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Time to end the use of 1080 in Australia

Please help stop the unbearable suffering caused by the use of 1080 poison. There are humane options available but the lack of investment and addiction to using it “because we’ve always used it” is no longer acceptable.

Working with Alex Vince, Ban 1080 Poison campaign director, who is a wealth of information and also the driver behind Blue Mountains Council banning its use, has made us aware of just how many companion animals and wildlife are also succumbing to cruel deaths.

What to do if you suspect a pet has ingested 1080 poison.

The letter to council is below and we call on anyone who lives in the Yarra Ranges Shire or Knox Council to add your name to the letter by emailing us at info@fortheloveofwildlife.org.au
If you live elsewhere and wish to contact your council, please feel free to use this letter as a template.

 

 

Letter to council (please feel free to use and adapt)

Dear Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors

On behalf of many in the local community, we ask for your urgent attention to this most serious matter.

We are again shocked to see an advertisement (attached for reference) stating that 1080 poison will be used in the Yarra Ranges Shire, predominantly to kill foxes.  While introduced species may pose a problem to wildlife, surely it is possible to transition from this horrific poison to protect the native fauna without the fear of the danger it poses to our children, dogs and other non-target species?

We have researched this poison and draw your attention to the following horrendous facts:

  • 1080 is a schedule 7 chemical of security concern to Australia
  • It is banned in every country except 6, which includes Australia and New Zealand
  • It is indiscriminate and non-selective
  • It is banned in the US due to the “extreme hazard to human health and to the environment”
  • the World Health Organisation defines it as a Class 1A pesticide ie: extremely hazardous
  • 1080 kills inhumanely: the suffering lasts between 8–24 hours for birds and 2–4 days for large mammals
  • It routinely kills non-target and threatened native species
  • There is no antidote

Symptoms of 1080 poisoning include “vomiting, anxiety, disorientation and shaking”. These quickly develop into frenzied behaviour with running and screaming fits, drooling at the mouth, uncontrolled paddling and seizures, followed by total collapse and death.”[1]

The possibility of poisoning native non-target species like the endangered Tiger or Eastern Quoll or ground-digging marsupials like Potoroos, or omnivorous birds is strenuously denied by government authorities. However, localised extinctions of Tiger Quolls were linked to 1080 baiting 20 years ago when politicians were informed by a government Threatened Species Scientific Committee.[2]

1080 poison spreads through the ecosystem destroying soil microbes and insects.  It permeates waterways affecting crustaceans and water life including platypus. There are no life forms it will not kill and not one area in the ecosystem it cannot be limited to as it radiates out with devastating consequences

Viable alternatives include immunocontraception and the introduction of indigenous predators such as Dingoes. We also wish to bring to your attention the recent ban by the Blue Mountains City Council.

https://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/7173118/ban-on-1080-applauded/

In 2008 the Federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts stated: “Since foxes only breed once a year over a short period in early winter, fertility control could be applied over a short period of time each year. Targeting fertility may yield an effective long-term approach to reducing fox numbers.” [3]

We the undersigned, ask council to stop using 1080 poison in the Yarra Ranges Shire and to work with the CSIRO, State Government and environmental scientists on a humane solution to this man-made problem.

Thank you for considering our appeal. We look forward to hearing from you soon with your response.

Yours sincerely

 

References:

https://awpc.org.au/lethal-management-nsw-1080-poison-why-do-they-use-it-and-blur-its-horrendous-impacts/

 H Hahner, 1080, the nasty poison. The District Bulletin, Nov 2012, p18.

C A Belcher, Demographics of tiger quoll (Dasyurus maculatus maculatus) populations in south-eastern Australia, Australian Journal of Zoology, 2003.

