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Animal Concern Advice Line News 2022

Please note some documents are reproduced in plain text rather than in PDF format which would take up a great deal of memory when using a mobile device.

December 2022

December 06th 2022: Raptor Persecution UK has just highlighted a case where a Red Kite was found poisoned beside a poisoned bait on a Scottish grouse moor. Over a year after the incident Police Scotland have closed the case but have not released much information. Animal Concern has gone to the top of the legal profession in Scotland in a bid to use Freedom of Information laws to find out more. Details over on the AC site:

December 05th 2022: While other organisations were busy raising petitions and generating publicity for the makers of that puerile TV programme “I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here”, which specialises in the persecution of animals and humiliation of some very well paid “celebrities”, Animal Concern (AC) was busy campaigning behind the scenes.

The “jungle” set is leased to TV programme makers from around the globe and is used many times a year for different versions of the show.

AC identified three probable breaches of the Australian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and raised these with the Chief Constable of New South Wales Police and the State Minister for Police. The Police have given us a reference number and should be investigating now.

As the “celebrities” are paid to participate that makes them employees of the programme makers who have a legal duty of care to their staff. Exposing your workers to close contact to many species of animals which can carry a number of lethal diseases which can be passed to humans does not strike us as in keeping with Health and Safety legislation. AC called in the New South Wales equivalent of our Health & Safety Executive and they are investigation. They have asked programme makers for full details of their safety protocols and have told me that a visit to the site is under consideration.

AC contacted the New South Wales Branch of the Australian RSPCA twice but( at the time of writing, still await a response.

This is not the first time we have used these subtle tactics on a reality TV show. In 2006 lots of groups were urging supporters to phone premium rate Big Brother telephone numbers to get Pete Best evicted for wearing a jacket he said was made from gorilla skin (illegal). AC simply contacted the nearest police station to the studio and they went in and confiscated the jacket!

Watch our News section to find out if our latest efforts have helped stop the abuse of both nonconsenting animals and consenting chunky cheque chasers in the name of entertainment.

December 04th 2022: A UK made Netflix Xmas movie, “Christmas on Mistletoe Farm” has a scene in which a dog runs wild among a flock of sheep. This gives out a very wrong message at a time of year when, during the holidays, people are likely to be walking their dogs near pregnant ewes and cows. We have asked Netflix to add a warning to the film. If you are a Netflix customer, or even if you are not, you might want to ask them as well. Details on the AC website here:

December 1st 2022: Animal Concern have made comments in The Ferret magazine about the deeply concerning discovery of a bullet shell on one of the walkways of Groatay fish farm off North Uist. An investigation by Marine Scotland is underway and we await their findings. Read the full story here:

December 1st 2022: On November 11th John Robins of Animal Concern asked the Scottish Government how much the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) had repaid on the £500,000 the Government loaned them in 2020 (on top of a £2M grant) to build a new enclosure to house the Giant Political Prisoner Pandas in Edinburgh Zoo. RZSS had leased the Pandas from the Chinese Government for US$1,000,000 a year for a decade (RZSS are paying “only” US$500,000 per annum for the two year extension to the lease).
John just had a reply and can report RZZS have so–far repaid £202,500, including interest of £2,500. John makes that 1.25% interest on the £200,000, and, despite having an excellent credit rating, the best interest rate he could get on a loan of “just” £50,000 over 5 years was 7.9%. The £2M grant and £500,000 loaned to the RZSS was from the NHS budget as it related to the sale of NHS property adjacent to the old Giant Panda enclosure. Surely Scot Gov could have struck a better deal and made a more realistic investment for our cash–strapped health service? By the way John didn't borrow the £50K so nae tapping him for a fiver! You can read the Scot Gov response to the FOI request on the Animal Concern website here:

November 2022

November 29th 2022: The Animal Concern campaigns team have had a very positive meeting with deputy leader of Scottish Borders Council Councillor Scott Hamilton and Executive Member for Environment & Transport Councillor Jenny Linehan today to discuss a ban on the public release of sky lanterns and helium balloons. They were very sympathetic to the cause and Animal Concern will be working with them to progress this in the coming weeks.

