Nepal’s Last Known Dancing Bears Rescued

It is likely that the rescued sloth bears had been beaten and trained into submission for more than a decade where they would’ve survived on just rice and milk.

The bears were poached from the wild as cubs and sold on the black market to be used in this cruel practice. Their mothers often get killed for the medicinal bile found in their gall bladders, or for their paws which are served as soup or as traditional medicine.

At around eight months old they would have all their teeth and often their claws removed and the skin and cartilage pierced on their muzzles with a hot iron rod. A chain or rope is then put through, where it will stay until they die.

Nepalese law enforcement removed the two sloth bears named Rangeela and Sridevi, with the help of the Jane Goodall Institute Nepal and the London-based nonprofit World Animal Protection.

The practice of training bears to dance for paying audiences was popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe and Asia. It remained common in Eastern Europe and Asia until the late 20th century, according to World Animal Protection.

Animal welfare groups had been following these bears and their owners for over a year, waiting for the right time to mount a rescue. The police were then able to step in and apprehend the four people responsible. The bears are now awaiting transfer to a sanctuary, likely one in India.

Due to united efforts by animal welfare groups to rescue the bears and help their owners transition to new livelihoods, the practice has been coming to an end.

Countries including Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, India, Serbia, Turkey and now Nepal are believed to no longer have dancing bears. However there are still bears in captivity, forced to perform in Pakistan.

This marks the end of this ‘tradition’ and years and years of torture for these beautiful creatures in Nepal.

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US Laboratory Closes One Of Its Breeding Facilities

Charles River Laboratories are the world’s largest breeder of animals for use in experiments and also responsible for one out of every two animals tormented in laboratories. The company have recently announced that one of its facilities will close as part of a streamlining effort.

The facility conducts painful experiments on animals for companies that produce industrial chemicals, pesticides, food additives and pharmaceuticals. It was estimated that this particular facility held around 50,000 mice, all who would have been used in painful and unnecessary procedures.

Charles River has an appalling history of animal welfare violations, including failing to provide animals with proper veterinary care; not giving suffering animals pain-relief and using unsuitable surgical methods. At its facility in Nevada 32 innocent monkeys were baked alive when a thermostat malfunctioned and no one noticed. Another beautiful monkey was scalded to death when her cage was run through a high-temperature cage washer while she was still locked inside.

A spokesperson for the company said that the facility’s closure is part of a plan to increase the efficiency of the company’s operation.

It has been acknowledged by scientists around the world that non-animal experiments are faster, cheaper and more reliable than those using animals. However Charles River are still in the past with their cruel punishment on these sentient creatures.

Animal Justice Project is opposed to animal experiments on moral grounds and also on scientific grounds. We advocate the abolition of animal breeding, and the abolition of the use of animals in all forms of research and within educational institutions.

IMAGE: Dina Rudick / Boston Globe staff

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BLOG: ‘Animals can’t feel pain or emotion’: MPs vote as part of Brexit bill – Cecily Baker

This week while debating the Brexit bill, Conservative MPs had voted not to transfer into UK law parts of EU legislation which recognise that animals have sentience and can feel pain and emotions. This would have come into effect once we leave the EU in 2019.

In contrast to this vote extensive scientific evidence shows that non-human animals do have feelings and emotions, some even stronger than ours. An example of this comes from Carl Safina, the author of Beyond Words, he talks about sightings of humpback whales helping seals being hunted by killer whales. There is a documented account of a humpback sweeping a seal on its back, out the water and away from the killer whales. This has only recently been recorded but could have been happening for thousands of years. This story alone is proof that non-human animals have more empathy than many humans do.

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