by: WKRG StaffPosted: May 5, 2021 / 02:31 PM CDT / Updated: May 5, 2021 / 02:31 PM CDT
MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Animal Shelter says a dog that was caught in a beaver trap was rescued Tuesday afternoon.
Two Mobile County Animal Control (MCAS) Officers responded to a call from employees of FGS Surveyors, who were surveying some secluded land in the Irvington/Theodore area and came across a dog in need of rescue. After a drive through a creek, they were able to locate the dog near a pond. He had two feet trapped inside of beaver traps. The traps were removed, and he was transported to MCAS.
Animal control employees say the dog is doing well as of Wednesday morning and will be seen by a veterinarian. MCAS says they are hoping to find the dog’s owner.
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s Constitutional Court on Friday upheld several key provisions of two laws that restrict hunting, in a setback to the island’s Indigenous rights movement.
Although the court struck down some parts of the laws — including a rule that would require hunters to apply for permits — it declined to overhaul the restrictions altogether, stating that Indigenous hunting culture had to be balanced against the need to protect the environment and wildlife.
“The Constitution recognizes both the protection of Indigenous peoples’ right to practice their hunting culture and the protection of the environment and ecology,” chief justice Hsu Tzong-li said on Friday. “Both fundamental values are equally important.”
Conservationists and animal rights activists welcomed the decision. In March, 57 animal rights groups in Taiwan issued a joint statement, arguing that protecting hunting culture was not comparable to guaranteeing the right to hunt freely.
“Non-human animal creatures and people are a community with a shared future,” several animal groups said in a joint statement on Friday.
The court’s decision centered on a 2013 case against a member of the Bunun, one of 16 officially recognized Indigenous groups in Taiwan, who had been convicted of using an illegal shotgun to kill protected species.
The 62-year-old man, Talum Suqluman, also known as Tama Talum, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He appealed the decision, arguing that he had followed tribal customs to hunt animals for his ailing mother, and a court suspended the sentence in 2017.
But Mr. Talum continued to fight the conviction, and the case went to the Constitutional Court, which reviewed whether the laws unfairly infringed on the rights of Indigenous people to hunt. Activists have pointed out that the Indigenous peoples of Taiwan hunted and fished with little interference for thousands of years until settlers from mainland China and elsewhere began arriving in the 17th century.
Under the current laws, Indigenous people are allowed to carry out small hunts but only using homemade guns and traps, which are sometimes unsafe. They must obtain prior approval and they are banned from killing protected species, including leopard cats and Formosan black bears.
Following the announcement,Indigenous rights activists outside the courthouse voiced their disappointment.
“The hunters are innocent!” they chanted. “Give us back our freedom to hunt!”
It was not immediately clear if under Friday’s ruling, Mr. Talum would be required to serve out his sentence. But shortly after the announcement, Mr. Talum vowed to continue hunting.
“Hunting is the culture of us Indigenous people,” Mr. Talum told reporters on Friday from his home in the eastern city of Taitung. “How could you wipe out our hunting culture?”
Taiwan has 580,000 Indigenous residents, or about 2 percent of the population of 23 million, the majority of whom are ethnic Han people.
The movement to address discrimination and other longstanding social and economic problems faced by Indigenous peoples in Taiwan emerged in the 1990s, part of a broader international push for Native rights. Such causes have since gained ground as the island increasingly seeks to carve out an identity that’s distinct from mainland China.
In 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan offered a formal apology to Indigenous peoples for centuries of “pain and mistreatment,” and said that she would take concrete steps to rectify a history of injustice.
The rights movement has lately centered on Mr. Talum’s case, which many activists see as linked to broader issues of Indigenous land rights and self-governance. They say that the government’s laws restricting hunting are unnecessary since Indigenous hunting culture is already circumscribed by a complex web of taboos and rituals.
Experts said the ruling on Friday reflected the government’s lack of understanding of Indigenous culture.
“This explanation restricts the Indigenous right to hunt from the cultural perspective of non-Indigenous peoples,” Awi Mona, a professor of Indigenous law at National Dong Hwa University in the eastern city of Hualien said in an interview.
Taiwan’s Supreme Court had dismissed Mr. Talum’s appeal in 2015, but in 2017 it granted an extraordinary appeal to have the case referred for constitutional interpretation. Mr. Talum did not serve any jail time.
“This outcome was a little unexpected,” Hsieh Meng-yu, Mr. Talum’s lawyersaidin an interview after the court ruling was announced. “We thought the Indigenous rights movement would keep moving forward — we didn’t think that there would suddenly be this decline.”
Amy Chang Chien covers news in mainland China and Taiwan. She is based in Taipei. @amy_changchien
In a political culture where bipartisan legislation is a rare species, lawmakers in one state have come together to agree major new conservation efforts that will help that other endangered animal – the Florida panther.
The big cat, whose habitat has a history of being swallowed up and its numbers hunted by humans, is expected to benefit from a $400m cash boost.
Legislation recently passed in Florida with unanimous support will boost protected land and expand “wildlife corridors” running almost the length of the state.
Conservationists believe the bill has a good chance of being signed when it reaches the desk of the Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, ready to go into effect on 1 July.
The bulk of the spending will be set aside to protect wildlife corridors under the Florida Forever land conservation program, creating a network of undeveloped public and private patches of land so animals can safely cross the state, a local CBS affiliate reported.
Expanding protected territory will help the threatened panther roam more freely and safely, as well as helping other wildlife, such as bears and plant life, with connected land “spanning from the Florida Bay in the south to the Georgia and Alabama borders”, Tori Linder, managing director for advocacy group Path of the Panther, said.
She added: “A connected corridor will help farmers and ranchers, will foster tourism and outdoor recreation, and help protect our vital natural resources like our springs and our wildlife, including the Florida panther.”
