The new NEWS page now highlights industry developments such as Members in Action, President's Corner and Migrations.  If you have any NEWS items featured here or in Migrations - Contact us today! 

  • 24 Apr 2017 9:20 AM | Anonymous

    A commercial vehicle stuck in the Century Plaza parking lot with a flat tire drew some attention Tuesday thanks to its cargo: tigers.... 

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  • 24 Apr 2017 9:09 AM | Anonymous

    "KLM has transported Xing Ya and Wen Wu the giant pandas from Chengdu to Amsterdam on their way to Ouwehands Zoo."

    - Excerpt from article by James Muir

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  • 28 Aug 2015 4:44 PM | Anonymous

    Fire safety and equine rescue will be the focus of a new international conference in Prague.

    The British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association (BARTA) will hold its first animal rescue conference later this year (3-5 December).

    The conference aims to bring together vets, fire and rescue professionals and those with a professional interest in livestock and horses.

    “Rescuing trapped or injured horses is not something that is confined to horsebox and trailer accidents,” said Jim Green, director of BARTA and an animal rescue specialist for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

    “With Rio 2016 on the horizon, the conference will explore how incident management procedures, coupled with safe animal handling techniques, are being increasingly utilised in equine sport.”

    One of the topics under discussion will be fire safety on yards, as well as the evacuation and management of horses in the event of a fire.

    Equine behaviour and modern horse ambulance design are also included in the programme.

    “90% of UK fire and rescue services now have formal large animal rescue capabilities and there are trained first response vets across the country,” added Mr Green.

    “This model is now being adopted by countries across Europe and beyond and emergency responders from Belgium, Norway, Austria, Australia and Turkey have already benefitted through the UK initiative.”

    BARTA was set up in 2012 by Mr Green and Prof Josh Slater, professor of equine clinical studies at the Royal Veterinary College.

    It develops training, rescue equipment and emergency protocols for the management of equine and agricultural events and emergencies.

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  • 28 Aug 2015 4:42 PM | Anonymous

    The livestock transport industry is trialling a world first for the manufacture of cattle and sheep crates.

    The sector hopes to develop a tougher trailer to last longer in rugged rural conditions.

    Cattle and sheep trucks traverse some of Australia's roughest terrain, clocking up millions of kilometres, sometimes on terrible roads.

    That travel, as well as physically containing the stock, withstanding animal waste and hosing down of crates all contribute to the wear and tear.

    Some of the industry's largest players say they are looking at using stainless steel to build the cattle and sheep trailers.

    David Byrne's company, Byrne Trailers, at Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, designs trailers.

    He said the new designs should be more durable.

    "The main point of difference will be the material that the tailers are to be manufactured out of, which is effectively stainless steel. The point of the material is to combat rust and fatigue and increase the life of the equipment," he said.

    "It will actually make the crate a little lighter. Because of the high strength stainless that we're using, it'll be a lot lighter in different areas of the trailer."

    However, Mr Byrne conceded the new trailers would cost more.

    "It is considerably more expensive, but we believe with the deals we've done with certain companies from overseas, especially with the quantity we've had to commit to, we've been able to work with and get a reasonable price at the end of the day," he said.

    Ross Fraser operates one of the country's largest trucking businesses, Fraser's Livestock Transport, out of Warwick in southern Queensland.

    He said the company operated in some very difficult conditions and that could really knock the trailers about.

    He said he hoped that while the initial outlay would be greater, switching to stainless steel would be a great saving in the long run.

    "From a maintenance point of view and longevity for the trailers, I think there's some huge advantages," he said.

    "I guess it'll take a while for us to find out what that advantage is, but given the rust we've had in our trailers over the last five or six years, we had to do something."

    The two new trailers will be built by March 2016.

    Full story here:

  • 28 Aug 2015 4:40 PM | Anonymous

    The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation will return 14 orangutans to Indonesia next month.

    The primates have been under the care of the department for five years since they were discovered in Phuket. Department deputy chief Adisorn Noochdumrong said the Indonesian government submitted a letter...

    Full story here:

  • 28 Aug 2015 4:37 PM | Anonymous

    GONZALES, La., Aug. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Precisely ten years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, disaster response experts from around the country gathered in Gonzales, LA for an intensive animal rescue boot-camp. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) joined member agencies of the National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC) to conduct the trainings.

    The International Fund for Animal Welfare helped rescue, care and transport 7,000 animals following Hurricane Katrina. (C) IFAW/S. Cook

    "We see it in the U.S. and increasingly all over the world, the importance of keeping pets and farm animals safe during disasters has never been stronger," said Shannon Walajtys, IFAW Disaster Response Manager.

