April 19, 2021Lu Shegay & Zihao Yu

Beyond Meat is Opening its First Manufacturing Facility in China

Source: worldanimalnews.com

April 8, 2021

Beyond Meat announced the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the Jiaxing Economic & Technological Development Zone near Shanghai.

Designed to serve China’s growing plant-based meat market, the facility will produce Beyond Meat’s innovative range of plant-based products, including Beyond Pork, the company’s first innovation created specifically for the Chinese market.

The announcement comes just one year after the company first entered mainland China through a nationwide partnership with Starbucks China. They also partnered with well-known foodservice and retail brands KFC, Pizza Hut, Jindingxuan, GangLi Beijing, Hema, METRO China, and more.

Beyond Meat’s strict ingredient guardrails and commitment to making products utilizing simple, plant-based ingredients without GMOs has enabled the brand to expand product distribution closer to the consumer and leveraging local supply chains.

Commentaries of IALA

Beyond Meat is a U.S. plant-based producer that is designed to emulate beef, meatballs, ground meat, pork sausage links, and patties. The ingredients of the products include pea protein isolates, rice protein, mung bean protein, potato starch, sunflower lecithin, apple extract, etc. Currently, it is one of the popular plant-based meat products in the world. Since its launch, the company has partnered with more than 50 countries and their distributors. Beyond Meat is now spreading its roots in China as well making it accessible for people to obtain and try plant-based meat products.

‘Godzilla’ 6-Foot Monitor Lizard Invades 7/11 Convenience Store in Thailand

Source: sciencetimes.com

April 10, 2021

A massive monitor lizard gave customers and staff a scare as it casually strolled through the shelves of a 7-11 store in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. The giant lizard, estimated to be 6-feet (1.83 meters) long, walked down the isles and went to the beverage coolers of the convenience store. Unable to open the glass doors, it changed direction and went toward a snack shelf, climbing up and down the shelves and knocking items down. The monitor lizard's visit to the convenience store was captured by a customer, who took photos and a video of the encounter. One of the convenience store employees called local authorities who brought in reptile handlers to safely assist the monitor lizard out of the convenience store and into a nearby bush.

Commentaries of IALA

Monitor lizards are large lizards in the genus Varanus. They are native to Africa, Asia, and Oceania, and one species is also found in the Americas as an invasive species. They are important to the ecosystem and are suggested to join a rare group of reptiles,

the “Ecosystem Engineers” according to research. “Species referred to as ecosystem engineers have a significant impact on their environment based on their ability to create, change, maintain, or even destroy a particular habitat.” The human-wildlife interaction/conflict shall be properly treated to avoid unnecessary harm to the wildlife and the ecosystem.

Two Dead Whales Wash Up on Bangladesh Beach

Source: channelnewsasia.com

April 10, 2021

Two dead whales have washed up on the same stretch of Bangladesh coastline in two days, officials said on Saturday, raising suggestions that they were killed by sea pollution.

Officials said the second, much longer whale washed up on Himchhari Beach, outside the resort city of Cox's Bazar, at around 8:30 am Saturday, just a day after the carcass of another Bryde's whale was found 2km from the spot.

Mohammad Shahidul Alam, a professor at the Institute of Marine Science and Fisheries, said parts of the Bay of Bengal are seriously polluted, and that could have led to the animals' demise. A spokesman for Bangladesh's environment and forestry department said its researchers had collected samples from the carcasses for post mortem examinations.

Commentaries of IALA

There were already two cases of similar whales being washed up on Cox's Bazar beaches in 1996 and 2006. Sea pollution, along with many other threatened factors, is one of the major problems in protecting aquatic life. Two dominant types of pollution in our oceans are chemicals and trash. Both types are, unfortunately, caused by human activities, such as the use of fertilizer on farms, the runoff of chemicals, etc. There were hundreds of cases of aquatic animals being filled up with plastic trash that ends up in the ocean and which aquatic animals mistakenly consume. Some of the common types of plastic include bags, bottles, and fishing gear.

There are ways to prevent pollution in the oceans and save aquatic life - the use of disposable items (bottles, bags, masks, gloves). It is surely a long process, but in order to save the planet that may not exist without our oceans and aquatic creatures that keep the oceans healthy, we have to start taking small and necessary steps.