November 24th 2022: A Scottish Government consultation on proposals to changing wildlife management practices is underway. The proposals include licensing grouse shooting, and further regulating the use of traps and snares, as well as the banning of glue traps. Our friends at OneKind have done excellent work in urging the government to bring about a full snaring ban, which we fully endorse, and they are calling for public support to respond to the consultation using a handy guide they have created on their website. We urge you to add your voice to this very important cause! See here:

November 21st 2022: Animal Concern will be meeting with the leader of Scottish Borders Council, Councillor Euan Jardine, next week to discuss a ban on the release of sky lanterns and balloons. As one of the few local authorities to not have introduced any restrictions on this, it's our hope that they can help crack down on this and, with the help of other local authorities, increase pressure on Holyrood to bring about national legislation to outlaw these hazards to wildlife. Residents of the Scottish Borders or Edinburgh City can write to your local councillor to insist on introducing restrictions for sky lanterns and balloons, which too often cause harm and death to local animals and pose a fire risk.

November 12th 2022: Animal Concern's retiring Campaigns Consultant, and ex–Scottish Greens Party veteran John Robins spoke to the Scottish Daily Express about his views on the party's apparent drift from environmental issues. See what he said here:

November 11th 2022: A building company has agreed to sponsor the Political Prisoner Pandas for their last year in Edinburgh. This prompted Animal Concern to find out how much of the £500,000 loan given to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland by Scottish Government Ministers (on top of a £2M grant) has been repaid to the public purse. They'll let you know in due course how much has been clawed back. Their request for the information can be found here:

November 8th 2022: Last week, Animal Concern added its voice to the call for a full, phased ban on greyhound racing in Scotland. Launched in 2019 by Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE), along with backing from the SSPCA, RSPCA, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, OneKind and many more, the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission were due to publish their decision on the issue today. Disappointingly, they have delayed until February 2023 pending further investigation. See Animal Concern's letter of support and visit the SAGE website here:

November 1st 2022: We are delighted to see this morning that the planning permission for a new Salmon Farm at Beinn Reithe at the head of Loch Long, has been refused by the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Authority. Animal Concern representatives attended the public hearing on the proposal of what would be the largest salmon farm in Scottish waters yesterday at Arrochar, which concluded with the decision to block the development, much to the relief of the local representatives present. Read more here

November 1st 2022: Anthony Holloway, based in Dumbarton, has been exposed as a key player in the barbaric practice of dog fighting in Scotland. Holloway had previously been reported to us by a caller to Animal Concern Advice Line back in 2019, which we passed on to the Scottish SPCA special investigation team. Holloway was given the lenient sentence of a 270–hour community payback order as well as a 4–year ban on owning dogs, but reports from the Daily Record indicate that he is now operating a compound, breeding and training more dogs to brutally maim and kill other animals. See more here

October 2022

October 26th 2022: The Scottish Government have announced a consultation on proposed tighter laws to ensure that those who wish to manage grouse shoots must apply for a licence, as well as tighter restrictions on the use of various animal traps. Animal Concern cautiously welcomes this as a first step to a larger process of grouse moor reform, and will be making a submission to the consultation, adding that owners should lose their licence to shoot grouse if they break raptor protection laws. See more here:

October 24th 2022: Every year tens of thousands of pet, wild and farm animals and many people suffer dreadfully from the use and misuse of fireworks. Animal Concern supporters have been asked to report any fireworks incidents to the Police via the emergency 999 number. This will test the new and very complicated rules on fireworks brought into Scots law early this year. If you witness or just hear an incident near you, please report it:

September 2022

September 28th 2022: Animal Concern met with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to discuss plans to ban the release of sky lanterns in Scotland. Whilst they were sympathetic to Animal Concerns cause, they advised that the quickest way to achieve these aims is to tackle the issue with each of the remaining councils who haven't yet brought in restrictive laws. Wales has a similar set up - in which every one of its local authorities has banned the release of lanterns on public land, the last of which was passed in 2018. Read more on this here:

September 12th 2022: Animal Concern has two new team members - Freddy Bowen–Bate and Graeme Corbett who will be attempting to fill the large shoes of John Robins by taking on our campaign work. After 42 years of unstinting work campaigning for animal welfare, John is taking up a well–deserved retirement. Follow their updates over on the Animal Concern website and consider supporting their work by becoming a member of Animal Concern Following them on Facebook at Animal Concern Ltd or Twitter @animal_concern:

September 9th 2022: On 12th March Animal Concern (AC) objected to a planning application to build a puppy farm in Ayrshire. On April 28th we were able to tell you the farm had been refused planning permission. However the applicant appealed to the Scottish Government. ACs objection went to the Scottish Government. On 9th of September the Scottish Government refused the appeal. The puppy farm will not be given planning permission. It is however very concerning that the local authority gave a Dog Breeding Licence to someone who knew so little about dogs that s/he believed bitches give birth in a “Yelping Kennel”? You can read the Scottish Government ruling here:

September 9th 2022: On the 10th of August, during the extended heatwave, we asked all UK Governments to ban the release of sky lanterns. You can read about that on the August 10th and August 12th entries in our news section. Last week we received a reply from the Scottish Government Safer Communities Division of the Directorate for Safer Communities. (Who thinks these names up?). It looks as though the Scottish Government agrees with us about the dangers posed by sky lanterns. Just a pity they are not going to do anything about them. You can read the reply AC received here:

Read their response here:

August 2022

August 17th 2022: Last month Animal Concern wrote to Scot Gov Ministers, including Green Party MSP Lorna Slater, Minister for Biodiversity, about bird flu and the guga hunt plus Government policy on culling birds over bird flu in non commercial premises such wildlife rescue centres and zoos:
Animal Concern received a reply today and once again it shows policy on animal issues is far too often left to naked silly servants at that hairy–arsed nudist colony NatureScot. Our elected politicians, including Lorna Slater, either don't know or don't give guano about what's going on. It needs action by politicians if we are to legislate to liberate animals from exploitation and suffering. How do we do that if politicians don't even read our requests for them to take action?
The reply on behalf of Lorna Slater, Scottish Government Minister for Biodiversity, makes it clear that despite bird flu decimating gannet populations and despite the Scottish SPCA declaring the killing methods cruel and inhumane, the guga hunt will continue. If she agrees with that Lorna Slater should resign from the Scottish Green Party. If she disagrees with it she should resign her Ministerial post. You can read the Scot Gov response on the AC website here:

Read about the July emails here:

August 10th 2022: Much of the UK is heading into another heatwave. There's every chance we will see more devastating wildfires which will kill wild animals and birds, lay waste to grassland and woodlands and cause damage to property and crops. Despite this there's nothing to stop you setting off sky lanterns, little hot air balloons powered by fire. Even when they don't start fires these lanterns are a hazard to wild and farm animals when they fall back to earth. Animal Concern has been campaigning for years to have these firebombs outlawed. Given the added risk due to the hot weather Animal Concern has asked the Governments of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to implement an immediate ban on the sale and use of sky lanterns. Perhaps you would like to contact your politicians asking them to back the call for a ban? You can read one of the Animal Concern emails here:

July 2022

June 2022

June 8th 2022: On 3rd of May Animal Concern (AC) wrote to all Members of the Scottish Parliament telling them they were wasting their time debating a complicated and unworkable new law to add to the useless controls over fireworks. AC stressed that an outright ban on public ownership and use of fireworks was the only way to deal with this. The Scottish Government replied today and it doesn’t look like the Government is going to listen. AC will now redirect the campaign to the Government in Westminster. You can read he Government reply and the AC response to that reply here:

Read the article for 3rd of May here:

June 3rd 2022: We cannot claim a campaign success on this but our John Robins first publicly asked Argyle & Bute Council to seek sponsorship for dog waste bins around ten years ago and he raised it several times since then. Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park have just obtained sponsorship for new waste bins to keep the Park tidy, giving dog walkers somewhere to deposit their pets' deposits and reducing the risk to wildlife from discarded rubbish. Many of these bins will be in the Argyle & Bute Council area. Perhaps someone was listening when the suggestion was first raised. Dog walkers now have more places to safely discard doggy jobby bags. Better late than never. More about this on The Lochside Press website here:

May 2022

May 11th 2022: Animal Concern has campaigned against Xenotransplantation since the 1980s. As well as the millions of animals killed in research over the decades, AC also highlighted the very real risk of a new disease crossing to humans from animals which have been genetically modified to make their organs more compatible with human tissue. GM Watch has published a very scary article about the first pig to human heart transplant which was carried out earlier this year. You can read it on the GM Watch website here:

May 6th 2022: The Artisan Food Company ignored friendly advice from Animal Concern to stop describing their salmon farmed in Scotland as “sustainable”. Animal Concern complained to the Advertising Standards Authority who have ordered The Artisan Food Company to stop describing the salmon as sustainable. Animal Concern has further challenges against The Artisan Food Company regarding some rather dubious descriptions of other farmed fish they sell. Incidentally, they are selling 1.25 kilo Scottish farmed salmon fillets at £41.80 each plus £8.95 delivery which comes to £50.75. Similar salmon fillets retail in ASDA for £16.75.