Michael T Lohr and Robert A Davis, Anticoagulant rodenticide use, non-target impacts and regulation: A case study from Australia. Science of the Total Environment, Feb 2018.

http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/significant-impact-guidelines-endangered-spot-tailed-quoll-dasyurus-maculatus-maculatus

http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/1846b741-4f68-4bda-a663-94418438d4e6/files/tap-fox-background.pdf

[1] H Hahner, 1080, the nasty poison. The District Bulletin, Nov 2012, p18

[2] http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/significant-impact-guidelines-endangered-spot-tailed-quoll-dasyurus-maculatus-maculatus

[3] http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/1846b741-4f68-4bda-a663-94418438d4e6/files/tap-fox-background.pdf

Government looks to overturn 25 year ban on the importation of birds into Australia

It is difficult to comprehend why a submission process was initiated given we are experiencing a global pandemic due to the trade in wildlife…to proceed with an undertaking to overturn a 25 year ban on the importation of birds.

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/risk-analysis/animal/psittacine-birds

Over the last 18 months (and more) we have been educating the government on how flawed the existing trade system is. A system that hasn’t been updated since the 70s, doesn’t integrate with customs, is mostly paper-based with loopholes you can drive a Mac truck through! And so why even entertain the idea of opening up trade?

The following is our submission as to why we say NO to overturning the ban.

 

Submission to address import risk for psittacine birds from all countries

Australia has previously permitted the importation of live psittacine birds. However, the policy was suspended in 1995 due to incomplete knowledge of certain diseases of psittacine birds and a lack of suitable methods for testing imported birds for the presence of these diseases.

This ban was enacted in 1995 for a good reason and now there’s overwhelming evidence and reason to keep this ban in place.

  • Pandemic due to the trade in wildlife
  • Legal trade monitoring system that is obsolete and needs modernisation
  • Extinction crisis, driven by over-exploitation for trade purposes
  • Lack of scientific, evidence-based information

Economies are shattered and people’s lives are severely impacted due to the current pandemic being experienced globally and it is attributed to the trade in wildlife. Australia should be commended for calling for global support to investigate the cause of the current virus but in the interim, why isn’t there a moratorium on trade in endangered species, in fact trade in all wildlife until the findings are released?

Whilst WHO investigates the world’s response to Covid-19, we must acknowledge that wet markets in China are just a microcosm of the ever-increasing trade in wildlife. The legal trade in wildlife is one of the most lucrative trades in the world and yet it is managed using a mostly paper-based permit system that hasn’t been updated since the 70’s.

Along with our collaborative partners Nature Needs More, we have met with Ministers, MPs and representatives in the Australian Government (as well as more than 30 signatory countries including the EU) in urgently addressing the flaws in the existing trade system. Modernising this system to deal with current trade volumes and conditions is critical in addressing the trade in psittacine birds.

Along with many other organisations and concerned citizens, we also provided overwhelming evidence at the Parliamentary Inquiry on Law Enforcement into the domestic trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn demonstrating flaws in the legal trade system under CITES and that currently there is no supply chain transparency. Similarly, there is no real-time trade analytics, so any responses to laundering and illegal activity, if it is picked up, is in the main too slow.

There is a desperate need to modernise the trade mechanism that is severely under-resourced, mostly paper-based, doesn’t integrate with customs and lacks traceability and trackability. Until the trade system has been updated (as a start eCITES BaseSolution created by UNCTAD with CITES and the Swiss and Sri Lankan Governments) and rolled out globally, it would be detrimental for multiple reasons in entertaining overturning this ban.

The legal and illegal trade is so intertwined that they are functionally inseparable, to continue trade knowing this would be reckless.

What is also alarming and has been raised with the CITES Secretariate is that source codes on permits are often designated as source code C (captive bred), when research shows that there is no evidence of any captive breeding facilities in the export countries documented. How can we be assured that imported birds aren’t wild caught?

CITES needs to be modernised to cope with the vastly increased volume of the legal trade and to close the loopholes used by the burgeoning illegal trade. This requires a three step approach:

STEP 1

Global roll out of electronic permitting at a cost of US$30 million for all 183 signatory countries before next CITES CoP in 2022

Until a global roll out of electronic permitting, additional trade in wildlife including vulnerable and endangered species should not be considered or granted license.