According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida panther is “the only known breeding population of puma in the eastern United States”.
In order to be taken off the danger list, the Florida panther needs three established populations and sufficient habitat to support those animals.
“Landscape connectivity is essential for wide-ranging species like the Florida black bear and the panther,” Linder said, adding: “In the case of the Florida panther, you have a big cat making a recovery in a time where big cats around the world are really in decline. The Florida Wildlife Corridor helps ensure the habitat is protected for the species in perpetuity.”
But risks remain. The leading cause of death for Florida panthers is currently vehicular collision, and Linder says the second leading cause of death is territorial dispute with other panthers, exacerbated by lack of habitat.
Other animals that experts predict would benefit from expanded wildlife corridors include the Key deer, the Florida manatee and loggerhead sea turtles.
According to the non-profit organization Florida Wildlife Corridor, the passageway would encompass nearly 17m acres. About 10m acres are already protected, while another 6.9m of unprotected acres are made up of working farms and ranches. And 992 named rivers and streams cross the area, which also includes 5,170 miles of trails.
The Florida Wildlife Corridor Act passed with a 115-0 vote in the Florida state house and with a 40-0 vote in the state senate late last month.
Lawmakers voted to allot $100m to Florida Forever, the state’s conservation and recreation lands acquisition program, and agreed to put $300m from federal stimulus funding towards conservation.
Linder says she is optimistic the governor will sign the legislation, noting that the act is the result of the “actions of hundreds of people” over a number of years, including artists, conservationists, farmers, fisherman, mapmakers and scientists.
Kip Andersen—producer of ocean conservation documentarySeaspiracy—and PETA President Ingrid Newkirk are demanding the Biden Administration overturn a Trump-era executive order that allows the proliferation of fish factory farms.
This week, filmmaker Kip Andersen, producer of ocean conservation filmSeaspiracy, and Ingrid Newkirk, president of animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), sent a joint letter to President Joe Biden. In the letter, Andersen and Newkirk demanded that President Biden overturn Executive Order 13921, which allows for the proliferation of offshore fish factory farms, which, aside from being cruel to farmed fish, are environmentally damaging to wild marine populations and oceans. The Trump-era executive order also limits the environmental review of developing these aquaculture farms and places the burden on taxpayers to identify the locations where these farms can be constructed.
Sea turtles are known for relying on magnetic signatures to find their way across thousands of miles to the very beaches where they hatched. Now, researchers reporting in the journalCurrent Biologyon May 6, 2021, have some of the first solid evidence that sharks also rely on magnetic fields for their long-distance forays across the sea.
“It had been unresolved how sharks managed to successfully navigate during migration to targeted locations,” said Save Our Seas Foundation project leader Bryan Keller, also ofFlorida State UniversityCoastal and Marine Laboratory. “This research supports the theory that they use the earth’s magnetic field to help them find their way; it’s nature’s GPS.”
Researchers had known that some species of sharks travel over long distances to reach very specific locations year after year. They also knew that sharks are sensitive to electromagnetic fields…
This is literally big news for hunting and fishing.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a proposal that would be the largest expansion of opportunities for access to hunting and fishing. The move is part of the Department of Interior’s efforts to increase the amount of recreational access on public lands.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced a proposal that would be the largest expansion of opportunities for access to hunting and fishing. (iStock)
According to a press release from the US FWS, these new opportunities would include turkey hunting and sport fishing in Florida at the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge. The proposal also aims to open migratory game bird hunting to certain areas of Texas, along with big game hunting. Areas of Virginia would also be opened for similar activities.
Martha Williams, Service Principal Deputy Director for the FWS, said, “We are committed to ensuring Americans of all backgrounds have access to hunting and fishing and other recreational activities on our public lands. Hunters and anglers are some of our most ardent conservationists and they play an important role in ensuring the future of diverse and healthy wildlife populations.”
She continued, “Our lands have also provided a much-needed outlet to thousands during the pandemic and we hope these additional opportunities will provide a further connection with nature, recreation and enjoyment.”
Another proposed change would allow fishing at the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery in Maine.
Distressing footage reportedly captured recently at a residence in Austin, Texas, appears to show an evidently elderly and disabled dog being viciously attacked by a woman. In three videos captured on two days, the abuser can be seen violently yanking the leash; lifting the dog by her tail repeatedly while shouting, “Stay up!”; striking her with full-force downward slaps; and punching the animal as she yelps in obvious distress—all in apparent “retaliation” for this poor old dog simply being unable to hold herself up in the backyard.
PETA and our complainant have alerted Austin and Travis County authorities to this situation—providing the sickening visual evidence and the suspect’s address and imploring them to rescue the victim before more abuse transpires.
Unfortunately, authorities have apparently decided that no crime was committed—although Texas’s…
A San Francisco federal appeals court upheld a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to allow Impossible Foods to use “heme,” the additive the company says makes its products “taste like meat.”
Had Impossible Foods lost this legal battle, it could have dealt a heavy blow to the company. Genetically engineered heme is what sets its products apart from other competitors like Beyond Meat that don’t use the ingredient.HEME IS WHAT SETS ITS PRODUCTS APART FROM OTHER COMPETITORS
The FDA used a weaker legal standard than it should…
About 30 years ago, the animals used to roam the Mt Kenya forest habitat but due to hunting for game meat and trophy, the numbers got depleted.
In Kenya, the population of bongos living in the Aberdare forest and other conservancies is about 30.
But there is hope: The animals are being bred in zoos in Florida, US andthis rare antelope is coming back home, thanks to a project initiated by the Meru county government in collaboration with other conservation stakeholders.
The county government has partnered with Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Mt Kenya Trust and two Community…