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IFAW

09 Aug

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Jim Fitzpatrick backs UK ivory surrender to protect elephants

August 9, 2017 | By | No Comments

Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick has lent his support to a new ivory surrender launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to help protect elephants from further slaughter for the illegal ivory trade.

Members of the public are being invited to surrender their own ivory which will be destroyed as part of a campaign to close the UK’s ivory market and save this iconic species from the threat of extinction.

IFAW, which has run previous successful public ivory surrenders in the UK, believes it is vital now more than ever before that the British public stand up for elephants by helping to end consumer demand for ivory products and keep up the pressure for a domestic ban on the ivory trade.

New polling released by IFAW reveals that the vast majority of the UK public want to protect elephants with a UK trade ban and do not wish to purchase ivory themselves. An overwhelming 95% of respondents polled by YouGov stated that they would not be interested in purchasing antique ivory.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“I was pleased to join IFAW and offer my backing to this important campaign. Time is running out for the elephant and we need to do what we can to ensure their survival. From the volume of correspondence I’ve received, it’s clear there’s much wider approval.

“I would like to encourage anyone from Poplar and Limehouse who has unwanted ivory to support IFAW’s ivory surrender which will help ensure that ivory is only valued on a live, wild elephant, where it belongs.”

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said:

“We are very grateful for Jim’s support for our campaign. Time really is running out for elephants and if we do not act now it will be too late. Historically ivory has been seen by many as a status symbol and something to value, but the reality is that a piece of ivory represents a dead elephant, cruelly shot or poisoned for its tusks.

“Many people in the UK have bought or inherited ivory tusks, carvings or trinkets over the years that they do not want now they understand that an elephant has died for this. We are encouraging people to surrender their unwanted ivory, whether legal or illegal, so we can ensure it is put beyond use, and so that it will not resurface on the market or help fuel further illegal poaching of elephants to satisfy consumer demand.”

The legal ivory trade often provides a smokescreen for more illegal killing of elephants and by donating unwanted ivory, IFAW believes members of the public can make a positive contribution to elephant protection. A small number of ivory items will be retained for education and publicity purposes while other donations will be immediately transferred to a secret and secure location and ultimately destroyed by the appropriate Government agency.

IFAW continues to call on the UK Government to ban ivory sales in the UK as a priority.

Mansbridge added:

“We have recently seen strong moves from China and the US to tackle their own domestic ivory markets which is to be welcomed. As a nation of animal lovers in the UK, and with the UK playing such a significant role historically in the ivory trade, it is time for us to also take a stand by saying ivory belongs to elephants and no-one else. We can see there is strong political will in the UK to make this happen, and we need action to stop the ivory trade now.”

Please click here for more information on IFAW’s ivory surrender campaign.

20 Oct

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London Fire Brigade dog to receive national animal of the year award for heroic work

October 20, 2016 | By | No Comments

A 12-year-old springer spaniel whose keen sense of smell has helped London Fire Brigade investigators sniff out the cause of hundreds of suspicious fires around the Capital and beyond was recognised with a special award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the House of Lords.

Roscoe is one of just three specially trained and highly skilled fire investigation dogs working for London Fire Brigade, and one of only a handful of dogs with this role around the UK.

With a flawless ability to identify a variety of ignitable substances, Roscoe, nicknamed ‘The Dog of Truth’, helps establish whether a fire has been started deliberately. Using his keen sense of smell, which is more accurate than man-made technology designed for the same purpose, Roscoe enables the Brigade’s Fire Investigation Team to quickly pinpoint the cause of the fire and improve the conviction rate against arsonists who endanger life with their criminal acts.

During 11 years of service, Roscoe has not missed a single day of work because of sickness or injury and has assisted at more than 600 fire scenes.

It was expected that Roscoe would be ready for retirement by the age of 10 but he continues to display such enthusiasm and energy for his work, based on the concept of play and reward, that handler Mick Boyle has allowed him to keep working while also training up his future successor, Murphy.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said:

“Roscoe is an amazing dog whose long service sniffing out the cause of fires has helped keep Londoners safe. His fantastic partnership with handler Mick shows the special relationship between people and animals. Roscoe is a very deserving winner of IFAW’s Animal of the Year Award.”

Mick Boyle, said:

“Every single day Roscoe has never failed to amaze me; I never tire of watching him work. He always surprises me and it gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to see him enjoying the work while finding the cause of suspicious fires and helping safeguard the community. When members of the public see him arrive at the scene of a fire and ask why he’s there I say he’s going to tell me who started the fire.

“Roscoe and the other fire investigation dogs are one of London’s best kept secrets; the heroes with dirty faces. At the age of one year Roscoe came to me to start training after being given up for rehoming by his previous owners. Immediately he hit the ground running and as a team Roscoe makes me look good!”

The Fire Service believes that the use of fire investigation dogs not only helps solve crimes, but the presence of the dogs can also act as a preventive measure (when arsonists become aware of their skills in pinpointing crimes), as well as a reassurance to the local community. Roscoe’s attendance at suspicious scenes has even led to confessions from those responsible.

London Fire Brigade’s fire investigation dogs are all equipped with Personal Protective Equipment to keep them safe at work, including boots that protect their paws from shards of glass or other sharp objects. They are never sent into active fires or scenes of heat and no fire investigation dog has ever been injured on duty.