Whilst Australia does have an electronic permit system, its lack of interoperability or interaction with a global trade system such as eCITES BaseSolution, shows that it isn’t useful in regards to international trade. This was clearly demonstrated with the export of endangered birds from Western Australia to Germany (still under investigation). Even with Australia boasting its sophisticated electronic system, cockatoos were issued permits to be exported from Western Australia to an unscrupulous zoo in Germany with no evidence to clearly prove that the birds weren’t wild caught or that the destination was indeed a proper zoo. If we don’t have processes to alleviate illegally caught wild species, then how can we expect this from countries with no regulators or processes in place? If a global electronic, real-time permit system was in place, then a red flag would have been raised and permits would never have been issued.

STEP 2

Adopt reverse listing approach

In 1981 Australia proposed a reverse listing approach, understanding and exposing the inherent risks in the forming years of CITES. Given business works quarter by quarter and is always miles ahead in creating new markets, the glacially slow response by governments and conservation within the processes of CITES has seen trade grow exponentially. Trade is the 2nd biggest driver of extinction in terrestrial species and the biggest driver in marine species and a new listing approach is long overdue.

The proposal wasn’t accepted in 1981 when there were 700 species listed. Since then the listing has grown to 38,500 species (soon to be a million according to the IPBES Report published last year). Under a reverse listing approach the default position is no commercial trade and the burden of proof that trade is sustainable shifts from governments and NGOs to industry. This does not mean that industry will dictate the framework and criteria for what constitutes ‘ecologically sustainable use’ and what can be traded. Listings would still be subject to a vote at CoP, in line with current process.

STEP 3

Apply a levy on trade

Given the global trade in endangered species is worth US$320 billion a year, a 1-2% levy on trade would significantly help fund the under-resourced trade and enforcement process. In the first instance, a levy (or similar) on industry (importers, not exporters) to cover the cost of rolling out the electronic permit system globally and to create and maintain a real-time reporting system.

 

Zoonotic diseases have and continue to impact humans as demonstrated in the following diagram, but there’s worrying impact on other species. As an example, reported on the 27 August this year the slaughter of more than 340,000 layer hens, plus culling of emus and turkeys as there are three strains of bird flu active at the same time in the state of Victoria resulting in an expected loss of $18 – $23 million affecting six farms. This virus is reported to be particularly virulent and aggressive. Importing birds when it is clear there’s overwhelming fragility amongst avian populations only adds incredible pressure to the existing populations whether they be farmed or wild.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-27/emus-and-chickens-being-culled-as-bird-flu-in-victoria-worsens/12601422

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-18/victorian-bird-flu-outbreak-raises-concerns-free-range-farming/12669544

How can the government guarantee that imported birds won’t be released? Catastrophic for our wild species who are already under enormous pressure due to habitat loss, bushfires, weather events, poaching, etc. We are in an extinction event and it is reckless to continue the “business as usual” approach.

What is also requiring attention is the reporting of government and industry-employed ecologists and conservation scientists who have experienced undue modification of reports, blocks on releasing or discussing information in regards to the plight of threatened species. Can we trust that this review will be fair and reasonable or should we wait until there is a national independent watchdog?

Calling for submissions when there’s overwhelming evidence and sentiment for a trade ban given the current climate, is wasting valuable resources not only within the government but in calling on civil society, conservation groups and charities to yet again remind the government to apply the precautionary principle, given the devastating decline in so many species we’re witnessing a catastrophic freefall. We are in an extinction event and how can we alleviate the ever-increasing pressures on wildlife – lifting bans is not one of them.

Many macaws, parrots and cockatoos are listed as endangered, with many extinct due to rapid rates of habitat loss, hunting and exotic pet trade and yet we are entertaining the possibility of reopening trade for psittacine birds…it is mind-blowing.

 

The commodification and consumption of wild species and the natural world has seen humans breach boundaries with devastating consequences, our lack of respect for nature is our own undoing, our ecology in desperate need of respite. If we cannot curb our consumption and the continued trade in every living thing, then it will be our own extinction if we cannot learn from this pandemic and the recent bushfires which have presented a very loud and clear warning.

At the recent 2020 High Level Political Forum all UN Member States recommitted to “protecting wildlife and other living species”, taking action to end cross-border trade in wildlife to be an effective first step towards delivering this commitment.

