Sunday, January 27, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Posted By ALISON LANGLEY
Marineland had lost its matriarch killer whale.
Nootka died Jan 8.
She had been at the popular tourist attraction for more than 27 years.
“We were heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken,” said Marineland spokeswoman Ann Marie Rondinelli.
“We don’t like to play favourites but she was definitely loved by everybody,” she said.
The female killer whale was believed to be around 40 years old and had given birth to a number of calves over the years.
Marineland is now awaiting the results of a necropsy.
Nootka, named after the Native American tribe that lived in parts of British Columbia and Washington, was captured in Iceland in the fall of 1979.
How You Can Help
Nootka is the latest victim in a long line of whale fatalities at Marineland. She was actually born around 1976, which made her approximately 32 when she died.
Female orcas are believed to live well into their eighties in the wild. However, the average age of a captive orca is only 12 years.
It is estimated that over 40 whales and dolphins have died at the Niagara Falls amusement park with approximately 25 of them dying in the last 10 years.
It is possible that Marineland will try to acquire another female orca for its captive breeding program. This would cause even more whales to be exploited and ultimately die in a completely unnatural and artificial environment.
NCARA believes it is cruel to capture and keep such highly social and intelligent animals in captivity for human entertainment. These animals belong in the world's oceans and deserve the right to experience life as nature intended - wild and free.
Please write to your local newspaper and express your concerns about Nootka's death and the captivity of whales and dolphins.
You can contact The Niagara Falls Review at:
and The Standard at:
Monday, January 21, 2008
By Standard Staff
A bird-brained fundraiser in Port Dalhousie will go ahead as planned in two weeks, but the venue remains up in the air. Weather will determine whether the eighth annual Chicken Chuckin' Championships on Sunday, Jan. 27, are held on the ice of Martindale Pond or at nearby Lakeside Park.
The pond, off Rennie Park, is the preferred location of organizers, provided it's cold enough to be frozen. If ice conditions are poor, the event will be moved to Lakeside Park, as it was last winter.The event, sponsored by the Kilt and Clover pub, challenges participants to chuck frozen chickens along the ice for points in the style of curling or shuffleboard.
Money raised by the event will be donated to the Niagara-on-the-Lake Kinsmen Club's cystic fibrosis campaign. Food donations are also being collected for Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold's food bank.
Last year's competition raised $1,010 for Community Care.
The entry fee is $20 per team of four.
Participants and spectators are also encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food items.
Teams are urged to register before Jan. 27. The competition is scheduled to begin at noon, but participants are requested to report to the Kilt and Clover, on Lock Street, at 10 a.m.
More information is available by calling David Prentice or Paul Smith at the Kilt and Clover at 905-646-8917.
How You Can Help
Send a letter to The Standard expressing your concerns over using the dead remains of animals as shuffleboard or curling pieces. You can email your letter to:
mail it to:
The St. Catharines Standard
17 Queen St.
or fax it to:
Saturday, January 19, 2008
By TARA BRAUTIGAM
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Canada's centuries-old commercial sealing industry faces a "crisis" because of growing opposition throughout Europe that threatens to close vital markets, the head of the Fur Institute of Canada said Tuesday.
In a stark address to a gathering of about 100 sealers, Bruce Williams, chairman of the organization, said the future of the seal harvest is bleak if support for bans on the import of seal products continues to build in Europe.
"Unfortunately, the animal rights organizations around the world have come to realize that the easiest way to kill something - for maybe lack of a better term - is to kill the market," Williams said.
"If you can't sell the product, if it has no commercial value, then I would say that it is doomed."
Belgium and Holland have approved legislation prohibiting the sale of seal products. Germany, Italy and Austria are drafting similar legislation, prompting pressure for the European Union to adopt a ban.
While those countries aren't Canada's biggest importers of seal products, they serve as a critical shipment and manufacturing point to the larger markets of Norway, Russia and China.
Williams said there's an additional effect an EU-wide ban could have on the sealing industry.
"One thing I can tell you is that if fur is not fashionable on the runways of Paris and Milan, it's not going to be fashionable anywhere," Williams said.
