March 13.
* * *
A judge has ruled that the environmental group Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) has a right to voice concerns over potential harm to bees from a neonicotinoid pesticide, Thiacloprid.
The judge in the Duesseldorf Regional Court revoked a previous injunction in favour of BAYER CropScience. Thiacloprid is used on crops such as oilseed rape and apples and is sold to the public in garden bug-killing products.
About 40 activists, many from conservation group Forest Rescue and anti-whaling campaigners Sea Shepherd, gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Perth on January 9. They were demanding the release of three Australian men detained on a Japanese whaling ship and for an end to the slaughter of whales.
The men had been held on board the Shonan Maru II since the early morning of January 8, when they boarded the vessel off Fremantle's coast to protest the presence of a whaling fleet in Australian waters.