 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989418302312

https://www.traffic.org/news/new-studies-highlight-critical-issues-for-cites-implementation/

Endangered species are legally traded to extinction

Attending CITES (Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species in Wild Flora and Fauna) CoP18 in Geneva in August, along with Nature Needs More we were excited to attend the side event featuring  eCITES BaseSolution electronic permitting which has been developed by UNCTAD with CITES and the Swiss and Sri Lankan Government, with Sri Lanka the first country to implement and trial.

Honoured to be invited to attend the launch of eCITES in Sri Lanka in October 2019 by Minister for Tourism and Wildlife, Hon John Amaratunga. Also attending the launch was the Australian High Commissioner, Victoria Coakley who was incredibly impressed with the presentation and wished to assist with global implementation.

Launch of eCITES Base Solution electronic permitting in Sri Lanka

Now that the system has been implemented, we’re focused on a global roll out before the next CoP which is scheduled to be held in Costa Rica in 2022. We’ve been assured that training and implementation can take between 6-12 weeks, which makes this absolutely doable to meet that deadline. The cost is US$150,000 per country – US$30 million for all 183 signatory countries.

The timing is critical given the pandemic we’re experiencing and the ongoing evidence that supports global action given that:

  1. 2019 report (IPBES) confirmed direct exploitation for trade is the second biggest threat to species survival.
  2. Since CITES came into force in 1975, the convention itself has had only one review and that was in 1994. Any business or industry that doesn’t reflect on how it needs to evolve to adapt to the changing, external conditions would undoubtedly become ineffective (if in fact it managed to survive).
  3. It has not been modernised since the 1970s, almost all CITES parties still use a paper-based system that doesn’t integrate with customs. There is no traceability of shipments from source to destination
  4. Without traceability and transparency, there is no proof of sustainability and the sustainable-use model is the basis for the legal trade.
  5. In a world where big data rules, no major steps have been taken to digitise the trade in endangered species.
  6. When the legal trade was estimated to be worth US$320 billion as far back as 2012 and it would cost only US$30 million to roll out an electronic system to all 183 CITES signatory parties, why hasn’t this been done – it has been talked about for nearly a decade.

Our work was featured by Africa Geographic.

Call for Disney to donate Lion King profits to conservation

“We believe that The Walt Disney Company is best placed to take a lead in investing in pragmatic programs that make a real difference for wild lions,” says a letter addressed to Disney CEO, Robert Iger, and penned by non-profit organisations For the Love of Wildlife, Blood Lions and Nature Needs More, requesting conservation contributions from the next Lion King blockbuster.

You may have read in the last week, that after a meeting with leading conservation groups Disney has announced a $3 million contribution to lion conservation.

But let’s interrogate this, in the lead up to the July 2019 Lion King launch. An initial donation of US$1.5 million has been made with a promise of about $1.5 million to follow.

1. Firstly, US$1.5 million is less than 0.02% of what Disney has made from the Lion King franchise to date.

2. If you add in the US$13 million Disney has donated to conservation programs across Africa since 1995, then the donations to-date amount to less than 0.2% of what Disney has made from the Lion King franchise.

3. Most concerning is that much of what they are offering is based on up front spending of “fans” and customers, US $5 from every Simba toy sold, $2 from every ride taken at Disney Animal Kingdom, which leaves you asking…who is really donating, the company or the “fans”?

More worryingly is that fact that we are told that conservation most respected organisations were part of the round-table with Disney to negotiate this donation. We must assume that these conservation brands have very little ability to influence when between them they have only been able to liberate such a paltry amount from this corporate giant, whose reputation and brand are both devalued by this shamefully cheap gesture.
Read more here:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/disney-announces-lion-king-inspired-global-conservation-campaign-1215863

A call to Disney from the wild

The Lion King brand has grossed just under US$8.1 billion for the Walt Disney Company yet Disney Conservation Fund has donated US$70 million+ to save wildlife (which may include ‘guest contributions’). Whilst this is welcome, it represents only 0.9% of what has been made from The Lion King franchise alone.