Because of Roscoe’s reluctance to slow down and stop working, Mick is planning a very gradual shift towards retirement for him later in the year to ensure he does not become bored. He will live out his days in comfort with Mick and his other dogs, and for the foreseeable future will continue to assist with other duties he also excels at and enjoys; meeting the public at fire safety open days and events.

Mick added:

“Roscoe also just loves people and being made a fuss of. He has taken part in dozens of events with the public, especially as part of this year’s 150th anniversary of London Fire Brigade, and he makes a point of moving round the crowd and greeting every single person, hoping to get attention. Lots of people who are usually fearful of dogs, especially children, comment that they have no fear of Roscoe.

“We will definitely let him keep doing things like this as long as he wants to; he is such an active dog that he needs a hobby in his retirement!”

Roscoe, accompanied by Mick, received his award at IFAW’s prestigious Animal Action Awards event, hosted by Baroness Gale and presented by TV wildlife presenter Bill Oddie at the House of Lords on October 18.

28 Sep

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Poplar & Limehouse MP backs new campaign targeting the cruel UK puppy trade

September 28, 2016 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has lent his support to a new public awareness campaign launched by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to target the growing problem of the illicit and cruel UK puppy trade.

The puppy industry is booming, but with many UK breeders and puppy smugglers across Europe producing puppies solely for profit, all too often these animals suffer serious illness or behavioural problems later in life. Others, sadly, do not survive.

IFAW has devised a useful guide, P.U.P.S, for anyone looking to buy a puppy, to ensure they know what to look for to avoid buying an unhealthy, possibly puppy farmed animal.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“I am very pleased to support this important IFAW campaign to help make people aware of the potential pitfalls before buying a puppy which may have been farmed in squalid conditions and taken from its mother too soon, before it is eight weeks of age.

“It is terrible to think of these puppies being transported a great distance by dealers with little or no thought for their health or welfare. The mothers suffer greatly too, being made to produce litter after litter of puppies until they have outlived their usefulness. I encourage everyone to remember P.U.P.S.”

Parent – Is the puppy with its mum?

Underage – Has the puppy reached the legal age for sale?

Papers – Are all of the puppy’s papers available and in order?

Sickness – Is the puppy healthy and energetic?

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said:

“We are very grateful for Jim Fitzpatrick’s support for our campaign. As a nation of dog lovers, none of us wants to be part of the cruel puppy industry. I am sure people will be shocked to find out that many much-loved pet dogs in the UK have suffered a horrible start in life with ill effects that may last through their lifetime.

“In the worst scenarios, owners suffer too when their much-loved puppy quickly gets sick and dies. This is the reality of the heartless UK puppy trade. IFAW always advocates adopting a happy and healthy puppy or dog in need of a home from your local shelter. But for those who wish to buy from a breeder, we believe our P.U.P.S campaign arms people with the information they need to make the right choice.”

27 Nov

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP Backs Report Exposing Grisly Wildlife Cybertrade

November 27, 2014 | By | No Comments

IFAW

A murky multi-million pound trade in wild animals and their parts is booming across online marketplaces, with questions being asked as to the legality of many advertisements offering endangered species for sale.

A shocking report released this week by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) shows how thousands of endangered species are bought and sold on the Internet, many advertised without any form of supporting documentation.

Wanted – Dead or Alive, Exposing Online Wildlife Trade reveals that, in early 2014, an intense six-week investigation found a total of 33,006 endangered wildlife and wildlife parts and products for sale via 280 online market places across 16 countries.

IFAW found the legality of almost 13 per cent – 1,192 – of the 9,482 advertisements investigated was sufficiently doubtful to warrant turning these over to law enforcers for further examination. However this may only be the tip of the iceberg as investigators were careful not to deluge enforcers with reports of potential wildlife crime. The IFAW investigation focuses on the ‘surface-web’, namely open-source websites commonly referred to as online marketplaces, where products are freely available to the public.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP is pictured at the parliamentary launch of the report, and said:

“I wish to commend the International Fund for Animal Welfare on producing this shocking report that shows the devastating effect of the online trade on wildlife across the world. I am offering my support for tougher measures and the strongest possible enforcement of the law to clamp down on this organised criminal activity.”

In the UK, websites hosted 1,087 online advertisements offering a total of 1,603 items for sale including ivory and suspected ivory, turtles, tortoises, owls, exotic birds, monkeys and parts and products from elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, alligators and big cats. The items were valued at more than £300,000. Over two-thirds of adverts were for wildlife parts and products rather than live animals.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said:

“Governments need to introduce stronger legislation that specifically targets online wildlife crime and must encourage and support their enforcement agencies in making sure wildlife cybercriminals are apprehended and prosecuted. We would like to thank Jim Fitzpatrick MP for his support in saving wildlife and combating international crime.”

IFAW’s investigation specifically targeted the sale of species listed on Appendix I and II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which regulates and restricts the trade in wildlife and their parts and products. Many of the 280 online sites monitored either didn’t ask customers to demonstrate that their trade met with national laws, or else the provisos were hidden to the extent that customers simply wouldn’t be aware of them.

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