October 21, 2020Lu Shegay & Zihao Yu

A New Report of Illegal Wildlife Trade in Southeast Asia and China was Released

Source: traffic.org
September 3, 2020

This report, which is the third in a series, focuses on the trafficking of pangolins, tigers, elephants, and rhinos in Southeast Asia and China in 2019, which was compiled by TRAFFIC under the USAID Wildlife Asia Activity. This report covers the year of 2019 for four species which includes “an overview of progress in the legal and political regulation of wildlife trade in 2019, along with significant behavior change research, trends, and campaigns”, the trade situation, route, patterns, and 2019 seizures for pangolins, tigers, elephants, and rhinos, and an analysis and recommendations for the findings. “It is intended that this analysis will provide a helpful summary for individuals interested in recent developments in the illegal wildlife trade.”

Commentaries of IALA

The illegal wildlife trade is a relatively low risk, high return business. It is difficult to control poaching and international trade only with the efforts of a single country. The whole industry chain of the illegal hunting and illegal trade shall be controlled through the whole process management from the beginning to the end. According to WWF, "stop the poaching", "stop the trafficking" and "stop the buying" are the ways to stop the wildlife crime.

Suspected Animal Killers Who Surrendered to Hong Kong Police Won’t Be Prosecuted, Officials Cite Lack of Evidence

Source: scmp.com
September 3, 2020

In February 2020, two men turned themselves into the Hong Kong police for throwing near 30 pets from the window, including chinchillas, rabbits, cats, a guinea pig, rodent, and parrot. The animals were found either dead or severely injured, on a path and hillside next to the building, half of them dead while another three died later. Police arrested the men for cruelty to animals. But the Department of Justice this month decided against prosecuting them, citing insufficient evidence. And one man working as a secondary school teacher is still employed by the school. Luisa Tam commented, “Prosecutors must review sickening New Territories cases, the city should toughen up animal protection laws. Hong Kong is no place for raising happy pets – soft-touch justice and lack of open spaces can make it a hostile environment.”

Commentaries of IALA

Hong Kong has the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance (Cap.169) for to regulate the cruel action to animals. The maximum of the penalty is a fine of HK$200,000 (US$25,600) and to imprisonment for 3 years. (Section 3 Penalty for cruelty to animals) In this case, however, the evidence is insufficient. There are already the anti-cruelty legislation in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan except the mainland China. But there is a heat discussion on the necessity and feasibility of the anti-cruelty legislation in the mainland China.

More and more people in Hong Kong are owning companion animals as pets but the city does not have enough facilities for these animals' daily exercises. Hong Kong’s urban planners and legislators failed to keep up with the trend of growth on companion animals. Hong Kong people love animals but Hong Kong is not an animal-friendly city.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in China.

Endangered Javan Rhino Population Continues to Increase in the Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia

Source: worlanimalnews.com
September 21, 2020

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia announced the birth of two Javan rhinos in the Ujung Kulon National Park who were a male Luther and a female Helen. According to the recent data of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the total number of this species reached 74 individuals consisting of 40 males and 34 females. 15 of the rhinos are young while 59 are of juvenile-adult age.

According to Wiratno, the Director-General of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, five other Javan Rhinos were born in the Javan Rhino habitat in Ujung Kulon National Park since last year.

Wiratno said, “The birth of the Javan Rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park confirms that the Javan Rhino population continues to experience natural breeding so that it continues to provide great hope for the survival of endangered Javan Rhinos.”

Commentaries of IALA

The birth of Javan rhinos has certainly brought good news to the country and to animal welfare communities given that at the moment, this species is considered critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List. The Javan rhino is a native species to Indonesia and extinct in Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Currently, the population of Javan rhinoceros is only 18 mature individuals and is threatened by poaching, habitat destruction, logging and wood harvesting, etc.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in Indonesia.

World Rhino Day: Sumatran Rhinos and Javan Rhinos Need Attention

Source: mongabay.com
September 22, 2020

September 22 is World Rhino Day, which looks to bring attention to the protection of the five rhino species (two African and three Asian) that exist today, which are the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), black rhino (Diceros bicornis), greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus), and Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Among them, the population of Sumatran rhino is less than 80 and Javan rhino is around 74. Two newborn Javan rhinos were found by camera traps this year in one of Indonesia’s National Park.