For the Love of Wildlife, BloodLions, Nature Needs More and sixteen other organisations are asking the Walt Disney Company that a percentage of the US$8 billion+, made from The Lion King franchise (movie, theatre, merchandise, etc) to-date, be directed to the conservation of wild lions, as well as a percentage of all the funds generated from this point on, given the reboot of the franchise.

For example, we would ask the Walt Disney Company to cover the cost of implementing a global e-permit system that fully integrates with customs worldwide to ensure the traceability and trackability of flora and fauna from source to destination and, as a result, reduces the possibility of laundering illegal product in to the legal marketplace. Discussion with a number of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Flora and Fauna) representatives have confirmed that this would cost somewhere between US$20 million and US$40 million, less than one year’s salary for the Disney CEO Robert Iger.

Walt Disney himself spoke of creating a place “Where Dreams Come True”, but in the case of The Lion King, maybe this will become “Where Dreams Meet Reality given the plummeting populations of wild lions and the realistic possibility of extinction. How would Walt Disney himself respond to future generations (Disney’s key customers) asking why they only have documentaries and movies to remember iconic species and the King himself?

And don’t get us started on the stupidity of resurrecting Dumbo!

See our letter to Mr Robert Igor, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

CITES – it’s time to fix the basics

During the time addressing the domestic trade in Australia in relation to elephant ivory and rhino horn, For the Love of Wildlife and Nature Needs More have become very concerned about the existing CITES trade permit and monitoring system. In addition, the evidence presented at the Parliamentary Inquiry into the unregulated domestic trade last year in Australia provided a platform for further shocking information to be exposed.

Attached is a letter that we sent to the Mr David Morgan in September 2018 as a result of what has been revealed, knowing we can no longer remain silent and action must be taken. At the time David Morgan was performing the administrative duties of the CITES Secretary General and we decided not to wait for the new CITES’ Secretary General to be appointed, due to there being no indication of how long this would take and it was appearing to drag out.

With the reverse listing and levy approach we are asking CITES signatories to consider before CoP18 as we feel that this offers a potential solution to fixing the significant problems and loopholes in the current legal trade system that is enabling illegal items to be laundered into the legal market place.

Please note, in sending this letter, this does not mean that we endorse the sustainable use model and the fact that a trade body is the key facilitator of managing the world’s precious flora and fauna. In sending this letter we acknowledge that this trade based approach will not be changed to a conservation focused approach in the short-term. As such, what we have currently needs to evolve to implement trade and control systems that are transparent, tamper-proof, appropriately resourced and fit-for-purpose.

In introducing this proposal to your local politician (wherever you are in the world) may we offer the following as a foundation for your email to assist in gaining their full attention. If you wish to do more, then please follow up with a meeting and share what you know in educating them in knowing the critical demise of the world’s majestic and iconic species. If you are not knocking on your local MP’s door, then their attention will be with the people who are! Wildlife requires action and please do not feel intimidated by a meeting – your local MP is there to represent YOU and your concerns.

You can also send the information to your local paper – MP’s respond to local news.

Thank you, on behalf of the animals and the natural world who need you now.

 

Dear ….

The last 18 months has seen an increased global focus on wildlife crime, as new estimates regarding the massive scale of illegal trafficking were published in the World Customs Organisation 2017 Illicit Trade Report. This report highlighted the estimated profit from the illegal trade in flora and fauna to be between $91- 258 billion USD per year, and stated, this is an amount that is, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, growing at 2-3 times the pace of the global economy. The report concluded, environmental crime is now the fourth largest transnational crime, after drug trafficking, counterfeiting and people trafficking. International organized crime uses the systemic loopholes in the legal trade system which is regulated by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In addition to the illegal trade, in 2012 a UK government paper highlighted the value of the legal trade in flora and fauna to be $320 billion USD per year.

In addition to systemic loopholes, CITES now lists more than 35,000 species for trade restrictions, making identification and enforcement an impossible task for national law enforcement and customs bodies. Within the CITES framework the only solution to this escalating problem is to change the listing regime to default to a ‘reverse listing’ mode, i.e. listing only species in which trade is permitted. This is not a new idea, in fact it was first put forward by Australia in 1981 to the CITES Conference of Parties in New Dehli. At the time only 700 species were listed for trade restrictions and it was perhaps unsurprising that the proposal failed to garner sufficient support.

