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Pictures - with thanks to AnimalsAsia - show the dramatic move from captivity to rescue. You can make this happen.
The CWCA in Beijing has been a long time friend of the Animals Asia Foundation and instrumental in closing many bear farms and helping to build the rescue centre in China.
Below is a letter of thanks sent by UK Green MEPs Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas to the China Wildlife Conservation Association. The letter is a sample letter which you can also use. To find out more click here
Dear Mr. Chen Run Sheng and Directors of the CWCA,
We would like to express our grateful thanks and appreciation for your commitment in developing programmes that are helping wild, domesticated and endangered species in China.
We support your recent statements on behalf of the Chinese Central Government in working with the Animals Asia Foundation towards ending bear farming once and for all and sincerely encourage the achievement of this goal by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
As Members of the European Parliament Animal Welfare Intergroup, we further encourage you in all your endeavours to replace bear bile with the cheap and effective herbal and synthetic alternatives.
Jean Lambert, Green Party MEP for London
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for the South East of England and Vice President of the Animal Welfare Intergroup
As a member of the Petitions Committee, Jean was instrumental in pushing for action on the trade in bushmeat.
In January 2004, EURO-MPs voted to take urgent measures to stamp out the illegal trade in endangered species as poached 'bushmeat' in response to the most widely supported petition to the European Parliament.
Green Party MEP Jean Lambert, a member of the committee which received the 1.9 million-signature petition, said: "The European parliament has voted to stamp out the import and sale of illegally poached wildlife as meat in the EU and work closely with international agencies and developing nations to stamp out the poaching of wildlife that fuels the trade.
"The trade in bushmeat has escalated in recent years, due to increased urban demand, use of modern weapons and hunting methods by poachers, logging and mining operations encroaching on forested areas and wildlife habitats and the development of highways in forested areas. Evidence suggests increasing quantities of endangered wildlife are being sold as a luxury meat in the EU.
Animal welfare organisations have warned the sale of bushmeat poses a threat to endangered species and encroaches on the resources on which forest-dwelling peoples depend."Logging companies are responsible for opening up forested areas and encouraging the use of bushmeat as an apparently free and readily available food source for their workers.
Today's decision means such irresponsible activity could limit loggers' access to EU markets," Mrs Lambert, London's Green Euro-MP, told fellow MEPs in Strasbourg."Wildlife must be seen as valuable assets shared by us all and not expendable, expensive luxuries for the few. We must educate both consumers and suppliers of illegal bushmeat in the EU and keep the bushmeat trade out of Europe."
LIVE ANIMAL TRANSPORT
Jean met with Joanna Lumley when the actress came to Parliament to highlight the horrendous conditions suffered by live cattle during their journey to the Middle East - where they are eventually slaughtered. The event was hosted by Compassion in World Farming who are calling on the Commission and Council to abolish all subsidies for the export of live cattle from the EU. Jean has also signed the Written Declaration on animal transport.
Jean welcomed Parliament's vote to strengthen action concerning live animal transport. "We know that current legislation is not being properly implemented and that there is still tremendous suffering for animals being transported over long distances without adequate care,"said Jean, speaking after the vote.
"I particularly welcome the proposal that the Commission should develop a policy plan to look seriously at regionalising the production chain, something the Greens have long supported as part of regional development"
The report demands the limiting of transport times (to a maximum of eight hours or 500km) and supporting local and mobile abattoirs so that animals do not need to be transported for miles, thus risking the spread of disease as well as causing additional suffering.
It also demands that member states enforce the legislation, exchange information and introduce stricter penalties for those contravening regulations.
"We are now waiting for Commission and Council to take this seriously,"said Jean. "On past performance, it will still take a lot of pressure and monitoring from the public to get results. Parliament will also be demanding progress. It's time this barbaric treatment was stopped."
*The report by Albert Maat is Parliament's response to the Commission's report on the 1995 update to the Directive concerning the protection of animals during transport.