"The simple reality today is the big markets are China and Russia, but they want things that are in style, and style is not dictated by those countries. It's dictated by the countries in Europe."
Even Loyola Sullivan, Canada's fisheries ambassador, acknowledged Tuesday that efforts to overcome the anti-sealing lobby in Europe would be tough.
"It's difficult because it's advanced so far," Sullivan said.
"It's got a tremendous foothold in Europe, and most people close to the situation feel that a ban by other countries is imminent, that it's gone too far. It would be unpopular now for a member of parliament in a European country to support the hunt."
In September, Canada launched a challenge to the World Trade Organization in an effort to persuade the Belgian and Dutch governments to reverse their bans, arguing their policies were rooted in misinformation spread in large part by animal rights groups. Ottawa's complaint remains before the WTO.
Mark Small, a former president of the Canadian Sealing Association and longtime sealer, said even though Canada's hunt is the most sustainable in the world, his fellow hunters may have to accept some changes in their practices, such as different measures to cull the seals.
"I'm definitely sure that, as a sealer myself, we can do a better job than we've been doing in the past," Small said. "We've got to make some compromises if we're going to protect our future industry in this province."
How You Can Help
The European Union is looking for feedback from the general public on issues relating to the animal welfare aspects of killing of seals and the importing of seal products to Europe. Your opinions will help the EU in making new policies.
To participate in the survey, please go to:
Monday, January 14, 2008
There have been numerous cases where dozens of animals have been starved to death over a long period of time and judges ruled that the farmers didn't intend to starve them, she points out.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
By BROOKES MERRITT
Four teens who recently broke into a Camrose home put a cat in a microwave and cooked it to death, Camrose police said yesterday.
The horrific animal torture has sent shockwaves through the city southeast of Edmonton and incensed animal rights activists.
"In over 25 years of policing, I've never come across anything like this before," said Camrose police Insp. Lee Foreman. "It's disgusting and it's very upsetting for all the families involved."
Foreman said one 13-year-old and three 15-year-olds twice broke into a Camrose home in Dec. 29 and Dec. 30, while the owners were vacationing out-of-town.
None of the teens lives at the residence or is related to the owners, Foreman said. No other animals are believed to have been in the house.
Police allege that on the night of Dec. 30 the group entered the home, put an adult cat in the microwave and nuked it to death.
The cat was later found by a family friend who was taking care of the house in the absence of the owners.
"I cannot recall ever having seen something as disturbing as this before either," said Dr. Dick Bibby, the Camrose veterinarian who performed the grisly post-mortem examination on the cooked cat.
He could not discuss his findings due to doctor-client privilege, but suggested the cat's owners are understandably distraught.
Told of the torture by Sun Media yesterday, officials at the Edmonton Humane Society were also sickened.
"It's horrific to imagine someone could do this. Teenagers know this is twisted and wrong, and there is no excuse for such a blatant disregard for a helpless animal's life," said society spokesman Diane Shannon.
In Didsbury, where a dog named Daisy Duke was viciously beaten and dragged from the rear of a vehicle until it was near death and eventually euthanized in 2006, another animal activist said parents need to pay closer attention to their kids.
"I don't understand how parents keep missing the signals of this kind of deviant behaviour. It should be mandatory that all of these kids are psychiatrically assessed to find out just how dangerous they really are, and the police should be looking into what kind of household they are coming from," said Tamara Chaney.
Chaney started a 112,000-signature petition seeking tougher penalties for animal abusers following the Didsbury incident.
A teen who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in the Daisy Duke case received a conditional sentence.
Daniel Charles Haskett, 19, has also admitted taking part in the dog's torture and will be sentenced in April.
Police say each of the teens allegedly involved in the microwaving face a litany of charges, including unlawfully killing an animal, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, breaking and entering, theft and possession of stolen property.
They are to appear in Camrose youth court at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 7.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Removing so many animals from any one population places the species at an unnecessary and significant risk. Over the last few years, the Canadian government has raised the annual seal hunt quotas to the highest levels in history, killing almost a million seals in just a three year period. The Total Allowable Catch quota for seals was 85,000 animals higher in 2006 than the “sustainable yield” estimated by Canadian government scientists.