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Hybridization patterns in two contact zones of grass snakes reveal a new Central European snake species | Scientific Reports

This is amazing news. Natrix natrix -previously thought to be the only grass snake in the UK – has been found to be genetically distinct from what was previously thought to be a variation rather than separate species, the newly named Natrix venaticus. Studies sampled mtDNA from existing skins and specimens and found clear genetic differences between the two, confirming Natrix venaticus as a separate and distinct species. No living snakes were harmed for the study either, which is always good news.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-07847-9

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Beavers back for good – partners welcome return of the Eurasian beaver – Scottish Wildlife Trust

Wonderful news.

The two lead partners in the Scottish Beaver Trial – the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) – have warmly welcomed today’s (21 November 2016) announcement from the Scottish Government that the Eurasian beaver is to be formally recognised as a native species, 400 years after being hunted to extinction in the UK.”

http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/article/beavers-back-for-good/

Animal Defenders International : Publications : Political Animals 2015: Badger cull in England

http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=4033

Anti-cull campaigners have been saying for years that it is poor animal husbandry and poor hygiene on farms, not to mention extended overwintering of cattle in sheds, that has brought about increased bTB in cattle; but why listen to logic when spending millions of tax payer money on culling our native wildlife appeases farmers of their own guilt?

Now the science is out! It has now been demonstrated that it is infected pasture and faeces that is perpetuating bTB in cattle.

The alternative Countryfile interview. – Mark AveryMark Avery

http://markavery.info/2016/06/07/alternative-countryfile-interview/

Did anyone see the latest episode of #Countryfile? Or #Countryfail, as it is now being dubbed.

This is the interview they SHOULD have shown, words courtesy of Mark Ian Avery. Instead, we get pro-shooting, pro-hunting BBC biased propaganda on #Countryfile. What a shame we have very little honest, informed reporting on upland, grouse shooting, land management issues, and instead such biased rubbish from the tax-payer-funded British Broadcasting Corporation.

The countryside as we know it is an artificial construct, so claiming that townies “don’t understand the countryside” is absolute rubbish. Anyone with a basic understanding of ecology knows that ‘land management’ and predator ‘control’ destroys delicate ecosystems. These people have created their own niche playground, destroying native wildlife at every turn to maintain it for the benefit of the few, and then having the audacity to claim they are custodians of the land. Time for a massive overhaul.

Vets are denied access to abattoir footage | | The Times & The Sunday Times

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/vets-denied-access-to-abattoir-footage-hc7z27qmk

“More than 30 slaughterhouses are refusing to let official vets view CCTV footage of animals being killed, prompting concerns that they are hiding illegal acts of cruelty.”

Why? It does not take a genius to work this out. And what are “illegal acts of cruelty” anyway, in contrast to legal acts of cruelty? Vivisectionists commit legal acts of cruelty as a matter of course. Why are we as a species still perpetuating this abominable treatment of other animals every single minute of every single day? Don’t be a part of it. It’s not logical, it’s not ethical, it’s not ok.

Standing up to the Left on Animal Rights | jayforjustice

https://jayforjustice.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/standing-up-to-the-left-on-animal-rights/

Remember: the animal rights movement is a social justice movement. If you believe in freedom of speech, the right to a peaceful life without the threat of violence and war, protecting the young and innocent from violence and abuse, if you believe in protecting and defending female rights and control over their own reproductive system, if you believe in absolute equality, liberty and justice as a whole, then why aren’t you also defending all non-human animals’ rights? We are all animals. Respect for life is respect for life, regardless of the species that life belongs to.

Toxic chemicals in Scottish waters wiping out killer whales – The Scotsman

http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/toxic-chemicals-in-scottish-waters-wiping-out-killer-whales-1-4001108

It seems PCBs can remain in the environment for a long time; these aren’t the only orca populations becoming sick and dying from PCB contamination. It’s a very sad state of affairs for resident orca in the UK, and worldwide.

‘Carnivore cleansing’ is damaging ecosystems, scientists warn

‘Carnivore cleansing’ is damaging ecosystems, scientists warn

http://gu.com/p/3yyp2?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_WordPress

Predator persecution is not acceptable. Without human intervention ecosystems function just fine, with species numbers keeping their own checks and balances. Hunting and farming are having a seriously detrimental effect on ecosystems. This message can’t be said or shared enough times.

Unfortunately, from my experience of discussions on the subject, hunters don’t appear to be the most open-minded groups of people and tend to conveniently believe and regurgitate the myth that hunting equals conservation. This extends, of course, to trophy hunters who like to claim their hunting of Africa’s top predators somehow equates to a great humanitarian effort for the people in the region.

Scientific culling doesn’t help the argument against killing predators as it muddies any message that ecosystems should ideally be left to their own devices and species should not need to be ‘managed’ by humans. Culling is often then used as an excuse to kill any number of species. Ultimately, it’s up to governments to end hunting of all species all together.

I tend to feel any hunting equates to simple blood lust and the perverse enjoyment of killing (which clearly indicates psychotic tendencies), along with a greedy and short-sighted desire to clear more land or manage land upon which we rear non-native, intensively farmed animals (this includes grouse shooting in the UK, as the persecuted hen harrier population demonstrates).

I know that I would far rather see flourishing ecosystems and wholly natural spaces than acre upon acre of barren landscape dotted with cows or sheds full of meat industry slaves.