To prevent health hazards in chicken, the Korean government is making farmers increase rrthe size of the birds’ cages.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on Monday, the minimum legal size of cages in local poultry farms will be expanded from 0.05 square meters (5 square feet) per bird to 0.075 square meters. Providing at least 0.075 square meters of space per hen is the standard currently in place among the European Union countries.

The new standard will go into effect on Sept. 1 with a grace period of seven years so existing farms can gradually upgrade their facilities.

An official from the Agriculture Ministry explained that the regulations announced Monday are a follow-up to measures introduced in the wake of the pesticide egg scandal that swept the country about a year ago.

“It was pointed out that overpopulation of hens in tight spaces caused the spread of ticks and mites, which were essentially the cause of the contaminated egg scandal,” explained the official.

Chickens stuck in small cages are unable to remove ticks on their own, which forces farmers to spray pesticides to kill them. These pesticides, used to keep chickens “healthy,” end up in the eggs they lay, which are consumed by the public. The pesticide-egg scare last year led to a drastic fluctuation in the price of eggs as the government scrambled to provide safe eggs to consumers, going as far as importing them from abroad.

“It was apparent that we needed to improve the living conditions of the birds to prevent or minimize such incidents in the future,” the official said.

The new standard is also a part of the government’s effort to prevent the spread of a highly pathogenic strain of the H5N6 avian influenza, a deadly virus that can also infect humans.

In addition to the enlargement of the bird cages, the government will also make it obligatory for farmers to install cameras at the entrance of their farms and inside hen houses.

This could help authorities figure out how a virus has spread and anticipate where it might end up next. Farms will also be required to install inspection facilities when they register for a business permit.

Bird flu has been a headache for the Korean government, spreading through the country almost every year.

The latest case detected was in March when a highly pathogenic strain of H5N6 avian influenza was discovered on some farms in Gyeonggi and South Chungcheong.

The government slaughtered more than 200,000 birds that month. More than six million birds were culled since November last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

“Bird flu occurs during the winter starting in November,” explained the Agriculture Ministry’s official. “We designate the months from October to May as needing extensive disinfection.”

Some experts, however, say that expanding the size of cages may not be sufficient, explaining that EU countries are banned from raising hens in battery cages and required to use so-called enriched cages instead, which are cleaner and more comfortable for the birds.



Remains Of More Than 140 Children Who Were Sacrificed Found In Peru

Buried together, a child and a llama were part of a mass sacrificial killing that included more than 140 children and over 200 llamas in the Huanchaquito-Las Llamas site in coastal Peru near Trujillo.

Gabriel Prieto/National Geographic

Archaeologists discovered the remains of more than 140 children in Peru, children who they believe were sacrificed because of heavy rains.

Their skeletons were found on an excavated site formally known as Huanchaquito-Las Llamas — ground that was controlled by the Chimú Empire some 550 years ago, reported National Geographic in an exclusive published on Thursday.

Researchers believe that both boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 14 were killed by expert hands. The victims appear to be from different ethnic groups and were brought to the bluff from faraway places in the Chimús’ vast empire.

Peruvian archaeologist Gabriel Prieto, who grew up in the area, was excavating an ancient temple there in 2011 when people who lived near coastal dunes told him they were seeing bones.

“We started the excavation the same day,” Prieto told NPR from Peru. “I remember in the first hour or two hours we found like 12 or 13 complete bodies and from there we knew we were in an important site and that we had to call other archaeologists because it was beyond our possibilities at the moment.”

Preserved in dry sand for more than 500 years, more than a dozen bodies were found by archaeologists. The researchers reported the “remains were of children, ranging in age from approximately five to fourteen years.”

Gabriel Prieto/National Geographic

Prieto, a National Geographic Explorer and professor, said his work there resumed in 2014 with grants from the National Geographic Society. He and John Verano, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University, led the research.

They found that these were no ordinary remains. Many of the children had faces that were caked with red pigment, sternums with cuts and ribs that had been dislocated — suggesting that their hearts had been removed. The researchers also found the remains of 200 juvenile llamas that also appear to have died in ritual killings.

Footprints of barefoot children, adults in sandals, young llamas and dogs have led the researchers to construct a theory of their demise. And it’s rooted in a layer of dried mud at the eastern part of the 7,500-square-foot excavation site.

The researchers believe that heavy rains and flooding caused by El Niño weather patterns prompted the massive sacrifice. It would have had devastating consequences on Chimú infrastructure, which was built for arid conditions and featured a network of canals.

Prieto said the damage would ultimately have threatened those in power. “Anything that would affect their economic or political stability, they would take advantage of whatever resources they had possibly to control this kind of situation.”