    "This week is about commemorating the brave efforts to save animals during Katrina and reinforce the rescue skills needed when we're called to help."

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many residents refused to leave their homes and seek safe shelter. An estimated 44% of those who refused to evacuate did so because they could not bring their pets with them. More than 200 animal groups worked together on pet rescues and IFAW assisted in the rescue, care and transport of approximately 7,000 animals including cats and dogs, farm animals, reptiles, and birds.

    The following year, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which calls for agencies seeking FEMA relief to include animals in emergency plans, went into effect.

    Boot-camp participants are recreating hands-on water rescue scenarios using animal mannequins, boats and specialized equipment. They are also refreshing their skills on pet first aid, animal handling, sheltering, and fire rescue.

    IFAW has rescued and treated domestic and wild animals in more than 30 of the world's worst disasters including the recent earthquakes in Nepal, flood response work in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, Hurricane Sandy in the U.S., and the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis in Japan.

    Full story here:

  • 28 Aug 2015 4:33 PM | Anonymous

    MEXICO CITY  – Mexican environmental authorities loaded eight lions, two lynxes, a puma and a coyote aboard two military planes for a trip to a Colorado wildlife sanctuary on Wednesday, after the animals were found mistreated or abandoned.

    The flight aboard two Mexican Navy transport aircraft was the second instalment in an airlift that will eventually take about two dozen animals to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg.

    Biologist Ignacio Millan said it was the first time Mexico’s Navy had participated in the animal relocation effort.

    Millan said the lions, lynxes and puma had been taken from private homes, zoos or circuses where they were often mistreated.

    The coyote had been used in witchcraft ceremonies.

    Millan said that nine tigers still remain to be transferred to the 720-acre (291-hectare) sanctuary, where animals can roam.

    Mexico’s recently enacted ban on exotic animal performances in circuses is expected to increase the number of animals that are either abandoned or left in bad conditions, because many circus owners say they can’t afford to maintain non-performing animals.

    Full story here:

  • 28 Aug 2015 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    New year-long study aims to collect hard data on the condition of animals and find ways to improve transport practices.

    Animal welfare during transport is a hot topic, and so Alberta Farm Animal Care is conducting a cattle benchmarking project that will track the condition of animals arriving at auction marts and abattoirs.

    “There’s a lot of talk around transport and what’s happening with animals,” said Angela Greter, the organization’s executive director. “We hear a lot of anecdotal comments from people off the cuff, but we don’t know what is really happening.

    “So we need to do a proper study about that, rather than just listening to stories. If we can really see that there are problems, then we can address them.”

    The study aims to identify shipping conditions that may be detrimental to animals and establish a baseline that can be improved upon.

    “We’re also looking at associated risk factors, so we’re looking to capture how long an animal is in transport, what kind of truck they were travelling in, the weather and other factors,” said Greter. “We will then try to relate those potential risk factors to the conditions we’re seeing so we can get a better picture of what’s going on.”

    The study is being led by Karen Schwartzkopf-Genswein, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, and will build on her recent study on animal transport and compromised cattle.

    “This project is almost like a followup on that one because what she didn’t capture in that was the arrival of animals at auctions,” said Greter.

    Data collection will begin later this month or in early September and will continue for a year to capture data in all seasons. Final results should be available in about a year and a half.

    Ottawa contributed $268,000 to the project, and additional support came from Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Milk, the Alberta Cattle Feeders, Alberta Auction Markets Association, the provincial government, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

  • 28 Aug 2015 4:25 PM | Anonymous

    Aug. 22--A well-meaning bulldog that almost caused a plane crash ended up inspiring a flying animal-rescue organization.

    When pilot Brad Childs of Upper St. Clair was transporting 90-pound Monte as a favor to a friend in 2006, the dog broke free from his harness and jumped onto Childs' lap in the middle of the flight. The plane nosedived, but Childs straightened it out in time. He found the dog, on its way to a new adoptive family, to be endearing.

    After that incident, Childs talked to his friend and fellow pilot Jonathan Plesset about the idea of a flying mission to help transport all of the animals out there in need -- securely restrained, of course.

    They did some fundraising for animal causes -- like answering a call to help provide pet food to Georgia shelters that were running out of it -- and, in 2012, formally created the nonprofit Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team, which will have a social fundraiser Aug. 22.

