News of Note

Sea lions killed for eating too many salmon
Wildlife officials have tried everything to keep sea lions from eating endangered salmon, dropping bombs that explode under water and firing rubber bullets and bean bags from shotguns and boats. Now they are resorting to issuing death sentences to the most chronic offenders.  This is the second year of the program, which is administered by wildlife officials in Oregon and Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  Last year, 11 sea lions were euthanized. Another four were transferred to zoos or aquariums.

Canadian Parliament to serve seal meat at lunch
The Canadian Parliament’s restaurant will serve seal meat this week in support of hunters battling a European Union ban on seal products, a Liberal senator said Monday.  Celine Hervieux-Payette said Wednesday’s seal meat lunch menu will allow politicians to demonstrate their backing for the annual hunt.  “All political parties will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the international community the solidarity of the Canadian Parliament behind those who earn a living from the seal hunt,” she said in a statement.

Don’t Tell the Kids
Nine people had paid $100 each to learn how to raise, kill and butcher the animals. One was a woman hoping to start a farm in the Bronx. Another was considering a move to family land in Montana. A couple dressed in black had traveled from the Upper East Side with their knives and cutting boards in an Abercrombie & Fitch bag.  Still, it’s a rabbit, the animal entire generations know as the star of children’s books and Saturday-morning cartoons, and as a classroom mascot.

Fretting About the Last of the World’s Biggest Cats
The numbers are not encouraging. Experts believe the global wild tiger population has fallen to below 3,000 — less than 3 percent of what it was just 100 years ago. Today, their range has been reduced to small patches, isolating many of the animals in genetically impoverished groups of dozens of cats or fewer.  In India, some famous tiger reserves have no tigers left at all.  The new Year of the Tiger, which began last month, will be a year of talking about the tiger, and urgently so.

Swiss voters reject giving abused animals a lawyer
The result was emphatic: Swiss voters don’t think abused animals need to have their own lawyers.  It’s a proposal that would never even come near a referendum in other countries, but the measure’s defeat Sunday disappointed animal rights advocates, who say Switzerland’s elaborate animal welfare laws aren’t being enforced.

Vegans should be protected from discrimination, says equality watchdog
The guidance, prepared by the Equality and Human Rights Commission says religions need not be mainstream or well known for their adherents to gain protection.  “A belief need not include faith or worship of a god or gods, but must affect how a person lives their life or perceives the world,” it states.  However, the government distanced itself from the code of practice and said it never intended “views or opinions” such as veganism to be covered by equality law.

Wisconsin woman feeds bear at zoo, gets fingers bitten off
This animal bit the hand that fed him – and took a couple fingers, too.  At a Wisconsin zoo Friday, a 47-year-old grandmother ignored warning signs, putting her hand through fencing to feed an Asiatic black bear, police said.

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