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Canada: Ontario to overhaul rules for marine mammals, ban sale of killer whales
The Ontario government will announce on Tuesday a massive overhaul of conditions for captive marine mammals that include an outright ban on the acquisition and sale of killer whales.
The overhaul, to be announced by Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi, is based on a 125-page report by a team of scientists led by David Rosen, a marine mammal expert from the University of British Columbia.
Naqvi called Rosen’s report the “driver” for upcoming changes.
In a nutshell, the report concludes: “It is our opinion that the present standards of care that apply to marine mammals in public display facilities are insufficient.”
In fact, it says, “there are no additional specific provisions” for marine mammals, other than the general standards of care that apply to all animals under the provincial OSPCA Act.
“This is something that Ontarians expect and these animals deserve,” Naqvi said of stronger protections for marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, walruses and seals.
It’s the “right thing to do,” he said.
In a Star investigation into conditions at Marineland Canada, several whistleblowers detailed problems related to animal care at the Niagara Falls park. In the stories, first published in August 2012, these former employees blamed sporadically poor water quality and chronic staffing shortages at the park for the ill health, even death, of animals at the facility.
Full story at www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2015/01/27/ontario-to-overhaul-rules-for-marine-mammals-ban-sale-...
#whales #orca #Canada #Ontario
Image: Killer whale and calf at Marine Land, Niagara Falls, Ontario ... See MoreSee Less
2 hours ago ·
MPs: Ban fracking to meet carbon targets
An influential committee of MPs has called for a moratorium on fracking on the grounds that it could derail efforts to tackle climate change.
The government's drive for shale gas should be put on hold because it would lead to more reliance on fossil fuels, the Environmental Audit Committee said.
The cross-party committee also warned there were "huge uncertainties" about the environmental impact of fracking.
Ministers said shale gas development did not detract from cutting emissions.
Efforts to bring about a moratorium received a setback on Monday, when a Commons vote rejected the idea.
In their report, the committee said shale fracking was incompatible with UK carbon targets and could pose environmental and health risks.
Full story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30955291
#fracking #shale #climate ... See MoreSee Less
4 hours ago ·
Uganda: Seized ivory linked to missing UWA stock
Some of the ivory seized by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials at Entebbe International last week is believed to have been part of the stock stolen from their stores in Kampala.
“A preliminary assessment indicates some of the ivory impounded is what was recently stolen from UWA stores,” said Charles Tumwesigye, UWA’s deputy director of conservation.
This could provide clues that would help to smash the ivory syndicate responsible for stealing 1,300 kilogrammes of ivory worth $1.1m (about sh3b) from UWA’s strong room.
The consignment was recovered from seven huge wooden boxes containing 791kg of ivory and 2,029kg of pangolin scales.
Three people (names withheld) arrested during the swoop are currently assisting with the investigations into trafficking of the trophies, according to Lodovick Awita, the commandant of the Aviation Police. He declined to name them to avoid undermining the investigations.
Full story at www.newvision.co.ug/news/664147-seized-ivory-linked-to-missing-uwa-stock.html
#Uganda #Africa #ivory #elephants
Image: Part the stock of 791kgs of ivory recovered from traffickers at Entebbe International Airport, via newvision.co.ug ... See MoreSee Less
4 hours ago ·