The species’ population was historically decimated by poaching and habitat loss, but the main threat today is the Allee Effect, the low birth rate as a result of habitat fragmentation. In 2017, the Indonesian government developed an emergency action plan for Sumatran rhinos, but the spread of COVID-19 have delayed other key conservation plans for international experts and organizations to participate,

Rhino experts have called on the Indonesian government to do “real work” to save the species of Sumatran rhino, including on a captive-breeding program widely seen as the last feasible means of staving off extinction.

Commentaries of IALA

Endangered species of animals in Indonesia are protected by Regulation No. 95, Law No. 18, and Act No. 5. The latter prohibits catching, injuring, killing, possessing, caring, transportation, and trade of animals in the part. However, the same Act allows utilizing wild animals, including for the purposes of marketing, exhibition, hunting, etc. On the international level, Javan rhinos are listed in Appendix I of the CITES.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in Indonesia.

New Investigation into Dog Meat Market in South Korea Found Over 200 Dogs Being Kept in Crates

Source: people.com
October 1, 2020

A new undercover investigation has been made in one of the dog meat auction houses in South Korea where it was found that hundreds of dogs were kept in cages and metal crates. The animal welfare organization Lady Freethinker captured some shots in the Nakwon Auction House in Namyangju, which is considered to be the largest dog auction house in South Korea.

Dog farming is one of the main issues in the country. According to the recent polls and surveys, the majority of the population answered that they are not consuming dog meat. Despite Seoul having banned dog farms in the entire city, other small towns are still practicing dog farming. Besides, dogs are usually kept in horrible conditions - there might be three dogs in one cage with obviously insufficient space.

Commentaries of IALA

Animals in South Korea are protected by the Animal Protection Act, which prohibits cruelty against vertebrates, except fish, crustaceans, etc. This Act applies to dogs, however, dog farming and dog meat trade remain one of the main issues in the country. In South Korea, over 2 million dogs are brutally killed for human consumption in violation of the Animal Protection Act. Animal rights activists are fighting for closing dog farms across the country. At the present time, the capital, Seoul has officially become a dog meat-free city.

See our blog to learn more about the protection of animals in South Korea.

Eco Disaster at Kamchatka Peninsula with the Mass Death of Sea Animals at Precious Pacific Beach

Source: siberiantimes.com
October 3, 2020

The Kamchatka Peninsula is littered with a dozen dead aquatic animals, such as deep-sea Giant Pacific octopuses, seals, sea urchins, stars, crabs, and fish. Earlier a strong toxic smell, strong headaches, throat aches, and other symptoms were noticed by local surfers. The local Ministry of Natural Resources declared that there were an oil leak and a spike in levels of phenols that caused the devastating death of so many aquatic animals and poisoning the ocean.

Greenpeace today demanded an immediate investigation into the reasons for the contamination. The scale is not yet determined but the fact that the dead animals are found all over the coast confirms the seriousness of the incident, says the ecological campaigning group.

'Eye witnesses said that water at Khalaktyrsky beach has changed colour and is no longer safe for people’s health,’ said a statement.

‘For weeks people have reported feeling a white veil in their eyes, dry eyes, worsening of eyesight, and throat ache.

‘Doctors registered eye corneal burns. Many people who have been in with water also show symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, weakness, high fever, which may indicate phenol poisoning.’

Commentaries of IALA

The Kamchatka Peninsula is the Russian region in the Far East surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk. The part of Russia is geographically located in Asia, including the Kamchatka Peninsula, but economically and politically it is considered Europe. In Russia, there is a federal act on animal welfare issues covering the conduct of cruelty to animals, animals used in entertainment, animals in captivity, the operation of animal shelters, etc. The Kamchatka Peninsula is a significant region in the aquatic ecosystem, however, the establishment of factories and other constructions may lead to such devastating consequences with massive deaths of aquatic animals and poisoning the ocean. Aquatic animals are already threatened by natural factors, such as climate change and habitat degradation, but human activities affect the population of animals as well.

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