Current Campaigns

Seaworld Under Fire (July 2013)

SeaWorld is under fire after its trainers failed to help a distressed pilot whale stuck on a ledge for at least 25 minutes as the audience watched in horror. The disturbing incident was caught on camera by one attendee who says his view of SeaWorld has been changed forever.

As more time passed and the dolphin continued to struggle, the audience began to get angry.

"The crowd was in a rage, in an uproar," De Leonibus told Tampa Bay's WTSP. "Some of them were stomping their feet. The gentleman behind me threatened to go protest. He was really upset."

The father recorded footage of the animal laboring in the shallow water. Viewers can see it waving its tail and wriggling as other pilot whales swim up to try and help. Audience members can be heard yelling in the background. In the caption, De Leonibus writes 25 minutes passed before two trainers eventually went and pushed the dolphin back in the water. 

Japan - Stop Whaling (July 2013)

Japan may finally be brought to justice for killing whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary under the ‘research whaling’ loophole as a landmark legal case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, the Netherlands, begins on June 26, 2013. Following a 2008 order from an Australian Court to end the Japanese whale hunts that ICR has ignored, the Australian government will present its case against Japan’s whaling operations in the Southern Ocean during the three-week-long hearing scheduled to run through July 16, 2013. Australia launched the case in 2010, asking the ICJ to halt a hunt that violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) laws’ moratorium on commercial whaling, and was on a scale far beyond the ICRW's rules on killing whales for research.

Find the Missing 13 - Incompetent Thai Officials (March 2012)

Reports that 2 gibbons and 1 elephant have died at the hands of incompetent officials of the Department of National Parks (DNP) have been basically confirmed by staff at the Lampang elephant conservation center and a wildlife-breeding center of the DNP in Ratchaburi. Although the DNP has been trying to cover up the deaths and have told staff to keep quiet on the matter news is now coming out that indeed at least 3 confiscated animals have passed away.

One elephant confiscated from an elephant camp in Kanchanaburi died two days ago at the Lampang “Thai Elephant Conservation Center” or TECC. This elephant that was chained up front legs, not able to move at all, had no elephant keeper (mahout) assigned to care for her, or any of the other twenty-plus confiscated elephants. Staff members at the TECC have told that there is no budget or staffs send by the DNP to care for or feed the confiscated pachyderms, there is now great concern for the physical and mental wellbeing and lives of more elephants there.

Similar is the story of two gibbons born at a wildlife centre since 2006 that have been living in the semi-wild at the largest island. Both gibbons were never touched by humans over the last 6 years, since birth, as they were part of a study group on behavior of gibbons born in the semi-wild. One of the gibbons fell from a 25-meter high tree and died before arrival at the DNP wildlife breeding center at Ratchaburi, a second one reportedly died a few days later from extreme stress in a small cage as it was taken away from its family and could not cope with captivity.

The centre has asked in an official letter to the DNP on the 28th of February to urgently return the animals that were born at the centre in 2006 and a confirmation of receipt of our demand was signed on the 1st of March by the DNP, however to date we have not received the animals back nor have we received any response, reason for the delay in this response is most probably due to the death of some of the taken animals.

We again ask for an urgent return of the animals to the wildlife rescue center before more are killed at the hands of the DNP. 

Wild Animal Circus Protest (February 2012)

Bears, elephants, tigers, and other animals do not volunteer to leave their homelands and families in order to balance on balls, jump through rings of fire, and perform other menial tricks.

Circus animals do not have the ability to exercise their free will. They perform tricks and obey orders out of fear of pain, suffering, and retribution. Yet many people who attend the circus are under the illusion that the animals are happy and well cared for. Peaceful protests are a critical instrument in raising awareness of the plight of these animals with circus-goers and working towards a day when no animal finds itself tortured for entertainment.

Free Anne the Elephant (Nov 2012)

For 50 years Anne the ­elephant languished in chains, was beaten and forced to perform as Britain’s last circus elephant.

Now thanks to so many people who rallied to set her free from this horrible life, she is looked after and loved in her own enclosure at Longleat Saf­ari Park in Wiltshire.

