The dreary winter blues are always reliably cleansed by the seasonal remedy of Spring as our closer proximity to the sun affords warmer and longer days. But the brightening of our mood is always accompanied by a hearty sneeze as allergens begin to populate the atmosphere.
A furor of the kind that followed 4 Corners’ February report “Making a Killing” is rarely seen in Australian public life, characterised as it is by largely civil and staid discussion. But shocking undercover footage provided by Animals Australia of the barbaric practices involved in the 4 billion greyhound industry resulted in an outcry that brought the industry into shame and disrepute and resulted in joint operations by the RSPA and police, culminating in the suspension of 22 prominent breeders and trainers who face the prospect of jail. Revelations of the widespread use of “blooding” greyhounds with live bait, including piglets and rabbits, in order to get a competitive edge by increasing their bloodlust, appalled the nation and brought an already dubious industry that had promised a clean act centred on the welfare of dogs under immense scrutiny. This follows years of denials from the industry about the mass discarding of dogs surplus to the industry’s requirements.
The echidna is most well known for its idiosyncratic, startling image as a kind of bristling, peroxide-tipped inspiration to the punks that shook the world for 100 days. Yet most people don’t know that as a product released to the market by the trudging process of Evolution some 50 million years ago, this ancient mass of spikes is the world’s oldest surviving mammal. Having descended from an aquatic monotreme, a common ancestor of the platypus, it took a few million years for it to finally adapt to the terra nullius of the land.
Poaching is the illegal hunting and harvesting of animals for different reasons. Poaching is undertaken for different reasons but mainly for profit especially if the animal has valuable parts or is valuable in the market. There are those who carry out poaching to keep the animals as pets rather than acquiring the pet legally. Poachers have less concern on animal health and animal health care. Harmed animals end-up in bad conditions and poor animal health care treatment, leads to a radical decrease in animal populations. Poaching is a critical problem that affects the animals, the environment and the nation. It leads to economic instability, hence threatens economic opportunities such as tourism.
There has always been a murky side to animal captivity, whether oriented ostensibly to education, research and conservation, such as zoos, or the less noble aspirations of commercial entertainment parks, where an array of species, from seals to dolphins and orca whales, are disciplined and trained to perform synchronised tricks for the brief amusement of paying spectators. Perhaps it is the virtually unanimous, dispirited air that the animals seem to have when viewed from the other side of the looking glass.