Week 2

  1. THE RINGLING BROS. AND BARNUM & BAILEY CIRCUS ELEPHANTS

On Thursday, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced they would phase out their iconic elephant acts by 2018. The decision was spurred by public concern about the treatment of elephants in circuses, and perhaps a growing understanding that being kept as an entertainment spectacle is emotionally damaging to the sensitive, intelligent animals.

Elephants are social creatures in the wild with close-knit family units. They even perform funeral rituals and spend weeks mourning their dead. So those that have long been in circuses and zoos can come to exhibit symptoms of depression, aggression or post-traumatic stress disorder, most likely as a result of the confinement and isolation.

In 2006, the New York Times article described the trauma elephants undergo in captivity: “Being kept in relative confinement and isolation [is] a kind of living death for an animal as socially developed and dependent as we now know elephants to be,” author Charles Siebert wrote.

Ringling elephants spend most of their long lives either in chains or on trains, under constant threat of the bullhook, or ankus—the menacing tool used to control elephants. They are lame from balancing their 8,000-pound frames on tiny tubs and from being confined in cramped spaces, sometimes for days at a time. They are afflicted with tuberculosis and herpes, potentially deadly diseases rare in the wild and linked to captivity. “

For more information, click the link below

http://time.com/3733447/elephants-animal-cruelty-abuse-circus/

2. ELEPHANT ABUSE IN INDIA

NEW DELHI: Elephants are still being subjected to torture in circuses despite a decision by the Animal Welfare Board of India or AWBI last year to ban their registration for performing in such shows, an animal rights group has alleged.

“AWBI, a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, decided to ban the registration following reports of rampant use of weapons, including iron hooks and sticks with protruding nails to make the elephants perform. Though, legal show-cause notices were issued to the defaulter circuses then,  it’s been an year but neither have the elephants being subjected to torture in these circuses sent to rehabilitation centres nor have they been deregistered for performances,” Poorva Joshipura, CEO, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA India, claimed. Reacting to the allegations, AWBI asserted it is in the process of deregistering existing elephants at circuses and no new elephant has been registered in the past six months.

For more information, click the link below

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/elephants-still-being-subjected-to-torture-in-indian-circuses-peta-674933

3. U.S PUTS AN END TO ALL EXPERIMENTS ON CHIMPS

A chimpanzee takes a moment for himself

The National Institutes of Health is shuttering its chimpanzee research program after decades of experimentation and research that has put animal rights activists and scientists at odds.

Two years after sending more than 300 of its research champs into retirement, the NIH said on Wednesday that it will place the final 50 chimps into sanctuary. The move puts an end to government-led experiments on chimpanzees, the primate most closely related to humans. Chimp DNA is nearly 99 percent identical to human DNA.

“It’s time to say we’ve reached the point in the U.S. where invasive research on chimpanzees is no longer something that makes sense,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of NIH, told the Associated Press.

The news was heralded by animal rights groups. “We really see the [NIH] closing and locking the door behind the chimps and throwing away the key on their way out of the laboratories,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, wrote in a blog post.

For more information, click the link below

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/us-puts-end-all-experiments-chimps

4. IROM SHARMILA ENDS FAST

Human rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila will end her 16-year-long hunger strike, one of the longest in world, against a Indian controversial law that gives special powers to the Indian armed forces in areas affected by insurgency. She now plans to contest the 2017 elections in her state Manipur in north-east India as an independent candidate.

Called the Iron Lady of Manipur, the 44-year-old has been on a fast since 2000 to protest the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a law gives Indian soldiers powers and legal immunity to shoot to kill, conduct raids and arrest people without warrants.

The activist and poet started the hunger strike after 10 civilians were killed by soldiers in Manipur in 2000, and famously vowed not to meet her mother, until her demand for the repeal of AFSPA was met. The law continues to be applied in several states, including Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.

“I will break my fast as the government has failed to give any positive response. I will fight elections to resolve the issues,” Sharmila said. She added that “public apathy” forced her to change her strategy and that she did not believe that her fast would lead to AFSPA’s repeal.”That is why I will join politics and my fight will continue,” she told reporters.

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