The discovery has left archaeologists captivated. Vanderbilt University anthropology professor Tom Dillehay, who has not worked on the project, told NPR that the Andes has a legacy of human sacrifice but “not at this intensity or scale.”

He said that the children appear to have died as a sacrifice, as researchers concluded. “There is no other explanation for the accumulation of so many children,” said Dillehay. “You could relate it to warfare and perhaps gathering up children — but why sacrifice so many animals as well?”

But he is skeptical of what prompted their death, saying that many archaeologists and geologists are “trigger happy,” often blaming El Niño as the cause of catastrophes. “I think we need to be more cautious, unless they have solid geological evidence,” he said, adding that the mud could indicate there was, say, a tsunami. “If a highly localized event such as El Niño impacted the community, then why do you need to stretch out several hundred miles to bring children in?”

Jonathan Haas, curator emeritus at The Field Museum, disagreed. “The layer of mud indicates that it’s raining. And it never rains in the coast of Peru except during fairly traumatic El Niño events,” he told NPR from Peru. Because the infrastructure was built for an arid region, “when it rains, it wipes out the entire agricultural system.”

Haas also noted that the sheer number of sacrificed children shows that this ancient society wasn’t benevolent. “It goes to show the power the rulers had to take children away from their parents and kill them. That’s a lot of state power.”

Prieto said the researchers will continue to learn about the victims through DNA and biological analysis. They will submit a report about the discovery to a peer-reviewed, scientific journal, reported National Geographic.

The discovery offers a new insight into Peru’s history apart from the geoglyphs of Nazca Lines and the Inca culture represented at Machu Picchu, Prieto said. “Facing all these human remains and llama remains in very fragile conditions, surrounded by modern houses, it was really a feeling of responsibility that we were facing something important — that we need to record it in the best way possible to finally tell this story.”

California Fish and Game Commission Adopts Progressive Predator Policy

Model Policy Sets Precedent for the Nation 

VENTURA, Calif.— Wildlife conservationists and scientists praised California Fish and Game Commissioners for their vote on Thursday in support of a progressive predator policy that provides the framework for how the state approaches predator conservation, stewardship, and management into the future.

The policy is a result of an 18-month process carried out by Commission staff and a Commission-appointed Predator Policy Working Group (“PPWG”), which was initially established to help modernize predator management in California by drafting a policy “intended to reflect the intrinsic and public value of terrestrial predators while recognizing the need to minimize and address conflicts when they may arise between predators and other values, such as public health and safety and economic stability.”

The final policy adopted by the Commission “acknowledges that native terrestrial predators are an integral part of California’s natural wildlife and possess intrinsic, biological, historical, and cultural value, which benefit society and ecosystems,” while “recognizing that sustainable conservation and management strategies are necessary to encourage the coexistence of humans and wildlife.”

The policy will provide direction as to how predators are managed going forward, and will ensure that “the department shall protect and conserve predator populations.”

“This policy represents sound science and acknowledges the important ecological role that predators play in maintaining ecosystem health, integrity, and diversity,” said Dr. Rick Hopkins, a San Jose-based wildlife ecologist who served on the PPWG (representing Project Coyote). 

“I am proud of how the disparate groups in the Predator Policy Work Group came together and developed a forward-thinking predator policy which recognizes both the role that predators play in the environment, but also provides a sensible approach to management,” said Commission Vice President Anthony Williams.

Project Coyote submitted more than 2500 petition signatures and letters to the Commission urging adoption of a policy that acknowledges the importance of native terrestrial carnivores and their intrinsic and biological value, and that includes the term “humane” in how human-predator conflicts would be addressed—elements that are incorporated in the policy the Commission adopted Thursday.

“We commend the Commission for this vote,” said Camilla Fox, Founder and Executive Director of Project Coyote. “We believe this policy sets a precedent and serves as a model for the nation in how a state wildlife agency should approach predator conservation and stewardship—recognizing that wildlife is held in the public trust for current and future generations and that predators should be valued for their ecological, aesthetic, and intrinsic value.”


To view the policy as adopted by the Commission on April 19, 2018, click here.

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Project Coyote, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in Northern California, is a North American coalition of wildlife educators, scientists, ranchers, and community leaders promoting coexistence between people and wildlife, and compassionate conservation through education, science, and advocacy. For more information,

2 B.C. men fined for ‘brutal’ killing of coyote with pickup truck and machete

Charges supported by DNA evidence and eyewitness accounts

By Andrew Kurjata, CBC News Posted: Jan 30, 2018 6:30 PM PT Last Updated: Jan 30, 2018 6:35 PM PT

Two men have plead guilty to the 'brutal' killing of a coyote in Jan. 2017.