Anne was captured as an infant in her native rainforest in Sri Lanka nearly 60 years ago. She was shipped to Britain and joined four other ­elephants in Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus.

The circus travelled the country and Anne along with the other elephants, was forced to perform tricks including standing on her hind legs and giving rides to youngsters. Over the years Anne’s companions were lost to illness and old age.

In 2005 she was found chained in a small pen, lame through ­arthritis but still ­making a few pounds for her owners by posing for photographs.

She was finally rescued in 2011 after animal welfare campaigners’ recorded ­sec­ret footage of a groom beating her with a pitchfork. Mr Roberts, who was found guilty of allowing Anne to be mistreated, was forced to let her be rehoused at Longleat.

Stop the Whale Shark Enclosure in Kenya (April 2013)

A German underwater photographer is proposing to 'catch' wild migrating whale sharks so tourists can dive with them off southern Kenya.

Volker Bassen, who is also a dive instructor and runs a whale shark trust, claims the project will benefit both tourism and conservation. The plans suggest hanging 2,000ft-long nets in shallow waters off Kenya's popular southern beaches close to Diani enclosing up to two animals. Tourists would then pay a proposed £65 each to snorkel or dive in the enclosed waters.

Research conducted by the East African Whale Shark Trust (set up and run by Bassen) suggested a decline in the animal's population over a period of six years.

However, conservationists and animal welfare groups have reacted angrily to the plans and dismissed population problems. They hope that the “project will go no further and that Kenya will retain its pre-eminent position in Africa as a country that does not exploit its wildlife”.

“If the people behind this flawed and deeply misguided project really cared about the future of whale sharks they could support field-based conservation measures, including working with fishing communities and enhancing the capacity of Kenya’s marine protection agency to make a real difference for this species in the wild – where it belongs.”

Whale sharks are the world's largest fish species and while their name may evoke fear they are calm creatures feeding entirely on plankton.

Kenya's National Environmental Management Authority is expected to make a final decision in April 2013

Japan's Big Secret (Jan 2010)

Each year from September to May over 20,000 dolphins are slaughtered in Japan. Fishermen round them up by the hundreds using sound barriers to disorient and herd the frantic pods out of their normal migrations into hidden lagoons like the one featured in The Cove. Bottlenose dolphins, especially ones that look like Flipper, are pre-selected by trainers and sold off for upwards of $200,000 to marine mammal parks around the world, where they will remain in captivity performing as circus acts. After the trainers and spectators have left, the rest of the dolphins are inhumanely killed in what can only be described as a massacre.

The butchered dolphins are later used for food, but the Japanese government has intentionally sheltered people from the dangers of eating them. Consumers of dolphin meat run the risk of mercury poisoning due to high levels of the toxin within the animals. Adding to the danger, much of the pricier whale meat they purchase is actually mislabeled toxic dolphin meat. While the Japanese government defends dolphin hunting as part of their cultural heritage, this tradition has serious health effects on its own people.

The more lucrative captive dolphin industry is the driving economic force behind the dolphin slaughter in Taiji. In the U.S. alone, dolphinariums represent an $8.4 billion industry, while a dead dolphin fetches a mere $600. International law provides no protections against the killing of dolphins and other slaughters occur in places outside of Japan. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) affords no protections for 71 (out of 80, known) cetacean species, including all dolphins and porpoises which is why Japan and other countries can legally kill them by the tens of thousands.

Say No to Palm Oil

Around 50 million tons of palm oil is produced annually; with almost all of that being non-sustainable palm oil, that replaces millions of hectares of dense, bio-diverse rainforest. 

Palm oil is mainly used in foods, cosmetics and cleaning agents, but it can also be found in some bio-fuels. This fatty vegetable oil is mixed with a number of other fuels and liquids to create an 'Eco-Friendly' bio-fuel. This 'Eco-Friendly' bio-fuel has already become mandatory in numerous countries including Malaysia, where 5% of all fuel must contain palm oil, and if it continues to be voted into petrol stations around the world, the future for our orange primate cousins and their rainforest homes will be very bleak. 

