|Cantwell, Maria – (D – WA)|
|311 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510|
|Murray, Patty – (D – WA)|
|154 RUSSELL SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510|
US company Herakles Farms plans to convert vast swaths of chimpanzee habitat in Cameroon into a colossal palm oil plantation. This is crucial habitat not only for chimpanzees, but for forest elephants and other endangered animals like the drill – Cameroon constitutes 80% of drill habitat – the rare Preuss’s red colobus monkey, the red-capped mangabey, and a whole host of rare fish species – some of which can only be found in this part of Africa.
Illustrating once again that people capable of DOING bad things won’t hesitate to LIE about them, Herakles Farms claimed the area in question consisted of land that was already farmland, and forest that was already heavily degraded, and therefore had no conservation value. However, Greenpeace aerial surveys, field research and analysis of satellite images, as well as a new study by Dschang University in Cameroon and Goetttingen University in Germany, all prove this is not true: most of the land is perfectly intact and and provides habitat for thousand of animals as well as vital corridors for wildlife between protected areas.
Another good reason for all of us to treat palm oil like meat and vow not to buy anything containing it.
We’ve written about the King Amendment before, and it keeps coming up in the news. It’s like the end of a horror movie when the villain just won’t die!
The House of Representatives passed the dangerous and overreaching King amendment, which threatens to repeal many animal protection laws on farm animal confinement, horse slaughter, puppy mills, shark finning, and even dog meat. A House-Senate conference committee will now negotiate the final Farm Bill, and we need to keep the King amendment out!
Please make a brief, polite phone call to Rep. Jim McDermott (202) 225-3106 asking for help to remove the King amendment from the final Farm Bill. If you have time, please also call Sen. Maria Cantwell (202) 224-3441 and Sen. Patty Murray (202) 224-2621.
You can say: “I’m a concerned constituent, and I’m calling to urge you to oppose the King amendment and remove it from the Farm Bill. It’s a dangerous and radical attack on states’ rights.”
The Obama administration has just done an unreservedly good thing: turned down Georgia Aquarium’s application to import 18 beluga whales from Russia for public display at its own facility in Atlanta and at partner facilities, including SeaWorld of Florida, SeaWorld of Texas, SeaWorld of California and Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, found that importing these animals would contravene the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and that beluga populations had to be protected from the continued depletion of live captures. The rejection gave the following reasons:
Beluga whales are highly social, playful animals that live and migrate in groups of ten to several hundred in the arctic and subarctic waters of Russia, Greenland and North America. Beluga whales face a number of threats including ship strikes, pollution, noise, habitat destruction and entanglement in fishing gear — in addition to live capture. Beluga hunts, like orca hunts, drive the whales into nets and rely on mother-child bonds to capture entire pods. In captivity belugas, like orcas, have greatly reduced lifespans.
Had this importation permit been issued, it would have been seen as a U.S endorsement of the cruel and unsustainable live capture industry. This decision effectively discourages the industry by closing off the U.S. as a market.
Btw…NOAA received close to TEN THOUSAND letters and emails during its 60-day public hearing period on this proposed beluga whale importation last year. If you were one of those who wrote in…see what you did. If you were not…see what you can do next time 🙂
The distinct population group of orcas who spend their summers in Puget Sound are to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announced last week. California farmers had petitioned to delist the orcas because of the water restrictions to protect Sacramento River salmon, eaten by the orcas. NOAA spent a year reviewing the petition and finally rejected it, saying the Puget Sound orcas — who have their own food source, customs and language and do not interbreed with others — were most definitely a threatened subgroup.
About 80 orcas in three pods spend most of the year in the area, down from over 100 in the 1990s. They are enormously popular with tourists, and already suffer from shipping, pollution, noise and declining food.
And now also from the lawyers who plan to continue their fight to strip them of protection.
From the Center for Biological Diversity
Action: Please tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission not to expand wolf killing but instead focus on making the 2011 plan law.
Here’s the scoop:
Washington’s wolves are making a comeback. After an extensive, five-year public process, a state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was developed to help the wolves. Instead of making the wolf plan legally enforceable, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is considering proposals to increase cases where wolves can be killed and when compensation is paid after wolf predation on domestic animals. The parts of the plan that protect wolves aren’t being considered, and a meeting has been planned for Aug. 2 to make a decision on the proposed changes.
Please tell the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission not to expand wolf killing but instead focus on making the 2011 plan law. If you can, join the Center’s West Coast Wolf Organizer, Amaroq Weiss, at the hearing in Olympia on Friday, Aug. 2 and speak up for wolves in person.
Stand up for the wolf plan and for Washington’s wolves and reject these unjustified, one-sided proposals.