Two men have plead guilty to the ‘brutal’ killing of a coyote in Jan. 2017. (Roger Dubois/CBC)

Two men from Vanderhoof, B.C., have pleaded guilty to injuring a coyote with their truck and then killing it with a machete, in violation of the provincial Wildlife Act.

Conservation officer Jeff Palm said the”brutal” killing was corroborated by multiple eye-witnesses and DNA evidence.

The incident occurred in Jan. 2017 when officers responded to a 911 call reporting two men in a pickup running down a coyote on the frozen Tachik Lake, near Vanderhoof in central British Columbia.

Multiple witnesses were able to direct conservation officers to the men, who first denied their involvement Palm said.

However, officers found blood on the men’s clothes and the truck, which DNA analysis confirmed belonged to the coyote.

Tachik Lake

Tachik Lake is located near Vanderhoof, roughly 113 kilometers west of Prince George. (Google Maps)

The men later admitted to their actions in a sworn statement. Officials have not released their names.

In Aug. 2017, the driver pleaded guilty to harassing wildlife with a vehicle and unlawful possession of a coyote. He lost his hunting licence for three years and received a fine of $5,000.

The passenger pleaded guilty on Jan. 25, 2018, and has been fined $500.

Palm said though illegal, wild animals are chased down with vehicles “more often than people think.”

“It’s actually a common offence,” he said. “It’s just difficult to capture individuals involved in it.”

Palm thanked members of the public for reporting the act and providing information that led to the convictions.

Man shoots hunting dog, steals collars, deputies say

By: WFTV Web Staff


LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A Lake County man is accused of shooting and killing a hunting dog and then stealing her collars, deputies said.

The dog’s owner, Jason McGhee, told deputies with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office that he and his hunting party were in the Ocala National Forest near Deer Haven Community on Saturday and never crossed onto private property, deputies said.


McGhee said they were tracking the dogs and got within 66 yards of Remi, but could not get to her, investigators said. He said he heard the dog barking, then heard several shots fired and the dog stopped barking, deputies said.

McGhee told deputies he got permission from a property owner to find the dog using her GPS collars and later found Remi dead on the national forest property, but her three dog collars had been removed.

The dog collars with GPS were valued at $975, and the dog, which was a walker hound dog, was valued at $1,500, McGhee said.

Read: Day care worker charged in child’s hot car death in court

McGhee tracked the missing dog collars to a home at 47202 South West Avenue belonging to Todd Allen Sweitzer, 49, of Paisley and notified deputies, investigators said.

Deputies went to the home, and Sweitzer immediately told them he didn’t kill any dogs before deputies could question him and that he heard about the dead dog from a neighbor, deputies said.

Deputies told Sweitzer that the dog’s GPS collars were pinpointed at his home, but he denied having the collars, and a search warrant was obtained, investigators said. He admitted the collars were in a box in the house and the gun was in an air-conditioning duct in the bathroom, deputies said.

Sweitzer faces charges of animal cruelty and grand theft, investigators said.

Channel 9’s Myrt Price is working on this story. Follow him on Twitter and Eyewtiness News at 4 p.m. where he’s getting comment from the dog’s owner.

Tanzania vets condemn burning of Kenyan chicks


Tanzania police incinerated 6,400 one-day-old chicks from Kenya, on suspicion they could spread bird flu. PHOTO | THE CITIZEN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Tanzanian veterinarians have condemned government’s decision to burn 6,400 chicks that were illegally imported from Kenya.

The chicks worth TSh12.5 million were impounded on Monday through the Namanga Border Post in Longido District, Arusha Region.


They were set alight on Tuesday.

Expressing his concern, Executive Director of Tanzania Animal Welfare Society Thomas Kahema said the government had alternative ways of curbing disease outbreak but ignored them.

Northern Zone veterinarian Obedi Nyasebwa cited prevention against  outbreak of bird flu and other diseases as the reason for burning the illegal import.

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Senior veterinarian Medard Tarimo said complaints about chicks smuggling had been rife.

“They are mostly smuggled at night, endangering the health of Tanzanians because we already know of avian influenza, which broke out in neighbouring Uganda.”

But according to Dr Kahema, the best option was to return the chicks to the owner, if the reason was to really protect the outbreak of diseases.

“The decision has slightly dented our image and relation with our neighbours. Nobody expected if they would reach that decision,” he told The Citizen.

The chicks were owned by Arusha-based businesswomen Mary Matia who is still in police custody.

Tanzania banned poultry imports in 2007.