    "We've found the greatest thing," says Plesset, 40, of Shadyside. "We're both passionate animal lovers and lovers of aviation, and what a great way to mix these two passions. It just puts a smile on our face every time we do this. ... It's an addiction.

    "It's blossomed into this giant thing," Plesset says of the animal-rescue team. His main business is owning Shadyside Inn All Suites Hotel, while Childs is one of the owners of Eyetique. "We can't believe we're moonlighting as 501.c3 (nonprofit) directors."

    Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team's crew of nine volunteer pilots, including co-founders Plesset and Childs, transport animals in their mostly single-engine planes like Cessnas. They usually fly hundreds of miles outside of Pittsburgh to and from places like West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and New York City. The pilots pick up pets -- mostly dogs, but also the occasional cat or other animal -- and transport them to shelters that can take them.

    "We'll get a call that there are seven to 10 dogs that someone pulled from a rural area ... and will be euthanized, and a ground crew isn't available on time," Plesset says. "It's really for the convenience of being able to mobilize quickly and get in and out quickly."

    Some of the organization's nearly 40 volunteers also work as "ground pilots," driving large vehicles to transport 40 to 60 animals in one shot.

    Shelters usually contact the organization, which acts as a go-between. Many shelters are overwhelmed and just don't have the space or resources to deal with the volume of animals they get, and they have no choice but to euthanize pets -- unless they get either adopted or rescued and moved elsewhere, which is where the rescue team comes in, Plesset says.

    "Our mission ... is, we want to prevent that problem," he says. Often, "all dogs need is a lift to another place."

    The team has saved 1,594 animals, and Plesset hopes that by the end of next year, the group will have saved more than 5,000 animals.

    The volunteers are very devoted, he says.

    "People take vacation time to go drive 1,200 miles over two days to do these missions," Plesset says. "These people are beyond dedicated."

    The Aug. 22 event is a key fundraiser in its second year. Last year, it drew 500 people -- more than organizers expected -- and this year, they are hoping to break 1,000 attendees. Held in the Allegheny County Airport's Main Terminal, the event will include entertainment, an auction and pets available for adoption from the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society.

    "We are proud to have Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team as our partner in saving lives and are excited to have our animals at the Dog Days of Summer event," says Joy Braunstein, executive director of the North Side group. The shelter also will recognize Childs and Plesset at its Best Friends Ball on Sept. 13.

    Cindy Szczudlo -- manager of rescue services for North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, Long Island, N.Y. -- said the people of the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team are amazing. She recalls a time when they flew six puppies and six dogs to the no-kill shelter.

    "It was just such a wonderful experience," she says. "We knew right away we had to start working with these guys. They are really great guys who truly do care about animals."

    Full story here:

  • 28 Aug 2015 4:23 PM | Anonymous

    For years people have been aghast at the inhumane way animals are transported. A notification of the road transport ministry will change that

    Finally, chicken are being accorded some 'dignity in death'! Instead of being crammed inside a small cage with a dozen others of the same ilk, chicken will now get an exclusive 40 cm sq of travel space while being transported from the poultry farm to the stall. This is one of the new livestock transportation rules that will come into effect from January 1.

    Not just chicken, decent space while being transported has also been defined for cows, buffaloes, horses, mares, sheep, goats and pigs. This has been done to prevent maltreatment of animals during transportation. A notification of the ministry of road transport and highways has been recently passed to the effect after amending Central Motor Vehicle Rules — 1989.

    The amended rules categorically state that "motor vehicles carrying animals shall have permanent partitions in the body of the vehicle so that the animals are carried individually in each partition where the size of the partition shall not be less than the following: for cows and buffaloes - 2 m sq, horse and mares - 2.25 m sq, sheep and goats - 0.3 m sq, pigs - 0.6 m sq and poultry - 40 cm sq."

    The rules also state that vehicles carrying livestock shall not be permitted to carry other goods. The central government has directed all regional transport offices to issue special licences for vehicles meant for carrying animals on the basis of vehicles modified in accordance with these rules.

    Animal right activists hailed the new rule, with one saying, "It is a good move and upholds animal rights," while transporters have cried foul and say that the move will have huge financial implications.

    RTOs will do regular checking

    The higher ups in the transport department say that RTOs in the city are doing regular checking of trucks carrying livestock. Transport commissioner Rame Gowda said, "As per the existing rules we are taking action against those who break rules while transporting animals. A few days back, we had issued instructions to all RTOs to look into the issue as people complained about animals being transported without proper space in the vehicles. RTOs have taken action in many cases. About the new rules, we will follow the instructions as the government directs."

    Full story here:

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