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News & Press
Welcome to all the latest news and press from Animal Aid.
Love Lambs This Easter
There are no creatures so universally loved as lambs. They are emblems of spring; symbolise innocence, purity and gentleness; and somehow encourage in us renewed hope for the future. And yet these beautiful animals, who we love to watch gambol and even pay to help feed during Easter holidays, are soon betrayed – taken from their mothers, fattened and sent to the slaughterhouse.
Samantha Chandler, the Secretary of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA), has a small flock of rescued sheep.Read the story of one of her feisty girls, named Violet. Watch a film of Violet and her friends Choose a cruelty-free diet this Easter
Monkeys brain-damaged and given ecstasy in 'disturbing' experiments
Animal Aid has condemned ‘profoundly disturbing’ experiments on marmoset monkeys, some of whom had already been used in similar studies. The experiments were performed in Canada but co-funded by a UK-based charity, the Cure Parkinson’s Trust.More on the marmoset experiments co-funded by the Cure Parkison's Trust Take action on the Victims of Charity website Read an article about the experiments in The Mirror Listen to our director, Andrew Tyler, debating Professors Tipu Aziz and John Stein on BBC 3 Counties Radio (starting at 1 hour 9 minutes)
Government figures on effective stunning in UK slaughterhouses attacked as 'wildly inaccurate'
The government has grossly underplayed animal suffering by issuing new figures stating that animals in British slaughterhouses are correctly stunned in more than 99 per cent of cases. This statistic comes from the number of mis-stuns witnessed and reported by Official Veterinarians who detailed just nine cases of mis-stuns in cows and three in sheep in 2013.Moreabout the underplaying of the number of animals mis-stunned in British slaughterhouses
The 2014 Grand National
Thankfully, there were no horse fatalities in this year’s Grand National but the race was a stomach-churning, chaotic event, with just 18 of the 39 who took part able to complete the course. Eight horses fell and seven were pulled up because they were exhausted or injured. There will be horses returning to their stables tonight with, at the very least, painful cuts and bruises.More on the result of the 2014 Grand National course Grand National is more than five times as lethal as other jumps races
Grand National is more than five times as lethal as other jumps races
Animal Aid remains seriously concerned about the horses entered into Saturday’s Grand National at Aintree. While there were no fatalities during the big race at last year’s event, three horses have died in the last five races staged on the Grand National course.
The national campaign group will once again be staging a demo on Saturday outside the Aintree course. It will also be supporting a protest outside the headquarters of race broadcaster Channel 4.More on the horse deaths on the Grand National course and the protests against the event
Badger Cull Announcement
Today, the government has announced that there will be no rollout of the badger cull, but that it will continue in Somerset and Gloucestershire. Defra Minister, Owen Paterson, said that – when culling is ‘perfected’ – he will allow badgers to be targeted in other parts of the country.More about the government's announcement on the future of the badger cull policy
No Safe Limit for Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
April is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to warn people that eating processed red meat – such as bacon and sausages – increases the risk of bowel cancer, the second biggest cause of cancer-related deaths in the UK. Our ‘No Safe Limit’ campaign is calling for an age restriction on sales of processed red meat, and health warning labels on packaging, to bring such products in line with cigarettes.Moreabout the No Safe Limit Campaign Order ‘No Safe Limit’ postcards and leaflets
Media Circus in a Panda Prison
Last year’s media hype surrounding the mating habits of two pandas has once again rekindled. The media today (31st March) is reporting that Tian Tian’s ‘window of receptivity’ is approaching, and that her hormone levels will be monitored constantly to try to ensure another animal is born in captivity. Tian Tian and Yang Guang are rented out by the Chinese government to Edinburgh Zoo on a 10-year contract.Read the article written by Animal Aid’s Director, Andrew Tyler, when it was announced that Tian Tian had not become pregnant last year.
As attention is focused on the Grand National… Huge rise in horse deaths recorded on courses across the country
Horse welfare has become a major talking point in the run-up to the three-day Grand National meeting at Aintree, which starts on Thursday, April 3rd. But virtually unremarked upon has been the recent shocking death toll at other racecourses around the country.Read our press release Please support Horse Racing Awareness Week Watch our film about rescued race horse, Underwriter
UK cows under greater pressure to produce more milk per animal
New figures released by the government reveal that UK milk production is rising at a faster rate than the size of the national dairy herd, meaning cows are being made to produce more milk per animal.More about the intensification of dairy farming
Sanctuary not Cruelty for Exploited Race Horses
Saturday (March 29) marks the start of Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Awareness Week, an annual campaign during which the public is asked to consider the sombre truth about an exploitative horseracing industry.More about Horse Racing Awareness Week and the Sanctuary not Cruelty Campaign Watch our film about Underwriter
Good news for the Hunting Act
The Prime Minister has confirmed that the Hunting Act will not now be changed to allow more than two dogs to ‘flush out’ foxes. At Prime Minister's Questions, Angela Smith MP asked David Cameron to quash or confirm rumours about the proposal and he replied: ‘I regret to say I don't think there'll be government agreement to go forward’. The government had planned to amend the Act via a Statutory Instrument, which would have amounted to a repeal of the hunting ban. There is still a chance that this government will allow a free vote on whether the Hunting Act should be repealed but, for now, the Hunting Act is safe.
Thank you to everyone who lobbied their MPs and the Prime Minister.Read the BBC report
Please support Horse Racing Awareness Week
Animal Aid's Horse Racing Awareness Week starts on 29 March and leads up to the country's most famous race, the Grand National.