Kaavan Makes His Movie Debut with Cher and the Loneliest Elephant on April 22

Source: dawn.com

April 10, 2021

A documentary on the 'world's loneliest elephant', Kaavan's journey from solitary confinement in Pakistan to a sanctuary in Cambodia is going to be released on April 22.

Cher and her organization, Free The Wild, adopted the cause early on and thus began the daunting task of transporting the four-ton malnourished mammal 2,300 miles across Asia during a pandemic.

Kaavan was brought to Pakistan in 1985 at age of 1 as a gift from the Sri Lankan government and became the only Asian elephant in Pakistan. From 6 to 28 years old, he lived with Saheli, another female Asian elephant until Saheli died in 2012 due to infections from the cuts caused by her chains. Then Kaavan lived alone for 8 years without any contact with another Asian elephant. After moving into the sanctuary in Cambodia, Kaavan got the first contact with an elephant in eight years.

Commentaries of IALA

The Asian elephant is the largest land mammal on the Asian continent. Asian elephants are highly social animals with extremely complex and highly developed behaviors, including empathetic behavior, problem-solving and tool use, and communications between individuals. The social structure of elephants is complex, varying by gender, and population dynamics and the Asian elephant herds usually consist of about 8-12 individuals and are led by the oldest female, the matriarch.

Isolating an Asian elephant is against the freedom from discomfort and the freedom to express normal and natural behaviors for animal rights and harming the animal welfare of health, behavior, and mental state. Treating animals merely as property is not right as they are living and sentient beings.

The Growth of the Endangered Rhinos Population in Nepal

Source: goodnewsnetwork.org

April 12, 2021

A third country has announced some good news for rhinos this year. Populations of the endangered one-horned rhinoceros in Nepal have increased by 16% over the past six years.

The new National Rhino Count 2021 estimates the current number stands at 752 individuals up from 645 in 2015. In the 1960s there were only around 100 left in the country.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation used 57 elephants in their search for rhinos, along with 350 trained personnel who swept the jungle areas to document a species headcount.

Meanwhile, in Africa, 2020 was a remarkable year for rhino protection in Kenya where not one single rhino lost its horn or its life last year—a feat not achieved since 1999. In South Africa, which contains 80% of all African rhinos, 2020 was the sixth consecutive year that rhino poaching incidents dropped in the massive Kruger National Park. Since 2017, deaths have plummeted by 60%.

Commentaries of IALA

The greater one-horned rhinoceros is a species of rhinos endemic to the Indian subcontinent. They are native to India and Nepal, extinct in Bangladesh and Bhutan, and their origin is uncertain in Pakistan. According to the IUCN Red List assessment in 2018, this species is classified as Vulnerable globally. They are also listed under Appendix I of CITES, which prohibits the trade of the listed species and their parts. Despite their population growth in Nepal, these rhinoceros still remain threatened mostly by poaching and habitat loss. Moreover, with climate changing and infrastructure development, it becomes challenging to save wildlife species.

Japan to Start Releasing Treated Fukushima Water into the Sea in 2 Years

Source: cnn.com

April 13, 2021

Japan will start releasing more than 1 million metric tons of treated radioactive water from its destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean in two years, the government said Tuesday -- a plan that faces opposition at home and has raised "grave concern" in neighboring countries. The decision to release the wastewater comes more than a decade after the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011, having been repeatedly delayed due to safety concerns and strong opposition from local fishermen still reeling from the fallout of the crisis. Work to release the water into the Pacific Ocean will begin in about two years, and the whole process is expected to take decades, according to the Japanese government. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said dealing with the treated water is "an unavoidable issue" in order to decommission the nuclear plant.

Commentaries of IALA

The U.S. government made an announcement to support Japan’s decision. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also supports Japan and said the Japanese Government’s decision "is in line with practice globally, even though a large amount of water at the Fukushima plant makes it a unique and complex case”. However, both Japan and the U.S. government have set limitations on sales and importing of agricultural and aquacultural products produced in the affected regions since the nuclear disaster in 2011. The impact on the fishing industry and the marine ecosystem is significant. The Precautionary Principle shall be applied to avoid the potential risk from nuclear contamination to the ocean and the global aquatic animals.

Read more: Opinion: Fukushima Nuclear Waste and Its Impact on Animals

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