Set up as a non-self-executing treaty, CITES today lacks the funding to help poorer countries to implement effective electronic permitting systems that are integrated with global customs systems, which is essential to close the loopholes exploited by the traffickers. We propose that a small trade levy on the $320 billion USD per year trade conducted legally under CITES rules could help raise the necessary funds and make the overall system tamper-proof, traceable and transparent.

Only national governments (and the EU), which are signatories to CITES, can propose the necessary changes to fix the flaws in the current system and strike decisively against the illegal trade. Attached to this email is a copy of a letter sent to the CITES Secretariat in September 2018. As we are one of the 183 signatory parties, I request that the reverse listing approach proposed be considered by our government in the run-up to and as part of the agenda of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) in Sri Lanka in May 2019.

Yours sincerely

 

…………………………………………………..

Open Letter regarding CITES Issues

(include the above link in your email)

We’d love to know which countries are active, so please let us know as we’d love to keep a track of how many people are getting on board. Also feel free to email Peter Lanius of Nature Needs More if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

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The greatest chase you’ll never get to see!

 

THE GREAT Gazelle Chase is hotting-up to be one of the biggest and most unusual fundraising events of the year that, hopefully, you will never get to see!

On Saturday, November 3, conservation organisation, For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW), will be hosting a one-of-a-kind event on St Kilda Beach to raise funds to tackle the out-of-control wildlife trade that is driving some of the world’s most iconic species to extinction.

The fundraising event is being held to support Nature Needs More to raise funds for its rhino horn demand reduction campaign. For the Love of Wildlife aims to raise at least $10,000 so that a fake gazelle, performed by Married At First Sight star Matty Lockett, does not end up getting chased around the beach by a marauding pride of wildlife lovers.

The initiative is all part of the World Games for Wildlife, created by Nature Needs More. From November 5-21, people all over the world will come together for the inaugural games by doing  something active like playing sport or hosting events – all to raise funds for innovative projects tackling the illegal wildlife trade.

Founding Director of FLOW, Donalea Patman is encouraging everyone to dig deep to help save not only the gazelle, but to help save animals that have been decimated by poaching and trade such as lions, elephants and rhinos, one of which is killed every 8 hours for its horn.

Matty Lockett, who’s prepared to be the gazelle for The Great Gazelle Chase and do his part for the world’s iconic wildlife and FLOW Founding Director, Donalea Patman.

“It’s a tongue-in-cheek event to get more Australians thinking about our wildlife’s welfare. We’re global citizens and we have a global responsibility to protect wildlife. It doesn’t matter if the battle is in Africa or in Australia, it all needs our urgent attention,” Donalea said.

Dr Lynn Johnson, founder of Nature Needs More, also believes Australians can do more to help tackle the illegal wildlife trade. “Wildlife is now being used as a status symbol in some cultures around the world. Rhino horn, for example, is being used to conduct business deals,” Lynn said.

“There’s a terrible disconnect with the natural world at the moment. In Australia, it’s shocking to hear about people running over emus, killing hundreds of wedge-tailed eagles, and fairy penguins and getting nothing more than a slap on the wrist. At the same time, there’s a huge connection with sport and if we can raise awareness of the plight of wildlife via the sporting arena that’ll be fantastic,” Lynn added.

From a young age, Matty Lockett, who appeared on the hit TV show Married At First Site, fell in love with wildlife and believes all of wildlife should be protected. “It all came from my father, who grew up in the country and was pretty passionate against any form of animal hunting and that’s definitely rubbed-off on me,” Matty said. “I have a very short amount of time to get fit so please donate as much as you can!”

Donalea added: “If we can’t save elephants, lions and rhinos from extinction then there’s little chance of saving anything else.”

Donate today and #savethegazelle!
https://events.natureneedsmore.org/fundraisers/fortheloveofwildlife/The-Great-Gazelle-Chase