This year, we are again promoting our popular Sanctuary not Cruelty initiative. The campaign is aimed both at individuals who visit bookmakers and at workplace sweepstakes, offering those who are concerned about the Grand National a positive alternative. Instead of supporting animal cruelty, we are asking people to help specialist sanctuaries that rescue horses – including ex-race horses.Order an information pack Find out more Death rate at Cheltenham four times higher than average
Death rate at Cheltenham four times higher than average
Four horses died at last week’s four-day Cheltenham Festival. This is an attrition rate four times higher than that found in racing as a whole, and twice the death rate when only jump racecourses are considered.More about the high fatality rate at Cheltenham Raya Star dies in final race of Cheltenham Festival Akdam and Stack The Deck die on second day of Cheltenham Festival Our Conor dies on the first day of Cheltenham Festival Why Cheltenham Racecourse is the most lethal in Britain: A major new Animal Aid analysis
Hunting ban under threat
The government has indicated that it is considering amending the Hunting Act by using an Affirmative Statutory Instrument (SI), a type of legislation that can be used to push unpopular changes through Parliament with less scrutiny than a full vote would require. This SI would lift the limit on the number of dogs used to flush out wild mammals, effectively repealing the Hunting Act.
Please support the League Against Cruel Sports' campaign to stop repeal by the back door.Contact your MP
Another horse dies in final race of the Cheltenham Festival
In the final race of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, eight-year-old Raya Star died after suffering a suspected fractured spine. He was the fourth equine fatality at this year’s four-day meeting.More about the death of Raya Star Akdam and Stack The Deck die on second day of Cheltenham Festival Our Conor dies on the first day of Cheltenham Festival Why Cheltenham Racecourse is the most lethal in Britain: A major new Animal Aid analysis
None of the early tributes to Tony Benn in the mainstream media made any reference to his deep commitment to the cause of animal protection. Tony, whose death was announced today (March 14), had been our Patron for eight years, and was much more than a ‘paper’ supporter.More about the life of Tony Benn See Tony Benn speaking at the 2006 Animal Aid sponsored walk.
Exactly 25 years ago today (March 13, 1989), The Independent newspaper published an article by Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler (at the time, a freelance journalist) that described in harrowing detail the journey of a group of pigs from their farms to their death in a mainstream, EU-approved Hampshire abattoir. Called Slaughterhouse Tales, it attracted the newspaper’s biggest-ever postbag for a single article and went on to prompt questions in parliament as well as being reprinted in several newspapers and in two books.
The article has important lessons for today.More about the Slaughterhouse Tales article
Three horses dead at Cheltenham Festival
A four-year-old horse, inexperienced over the jumps and ridden by a young, inexperienced jockey, became the second victim of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival. Akdam broke a foreleg racing in the 16.40 Juvenile Handicap Hurdle. On the Festival’s opening day (Tuesday), Our Conor suffered what turned out to be fatal spinal injuries in the Champion Hurdle race.
Stop press: It is reported this evening (Wednesday) that the Festival has claimed a third victim. Five-year-old Stack The Deck was destroyed after fracturing a knee in the 17.15 Champion Bumper.More about the death of Akdam at Cheltenham Festival Our Conor dies on the first day of Cheltenham Festival
Our Conor dies on the first day of Cheltenham Festival
Cheltenham Racecourse, which Animal Aid’s Race Horse Deathwatch has identified as the most lethal in the country, saw another fatality today (11 March 2014) in the fourth race of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.
Our Conor, a five-year-old who was sold for €1m in 2013, took a crunching fall and slammed into the ground at the third hurdle of the main event of the day - the 15.20 Champion Hurdle race.More about animal-friendly
Cambridge anti-vivisection protests make powerful impact
Our two days of action against animal experiments at Cambridge University have had a powerful impact, with excellent public engagement and strong local media coverage. The peaceful protests were supported by local campaign group Animal Rights Cambridge. They followed the discovery of a particularly shocking experiment performed on pregnant sheep at Cambridge University, which was supported by the British Heart Foundation. The disturbing ‘procedure’ involved 12 ewes and their unborn lambs being surgically mutilated, partially suffocated and killed.More about Animal Aid's protests against the animal experiments carried out by Cambridge University Read more about the experiments and take action
Eating animal protein is linked to early death and cancer
New research published in the journal Cell Metabolism shows that eating high levels of protein from animal sources – such as meat, milk and eggs – increases the risk of death from cancer by four times and the overall risk of early death by 75 per cent in people aged 50-65.Read the original research Take the Big Veg Pledge More about the link between animal protein and cancer
Animal Aid takes action against cruel Cambridge experiments
Animal Aid was joined by Cambridge activists on March 6 as it stepped up the pressure against cruel animal experiments performed at the city’s university. The day of peaceful protest featured Animal Aid’s ‘battle bus’ and follows the recent discovery of a particularly disturbing experiment that involved the surgical mutilation of heavily pregnant sheep and the partial suffocation of their unborn lambs. The ‘procedure’ was supported by the British Heart Foundation.More about Animal Aid's protest against the animal experiments carried out by Cambridge University
Why Cheltenham Racecourse is the most lethal in Britain: A major new Animal Aid analysis
Crowded races, long distances to run, the use in demanding events of novice horses, stiff fences and challenging racing ground … these are key factors that lead to more horses being killed at Cheltenham Racecourse than at any other track in Britain, according to a detailed new Animal Aid analysis.More about Animal Aid's new report into why more horses die in racing at Cheltenham Racecourse Read our new report Details of our protest at Cheltenham
It's official: Badger culls were 'ineffective and failed humaneness test'
An independent scientific assessment of last year's pilot badger culls in parts of Gloucestershire and Somerset has concluded that they were not effective. And that more than 5 per cent of the shot badgers took longer than five minutes to die, thus failing the test for humaneness.
The government Minister George Eustice told The Times that the government was not bound to heed the advice of the report and that it could approve a nationwide badger killing programme.Read the BBC News article Write to your MP and demand the badger cull be dropped