Animal Rights Activists Worldwide Protest Start of Dolphin Hunting Season in Japan

SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 BY 

Animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world marked the first day of Japan’s notorious dolphin hunting season with “International Day of Action” protests, an annual event organized by The Dolphin Project. In NYC, about two dozen activists demonstrated in front of the Japanese consulate in midtown Manhattan, educating locals and tourists about the atrocity and demanding that the Japanese government put a stop to it:

During the hunt, which lasts about six months, fleets of Japanese fishing boats surround pods of dolphins off the coast and drive them into an isolated cove in Taiji, Japan, where the dolphins are snatched from the water to be sold to aquariums or killed for their meat. “It’s a bloodbath during which families are torn apart and massacred. It’s nothing short of an act of terror,”  said Phyllis Ottomanelli “Captivity is the driving force behind the hunts. If you pay to swim with dolphins or see them in an aquarium, then you have blood on your hands.”

The hunt was largely unknown to the mainstream public until The Cove, a documentary thriller about the hunt and the heroic activists working to expose it, was released and won the 2010 Academy Award for best documentary film.

The Cove is an Oscar-winning documentary film about the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan

As the 2017 hunt began, advocates around the world took to social media to raise awareness.  Paul Watson, the founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society which has engaged in direct action in an attempt to stop the massacre, wrote “Since the early Sixties, an insidious trade of intelligent, self-aware, sentient beings has been growing like a malignant cancer within human society. It is a slave trade that has been the cause of unimaginable misery and has claimed the lives of thousands of dolphins. This cruel industry has spread across Europe and Asia with hundreds of marine aquariums operating, many of them with grossly inadequate facilities.”

On September 1st, animal rights activists in over 30 cities around the world protested the Japan’s annual dolphin hunt.

The dolphins are slaughtered by “pithing” – stabbing them behind their blowholes with a metal rod. This method severs the spinal cord, paralyzing the dolphins and supposedly causing a rapid death. Often, however, the death is prolonged. In 2011 AtlanticBlue, a German conservation group, documented a dolphin moving for over four minutes after pithing. Activists with The Dolphin Project and Sea Shepherd have witnessed dolphins drown while being dragged by their tails to the butcher house.

The cove turns red with blood during the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji, Japan.

Kim Danoff, a Virginia-based veterinarian and animal rights activist told TheirTurn that babies often watch their parents being killed before themselves dying from stress or starvation: “We must continue to fight until Japan outlaws the trade and massacre of wild dolphins.”

Your Turn

To learn more about Japan’s annual dolphin hunt and to find out how you can help, please visit The Dolphin Project.

Hunting season effected by smoky conditions

 EUGENE, Ore. – With fall on the way, smoke in the area is causing a problem for hunting season.

One local store says business has been slow since the smoke started coming in.

Les Franck has been working at Coastal for eight years, and he has been hunting since he was a child.

He says the smoke doesn’t stop him, but business has been slow since the heavy smoke.

Franck says there’s always a way to protect yourself if you do choose to hunt in the smoky weather.

Alex Gray, a customer at Coastal, says smoke or no smoke, as long as they’re away from the fires, he’s all game.

If you plan on shooting or hunting, visibility plays a big role with the smoke.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wants to remind everyone partaking to make sure they wear their hunter’s orange.

Update: North Carolina Golf Club Ditches Steel-Jaw Traps!

As you know, Cowan’s Ford Golf Club in Stanley, North Carolina, was reportedly setting steel-jaw traps to catch foxes who have made their home on its grounds. Good news—management has now removed these devices! Thank you to Cowan’s Ford for its compassionate decision and to everyone who took the time to make their voices heard. Please take a moment to check out our other urgent alerts to speak up for animals who still need your help.

According to stunned eyewitnesses, Cowan’s Ford Golf Club is using horrific steel-jaw traps to get rid of an unwanted fox family residing on its grounds. Reportedly, several terrified animals have already been cruelly ensnared by these barbaric contraptions and were hauled away screaming. Distressing footage of a fox apparently trapped at the golf club can be viewed below.

The victims of steel-jaw traps (including the rubber-coated variety) often sustain serious injuries in their frantic attempts to escape—some have even chewed or twisted off their own limbs. These devices are considered so inhumane that they’ve been banned in 88 countries and several states. Trapping also tears wild families apart, leaving orphaned young to starve, while posing a definitive risk to companion animals as well as “non-target” wildlife, including protected species. And lethal initiatives are ineffective methods of eliminating animals from an area, as survivors simply breed in greater numbers, replacing lost family members, while other foxes move in from outlying areas to make use of the still-available resources.