I suppose if you're daft enough to eat farmed salmon you might be daft enough to pay three times more than you have to...

May 3rd 2022: This afternoon a handful of MSPs turned up at Holyrood and wasted several hours debating the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill. Not long out of hospital Animal Concern's now part–time consultant wrote to all MSPs to remind them Animal Concern had dismissed this proposed new legislation over a year ago when it was first put forward as an ill thought out knee jerk response to serious firework misuse in the constituency of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Read more on the Animal Concern website here:

April 2022

March 2022

March 14th 2022: On the 18th February (see below) Animal Concern asked the Scottish Government about the proposed new Scottish Veterinary Service. In particular AC wanted to know if this new Government Department would be equipped to make unannounced inspections of the myriad of filthy floating factory fish pharms which blight our West Coast and islands. You might find the reply to that question disturbing. Another question was about having responsibility for policing the welfare of animals in laboratories transferred from the Home Office in London to the Scottish Government. That's a political matter but the inadequate reply received was from a civil Servant, not a politician. Once again we must ask why the hell we pay Government Cabinet Secretaries an extra £50,097 and Government Ministers an extra £31,383 on top of their MSP salary of £66,662 when it's the Civil Servants that seem to do all the work£ You can read the inadequate reply received on the AC website:

March 12th 2022: Animal Concern was puzzled to see a Planning Application involving the building of commercial “Yelping Kennels” in East Ayrshire. We are also stumped as to what a Yelping Kennel is. Animal Concern lodged an objection and also asked the Council if the applicant already has a commercial dog breeding license as other objections to the application suggest dogs are already being bred on the site. You'll find their objection via the “comments” link on the East Ayrshire Council Planning Department website here:

Link leads to Checked and working as of March 12th 2022

March 8th 2022: A month ago Animal Concern used Freedom of Information laws to ask the Home Secretary how many laboratories in the UK are working on genetic modification of animals for organs to be transplanted into humans. She was also asked where those labs are. As such laboratories run a very real risk of creating a pandemic with the potential to make Covid seem cuddly, Animal Concern thought it might be difficult to get a response. Wrong! A reply arrived just within the specified FOI time limits. Only problem is that the Home Office don't know the answer because they don't keep that information. You can read that very worrying reply on the Animal Concern website here:

February 2022

February 27th 2022: Old semi–retired Robins must be off his meds. He's ranting again. This time he is extremely angry that the Scottish Government is once again proposing new animal protection legislation with a built–in get out clause. The Government is going to stop fox hunters using more than two dogs. Hooray! The Government is also going to issue licences to allow fox hunter to use more than two dogs. Boo! Please lobby the Scottish Government after you read the full details on the Animal Concern website here:

February 5th 2022: John Robins first got involved in the xenotransplant controversy when scientists were still thinking of stealing organs from genetically modified sheep. After the pig to human heart transplant in the USA last month, John is trying to find out how many of these potential pandemic producing projects are currently in progress in the UK. The Home Secretary is responsible for licensing these labs, so John has asked her to tell him where they are. You can read his email on the Animal Concern website here:

January 2022

January 31st 2022: Broadcaster Kirsty Young and her husband club owner Nick Jones have bought an island in Loch Lomond. The island has been described as “uninhabited” but no doubt the resident wallaby colony would disagree. The new owners of Inchconnachan Island plan to create a luxury holiday home for themselves and to “manage” the wallabies and other animals on the island. We campaigned against plans to cull the wallabies by the previous owner of Inchconnachan and we have asked Ms Young and Mr. Jones to take a more enlightened approach and avoid lethal means of “managing” the wallaby and deer whose home they have bought. More info here:

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