Policies that motivate your base are no bad thing if they’re also popular among the wider electorate. Priorities such as a ban on exporting live animals will play well
During the last general election, animal welfare issues generated relatively little mainstream media attention. Though polls showed the vast majority of people opposed repealing the fox hunting ban, the consensus among commentators (myself included) was that the Conservatives’ manifesto pledge – to allow a vote on the issue in parliament – wouldn’t be a priority for voters. Other things, like the NHS, security, education and perceptions of competence, seemed far more likely to swing the result.
Meanwhile, on social media, something significant was happening. Not so much on Twitter, where journalists tend to spend a lot of their time. But over on Facebook, which has a far larger active user base, articles and videos about the potential legalisation of fox hunting went viral, sometimes racking up seven-figure view counts and reaching people who weren’t necessarily particularly politically engaged. The other big animal welfare story of the election – the Conservative U-turn on banning wild animals from circuses – spread similarly rapidly. That ban is also supported by the vast majority of voters and has already been implemented in Scotland.
Google pulls all adverts from vlogger’s content for displaying a ‘pattern of behaviour’ that ‘damages the broader creator community’
YouTube has once again penalised vlogger Logan Paul for posting inappropriate content, just weeks after he was suspended from the company’s paid-content program over a video trivialising suicide.
The YouTube star has had all adverts on his videos suspended over what Google describes as a “pattern of behaviour”, repeatedly posting content which push the boundaries of what is acceptable on the site.
Stuffed in suitcases or strapped to passengers’ bodies, more and more rare species are finding their way on to the black market. But a radical new wave of wildlife detectives is on the case. By Rowan Moore Gerety
In February 2016, Richard Lewis, a wildlife conservationist working in Madagascar, was contacted by a veterinary clinic with an unusual request. “Someone went to a vet and said: ‘Can you take a microchip out of a ploughshare?’” Lewis recalled. “So they called us.”
The ploughshare tortoise is one of the rarest tortoises on the planet: with fewer than 50 adults thought to be left in the wild, each one is worth as much as $50,000 on the global exotic pet market. Like gold or ivory, their very rarity is part of what drives smugglers’ interest. Lewis runs the Madagascar programme of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which operates a captive breeding site where ploughshares are reared for more than a decade before being released into the wild. Both buying and selling ploughshares, or keeping them as pets, is illegal, and the breeding site is heavily defended, with barbed wire and round-the-clock armed security. As a further measure against smuggling, the organisation implants every ploughshare it encounters with a microchip. Anyone hoping to remove the microchip is likely to be involved with tortoise trafficking.
Move follows report carmaker used animals to demonstrate diesel emissions technology
The carmaker Volkswagen has suspended its head of external relations and sustainability after admitting that he had known about experiments in which monkeys were locked in small chambers and exposed to diesel exhaust.
Thomas Steg, a former government spokesman who worked for German chancellor Angela Merkel and her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, is the first person to be relieved of his duties as VW said it was “drawing the consequences” of the scandal, which has rocked both the government and industry.
Exclusive: Boonchai Bach allegedly ran tusk and horn smuggling route from Africa
Police in Thailand have arrested one of the world’s most notorious wildlife traffickers, allegedly involved in the smuggling thousands of tonnes of elephant tusks and rhino horns from Africa to Asia, the Guardian has learned.
Boonchai Bach, who goes by multiple aliases including Bach Mai Limh, was arrested at his operational base in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Phanom, next to the Mekong River on Thursday.