In supermarkets in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom and many European countries, 50% of all baked goods, confectionery, spreads, body products, cosmetics, cleaning agents, air fresheners and sometimes even paint and printer ink contain palm oil, and the average first-world citizen consumes at least 10kg of palm oil each year. These statistics dramatically increase with countries that span across Asia. Fact is, a large percentage of products in your household will contain palm oil, and almost anything that contains a high level of saturated fat will have palm oil in it (except for some dairy products, which gain their saturated fat from full cream milk). 

However, you often don't know if products you are buying contribute to this detrimental destruction. You see, there are no laws on the mandatory labeling of palm oil in most countries, so palm oil is often hidden under the name of 'vegetable oil' or over 170 other names.   This means that consumers are blinded as to which products they buy are contributing the destruction of our natural world and its inhabitants. 

This widely-used vegetable oil is also very high in saturated fat, therefore a potential health risk. Due to its high saturated fat content, palm oil promotes heart disease, increases cholesterol level, raises blood pressure, therefore a key contributing factor to obesity. These four health issues are the main causes of one of the world's biggest killers: cardiovascular disease (also known as heart disease). This extremely common disease claims one life every two seconds. Palm oil is also high in Omega 6 fatty acid, which is associated with arthritis, inflammation, and even breast and prostate cancer.

Some people argue that we need palm oil in this day and age in order to produce certain foods and products. But what about 30 years ago? Back then, palm oil was virtually non-existent in most supermarkets in the first-world, so why is there such a high demand for it now? Unhealthy, processed foods, chemicals to add to cleaning products, and fuel. We don't need palm oil. Alternatives to palm oil include sunflower oil, hemp seed oil, cotton-seed oil and coconut oil, but unfortunately none as cheap or efficient, which is why companies are reluctant to switch.

(Excerpt from http://www.saynotopalmoil.com)
 

Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling - Palm Oil) Bill 2011

This Bill was brought forth to include the labelling of palm oil on product packaging.

A long-running legislative saga, launched in the Australian senate in 2009 by independent Nick Xenophon, is being willed to the finish line by environmentalists Down Under.

An unlikely alliance between Xenophon, the Greens and the centre-right Coalition has passed legislation in the senate, despite it being rejected at committee stage. The truth in labelling – palm oil bill, which will require products to carry information on palm oil content, is now expected to be approved by the house of representatives.

Xenophon, who has long crusaded to reduce Australians' use of poker machines, sees palm oil labelling primarily as a consumer issue, saying: "Australians consume 10 kilos of palm oil every year and don't know it. These laws will give consumers the knowledge they need to make an informed choice at the supermarket checkout."

But for conservation groups, the legislation is a long-overdue boost for the orangutan, which has been pushed to the edge of extinction by the rampant clearing of its natural habitat in Indonesia and Malaysia for palm oil cultivation.

The two south-east Asian countries account for 85% of the world's $40bn palm oil industry, with the product estimated to be present in around 40% of Australian foods, including beloved national snacks such as Tim Tams and Arnott's Shapes.

Palm oil, which is also found in toothpaste and cosmetics, is labelled as vegetable oil on packaging in Australian shops.

A 2007 report by the UN found that 98% of natural rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia could disappear by 2022, with palm oil production seen as a key driver of the destruction that sees the equivalent of 300 football pitches of forest wiped out each hour.

The impact upon the orangutan, the only Asian great ape, has been severe – it's estimated that 1,000 a year die due to forest clearing in its heartlands of Borneo and Sumatra, with predictions that the species could be extinct in the wild within 20 years.

There are also concerns over the impact of palm oil-driven deforestation on climate change, with peat-filled soils, exposed by the removal of trees, releasing large quantities of methane into the atmosphere.

Become a Member of O2E

Join the Oceans 2 Earth pack and you’ll get your paws on O2E’s newsletter featuring animal welfare and conservation projects, the latest news and ways you can help our precious wildlife.

It’s the best way to stay informed about new projects, events, campaigns and animal rights issues. We even showcase some great photographs taken by O2E staff and volunteers.

And it’s all free when you become a Member!

Become a Member today !