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EU Ban on keeping pregnant pigs in narrow cages
The Green Group in the European Parliament has been at the forefront of campaigning to make animal welfare a priority in the European institutions. Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party, South East Region) is the vice-chair of the Parliament's cross-party animal welfare 'Intergroup', and she works closely with the RSPCA and other animal welfare groups in Brussels to get their proposals into the Parliamentary agenda. Through her, Jean is kept well aware of these issues.
In July 2001, the European Council adopted a Directive amending current legislative rules on the protection of pigs. The new rules remedy the main welfare problems identified in a science-based Commission report on intensive pig farming. They prohibit the confinement of pregnant pigs to individual stalls and tethering of sows and gilts. The new rules will become applicable as of 1 January 2003. The Directive also sets rules to improve the living environment of pigs and piglets, such as a minimum size of sow pens, and requires permanent access to rooting materials and fibre food. The MEPs were consulted on the text of this Council Directive and urged the Commission to continue its efforts to address outstanding issues in intensive pig farming in the near future.
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Rhanee the Elephant
Jean and Caroline Lucas, MEP, have received a number of letters requesting our help to secure the release of Rhanee, a female ex-Chipperfield Circus elephant who is current residing alone in a Spanish zoo. Rhanee, left mentally disturbed from her years in the circus, was sold to Parques Reunidos after Mary Chipperfield was sentenced for abusing animals in her care. Rhanee is now at Valwo Zoo in central Spain. The zoo says that they will not sell Rhanee. They hope to breed from her but, as she is displaying signs of disturbed behaviour, it is unlikely that they will be able to do so. Rhanee may have another 30 years before her and there is a large body of feeling that it is time to give her the specialised care she deserves.
This campaign has international support. Many celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney have voiced their concern and Rhanee's condition is backed up by independent scientific support. The hope is to enable Rhanee to retire to the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in California where she can get the expert care she needs. Caroline Lucas is Vice Chair of the European Parliament's animal welfare intergroup, and issues of animal cruelty are very close to her and Jean's heart. They have raised this issue with HE Peter J Torry, The British Ambassador to Spain and the Spanish Embassy in the UK.
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Medical Research on Chimpanzees
The Green Party and the Green Group in the European Parliament are opposed to animal experimentation, which is both cruel and bad science, and have been campaigning for many years for a switch to non-animal alternatives. Elected Greens at every level are lobbying for improvements in all aspects of animal welfare, a complete ban on experimentation, and clear labeling of commercial products which have been tested on animals at any stage of their production. I hope that through these continued campaigning and lobbying efforts we will see an end to the experimentation you refer to and legislation which eventually excludes it from the EU altogether.
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Review of the Cosmetics Directive
European Commission proposal for the next amendment of the EU Cosmetics Directive
On the 3rd April, the Cosmetics Directive report was voted on in the plenary session of the European Parliament. Jean and her colleagues in the Green Group were among those whose votes led to the Parliament calling for not only the proposed testing ban, but also to preserve the ban on marketing. This is an extremely positive step. However, this was only the first reading; there will be further readings, and a common position must be agreed with the Council of Ministers. You can be assured that Jean will do all that she can to push for the marketing ban to be retained in the second reading and in Council. She has already written to Richard Caborn MP, Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry, regarding this matter.
As a Green MEP, Jean Lambert is well aware of the implications of the proposal to scrap the sales ban on new cosmetics tested on animals. She is opposed to testing on animals for cosmetic purposes, especially where alternatives are available, and believes that animal welfare needs to be placed higher on policy-makers' lists of priorities. It is her deeply held belief that as part of a global community, the EU must recognise that in abolishing the sales ban the problem would simply be shifted to elsewhere in the world. This would mean not only that our shelves in Europe would not be free from animal-tested products and ingredients, but also that incentives for industry to search for alternatives would be lost. For more information, contact the Eurogroup for Animal Welfare, whose website you can find at www.eurogroupanimalwelfare.org.
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